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Futurama: Game of Drones guide - How to get the most out of your drones

Posted by Gordon Siu on February 25th, 2016

Futurama: Game of Drones is a match four puzzler in which you'll take on a selection of tasks ranging from pizza delivery to clearing obstacles.

We've gathered together a few tips to help you make the most out of your adorable drones regardless of the task at hand.

iNethack2: Nethack port back in App Store

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 5th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Future Shock Software's iNethack, one of the original rougle-like games released in 1987, was ported to iOS in 2009 by Dirk Zimmermann. Recently the game was updated to iNethack2. The strategic dungeon crawler had previously not been updated since 2010 so it no longer functioned on iOS 8. iNethack2 now works with current devices and Future Shock has added the additional bonus of 8 new tilesets to explore, new touchscreen gesture controls, customizable keyboard shortcut controls, and hearse (bones file sharing) integration.

Old fans and new players alike can enjoy iNethack2 for free on the App Store.

Will Square Enix Ever Fix iOS 8 issues with The World Ends With You: Solo Remix?

Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 3rd, 2015
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: STYLISHLY GREAT :: Read Review »

According to Reddit's iOS Gaming Board, Square Enix seems to have mixed opinions on iOS 8 compatibility updates for The World Ends With You: Solo Remix. User 'chupwn' posted a copy of their support ticket, which reads:

"Unfortunately we have been notified that this title will not be receiving an update to be compatible with iOS 8 and forward. For this we and the development team deeply apologize. We can only suggest that you play the game on an iOS 7 or earlier device at this time. If have purchased the game recently and would like a refund or reimbursement you will need to contact Apple Support as they would act as the retailer in this case. Since we are not the retailer and simply the publisher we would be unable to provide a refund under any circumstances. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Afterwards they received another reply from Square Enix correcting their previous email:

"We apologize, the previous response was premature as our teams have reviewed their response and realized that it was a lot more severe than they meant to provide. They have corrected our notification. This title's patch is more complex than expected and it is taking extra time to patch the game, unfortunately they do not have a final ETA as to when this will be complete."

Currently, The World Ends With You: Solo Remix is simply unplayable on iOS 8 - it gets stuck on an "Initializing" screen. Naturally users are in an uproar over the email and have spoken out on the Reddit message board about Square Enix's performance. 148Apps has reached out to Square Enix for clarification but we have yet to hear back.

Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit for iOS 8 Storage Hogging

Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 5th, 2015

It seems that Apple users are unsatisfied by Apples lack of information about how much storage the iOS 8 operating system takes up. The Huffington Post noted that on Tuesday, December 30th, Apple was slapped with a class-action lawsuit by its users. iOS 8 takes 1.1 GB of space and it needs 5.8 GB to install wirelessly, so people with 8 GB and 16 GB devices end up losing about 23% of their storage space just to the system. In order to combat the quickly filled storage space users will have to buy extra space through iCloud, netting Apple a tidy profit.

According to the lawsuit:

"Using these sharp business tactics, Defendant gives less storage capacity than advertised, only to offer to sell that capacity in a desperate moment, e.g., when a consumer is trying to record or take photos at a child or grandchild’s recital, basketball game or wedding. To put this in context, each gigabyte of storage Apple shortchanges its customers amounts to approximately 400-500 high resolution photographs."

You can read over the lawsuit posted by appleinsider here.

Capture Card No Longer Needed - iOS Owners Can Record Using QuickTime in OS X Yosemite

Posted by Ellis Spice on October 21st, 2014

Pocket Gamer has noticed that, hidden within OS X Yosemite, the latest update to the Mac operating system that arrived last week, is the ability to capture footage straight from a Lightning cable connected iOS device.

Intended for developers but freely available to all, footage captured this way comes in the full Retina resolution of the device, with no jag or frame rate drops even on bigger 3D games. Whilst it might not give users the editing or streaming options they might be able to get from other software and hardware, it does at least makes the process for getting footage for Let's Plays and the like more open and a heck of a lot easier.

WatchKit will be Available for Developers to Play With Starting Next Month

Posted by Rob Rich on October 16th, 2014

The Apple Watch is due out early next year, but there hasn't been much opportunity for developers to start working on apps for it. That's all changing next month.

Earlier today, Apple announced that WatchKit will officially be releasing next month. This means that in just a couple more weeks, iOS developers will have a totally new set of tools to play with.

Are you anxious to see what they can come up with for the Apple Watch?

Pointless or Prophetic - is Apple Pay a Sign of the Times?

Posted by Andrew Fisher on October 8th, 2014

A couple of years ago, with the holiday season rapidly approaching, my mother generously asked me if there was anything I wanted for Christmas. As it turned out my wife and I were just getting into board games as a hobby, but not wanting my mom to bother wandering into a Manhattan board game specialty store I just told her I'd give her the names of a few games we were interested in that I knew she could find on Amazon. She surprised me with her response - that she wasn't going to be able to get me those games because she didn't feel comfortable shopping online.

My mother is the first to admit that she's not the most tech-savvy person around, but I was still shocked that she wouldn't order anything from Amazon, and further shocked that she had never bought anything online. When I asked why, both she and my father explained that they simply didn't trust the technology and that it made them uncomfortable.

I guess the reason I found it difficult to accept is because online transactions have represented the majority of my expenses for years. So the idea that people who are otherwise modern, educated, competent folks wouldn't trust something as universal as online shopping - their instinctive distrust - seemed downright silly to me as someone who is, by upbringing and profession, constantly exposed to the world of social media, online commerce, and internet connectivity.

Which is why I had to stop and scold myself when I saw Apple Pay and immediately shook my head in disapproval.

Sure, there are security features in place. Sure, your credit info isn't technically stored on the device. And sure, what is locally kept is locked behind a biometric defense system, can be disabled remotely, and probably has a dozen other security protocols I'm unaware of. Still, my gut reaction to the idea of using my phone to pay for things was instantaneous distrust - and that's ridiculous.

Whether you're an adherent to the Cult of Apple, just think their products are cool, or even if you have no intention of buying Apple's newest miracle device, the fact is that this idea of a unified way of managing your credit, integrated into your mobile electronics, is a very likely technological progression. Of course security will always be an issue, but is there really any difference in using my computer to order something from an online retailer via my credit card or tapping my iPhone against a sensor to initiate the exact same kind of transaction in person? The bottom line is that (semantics aside) there isn't, and I doubt very much that this feature will remain exclusive to the iPhone for long.

I also doubt I'm the only one who looked at Apple Pay and scoffed. But I think that, like my parents not trusting the idea of internet commerce, it's just a product of technological inertia. No, I'm not one of the folks who ran out to get an iPhone 6 Plus on day 1, but I won't be one of the naysayers who resists the direction this new tech is taking us simply because 'it's different and that makes me nervous.'

Rest in Peace My Beloved iPod Touch, the iPhone Minus The Phone

Posted by Ellis Spice on October 3rd, 2014

I'm an iPod Touch owner, and I think it may be time for me to admit that my device's time is almost up. But firstly, a little bit of back story for you: 

My first iOS device was a 2nd generation iPod Touch, which is long ago enough for it to not have had a camera or microphone. My second iOS device was a 4th generation iPod Touch, with my current device being a 5th generation device. Putting it bluntly, I'm a fan of the iPod Touch.

To me, the iPod Touch was Apple's accidental handheld console. Sure you can purely use it as an iPod with a camera if you so wish, but to someone like me, it was (and still is) my gateway into iOS gaming at a much cheaper cost than an iPhone - one that also just happened to fit into my pocket. The fact that I could access the wide variety of iOS games through a relatively cheap device (compared to other iOS devices, anyway) is the reason I'm here today, on a site devoted to iOS apps.

Once upon a time the release of an iPod Touch was a yearly thing, with the tech in the device just below that found in that year's iPhone. The 4th and 5th seemingly started the pattern of a new device every two years, meaning this year should've bought on the release of the 6th generation. The September 9 iPhone 6 announcement event has long since come and gone however, and the world is seemingly nowhere nearer to seeing a six next to the iPod Touch name.

If you sit down and think about it though, in this day and age the iPod Touch is an unusual thing. It's the size of the phone and does almost everything you'd expect from a modern phone besides be a phone: it has a touch screen, two cameras, a microphone, and the ability to run apps. To be fair, that's also everything the average person would likely expect from a modern tablet as well. And therein lies the rub.

I can understand why Apple seems to be no longer supporting it. In the past year, the hardware giant released four iOS devices - the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, and the 2nd generation iPad Mini. Four devices, all varying in price and size, and each with their own niche to cater to. Within those devices, there's something there for pretty much everyone. You want a phone-sized device to play your iOS games on? Fine, go get an expensive contract and get an iPhone. You want a device devoted to running apps? Fine, go get an iPad or iPad Mini with their bigger screens and better resolutions. You want both? Before, the answer to that question was the iPod Touch. Now, I think Apple would much rather you gave them more money and bought an iPhone and an iPad.

This time next year, we'll likely see the release of iOS 9 and the end of support for the generation of devices that used the A5 chip - including the 5th generation iPod Touch. As much as I hope Apple will announce a new iPod Touch next year, part of me knows that the brand is effectively a dead parrot at this point. And as much as I want to nail it to a perch, it's already pushing up the daises and has joined the choir invisible.

So, farewell iPod Touch. The iPhone minus the phone. The iPad Mini but even smaller. The accidental handheld console. You will be missed.

PDF Expert 5 Has Been Updated for iOS 8

Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 2nd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: NEW AND IMPROVED :: Read Review »

Readdle has released a new update for PDF Expert 5, with a ton of new features. They have integrated the ability to use Zoom Writing on the iPad, which lets you zoom in on the page you are writing on and follows you as you move along the page.

PDF Expert 5 also has AirTurn support. AirTurn Bluetooth pedals allow you to turn pages of documents hands-free, which is great for musicians whose hands may otherwise be occupied rocking out.

Readdle has also improved the bookmark function, added iCloud Drive Support, and included the ability to lock the app with Touch ID instead of using a passcode.

You can download PDF Expert 5 for $9.99 on the App Store.

Rejoice - Tweetbot 3 is Now Optimized for iOS 8

Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 2nd, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: TOP BOT :: Read Review »

Tapbots has updated their Twitter client, Tweetbot 3, to make use of the new features of iOS 8. They've optimized it for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as added interactive notifications so you're always up to date on your twitter activity. The update also comes with 1Password and Share Sheets Support.

Tweetbot 3 is available for $4.99 on the App Store, and the new update is live now.

It Came From Canada - Philippines Edition: Vainglory

Posted by Jordan Minor on September 29th, 2014

I’m going to be straight you with folks. I don’t know much about MOBAs, and I’m certainly no professional. That means I don’t know how well Vainglory, the upcoming multiplayer online battle arena showcased in the most recent Apple keynote, compares to titans like League of Legends or DotA 2 in terms of depth and control. However, in this edition of It Came From Canada - Philippines Edition, what I can say is that it certainly has the ambition to be king of the mobile MOBAs.

Even to someone like me, the specifics of this gigantic genre have become pretty well-known by now. Two teams, in this case with three members each, attempt to destroy their opponents’ home base by making it through lanes full of powerful turrets and endless waves of disposable grunt soldiers. Players choose from a handful of heroes with their own personalities and moves to master - like the sadistic sword wielder Catherine, rambunctious catgirl Koshka, and shambling Monty Python-quoting zombie warrior Krul. Fast melee-focused characters obviously require different strategies compared to slow spellcasters, and forming those plans is where much of the tactical depth comes from.

Fortunately, the game is very accommodating to newcomers. The extensive tutorial goes over basics like what to buy at the shop and why it’s important to not die and give your foes a bonus. It also familiarizes players with the single map and important sites to capture like special monsters that strengthen minions once defeated. It’s a lot to take in, from knowing when to hide in the bushes to the concept of “the jungle,” and that’s before it even gets to character-specific traits. But since this is all the game is, it’s good that there’s a lot to it. Players can also practice at any time and discover how surprisingly nuanced the touch controls are - letting them set waypoints, launch strings of attacks, and tell heroes what spots to avoid.

Vainglory also just looks fantastic thanks to the new “Metal” iOS 8 API. Yeah, the art style still betrays the fact that this entire sub-genre descends from a mod of a Blizzard game, but the details, effects, animations, and smoothness of play actually do resemble a higher-end PC release from a developer of that caliber. Along with giving players new options to explore, unlocking characters from the marketplace also provides something new and pleasant to look at for a match.

Since Vainglory isn’t out in most territories yet, so finding a match was a little difficult. Although once it fully launches soon, that shouldn’t be a problem. Again, I’m not the one who can tell if it will succeed in the highly profitable but contentious MOBA space, but it’s definitely an impressive attempt.

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For Better, or for Worse? How the New App Store has Started to Affect Developer Submissions

Posted by Rob Rich on September 29th, 2014

With the release of iOS 8 (finally), Apple has made some noticeable changes on the App Store - bundles, videos, and Testflight integration, to name a few. Many of these additions will make things friendlier for App Store shoppers, but how has it been affecting developers? I asked George Ko (Quantum Sheep), Brandon Pollet (F5 Games), and Nadav B (NAFNA) what they thought of Apple’s changes to the developer submission process, and their answers were rather illuminating.

Surprise! The Rules Have Changed!

George Ko
With all the changes to the App Store that had been announced back in June when Apple officially revealed iOS 8, it’s not all that shocking to think that there might be a few more boxes to check off when submitting a new app. However, it seems as though there wasn’t a whole lot of forewarning.

According to Pollet, “I didn’t have any real warning about the submission changes. I’m sure the information was out there but I just happened to log into iTunes Connect last week and the entire interface was different.” Nadav had a similar story, and said, “we have been given access to iOS beta 2 as of June 20, yet, as to submission guidelines, I can find no info.”

“I think that, while Apple transitions from the old system it had, there will be some mistakes and oversights made,” Ko offered, “This is understandable, but it kinda sucks to be uncertain about things when trying to get a game out!”

Breaking Up With My iPhone 4S -or- Surfing the Back Edge of the Tech Wave

Posted by Rob Thomas on September 26th, 2014

I still own an iPhone 4S, and the arrival of iOS 8 and the new iPhone 6 line pains me.

First off, I should explain that I’m not some half-committed neo-Luddite with a knee-jerk fear of new technology. I actually picked up my iPhone 4S on the day it launched - it was shiny, new, and top of the line. It was like basking in the glow of a new relationship, where everything is perfect and you're so in love. Then, a few months later and through no fault of my own, the person whose family plan I was a part of flaked out and I found myself bereft of service and unable to afford the deposit required to spin my old number off to its own line. My still-relatively young significant other then began its new life as an extra beefy iPod Touch.

Image Source: Nerdrepository.com

I was phoneless for the next couple of years, then eventually acquired a prepaid on a different carrier because it was both cheaper and I wouldn’t be locked to a contract. After enduring months of terrible service (including not being able to get a signal at home, within almost-literal spitting distance of the second-largest city in the state’s downtown area) I finally found out that not only did my old carrier offer prepaid service, but they had just recently allowed the iPhone 4S to be activated on it. I was elated. I could have my phone back again!

But our rekindled romance was short-lived. Once the thrill of having a signal anywhere I went wore off, I immediately began to feel the immense weight of my three years away.

In the interim, Apple had launched and fully iterated the iPhone 5 and and was gearing up to move along to the impending iPhone 6 and the concurrent launch of iOS 8. As I worked my way back into the world of iOS devices, I began to feel increasingly like a relic from a bygone age. Most new apps were not only optimized for iPhone 5 and up, but an increasing number just flat-out wouldn’t run on my old hardware at all. And with each new iOS update, that hardware - already rapidly spiraling towards obsolescence - ran just a little bit worse. Also, my prepaid plan won’t support the 5 series phones at all.

And so, I’ve begun to eyeball the postpaid world once again.

Now mind you, even if I had the money I wouldn’t have been one of those people who obsessively acquires each new phone the second it comes out. I’ve always believed in getting my money’s worth out of a device before moving on. In fact, if I had upgraded a year or so back to, say, a 5s, I could likely be singing a completely different tune at this point. Maybe I wouldn’t yet feel that an upgrade was in order. Sadly, that’s not the case.

Now, after an arduous process that took several hours the other night, my iPhone 4s groans under the strain of running iOS 8. Some features are nice (the integrated Siri song ID via Shazam, the pull-down text message reply from the lock screen) and work more or less as intended. But beyond that, things chug and sputter along slowly and hiccups, glitches, and freezes are far-too frequent. I know some of this is inevitably the bugs that accompany any initial roll-out of new operating systems, but I would be extremely surprised if a fair chunk of it wasn’t due to the fact that I’m running it on a three year old phone that just doesn’t have the muscle to properly support it. And if I thought I was being left behind before with the iPhone 5 app optimization, well it’s about to get even worse.

And that’s to say nothing of the new hardware itself. I got to put my hands on it a few days ago and I was pretty impressed. I feel like the size issue has been overstated by a lot of people. Despite being a pretty big guy I have surprisingly small hands, but even the iPhone 6 Plus didn’t feel too gargantuan for me to hold reasonably. And despite the fact that it’s an ounce heavier than my 4s, it actually felt lighter. And then there's the fact that the regular iPhone 6 actually is lighter, despite being considerably bigger. The recently reported bending controversy doesn’t especially concern me either as I don’t wear super-tight pants. And even if I did, I’d most likely normally stash the phone somewhere else, like a jacket pocket or my messenger bag, rather than forcing it uncomfortably into somewhere it would have problems fitting in the first place.

While I loved (and still do love) my 4S, I just feel that our relationship has run its course. We had some laughs together and created some great memories that I will always cherish, but I think it’s time that we move on and see other people.

Big, Gaudy, and Expensive - Why the Apple Watch is Kind of "Meh"

Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 25th, 2014

Whenever a shiny new gadget comes out, the same question runs through my mind: "Will this become an indispensable part of my tech arsenal, or will it be a glorious waste of money?" Things rarely seem to fall in between – either they change everything, or they change nothing.

Sure the idea of the Apple Watch is intriguing, but as I started my research into the device, the first hurdle I ran into was held in the first image I saw of it; the thing is huge and ugly, with a huge and ugly price tag to match.

I have a lot of mobile devices: my iPad, my phone, and my Shine fitness tracker. Investing in something that boils all of those things down into a single fashion accessory might sound appealing at first but the reality is that, as a part of my daily wardrobe, it just doesn’t fit. In order to be able to have a functional touchscreen, the smallest possible face for the Apple Watch is 38mm. That's kind of large for someone like me who has small wrists. Sure, it would let me reenact scenes from Dick Tracy (and that’s cool enough to merit serious consideration), but with its metallic 90s style Casio band and massive face it just looks plain silly. If Apple wants to not only become a part of my lifestyle but a part of my appearance, they are just going to have to try harder. Yes, I know they offer other bands, but the current iconic design is neither formal nor cool, and that just won’t do.

In truth, though, I haven’t worn a watch for several years now. With so many devices that keep time already taking up valuable room in my pockets, I haven't felt the need to wear one. Once again the point would be to minimize the amount of stuff I carry, and in that regard the Apple Watch is intriguing - especially as more apps become available for it.

But appearance aside, the biggest hurdle for getting excited about the new Apple Watch is that price. At $349, it’s unreasonable as a substitute for a bunch of tech gear I already own. Also, considering it needs to paired with an iPhone, which I do not presently own, the Apple Watch would be useless to me unless I bought one of those, too.

At the moment, the Apple Watch really doesn’t offer anything truly new to justify itself. Perhaps after the watch is released and a few generations pass I'll find it a more worthwhile investment. By then the price may drop and my old gear will be out of date and in need of an upgrade anyway. Until then, I think my Dick Tracy impressions will just have to continue to rely on my good old (free) imagination.

Security App 1Password Has Been Updated for iOS 8

Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 25th, 2014
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: PASSWORD PERFECTION :: Read Review »

1Password, by AgileBits, has been updated to take full advantage of iOS 8's new security features and App Extensions. Now, with Touch ID, you can unlock 1Password with just a tap.

You can also link 1Password with all of your other supported apps using the App Extensions and never have to remember a long list of passwords. It even works with Safari now, so as you browse the app can automatically fill out login requests for you without having to open 1Password.

You can check out the new, improved 1Password for free on the App Store.