Posts Tagged network

Notewalk Review

Notewalk Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Notewalk is a geo-social playground where iOS users can create and read notes on a nearby map, and collaborate with local neighbors with ease.

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Expert App Reviews

 

Week-in and week-out, the 148Apps reviewers search through the new apps out there, find the good ones, and write about them in depth. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.

SuperBetter

 
superbetter

A surprising amount of apps and games like to think that they can change one’s life. In reality, a select few can actually accomplish something that huge. Most of the remaining few might change small elements, such as providing encouragement for those trying to exercise more or give up a bad habit. SuperBetter is part of an even smaller group: it wants to change and improve everything about one’s life. A lofty ambition but one that I reckon it can accomplish, with the willingness of its users. One such glimpse into the importance of SuperBetter comes from this Ted video from game designer, Jane McGonigal, explaining just why the app can help so much. It’s fascinating stuff and ideal context. Essentially, SuperBetter is about turning life into a game. –Jennifer Allen

Layton Brothers Mystery Room

 
laytonbrothers10

Oh, look, Layton Brothers Mystery Room. Sounds interesting. The name Layton has pretty much become synonymous with puzzle-solving brilliance. The Professor had a knack for solving most of the world’s problems with a little logic, and that talent has apparently been passed on to his progeny. Alfendi Layton, however, is not his father. Mysteries are still a key feature for this particular Layton’s adventures, however Alfendi and his new assistant Lucy Baker (Detective Constable) are out to solve murder mysteries. Two of which are available for free right from the start and seven more that can be purchased for an additional $5. The each case involves mulling over suspects, inspecting a recreated crime scene (because Alfendi is something of a shut-in), questioning suspects/witnesses, and piecing it all together until a solid accusation can be made. In fact, aside from the world and characters Layton Brothers Mystery Room actually bears little resemblance to earlier games in the series. –Rob Rich

Limbo

 
Limbo-1

Limbo, the 2010 Xbox Live Arcade release that also made its way to other platforms, has finally come to mobile. For those who have not experienced this haunting puzzle-platformer, this is as good a time as any to jump in. Limbo is dark and mysterious, thanks in part to its silhouetted art style that renders most the world in black and white. There’s little guidance given, as players just kind of have to start running, and taking on the challenges that face them, from tricky jumps to finding ways to dispatch enemies, and avoiding traps. This is very much a horror game, as plenty of opportunities to scare the player are presented. Seriously, this game is nightmare-inducing. The deaths in the game aren’t particularly gory, but they are rather gruesome. That it’s a kid on the receiving end of most of the carnage is part of what makes it unsettling. That, and some of the things that are encountered in the world of Limbo. –Carter Dotson

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of kids’ apps and/or Android apps, just head right over to GiggleApps and AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews these sites served up this week:

GiggleApps

 

Coolson’s Artisanal Chocolate Alphabet

 
coolsons

As some readers may have noticed, I do not personally review many word games. Very few word games gain my attention because I am terrible at these types of puzzles, finding them for the most part frustrating and demoralizing. Therefore, it is quite a compliment from me to have enjoyed reviewing Coolson’s Artisanal Chocolate Alphabet as it is a word game that has won me over with a charming narrative, wonderful sense of style and an abundance of whimsy that I have greatly enjoyed. –Amy Solomon

The Terrifying Building in Eyeville

 
eyeville

The Terrifying Building in Eyeville is a thoughtfully written and wonderfully illustrated children’s storybook app. This is a very personal storybook developed by Joel Grondrup as his daughter was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina. The Terrifying Building in Eyeville is an allegory for this cancer as a small man named Kanser arrives in Eyetown after falling off the back of a truck during a rain storm. He knocks on the door of Mr. Nice and asks if he can start building onto Mr. Nice’s home as he is a traveling builder who looks for houses to build onto. –Amy Solomon

AndroidRundown

Space is Key

 
space

The best games, for me, are ones that are simple, easy to control and, more or less mildly infuriating. It’s why I pulled my hair, shedding years while playing Super Hexagon. It’s probably why I find Space is Key so intriguing. It mocks me. To my face. It’s evil. Space is Key is about as simple as they come. Looks-wise, it uses switching primary colors with opposing hues to highlight obstacles. The color changes do an interesting job of creating a psychedelic atmosphere reminiscent of Super Hexagon that doesn’t internet with the gameplay. –Tre Lawrence

Warmly

 
warmly

Warmly is an atypical productivity offering from The Chaos Collective that seemingly wants to make the descriptive term “alarm” a misnomer by changing the way we do alarms and wake patterns in the first place. The opening user interface is a clear cut celebration of simplicity, and hints at the design elements that govern the entire app. It gives a scroll-through window for setting the time (with an AM/PM toggle), and nine (9) big square buttons. After a scheduling check-off and an off and ok button, THAT’S IT. Laid against the soothing yellow backdrop, the relatively minimalist viewers are hard not to like. –Tre Lawrence

LandGrabbers

 
landgrabbers

Nevosoft’s LandGrabbers is a fun hybrid game that is surprisingly dependent on strategy and quick thinking. The land that makes up this game is ably represented by effective graphics the encompass several mythical environments. In the first stage, the 3D graphics do a good job of giving life to the structures, and further down the line, the scenery becomes even more intricate; rolling hills, stone bridges and shrubbery all add up to cushion the action in a reasonable looking shell. –Tre Lawrence

We Are Your App Review Source

 

Need to know the latest and greatest apps each and every week? Look no further than 148Apps. Our reviewers comb through the vast numbers of new apps out there, find the good ones, and write about them in depth. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.

Poker Night 2

 
PokerNight2-7

Poker Night 2 brings together Brock Samson from Venture Bros. (which has a season premiere very soon!), Claptrap from Borderlands, Ash Williams from the Evil Dead series (not voiced by Bruce Campbell, unfortunately), and Sam from Telltale’s own Sam and Max to play some high-stakes poker. Oh, and GLaDOS from Portal is the dealer. Moxxxi from Borderlands makes a silent cameo as the bartender. It’s a basic game of poker, with both Texas hold ‘em and Omaha hold ‘em (like Texas hold ‘em but with four dealt cards, two of which can be played with the community cards). However, the fun comes as much from getting to experience the witty banter from these cross-media characters meeting up. Each character has their own playing style and personality that must be considered when playing against them. Ash is rather cocky and willing to bluff a lot. Claptrap really seems to only like to play when he has good hands, being extremely conservative. Brock will go hard when he has a good hand, but will bluff occasionally. Sam…I can’t quite figure him out but he does seem to be a bluffer. Ash scares me the most because he matches my own play style. –Carter Dotson

Hipstamatic Oggl

 
IMG_3412

Long ago, as iOS reckons time, before the 1 billion dollar acquisition of Instagram by Facebook, and before photo filters were ubiquitous, there was Hipstamatic, a digital recreation of an analog camera, complete with changeable lenses and film types. But alas, time passed by and Hipstamatic, while still useful and engaging, lost mindshare to Instagram and the onslaught of photo processing apps. Many fondly remembered it, but used it less and less. Hipstamatic’s developer hopes to change this with the introduction of Oggl, their new social network/camera app hybrid that attempts to link the Hipstamatic name and legacy to a powerful but easy to use photo hub. –Chris Kirby

Manuganu

 
manuganu01

I have no idea how to pronounce Manuganu, nor do I know what it means. It just looks llike a string of random letters to me. It’s supposed to be the main character’s name, but we all know names usually mean something. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say it must amount something like “gorgeous and fantastic endless runner.” Just a guess. Manuganu is a kid with problems. Specifically he can’t seem to go anywhere without having to leap over chasms, dodge swinging boulders, or avoid all sorts of sharp-toothed nasties. Every single stage is full of them, as well as a number of tokens to collect, and players will have to make good use of the intuitive controls to dodge and collect everything. There are only two buttons (jump/double-jump and halting), and a single gesture (swipe down to slide) to worry about. Halting makes for an interesting addition as there are times when players won’t simply be able to run past something. Instead they’ll have to stop running, wait for an opening, then make like a tree. –Rob Rich

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of kids’ apps and/or Android apps, just head right over to GiggleApps and AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews these sites served up this week:

GiggleApps

 

Sago Mini Sound Box!

 
sago

I have some interesting news that I would like to share with readers. Toca Boca has recently acquired zinc Roe’s series of Tickle Tap apps. As readers may know, Toca Boca is a favorite developer of mine, as are the Tickle Tap apps that were developed by zinc Roe a few years back. These Tickle Tap apps were some of the first apps I shared with my son, and they still are perennial favorites that have kept my son’s attention for all this time. The joining of Toca Boca and the creative minds behind these Tickle Tap Apps has created a true dream team of app developers with the common bonds of highly stylized illustrations, bright and bold colors and whimsical details that produce very high expectations of what is to come from this new developer, Sago Sago. –Amy Solomon

The Trip Little Critter Reading Adventure

 
critter

The Trip Little Critter Reading Adventure is a fun, interactive storybook app based on Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter’s The Trip, with versions for both iPad as well as iPhone available through iTunes. This new application, developed by Silver Dolphin, differs greatly from – and should not be confused with – the straightforward adaptation of Little Critter stories developed by another company. It is worth explaining to readers that the original Mercer Mayer title focuses on a car trip to a camp site as told in pictures. Yet the text, although also telling the tale of this long family outing, included a heavy use of alphabet letters, from A to Z, such as B for Bags and C for Car, as well as words adults can relate to, possibly even more than their children can, such as E for the car’s engine overheating, letter M for the mess the Critter kids made in the back of the car, or T for the flat tire they get along the way, creating a witty alphabet book enjoyable for all – children and parents alike. –Amy Solomon

On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects

 
bugs

On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects is a thoughtful adaptation of the book of the same name, part of The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library developed by Oceanhouse Media. Here, children will learn about many bug-related topics as they enjoy the Seuss-like illustrations and rhyming text to which this book is fashioned as The Cat in the Hat, along with Thing One and Thing Two, introducing readers to many fun bug facts such as basic anatomy, natural defenses or the strength of insects such as ants. –Amy Solomon

AndroidRundown

Star Wars Pinball

 
war pinball

Pinball is an interesting state of flux: the genre as a physical form is not in great shape, but it is doing fantastic in virtual form. Fans of the silver ball have series like Pinball Arcade and Zen Pinball which both provide regular amounts of new tables to freshen up the experience regularly. Star Wars Pinball, a standalone release of the Zen Pinball table based off of Empire Strikes Back, is a great way to check in to this series. While the game includes in-app purchases for two other Star Wars tables, the base purchase includes just the one table. That’s hardly a bad thing – there’s a lot going on here. There’s multiple missions to complete by hitting various triggers, lots of targets to go for, and plenty of flashing lights and loud noises. The fanservice is strong with this one – there’s all kinds of art and sounds from the movie. This isn’t a cheap cash-in, a lot of love was put in to this game. –Carter Dotson

Mini Golf Matchup

 
golf

Mini Golf Matchup is a pleasant putt putt sim that puts a major emphasis on social interaction. The multiplayer format really encourages playing with friends. I can play with people in my email contacts, or random strangers. Upon finding an opponent, it comes down to turn-by-turn play on the same course. I love the fact that I could have games going against numerous people simultaneously, and at my own pace. For the random games, I simply waited for the game to do the matching, and waited for my turn. The courses had different looks, different levels of difficulty/hazards and different scenery. To get the ball into okay, I simply long-pressed and pulled… sort of like creating the virtual motion that mimics how a pinball machine game is started. In true real-life fashion, the shortest distance between tee and chip was rarely a straight line; thus, using the boundaries as bumpers was almost a needed skill. –Tre Lawrence

Boardtastic Skateboarding 2

 
boardtastic

Boardtastic Skateboarding 2 from Perblue is a cool game that invokes the Tony Hawk in everybody. As a reboot of Perblue’s original skateboarding game, it has some big shoes to fill. It was a graphical feast, with fine looking 3D graphics. The developer did a good job with shadows and imagery, with realistic animations that mimicked real life skateboarding movements quite well. The skate environments all have realistically gritty feels to them, and frankly, I found it easy to enjoy how the game looked. There are several game modes to enjoy: By myself, I could do Ladder, for personal advancement, or stuff like Freestyle, Survival, Circuit or I could get into a Tournament. There was a multiplayer section as well. –Tre Lawrence

We Are Your App Review Source

 

Need to know the latest and greatest apps each and every week? Look no further than 148Apps. Our reviewers comb through the vast numbers of new apps out there, find the good ones, and write about them in depth. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.

Star Trek Rivals

 
startrekrivals06

Granted I’ve yet to watch either of the Star Trek reboot films (I know, I know), but I seem to recall there being something about Kirk and Spock not liking each other. Or rather, they have a kind of rivalry going on. Which is appropriate since Star Trek Rivals is all about going toe-to-toe with friends. And shoving their faces in the dirt with superior tactics. In a friendly way. Star Trek Rivals is essentially the Triple Triad mini-game from Final Fantasy IX with Captain Kirk, the Enterprise, and so on. For the unfamiliar that means a 3X3 grid and a bunch of cards with a number on each of their four sides. When a card is placed next to a rival’s, and it has the higher number between the two touching sides, that card is converted to the other side. The overall goal is to have dominion over more cards than the opposition by the time the grid is full. This is done by strategically placing cards so that they either block an opponent’s attempts at assimilation or take over their cards directly. –Rob Rich

Jawfish Poker

 
JawfishPoker-3

Jawfish Poker is Texas hold ‘em poker for the mobile generation. A tournament can be played in minutes against dozens and dozens of players. For those wanting a rapid-fire poker experience, this is worth checking out. Instead of sitting at a table against a multitude of players, all the matchups are heads-up against players in the same tournament. Betting has been simplified: there’s a steadily-increasing big and small blind, and the only options are to fold or to go all-in. This means that for every hand that is called, someone’s getting knocked out. It’s high-intensity poker all the time, all against real players. While the Texas hold ‘em rules remain the same, new challenges arise. Bluffing becomes a particularly risky strategy just because it’s only really possible to steal the blinds with the all-in-or-fold betting system. Thus, knowing which hands are good to bluff on becomes key because any hand could instantly be a life-or-death situation. –Carter Dotson

Disney’s Story

 
story4

With hardly a sign of animated talking animals, Disney’s Story is a fairly mature storyboard creation app for those who want to combine their images to create their own tale. Immediately accessible, not much is needed to get started. Facebook sharing is there, requiring a quick log-in but it’s far from essential at first. Instead, users can get straight into the action by manipulating the images from their camera roll. Story divides these images, at first, into dates proving particularly useful for those collecting memories from a specific day. For instance, I looked for the date in which I got a new baby guinea pig and within moments, could create a collage of the memories of the first day for the piglet. –Jennifer Allen

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of kids’ apps and/or Android apps, just head right over to GiggleApps and AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews these sites served up this week:

GiggleApps

 

Colours!

 
colours

Colours! is an interesting, interactive color theory app that children and their adults will enjoy. I honestly did not expect much from Colours! as teaching children how to mix primary colors to create secondary shades is not an uncommon topic, so I was pleasantly surprised how complex this app can become. Colours! allows one to mix red, yellow, blue, white and black to form any color possible. A sponge is also included to use as an eraser – a nice touch. –Amy Solomon

Zoola Deluxe

 
zoola

Zoola Deluxe is a charming interactive animal app for babies and toddlers – a companion app to the popular Zoola, also reviewed at GiggleApps. Zoola Deluxe contains a nice variety of animals one can interact with. To start, tap on one of nine animals from either Farm, Safari or Forest animals. Babies will enjoy how chunky the areas for each animal to tap are, making this app intuitive for the youngest app users. Once a selection is made, listen to the animal’s name narrated as well as see the word on the screen. Also note the mild yet effective animated elements included as well as the sounds for each creature. This app also contains a nice variety of languages, always a nice touch. –Amy Solomon

Itsy Cars

 
itsy

Itsy Cars is a unique interactive app that allows children to build the race track of their dreams using a combination of thirteen pieces of track which are connected to create a track that one can drive a race car through. Four differently styled cars can be chosen, and then children will build their tracks with the tap of a finger, connecting pieces of track together. When complete, start the car down the track, tapping the “Turbo Button” when players want their car to go faster. The look of this app is highly computer-generated, with the use of many angles and bright yet not terribly unrefined colors – a style I am not always a fan of but which makes a lot of sense in this app. –Amy Solomon

AndroidRundown

Sonic the Hedgehgog

 
sonic

Sonic the Hedgehog is a classic, at least in the sense that it was the launching pad for a famous character. In reality, it’s a lot more like some bands’ first album: their later stuff is more refined, exploring their strengths better, to make for a better product. Such is the original Sonic game. Sonic 2 and 3 do a lot to make the series much better, so I must admit that when I heard that Sonic 1 was being remastered by Christian Whitehead and company a la Sonic CD, I was initially disappointed. But really, there was no reason to be: the tweaks and new features make this better. Sonic should be well-known at this point. Run, jump, fight Eggman’s robots and contraptions (though he’ll always be Dr. Robotnik to me), and avoid those darn spikes. This is the game that started the classic formula, including the most underappreciated part of the series’ gameplay: the complex levels and challenging platforming that comes from their multiple layers. –Carter Dotson

Prizm

 
chuck

How much muck could a muck chuck chuck if a muck chuck could chuck muck? Chuck the Muck is a cool entry from KizStudios that merges nice graphics with easy-to-learn gameplay and a familiar scoring method. Bob is the name of our protagonist in this one. A blob with attitude, Bob is described as a being with an appetite, and it seems to hunger for colored gems. It just so happens that these gems are not that easy to get to. Thus Bob’s job is to use the gooey stuff in his environment to solve the physics puzzlers that the the gem placements created. The basic tool was a stretchy, springy “muck” that I could manipulate to a degree. Using it as a trampoline of sorts, I could use my finger to direct Bob in a pre-determined trajectory. This helped me collect the gems for three start score. Missing a target or a landing could lead to Bob’s demise. The controls mostly involved dragging, pulling to release and tap and hold. –Tre Lawrence

Elements Battle

 
elements

I can’t say that I expected much from Elements Battle. The name is about as unimaginative as it gets, the art looked pretty but uninspired and to top it off it’s freemium, which is a business model that I’ve never been entirely comfortable with. As it turns out though Elements Battle is substantially better than I expected. The core game is a lot like Puzzle Quest. The bulk of it is a series of puzzle battles on a grid where three or more identical symbols must be matched each turn. Those symbols correspond to elemental spells which get fired at an opponent once enough of them have been matched. The opponent does the same and the winner is the one with health left at the end. Outside of battles there are some basic RPG mechanics with quests to complete (though they all boil down to battles too), levels to gain and a store used to purchase additional spells and equipment. –James Rogerson

This Week at 148Apps: December 17-21

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and as everyone knows, Jeff Scott listed sale apps and watched that list grow: “As another year draws to a close, millions of people will find iOS devices and iTunes gift cards waiting for them under the tree. That means lots of people looking for apps and games to download and that means it’s time for a HUGE sale. This year does not disappoint with tons of apps and games on sale and a ton going free for Christmas week.

If you enjoy this list, feel free to tweet or share this post on Facebook.

Here are our picks from the best of the best apps and games on sale. And as a reminder, you can always find the latest apps and games on sale at our iOS Price Drops page.”

Read the full list at 148Apps.com.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-05-29 :: Category: Games

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-11-29 :: Category: Games

Then away to GiggleApps we ran with a dash, and checked in with Amy Solomon, who had this news flash: “The Night Before Christmas presented by One Hundred Robots is a personal favorite retelling of the classic holiday story of the same name.

If one were to check iTunes, one could find multiple apps adapting this traditional Christmas story, and this app is a top choice of mine for a few reasons.

Although I am not always a fan of computer generated animation, especially when it boasts a 3D effect.
I do, however, love the bright, colorful and wonderfully stylized look of this computer-generated app, with interesting photographic elements and textures along with a 3D look for a very interesting visual experience. There is a wonderful use of perspective, and the placement of that would be the camera if one were shooting live action as well, as quick camera movements highlights the benefits of working with computer graphics.”

Read Amy’s full review at GiggleApps.com.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-12-01 :: Category: Books

Then at last we arrived at AndroidRundown, to see what was new in KickStarter-town: “Stands for smartphones are a very usual kickstarted project because they are all generally very simple and relatively cheap to make. We have done a few here for this blog post, and I was trying to stay away from them, but after seeing the crazy look of this week’s KickStarter Spotlight project I had to do it. This week I am showing off Simply Amplified’s Symphony Shells. They are 3-D printed phone stands that are shaped like real-life oceanic shells. They come in three separate forms, the urchin; small and spiked, the murex; arched and pointy, and the nautilus; square and twisting. All can be done in a very colorful and ornate tie-dye pattern or simply come in a solid or di-chromatic color scheme. My initial favorite is the nautilus simply because of its epic size and crazy spiky, square spiral. These really are very beautiful designs and any of them would display a smartphone with style and aplomb.”

Read more about Symphony Shells at AndroidRundown.com.

So rest and relax, and don’t even flitter – you can always find us on Facebook and Twitter. And when you wake from your drowse and your long Christmas naps, don’t forget to check in with 148Apps.

This Week at 148Apps: November 26-30

This week at 148Apps.com, we got to known iOS developer Lady Shotgun. Jennifer Allen writes, “Doing things a little differently from the rest, Lady Shotgun considers itself as a co-operative of freelance game developers, with the team working remotely from each other rather than through a central office. It might be unorthodox but this team is made up of folks with some extensive experience in the game industry. Uniqueness continues through the fact that Lady Shotgun is made up, predominantly, of female game designers and coders with men forming the minority here.”

Read the full interview at 148Apps.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-10-28 :: Category: Games

GiggleApps.com headed to work for a review of the unique Grandpa’s Workshop. Amy Solomon says, “Grandpa’s Workshop is a fun interactive app which teaches about the tools found in a workshop as well as learning about simple math concepts.
I really enjoy how this app works, as a fun older gentleman walks children through workshop-related activities such as identifying tools, painting different projects or mending broken objects jigsaw style.

Simple math-related activities are also included such as using a tape measure to measure boards, cutting boards into fractions such as halves or quarters, choosing the correct number of screws or other parts grandpa needs as well as a spot-the-difference section involving tools that may be similar or different.”

Read Amy’s full review at GiggleApps.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-10-25 :: Category: Education

Finally, AndroidRundown.com’s KickStarter spotlight this week was for the BlueTube Amplifier. Joseph Bertolini writes, “Being a sort of audiophile I appreciate the sound of a classic tube amplifier and I recently just started re-downloading my favorite albums as lossless FLAC files to preserve that original sound quality. Looking around the market today, it is really a sad time for those who really care about the quality of their music as cheap parts are appearing from overseas and there is a resulting flood of bargain Bluetooth speakers and docks on the market. These sound terrible, and combined with the super-compressed audio files that the average user has in their music collection music really has taken a technological step backward at a time when there has been nothing but technological advances. Well, audiophiles and smartphone owners rejoice because I have discovered our savior and it does not come from the likes of Sony or any large corporation. Meet the BlueTube Bluetooth Tube Amplifier, and built out of solid cherry and walnut hardwood it promises to look as great as it sounds.”

Read Joseph’s full article at AndroidRundown.

Thus ends November, but that means December fun is just getting started. Join us on Twitter, Facebook and now on Pinterest for the latest news, reviews and more. See you next week, true believers.

This Week at 148Apps: October 15-19

This week at 148Apps.com things got a little bizarre, as Jennifer Allen spotlighted the various iOS projects that have risen since Bizarre Creations was disbanded: “In January 2011, British games developer Bizarre Creations was closed by Activision. Looking through the games that Bizarre were responsible for, it’s no surprise that many fans were hugely disappointed to see its closure. Racing titles such as the Project Gotham Racing series were seen by many as the pinnacle of racing games, with similar successes coming from the retro shooter Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and the cartoony Fur Fighters. Unfortunately, despite the release of arcade racer Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone in 2010, it wasn’t enough and Bizarre Creations was dissolved.

What happened next, though? And why am I talking about console games on 148Apps? Because a number of new gaming studios rose from Bizarre’s flames, many of them iOS focused. Recently, I got the chance to see how things are progressing for a few of them.

Want to know more? Read the full article at 148Apps.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-10 :: Category: Games

GiggleApps.com got all mathematical on us this week with a review of Squeebles Fractions. Writer Amy Solomon says, “Squeebles Fractions is an interesting app to help children to understand fractions, creating a bright, colorful world in which to practice their math skills. I admire the cake theme found throughout this app, as players are able to, within the first section of this app, serve pieces of a cake to waiting monster-like Squeebles characters which correspond to a fraction seen on the screen, really helping children visualize the fractions they are working with.”

Read the full review at GiggleApps.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-09-10 :: Category: Education

And on AndroidRundown.com, Joseph Bertolini focused his KickStarter spotlight on iMpulse Game Controller. He writes, “Welcome, iMpulse, a tiny rectangular controller that is small enough to comfortably fit on any keychain. iMpulse was specifically designed to go onto keychains because they are with the player constantly. Anytime they leave the house their keys must go with them along with the phone; meaning that at anytime, gaming with a controller is possible. At about the width of an average palm iMpulse is small but it does not seem too small where it would be frustrating or unusable. Oh, and did I mention that it will help locate lost keys? For me, as forgetful as they come, this is almost more than worth the price of the whole device, gaming notwithstanding.”

Read more about this new device on AndroidRundown.

With that, we’re done with this week’s wrap-up. Join us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news, reviews and contests, and check out this post every week for a recap of the stuff you need to know. Ciao!

This Week at 148Apps: October 8-12

This week at 148Apps.com, Eli Cymet plumbed the depths of difficulty with his interview of Super Hexagon creator Terry Cavanagh: “Talking to Terry Cavanagh (pictured, left), the first thing that jumps out at me is how pleasant he is. How soft-spoken and thoughtful he comes across as. Particularly for somebody who tortures people.

An award-winning independent developer from Ireland, Cavanagh has become known for wonderful, mercilessly difficult games like VVVVVV and Super Hexagon. The latter is Cavanagh’s first iOS game; a low-fi arcade gauntlet that challenges players to move left and right to survive an incoming barrage of lines and shapes for as long as possible. It bent our brains in circles and became a surprise cult-hit on the App Store, moving about 72,000 copies since release, according to Cavanagh’s last look.

Wonderful. Mercilessly difficult. The two don’t quite go together, do they? Against all odds, however, it seems that driving people mad is what’s driven sales for Super Hexagon. It’s a phenomenon that beckons the question: why is a game that’s so hard so very easy to love? What makes difficulty so satisfying?

Read the full conversation at 148Apps.com.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-08-31 :: Category: Games

Meanwhile, over at GiggleApps.com, reviewer Amy Solomon explored Magic Forest HD Pro, a physics-based game for kids: “There are many variations of this style of game in the iTunes store such Cut the Rope, but I enjoy the look of this app, with backgrounds reminiscent of water color or batik artwork and include forest motifs that I find appealing and a little different from what is commonly found in a game such as this. Here, one is looking to help these pets into their basket, breaking glass bricks or other obstacles that prevent these animals from typically falling into where they belong.”

Read Amy’s full review at GiggleApps.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-07-19 :: Category: Games

And at 148Apps.biz, Carter Dotson reported on the growing need for native language support in apps geared for eastern audiences. He writes, “It’s easy to think about the App Store as largely a western, and largely American phenomenon: it’s one of the largest revenue drivers, and success or failure there often means international failure. English is thus the most supported language in apps, particularly as it is such an international language as well now. But Distimo has put out information in their latest report that suggests while English may be the dominant language in the western world, success in the east requires apps to speak the native tongue.”

Want to know more? Read the complete story at 148Apps.biz.

For those in the US shopping around for the best carrier, a Boston-based start-up, SwayMarkets, launched an app late last week that serves up data that AT&T, Verizon and Sprint usually keep obfuscated. CarrierCompare has received a lot of media attention, but users and critics have mixed reactions.

The app itself is easy to use and provides useful information for finding the carrier with the best coverage right where users actually use their iOS devices. The trouble, according to CNN Money, is the way the app gets its data. Dave Goldman explains:

Here’s the catch: The app is only as good as its crowd-sourced data. SwayMarkets has a starting data set pulled in from its previously released NetSnaps app, but CarrierCompare will only become really useful if a critical mass of people adopt it.

Another more recent issue that’s hurting CarrierCompare is the removal of one of the three key metrics – Signal Strength – leaving only Response and Speed measurements. Users are not happy, and SwayMarkets explanation is confusing. In the App Store they state:

This update removes the ability to measure signal strength as one of the metrics we use to compare carriers. Luckily, when compared to our other measurements, signal strength has the smallest impact on the quality of your data service.

We are actively working to find a way to bring this feature back in the future. If it is important to you, please let us know by emailing us from CarrierCompare or our website.

But on their website (on a page that looks bizarrely, if not deceptively, like a page from Wikipedia) they politely blame Apple and urge users to take up their cause by leaving comments about the app:

We had to remove signal strength in order to remain in compliance with our developer agreement with Apple and avoid having our apps removed from the App Store entirely. Apple has been very cooperative through this process, and we are pursuing ways of bringing signal strength back in the future. … However, we recognize that signal strength is an important metric for comparing voice quality, so we encourage you to mention it in your reviews and emails to us – it can only help raise awareness.

Some users report the app crashes or doesn’t work, but Philip Elmer-DeWitt in his article for CNN Money had no issues with his testing in Brooklyn. The app is free of charge and ad free so if you give it a test run, let us know what you think.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-04-13 :: Category: Utilities

PlayUp, A Social Network for Sports Fans

Whether it’s football season or March Madness, it seems like there is always something going on in the world of sports for rabid fans to follow. Luckily for them, the new PlayUp app, “the first social network app for sports fans,” is here to help these people stay connected all through their mobile devices. It’s like having a sports bar anywhere.

PlayUp tracks stats and real-time scores from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS and college football and basketball games. International leagues like the English Premier League Soccer and Australian Rules Football are represented as well. Fans of a particular team can track their progress and interact with other fans in chat rooms while games are on. Soon users will also be able to answer trivia questions and play other games through the app. They have to do something during the off season.

PlayUp is currently available for free on the App Store. It sounds like the next best thing to having a portable tailgate party.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-10-02 :: Category: Sports

Tweet Speaker Review

Tweet Speaker Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
An app that will read tweets form your twitter feed out loud to you.

Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps, September 12-16

This week at 148Apps.com, iOS helped all of us come just a little closer to cutting the omnipresent power of our cable companies, as TNT, TBS and NBC released full-length versions of many of their shows via iOS apps. Rob LeFebvre writes, “While (the TNT and TBS apps) may not be as earth shattering as the news from NBC, you can bet that we are witnessing a new paradigm in television viewing. Apparently, being able to create and control their own portal to their own television content has these companies, and no doubt others to soon follow suit, creating the cable-cord-free future we have all wanted from the outset. While the TNT and TBS offerings still require at least a financial link to cable television companies, the NBC announcement leaves no doubt that TV as we know it is changing forever.”

Read more about the future of premium TV content on 148Apps.com.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-22 :: Category: Entertainment

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-04-08 :: Category: Entertainment

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-09-08 :: Category: Entertainment

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-09-08 :: Category: Entertainment

Over at our sister site GiggleApps, reviewer Amy Solomon took a closer look at Arthur and Charles Present Create & Play, a collection of virtual toys for children. Solomon states, “Four sections are offered in this app, my personal favorite being Face Creator, where the player builds wonderfully whimsical cartoon faces from the 178 parts offered arranged into such categories that go beyond the obvious hair/eyes/nose/mouth choices including eyewear, headwear and extras. According to the developers, over 400 billion different characters can be created and after playing with the plethora of options offered, I believe it.”

Read about the rest of the toys in this new collection at GiggleApps.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-08-09 :: Category: Games

And finally, AndroidRundown stalwart writer Carter Dotson reported on what it takes to transition a top-grossing iOS game to the Android platform. Dotson says, “Tap Zoo has been one of the biggest successes on iOS that hasn’t really been talked about. In the past year since its release, the game has been on the top 10 of the iOS App Store’s Top Grossing charts for 48 of those 52 weeks. Now, the game is making the big jump to other platforms, and first on the list of non-iOS platforms? Android, of course! As one could probably infer, this means that Tap Zoo is now on Android!”

Read more about the transition at AndroidRundown.com.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-09-04 :: Category: Games

And with that, we end our weekly wrap-up. But fear not; there’s always all sorts of new content appearing across all of the 148Apps network of sites. Keep track of all the latest happenings (and participate in a giveaway and contest or two) by following us on Twitter and Facebook. See you next week!

Those wishing that the currently Europe-only Spotify music streaming service and iPhone app would hit to the rest of the world now have another option – MOG Mobile Music.

The MOG network has been around for a while but its new iPhone app makes it a serious contender in the audio subscription market offering similar, if not better, features by comparison to its rivals.

Highlights of the service include a library of eight million songs and some 700,000 albums that can be streamed to your iPhone over 3G and Wi-Fi and bundled into playlists. An unlimited number of songs can also be downloaded to the iPhone and stored for periods when you’re outside of Wi-Fi or cell areas.

The above features are all par for the course when it comes to this type of app and service but there are a few gems to be found in MOG Mobile Music too. The first is the true on-demand nature of the listening. Songs can be played at any time and repeated unlike many similar services that prevent repeat play, and you can listen to user playlists and customizable artist radio stations on the go. Artist radio isn’t as strict as the others either, with a simple slider determining how much of the artist you hear and how many similar artists are played.

It’s flexibility that seems to be the key difference between MOG and its rivals and, for a $9.99 per month fee, looks set to take a lead in the cloud-based music subscription game.

If you fancy trying out MOG Mobile Music, a three-day free trial is currently available when you download the app. No credit card is required either so you can sample the service risk free during this period.


FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-07-20 :: Category: Music

While there are hundreds of travel and city guide apps for iPhone, it looks like mTrip will blow them away with its unique spin on the traditional tour guide app.

While mTrip offers users the default sightseeing tips and direction tools for a location, it goes one step further helping users plan their trip itinerary. Better than that, the app can even create an itinerary for you based on your preferences, trip duration and accommodations. Daily schedules can be edited at the user’s discretion and the app is even intelligent enough to list attractions based on their opening hours and proximity to the user.

Once you arrive at your destination you can make use of augmented reality to see where sites are in relation to your current location as well as point out restaurants, bars, hotels and other points of interest. Travelers can also swap tips on locations via the app by adding notes and viewing those of others.

All of these features make mTrip a very useful and fully featured tool but its ability to function offline is the real jewel in its crown. Your itinerary can be customized and reworked without an internet connection and augmented reality also functions in the absence of a network. Pretty much the only feature that requires the internet is the fun little postcard tool that allows users to send messages to friends from their vacation via email or Facebook.

mTrip travel guides are currently available for London, Paris, Amsterdan, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, New York, San Francisco and Chicago in a choice of five languages. Many more locations are also planned with more information available here.

If you’re heading to one of the above locations, tack another $5.99 on to the cost of your trip for the ultimate travel experience and do it quickly before the app returns to its regular price of $9.99

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-06-21 :: Category: Travel

LightBike 2 Review

LightBike 2 Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
While Light Bike 2 does a good job of mimicking a TRON light cycle battle, it doesn't build a strong enough game around that experience to encourage prolonged play. Network issues also plague the game.

Read The Full Review »

Sonos S5 Review

The Sonos S5 is the perfect non-dock iPhone based music player. While it's not cheap, it's on par with iPhone docks with similar sound quality but frees you from tethering your iDevice.

Read The Full Review »

Now here’s a clever idea. Forget about meeting people on Twitter who you think might be cool to get to know, find them based on their musical taste by comparison to yours.

MeetMySong is a new social networking service and app that matches your iPhone music library with other users of the app and even lets you see them and their sonic selections in real time using augmented reality. The app scans your iPhone’s music library in order to create your Music Personality and then creates feeds based around the songs you play. Not only does MeetMySong show you what music your friends are currently listening to, it also lets you know what’s being played locally, based on your GPS location.

The existing social networks aren’t ignored either with the ability to post your currently playing track to Facebook and Twitter as well as import your friends from both services. Ideal for this kind of app is the integration with your iPhone’s iPod app, which means you don’t have to leave the application to control your music, which is monitored by MeetMySong to further develop your profile.

What’s instantly enjoyable about MeetMySong by comparison to other social networks out there is that you don’t need to type a word, just listen to the music that you feel like listening to in order to interact with the community. Of course, there is a messaging option built in, but your audio picks are what are important here. Another huge benefit is the exposure to new music that you’re probably going to like. With friends based on your preferences, their tastes should throw up a selection of new bands for you to sample and you can even preview and buy songs from within the application. Sadly, if you use Pandora or Spotify on your iPhone for music, there’s little integration to be had with MeetMySong and, until iPhone OS 4.0 this will likely be impossible. However, with some clever coding and the addition of multitasking to the next iPhone OS, it might not just be iTunes music the app pins your tastes on.

More so than Twitter, we can also see this app bringing people together through a mutual love of music, especially given the apps location aware nature and, as the network grows in numbers another interesting element, likely to pique the interest of record labels, will appear. The Top Artist feature that creates a sort of unofficial top 20 chart that could help track artist performance on a play-by-play basis or pick out musical trends in real time.

We’ve only just started using MeetMySong and so far have found it an interesting, interactive alternative to simply playing music from your iPhone. Judging by the “on air” activity within the app it seems like others are enjoying MeetMySong in a number of locations worldwide too. MeetMySong is free to download from iTunes and requires a quick account creation process in order to get it up and running. Once you are done, new songs and friends await you.

If you love your music, this app is certainly worth a go although we’re a little worried that our closest MeetMySong match is currently only 41% compatible. Then again, perhaps that’s just down to our taste in music…

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-02-18 :: Category: Social Networking

If you’re currently running Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and MySpace apps on your iPhone, why not update them all from one spot? Say hello to Seesmic.

Seesmic has been available on a number of mobile and desktop platforms for a while now and has, at last, made its way to the iPhone. For those who don’t know, Seesmic allows users to update multiple social networks from one place and by default offers Twitter, Facebook and Ping.fm. Ping.fm is a service bought by Seesmic this year and covers the rest of the social networks that include MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr and more.

Seesmic offers a clean, dashboard-like interface with spaces for each network, and customization options allow users to add a space for particular social networking feeds such as trending topics and searches. Updates made from Seesmic can be sent to all of your networks and also across multiple accounts as well, so you don’t have to log in to each one separately anymore. Another cool feature is the ability to save messages and updates to Evernote for future reference. Unlike many Twitter apps for iPhone, Seesmic’s flexibility and customization options make it a very useful tool and one that will benefit those of a social networking persuasion.

If you have more social network accounts than friends and time saving time is important to you, this looks to be the application to keep you in the loop and your contacts up-to-date.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-05-20 :: Category: Social Networking

Mac Rumors has received unofficial word that Sprint may become a carrier of the iPhone as early as this summer. The site points to skeptical claims made by a Sprint employee who has been reliable in the past and to a TechUpdate post covering information from a BestBuy employee who has similar information.

We reported recently that AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity may be under threat from other carriers and that it narrowly avoided losing sole rights to iPhone tariffs by offering a very competitive data plan for the 3G iPad. Verizon is the most hotly tipped network to take on the iPhone but, should AT&T’s exclusivity come to an end, Apple may well consider multiple iPhone carriers as it has done in Europe. As Mac Rumors points out, multiple contracts would also see a boost in iPhone uptake as has been seen with Android-based handsets. TechUpdate’s unnamed BestBuy employee feels that AT&T’s exclusivity has already been lost with the blow softened by exclusive iPad tariffs in the meantime.

Steve Jobs is set to host a Keynote at the start of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference on June 7 so perhaps we will find out more then.

[ via Mac Rumors ]

One of the many guilty pleasures of Facebook is browsing through the photos your friends have posted. Whether you’re laughing at shots from a drunken night out or enjoying how fat your ex has gotten, it can become an addictive pastime. While there are some Facebook tools available for the iPad, there is yet to be an official Facebook app launched. Fortunately, developers appreciate the fact that iPad users need to stay in touch with their social networks and have created some excellent offerings such as FlickPad.

Thanks to this unique app from Shacked Software you can now feed your Facebook photo addiction with a beautiful, native iPad app. Users are presented with the latest Facebook photos when they open the app and can select favorites as well as share the images they find. The interface makes browsing images fun and offers some great multi-touch features including double and triple taps to access different options and views. One of our favourite features is the ability to hide all of the photos from a particular person although, if you do that, maybe you should question why you are friends with them in the first place.

$0.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-04-03 :: Category: Photography

It seems that AT&T may have made one last Hail Mary play in order to remain the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the US. According to Wall Street analyst Brian Marshall, quoted by Computerworld, AT&T may have been allowed to hang on to the deal until the end of 2010 by offering significantly discounted data plans for Apple’s iPad 3G.

In the run up to the iPad launch, many touted Verizon as a shoe-in to become the next iPhone carrier alongside AT&T as well as to provide data services for the iPad. This never happened.

Although his claims appear unsubstantiated, Marshall, who currently works for BroadPoint AMTech, believes that AT&T, in a desperate bid to hold on to the lucrative iPhone carrier rights, made some serious sacrifices in providing a hugely discounted data contract for iPad owners.

Consumers questioned the need for another 3G contract alongside their iPhone when the iPad was announced with many pundits claiming that the price of the service would be key to Apple’s strategy. By granting an additional six months to AT&T’s exclusivity, it appears Apple was able to meet this target.

AT&T currently offers two data plans for the iPad 3G, one for $14.99 per month for up to 250MB and another at $29.99 for unlimited data. Neither package requires the user to sign a contract and both include free access to AT& Wi-Fi hotspots. By comparison to the competition, this is a very reasonable deal for iPad users and one that will surely have come at a cost to AT&T, which has struggled with wireless data loads since the iPhone was launched.

By contrast to the US, Europe has multiple carriers for the iPhone that are currently fighting to offer data plans for the iPad when it is released this summer.

AT&T’s network has long been criticized for a number of failings including dropped calls and poor coverage, notably so during a very public spat between the company and Verizon. Verizon launched a stinging ad campaign comparing its 3G coverage to AT&T’s while also aping Apple’s iPhone ads with the slogan “There’s a map for that” resulting in a legal back and forth between both companies. In response to AT&T’s suit that claimed the ads mislead the public, Verizon simply commented “the truth hurts”.

Verizon has reportedly conveyed to Apple its desire to carry the iPhone but, at present, it seems they can’t offer the right goods to seal the deal. Not even, it appears, the offer of a better network.

via Computerworld

Love it, hate it, or simply not care, iPhone users, at least here in the states, are pretty much bound to AT&T. I won’t speak for everyone, but for me, in the Valley of the Sun, this means dropped calls, loss of signal, and failed MMS messages, all while still showing full bars. Granted a lot of these have gotten better since the recent release of 3.1.2 , or the Chi-Town Update as I like to call it (If you’re from the midwest you understand).

Better doesn’t mean perfect though and I’ve personally gotten sick of doing hard resets (hold down the sleep/wake & the home button for 10 seconds) to get my calls to go through. Reseting Network Settings seemed to do the trick as well but isn’t really any quicker and then you loose all the wifi network information and passwords stored in your phone. What’s the answer? It’s simpler then you might think, Airplane Mode. As it turns out toggling on Airplane mode for 15 seconds and toggling it back off forces the phone to reset it’s cellular calibration and re-lock on to a near by tower. 15 seconds is still a minor annoyance, sure, but it really is minor when considering how much longer the alternatives can take.

wifi with airplane mode Airplane

*Here’s a bonus tip for this week also, this one goes out to all of the parents with youngsters running around out there. As the world changes and iPhone games start being developed for younger and younger children, kids are going to want to play with Mommy and Daddy’s phone more and more. An obvious concern here are the accidental phone calls a child might make to China while trying to play with Curious George. An easy solution, turn on that Airplane mode again. Sure it won’t stop the most malicious of kids out there trying to make calls but for the innocent ones it poses as an extra level of protection that will work the majority of the time.
**P.S. Wifi can still be turned back on without cellular service being active, important in case the games are online based or if you still need to hear incoming e-mail.

Cisco Edge Quest 2

Cisco Edge Quest 2

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Cisco Edge Quest 2 is a very short, but well done racing game in which you guide a router along a data stream to insure fast and reliable networks. While the game is a promotional vehicle, the advertising is unobtrusive and the overall experience is good.

Read The Full Review »
AirPhones

AirPhones

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
If you have a super speedy router and need some wireless headphones to watch movies on a computer plugged into a TV that is across the room, this is the app for you. It would be hard to recommend this app otherwise, given the quality of some other apps that do similar things.

Read The Full Review »
Snap

Snap

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Snap is a network prober -- gives you info on what devices are on your network

Read The Full Review »
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