Posted by Rob LeFebvre on March 14th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Please don’t use the fact that this app is on your iPad to hold the tablet up and record your kid’s play, that concert you’re at (especially when you’re sitting in front of me), or the birth of your child. Honestly, use the iPhone if you must take video. That said, it’s pretty cool that the direct capture and upload to YouTube app is now on iPad and iPad mini.
What’s New in Version 1.2
New for iPad and iPad mini. Film a video and instantly make it YouTube-ready with background music, auto color correction, and auto stabilization. You can upload your video to YouTube and share to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ at the same time
While severalof mycompatriots here at 148Apps waxed lyrical about all sorts of general things they appreciate from the past year, I’m going to get specific. Sometimes, it truly is the little things that make me happy. To wit, the iPhone 5, the iPad mini, the Letterpress word game, a portable bluetooth speaker, and an illuminated portable keyboard. Seriously, these all made my 2012 just that bit brighter.
I reviewed this as a Wi-Fi only device, then promptly went out and bought an LTE model. The iPad mini is everything I’ve ever wanted in a tablet, with the perfect form factor and amazing battery life. While I still would love a faster processor or higher resolution screen, the mini is an unbelievably fantastic device at any price. I use it daily for news reading, writing, music creation, calendar reminders, and a ton of things that I used to just use my iPhone for. Now that I have the iPad mini, I can keep my iPhone just a bit more charged as I offload many tasks to the mini.
The iPhone 5 is a triumph of form and function, as many an outlet has proclaimed from the start. What I find amazing about it is how simply useful it is. The combination of killer app ecosystem, tied into the well-iterated iOS 6 structure and married to an absolutely flawless industrial design make this the best iPhone I’ve ever owned. While I do miss the double-sided glass panels of the iPhone 4, the trade off in terms of weight and durability are well worth it. I use this thing in all areas of my life, and I notice more and more people around me doing the same.
Wait, what? A word game? You’d think I’d spend more time with a game like Infinity Blade, or Magic 2013. Maybe even something like Arcane Legends, which I admittedly play daily. The win here goes to Letterpress, however, precisely because it is a word game, and one which has stolen more of my mind share this year than any other game. Winning the game requires a deft handling of both vocabulary and strategy, which keeps me coming back for more, every day.
Braven Portable Bluetooth Speaker
While working on a round up of a few of these jambox-style small, rechargeable portable speakers, I fell in love with the Braven 600 model sent along from the manufacturer for review. You’ll be able to read the full write up in the next few days, but suffice it to say that this one has it all: small footprint, good sound, and incredible battery life. Oh, and pairing it to any Bluetooth capable device is a breeze.
Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
I don’t think I could call myself a blogger without some sort of keyboard to use with my iPad 3 or iPad mini while out in the field. Or, you know, at piano lessons. The Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810 is a delight to use, as you can see in my full review here. It’s quickly become my keyboard of choice across my many devices, including my Mac mini in my home office (also known as my bedroom). The ability to tap an F key and have the keyboard respond to one of three different devices is a revelation of workflow joy, allowing this to replace my Apple bluetooth keyboard in a rather quick fashion.
2012 was a tumultuous year for iOS and for Apps. The App Store passed 1 million apps approved, the iPad was updated twice and the iPad mini introduced, we saw iOS 6 released to mixed reviews, and we saw an understated but huge shake up in the organizational structure and management level at Apple. Here’s a quick look back at some of my favorite things of 2012.
I’ve always thought that the iPad was an amazing device. It truly did change they way I work and play the way nothing had since my first laptop. But the iPad mini revolutionized my work yet again by making it more portable, therefore convenient and easy to use. While Macworld re-used the uninformed assessment that many had of the original iPad deeming the mini as a “consumption device,” yet I create almost as much as I consume on the iPad mini.
As it stands now, I have a 64GB iPad mini with LTE that I take almost everywhere with me. I use it to write (the first draft of this list was done on the iPad mini), to read and send email, Twitter, and Facebook. And I use it to play games. It’s become my gaming device of choice.
Sure there are some things that can be improved with the iPad mini. And we’ll see those improvements. But for a device dismissed by so many, it has quickly become my most used tool.
The Walking Dead: The Game
No other game I have played in my life has forged the emotional connection I had while playing The Walking Dead: The Game. A true triumph in game story telling that draws you in deeper and deeper with each of your plot modifying moves. Telltale Games has done an amazing job with this game. I’m not the first to say this, but Walking Dead: The Game on the iPad was one of my favorite things from 2012, and perhaps one of my favorite gaming experiences ever: an accolade I don’t throw around lightly considering that I’ve been playing video games for three plus decades.
If by some strange occurrence you haven’t played through Walking Dead: The Game from Telltale Games yet, run, do not walk, to the App Store and grab it now.
Maturation of iPad Core Games
Just as the spread of free to play grinding “games” is one of my least favorite things of 2012, the counterpoint to that is the new wave of core games on iPad. I wholeheartedly believe that the iPad, not the iPhone (or Android) is where console games will migrate when they realize that the next wave of consoles will be too expensive. The iPad is a powerful line of machines and a great way to experience games. Take a look at our Top 30 Games of 2012 for examples of some of these great games.
Apple Executive Shake-Up
This may seem like an odd favorite, but I think it’s for the best. Like pulling off a bandaid, it had to be done; might as well get it over with.
iOS has been a bit stagnant and two-minded in its development, straddling the line between originality and familiarity. The executive shakeup and organization restructure will make a big difference in the future for Apple and iOS. iOS the the future for Apple, and reorganizing the company is a great step to build it in the future.
Google Getting Serious on iOS
You could almost read the internal struggle happening in Google via their iOS apps. They started strong, before Android really took off. Then they pulled back as they only wanted to support Android. Now, they have come around and are starting to support iOS again, at times faster and better than they do even Android, though you can probably blame the snail-like update cycle on Android for part of that.
This year, we’ve seen the updated Google Search with it’s amazing voice search, and the Google+ app got updated faster than the Android app at times–the current version is a fairly well-done social app.
While we had heard for a while that Google was trying to get Chrome approved for iOS, it finally showed up, and it quickly became my browser of choice. Gmail for iOS was a bit of a joke in the original version, but the latest version has shown how far Google has come as it responds to nearly every feature request people wanted.
We of course can’t forget the recent release of Google Maps for iOS, a really well done map app that Google believes is better than their Android version. I don’t know about that, but it is a damn good effort.
2013 has the potential to be even crazier for iOS and the App Store. I am excited every morning to get up and be able to cover it. Thanks to all of you, the crazy ones that keep reading. You’re the reason we get to do it! Happy New Year and here’s looking forward to a great 2013!
We’ve gone off and recapped endlessly what we loved about 2012. But the past is prologue, and on iOS, it’s always about what’s next. So, what is next? What are our intrepid team of writers and editors looking forward to in 2013?
A newer, better iPad Mini
The iPad Mini is one sexy and tantalizing device. The problem is that it’s 2011 hardware. Thus, it was obvious when polling our writers that a better iPad Mini was high on their list. Faster hardware is wanted, of course, but a Retina Display would be a killer addition as well. Me personally? I just want an excuse to finally go and buy one.
Real Racing 3
We thought this was going to be a 2012 title, and even right before the iTunes shutdown there were rumors that it was going to be one final surprise on the 2012 release calendar. Sadly, this got pushed to 2013, but there’s no reason to be any less excited. The game still looks better than anything else out there. It has the innovative asynchronous-yet-interactive online multiplayer. It could be one of the early 2013 game of the year contenders.
Jeff Scott points out that this year’s iOS could be interesting: “Now that the company has been realigned, it will be interesting to see the changes.” These changes include the firing of Scott Forstall and Jony Ive taking over iOS software design: with new leadership at the helm, iOS could be undergoing big changes.
Games Finished in 2012 That Release in 2013
The end of the year is always a weird time, with developers forced to choose between publishing their title when everyone and their mother is releasing a game and putting their other games on sale. Two such titles that are being intentionally released in the new year? Hundreds from Adam Saltsman’s Semi Secret Software and Greg Wohlwend of Solipskier and Gasketball fame, a game that absolutely fascinated me at GDC, and The Blockheads from MajicJungle. Time ain’t nothing but a number, baby.
The Potential of New Licensed Games
Just because the game is licensed doesn’t mean that it has to be bad. Rayman Jungle Run could have been an easy way for Ubisoft to make some quick cash off a familiar name, but it turned out to be one of the best games of 2012. The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire was a fantastic use of the license. What will 2013 bring? Well, Rob Rich says he’s excited about a potential Pacific Rim game, hoping that one is “fashioned after games like Robot Alchemic Drive and Remote Control Dandy. There need to be more Giant Robot Piloting Simulators in the world, and Gigander X just doesn’t cut it.” Rob, you’re a nerd and we love you.
The Shrinking Gap Between Console and Mobile
It seems like the scope of iOS games is increasing, and the gap between platforms is steadily shrinking. The aforementioned Real Racing 3 could push boundaries not yet seen on iOS. Rob LeFebvre points out ex-Bungie founder Alex Seropian’s upcoming game Morning Star as part of this shrinking gulf. As well, Rob Rich is just excited for seeing the gap shrink in general. As more ex-console developers and big-time publishers move on to the platform, the odds that bigger projects will be released seems to only increase.
Infinity Blade: Dungeons
It was weird not playing a new Infinity Blade game in late 2012. Thankfully, we still have the upcoming hack ’n slash entry in the series to look forward to at some point. While news about the game has been sparse about it, we’re all anticipating it like crazy.
Ben Cousins of DeNA’s Shattered Entertainment has an intriguing shooter that promises to be a mobile-friendly experience along with being a free-to-play experience that’s friendly to core gamers. Plus, it promises to have much higher production values than Rage of Bahamut. Ben Cousins has quite the pedigree working on the Battlefield series in particular, so this should be no slouch. Read our first look article from early December for more on this title that should hopefully drop in early 2013.
Hey, half the fun of iOS is that there’s no clue what the next cool thing will be. Some cool game could suddenly release and take over our lives. Or Apple might release a mind-blowing new piece of hardware. Or something else altogether. No one really knows! Of course, we’ll be here for the ride, so stick around and keep us in your sights.
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on December 14th, 2012 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Astronomy guide, Star Walk, shows stars, constelleations, satellites, and the like in the correct positions in the sky. Just hold your iOS device up to the sky, any time of day, and you’ll see what’s out there. This new update brings new additions to the astronomical data, optimization for the iPad mini, and a special visit from Kris Kringle himself. There’s even a contest with an iPad mini prize to enter, so get to it!
The latest update includes new additions to Star Walk’s night sky. Complete information as well as detailed 3D models of satellites are available for GLAST, Ajisai, COROT, Genesis I and Genesis II, INTEGRAL, and GPS Group, and others. Major internal optimization reduced the size of the app by half and allowed it to work and look stunningly on the iPad mini.
A special holiday surprise from Star Walk developers awaits for stargazers on December 21st when Santa will appear on the night sky on his yearly journey over the world.
When you think of current devices, you probably think of the iPhone 5 and the iPad 4th Generation. But there are other devices still being sold as new. And there’s a shocking number of apps that are not properly tuned to work properly with these other new devices.
The iPad mini is a brand new device. And it’s damn sexy too. It’s basically the same internally as an iPad 2. Both the iPad mini and the iPad 2 are current models for sale by Apple. In addition, the iPod touch, while it sells amazingly well, is a generation behind in hardware and often a second thought for support. There are just way too many apps that operate slowly or crash when running on these devices.
It’s important for developers to support the full range of current devices not only being sold, but also being supported by Apple. Basically if it runs the latest version of iOS, it should be supported in apps. It’s possible to support the range in all but the most extreme cases–many developers do it. Unfortunately, some developers are lazy either in their support or in their testing for these other models.
So, consider this a call to action for users and developers. See an app that doesn’t work well on the iPad mini, iPad 2, or iPod touch? Head to the App Store and hit up the support link for that app and let the developer know you noticed. Maybe then we’ll see better support for all iOS devices, not just the latest and greatest.
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on November 29th, 2012 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Adobe updated its Photoshop Touch app today, optimizing things for the new iPad mini. It also adds a host of other improvements, including:
· Added support for three pressure-sensitive styli for iPad: Pogo Connect, Jot Touch and JaJa
· New ways to share completed projects to Facebook and Twitter directly from the app
· Added effects including Lens Flare and Stamp Pattern
· New performance and workflow enhancement including smoother brush strokes and new color selection workflow
Price: $329 for 16G WiFi
Device Reviewed: iPad mini 16G Black
Hardware Design Rating:
Battery Life Rating:
When I first heard of the iPad mini, I was fairly underwhelmed with its technical specifications, of course, with its A5 processor (same as an iPad 2, now two generations “old”) and its non-retina display (163 pixels per inch? Huh?).
I was underwhelmed by the price, as well. $329 for an underpowered, low-resolution mini tablet in a market that supports $199 as the standard point of entry?
Then I got it into my hands. The feel of the thing, the warmth of the design, and the fact that this is an iPad, through and through, has changed my mind about the iPad mini. I love the way it sits in my hand, I love the cute little smart cover, I dig the fact that I can sit and read comics for an hour or so without really remembering that I’m using a piece of technology. I can download any number of apps that I already own to it, and run them in this new size and format. Simply put, the iPad mini fills a (small) spot in my gadget bag that I hadn’t been able to previously.
Let’s put it in perspective. I have a Macbook Air 11-inch laptop, an iPhone 5, and an iPad 3 in between. I use each device quite a bit, depending on the situation. The iPad, specifically, has become my laptop at home, unless I’m working. It’s fantastic to check news via Flipboard, social networks with Facebook and Twitter, and look through email. I play games on it quite a bit, of course, as the iPhone is just on the small side for me when I want to immerse myself into a game like Order and Chaos, thrill to the retina display on something like Infinity Blade II, or see the screen in better detail in Fieldrunners 2 HD. As a device I never thought I needed, the iPad has quickly found a place in my daily life.
And now, so has the iPad mini. In just a few short days, I find myself grabbing it when moving from room to room more often than I do my iPhone. I can do all of the social networking, game playing, streaming music, voice chatting, and email checking that I previously did on the iPhone around the house, only now I use the iPad mini so as to not deplete my iPhone 5’s battery, leaving it free to be available for phone calls and texts from non-iOS using friends.
This is a delicious device. It begs to be touched, used, played with. Here’s why.
The design of this thing is pure Apple. The black version of the iPad mini has the look and feel of the iPhone 5 in terms of the slate aluminum chassis on the back case. The smoothly rounded edges feel good in the hand, and the metal feels good to the touch, grippy, even. There’s not a sharp edge on the iPad mini, which invites it into the hand, welcomes human touch.
The shape of the screen itself is luxurious, allowing an immersive experience that I’ve never felt with other smaller tablets. The length to width ratio feels just right in portrait or landscape mode—it makes typing with two thumbs viable in portrait mode and a more cramped touch typing available in landscape. Games look and feel GOOD on the iPad mini, perhaps due only to the fact that I’m used to them in this ratio.
The weight, or lack thereof, of the iPad mini is mind boggling. I’m hard pressed to tell whether it’s any heavier than my iPhone 5 when holding one in each hand and doing the “pretend scales” thing. It’s light and airy, yet satisfyingly tactile. This is a device that I can hold in my hands for the hours that a good novel or immersive gaming experience calls for. My only nitpick here is the smaller matte area on the sides of the screen when holding the iPad mini in portrait view. Adding a smart case helps, but it’s still awkward to hold on the side of the screen without activating something on the screen at the same time. Rotating the iPad mini to landscape is a decent stopgap, as the matte area on the “top” and “bottom” of the iPad is thick enough to keep my fat thumbs off of the touch screen.
The camera is pretty good. It takes great photos in good lighting conditions, and decent ones in low light. Facetime and Skype video chats are well served by the front facing camera, though still images and videos suffer a bit in quality when viewed on other, higher resolution devices. For quick snapshots that can be connected to your Photostream, then, the iPad mini’s camera is great. Though, please, don’t take too many photos in public with your iPad mini. It’s only marginally cooler than taking them with a full sized iPad tablet. If you need high-quality, high-resolution pictures, use a real camera, ok?
This week in the 148Apps Network, we help you fill up that new iPad mini, keep you informed as you head to the voting booths across the US, and help your kids learn more about the highest office in our nation.
At 148Apps.com, Jennifer Allen found some great games to fill up the new iPad mini you may have picked up on Friday. Here’s what she had to say:
“Were you one of the lucky people to pick up a shiny new iPad Mini? Wondering what gaming delights are worth buying for it? There’s a whole bunch. You’re going to have an awesome time discovering them. To start you off, though, we’ve rounded up our four favorite titles that should give you a great idea of just how many hours of quality gaming can be had on the iPad Mini.
It’s a personal favorite of mine mostly because it’s so darn addictive. Fieldrunners 2 is the creme de la creme of tower defense gaming, offering just enough challenge to keep you playing while still always feeling inviting. This is thanks to its wide selection of difficulty levels, mission types and a trickling of new towers and power-ups that can be unlocked throughout. There’s hours of fun to be had. It looks stunning, too.”
Amy Solomon reviewed Thud! Presidents over at GiggleApps this week, and she had this to say about the kids’s presidential trivia app:
“Thud! Presidents is a fun trivia game with a balancing puzzle aspect and includes over 1,000 questions within 40 levels that will keep older children and their families busy for quite some time.
Children and adults alike will enjoy answering these multiple choice questions where they will need to choose the president (from a provided list) who best answers questions such as Who was the earliest president?; Who was the heaviest president?; and Who said certain famous quotes?”
Once again at 148Apps, senior writer Jennifer Allen writes up our favorite four apps to keep you informed this coming Tuesday.
“In less than a week, the USA goes to the polls for the 57th time with the two main contenders for President being Democratic candidate and current President, Barack Obama, and Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. While there’s no telling what might come about on Tuesday November 6, there are some great apps out there to help voters remain informed as to any latest developments and see just how each candidate feels about certain subjects. We round up the four best ones currently out there.
PollTracker PollTracker keeps users informed in real time while offering a stats heavy interface of new polls and figures that have come out about the election race. Tracking everything from voter subgroups to swing state opinions, PollTracker is a statistician’s idea of heaven. There’s analysis, too, courtesy of the app’s editors, plus the ability to see how contests for Congress are going.”
Were you one of the lucky people to pick up a shiny new iPad Mini? Wondering what gaming delights are worth buying for it? There’s a whole bunch. You’re going to have an awesome time discovering them. To start you off, though, we’ve rounded up our four favorite titles that should give you a great idea of just how many hours of quality gaming can be had on the iPad Mini.
It’s a personal favorite of mine mostly because it’s so darn addictive. Fieldrunners 2 is the creme de la creme of tower defense gaming, offering just enough challenge to keep you playing while still always feeling inviting. This is thanks to its wide selection of difficulty levels, mission types and a trickling of new towers and power-ups that can be unlocked throughout. There’s hours of fun to be had. It looks stunning, too.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-09-13 :: Category: Games
Be warned, SpellTower is going to cut into your productivity levels. That five minute session will turn into hours, easily. Players simply swipe words together with extra points gained for using bonus tiles and creating long words. It’s a simple Boggle style idea but one that’s perfectly implemented. Five different game modes, including local multiplayer, will hook you in for a long time to come.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-11-17 :: Category: Games
Bumpy Road Bumpy Road is an adorably, charming endless runner style game. Players must clear the path and keep the road bumping along in order to keep an ageing couple safe on their journey down memory lane. The further you play, the more you discover things about the couple and their family. It’s that sweet and delightfully heart warming.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-05-19 :: Category: Games
Real Racing 2 HD
Consistently on the cutting edge of iOS technology, Firemint’s Real Racing 2 HD demonstrates the power of your iPad Mini while also offering a great racing game. No other game has surpassed it in terms of its extensive career mode, impressive visuals and use of licensed cars. And? If you have an Apple TV, you can zap the gaming up to the big screen in your living room. There’s multiplayer functionality available, too, to seal the deal.