Tag: Research »
At some point, most of us have messed around with a Brain Training game or app, such as the ones popularized on the Nintendo DS. It's often fun but, more importantly, it's potentially great for boosting our brain's power in some way.
On the App Store, one ideal way of doing that is through the use of Lumosity. It's an app that offers plenty of different ways of boosting one's problem solving abilities, attention to detail and even mental flexibility. Crucially, research has also found it helpful as a neuropsychological rehabilitation tool.
Our interest piqued by such significant research, we were able to have a brief chat with Lumosity's data scientist, Dr. Daniel Sternberg, who explained more:
"Lumosity [is] based on neuroplasticity, a science grounded in 25 years of neuroscience research, which has found that the brain can change and reorganize itself given the right kinds of challenges. One of the most important things you can do for your brain is to keep using your brain in new and challenging ways. Lumosity's games are designed explicitly with the goal of building core cognitive abilities, such as memory and attention, which are abilities that help you function in your everyday life."
Gathering plenty of user feedback through multiple rounds of testing, the app has taken around 18 months to complete with a recent redesign also being implemented.
Having had some time with the app, I was quite impressed with its tracking abilities, in particular. It's quite fun to use with five different games each day focusing on different cognitive functions, and the results prove quite interesting. It's not cheap, requiring a $79.99 yearly subscription, but given the years of research that has gone into figuring out how to enhance the brain's potential, it doesn't sound quite so expensive. For those with cognitive problems, it might be all the more appealing.
To find out more about the science behind Lumosity, as well as various situations in which it has been applied, check out the project's blog. The iOS app itself is a free download, but don't forget the subscription.
This week at 148Apps, a new video revolution began, as Amazon.com released its Amazon Instant Video app for the iPad. Carter Dotson writes, "Amazon Instant Video is now available on iPad, expanding out the Amazon’s vast library of video offerings to iOS users. This offers streaming of purchased movies and TV shows from Amazon, with the ability to sync up watch lists between devices. It also includes titles available from Amazon Prime, similar to Netflix, a service offering over 120,000 streaming movies and TV shows. It is only available as a yearly subscription from Amazon as part of the Prime service that also includes free 2-day shipping on Amazon items."
Over at GiggleApps.com, writer Amy Solomon got us ready for mealtime wither her review of Bo's Dinnertime. She writes, "Bo’s Dinnertime in a cute and fun interactive universal app that teaches the sequencing of events that lead up to dinnertime, such as food shopping, putting away groceries, cooking and setting the table, as well as eating dinner and cleaning up afterwards. A simple and sweet song is also included, as is a section dedicated to selecting and eating foods with the tap of a finger. Narration is included, leading children though varied food related exercises, complete with subtle highlighting of new objects to tap or interact with, keeping the flow of this app going nicely."
Last, but certainly not least, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson explored the results of a recent study by KinderTown. He says, "KinderTown, developers of an app that helps collect the best kids apps on the App Store, have released a study based on searches within their app. Their “KinderSights” analytics study collected data from June 20th to July 10th, and they have released the results from the study, revealing some key insights into those that search for kids’ apps on the App Store.
The most-searched criterion was age, with 50.2% of searches looking for apps for a particular age. Second was price at 40.6%, followed by platform at 31.8%, and the type of app was last at 30.2%."
This week may be done, but there's no need to worry. More app reviews, news and contests are always on their way across the 148Apps network. Just follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to stay on top of all the happenings. See you next week, Gothamites!
This week at 148Apps.com, we got into the game with our look at CoachNote. Writer Jennifer Allen says, "CoachNote offers a way of creating sports drills, strategies and tactics, all from an iOS device and it’ll be a real hit for coaches as well as fans. The app makes it easy to create complex plays and strategies with tools for drawing lines in multiple colors to explain what’s going on."
Meanwhile, GiggleApps.com took a closer look at Brave: Storybook Deluxe. Reviewer Amy Solomon writes, "As one would expect from this Disney Pixar film, the illustrations, music and narration are quite striking and beautifully crafted – especially the brilliant use of bright and bold colors which was the main detail that caught my eye the first time I saw a trailer for this film."
148Apps.biz presented a guest editorial from Matthew Palmer, founder and CEO of Marketing Your App. Palmer says, "After all the hard work of creating a mobile app, there is one decision that can sink even promising apps more than any other: choosing a price. Knowing what to charge for any product is tough, but the peculiar world of the App Store makes it a top question for even savvy developers.
The rewards are great: Apple has already paid out $4 billion to app creators who have combined a smart app with good marketing. But, too often, sticker shock leads customers to ignore otherwise helpful apps. When developers choose the wrong price, more often than not it seems, they aim too high."
And that, my friends, is the week that was. Don't miss out on anything in the coming days and weeks. Stay on top of our contests, promos, reviews and news items by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. You'll be glad you did. Until next week, keep wall crawlin'.
This week at 148Apps.com iPad cases were on our collective minds. First, site editor Rob LeFebvre reviewed the new Hammerhead Capo Case, stating, "The Hammerhead Capo case is a solid, good looking basic case for $40. It comes in black, blue, white, red or orange leather-grained polyurethane. It covers the whole iPad, with molded open areas for the dock port, headphone jack, rear camera, and volume buttons."
Meanwhile, Lisa Caplan also took a closer look at Brydge, a new Kickstarter project. Lisa writes, "There is a new Kickstarter project, Brydge, by Brad Leong that will come close to converting an iPad into a notebook with a hinged aluminum case and Bluetooth keyboard that looks a lot like a Macbook."
We also had many, many new kid-friendly app reviews on GiggleApps, including Amy Solomon's review of the latest Toca game, Toca Kitchen Monsters. Solomon says, "I have a real treat for readers today as I would like to announce that recently, Toca Boca released a free version of their popular digital toy app, Toca Kitchen. Titled Toca Kitchen Monsters, this new app includes two monster characters whom players can cook for and feed, complete with monster-like table manners and house-keeping skills."
Children's apps were the focus on 148Apps.biz as well, as Kevin Stout reported on a new study released by Ruckus Media Group. Stout writes, "Parents are tough customers to please. While it’s obvious that children’s apps and games need to be appealing to kids, it’s the parents that those apps are really targeting. Ruckus Media Group just announced the results of its national study about children’s educational apps and parental preferences. The research, done with research group, PlayScience, looked to investigate what app experiences parents provide for their children, what parents prioritize in children’s apps, parents’ involvement in their childrens’ reading, and parental guilt with digital devices. We spoke to CEO of Ruckus Media Group, Rick Richter, and obtained some additional information about the study."
Thew news, reviews and contests keep on coming across all of the 148Apps network of sites. Keep up to date with the latest by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook. You won't regret it. Until next week...bye ya'll!
I've lost count of how many times a day I go to open an app just to search for something quickly. With apps devoted to Wikipedia, IMDb, Twitter, eBay and not forgetting Safari with the Google search bar, that's a lot of apps to consult. Many other people also have apps for Flickr, Last.fm, Dictionary themed apps and Amazon. Search Ninja has arrived to consolidate all of that in one quick and easy app.
It's an app entirely focused on speed (much like a ninja). As soon as it's opened, the iOS device keyboard is unveiled for quick access. Users can search everything from numerous search engines like Google and Bing, to Twitter, Wikipedia, IMDb, Amazon, Flickr, Google Places and more, with the ability to add extras if they so wish. Smart filtering helps along the way while a search history function means it's simple for users to check what they've done in the past.
Search Ninja is available now for $0.99 and could well be a great timesaver.
Silicon Sisters is a newly created development studio founded by women with a goal of creating games that can "tickle the female brain." More than just pinkification, the studio aims to create games and apps that speak to women of all ages, using a thorough review of current research to create a game development bible that will inform the development process and subsequent games. Their first app, School26, is aimed at girls aged 10 - 16. It's a game of social interations, in which the protagonist, Kate, navigates the social environment of a high school, making friends and helping her peers with a variety of real-world problems that may tweens and adolescents can face in our modern world. Created for the iPad, School 26 uses a variety of game and quiz mechanics to tell the story of Kate and her friends and hopefully help the girls playing the game learn better ways to get through their own school days as a result.
The play build we were able to look at had a school locker dashboard, and involved some gameplay to help Kate and her two friends manage their own complicated and realistic friendships. There was a teen-magazine style quiz along with some dialogue response choices that we tapped our way through, hoping to calm an angry friend, and support another who needed some cheering up. The colorful, cartoon-y graphics rounded out a solid package, even for an early build.
We're looking forward to seeing more of this and future games from Silicon Sisters. Not only do we applaud the efforts to make games for a typically under served target population (pink isn't how we make games for girls!), but to make them with style and fun only enhances the package. No doubt many people, kid and adult, male and female, can benefit from such an appealing experience, and more developers can take a note from the concept of research studies to inform their development process.
By now you’ve probably spent a decent amount of money on iPhone apps, so wouldn’t it be nice if you could make some of that money back?
Well the Field Agent app might be able to help you do just that, claiming to be the first app that actually pays you, the user. By signing up to become an “Agent” you fit into a very simple ecosystem: A “Client” creates a job, the “Agent” (you) completes the job, the client and agent are happy.
What does this mean in the real word? Well, a client is a company or service that has signed up at FieldAgent.net and needs information on competitors, consumers or wants to check whether its products are being correctly sold. The agent is someone who has download the Field Agent app and receives notification that a client needs a job done, carries it out and is paid a small fee for their troubles.
While it sounds very James Bond meets Foursquare, the app and its assignments are for real as far as we can tell and actually do pay. While no explicit information is given as to the purpose or beneficiaries of these “assignments”, it’s a safe bet that most of them are market research for the Fortune 50 clients who back the app.
Fortunately, the agent jobs required by the clients don’t involve horses heads in beds or extortion either. Most of the assignments involve checking prices at stores or filling out surveys and pay between $3 and $12 if completed properly and within a set time limit. Jobs often require a verifiable GPS location and a photograph in order to keep the clients happy so an iPhone 3G or 3GS is recommend.
Once an agent has made their money it can be transferred to a PayPal account within 48 hours.
Agents also develop a Rep Score that shows how good a job you’re doing for your clients. Starting with 85 points, agents gain points up to a maximum of 100 for successful, accurate jobs with higher rep leading to more frequent jobs. Of course, if you fail at your task or submit inaccurate results you lose points and aren’t at the top of the pile when the next assignment comes in.
It seems that agent jobs are somewhat scarce at the moment with a number of iTunes reviewers giving some pretty harsh feedback that has prompted a response from the company. Apparently the number of agents has increased by 500% in a week and they are waiting for the client growth to catch up. This does sound like a cleverly worded way of saying “companies aren’t quite as interested in the service as consumers who stand to make money” but apparently more jobs are coming soon.
We’re keeping a close eye on this intriguing service that has the potential to be groundbreaking but could also end up wasting a lot of people’s time.