148Apps and Android Rundown (both via Steel Media) are holding a 2014 reader survey for the week, and taking a couple of minuted to answer some basic questions will give you a shot at winning an iPad Mini! Just go here and fill out the necessary info.
You can also check out the terms and conditions here if you’re so inclined. If you’re interested in entering I’d suggest hopping to it sooner rather than later as the survey will only be going until March 4, 2014. Telling us we’re awesome isn’t a requirement of course, but we love compliments all the same.
It’s pretty fair to say that 2013 has been an incredible year for Apple. With the company’s stock price currently reflecting upwards of $550 a share, it’s clear that investors have renewed faith in the firm’s ability to deliver on its mission to create some of the world’s most desirable products.
One such investor is billionaire business mogul Carl Icahn. Publicly announcing back in August that he now holds a “large stake” in $AAPL, Icahn is perhaps most known for his reported hostile takeover of Trans World Airlines in 1985.
While Icahn is keeping quiet on exactly how big his stake in $AAPL is, the Wall Street investor is said to be in ongoing negotiations with company CEO, Tim Cook. These talks, if successful, could see Apple increase its recently announced stock buyback program for investors, resulting in Icahn potentially buying back as much as $60 Billion in stock options.
With less than a week to go before Christmas, the rush is on to find the perfect gift. Why wade through endless streams of furious shoppers when the perfect app is right here? Take a look at what we’ve reviewed this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.
Sure, the Sonic the Hedgehog series is known as a classic now, but for me, the moment when the series jumped from being about “blast processing” and Not-Mario to being a classic in its own right was Sonic 2. It was a rather comprehensive game, laying the groundwork for much of the series’ conventions. So when Christian Whitehead got his chance to helm a remastering as he did with Sonic CD and the original Sonic, there wasn’t too much he could add. But what has been added preserves what made the original game great, modernizes just what needs to be done, and adds one very cool easter egg for die-hard fans. –Carter Dotson
For some unknown reason, no one seems to be able to make a decent Star Trek game. Some argue the last time a good Star Trek game came out, it was for the Sega Genesis. Some would even go farther back, saying it was on the NES. Regardless, every Star Trek related game from older PC games up to the most recent one based on the J. J. Abrams adaptation of the series have not received high praise from critics. So, does a simulation/management style mobile game fare any better? –Mike Deneen
The Jam Fusion Wireless Headphones are on the budget end of the spectrum for wireless headphones, coming in at just $63 on Amazon currently ($99 list). The headphones offer a modest 6 hour playback time, so make sure they are charged before that long flight. The headphones do have a decent sound, though they’re lacking a bit in the low end. I must admit that I have a big head but I can only judge comfort by the head I have, and these are too tight to use for any length of time. There is not enough give in the arm to allow the on-ear pads to sit comfortably on my ears. –Jeff Scott
Om Nom just can’t get enough of that sweet, sweet candy. Seriously, I think he has a problem. The lengths he would go to were pretty intense before, but in Cut the Rope 2 things are even crazier. He’s got more worlds to snack in, more obstacles to overcome, new creatures to help him, and unfortunately a few unwelcome monetization methods. Spiders have stolen Om Nom’s candy stash using a hot air balloon (naturally), and the little addict is dragged along with them as they make their escape. Literally: his adorable little foot gets tangled in the anchor line and he goes for a ride. Once free, players must stuff him with sweets as they work their way through 120 all-new levels. Cut the Rope 2 is in many ways similar to the original – what with the rope cutting and all – but a number of new elements have also been introduced that change the formula up quite a bit. –Rob Rich
I’m confident I wasn’t alone in being mildly worried about Ridge Racer Slipstream when a teaser trailer was released for it. Looking like it was going to pursue a freemium route, it made me twitchy. Fortunately, there was little need to worry. Ridge Racer Slipstream is a premium title that’s backed up by the availability of in-app purchases rather than reliant upon them. They’ll speed things along a fair bit, but a lack of an energy bar system is quite reassuring. –Jennifer Allen
If anyone were to take a generic straw poll of journalists who reviewed games during the PlayStation 2 era, asking what their “Game of the Generation” was, there is a very good possibility that Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas would top at least a few lists. Not only was it well received critically, it went on to smash top sales records all over the place. But the question remains: have the last nine years been kind to this storied classic? In the legendary words of Dr. Dre, “HELL YEAH.” –Blake Grundman
Other 148Apps Network Sites
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Digital password safes are almost necessities for the productively mobile in this day. There are several options available to Android users, and this is a god thing, as this means only worthy candidates will step into the ring. Enter Sticky Password Manager and Safe from Lamantine Software. Sticky packs AES encryption, and boldly looks to be the consummate password solution; off the bat, I like having the choice if either using the app as a standalone option, or getting in on cloud sync on one or more devices for $20 a year. Signup is a breeze and can be done on mobile device or the web. –Tre Lawrence
A disintegrating plane. Scattered luggage. Iced up animals. A snowboard. Such is the world of Snow Spin: Snowboard Adventure from Android development vet Ezone.com. To understand the gameplay, one must understand the backstory. It revolves around a successful explorer (Professor Headwind), who, in his travels to exotic locations, has accumulated a veritable horde of exciting items. On the way home, an ill-fated shortcut has dire consequences; his plane breaks apart, strewing his property and plane parts on snow covered mountains. –Tre Lawrence
To say the truth, I’ve only played original Castle Raid for a little while, so my experiences with this sequel aren’t really comparable. I’ve seen enough to suggest that the games aren’t wholly different. Castle Raid 2 is just as fun, has a bit better graphics, more units, and a larger campaign – but the gameplay only differs in details. It’s still a hellish time-sinker, regardless of whether you play it with a friend, or against an AI. Story in Castle Raid 2 spins in a surprising direction from the original. While human armies are fighting against each other, the whole kingdom and nearby lands get overrun by orcs that drive the humans off their own land. This forces the old enemies to band together, and claim their lands back. This means that the blue units are now people, and the red – orcs, both having distinct armies with different looks – although they’re still completely identical in powers, abilities and costs. Honestly, my biggest – and probably, only – peeve with Castle Raid 2 is that I really wanted to see at least two sides with unique units and abilities. That would turn this fine strategy into an amazing one. –Tony Kuzmin
And finally, Pocket Gamer reviewed Walking Dead: Season 2, Republique, Colossatron, Cut the Rope 2, and Ridge Racer Slipstream. The guys chatted to Republique creator Ryan Payton about moving from Kojima to Kickstarter, and picked out the best tablets you can buy. All that, and loads more, here. And, in AppSpy’s latest video wrap-up, you can watch reviews of games like The Walking Dead: Season 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. They also went hands-on with new releases like Cut the Rope 2, Ridge Racer Slipstream, and Colossatron: Massive World Threat. Click here to see all these games in action.
Rob Rich and I enjoyed the seemingly short Apple event yesterday when they unveiled the new iPad Air and iPad Mini. I currently run with the first model iPad Mini while he does his thing with an iPad 3. We both came away from the event impressed with the Air, but with the new power of the Mini I had to ask the question: which one to get? We figured a lot of you would have the same question, so we had a nice little discussion that might be of benefit to you as well.
Andrew Stevens: What makes the iPad Air more desirable than the iPad you currently use? Of course the overall power of it is most impressive, and needed.
Rob Rich: Well I’m currently using an iPad 3, so the technological leap is a bit more significant for me. In my case, I really like the decreased bulk and weight as well as the overall better performance. I’ve had issues with apps and games chugging a bit on the 3 and imagine they’d run a lot faster on the iPad Air.
Andrew: That’s my same issue with the current iPad Mini. I have multiple games lagging behind just enough to where I need to upgrade right away. The iPad Air looks very impressive and I was originally thinking I would be getting the newest iPad rather than the Mini. However, with its similar performance to the iPad Air I’m really intrigued once again by the Mini.
Rob: This is true. I mean ultimately the iPad Air and new Mini aren’t all that different.
Andrew: Yeah, it actually comes down to size this time around where previously I felt like I made the wrong decision by going with the first generation Mini instead of the latest iPad. I love the size, but its lack in performance has been noticeable as of late. This time around might be the best time to get the Mini and really enjoy all the benefits of a regular iPad but in a miniature size.
Rob: The problem I have with the Mini, which I’ve always had, is that it’s in this weird middle ground between an iPhone and regular iPad. It’s too small to allow users to truly benefit from a full-sized screen and it’s too big to be as conveniently portable as the iPhone. I mean, if I can use my iPhone 5 for portable stuff, then set my iPad up for some almost-but-not-quite computing stuff, what do I really need the Mini for?
Andrew: I think the Mini’s size is brilliant for me, especially as a gamer. I look at the Mini as a slightly larger console controller. I have bigger hands so it’s easy for my thumbs to navigate the screen as I hold it like a controller. This was the biggest factor for me buying a Mini instead of the regular iPad. The iPhone screen is too small, and the regular iPad is too big to handle the way I want.
Rob: I suppose that’s a good way of looking at it, although I still prefer the portability of the iPhone even if I have to bring the screen closer to my face. But I do sort of see the value in the Mini as a gaming device.
Andrew: I see what you’re saying, but sometimes with games there are objects that are just too small to handle even with putting the phone right up in your face. Plus, I don’t want to hold a phone close to my face; I like a little bit of distance. The Mini is a good in-between that isn’t too big, but also isn’t too small. It’s is great as a mobile gaming device, and the new iPad Mini really improves upon that. I can also (barely) fit the mini in my jeans! It’s totally portable!
Rob: Riiiiiight. Anyway, I think it’s interesting how Apple has been updating a lot of its apps, seemingly in preparation for the updated hardware. I mean all that stuff about iWork and collaborative projects over multiple devices seems like the sort of thing that the Air and new Mini would showcase really well.
Andrew: This November really leaves Apple users with an interesting decision to make. All year I would have told people to go with the regular iPad rather than the Mini just because it’s a more powerful device. Like you’ve seen, I love the size of the Mini but its performance has lacked. Now that the new Mini is basically a miniature iPad Air, it really comes down to size this time around. It also comes at a minier price: $100 cheaper than the Air. Hmm!
Rob: Yeah, personally I think the $100 savings might be more of a deciding factor for the average consumer than the dimensions. Of course that also means that Apple is effectively cutting into their own sales by pricing the Mini at $399 while keeping the iPad 2 at the same price. I mean who’s really going to want to spend $400 on something that outdated when they could easily buy something better, lighter, and smaller for the exact same price? Then again, that may have been their intent all along. By keeping the iPad 2 at $399 and making it their “default” tablet, it makes the new Mini look MUCH more attractive.
Andrew: Maybe the new Mini will be the highest selling iPad yet!
Rob: I don’t know about that. I mean it certainly seems more appealing when considering the price point and all, but people are going to want the iPad Air something fierce. It’s the newest Apple thing, you know?
Andrew: That’s true. I’m just enjoying my pro Mini, praise the ewoks discussion. The iPad Air certainly has much appeal, design, and name. I bet there are people out there that get the Air just so they can say “I have the iPad Air” That’s usually how it goes with something new.
Andrew: So what are you getting? The iPad Air or the new Mini?
Rob: Considering I don’t have $400~$500 laying around, neither. However if I were to choose between the two it would probably be the Air because the larger screen would be ideal for what I typically use my iPad for (i.e. document editing, etc).
Andrew: As a gamer, I love the smaller screen and how I am able to handle the Mini. It’s tempting for that reason and the fact I love my previous Mini so much, even though it lacks in power. However, I want the best iPad that’s out there so I can enjoy every little bit of what every app has to offer. Plus, it’ll probably be a good device to have while skipping the next generation of iPads. The new Mini is a huge improvement over the previous, and it’s comparable to the Air, but it’s time for me to make a move to the larger iPad. I want some Air time!
Rob: Oh lord.
And that’s what we see between the iPad Air and iPad Mini; hopefully it was sort of educational for you. Both are clearly fine options as they each sport the same processor, graphics, camera – everything. The difference is in the size. What do you think? Are you going with the iPad Air and its regular size screen for $100 more or the slightly smaller screen for a better handle with the iPad Mini?
We were all expecting some big things from Apple’s conference today – Mavericks, details on the new iPad and possibly iPad Mini, and so on – but I don’t think anyone was prepared for the big bombshell. I am, of course, talking about Apple’s videos.
The keynote was accentuated throughout by a series of beautifully constructed and masterfully presented videos showcasing the technology giant’s latest and greatest achievements. And what about that iPad Air video? Did you see that iPad Air video? Holy jeeze! At one point it had a truck jumping over sand dunes in it!
We won’t know how the world will receive the new iPad Air and iPad Mini until November, but I think it’s safe to say that those of us who were able to catch the live stream of the presentation will be forever changed. Apple is a fantastic hardware and software developer, but their video creation skills are nothing short of mind-blowing.
If you wept openly the moment the word “Video” popped up on the big screen, or if you had to pause the presentation for a moment to collect yourself, please chime in below!
The next version of the iPad Mini was announced today, which will be available sometime this November.
The new iPad Mini features a retina display and comes with the same number of pixels as the iPad Air, giving users beautiful visuals on-screen. It’s also powered by the A7 64 bit chip, and has a CPU that’s 4x faster, along with 8x faster graphics, 2x faster wifi, and a 5 mega pixel iSight camera. All of this will be enjoyed with 10 hours of battery life.
The new iPad Mini comes in silver, white, space grey, and black, and will be available for $399 for the 16GB version, $529 for the LTE-enabled version.
All Things D reports that invitations have been sent out by Apple for their next big event that’s expected to unveil the latest model of the iPad and iPad Mini. The event is scheduled for October 22nd at the Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts, and the invite reads “We still have a lot to cover.”
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.
iPad Only App - Designed for the 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.
Ubisoft has updated its iOS high seas adventure game, Assassin’s Creed Pirates, with some major additions. This refresh brings new maps, as well as one new campaign mission and three new secondary missions among other features. There are also new ships that are available for the all-new Survival Missions. According to the Ubisoft release, each […]