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Narrato Journal Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on August 5th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CONSOLIDATED MEMORIES
Write about life's precious memories while importing content from some convenient social networking sources.
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Five Years Of The App Store: Jen's Favorites & Highlights

Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 9th, 2013

Being asked to sum up the past five years of the App Store, on a personal level, is tough. Partly, because I have the memory of a goldfish, but also because so much has happened in those few years. How do you highlight what's so great about a device and service that you can't imagine being without? My iPhone and the App Store, by proxy, has been immensely important to me in this time. It's given me so much information, enjoyment and even been a great outlet in times of need. Here's a feeble attempt at trying to sum up how vital it's all been for me.

Memories

Launch day: Despite the goldfish analogy, I do remember when the App Store first launched. I'd had an iPhone for a couple of months previously and had dabbled in jailbreaking, but didn't feel too comfortable with it. The day the App Store started was genuinely exciting stuff. It's hard to believe, for those newer to the Store, but it was possible to browse from start to finish, thanks to there being a mere 500 apps available. I did that, regularly, until it got to a point where there were just too many titles to look at. Like with any launch day event, these apps didn't show off everything the technology could do, but they did offer a glimpse of a thrilling future.

Flight Control: Excluding a dabble with the no longer with us, Bejeweled 2, Flight Control was my first great iOS love. It showed me how great the touch controls of the iPhone could be, and how quickly one could gain satisfaction from a phone game. My past experiences with mobile gaming had been fun, but lacking that certain something that made me think it could rival handheld consoles. Flight Control changed that, for me, and I loved spending ages battling to improve my high score. Not that I was any good at it, though!

Exploration: I like apps that enhance my life, and I've used many in the past. Star Chart sticks in my mind, however, thanks to it enabling me to learn more about an area. While at the summit of an ancient ridge, Cefn Bryn, I could load up Star Chart and work out exactly what stars were above me and where. It was pretty magical.

Highlights

A career path: It's a pretty significant one, but if it wasn't for the App Store, I wouldn't be writing this. In fact, I'm not entirely sure what I'd be doing, given throughout my freelance career thus far, the App Store and iOS have played a very big role. It's changed my life for the better. It's been nearly three years since I wrote my first review for 148apps, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter, and I'm immensely grateful for how far I, and the site, have come.

The indie uprising: I always passively appreciated the efforts of indie developers, before the advent of the App Store, but my love for them has definitely grown. Perhaps more excitingly, I feel enabled to give it a go myself at some point. While I haven't yet found the time spare to really pursue it, Xcode, Stencyl and Gamesalad are waiting for me, reminding me that the era of the bedroom coder has returned. That's got to be a good thing for creativity, right?

Beloved Apps and Missed Titles

Favorites: I've struggled to narrow the list down. Really struggled. The memories of one Saturday morning avidly playing Game Dev Story in bed, before realising it's practically lunchtime are particularly strong. Much the same as my hundreds of hours spent with Fairway Solitaire are fond, if tarnished by the time it inexplicably lost all my data and progress. Or how about the time I demonstrated the power of the iPad to my mother with the double whammy of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and XCOM: Enemy Unknown? The former being one of my favorite games of all time.

Out of them all, though, a select bunch are used nearly every day. I take photos each day to track my life and have some fond memories to look back on, so Instagram is a must have for me. I like to back up such things, as well as my social networking sharing, so Momento is always at the forefront of my recently used apps. As a writer, iA Writer completes the selection, thanks to its cloud syncing ensuring I can always write up a quick idea, no matter where I am. New Star Soccer remains the key game that I regularly find myself returning to, living my fantasy as a world class soccer player.

Apps I miss: There are a couple of apps I miss, though. Puzzle Quest being one such title, given my love of the Match-3 genre and the fact I've played it to death on all other formats. Similarly, I adored Big Blue Bubble's use of the Fighting Fantasy license, although at least Tin Man Games is doing a brilliant job of taking over that mantle.

It's been a fun five years, and given how far the App Store has come in that time, I'm excited to see what the next five years will bring. It's looking like a pretty rosy future to me!

Day One Journal Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 24th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SIMPLE
Day One is a journal app that has some neat ideas such as syncing with a Mac app of the same name, but it needs a few more pertinent iOS features to be essential.
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Record Your Inner Most Thoughts with Momento

Posted by Blake Grundman on November 23rd, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: DIARY DELICIOUSNESS :: Read Review »

Ever since man learned how to record their own thoughts, so many moons ago, they have been pontificating on personal ideals and idioms that to others would be seemingly meaningless.  This joyous, and in many cases therapeutic process is called journaling.  Maybe most people have moved on to more Web 2.0 methods of recording thought, utilizing services like Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter, but there are still some that prefer the more solitary method of keeping ideas to yourself that the good 'ol fashioned pen-to-paper can only provide.

This all changed with the introduction of the iOS app Momento, which allowed you to create a digital fingerprint of your inner-most thoughts and preserve them forever.  Recently the application made the jump to version 2.0 which led to the introduction of numerous new features, including:

Connect Momento with popular web services to fill your diary with your online activity. In minutes Momento can build a record of each day, using the information and media you have shared online. A fast, effective and effortless way to record your life.

  • Tweets from Twitter

  • Facebook Statuses

  • Flickr Photos

  • Last.fm Loved Tracks

  • RSS/Atom Feeds

  • Foursquare Checkins

  • Gowalla Checkins

  • Diggs from Digg

  • YouTube Videos

  • Vimeo Videos


Knowing how egocentric some people have become with their web personalities, I am amazed that nobody has thought of this sooner. Just the idea of allowing you to journal in the app, or simply import all of your existing microblogs is nothing short of genius. Momento could be that silver bullet to preserving your entire history of interactions, all in one centralized location.

Also, you won't need to worry about losing your information as part of an iOS update gone horribly awry, because they have now added in backup and restore functionality as well.  These backup files can be exported to an external device or source for safe keeping, thereby keeping your memories safe forever.  Any aspiring Doogie Howser should give this a look, at least for posterity sake.

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Momento Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Ryan Wood on March 22nd, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: DIARY DELICIOUSNESS
Momento takes keeping a diary to the next level with its ability to tag and sort posts and upload pictures to each entry. It's a must try for those that enjoy keeping a diary.
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