Tag: IPhone 5 »
Still looking for an iPhone 5S? Well, you'll probably keep looking for a while as 9 to 5 Mac reports that even with the return of the in-store pickup option, most Apple stores are reporting that the devices are unavailable. At least you can keep yourself busy by continuously trying the in-store pickup option until the day comes that it is available at your local store.
I wonder how many people are still perfectly happy with their iPhone 5.
Next month, on April 12th, T-Mobile will begin selling the iPhone 5 and is the first company to offer the phone with no annual contract in addition to unlimited talk, text and web. Customers will be able to purchase the iPhone 5 for $99.99 down, plus monthly payments of $20 dollars for 24 months. Additionally, the iPhone 4 and 4S will also be made available, but in select markets only.
While several of my compatriots 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.
Is it really nearly 2013? How did that happen? And why did 2012 go so fast? I have no answer, but I can answer what I enjoyed so much about 2012. It wasn't the greatest of years for me in many respects, but it was a fantastic year for the technology fan part of me.
Tell me at the start of the year that my main gaming addiction this year would be a card game and I'd have laughed. A lot. I've always quite enjoyed solitaire games but usually when I have nothing better to do. Fairway Solitaire has established its place in my daily routine ever since I reviewed it at the start of the year. No mean feat given the wealth of games I've played across the year. Its constant trickle of new content each day is all too tempting and I've found it to be very relaxing. Shame that some elements of the game require quite a lot of in-app purchases.
I've never owned an iPhone since launch before, having always picked them up much later down the line. Thanks to things working out well, I picked up an iPhone 5 two days after its initial launch. I'm so glad I did. Out of all the technology in my house, it's the most used and not just for work reasons. It might not be the most revolutionary of hardware updates, but the extra screen space and processor power is very handy. Owning the 32gb variety (for the first time) is a particular revelation. Finally, I don't have to swap out apps and games all the time.
Summer of Sport
As a soccer and athletics fan, this summer was a memorable one. Euro 2012 kept me happy, if predictably disappointed, as an England supporter. The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, made me proud of my country and ecstatic to watch so much fantastic sport. It also marked the first Olympics when iOS devices played an important part in coverage, which was shown through the plethora of apps available.
The Walking Dead
The most emotional game I've played in recent years. Bar none. It's perhaps a little weak on gaming elements and there are a few plotholes by the end, but it doesn't stop The Walking Dead being a tour de force of emotion. I have no children but I can only imagine the powerful story of a girl desperate to find her parents amongst a zombie invasion, being all the more potent for those who do.
More zombies! Not quite in the same way, though. Zombies, Run! is my exercise companion. I jog, rather than run. A distinct lack of stamina and a continuing foot problem means things are a little slower for me. The key thing is, though, Zombies, Run! motivates me to keep trying. Telling a story linked into exercise is an inspired move and one that genuinely encouraged me to regularly jog. No matter how slow the progress might have been.
Yes, I know iA Writer isn't an app that came out in 2012. It has had regular updates but that isn't why it's in my list, either. It's here because 2012 marked the year that I bought my first Mac. A MacBook Pro, to be exact. Since then, there have been many apps that have made my life much easier but none more so than the Mac version of iA Writer. I'm using it right now to write this. Even better, if I have to go away from my laptop for whatever reason, I can carry on where I left this on my iPhone or iPad. That flexibility has made a massive difference to my year.
This week at 148Apps.com, site founder Jeff Scott took a closer look at the new studio and game from Aurora Feint co-founder Danielle Cassley: "It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from Danielle Cassley. Please indulge me in this short trip down memory lane. Ms. Cassley is one of the co-founders of Aurora Feint. Aurora Feint was our first app review way way back in 2008 here at 148Apps. Sadly, the Aurora Feint games have been removed from the App Store probably due to their reliance on the soon to be shutters OpenFeint. They were and interesting part of the App Store history and will be missed. Aurora Feint the games company eventually became OpenFeint the social game network service as the demand for the social backend built into Aurora Feint became the focus. A couple years later, in April 2011, after great success, OpenFeint the company was purchased by GREE.
Ms. Cassley has always struck me as a superstar seemingly held back by other forces like corporate structure. Much like her co-founder of Aurora Feint, Jason Citron who started his own company recently, she has now started a new game studio to help build the games she wants to see made. The first game from her new company, Red Bird Studios is a joint venture with Velvet Architects and is titled Avengees.
Want to know more? Read the full article on 148Apps.
GiggleApps.com got revolutionary this week, with a review of Ansel & Claire: Paul Revere's Ride. Amy Solomon writes, "Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride is a splendid educational app for iPad 2 and beyond that does a thorough job of explaining the American Revolution and the details of Paul Revere’s ride.
Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride is a new app in a series of Ansel & Clair apps that revolves around intergalactic travelers Ansel, a travel photographer from planet Virtoos and Clair, the Virtoosian robot who accompanies Ansel to Boston at the start of the American Revolution to take historical photographs used to teach other Virtoosians distant history."
And finally, AndroidRundown's KickStarter Spotlight this week was for iGloLED. Joseph Bertolini says, "While it may not be the cheapest, probably the fastest and easiest way to spice up any basement or outside area is to add colored lights. We’ve looked at KickStarter projects in the past that are WiFi enabled smart LED lightbulbs, but these are very expensive per light and only illuminate a small circular area. The other solution is to use LED strips, those long single row ropes of LED’s that can easily be hidden under a bar or inside an entertainment system. Now, I have looked around the internet before for these and buying one is actually a lot more expensive then it initially seems because they have to include their own power adapter and most of them cannot be wirelessly controlled or change color. As you can probably guess, this is exactly what this weeks project, iGloLED does. Like most of our KickStarter projects this operates via WiFi and includes a host of options for customizing the color. If that is not enough there will also be an available SDK which means that this bad boy is open to the public and all of their programming brilliance."
Another week down, and only 15 shopping days remain this holiday season. Before you give the gift of apps, check all of our sites for the latest news, reviews and more - and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and Like us on Facebook to get the latest updates right when they happen. See you next week!
This week at 148Apps.com, we turkey trotted our way into Thanksgiving and the holiday season with a tremendous list of apps for sale, courtesy of site founder Jeff Scott: "Black Friday is the biggest sale day of the year for the big box stores. And the same is true for the App Store. But the good thing about the App Store is there’s virtually 0% chance of getting trampled while trying to get that $39 laptop everyone is racing for.
This week and into Monday we’ll likely see hundreds of iOS games and apps on sale at some really great prices. We’ll be updating this post frequently through Monday with the best of the sale apps and games."
Want to know more? Read our full Price Drop list at 148Apps.
The holiday spirit continued at GiggleApps.com, with Amy Solomon's review of Wombi Toys: "Wombi Toys – a toy workshop for kids is a new interactive app that my son is really enjoying.
My son always get so much out of immersive role-playing apps, be it mini-games or more open-ended adventures which allow my son to cook for animals, plant a garden, pretend to be a doctor, fix a car or play tea party.
For those parents who know exactly the genre of app I am talking about, it is worth getting to know Wombi, a Swedish developer with a wonderful sense of style.
They have developed a series of really fun jigsaw puzzles of different themes and other apps that I have also enjoyed, so I was super-excited for the release of Wombi Toys – a toy workshop for kids which allows children to play toy-themed mini-games, building or fixing a very nice variety of toys such as wind-up car, painting alphabet blocks or using a hand pump to inflate a ball as each of these games are cute and fun, tactile as well as intuitive."
Finally, AndroidRundown.com writer Carter Dotson shared some unfortunate news: One of the biggest names of the early days of touchscreen mobile gaming is about to finally fade away: parent company GREE is shutting down OpenFeint, effective in December.
OpenFeint may not be as fondly remembered on Android as it is on iOS. It was the first real service to provide leaderboards and achievements, a much-desired feature. However, the platform failed to expand upon that core functionality once Game Center kicked in and became ubiquitous; while features like cloud saves were implemented by OpenFeint (and seen in games like INC which provided cross-platform saves) they never took off with developers or the public. However, the service was still purchased by GREE, and has been languishing recently as it transitions in to the GREE Platform."
And, as the tryptophan kicks in, we bid you a fond adieu this week. But make sure you keep track of all the latest sales, contests, reviews and news items by following us on Twitter and Facebook. See you next week. Gobble gobble.
Skype, that venerable internet audio, video and text chat app that began life as a way to dial real phones from your computer, has updated its software to better support the screen size of the iPhone 5. Hooray!
What's New in Version 4.1.2
-Support for iPhone 5 display.
There has been a very exciting rush by TV show producers to get their content onto mobile devices. But it hasn't been without a good number of issues. First, the content is split amongst dozens of different apps. Next, the shows have seriously stupid usage rights. Sometimes you can only watch shows weeks after first aired. Some shows expire after a few weeks only to appear again many months later. Trying to keep it straight and figure out where any show is can be annoying.
What about your DVR? I have been a long term fan of TiVo. I bought the first box they made and have upgraded multiple times over these past ten plus years. The problem with TiVo is that they have been very slow to adapt to new technologies like streaming content to mobile devices. Until recently you just couldn't do it without special PC software and a hours of processing time. While TiVo has released a new streaming device, it only works locally unless you remember to download your shows first. Better, but still not good.
Sometimes I just wished I had access to everything on my DVR while on the go. Well, that's where Sling comes in. A wholly owned subsidiary of Echostar, Sling has been making devices to give you access to your recorded and live content while on the go for years. They do this by having their box sit between your cable box or DVR and your TV. You connect the output of your cable box to the Slingbox and the output of the Slingbox to your TV. While this process can be a bit tedious with many of the included cables to connect, the included instructions are clear and easy.
We've taken a look at the Slingbox and player before but a lot has changed since then. For one, the latest Slingboxes support full 1080p HD streaming, assuming you have a good enough connection. They have also been updated to support the iPhone 5 screen for widescreen 16:9 viewing. And at some point after our previous review was posted, support was added to allow streaming over cell networks.
The iPad and iPhone versions of the app both do a good job allowing you to stream from a Slingbox. The iPad version is much easier to use due to the larger screen size, allowing for more controls on the screen. While the iPhone interface isn't horrible, it could use a rethink.
Overall, the Slingbox 500 was easy to setup, if not super quick. Once it was installed it worked well. Connecting to it from remote was quick and worked well. Changing or selecting a recorded show to watch can be a bit tedious, though, with a 3-4 second delay for each remote key press. Once the streaming started, very few hiccups were noticed.
Is the Slingbox 500 the ideal way to get your content on the go? No. But it is, by far, the best very option right now to give you access to that content on the go. And let's be honest, it's likely to be the best option for some time. Access to content will get much stricter before it gets more convenient.
The Slingbox 500 is available online or at Best Buy now for $299.99.
This week at 148Apps.com, we kicked off October by interviewing the developer of iOS horror game Organ Trail. Rob Rich writes, "I make no attempt to hide my adoration for Organ Trail: Director’s Cut. I love this game and I’m proud of it. So having the opportunity to ask The Men Who Wear Many Hats – specifically Ryan Wiemeyer, co-owner and designer – a few questions was quite exciting. From the Flash game with over half a million fans to their new Greenlight venture, it’s all fair game for these enterprising haberdashers. Okay so they don’t necessarily make the hats but you get the idea."
Nothing nearly as frightening was happening at GiggleApps.com this week. Amy Solomon reviewed Tizzy Seasons, saying, "Tizzy Seasons is a delightful application for young children which teaches about each of the four seasons. Not a word is spoken or seen as text within this application, making this app a very nice selection for children no matter their language background. Start by choosing a boy or girl character and then a season with a tap, each charmingly expressed within four beautifully crafted scenes and each coming together as four corners of a background image, yet showing each season’s differences with the use of color and other details."
And last, but certainly not least, founder Jeff Scott announced across all 148Apps sites, including 148Apps.biz, "We are very excited to announce that 148Apps and our network of sites have been acquired by our friends at Steel Media! 148Apps joins the
amazing network of app related sites such as Pocket Gamer, Pocket Gamer.biz, AppSpy, Padvance, Quality Index, and more.
For more than four years 148Apps has covered the world of iOS apps and games. It started as a passion of mine and has now expanded to include the best writers this side of Mars. Now along with the Steel Media portfolio of sites, we have mobile apps and games covered from every angle."
From interviews, to reviews, to exciting, game-changing news - this week had it all. Keep track of the latest developments across the mobile app world by following us on Twitter or Liking us on Facebook. See you next week!
The fantastic mutli-service IM client, IM+, was updated today, with some welcome fixes.
What's New in Version 7.3
- Support for iOS 6 and iPhone 5
- Message queue: outgoing messages are queued if network is not available and will be automatically sent when network connection is restored
- UI improvements
- Bug fixes
This week at 148Apps.com, we pondered life after the change from Google Maps to Apple Maps. Carter Dotson took a look at his Favorite Four alternatives to Apple's built-in guidance system: "So, there’s a bit of a brouhaha over iOS 6 switching its maps provider from Google Maps to TomTom and other Apple sources. Yes, the 3D flybys in the maps are pretty, but the lack of details once had in Google Maps and loss of transit directions is a backbreaker for some. Sure, Google Maps has a mobile website that can be added as a web app, but maybe it’s time for something all new. Unless or until a separate Google Maps application is released, here’s four fine alternatives for mapping and directions."
GiggleApps writer Amy Solomon got cooking with a kids' game called Dr. Panda's Restaurant: "My son and I are thoroughly enjoying Dr. Panda’s Restaurant as this app has so much to offer in cooking fun for children of all ages. This app consists of a two-story restaurant, each containing a two-person table to be filled with the animals who get welcomed by Dr. Panda, now the chef of this restaurant as well as the one who greets these animals before they are sent to their table. Eight animals are included, as are ten recipes to cook."
And finally, AndroidRundown.com featured a KickStarter Spotlight on Lifx. Joseph Bertolini writes, "Lifx is an LED light that connects to any home wireless network and is controlled by a smartphone. It would have been easy for the developers to just simply stop at changing the color, and I, frankly, would have been satisfied. But seeing as this is a KickStarter project, it is a safe bet that these developers did not become complacent. Some simple additions, such as dimming and batch operation are included, but the one that I am most impressed by is the ability for the light to deliver phone notifications. Imagine every time a text message comes in the room blinks green or blue for Facebook notifications. There is also an option to program lights onto specific actions and cycles, such as dimming over a period of time or turning on every day at 8 am."
And that about covers it for the week that was. Joins us every day for the latest news, reviews and contests - and keep track of it all by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. See you in 7.
Thinner and lighter, and we're not talking about the length of this podcast; it's a long one.
On This Episode:
The iPhone 5 came out, and actual iPhone 5 owners, Blake Grundman and Brett Nolan, discuss with Carter Dotson how it impacts gaming and their thoughts on it, including if it is really worth it. As well, the cast discusses iOS 6's Game Center Challenges, Blake's pinball addiction, and the pros and cons of the new Lightning connector, and how it will impact other accessories and upcoming iOS devices.
- "Beatnes7 (Theme to The Portable Podcast)" by The Eternal - Download on iTunes here:
- "Nanocarp" by The Eternal
How to Listen:
- Click Here to Subscribe in iTunes:
- Click Here to Subscribe via RSS.
- Listen Here: [powerpress]
Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
Ah yes, iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 just came out. As with every major iOS release, complaints of battery life being worse than before are in tow. There are ways to preserve battery life on iOS, thankfully.
Now, the thing with saving battery life is that there’s a trade-off between being able to leave some feature on, and having to jump in and out of settings to re-enable features we need. If you’re so fed up with battery life that you really need to start disabling features, here's a rundown of what may help.
Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not using it.
While it can be convenient to leave these on, and Wi-Fi assists in location detection, they're also both massive idle battery drains because they're constantly scanning in the background. Disable both of these features in Settings when not using them. Bluetooth settings are no longer hidden under submenus iOS 6, making it easier to manage.
Disable or Reduce Cellular Data When Necessary
If you don’t need or don’t have data service available, then disabling Cellular Data can save on battery life while leaving you available to the world. What if you have wifi access and are not expecting – or not wanting – any calls, and anyone who needs to reach you has iMessage? Well, Airplane Mode serves as a handy way to make sure that there’s no usage of cellular access at all. It should dramatically improve battery life.
LTE on the iPhone 5 is fast, and will also drain your battery fast. Your Twitter notifications will come in just fine on 3G networks alone, so disable LTE when not needing it, or not in an LTE service area, to save some battery life. Disable this in Settings -> General -> Cellular. Older phone models may have the option to disable 3G networks.
Turn Off Notifications, and Reduce Background Data Usage
Getting lots of notifications can be a real drain on battery life as the screen constantly turns on, and the device constantly polls the Apple servers for notifications. While there’s no easy way in iOS 6 to turn off all notification, at least turning off certain applications’ notifications can help.
As well, if you have push email and don’t really need it, set it to Fetch every so often, or just check it manually. This can be done from Settings -> Mail, Contacts, and Calendars -> Fetch New Data and diabling Push, and setting Fetch to manual.
Just Buy an External Battery Already
Look, the reason we leave all this stuff on is because we want the convenience of being able to jump from mobile data to Wi-Fi, to be notified of every little thing, and to have a screen so bright it could be seen from space. So why trade off? There are plenty of external batteries out there, including separate ones, and ones built in to cases. Yes, it’s something else to carry around, and will leave less pocket room, but for the ability to never have to turn off Bluetooth ever again when you want to pull out that keyboard? Priceless. Mophie makes battery-enabled cases with wide availability. NewTrent makes external battery packs that are beefy enough to charge an iPhone several times over. DealExtreme is a great source for cheap external chargers.
Have other ways to save some battery life? Let us know in the comments below!
This week at 148Apps.com, iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 were never too far out of our collective consciousness, as evidenced by site founder Jeff Scott's discussion of changes in the iOS App Store: "Take exposing the top paid, free, and grossing apps at the same time on the landing page of the Top Apps list, for instance. It seems like a small change, but it promotes free apps to the front of the page and lowers the exposure of the top paid apps past the first three. Michael Zaletel of i4software notes, 'This gives MUCH MORE prominence to the Top Free Apps and so I predict Free apps and Freemium apps will see a big boost after today.'"
Meanwhile, back in the GiggleApps.com cave, reviewer Amy Solomon had this to say about Superhero Comic Book Maker HD: "Comic Maker allows one to choose from 27 backgrounds, a blank page and a chance to access photos from one’s device to work on. I really enjoy these backdrops, each bold and colorful, as there are wonderful choices to stimulate creative thinking and superhero or monster themes, such as the POV from a spaceship, industrial setting with robots and a conveyer belt, as well as other more natural scenes including a farm, saloon, or desert, which allow these characters to visit Earth. It is worth noting that although the theme here includes monsters, every image included within is utterly family-friendly, as is the included classical music based on classic nursery rhymes that Duck Duck Moose is known for."
And staying on the 'Super' theme, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson solicited some marketing advice from Supercool Creative: "Social media is often an enigma to developers looking to promote their apps. It’s a tool that can be incredibly powerful for getting more downloads and driving revenue, but just how to succeed with it is a mystery to many. Facebook integration, especially with the App Store, has been anticipated by developers as a way to help their games spread through social media, but these features won’t be doing all the work to make an app gain users through social media usage. However, David Murdico has written an interesting blog post for Supercool Creative entitled “5 Ways to Promote Mobile Apps and Games with Social Media” that covers many ways to best utilize social media to developers’ advantage."
That's it for this week, but with fall...um...falling, there's sure to be a huge amount of new content about to drop before the holidays. Keep up with the latest by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook. We'll make it worth your while! See you next week!