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This Week at 148Apps: July 30-August 3

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 6th, 2012

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

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

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

Want more? Read the full review at GiggleApps.

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

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

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

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

This Week at 148Apps: July 9-13

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 15th, 2012

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

Read more at 148App.com.

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

Read Amy's full review at GiggleApps.

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

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

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

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

How To: Backup an iOS Device to iTunes or iCloud

Posted by Carter Dotson on June 11th, 2012

There are many reasons to back up an iOS device. Need to replace that iPhone? Backup and restore! Upgrading to a new iPad? Backup and restore! Sometimes an iOS device just acts weird with no way from the user end to fix them, and a full restore can help a device run in a much smoother manner. As well, the beauty of the restoration process is that a backup can be reinstalled on a completely different device, making upgrading to a new version of the iPhone or iPad easy. It makes upgrading to a new type of device, such as going from iPod touch to iPhone, and even to an iPad possible as well. But how does one go about doing this?

The iTunes backup process is fairly simple. While a backup is created after every device sync, individual full backups can be made by right clicking (or Command-clicking) on the device in the iTunes sidebar, and choosing Back Up. After the lengthy backup process, that backup with its date and time will appear in a list of backups when restoring from iTunes.

iOS 5 introduced iCloud backups and restoring, and these skip iTunes altogether. The advantage to iCloud backup is quite simply that it does not go through iTunes. There’s no weirdness involved with apps and media getting inadvertently deleted from a device unintentionally because iTunes decided to replace them. It’s much more painless when restoring, and handles downloads from multiple iTunes accounts much easier. As well, iCloud backups happen automatically overnight when charging, so if something bad happens, the restored device will not be far out of date.

The downside is that instead of installing from the computer, it downloads apps from the web, which can take up a long amount of time depending on connection speed and depending on how many apps one is restoring. I have too many apps installed (way more than 148) so I usually leave the process to finish overnight. Note that any media synced from a computer will have to be re-added through iTunes. As well, Apple servers tend to get hammered during new product launches, so early adopters may not enjoy a smooth experience. As well, those who take a lot of photographs and videos will find that the Camera Roll takes up a lot of iCloud space. It becomes a choice between either foregoing backing up the Camera Roll (as individual app backups can be disabled in the iCloud menu) or shelling out for more iCloud space.

iCloud backups must be enabled by selecting it as the backup method in iTunes. While the iCloud backup process is otherwise automatic, it can also be manually initiated by going to Settings -> iCloud -> Storage and Backup -> Back Up Now.

In order to reset a device to restore it as new from iCloud, go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings. This will set it up as if it was a brand new device. Enable iCloud while setting back up, choose to restore from iCloud, and choose the name of the device that was backing up to iCloud that you wish to restore from.

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!

Free Song Identification With TuneUp Mobile

Posted by Lisa Caplan on April 26th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Many iTunes users with messy music collections are familiar with the TuneUp plug-in. It cleans up a music collection by filling in missing information, providing missing cover art, and as of a recent update, even removes duplicate songs. Their new mobile app offers some of that technology for the iPhone music collection, but, surprisingly, that’s not the app’s purpose.

TuneUp Mobile instead takes on Shazam and Soundhound by identifying music tracks after hearing only a snippet. It works well, but as TechCrunch reports, the primary difference between this new app and the established players is that TuneÚp Mobile is, as yet, unmonetized. That means it’s free to download and has no ads or in-app purchases. All the features are unlocked.

CEO and founder of TuneUp Media Gabe Adiv says he’s “not concerned with monetization of the mobile app right now,” but the app itself functions as an advert for the desktop product in that it identifies songs in a collection in need of a “tune-up” via the same diagnostic tools, but doesn't actually fix the problems.

Along with song identification and diagnostics, TuneUp Mobile allows sharing to Facebook and Twitter, provides song lyrics and links to iTunes for song purchases. We're hoping for a universal build in an update soon.

Guess Your Songs Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on March 26th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: BRIEF DELIGHT
A simple game about guessing songs from a brief intro.
Read The Full Review »

Learn Everything There Is to Know About Your Music with iAlbums

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on March 1st, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Every song in your iTunes library has a story, and it's a safe bet you don't know much about any of them, until now. iAlbums is now available in alpha, and the app promises to teach you everything you could want to know about your favorite songs, and then some.

This neat app lets you dive into any song you're listening to, looking up lyrics, album reviews, artist bios and more all with a simple tap. The current version of the app has info on over 600,000 artists and 10.5 million songs, so it's pretty likely that at least a good portion of your music collection is already in the iAlbums database.

One quick caveat, the app is still in its alpha stage, so bugs and glitches are common. The full version of the app will launch in June, but this is a great opportunity to check it out right now for free if you're curious and would like to get a bit more info on your favorite musicians and songs.

This Week at 148Apps - January 9-13

Posted by Chris Kirby on January 14th, 2012

This week at 148Apps, we took your New Year's resolutions seriously and started our "Health and Fitness" month. Editor Rob LeFebvre writes, "We’ve already taken a look at some apps that help us all acheive our goals, and we plan to continue that trend for the entire month, with personal stories from our crack writing team, continued reviews, and focused features like our Favorite Four."

See our first group of Health & Fitness reviews at 148Apps.

Our apps-for-kids site, GiggleApps, offered a review of Odd Spotting. Reviewer Amy Solomon says, "Odd Spotting, developed by Micromicon Media Limit, is an “odd one out” game with 144 levels, the goal of each being to spot the object that is different from all the others in the group. As I began to explore how Odd Spotting works, I couldn’t help but to remember the lyrics from a classic Sesame Street song, “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong.”

Learn more and read the full review on GiggleApps.

Finally, on 148Apps.biz, writer Jeff Hughes commented on Apple's recent (and quiet) changes to app categorization on the App Store, saying "Just like Google, when iTunes makes the slightest change to their App Store search algorithm, it has an impact on how many people see your app. The recent changes to the category ordering have also impacted sales for many app vendors for better or worse. Some developers have been helped because their app is now in a category that is displayed higher on the mobile screen...Other developers may be adversely impacted due to the decrease in exposure for their app because their category now appears further down the list."

Read more on 148Apps.biz.

And that, my friends, completes our rundown of happenings across the 148Apps network for the week of January 9-13. Keep track of all the latest news, reviews and contests by following us on Twitter or Liking us on Facebook. See you in a week!

Dial - Internet Radio Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Thomas on November 18th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SIMPLE STREAMING
This no-frills streaming internet radio app delivers what it offers. Still, some frills would be nice.
Read The Full Review »

Get Album Flow for Free and Bring Cover Flow Back to iPad

Posted by Jordan Minor on November 18th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Apple first launched the iPhone in 2007. In addition to giving users the future of smartphones, they gave them a new way to view their music in the form of cover flow. Being able to swipe through a visual representation on one's music was a novel experience that is curiously left out of the iPad's music app. Imre Katai's app Album Flow is one of several apps hoping to correct this and it is be available for free for today only.

Album Flow adds several new features to a Cover Flow-style experience. These features include information like a play counter and the last time a song was played, a full screen song list, and the ability to easily create new playlists. Users can also personalize the app's look with various color options, the ability to import background images as well round or square off album art for easier viewing.

Album Flow usually costs $2.99. However, in celebration of the launch of iTunes Match, it is available on the App Store for free today.

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This Week at 148Apps, October 10-14

Posted by Chris Kirby on October 15th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

This week at 148Apps, we celebrated the release of iOS 5 in style, providing guidance on setting up the now-iCloud-friendly device in a home with multiple computers, multiple iPhones and multiple iTunes accounts. 148Apps founder Jeff Scott writes, "If you have multiple iTunes accounts, you can sign in and out of the different accounts without issue from the Store settings. That is unless you turn on automatic downloads. New to iOS 5 are automatic downloads for the iTunes Store for Apps, Books, and Music. If this device only uses the one account, it’s safe to turn on any of these that you wish. But, turning this on will lock this device to this iTunes account for 90 days. So if multiple accounts are used, do not turn on automatic downloads."

Read all of this need-to-know info on 148Apps.com.

Meanwhile, on sister site GiggleApps, Amy Solomon reviewed an app sure to help your child become more adept with the alphabet, while also cultivating them into kiddie foodies. Solomon says that ABC Food is, "the latest and possibly greatest app from Peapod Labs’s series of ABC apps focused on both letter recognition as well as teaching about a specific topic, be it animals, music, modes of transportation or sports and includes the use of beautifully detailed photographs, videos from Youtube and sometimes fun facts as well. ABC Food includes a new feature to this series as this app contains fun interactions for each food highlighted within this application."

Read the full review with a quick click over to GiggleApps.

Data was the name of the game on 148Apps.biz. Rob LeFebvre writes that, "App search company Xylogic has released 220 app download reports from 29 different countries in order to provide partners with a huge amount of data to be used in decision making process across app publishers, developers and the like. The data is sortable across countries and mobile app platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone."

Read what all of this data could mean for you on 148Apps.biz.

That's the long and short of it for this week. Keep watching our Twitter and Facebook feeds for lots of news, updates and contests. See you next week, crimefighters!

SRS Labs Takes Playlists To a New Height

Posted by Blake Grundman on October 6th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

If there is one thing that Apple has been known for since the launch of the iPod, it's connecting the audience with their music.  After all, this entire tech revolution from Apple hinged around the success of a certain media player, if we're not mistaken.  So, as can be imagined, music quality has been a key feature of all iOS based devices since day one.

The problem is that Apple's specific suite of software has grown somewhat stale in the actual media player department, lacking many of the features that can be found in other devices.  Fortunately SRS Labs saw this glaring discrepancy and stepped in with the release of their new playback tool, MyTunes.

Aside from the obvious feature of being able to play music, here are some things of note:

  • WOW HD – The heart of audio enhancement. Easily switch between tunings for all kinds of listening devices that includes headphones, speakers, car audio, and the internal device speakers.

  • Normalize – Never have to adjust the volume again. This tech puts all of your music to the same level when you play it.

  • EQ – Gain access to a 3-band and a 10 band EQ. For simplicity you can just choose a preset and we’ll take care of the rest.

  • Driving Mode – Interface optimized for using the media player quickly.

  • DJ Transitions – Let the player DJ to you and change from one track to the next just like they do in dance clubs.

  • Player – Have full access to an enhanced player that offers streamlined search, scan, and play controls.

  • Custom album art – If a song is missing album art we’ll provide art based on the genre.

The idea of a three and ten band mixer alone is enough to get many onboard, so be sure to give the app a look.  There is a free preview available now, with a fully functional version of the tool unlockable for $4.99.  Ears deserve to be pampered, and this is certainly a step in the right direction.

Easily Searchable Movie Streaming From Fanhattan

Posted by Jennifer Allen on September 20th, 2011

I'm amazed that no one's used the name Fanhattan before as it's an excellent name for a celebrity/movie orientated website or app. This app does exactly what would be expected of it. It enables users to find movies and TV shows from old to new across various video streaming and rental services.

Supporting many different services such as Vudu, iTunes, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon Video on Demand and the ABC Player, this should be a definitive app for all US based entertainment fans. If the show or movie isn't currently available to stream, Fanhattan will even state where it can be bought for shipping at a later date.

Search options means that not only is it easy to track down something particular but it's easy to browse for new suggestions too. Content is grouped into genres like Newest, Top Rated, Critic's Picks as well as Award Winners such as Emmys or Oscars. That's not forgetting regular genres like action or fantasy.

Combining everything in such a way is a neat idea that no doubt iPad owners will be keen to try out.

It's out now and it's free to download. Don't forget that the services it links to may incur further charges such as Netflix and acquiring items on iTunes. Fortunately, Fanhattan lists pricing in a detailed manner.

Sonos Releases New, Smaller Play3, Still Awesome

Posted by Jeff Scott on July 20th, 2011

It's not everyday that we write about hardware on 148Apps. So when we do, you know it's about something awesome.

Today, Sonos, one our favorite iOS friendly audio hardware makers have released a new, smaller device, the Play3. It's the little brother to the fantastic S5, now called the Play5 that we reviewed last year. This smaller version has 3 speakers instead of the 5 found in the Play5. It still maintains the features of the Play5 in that it connects with your home network to stream music from iTunes and a huge variety of online services like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, etc.

I had a chance to test out the new Play3 for a few minutes earlier this week. And I'm impressed. It does a great job, in a smaller package, of still sounding great. You can use this in addition to a Play5, on it's own, or create a stereo pair between two like devices. The Play5 is a great machine that I've grown to love. The Play3 will be a great first device for new Sonos users considering it's retail price of $299. It will also make a good second device to extend your Sonos range into another room.

We hope to be able to bring you a full review of the Play3 in the next couple weeks.

Apple Celebrating 10 Billion App Downloads with $10k Gift Card

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 18th, 2011

The first person to download the 10 billionth application, or submit the first free entry after the 9,999,999,999th download (more on that in a second), will win a $10,000 gift card to the iTunes store. We'll consider that victory marginally better than the free balloons you get when you're the millionth shopper at your local market.

It's absolutely absurd to consider that in the span of only two and a half years (the App Store launched on July 10, 2008) there are more application downloads in a single marketplace than there are people on Earth. Nearly double the amount, in fact. That is, if you consider being shy by two billion a small margin of difference.

Those interested can head to the contest's page on Apple.com. There you'll see a scrolling ticker representing how close the world is to seeing that 10 billionth download. Is the ticker an accurate representation of the actual apps downloaded? Probably not. One would assume that Apple took the time to figure out how many apps are downloaded in a given span of time and then applied that rule to the ticker itself. But why is that important?

It's only important if you plan on using the no purchase necessary form of entry. For those that don't want to download the 10 billionth app or, alternatively, even for those that don't have an iOS device, you can simply enter using this form within the contest page. You can do so 25 times a day. Obviously, it's not fair to let non-purchasing folk walk away with the prize by just entering a bunch of times. So, the factor that contributes to the entrants eligibility is the timing of said entry.

The gift card will go to either the person that downloads the 10 billionth app or the person that uses the entry form immediately after the 9,999,999,999th download, whichever comes first.