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148Apps 2014 Holiday Shopping Guide for Power Users

Posted by Rob Rich on December 12th, 2014

Welcome, one and all, to another 148Apps holiday shopping guide! Are you having trouble figuring out what to get for a distant relative, new neighbor, or estranged second cousin? Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you’re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we’ve got you covered.

Other 148Apps Holiday Gift Guides: for [Health Nuts] [Socializers] [Creative Types] [Gamers]

Today’s guide is for the intense “power users” you may know. Business folks, diehard Apple fans – anyone who tends to push their device’s battery to the limits every day, mostly. If you’re looking for something to make their trips easier, help out at the office, or even just keep their iPad running for a few more hours, check out our list below for some ideas.

Sling Adds Chromecast Support Through Slingplaye​r Mobile Apps

Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 18th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: Unimpressive :: Read Review »

Sling Media has added support for Chromecast through their Slingplayer app for iPhone and iPad. Chromecast allows you to send content to your TV straight from your mobile device, and Slingplayer lets you turn that around and watch TV on your mobile device.

With the two combined you can use the Slingplayer as a remote control for changing the channel, navigating the guide, or accessing the DVR connected to the Slingbox, and you can send videos to the TV via the new 'Cast' icon within the app. Conveniently, the Slingplayer app can run in the background so you can keep doing important things like playing Angry Birds while you watch TV.

The SlingTV unit can also be controlled with the app, like a remote in case you own one.

You can download Slingplayer on the App Store for $14.99.

This Week at 148Apps: August 4-8, 2014

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 11th, 2014

App-tastic!


How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. 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. Take a look at what we've been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.


Blood Bowl

When translating a nearly 30 year old tabletop game like Blood Bowl into a digital format, the folks in charge have to make some decisions. Craft a fairly robust in-game tutorial to ease new players gently into this somewhat complicated quagmire? Or just say “screw it,” assume the target market is going to be almost entirely existing fans of the product, and leave the newbies to sink or swim? Take a guess which direction Focus Home Interactive and Cyanide Studios went with this one. For the uninitiated, Blood Bowl is what would happen if somebody tossed American Football and Rugby into a blender and poured the resulting slurry through a filter made out of the Warhammer fantasy universe. This violent team sport, played by such Warhammer staple races as Orks and Skaven, doesn’t exactly cleave to either of those two inspirations, however. This almost-familiarity players might feel is the entry point where things start getting complicated. --Rob Thomas


Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery: Episode 2

The sequel to Episode 1, Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery: Episode 2 is just as pleasant but far too short lived – clocking in at only around an hour. Sure that might be a fun hour of solving puzzles, but it never quite gets going. Jacob and Biggie head off to the Crackskull Mountain to solve the secret of Biggie’s childhood, amongst other things. The writing is suitably witty and entertaining, with a smattering of puzzles to break things up, but that’s the problem: it really is only a smattering. 14 puzzles are all that are available here, and while they’re fun and well designed, they’re not particularly original. --Jennifer Allen


Time Tangle-Adventure Time

Using the colorful and immensely popular license of Adventure Time comes Time Tangle – Adventure Time, a title that’s keen to avoid being just another Endless Runner, but fails to truly take advantage of its small sense of purpose. Each session involves spinning a wheel to see what kind of activity must be completed. These generally involve either chasing something, collecting something, or beating something up. The controls are the same but the change in objective does help make you think there’s more to Time Tangle – Adventure Time than there actually is. --Jennifer Allen


iBattz Mojo Refuel Aqua Case

I demand a lot from my electronics. Since I became disabled and lost my ability to write, I’ve depended on my touch screen devices for everything – especially my college work. Being in an environmental biology program means I’m in the field a lot in many weather conditions. Naturally when it rains I need a waterproof case, but my phone always runs out of juice before the day is out. Most battery cases didn’t offer the waterproofing that I need; until I found iBattz’s new case. The iBattz Mojo Refuel Aqua S Case (what a mouthful!) is pretty spiffy. The case can be used to extend battery life, then when you need waterproofing it takes less than a minute to switch it over and lock it up tight. I’ve been using the case for almost two weeks now and have noticed the good and bad of it. --Jade Walker


Micromon

It was bound to happen one day, wasn’t it? Yes, Micromon is currently the nearest you’re going to get to Pokemon on your iOS device. Fortunately it’s pretty fun, too. There’s one downfall though, and it’s a pretty obvious one – those pesky in-app purchases that often get in the way of such experiences. First up, Micromon is gorgeous to look at. It doesn’t offer quite as many monsters to capture as a Pokemon game, weighing in at just over 130, but each of them is delightfully animated and appealing. The story within Micromon isn’t particularly gripping, staying quite formulaic, but that’s no great hardship. --Jennifer Allen


Slingbox M1 Hardware

I don’t know about you all, but I use my iPhone and iPad to watch Netflix videos all the time. It’s just so handy to be able to pull up a streaming video right before bed or to watch something else while the TV is in use. Well the Slingbox M1 is kind of like that; kind of. It’s also quite a bit different, but no less interesting. The Slingbox M1 essentially lets you broadcast the signal from your cable box to your iOS device and your computer – with the appropriate apps, of course. This means that you can use your iPad as a second screen, watch something on TV without moving to whichever room has the TV in it, or even catch up on local news and sports while you’re out of town. So long as you have an internet connection you can stream the signal from your cable box straight to your other devices. --Rob Rich


Other 148Apps Network Sites

If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:


AndroidRundown

Master of Craft

Master of Craft looks to be an engaging game that merges key gaming genres in a tidy package. At its core, it’s all about simulating an economy of crafting. Off the bat, the busy animation of the game easily draws one in, with bright colors and vivid landscapes. If the developer’s goal is to please people that are iffy about the game at the start, it is mostly successful. The rustic vibe combines well with the whimsical representations, and the overall visual feel is that it is playful and serious at the same time. --Tre Lawrence


Suits and Swords

Suits and Swords is much like Blackjack version of the venerable and well received Sword and Poker. While a good ideas does a simpler game like Blackjack have the legs to support an RPG? Suits and Swords has a rather amusing story. The majority of things and characters in the story are named after card related things. The main character is called Black Jack, he’s a solider or Battle Jack and the villain is an evil disembodied head named Joker. He’s pretty serious.. --Allan Curtis


Super Heavy Sword

Super Heavy Sword is a classically styled platformer, which aren’t all that common on the Playstore. Monster Robot Studios have freely admitted that the game is a homage to the astonishingly successful Mario games. Indeed the game feels like a mix of Mario 64 and the original Super Mario Bros. With the big N’s reluctance to bring the overalled plumber to Android, can Super Heavy Sword full the gap? Super Heavy Sword opens with a scene of Pike, the Hero and Lucinda the princess. A bunch of enemies roll in and amazingly don’t kidnap Lucinda but rather begin destroying to land,. Now it’s down to a lone warrior and his girlfriend to stab them all and restore peace. --Allan Curtis

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer weighed in on BioShock for iOS, provided a complete database of Micromon's Micromon, found nine celebrities besides Kim Kardashian with their own mobile games, and found eight games that you wouldn't be able to play if it weren't for some dedicated fans. And it's all right here.

Slingbox M1 Hardware Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad only
By Rob Rich on August 4th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar ::
The Slingbox M1 is an odd piece of hardware that fills a very specific niche, but it fills that niche quite effectively.
Read The Full Review »

Slingbox Infographic Showcases What Users Spend Most of Their Time Doing with Their Slingbox Usage

Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 31st, 2013

Slingbox has released a new infographic that showcases exactly how its customers use the device for watching their favorite programs. This data covers only the first half of 2013 - January through June. The notables include Slingbox owners watching 10 times more TV online than the national average. 75% of those hours are spent watching television on the go rather than at home. 80% of hours watching TV are spent watching live television instead of recorded. Check out the infographic below!

Slingbox Gets Updated to Support AirPlay Through the Use of SlingPlayer Mobile

Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 25th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: Unimpressive :: Read Review »

Sling Media, the company behind Slingbox, has announced new firmware and software updates that brings AirPlay support to the iPhone and iPad version of SlingPlayer. This allows Slingbox customers to view live TV on their Apple TV, and also gives them the ability to watch TV on a second TV without needing another set top box.

Slingbox 500 and Sling Player Review

Posted by Jeff Scott on November 6th, 2012

There has been a very exciting rush by TV show producers to get their content onto mobile devices. But it hasn't been without a good number of issues. First, the content is split amongst dozens of different apps. Next, the shows have seriously stupid usage rights. Sometimes you can only watch shows weeks after first aired. Some shows expire after a few weeks only to appear again many months later. Trying to keep it straight and figure out where any show is can be annoying.

What about your DVR? I have been a long term fan of TiVo. I bought the first box they made and have upgraded multiple times over these past ten plus years. The problem with TiVo is that they have been very slow to adapt to new technologies like streaming content to mobile devices. Until recently you just couldn't do it without special PC software and a hours of processing time. While TiVo has released a new streaming device, it only works locally unless you remember to download your shows first. Better, but still not good.

Sometimes I just wished I had access to everything on my DVR while on the go. Well, that's where Sling comes in. A wholly owned subsidiary of Echostar, Sling has been making devices to give you access to your recorded and live content while on the go for years. They do this by having their box sit between your cable box or DVR and your TV. You connect the output of your cable box to the Slingbox and the output of the Slingbox to your TV. While this process can be a bit tedious with many of the included cables to connect, the included instructions are clear and easy.

We've taken a look at the Slingbox and player before but a lot has changed since then. For one, the latest Slingboxes support full 1080p HD streaming, assuming you have a good enough connection. They have also been updated to support the iPhone 5 screen for widescreen 16:9 viewing. And at some point after our previous review was posted, support was added to allow streaming over cell networks.

The iPad and iPhone versions of the app both do a good job allowing you to stream from a Slingbox. The iPad version is much easier to use due to the larger screen size, allowing for more controls on the screen. While the iPhone interface isn't horrible, it could use a rethink.

Overall, the Slingbox 500 was easy to setup, if not super quick. Once it was installed it worked well. Connecting to it from remote was quick and worked well. Changing or selecting a recorded show to watch can be a bit tedious, though, with a 3-4 second delay for each remote key press. Once the streaming started, very few hiccups were noticed.

Is the Slingbox 500 the ideal way to get your content on the go? No. But it is, by far, the best very option right now to give you access to that content on the go. And let's be honest, it's likely to be the best option for some time. Access to content will get much stricter before it gets more convenient.

The Slingbox 500 is available online or at Best Buy now for $299.99.

[itmsapp: 309280605]

[itmsapp: 405564910]

App Update: SlingPlayer Apps Updated - Price Cut in Half

Posted by Jeff Scott on October 10th, 2012

The SlingPlayer iPhone and iPad apps have both been updated today to support the new 350 and 500 models and their 1080p HD streams. In addition, the apps have dropped in price by 50% and now are only $14.99 each.

We have the Slingbox 500 in house and we'll have a full review for you in the coming days, once we've had a chance to put it through it's paces.

SlingPlayer Mobile

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Bryan Barletta on May 13th, 2009
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: Unimpressive
After almost a year of waiting for this app to hit the shelves, we wind up with a watered down version that all the other mobile platforms have already been enjoying for the same price they paid for a full featured version.
Read The Full Review »

SlingPlayer Mobile iPhone App Launches Tonight

Posted by Bryan Barletta on May 12th, 2009


Nearly a year ago, Sling Media announced that they planned to bring Slingbox connectivity to the iPhone and iPod Touch. That makes sense, considering that the app is already available for Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian, and BlackBerry platforms. After being held up in the approval process for unconfirmed issues, we can now say that the wait is finally over!

According to our source at Sling Media:

"Apple will post our app (Wi-Fi only) on the iPhone Store between 9:01pm (PDT) Tuesday, May 12th and 3:01 AM (PDT) Wednesday May 13th."

Slingbox App Rejection Rumor Debunked

Posted by Bryan Barletta on April 16th, 2009

Last week, I was lucky enough to receive a Slingbox and an ad-hoc copy of the latest build of the Slingbox iPhone app for review purposes. While I won't be able to release a review of the app until it goes live, I'm thoroughly impressed.

Today, all over the internet there has been "an unconfirmed tip from a source close to Apple’s approval processes" claiming that the app had in fact been denied due to pressure from AT&T. The app is slated to allow use over 3G and WiFi, meaning that it would in fact be a bandwidth burden for AT&T, but considering the app already exists on the BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones which AT&T sure carries a few of, there's no reason to believe this rumor to be true (even BGR agree's!)