Posts Tagged reading

Avid book readers will appreciate the dilemma. You want to buy a new book but do you want a physical copy or an e-book that you can more easily take with you while you’re out and about? Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, making it a tough call.

There’s a newly launched service that aims to solve this problem, though. It’s called BitLit, and it hopes to revolutionize things when it comes to your ability to read whenever, however. Currently, over 120 publishers have signed up to the service with nearly 20,000 books available through it. A pilot deal has just been signed with HarperCollins, while other publishers such as O’Reilly and Angry Robot are also on board.

bitlit1The way it works is that you simply take a photo of your book cover, write your name on the book’s copyright page, take a snapshot of that, then send it through for your ownership to be validated. Then an eBook comes through in return; one that can be used on all of your devices – such as an iPad, Kindle, Kobo, or Nook.

We took the time to ask the firm a few questions to learn more about the service.

148Apps: How does the funding model for BitLit work? How do publishers gain from this approach?
BitLit: When a publisher offers the eBook for free, then it’s free (as in beer) for everybody, we take no commission and the user gets a free eBook (who doesn’t like free stuff). About 30% of the eBooks in BitLit are free. If the eBook isn’t free, then BitLit takes a small commission from the sale — that’s how we keep the lights on and servers running.

The upside for publishers and authors is twofold: Firstly, print books that include a free/discounted eBook sell almost twice as well in bookstores than books that don’t include a bundled eBook. Secondly, for books that people already own, there is the opportunity for an incremental upsale — less than 1% of readers purchase titles at full price in both print and digital formats, 48% of readers say they’re willing to pay slightly more to get both formats. Currently you can only buy print or digital; BitLit lets the author capture value on the reader who wants both.

148apps: Are there any plans for it to be possible to validate your purchase without writing in the book?
BitLit: We ask our users to validate the book by writing in it is so that the book can’t be returned to a bookstore. But we know that readers sometimes don’t want to have their messy writing in their book. For these folks, there’s the option of using an Ex Libris book stamp to mark that the book is theirs.

bitlit2bitlit1
148apps: How long does the process take before you can download a copy?
BitLit: If you have neat handwriting the process takes about 30 seconds. If the automated algorithms can’t recognize your hand writing, then it might take up to 15 minutes for a human reviewer to validate your print edition. We deliver eBooks via email download link, so even if you use BitLit on your smartphone to validate the book, you can be reading on your iPad in less than a minute.

148apps: What plans are there for expansion to cover more titles?
BitLit: We have a dedicated content acquisition team whose job is to get in touch with publishers. We already have some great publishers like HarperCollins, O’Reilly, and Angry Robot on board… and we’re in talks with a lot of other great publishers that we hope will be joining soon. Stay tuned.


Thanks to the folks at BitLit for answering our questions. The app is available now and is a free download. To check what books are eligible, you can consult the BitLit website.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2014-03-03 :: Category: Books

Train Your Own Dragon in DreamWorks’ First Story App – Dreamworks Press: Dragons

Posted by on August 1st, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Fans of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ will be excited to hear DreamWorks Animation has released their first interactive story app, DreamWorks Press: Dragons, based off the movie. The app will include the film’s main characters, Toothless and Hiccup, and allows users to train their own dragons! The story begins with Hiccup and Toothless finding the main character lost at sea with no memory of their past. The reader must take on the role of the main character as they teach their dragon to defend Berk, explore new lands, and guide their character through an epic journey of self discovery.

This story is part one of a series, with later chapters coming out this fall. The app is designed for readers ages 5 and under, 6 to 8, and 9 to 11 years old with scaling reading levels. DreamWorks Press’ Head of Publishing, Emma Whittard, said “I am tremendously proud of our debut story app. It truly is an interactive experience and puts the reader in the center of the story.”

DreamWorks Press: Dragons is available on the App Store for $4.99, and later chapters will be $0.99.

dragons

Heroes Rise: HeroFall Review

Heroes Rise: HeroFall Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The last instalment in the Heroes Rise trilogy put players back into the cape and brightly coloured boots and lets them choose how their story will end.

Read The Full Review »
Mecha Ace Review

Mecha Ace Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Mecha Ace will grip players with its intense story, forcing them to make tough choices that have lasting consequences.

Read The Full Review »

Outread Speed Reading App Gets Huge Update with New Reading Mode, Audio Cues

Posted by on April 14th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Outread, an app from developer Arkadiusz Holko that claims to improve your reading effectiveness through various training methods, has received a huge update that includes a wide variety of new features.

The latest update features eBook support, a built-in directory of classic public domain books, built-in statistics (to see overall and daily reading stats), a new reading mode that aligns the app’s word highlighter to the center, audio cues, and more. Also in version 1.2 of Outread are countless improvements to already existing app features, including a better “chunking algorithm,” a refreshed app icon, and more.

You can get Outread on the App Store for $4.99.

outread

via: Our Review
A Dark Room Review

A Dark Room Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A Dark Room may have plenty of longevity and may be genuinely intriguing, but its interface feels undeveloped in its iOS iteration.

Read The Full Review »
bookkeep Review

bookkeep Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Its simplicity is both its strength and its weakness, but Bookkeep will be a handy companion for avid readers not fussed about wanting to share what they're reading with others.

Read The Full Review »
picomag Review

picomag Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Consolidate one's reading with this twist on a tabbed browsing interface, offering a magazine style layout effect.

Read The Full Review »
Outread Review

Outread Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Speeding up reading and proving a great way to consolidate articles, Outread is useful for those who regularly read on their iPhone.

Read The Full Review »

Marvin Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Marvin offers a fantastic reading experience for those who regularly view DRM-free eBooks.

Read The Full Review »
Syllable Review

Syllable Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Encouraging its users to read fast, Syllable is a handy tool for those with limited time.

Read The Full Review »
The Guardian of Imagination Review

The Guardian of Imagination Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
A collection of interactive short stories, The Guardian of Imagination is charming and morally-educational in equal measure.

Read The Full Review »
Kung Fu Robot Review

Kung Fu Robot Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Further proof that reading can be just as fun as playing.

Read The Full Review »
Read Quick Review

Read Quick Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Encouraging users to read faster, Read Quick's methods won't work for everyone but it's certainly an interesting way of doing it.

Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: December 10-14

This week at 148Apps.com, site editor Rob LeFebvre examined why mobile games just don’t seem to have as much depth as their console brethren. He says, “Should gamers expect the same experience on mobile devices as on console? Probably not–but that may be changing. Michael de Graaf, the producer for the mobile version of Need for Speed Most Wanted, feels that the difference between console and mobile is narrowing. “At the moment, consoles still have an edge when it comes to raw power but that gap is narrowing,” he told us, “and we’ve seen possibilities continue to expand on mobile. The current quality of screens we are seeing and new form factors are increasing the quality and diversity of experiences that gamers can now have on a mobile device.”

Nick Rish, vice president of mobile publishing for EA, believes that comparing the two is futile. “There is something very immersive about holding a device 10 inches from your face,” he said, “putting on headphones and enjoying a game like Need for Speed Most Wanted while on your lunch break … It’s tough to say one platform provides a better consumer experience than the other; gaming is in the eye of the beholder.”

“Mobile gaming grew from very basic flash games we all’ve been playing on web browsers,” said Przemek Marszal, art director at 11 bit studios, the developer behind the Anomaly Warzone series. But that’s changing, he said, noting that even a hard-core indie developer like John Carmac sees the potential of iOS gaming.

Read the full post at 148Apps.

Over at GiggleApps.com, writer Amy Solomon got back to nature with her review of Scholastic First Discovery: The Forest: “Scholastic First Discovery: The Forest for iPhone is an impressive adaptation of the printed non-fiction title “In the Forest” A First Discovery Look and Learn Book from Scholastic. A version of this app is also available for iPad.

The Forest is an impressive application about nature, with wonderfully bright colors and robust details on each page bringing the sights of forests to devices. Instead of text that one would read, this app consists of very good narration that leads children through interactive exercises that will teach them a lot about the forests of North America.

Six chapters are included that cover a lot of ground, such as learning about both deciduous and coniferous trees, tapping leaves or branches to learn about the trees they belong to, also allowing children to drag these realistic bits of foliage around the screen.”

Read Amy’s full review at GiggleApps.

$1.99
$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-10-26 :: Category: Education

Last up, AndroidRundown.com writer Carter Dotson was happy to announce that one of our favorite games, Punch Quest, is coming to Android: “Android, get ready to start punching. Punch Quest is coming to Android very soon. The culprit? Noodlecake Games, who have made a habit (or a business model) out of releasing and supporting iOS-to-Android ports. Punch Quest combines and endless runner with beat ’em up gameplay, as players run through a dungeon, punching and uppercutting the foes they come across. Coins can be earned to be spent on new skills, power ups, and hats. Sweet, sweet hats.”

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-10-25 :: Category: Games

Read the full story on AndroidRundown.

And we’ve cleared yet another week in 2012. Join us next weekend for another recap of the latest and greatest news from the week that was – and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest info on the hottest apps. Now go get the rest of your holiday shopping done!

Strøssel Review

Strøssel Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Simple and clean to look at, Strøssel offers plenty of interesting stories gathered from around the internet, wrapped up in an attractive package.

Read The Full Review »

Lately, there seems to be a Kickstarter project for everything imaginable. One new exciting project is Underground Kingdom.

The project aims to adapt the work of author Edward Packard, namely his Choose Your Own Adventure books made popular in the 1970s. These books have proved very important to many in the past, myself included, both encouraging literacy and demonstrating how much fun reading can be.

Much like the work of Tin Man Games, Choose Your Own Adventure books are all about taking part in an interactive story and making decisions that lead to many different inclusions.

Underground Kingdom isn’t quite under way yet, hence the Kickstarter project. While I for one greatly encourage getting involved with backing the project, we thought it only right to check in with co-founder and project director Felipe Mingo and creator of the Choose Your Own Adventure books Edward Packard and see how they feel about things.

We asked Felipe about the motivation behind bringing back this series of books.

“In (our) search for an app idea,” he explained, “we remembered the Choose Your Own Adventure series. We really loved these books as kids, and thought that it would be great to transport the concept of “gamebooks” to digital. When we looked for digital versions, we didn’t find any quality apps that would deliver a great experience. We wanted something different, with contemporary artwork, interaction, a map to guide your path… That’s when we decided to start working on it and contacted Edward, who was really helpful and licensed us some of his books.”

Asking whether the books, starting with Underground Kingdom, will be original conversions or if there will be any adjustments, Felipe explained that “The adaptations of the story are completely original from Edward Packard books. We made some minor changes to the text so it would adapt to today’s technology. The artwork is totally new.” As you can see from the artwork below, it’s pretty glorious to look at and a great re-imagining of the original’s style.

Edward Packard explained to us that he believes the “imaginative color art and animations…greatly enrich the adventurous experience” while also stating that he’s “delighted, and especially so about delivering them in app form,” as well as the “added interactive features [and] sound effects”.

While the project is still in the early stages, Visual Baker provided us with some examples of concept art and how the devs there plan to incorporate the feel of Choose Your Own Adventure books into app form. It’s looking pretty great, so far.

If you’re keen on backing the Kickstarter, check out the Underground Kingdom project page for details of pledge amounts available.

This Week at 148Apps: August 5-9

This week at 148Apps.com, we gave the Editor’s Choice award to Organ Trail: Director’s Cut. Reviewer Rob Rich had this to say about the game: “There’s something timeless about The Oregon Trail. Gearing up and heading west across the country in order to settle in some promising new territory, braving all manner of hardships and diseases along the way, it’s a game that just about everyone loves. Wait a second, the “E” is missing. It’s not Oregon Trail? It’s actually Organ Trail? Well I don’t see what the big difference-OHMYGOD ZOMBIES!!!

Organ Trail: Director’s Cut is a throwback to the classic era of computer gaming. Back when we had to load these things using floppy disks, and in-game sounds consisted entirely of varying forms of *BOOP*. Much like its pioneer era inspiration, the game tasks players with preparing for a cross-country road trip and naming party members after friends in order to make them feel bad when they inevitably die in horrible ways. Only this time it’s during a modern zombie apocalypse, and instead of hunting for food and fording rivers they’ll be scrounging for meager supplies while fending off the walking dead and creeping through zombie hordes.”

Want more of this Editor’s Choice review? Find it at 148Apps.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-08-09 :: Category: Games

Everything was about back to school at GiggleApps.com, where reviewer Amy Solomon had this to say about Murky Reef 1st-2nd Grade Reading, Science and Math: “Parents will appreciate how this app incorporates the Common Core standards for Grades 1 and 2 while keeping children engaged and entertained, especially as children prepare for school to start again soon and need to begin to get back to the business of focusing on school work.

Murky Reef is a collection of 22 interactive games which teach a great deal about the animals of the coral reef as well as include math, logic and language exercises.”

Dive into Murky Reef at GiggleApps.

$4.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-09-30 :: Category: Education

Finally, on 148Apps.biz, Carter Dotson reported on the rise of the app developer middle class, saying, “While there’s often much pessimism among developers as far as the challenges of money making on mobile apps goes, analytics firm Flurry’s latest report discusses how the revenue among mobile apps is being distributed. With it, there’s evidence that an app developer ‘middle class’ is forming, as with more revenue being spent on mobile apps, developers do not need to reach the kind of high ranks that they did in the past to make the same kind of revenue. As well, the ‘long tail’ of revenue is getting longer.”

Want more of this report? Head to 148Apps.biz.

Another week down, but a new one is just around the corner. Join us on Facebook or Twitter to get the jump on the latest news, reviews and contests. Until then, get back to class.

This week at 148Apps.com, we celebrated the coming Memorial Day holiday with a closer look and an ever-growing list of apps on sale. Site editor Rob LeFebvre writes, “So, it’s that time of year again! BBQs, lawn chairs, beer, and the ability to finally wear shorts with sandals without fear of frostbite. Tan those legs and check out all the huge sales that are going on across the App Store below. We’ll try and keep it updated as we go this weekend, so be sure to let us know of any good sales on iOS apps…”

Read the full list at 148Apps.com.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-04-12 :: Category: Games

At GiggleApps, writer Amy Solomon reviewed The First Million-Teach Your Child to Read. Solomon says, “The First Million is a lovely universal “mix and match” book application that adults and children will find interesting as well as intuitive as here, as the pages of this book are split into three sections – each being able to be flipped back and forth to create new and intriguing illustrations and word combinations. Unlike other “mix and match” books where one can look for the corresponding thirds of the same image to make a match, this app is completely open-ended with no right or wrong matches to be made, giving children free range to produce any and all combinations they may fancy.”

Read Amy’s full review on GiggleApps.com.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-03-22 :: Category: Education

Finally, 148Apps.biz writer Kevin Stout reported on Disney’s push into Angry Birds territory. Stout writes, “Intensely popular Disney game, Where’s My Water?, will be receiving its first line of merchandise based on the game. The physics-based puzzler by Disney has been popular on both iOS and Android. Fans of the popular game can now buy all kinds of merchandise featuring the story’s character, Swampy the Alligator.”

Read more about Swampy’s foray into stores at 148Apps.biz.

$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-09-22 :: Category: Games

That’s it for us – and we’re one week closer to summer! Remember to follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get all of the latest updates all during the week. See you next time, Marvel Zombies!

Once upon a Friday evening, as I sat here, email reading,
Over a many quaint and curious letter of reviews implored,
While I perused, nearly napping, all the while my fingers clacking,
Pausing not their steady tapping, tapping on my old keyboard.
“ ‘Tis a slow night,” I muttered, “little use for my keyboard;
Only spam, and nothing more.”

Deep into my malaise drifting, long I sat there, fading, staring
Doubting, seeking apps few mortals ever dared download before;
Then my boredom was disbanded, by the news of an app branded,
A collection handed to a more than willing App Store.
I noticed when I checked the store. And I found, it offered more.

Not content with mere wording, these three stories feature moving,
Not just moving but reacting, with a touch we’ve seen before.
The Tell-Tale Heart,” said I, “has piqued my interest.
“As has The Oval Portrait and The Masque of the Red Death.
Let’s see if interaction makes them better, better than they were before.”

iPoe, with interactive stories, still is sitting, still is sitting
Lurking in the category for books found on the App Store;
And we all can start the reading of this dark and twisted dreaming.
And the price is of a number that in dollars orbits four ($3.99);
And my goal for this here story has been met with much fervor
Download it from—The App Store!

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-03-26 :: Category: Books

When a child is in possession of a device as versatile as an iPad, it could be just as distracting as it is productive. A new series of apps by Ruckus, Ruckus Reader, has been released that help parents keep track of their children’s progress through Ruckus Reader books.

There aren’t many Ruckus Reader apps available yet, but the ones that have been released include big names like Transformers, Crayola, and My Little Pony. The Ruckus Reader apps send weekly “Reader Meter” emails to parents (information is also available on the website) with information about their children on subjects like phonics, print awareness, fluency, alphabetic knowledge, sequencing, and story comprehension.

All of the three big name apps (Transformers: Ruckus Reader, My Little Pony: Ruckus Reader, and Crayola:Ruckus Reader) include features like word hunts, games, mazes, and “make-your-own” sort of pages (make-your-own stickers, make-your-own story, etc). All three apps are free.

Parents will receive “Reader Meter Progress Snapshots” for free with a Ruckus Reader account. For full “Reader Meter Progress Reports” and unlimited access to their entire Ruckus Reader iLibrary, parents can subscribe to a Ruckus library membership for 6 months at $24.99. Both types of accounts can support up to four children who may access the books across various app and devices.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-04-16 :: Category: Books

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-04-16 :: Category: Books

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-04-16 :: Category: Books

One of the best newspaper reading apps, PressReader, likes to keep on top of new technology and updates to the iPad, regularly adding new and useful features and tweaks.

With the recent release of the new iPad, this has happened again with a great selection of new features.

The big one is Retina Display support, ensuring that everything on the new iPad screen will look pretty amazing, even when zoomed in.

Also included is the ability to instantly translate publications in up to 12 languages, as soon as the title is opened. It’s also now possible to save articles to Evernote or Instapaper for later consultation as well as email or share them via Twitter or Facebook.

It’s also an ideal time to check out the new SmartFlow functionality within the app which works well alongside the Retina Display support to make this a great way of reading the traditional newspaper in a 21st century way.

Check out the PressReader video below demonstrating what’s been changed. The update is available now.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-10-20 :: Category: News

This week at 148Apps.com, we checked out the long-awaited release of Readability, via a quick overview and full review from Lisa Caplan. Caplan writes, “The app provides the same service and merges seamlessly with the web versions. Users open to a blank page with just a menu. Filling the app is the the reader’s job. Users can search the web or enter an URL manually. The app pulls the article, pretties it up, and places a lead-in on the home screen.

I found it faster to just surf on my Mac adding articles that appealed as I found them, but how one fills the app is a small matter. What Readability does with the content is the cool bit. I tested the universal build on an iPad and it works wonderfully in both orientations. In landscape the articles fill the main pane and a well-designed and unobtrusive sidebar has the menu. In portrait the sidebar is a tiny top bar.”

Read our full review on 148Apps.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-03-01 :: Category: News

Meanwhile, our sister site Giggleapps.com dug deep into the garden of apps and came up with a review of The Giant Turnip: A Kidztory Classic Animated Interactive Storybook. Reviewer Amy Solomon says, “As always, the look of this app is delightful, with wonderful colors and textures and fun use of music incorporated into a style utterly recognizable as a Kidztory storybook. I appreciate the warm browns and green shades seen in the land where the turnip is planted, along with the noticeable brush strokes for a lovely effect. Possibly more so than other apps from this series, nothing is flat-looking within this app as every animal or other detail has its own imperfect texture that layered together on the page really brings a richness to this story that adults may enjoy even more than their children.”

Read the full review on Giggleapps.com.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-12-12 :: Category: Books

Finally, 148Apps.biz updated GameSpy’s progress on its GameSpy Open platform. Brad Hilderbrand writes, “Today GameSpy announced that there are over 600 titles in development for its year-old GameSpy Open platform. The stable of upcoming titles includes games like Warm Gun, Skullgirls and more, with a total of 1200 developers hard at work on new projects.”

Read more on 148Apps.biz.

The old week is done. Bring on the new week, with the promise of the iPad 3 just around the corner. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to keep abreast of the latest reviews, news items and contests right when they happen. See you next week!

I’ll freely admit it, without shame or regret; I’ve written fanfiction before. Not just in my youth (although I don’t consider myself “old” yet), but recently. Like in the past week. Don’t ask, I won’t provide links. Anyway despite being something of a sneer-inducing pastime among certain circles, fanfiction is still a legitimate way to flex those writing muscles. And much like regular old published fiction, it can run the gamut between fantastic and complete trash. For those who enjoy a good yarn regardless of its origins, or for those who are simply curious, there’s FanFiction by PentaLoop.

The app currently supports fanfiction.net, and already sports an ever-growing library of thousands of tales. Users can search for specific subjects, keep track of what they’ve been reading, and even mark their favorites in order to come back to them any time they want. It’s pretty much akin to a typical eBook app, only it deals exclusively with fanfiction. Which is kinda cool, really.

FanFiction is sitting in the App Store, just waiting to be downloaded. For free, no less. Whether for legitimate interest or the desire to read something akin to a literary train wreck, I think it’s worth a look.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-08-20 :: Category: Books

It may seem anathema in the early 21st century, but some people still prefer their news in-depth, thorough and well-written. But in a twitterpated sound-bite culture it’s difficult to find comprehensive news reporting much less an app that serves it without paying for multiple subscriptions.

A new iPad app on the news aggregator scene, Longform, is changing that, and doing so in a way that still feels very iOS.

Longform curates articles from numerous major publications including The NewYorker, National Geographic, BusinessWeek, Esquire and about a dozen more. Along with a Longform feed that culls from additional sources, readers select their favorites.

A tap on the periodicals, placed on the left sidebar, brings up headlines and excerpts appear on the right. Readers are then offered a web view or a beautifully Spartan page for easy reading in either orientation.

The app is closely integrated with Readbility for offline reading, but users can choose Instatpaper or ReadItLater in the options menu if they prefer. If one has used any of these services or Safari’s native reader, the look is much the same.

The app allows for multiple scalable fonts, page-formatting options, and favorite articles can be shared via Twitter. Facebook, Tumblr or by email.

I have a wishlist as long as my arm for additional sources, but Longform is a off to a tremendously good start both in terms of style and substance. It has already earned its place amongst my favorite news aggregators on the App Store.

$2.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-02-01 :: Category: News

Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch Review

Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Combining gaming with reading, kids get the perfect opportunity to catch up on Nancy Drew's adventures.

Read The Full Review »

This week at 148Apps.com, writer Carter Dotson reviewed one of the most anticipated iOS games in recent memory – Infinity Blade II. Dotson writes, “Most of what is new here is a modified and extended progression structure. Instead of one path leading to a final boss, where failure means starting over, there are now several of them, with more branching paths to explore. There are 3 different weapon types now: the traditional swords, slow and heavy axes that deal more damage, and speedy dual swords that deal less base damage, but can do double damage once combos are started. The story is more fleshed out, with actual speaking dialogue from characters besides the God King.”

Read the full review at 148Apps.com.

$6.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-12-01 :: Category: Games

Meanwhile, our attention was turned to more artistic matters at GiggleApps, as Amy Solomon reviewed Auryn – Van Gogh and the Sunflowers. Solomon says, “The look of this app is terrific, with illustrations evoking the style that Van Gogh is known for, complete with bold color choices and noticeable use of brush strokes, but maintains a childlike quality that fits well within this storybook. The jazzy music used is also wonderful, relaxing as well as engaging and very enjoyable to listen to even for long periods of time. The narration used here is also quite good. Parents will also like that each spoken word is highlighted red to aid the young children new to the world of reading.”

Read more about our take on Auryn – Van Gogh and the Sunflowers at GiggleApps.

Finally, 148Apps.biz site editor Rob Lefebvre reported on tablet users and their media consumption. LeFebvre writes, “In a study put out by comScore and reported by Fierce Mobile Content and the appside, interested parties can see that the number one use of tablet devices is games, with 67% of surveyed tablet users saying they’ve played a game at least once in the past month, as compared to 49% of smartphone users surveyed. 23% of those surveyed said they’d played a game on their tablet EVERY DAY. That’s a good number.”

Dig deeper into this study and read the full report on 148Apps.biz.

That’s our wrap-up for this week. While you’re out getting all of your holiday shopping done, don’t forget to check us out on our Facebook and Twitter feeds to find out the latest and greatest news, reviews and contests. Feliz Navidad!

This Week at 148Apps, November 14-18

This week at 148Apps.com, site founder Jeff Scott welcomed the Kindle Fire into the tablet fold with an overview of his impressions of the device. Scott says, “…while the Kindle Fire is around 40 percent the cost of a base level iPad, it’s capabilities are even less. It just so happens that those capabilities match up well with what a typical consumer uses a tablet device for. Because of that, the Kindle Fire will be a strong competitive device to the iPad. When it comes down to it, it’s the cost that matters to a very large portion of the buying public, not the capabilities.”

Read the full review on 148Apps.com.

Meanwhile, our sister site, GiggleApps, took a closer look at a new educational app for children, iLuv Drawing Animals. Reviewer Amy Solomon writes, “iLuv Drawing Animals is a nice choice for kids who are interested in learning the very basics of drawing cartoony animals that are cute and relatively easy to draw. I like how these illustrations are broken down into smaller shapes that kids will easily understand and have had experience with, and the narration is pleasant and easy to follow.”

Read the full review on GiggleApps.

$2.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-10-10 :: Category: Education

Finally, on AndroidRundown, Carter Dotson announced the public availability of Google Music, an interesting development for all music lovers, no matter the device. Dotson writes, “Most importantly, this means that Google is now in the business of one of the big pillars of media, and it addresses a gaping hole in the Android Market. With videos and books already addressed, now the store is complete with music to go along with apps. Google is directly putting themselves in competition with iTunes, and they are making their operating system much closer in terms of features to iOS devices. This was a necessary move for Google.”

Read more of Dotson’s commentary on AndroidRundown.

As we head into the week of Thanksgiving here in the US, remember that you can still enter to win an iPhone 4S, courtesy of 148Apps and Gameloft. To enter, just become a 148Apps and Gameloft Facebook fan – www.facebook.com/gameloft and www.facebook.com/148apps.

Or you can follow both of us on Twitter as well at www.twitter.com/148apps and www.twitter.com/gameloft. Then, write the following public tweet: “Upgrade to a 4S yet? Follow @Gameloft & @148Apps & RT for a chance to win an iPhone 4S! Gameloft gaming on the 4S: http://glft.co/uIR3Y1″

See you next week, true believers! Start thawing that turkey!

UPDATE: Edge has just announced via the Newsstand app that the October 2011 issue is now free to download. Head over to the App Store, download the free Edge app, and then download the free back issue today.

Having been a long time subscriber to Edge Magazine, I’m pretty excited to see it be one of the first titles to reach Newsstand.

Available through the app, Edge Magazine promises the same fantastic experience as before. Famous for its intelligent writing and in-depth looks at everything gaming related from reviews to unearthing the latest in the world of game development, Edge Magazine makes for a fascinating read for gaming fans. It’s a mature change of pace from glossier magazines but never fails to intrigue.

The Newsstand edition offers enhanced online content with extra insight, related content and screenshot galleries. Linked to the website, if there’s anything that can add to the reader’s enjoyment on the website, the app lets the user know.

Pricing through Newsstand is pretty respectable with individual issues priced at $4.99, a 3 month subscription available for $12.99, 6 months for $21.99 and a 1 year subscription priced at a very reasonable $39.99.

It’s a veritable bargain, given the quality of the writing and a must buy for fans.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-12 :: Category: Lifestyle

Ahh Snow White. A memorable tale for all, originally part of the Brothers Grimm’s collection and, years later, subsequently translated to the animated screen courtesy of Disney. It’s a tale that children of all ages know well. So how best to revitalize it for a modern era? By adding an anime spin to proceedings of course.

Momonga’s Snow White is the story we all know and love but illustrated in what is known as the Moé style, a slang term used by anime fans to describe the style of making each character adorable to look at. This app offers the book of Snow White with not just an anime twist in terms of looks but also music with the soundtrack composed by Kumi Tanioka, of Final Fantasy fame. As the screenshots show, the app looks glorious and the music is similarly of a high quality.

The entire package should make for an excellent re-envisioning of the classic fairy tale and will hopefully enthral anime and fairy tale fans alike.

Momonga’s Snow White is out now as an Universal app and is priced at $3.99.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-07-29 :: Category: Entertainment

    Advertisement    





Featured Apps

    Advertisement    


Categories

Developers

Would you like your application reviewed on 148Apps? See the About page for information.
    Advertisement    



Steel Media Network

148Apps - iPhone app reviews and news. The best gosh darn iPhone app site this side of Mars.
http://148apps.com :: @148Apps

Android Rundown - Android news and reviews. Where you get the rundown on Android apps and hardware.
http://AndroidRundown.com :: @AndroidRundown

Best App Ever - Yearly Mobile App Achievement Awards.
http://bestappever.com :: @BestAppEver

Pocket Gamer - Mobile game reviews, news, and features.
http://PocketGamer.co.uk :: @PocketGamer

Pocket Gamer.biz - Mobile games industry news, opinion, and analysis.
http://PocketGamer.biz :: @pgbiz

AppSpy - iOS game news and video reviews.
http://appspy.com :: @appspy