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How To: Use and Make Sense of iMessage

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 14th, 2012

This week's how to was inspired by a recent conversation I had with my family. My mom got an iPad, and she wanted to use it to keep in touch with the rest of her family, who all use iOS devices in some capacity. My dad set her up with a free texting app, but I wondered why not use iMessage? He didn't even know what that was. It seems as if casual users are not entirely aware of what iMessage is and what it can do.

iMessages are messages similar to SMS that are sent through the Messages app on iOS 5 and later. They can be sent over wifi or a user's data plan, instead of using up a messaging plan. iMessages can be sent to a person's email address that they have registered with iMessage. iPhone users can register their phone number to receive iMessages, and the app can send out both traditional SMS messages and iMessages. SMS messages are represented by green bubbles, iMessage are blue bubbles.

iMessage makes it easy to to send photos and videos to friends. Also, there's no character limit for iMessages, which is a blessing and a curse. iMessages carry across devices, so a conversation can be started on iPhone andreplied to on iPad and even on Macs with Mountain Lion. Messages can be sent while on wifi, if mobile data is unavailable on the iPhone.

To ensure iMessage is working, go to Settings, Messages, and ensure that it's turned on. From this menu, it's possible to enable different email addresses to receive iMessages at, and the default ID from which they will appear.

Don't know if someone is an iMessage user? Create a new message, start typing in their phone number or email address, and the device will look up to see if they're registered. Their name bubble will first be gray with a spinning circle. It turns blue if the user is registered, and red with an exclamation point if their email address is not registered.

A handy tip that many users don't know about is to resend an iMessage as an SMS. Just tap and hold on the message bubble until a dialog to "Resend as SMS" appears. This is handy if the person being messaged is out of data range, or uses an Android phone along with their iPad or iPod touch. If iMessage becomes too complicated to use, it can also be disabled by turning it off from the iMessage settings menu. However, it's worth leaving enabled for the benefits it provides.

This Week at 148Apps: July 9-13

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 15th, 2012

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

Read more at 148App.com.

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

Read Amy's full review at GiggleApps.

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

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

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

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

This Week at 148Apps: May 28-June 1

Posted by Chris Kirby on June 4th, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com, writer Carter Dotson explored all things Zombie with his Favorite Four list. He writes, "May is Zombie Awareness Month. While pop culture seems intent on making us aware of zombies on a regular basis, this is the special month for zombies. May is almost over, but that doesn’t mean there’s not just enough time left to celebrate with some zombie-themed apps."

Read Carter's full list at 148Apps.com.

Meanwhile, everything over at GiggleApps got dotty, as Amy Solomon reviewed Dot Collector, saying, "Dot Collector is a very nice universal app for the youngest children with simple game play, wonderfully bright colors and soothing sounds that babies will enjoy. This app is utterly intuitive to use as players need to simply drag moving dots into a black dot, clearing the board. A new dot is added to each additional level, adding to the game play."

Read Amy's review at kid-centric GiggleApps.com.

Finally, Kevin Stout on 148Apps.biz reported on the increasing numbers of young children using smartphones. Stout writes, "There’s no such thing as to young when it comes to smartphones and tablets. When keeping in mind the younger audiences when developing apps, even the youngest of children have a high percentage of exposure to mobile devices. An infographic released by Schools.com has reported that 38% of 0-8 year-olds have used tablets or smartphones."

Read the complete report at 148Apps.biz.

That't it for this Memorial Day week. Summer's here, so keep your eyes on 148Apps.com, our Twitter and Facebook feeds to make sure you get the latest app news, reviews and contests. See you next week, tovarish!

Our Annual "Holy Cow It's Memorial Day Already" iPhone and iPad App Sale Post!

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on May 25th, 2012

So, it's that time of year again! BBQs, lawn chairs, beer, and the ability to finally wear shorts with sandals without fear of frostbite. Tan those legs and check out all the huge sales that are going on across the App Store below. We'll try and keep it updated as we go this weekend, so be sure to let us know of any good sales on iOS apps that you find in the comments below.

Starting with EA, here are a few of their almost 50 titles discounted for Memorial Day. App Shopper has a nice list of all the EA titles on sale, too.







This Week at 148Apps: March 19-23

Posted by Chris Kirby on March 26th, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com, writer Jennifer Allen launched her review of Angry Birds Space, saying, "There’s a temptation to declare that Angry Birds Space is more of the same. That wouldn’t be a bad thing by any means. While there’s no doubt that marketing has played a big role in its success, Angry Birds is still one of the best casual gaming experiences out there. It benefits greatly from that “just one more go” mentality and a lot can be achieved in a short amount of time. Angry Birds Space ups the ante in that respect by introducing a sufficient number of new features to ensure that it’s not just more of the same, while still retaining the original game’s charm."

Read the full review at 148Apps.com.

Amy Solomon, at GiggleApps.com, also wrote about birds this week, but these took the form of her review of Draw and Tell HD by Duck Duck Moose. Solomon writes, "Draw and Tell HD – by Duck Duck Moose is a creative and fun art app that allows young artists to record personal narration to their finished pieces, including a multitude of art supplies to work with. Both iPad as well as iPhone versions are available.

Children have a choice of expressing themselves by choosing a blank page to begin their art work or choosing a coloring page to work on. Another wonderful function of this app is the ability to choose a photo from the device’s camera roll to use as a background as well.

Read more from Solomon's review on GiggleApps.

Finally, 148Apps.biz featured a report by Kevin Stout about the astonishing growth of iOS and Android activations in China. Stout writes, "China has recently become the leader in new iOS and Android device adoption (phones and tablets). It’s also finished the year in 2nd for application sessions, only behind the U.S. Specifically, China’s app session growth between last year and this year is 1126%. That’s nearly double the closest country (Argentina)."

Read the full report on 148Apps.biz.

And that's the week that was. Join us next week for a full recap of the activities across the 148apps-verse. Until then, keep track of our latest contests, news items and reviews by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. See ya!

Quick Help Guide: How To Use Your New iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on December 24th, 2011

Happy Holidays! If you're like many folks, you'll have gotten a new iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch this holiday season. And if you're looking for a place to learn all about this new magical device in your life, you've come to the right place. 148Apps has tons of resources on using your new device and filling it with the best thing about it: apps.


Learning The Basics


The operating system of these devices is one of the most intuitive around. However, there's always more waiting under the hood to make things just that much easier or better on us. While your new iPhone or iPad may not come with a manual, you can download one fairly simply from the iBooks Store. First, grab [appinline:364709193,"iBooks"], then grab the manual for your new iPad, iPhone, or
iPod touch.

Speaking of the operating system, we've written a few articles about the latest and greatest from Cupertino right here on 148Apps. Check out our Full Feature Roundup on iOS 5.

We even published some downloadable magazine-style User Guides last year, on each of the devices. Feel free to grab them and read through them - many of the tips and tricks included there are just as relevant today as they were then. iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.


To the iCloud!!!


You may have seen some of the information about iCloud in the Apple TV commercials. It's a great system that gives you unprecedented storage and sharing options. Here's a short intro to iCloud from Apple.

We've got you covered with iCloud as well. Here's information on both moving your data to the iCloud to help keep things synced and backed up. You may also need more information on how you set up iCloud in a multiple user family. This details all the ins and outs of multiple user groups who may otherwise share iTunes accounts.


There Really is an App for That


Once you've got a good handle on using that sleek new iOS device, you'll of course want to dive in and start downloading apps. Whether you're an avid gamer, a music lover, a book reader or even (gasp) all three, you'll find everything you need in the iTunes Store.

When it comes to Apps, iOS has no peer. There are over 500,000 apps in the App Store, so you'll doubtlessly find something you like. The trick, however, is filtering through all of those apps to find the specific things you want. That can be tricky, but luckily there are many ways to help.

First off are our very own reviews. We review a ton of apps weekly to give you the best recommendations about the best apps we find. Be sure to look through our Reviews lists, which can be filtered by type of app as well as sorted by date, app name, or app rating. If you just want to read reviews of our highest rated iPad games, for example, it's an easy click. And for on the go browsing of 148Apps reviews, grab the [appinline: 444792529,"148Apps App"].

In addition, we have our famous Price Drops lists, which can be sorted to just show the latest drops in prices, or even just the latest FREE apps. Very handy, if we say so ourselves. If you're looking for the very latest additions to the App Store, we have a list for that, as well as one for the Top Apps across all the App Store categories for each device. Then of course there's always the very best of the best in free apps available in the free games and free apps lists.

If you want even more app discovering goodness, you might want to check out a few apps made to help you wade through the App Store. Some of our favorites are [appinline:387037496,"AppShopper"], [appinline:348286549,"Chomp"], and [appinline: 383151779,"AppZapp"]. There are even specific apps to help you find the latest free apps. Some of the best include [appinline:348650932,"Free App A Day"], [appinline: 470693788,"Apps Gone Free"], and [appinline:484505841, "Free App Alliance"]. These will all help you sort and find and browse apps and games to your heart's content; we use them all the time to find new great apps to use and write about on the site.


Where Else To Find 148Apps?


We're everywhere, really. However, the best places to find us are on Twitter, Facebook, and now even Google+. Be sure to come visit and chat with us there. We're ever so responsive.


Free Apps You Shouldn't Do Without


Now, we wouldn't be the premier Apps review site without some sort of parting gift, now would we? How about some apps you really should try out? To make the deal even sweeter, let's make them free apps.

iBooks, Nook, & Kindle - Reading ebooks is all the rage these days, especially on these fancy new iOS devices. We love reading on our iPad, and have even been known to crack a virtual spine or two on our iPhone while waiting at the doctor's office. For those of you with shorter attention spans, there's always Newsstand, iOS's magazine subscription service. Some of the best ereader apps include [appinline:364709193,"iBooks"], [appinline:384910586,"Nook for iPhone"], [appinline:373582546,"Nook for iPad"], and [appinline:302584613,"Kindle"]. Happy reading!

Facebook, Twitter, & Instant Messaging - Keep in touch with family, friends, and us - your favorite Apps website - with these free social networking apps. Tell 'em 148Apps sent you!
There's [appinline:284882215], [appinline:333903271] though [appinline: 428851691,"Tweetbot"] is much better, though not free like the official Twitter app.

For instant messaging, check out [appinline:336435697,"imo"] and [appinline:405179691,"imo for iPad"]. And don't forget [appinline: 304878510,"Skype"] and [appinline: 442012681,"Skype for iPad"]. We've become big fans of [appinline: 392796698 ,"GroupMe"] lately too for group communication.

Gaming on the Cheap - Now, we put out a sweet weekly article that tells you about the latest FREE gaming apps, but here are a few we think you won't want to miss. We could go on for hours about it, really, but these should get you off to a good start.

For a great free endless runner, check out [appinline:420009108,"Temple Run"]. A wonderful game. For some great physics puzzle fun, the new king is [appinline:467810884,"Where's My Water? Free"] and you can never go wrong with the classic [appinline:409807569,"Angry Birds Free"]. A couple other free games we really like include [appinline:466965151,"The Sims Freeplay"] and [appinline:422667065,"TinyTower"].

You should also check out our massive iOS game and app sale post. There are tons of great deals and quite a few temporarily free apps there. Be sure to grab the great [appinline: 457446957,"Jetpack Joyride"] while it's free. It's one of our favorite games of the year.

We hope you've enjoyed learning about your new magical iOS devices. The iPad, iPhone and iPod touch are some of the best new gadgets to give or receive. Be sure to come back often to see what we have for you; we're always looking to find the news or apps you want to know about first. From all of us here to all of you out there, Happy Holidays!!!

iOS 5 is Here - Full Feature Roundup

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 12th, 2011

iOS 5 Feature Roundup


As Apple announced last week just before the new iPhone 4S launch comes the release of iOS5 today. We're pretty amazed by all the new stuff in the next mobile OS from Apple. Seriously, there's a ton of new things in this release, making even our "old" iPhone 4 seem like an entirely new phone. Released today, and available right now, here's what iOS has in store for us all!

Hit the jump to see all of the great new features of iOS 5.

My iPod, Abroad: How My iPod touch Was Integral to Living and Learning in Japan

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on August 31st, 2011

This summer I did something a little unusual: I went to Japan. For two months, I lived with a host family, studied Japanese, and explored the small city I was living in. Quickly, one of my possessions became my most prized...my new iPod Touch, purchased just before my trip to replace a broken, older one. My iPod is my companion and entertainment source during normal life, but while in Japan it took on some extra uses.

For any international traveler or student, I think that having in iPhone or iPod Touch can be an enormous help. Here are some of the ways I used my iPod while in Japan.

As a study tool
I was enrolled in a summer language intensive program at the Hokkaido International Foundation. Theoretically, we fit a year's worth of language instruction into two months. (Yikes.) As a result, I was doing a lot of studying, and my iPod was a huge help in this regard.

Dictionary Apps
First, my Japanese/English dictionary app. I used Japanese, but other students used the free Kotoba or other apps like Midori. Regardless, all of these apps had marked advantages over traditional dictionaries. First and foremost, iPods and iPhones are far more portable than paper dictionaries or even "electronic dictionary" devices. Using an app was easy and fast. Furthermore, Japanese in particular is interesting because the kanji, or characters, are difficult to look up in a traditional dictionary. iPhone dictionary apps generally let you input kanji using a number of methods, including "handwriting," making them much more useful.

Hardly anyone used a traditional dictionary. In my program, of the 50-odd students I'd estimate that 75% of us had iPod Touches or iPhones, and just about everyone who did used either Kotoba or another dictionary app on a regular basis.


Flashcards
Secondly, I was desperately trying to learn quickly enough to keep up with my daily quizzes and weekly tests, which meant, for me, flashcards. My commute to school included a half-hour on the bus each way, making my iPhone an excellent way to discreetly study. Using a flashcard app was great because I could fit study time in during all my little breaks: standing in line, while commuting, waiting for dinner to be ready...it really was incredibly convenient.

I personally made extensive use of Anki. Anki is a stellar flashcard program that is primarily for the desktop, where it's free. The iOS version costs a somewhat-steep $25 and is less polished than its desktop counterpart. However, for me it was still a good buy. Anki's magic is that it uses a spaced repetition algorithm, introducing cards at intervals according to previous response data. So, I would see my new vocabulary and kanji very often while older cards would show up occasionally. I've yet to see a better way of handling data retention; reviewing hundreds of paper flashcards quickly becomes unfeasible. I flirted with other flashcard apps but none met my needs like Anki, though Anki does have its problems...and that pricetag.

Homesickness and the iPod's "Normal" Features
One thing I hadn't counted on was how much I would miss "stupid" things like the sound of English.

In an environment that was all Japan, all the time, sometimes I wanted something familiar. So, I turned to my iPod for things like familiar music, photos from home, e-books, and TV clips from childhood shows. Also, since I didn't really have internet access with my host family, my iPod became my primary device for using the Internet. Facebook might be a form of procrastination, but when it came to keeping in touch, a mixture of email, Facebook, and Tumblr—all of which I accessed and used from my iPod—helped me to stay connected with people from home.

On the non-homesickness front, I used the iPod's camera when my "real" camera died or filled up with photos, or when I wanted to be more discreet. I used the Notes app frequently, too.

Do these uses sound trivial? Perhaps; and yet, they're part of why my iPod was so precious to me while in Japan.

Conclusions
Really, my dictionary app and my flashcard app were a killer combination when it came to learning and living. With my dictionary app, I could save words I encountered in real life for later study, or look up crucial words on the fly to facilitate conversations. With Anki, I could engrave those words in my memory. And beyond the purely pragmatic, it was comforting to have my favorite songs, TV shows, and yes, apps with me when everything else was unfamiliar. The iPod and iPhone can do so much that it's easy to overlook the little things.

I really do count myself lucky to live in an age where I don't have to lug around a physical dictionary for when my vocabulary fails, and when my camera's batteries die I always have a backup device. My iPod Touch made itself integral to my experience living and learning in Japan. Particularly for language students, I think that such resources are really invaluable.

iCasual Video: Tumbles

Posted by Michelle Lopez on June 20th, 2011

Title: Tumbles
Developer: Manfred Nerurkar

Reviewed on: iPod Touch and iPad

iCasual is a free audio podcast that we deliver to you!
Click HERE; to subscribe in iTunes | Click HERE; for the RSS Feed.


iCasual Video: Burn the Rope

Posted by Michelle Lopez on May 20th, 2011

Title: Burn the Rope
Developer: Big Blue Bubble
iPhone Price: $1.99
Version: 1.3
iPad Price: $4.99
Version: 1.0
Reviewed on: iPod Touch and iPad 2
Acquired: Promo Code Supplied by Developer
Written and Recorded by: Michelle Lopez

iCasual is a free audio podcast that we deliver to you!
Click HERE; to subscribe in iTunes | Click HERE; for the RSS Feed.


iCasual Video: Cut the Rope

Posted by Michelle Lopez on May 11th, 2011

Title: Cut the Rope
Developer: Chillingo Ltd
iPhone Price: $.99
iPad Price: $1.99
Version: 1.3
Reviewed on: iPod Touch and iPad

iCasual is a free audio podcast that we deliver to you!
Click HERE; to subscribe in iTunes | Click HERE; for the RSS Feed.


iCasual Video: Drop Zap 2

Posted by Michelle Lopez on May 6th, 2011

Title: Drop Zap 2
Developer: Amir Michail
Price: $.99
Version: 2.0
Reviewed on: iPod Touch and iPad 2
Acquired: Promo Code Supplied by Developer
Written and Recorded by: Michelle Lopez

iCasual is a free audio podcast that we deliver to you!
Click HERE; to subscribe in iTunes | Click HERE; for the RSS Feed.


On a Tilt Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Phillip Levin on April 22nd, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: TILTY
A new tilt-based puzzler for iPhone.
Read The Full Review »

Hit the Slopes with Snowboard Hero

Posted by Phillip Levin on March 31st, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NO SSX BUT NOT BAD :: Read Review »

Fishlabs Entertainment today released Snowboard Hero for iPhone and iPod Touch.

Snowboard Hero is a full-length snowboarding title designed specifically for Apple’s portable device. The game supports retina display visuals and looks to deliver an experience more on par with something you’d find on a console rather than a portable device like the iPhone.

Using a combination of touch and tilt controls, you’ll board down slopes, collecting power-ups, performing tricks and earning points to charge up your boost bar. The game lets you choose from four different characters, each with six standard and four special tricks to unlock. Each character in the title has his or her own boards, clothes and tricks to unlock as well. Your board choice in particular is key here. Each board modifies your character’s ability, speed, boost and jump stats, so as you upgrade boards, your character will become even better.

There are five different disciplines in the game to master, such as Speedrun, Freestyle, Slalom, Race and Time Bonus. What’s more, there are even combination disciplines, like Freestyle-Speedrun and Speed Slalom. You also get to decide with course routes would work best for each discipline.

Snowboard Hero is an impressive looking iOS title, making use of retina display visuals to bring to life cartoon-esque, stylized snowboarding. The game features six courses spread out across three unique environments, including ski run, fun park and high mountains.

The title also supports online leaderboards via OpenFeint and Game Center.

Snowboad Hero is now available for iPhone and iPod Touch on the App Store. The game’s developer says that it is already working on more content for the title, including new characters and new courses, which it will release soon. Once the additional content is added to the app, the price will increase to $6.99. However, you can currently purchase the title for an introductory price of $4.99.

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San Francisco: DK Top 10 Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Phillip Levin on March 28th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A GREAT RESOURCE
An impressive digital tour guide to San Francisco.
Read The Full Review »