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iOS 6 is Nigh, Here's a Roundup of What to Look Forward to

Posted by Rob Rich on September 19th, 2012

iOS 6 Roundup

Last week, Apple announced the iPhone 5, much to the surprise of everyone I’m sure (that's sarcasm). The new phone has some pretty nifty features, but not everyone will be waiting in line for days in order to get their hands on one. Those of us who don’t want to trade-up just yet still have a way to scratch that “new Apple gadget” itch, however: iOS 6. This new iOS will be compatible with most older devices, including the iPhone 3GS (Yay!) and above, the fourth generation iPod Touch and up, and the iPad 2 and later. So while I might not be able to get my hands on a 5 just yet, I can still feel special when my phone starts to do new and exciting things!

iOS 6 - Plenty of changes to some old favorites

Before we get in to all the major changes and new features I want to take a moment to go over some of the smaller tweaks to the apps many iOS users can’t live without. The camera has gotten a bit more attention this time around. Users can take panoramic photos now with their iPhone 4S/5 and iPod Touch 4th/5th generation, up to 240 degrees both horizontally and vertically. They have simply to sweep the camera along using a predefined motion and the device and software takes care of the rest. Then, said photos and everything else on the camera roll can be shown off to friends quickly and easily with the Photo app. Video chatting with friends and family via FaceTime has also gotten much simpler now that the app can work over a cellular network and Wi-Fi is no longer required--provided the carrier allows for that sort of thing, naturally.

Even the Notification Center has been revamped with Twitter or Facebook posting allowed directly from the notifications window and the option to quiet those irritating 3am notices, thanks to the new Do Not Disturb feature (more on that later). Last, but certainly not least to the accident prone, Find My Phone has been updated to include a Lost Mode which allows users to remotely lock their misplaced phone with a 4-digit code and display contact information for honest folks to use in order to return the lost device. This goes hand-in-hand with Find My Friends, an app that uses GPS to keep track of friends and family, even going so far as to issue alerts when certain individuals have left or reached specific destinations. It sounds weird, but think of it in terms of the kids leaving school and getting home. Pretty nifty, I know, but this is just the beginning.

iTunes, App Store, iBookstore - Refurbishing the storefronts

iTunes, the App Store, and the iBookstore are also getting adjustments by way of some slightly revamped storefronts, Facebook integration (“like” items in the store or view items that friends like), and a new preview feature that automatically keeps track of any apps/music/books that you browse through. You can view this list from within any of the three stores--and across any of their iOS devices thanks to iCloud--and make purchases from it directly.

This Week at 148Apps: August 27-31

Posted by Chris Kirby on September 2nd, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com, we got ready for some much-deserved rest with a comprehensive overview of all major Labor Day app sales. Site founder Jeff Scott writes, "It’s another holiday weekend here in the USA. Burning Man, end of summer, Labor day — pick your favorite. And that means it’s time for another huge sale on iPhone and iPad apps. These apps are on sale and they have to go!"

See the complete list at 148Apps.

Over at GiggleApps.com, reviewer Amy Solomon dug deep into the earth and discovered Auracle-Fossil. She writes, "Fossil tells the story of a girl finding a fossil on the beach, and the story of where her mind goes as she imagines this dinosaur alive long ago, as well as the process that this bone must have taken to be transformed into a fossil.

Fossil is beautifully illustrated with striking water colors, as these original illustrations found in the published book work quite well in terms of translating these paintings. Here, the double page spreads from the book are formatted to fit the screens without losing much real-estate, allows readers to see both these pages together without the need to pan and scan, a feature that works in other apps, yet is simply not necessary here."

Want to know more? Read on at GiggleApps.

Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson reported on an unusual trend in the world of free apps: "Fiksu has released its latest Indexes tracking how much it costs for brands to acquire loyal users, and how many downloads the top free iPhone apps are getting.

The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index tracks the average combined volume of the top 200 free iPhone apps. For July, the Index indicates that daily downloads decreased month-over-month by 5.6%, down to 4.37 million downloads from 4.63 million in June. The number has remained relatively stable after a drop from 6.35 million in February. This may be due to a residual after-effect of the holiday season, which saw steady increases after the launch of the iPhone 4S."

Need more information? Follow this story at 148Apps.biz.

More big stories are on the way from the App experts at 148Apps! Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to keep track of the latest sales, reviews, news items and more. See you next week, football fan!

This Week at 148Apps: July 30-August 3

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 6th, 2012

This week at 148Apps, a new video revolution began, as Amazon.com released its Amazon Instant Video app for the iPad. Carter Dotson writes, "Amazon Instant Video is now available on iPad, expanding out the Amazon’s vast library of video offerings to iOS users. This offers streaming of purchased movies and TV shows from Amazon, with the ability to sync up watch lists between devices. It also includes titles available from Amazon Prime, similar to Netflix, a service offering over 120,000 streaming movies and TV shows. It is only available as a yearly subscription from Amazon as part of the Prime service that also includes free 2-day shipping on Amazon items."

Read more about this exciting development for iOS at 148Apps.

Over at GiggleApps.com, writer Amy Solomon got us ready for mealtime wither her review of Bo's Dinnertime. She writes, "Bo’s Dinnertime in a cute and fun interactive universal app that teaches the sequencing of events that lead up to dinnertime, such as food shopping, putting away groceries, cooking and setting the table, as well as eating dinner and cleaning up afterwards. A simple and sweet song is also included, as is a section dedicated to selecting and eating foods with the tap of a finger. Narration is included, leading children though varied food related exercises, complete with subtle highlighting of new objects to tap or interact with, keeping the flow of this app going nicely."

Want more? Read the full review at GiggleApps.

Last, but certainly not least, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson explored the results of a recent study by KinderTown. He says, "KinderTown, developers of an app that helps collect the best kids apps on the App Store, have released a study based on searches within their app. Their “KinderSights” analytics study collected data from June 20th to July 10th, and they have released the results from the study, revealing some key insights into those that search for kids’ apps on the App Store.

The most-searched criterion was age, with 50.2% of searches looking for apps for a particular age. Second was price at 40.6%, followed by platform at 31.8%, and the type of app was last at 30.2%."

Keep track of this and more mobile app news stories on 148Apps.biz.

This week may be done, but there's no need to worry. More app reviews, news and contests are always on their way across the 148Apps network. Just follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to stay on top of all the happenings. See you next week, Gothamites!

This Week at 148Apps: July 9-13

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 15th, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com, we got into the game with our look at CoachNote. Writer Jennifer Allen says, "CoachNote offers a way of creating sports drills, strategies and tactics, all from an iOS device and it’ll be a real hit for coaches as well as fans. The app makes it easy to create complex plays and strategies with tools for drawing lines in multiple colors to explain what’s going on."

Read more at 148App.com.

Meanwhile, GiggleApps.com took a closer look at Brave: Storybook Deluxe. Reviewer Amy Solomon writes, "As one would expect from this Disney Pixar film, the illustrations, music and narration are quite striking and beautifully crafted – especially the brilliant use of bright and bold colors which was the main detail that caught my eye the first time I saw a trailer for this film."

Read Amy's full review at GiggleApps.

148Apps.biz presented a guest editorial from Matthew Palmer, founder and CEO of Marketing Your App. Palmer says, "After all the hard work of creating a mobile app, there is one decision that can sink even promising apps more than any other: choosing a price. Knowing what to charge for any product is tough, but the peculiar world of the App Store makes it a top question for even savvy developers.

The rewards are great: Apple has already paid out $4 billion to app creators who have combined a smart app with good marketing. But, too often, sticker shock leads customers to ignore otherwise helpful apps. When developers choose the wrong price, more often than not it seems, they aim too high."

Read the rest of 'Why You're Charging Too Much for Your App' at 148Apps.biz.

And that, my friends, is the week that was. Don't miss out on anything in the coming days and weeks. Stay on top of our contests, promos, reviews and news items by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. You'll be glad you did. Until next week, keep wall crawlin'.

This Week at 148Apps: June 4-8

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 11th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad

This week, 148Apps was all about Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2012. Take, for instance, Carter Dotson's report on new Xbox 360 features that may allow iOS integration: "At Microsoft’s E3 press conference, they revealed an interesting new feature that will integrate smartphones and tablets to the Xbox 360. Called SmartGlass, this is designed to operate a second screen during games, movies, and TV shows. This means that hypothetically, a game could display a map on the tablet screen, or even integrate interactive game elements like maps and play-calling in sports games.

Read more about this latest innovation at 148Apps.com.

Our kids-centric site, GiggleApps, reviewed Give A Day HD, which, as reviewer Amy Solomon states, "is a thoughtful children’s book app that helps create discussions between children and their adults about the world bigger than their families, as this app brings the topic of less fortunate children to the attention of young readers. This app is also available as an app for iPhone as well and is also part of the PlayTales Reader application."

Read Amy's complete review at GiggleApps.com.

And finally, 148Apps.biz covered the big news that Google acquired iPad app QuickOffice. Writer Kevin Stout states, "Quickoffice, the mobile document editing software (that particularly handles documents from the Microsoft Office suite well), has been acquired by Google. Announced on Google’s official blog, Google plans to intergrate Quickoffice‘s technology in to their own Apps product suite."

Read Kevin's full post at 148Apps.biz.

Our week that was is now did and done. If you'd like to keep up with the latest reviews, news and contests, all you have to do is click the links to follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook. That wasn't so hard, was it? I didn't think so. See you next weekend, fellow chupacabras!

This Week at 148Apps - May 21-25

Posted by Chris Kirby on May 28th, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com, we celebrated the coming Memorial Day holiday with a closer look and an ever-growing list of apps on sale. Site editor Rob LeFebvre writes, "So, it’s that time of year again! BBQs, lawn chairs, beer, and the ability to finally wear shorts with sandals without fear of frostbite. Tan those legs and check out all the huge sales that are going on across the App Store below. We’ll try and keep it updated as we go this weekend, so be sure to let us know of any good sales on iOS apps..."

Read the full list at 148Apps.com.

At GiggleApps, writer Amy Solomon reviewed The First Million-Teach Your Child to Read. Solomon says, "The First Million is a lovely universal “mix and match” book application that adults and children will find interesting as well as intuitive as here, as the pages of this book are split into three sections – each being able to be flipped back and forth to create new and intriguing illustrations and word combinations. Unlike other “mix and match” books where one can look for the corresponding thirds of the same image to make a match, this app is completely open-ended with no right or wrong matches to be made, giving children free range to produce any and all combinations they may fancy."

Read Amy's full review on GiggleApps.com.

Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Kevin Stout reported on Disney's push into Angry Birds territory. Stout writes, "Intensely popular Disney game, Where’s My Water?, will be receiving its first line of merchandise based on the game. The physics-based puzzler by Disney has been popular on both iOS and Android. Fans of the popular game can now buy all kinds of merchandise featuring the story’s character, Swampy the Alligator."

Read more about Swampy's foray into stores at 148Apps.biz.

That's it for us - and we're one week closer to summer! Remember to follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get all of the latest updates all during the week. See you next time, Marvel Zombies!

Hammerhead Capo Case Review

By Rob LeFebvre on April 27th, 2012
The Capo case from Hammerhead does what it says it does - protects and serves.
Read The Full Review »

Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad Review

By Rob LeFebvre on March 20th, 2012
Putting the Logitech keyboard case through its paces.
Read The Full Review »

Adobe Photoshop Touch Brings Advanced Image Editing to the iPad 2

Posted by Carter Dotson on February 26th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Adobe has released a highly-capable version of Photoshop for the iPad 2. Adobe Photoshop Touch brings more advanced image editing features than the free Adobe Photoshop Express, boasting features such as multiple image layers that are essential to powerful desktop image editors. Various image selection tools including Scribble Selection and Refine Edge, which helps to extract tricky parts of images, are here in a touch-friendly interface. The camera can be used to fill areas in layers. Google Image Search is integrated to help add images to projects. Facebook is integrated to share images directly to the service. As well, projects can be uploaded to Adobe Creative Cloud, allowing for files from Adobe Photoshop Touch to be opened directly in Photoshop CS5. The app is not designed for extrmeely high-resolution porjects, although the 1600x1600 resolution should be enough for most users. The app does require the iPad 2 specifically, leaving out iPad 1 users. The app has launched at a price point of $9.99 and is available now.

Akai Pro Introduces MPC Fly for iPad 2

Posted by Jason Wadsworth on January 20th, 2012

The new Akai Pro MPC Fly turns any iPad 2 into a full featured MPC (music production center). Not only does it turn an iPad into a portable production center, but it also acts as a protective case opening on hinges to sit upright, lay flat, or close shut for transport. The MPC Fly touts 16 pads with note repeat and swing, and works with any Core MIDI apps. It also works in conjunction with the MPC Fly iPad app.

With the MPC Fly iPad app users can sequence four tracks at once, access library of audio samples and drum kits, use various audio effects on their sequences, pull samples from their iTunes library, and share their work on SoundCloud, Facebook, or Twitter.

The MPC Fly houses it's own rechargeable lithium-ion battery making it a truly portable solution. It also includes a wall charger, and will charge the iPad while it's plugged in to the wall. No word yet on how much the MPC will retail for.

Start 2012 Off Right With 148Apps and iPhone Life Magazine

Posted by Chris Kirby on January 12th, 2012

Did you get that long-coveted new iPhone 4s or iPad 2 for Christmas? Not sure what your new miraculous devices can do to improve your life? Or, maybe you've had an iOS device for quite a while and want a fresh perspective on its capabilities and the latest apps available for it. In either case, 148Apps and iPhone Life Magazine want to give you a chance to start 2012 off right by winning one of five magazine subscriptions to iPhone Life.

What do you have to do to enter? It's simple! Just visit the following site: http://www.iphonelife.com/contest As a bonus, you'll receive a free browser issue of iPhone Life.

That's it! The contest will run until January 25th, and Winners will join iPhone Life's over 500,000 readers in learning the latest news about iOS devices and apps. Learn more about the magazine by Liking them on Facebook, following them on Twitter, subscribing to their YouTube channel or visiting their web site at http://iphonelife.com/. Good luck!

This Week at 148Apps, December 19-23 Special Holiday Edition

Posted by Chris Kirby on December 24th, 2011

(Abridged - With serious apologies to Clement Moore)

Twas the week before Christmas, and at 148Apps
All our writers were writing, and no one took naps.
The reviews were written and posted with care,
In hopes that our readers would soon find them there.

The staff were nestled and ready for sleep,
with visions of iPads, and not jumping sheep.
My iMac in sleep mode, my iPhone now mute,
I settled my brain and sighed a large, “w00t.”

When out of my office there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to my iPad I flew like a flash,
And searched for an app I could boot in a dash.

The light of my iPhone on the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a ping from the app store; new apps are now here.

When a little old email arrived on the spot,
I knew in a moment it must be Jeff Scott.
More rapid than IMs his websites they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now GiggleApps! now, 148Apps! both .com and .biz!
On, Android Rundown! On, BestAppEver! That’s all there is!
From the greatest new games, to the best apps of all!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

He spoke not to me, but to my device,
And Jeff quickly asked Siri if I had been nice.
Her answer was good, so he connected Wi-Fi,
And filled my gadgets with even more apps to try!

His work here now done, he gestured with a wave,
And called for his assistant, the jolly Rob LeFebvre.
But I heard them exclaim, as they logged off for the night,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Jurassic Park Roars Its Way To The iPad 2

Posted by Jennifer Allen on November 16th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: LACKING :: Read Review »

Exciting times dinosaur fans! Jurassic Park has hit iPad 2s! Not literally obviously as no one would like a T-Rex to crush their beloved gadget. No, I'm talking about Jurassic Park: The Game, hotly anticipated since Telltale Games announced it earlier in the year.

Maximizing the processing power of the iPad 2, Jurassic Park: The Game promises breath-taking cinematic scenes and some darn impressive graphics. Players will be taken back to Isla Nublar during the events of the first Jurassic Park film and be able to interact with the storyline in a brand new way. While many locations will be familiar to fans, there will also be plenty of new areas to explore as we discussed earlier this week.

Jurassic Park: The Game also comes with AirPlay functionality so that players can see the action on their Apple TVs for even more impressive visuals.

Jurassic Park: The Game is out now for the iPad 2 priced at $6.99.


+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jacob Siegal on November 2nd, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: BULLET HEAVEN
The most balanced, polished, attractive top-down shooter on the App Store makes its way into high definition without missing a beat.
Read The Full Review »

Put That A5 Processor in the iPhone 4S or iPad 2 to the Test With Galaxy on Fire 2 HD

Posted by Carter Dotson on October 18th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: HD-LICIOUS! :: Read Review »

With the iPhone 4S having recently been released, and sporting a spiffy new A5 chip, Fishlabs has seen fit to take advantage of the new hardware. Galaxy on Fire 2 HD, a universal app for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, features graphics updated to run on the A5 devices. All the models and textures have been remade for maximum visual fidelity that Fishlabs claims is "console-quality" with new backgrounds, enhanced effects, and other magic used to make the game look as good as it possibly can for the latest and greatest in iOS technology.

Far from just being updated in the graphics department, the game now supports OpenFeint and iCloud for cloud-based saving; the latter can even be used to synchronize progress with the previous iOS release along with the Mac version. CEO of Fishlabs Entertainment, Michael Schaede, says that "this is a truly revolutionary concept, because the gamers of the post-PC era want to be able to play their favourite games anywhere and anytime." As well, the cloud-based synchronization will work with the upcoming Valkyrie HD add-on set to release in the first quarter of 2012.