Posts Tagged roundup

Those out there who are familiar with Apple’s movements around this time of year will know that we’re just a few days out from Apple’s annual one-day only Black Friday shopping event. Set to kick-off this Friday, November 29, the day will mark one of the only times in the year that Apple offers significant discounts on its many hardware products – both online and through its physical retail stores.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 15.44.31While specifics on what hardware we might expect to be discounted come this Friday are still a little sketchy, we can take a quick look at the company’s Black Friday events held in previous years for clues as to what type of discounts shoppers should expect to see emerge towards the end of this week.

Last year for example, we saw the firm drop its iPad with Retina Display by a cool $41. Meanwhile, the iPod touch 4th Generation was slashed by $21, the iPad 2 saw an average drop of $31, and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display was available for $101 less than its usual retail price.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 16.22.43

[image credit: MacRumors]

As significant as some of the above discounts may sound though, Apple is almost always beaten in its online holiday discounts by third-party vendors. One of those third-party vendors is Target, who will be offering shoppers a free $75 gift card with any purchase of Apple’s iPad mini ($279), and the chance to bag themselves a free $100 gift card with the purchase of any iPad, (including the iPad 2 – which starts at $399), when doors finally open this Thursday. The retailer will also be offering $30 gift cards for those who purchase the iPhone 5S (staring at $180) with a 2 year contract.

target_black_friday_ipadsRetailer Walmart will be running a similar promotion, seeing all shoppers receive a free $75 gift card with the purchase of either an iPhone 5C ($45, with a 2 year contract) or iPhone 5S ($189, with a 2 year contract). Meanwhile, if you opt to buy Apple’s original iPad mini (without “Retina” display), you could even grab yourself a free $100 gift card.

The last of the biggest retailers – Best Buy – will be offering Apple’s iPhone 5C for the lowest upfront cost we’ve been able to find at just $48 (a $51.99 savings). The firm will also be slashing the cost of Apple’s just-launched 16 GB iPad Air to $450, providing a super-neat saving of $50.

Other smaller retailers, such as RadioShack, will open their doors at 8AM. The purchase of Apple’s iPhone 5S, (starting at $200 with a 2 year contract), will see you receive a free $50 gift card, while opting for the iPhone 5C – (starting at $50 with a 2 year contract) – will also see you receive a free $50 gift card. Pick up an Apple TV for $100 on your way and you’ll get a free $20 gift card. Plus, those looking for some extra in-store credit to spend on even more Black Friday deals will probably appreciate the chance to bag a $10 RadioShack gift card with the purchase of any $50 iTunes Card. Those looking for some added protection to add to their iOS devices might also be pleased to hear that RadioShack will be offering 30% off all Zagg Screen Protectors, and a further 10% off all Otterbox cases.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 16.18.17Sam’s Club will be opening its doors for black Friday super-early, this year. 7 AM to be exact. If you get down there quick though, you might just be able to bag yourself a few $100 iTunes Cards for $79.88 each.

The lowest prices for iOS devices available for Black Friday 2013 are listed below.


Continue reading Don’t Miss Apple’s One-Day Shopping Event – This Friday, November 29 »

Our Favorite: Mobile Writing App

The App Store is growing at an incredible rate. For every single possible type of app, there’s a near overwhelming amount of choice out there. That’s particularly noticeable for the writing app world. There’s enough variety out there to ensure that users can use a different writing app every day of the week for the next five years, probably. We’ve taken the time to pick out some of our favorites from the category, as we round them up and figure out just what our overall pick of the bunch is.

Immediately tough to narrow things down to only half a dozen, we’ve singled out Byword, Wisdom Writer, iA Writer, Pages, Daedalus Touch and Textilus for a further look.

 

Byword

 

byword1byword2

 

Byword is a great all-rounder writing app. Using Markdown formatting, it’s simple to use and ideal for a variety of uses. It’s possible to search within documents, track word and character counts, check spelling and grammar, as well as export to PDF or HTML. For a premium price of $4.99 it’s possible to publish directly to WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger, amongst others. However, that does make Byword a quite expensive solution, weighing in at $9.99 for the full complement of options, plus the exporting file facility is still quite limited.

 

Wisdom Writer

 

wisdom1wisdom2

 

Wisdom Writer aims to be an intuitive writing app. While it doesn’t always hit the spot, with a few interface niggles, it’s a great way of writing in an uncluttered environment. It’s possible to add lists, images, and tables to one’s writing, as well as text. A selection of predefined templates further ensure that the app is great for more professional writing as well as quickly scribbling down some notes. It’s a pity then that the app can’t open or import RTF, Docx, or Pages files despite extensive exporting features.

 

iA Writer

 

iawriter1iawriter2

 

A minimalist delight, iA Writer dispenses with all the fanciness of many other writing apps, focusing on the writing experience alone. There are no formatting options to be seen, no file extensions to deal with, nothing more than just pure writing. While some users might find this limiting, it’s tough not to be bewitched by its simple and effective syncing options covering Dropbox, iCloud, and the ability to switch between Apple devices running the app. A Focus mode and keyboard extensions further simplify the core writing process.

 

Pages

 

pages1pages2

 

Notably different from the previous entry, Apple’s very own Pages is a great app for creating professional documents while on the move and is nearly as simple to use as the Mac version. 16 templates and styles are available for those wanting to create letters, flyers, cards, posters, and more while on the move. iCloud support and the ability to drag documents from one’s PC or Mac straight into the app are very useful. Lack of Dropbox support is a significant omission, though, for those who like to keep their documents safe in one place.

 

Daedalus Touch

 

daedalus1daedalus2

 

Capturing the minimalist feeling once more, Daedalus Touch does things a little differently. The focus is on the content, but there’s no sign of a folder or file list. Instead, the app uses gestures to flick through paper stacks of files and notes. It’s a technique that’s unlike anything else here. Daedalus Touch isn’t just about the looks though, including plenty of syncing support via Dropbox, iCloud, and others, as well as numerous ways to send a document to another app. Something that’s going to be essential for those who want to do anything more than just type.

 

Textilus

 

textilus1textilus2

 

Unlike the other apps featured, Textilus offers support for a very significant form of writing. It caters for those who use Scrivener to form novels and particularly significant documents. Besides that, it’s possible to export to numerous different document types such as PDF, RTF, TXT, PNG, Markdown, and HTML. Images, charts, and even one’s own signature can be easily added through the app, and syncing support is quite varied. It does suffer from some buggy moments though, which are never welcome. Plus its interface could be clearer, especially where Dropbox support is concerned.

 

So what’s our favorite writing app?

 

Much like anything on the App Store, this selection is suitably varied. Much of it comes down to individual needs. For instance, Daedalus Touch is undoubtedly the finest app for those seeking an absolutely minimalist experience, however it lacks some very useful features. iA Writer maintains the minimalist quality while still offering features such as Focus mode to keep one’s interest. A file list system proves much simpler to navigate than Daedalus Touch’s gesture driven methods.

Textilus might offer a huge wealth of options, particularly the ability to add one’s own signature, but it suffers from some instability issues, plus it’s only available for the iPad. In comparison, Pages enjoys the reassurance that comes from being so similar to a desktop app that will have been used by many before, but it is more expensive than most other apps here. Wisdom Writer offers a fine mix of a simple writing environment alongside great features, but its slightly limited in what it can open and its interface can be problematic.

Each of the contenders here are brilliant at certain roles, depending on how the user writes. Which is why our favorite might not be the best at everything, or the highest rated, but is a great all-rounder. That app is Byword.

 

Screenshots-iPad2

 

Byword manages to straddle that thin line between not being so minimal that it lacks features, and not being so complex that it distracts users. It ticks all the major boxes; proving simple to sync between other Apple devices, offering offline access, a handy search tool, and comprehensive word and character counters. While it might be expensive to purchase publishing support, it gives users the flexibility to buy the tools that they want and not be cluttered by anything else. Even better, there’s no need to spend ages consulting tutorials as it’s immensely simple to get to grips with.

It’s Independence Day here in the US, and the App Store is getting its fair share of the party with a ton of great games and apps on sale for low, low prices. Hooray!

We’ll keep this list updated as we find out more information, and as folks send us their sale plans for the Fourth of July. For now, then, here’s what we’ve got.

Update: July 4, 9:28am Better make sure you have all of your needed grilling supplies. Lots of charcoal, various things to throw on the grill, and of course beer (aka. fuel for the cook). We’ve also updated our list to include a couple dozen more great app and game sales.

Bastion

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has put several titles on sale, dropping all of its game prices to $0.99. This includes heavy hitters like Man of Steel in both regular and HD flavors, LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7, Batman Arkham City Lockdown, Scribblenauts Remix, LEGO Batman DC Superheroes, Midway Arcade and Bastion.

500x500_ST-Maj_enFrom HeroCraft, you can grab Majesty: The Northern Expansion for $0.99, instead of the regular $2.99. You can also unlock Strategy & Tactics: WWII for a low $0.99, instead of the more typical $6.99. Deep savings, indeed.

Blitz Games is coming in for some inexpensive gaming, offering nine new “Brain Box” levels to Paper Titans, a quirky little strategy puzzler that our very own Rob Rich reports his mom doesn’t hate. The full game with updates is price reduced for the holiday from $2.99 to $0.99, so get it while it’s cheap!

PaperTitans

Even free apps are getting into the spirit, like This Is Not A Ball Game‘s sale on in-app purchases for the long weekend. In addition to a sweet new update, the game’s pricing structure will change as follows, with the standard pricing for in-app purchases ($1, $3, $5, $10, $20, $50) dropping to half-off. The new promotional pricing will be $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $25 for the same items and item packs. Note that the $1 items will not be half off, and will remain the same.

Telltale Games has reduced most all of their paid apps to $0.99. This includes the recently released Poker Night 2 and most all of their story / adventure games. Check the full list at the App Store.

 

And all the rest

 

And there are a whole bunch of other apps and games on sale to fill your Independence Day with savings. Here’s a list of some of our picks.

Spiral Episode 1 - price returned to $3.99, was on sale for $1.99

Horizon Calendar - price returned to $4.99, was on sale for FREE!

Kill the Clowns - price returned to $1.99, was on sale for FREE!

On Sale Now-
Sale: $0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-05-02 :: Category: Games

Fieldrunners 2 HD - price returned to $4.99, was on sale for $2.99

King Oddball - price returned to $2.99, was on sale for $0.99

On Sale Now-
Price was: $4.99
Sale: $1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-02-28 :: Category: Games

Fieldrunners 2 - price returned to $2.99, was on sale for $0.99

Bigfoot: Hidden Giant HD (Full) - price returned to $4.99, was on sale for FREE!

Bigfoot: Hidden Giant (Full) - price returned to $2.99, was on sale for FREE!

MEGA MAN X - price returned to $4.99, was on sale for $0.99

1112 episode 03 HD - price returned to $1.99, was on sale for $0.99

On Sale Now-
Price was: $0.99
Sale: FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-09-15 :: Category: Games

King Cashing: Slots Adventure - price returned to $2.99, was on sale for $0.99

1112 episode 03 - price returned to $1.99, was on sale for $0.99

The Nightjar - price returned to $4.99, was on sale for $0.99

Papa Sangre - price returned to $4.99, was on sale for $0.99

On Sale Now-
Price was: $6.99
Sale: FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-11-18 :: Category: Games

Sentinel 3: Homeworld - price returned to $2.99, was on sale for FREE!

Boom Brigade 2 - price returned to $2.99, was on sale for $0.99

intelli-Diet App | Weight Loss App - price returned to $4.99, was on sale for FREE!

On Sale Now-
Price was: $6.99
Sale: $0.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-05-26 :: Category: Games

Space Station: Frontier HD - price returned to $2.99, was on sale for FREE!

On Sale Now-
Price was: $4.99
Sale: $0.99
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, works on iPad
Released: 2010-04-29 :: Category: Games

Space Station: Frontier - price returned to $0.99, was on sale for FREE!

On Sale Now-
Sale: $35.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-12-11 :: Category: Navigation

On Sale Now-
Price was: $45.99
Sale: $44.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-08-17 :: Category: Navigation

Sentinel 2: Earth Defense - price returned to $0.99, was on sale for FREE!

This Week at 148Apps: October 1-5

This week at 148Apps.com, we kicked off October by interviewing the developer of iOS horror game Organ Trail. Rob Rich writes, “I make no attempt to hide my adoration for Organ Trail: Director’s Cut. I love this game and I’m proud of it. So having the opportunity to ask The Men Who Wear Many Hats – specifically Ryan Wiemeyer, co-owner and designer – a few questions was quite exciting. From the Flash game with over half a million fans to their new Greenlight venture, it’s all fair game for these enterprising haberdashers. Okay so they don’t necessarily make the hats but you get the idea.”

Want to read the full interview? Head to 148Apps now.

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

Nothing nearly as frightening was happening at GiggleApps.com this week. Amy Solomon reviewed Tizzy Seasons, saying, “Tizzy Seasons is a delightful application for young children which teaches about each of the four seasons. Not a word is spoken or seen as text within this application, making this app a very nice selection for children no matter their language background. Start by choosing a boy or girl character and then a season with a tap, each charmingly expressed within four beautifully crafted scenes and each coming together as four corners of a background image, yet showing each season’s differences with the use of color and other details.”

Read Amy’s full review at GiggleApps.com.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-08-22 :: Category: Education

And last, but certainly not least, founder Jeff Scott announced across all 148Apps sites, including 148Apps.biz, “We are very excited to announce that 148Apps and our network of sites have been acquired by our friends at Steel Media! 148Apps joins the amazing network of app related sites such as Pocket Gamer, Pocket Gamer.biz, AppSpy, Padvance, Quality Index, and more.

For more than four years 148Apps has covered the world of iOS apps and games. It started as a passion of mine and has now expanded to include the best writers this side of Mars. Now along with the Steel Media portfolio of sites, we have mobile apps and games covered from every angle.”

Read complete coverage at 148Apps.

From interviews, to reviews, to exciting, game-changing news – this week had it all. Keep track of the latest developments across the mobile app world by following us on Twitter or Liking us on Facebook. See you next week!

This Week at 148Apps: March 12-16

It’s hardly a surprise that this week at 148Apps.com was dominated by all things related to Apple’s new iPad. Carter Dotson put together a great list of ten Retina Display-ready iPad games, saying, “Just bought a new iPad? Congratulations. Sure, tweets may come in clearer than ever, and videos at 1080p quality, but what’s the real way to show off that beautiful new 2048×1536 screen? With games, of course! And how about some online games to take advantage of the LTE option available? Yes, please! Here’s ten titles that show off just how crisp the new iPad’s Retina Display looks.”

Read more about Carter’s ten picks on 148Apps.

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

Meanwhile, GiggleApps.com writer Amy Solomon did a little pattern recognition in her review of Line Up. She writes, “Line Up is a wonderful interactive educational app that teaches about patterns in ways children and their adults will be smitten by.

I really enjoy this app – a great application to be aware of because parents have their choice of apps dedicated to pattern awareness within iTunes. I have enjoyed a few of these apps with my son, but a favorite of mine is definitely Line Up, from the developers at Busythings, a company that should not be overlooked.”

Read the full review at GiggleApps.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-01-31 :: Category: Education

Finally, intrepid 148Apps.biz writer Brad Hilderbrand reported on a recent study regarding smart phone screens. Hilderbrand writes, “A recent survey from Strategy Analytics claims that when it comes to smartphones, bigger really is better. According to the report 90 percent of smartphone owners wish their device had a bigger screen.”

Find out more on 148Apps.biz.

Thus ends another vibrant week in the life of all things iOS. But fret not! There’s always more right around the corner. Keep track of the latest news, reviews and contests by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook. That is all. You may now return to your Retina Displays.

(Abridged – With serious apologies to Clement Moore)

Twas the week before Christmas, and at 148Apps
All our writers were writing, and no one took naps.
The reviews were written and posted with care,
In hopes that our readers would soon find them there.

The staff were nestled and ready for sleep,
with visions of iPads, and not jumping sheep.
My iMac in sleep mode, my iPhone now mute,
I settled my brain and sighed a large, “w00t.”

When out of my office there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to my iPad I flew like a flash,
And searched for an app I could boot in a dash.

The light of my iPhone on the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a ping from the app store; new apps are now here.

When a little old email arrived on the spot,
I knew in a moment it must be Jeff Scott.
More rapid than IMs his websites they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now GiggleApps! now, 148Apps! both .com and .biz!
On, Android Rundown! On, BestAppEver! That’s all there is!
From the greatest new games, to the best apps of all!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

He spoke not to me, but to my device,
And Jeff quickly asked Siri if I had been nice.
Her answer was good, so he connected Wi-Fi,
And filled my gadgets with even more apps to try!

His work here now done, he gestured with a wave,
And called for his assistant, the jolly Rob LeFebvre.
But I heard them exclaim, as they logged off for the night,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

This Week at 148Apps, September 19-23

This week at 148Apps.com, founder Jeff Scott unleashed the mighty iPhone Service Survey onto an unsuspecting public. Editor Rob LeFebvre writes, “The iPhone 5 should be coming along fairly soon, and we wanted to take a moment to gauge where our readers were at with their current service and their plans for their future service. Because, of course you’re gonna get an iPhone 5, right? We hope to use this data to make some recommendations on what the best provider for the iPhone 5 will be for you, in your area.”

Read more about how you can help spread the word, and maybe win a $100 iTunes gift card, on 148Apps.com.

Not to be outdone, 148Apps.biz also featured a story about a new survey, this one courtesy of iOS developer Owen Goss. Owen “is wanting to get some data about iOS game revenue. His perspective is that smaller, independent game developers and studios really need better market dat, without hiring super expensive consulting firms to do so. He’s created a short, eight question survey that gathers no personally identifying information to that end. Now, he just needs iOS game developers to take it.”

Read the entire story on 148Apps.biz, and take the survey by clicking here.

On our apps-for-kids site, GiggleApps, writer Amy Solomon reviewed Food Heroes, “an application for iPad consisting of activities focused on teaching nutritious food choices with the nice use of colorful and fun illustrations. A simple matching game is included where the player turns over cards looking for pairs – here with a healthy food theme.A coloring page is also offered where children can fill in these drawings as well as food themes, with the tap of a color and the drag of a finger. An eraser is offered here, as if one has the ability to control the size of the line used when filling in these pages, and one can save his work as well – always nice options to have.”

Read more about Food Heroes on GiggleApps.

$1.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-03-29 :: Category: Games

There’s always more heading your way across the 148Apps network, so tune in to our Facebook and Twitter channels for more news, and even a giveaway or two. See you next week!

Dedicated devices like the Kindle remain popular among book lovers—but did you know that you can get your eBook fix on your iPhone or iPod, too? There are a ton of great apps out there, most of them free, which put all that eReading power right at your fingertips.

Which one to use, however? In this roundup, we take a look at some of the top eReader contenders on the App Store. Scroll to the bottom to see which app we like best! Please note that this roundup focuses on the iPhone and iPod, not the iPad, though many of these apps are universal.

Kindle
Amazon’s Kindle app has a lot going for it. First and foremost is the Kindle Store, which is probably the most robust of all eBook stores and has relatively good prices. Kindle owners should be happy to know that you can transfer any Kindle eBooks attached to your account straight to your iPhone with this app! Reading ebooks in the Kindle app is also a breeze—the app’s interface is clean and simple, with some customizability and quick response times. I particularly like the free sample chapters. Keep in mind that Kindle books have their own DRM, so you can’t transfer them to other eReaders.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-03-04 :: Category: Books

Stanza
Stanza was arguably the first successful eReader in the App Store, and it remains a contender. Stanza allows you to import your own eBooks from a variety of formats and offers the most customization options out of all the eReaders. (It was the App Store pioneer of the reversed black-screen-white-text option, which is beloved by those reading at night.) Additionally, Stanza makes it easy to access Project Gutenberg’s archives of free classics as well as integrating with a number of partner stores. Alas, Stanza lacks the coherency of the Kindle or Nook book stores (and their lower prices!). But if you want total control over your eBook library, Stanza remains the way to go. Note that Amazon now owns Stanza, giving them two strong contenders in the eReader ring!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-07-13 :: Category: Books

NOOK
Formerly the B&N eReader, Barnes and Nobles’ NOOK eBook app is similar to the Kindle app in that it comes tied to B&N’s preexisting eBook store. So, if you own a NOOK, you can access your full B&N library from your iPhone. Barnes and Nobles’ store seems to be somewhat smaller than Amazon’s Kindle store, but still boasts an impressive selection and low prices. The iPhone app itself is gorgeous, featuring colorful book covers and the usual bevy of customization options for the reader. The reader responds snappily. One unique feature to Barnes and Nobles’ eBook approach is the “LendMe” feature, which lets you share books with other users. Nice!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-08-17 :: Category: Books

Kobo
Kobo is relatively new, and focuses on new and best-selling books. The glossy interface focuses on being pretty, but there’s a fair amount of functionality here, too. The store section of the app works wonderfully, with a number of handy categories. One new book is offered as a free download each week, and the prices are fair. Unfortunately, some trouble comes with the reader aspect. While the interface mostly stays out of your way and feels quite natural, it also suffers from the occasional crash. Ah, well; Kobo remains a nice contender, and it does support Instapaper integration.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-02-26 :: Category: Books

iBooks
You’d think that Apple’s own pet bookstore would have shown up earlier, right? Unfortunately, the iBookstore leaves much to be desired in terms of both pricing and selection—I don’t think it’s comparable to Barnes and Nobles’ selection yet, let alone Amazon’s massive Kindle Store. Additionally, iBooks has a nasty habit of crashing right when you’re getting to the exciting part. I complained about many of these issues last June, and yet many of the problems persist half a year later.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-04-02 :: Category: Books

The Conclusion
There are many strong contenders in the eBook space, and almost all of the popular apps are very, very good. If you own a Kindle or a NOOK, stick with the corresponding app. None of the eReader apps are sufficiently advanced to warrant giving up your existing library.

Otherwise, it’s a much tougher decision. After careful deliberation, I favor Kindle for iPhone. The Kindle app works wonderfully, with few bugs and a consistent history of updates. Additionally, its massive Kindle Store provides more eBooks than you could ever read. It’s a close race, but the Kindle app’s confident competence makes it the winner in my book.

DECISION: Kindle for iPhone

The weekend is almost here. Just a few more hours. Looking for a new game to play this weekend? Bored with what you have? Xbox-360 red ring of death (like me)? Well we’ve gone through and picked out a few really good games. Many you may never have heard of and most we haven’t had time to publish reviews of yet. But we think you’ll be happy with all of them.

Continue reading Looking For Something New to Play This Weekend? »

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