Regardless of the location, there’s bound to be something interesting going on somewhere. AroundNow seeks to provide an easy way of seeing exactly what’s going on locally at any time.
Using Twitter as a notification system, AroundNow offers news of interest depending on the area the user happens to reside in at the time. That news can range from all manners of things from entertainment events such as concerts or celebrity spottings to parties or demonstrations. Traffic information such as road works or traffic jams can also be provided as well as something as regular as a good sale in a local store.
As it’s partly a social networking app, AroundNow relies upon user participation to truly be great but it’s an excellent idea. In a busy and bustling city, it’s easy to miss out on something exciting so this app could be the ideal way to get involved in local events.
Inspired by singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, THQ’sMargaritaville Online is now available on Facebook and iPad. The game invites players to escape to the laid back tropical paradise where margaritas are a plenty, music is chill and adventure is guaranteed. The point of the game is for the player to build their ideal oasis while partying with friends and turning their experience from a game into a lifestyle.
Featuring an immersive 3D world and hits from Buffett himself, players are encouraged to leave their cares behind. And yes, there are frozen concoctions to serve up to friends from the player’s personal island beach bar. Beyond the adult beverages, players can explore all the island has to offer such as meeting and interactive with the natives, finding forgotten treasure, sailing boats and playing mini-games. Basically, the game is all about relaxing and enjoying the sun, surf and sand with a drink in one hand and a six-string in the other. Finding the lost shaker of salt is just a bonus and not required. The game is free to play with optional in-game premium items
Plenty of people love playing social games and similar numbers enjoy caring for a virtual pet. How about combining the two? That’s what LoadComplete decided to do with Bumping Bears and they’ve even added a real life socializing element.
Bumping Bears gives players the chance to adopt bears to play and raise on their own donut planet located in the wider bear galaxy. Players can care for up to 3 bears at once, encouraging them towards one of over 70 bear professions while dressing them from a choice of over 100,000 unique outfit combinations.
The player can then partake in quests, missions and minigames to help their bear improve in their chosen profession.
For the social gamer, players can find other like minded souls using geolocation, then bump their phones together to make their bears date and mate. It’s all very cute and lovable but not essential to progression.
Bumping Bears is out now and it’s an Universal app.
With over 1.8 million reviews with an average of four stars, the Facebook app for iPhone continues to be one of the most popular in the App Store. However, there are a few gripes and groans on the review board in regards to uploading pictures as well as being able to access Timeline, which launched earlier this week globally. The Zuckerberg-run company pushed out their Facebook 4.1 update for iPhone a few days ago to combat some of these issues as well as offer access to friend lists, subscribers and subscriptions.
Overall, the application seems to be faster at executing all the various tasks such as status updates, uploading and tagging photos and zipping through different news feeds. This, I’m sure, is a welcomed update to the 99.5 million monthly active users of the iPhone app. For those interested in the update for iPad, stay tuned as that is still in the works. Hopefully, it’s not a long wait. As for the iPhone update, the most significant update is how quickly photos load. It’s extremely fast, which for most, provides a better user experience as they won’t have to wait those extra seconds. Also, the layout of a friend’s profile is a lot easier to navigate as when clicked the user can now quickly add them to specific friends lists. Their about, photos and friends lists are above the fold for easy access as well. Facebook 4.1 is available for immediate download as a free app update on the iPhone.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted December 14th, 2011 by Rob Rich Our Rating: :: OBEY THE FIST
Ever want to be the overlord of an evil empire? Command droves of loyal henchmen, research all manner of eccentric weaponry and all that? Plan X gives us that very opportunity, along with the chance to extend our influence to real-world locations.
Whether it’s football season or March Madness, it seems like there is always something going on in the world of sports for rabid fans to follow. Luckily for them, the new PlayUp app, “the first social network app for sports fans,” is here to help these people stay connected all through their mobile devices. It’s like having a sports bar anywhere.
PlayUp tracks stats and real-time scores from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS and college football and basketball games. International leagues like the English Premier League Soccer and Australian Rules Football are represented as well. Fans of a particular team can track their progress and interact with other fans in chat rooms while games are on. Soon users will also be able to answer trivia questions and play other games through the app. They have to do something during the off season.
PlayUp is currently available for free on the App Store. It sounds like the next best thing to having a portable tailgate party.
I’ve never really been one for direct competition. I tend to prefer working with a team as opposed to fighting against other people, it’s just how I operate I suppose. But even I have to admit Spin Island might be on to something here. Their new app, iBeatThat, is something akin to a social networking YouTube hybrid with a decidedly “Top that!” vibe. Competitive types (read: normal people) will no doubt eat this stuff up.
The overall premise is simple: users pick a “real world activity” such as snowboarding, basketball, etc… and take a video of themselves doing something impressive in that category. Once that’s done, they can upload the clip through the app and see what happens. Which is to say, other users can view the video and rate it or even attempt to one-up the feat and see what the community thinks of their own attempt. They can also issue direct challenges to people on their friends list.
Would-be daredevils or “physical activity” enthusiasts will no doubt get plenty of use out of iBeatThat. And they can give it a spin right now for free. Just remember to play it safe, folks. Don’t go getting seriously injured out there for the sake of fleeting notoriety.
Flipboard, the iPad social magazine app, has announced that Comedy Central’s hit show “The Colbert Report” is becoming a content provider, Mashable reports. This marks a big step for what Apple proclaimed was the best iPad app of 2010 because it is the first video contributor to be added the service. Before this announcement, rumors had been circulating that Flipboard would make this move.
What sets Flipboard apart from other media aggregators is how it presents user data from social networks and websites in the form of magazines for users to flip through. It remains to be seen though how video will be integrated into this model beyond just having a dedicated video section. We do know that users won’t be able to watch full episodes, just clips and tweets from Colbert himself, a self-proclaimed iPad fan.
Flipboard’s video section is currently live. Although “The Colbert Report” is the only announced partner, with Paramount Pictures and Bud Light signed on as advertisers that should change soon. Flipboard is available for free now on the App Store.
We’ve all been there. Two sports events are on at once and it’s a judgement call to figure out which one to watch and which one to just keep an eye on the score of. While sometimes it’s the obvious game with the two big leading teams against each other, other times it’s a more subtle David and Goliath style conflict that turns out to be the more exciting game. How to figure out which one as soon as possible though? Maybe Thuuz will be able to help there.
It’s an app that, using some unique and mysterious algorithms, figures out the excitement of each game in real-time then rates it on a scale of 0-100. Users pick their favorite sports, teams and players, set their excitement threshold and then the app gets to work.
Currently monitoring a wide variety of sports such as NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Soccer, Cricket, Rugby as well as college sports like Football and Basketball, this app should have sports fans pretty covered for figuring out what to watch.
Further functionality is offered with the ability to watch live games when in the US as well as track down the nearest sports bar to catch the action.
It’s a free app so give it a shot and why not report back on how it’s gone. Initial feedback is looking pretty darn promising. Finally, this predicament could be solved!
Some time ago, a man by the name of Frank Warren started a little project. He invited people to send him anonymous postcards with a personal secret attached, and a lot of people ended up sending in a lot of cards. In fact, he received so many responses he was able to put all of these secret confessions into several books. And now, the project has entered the world of social networking.
PostSecret, the app, allows users to take pictures and type out accompanying words as they bare any hidden part of their life they choose. Other users can also send replies if they want to. The anonymity this app affords people is no joke: no personal information is ever revealed, exact locations (via GPS) are never stored, it’s possible to choose a general location such as a city or school, no sign up is required and secrets don’t have to be stored on the device. Granted, they need to be stored if a user wishes to monitor responses, but accessing them requires a personalized code. PostSecret takes the privacy of its users very seriously.
Those interested in confessing anonymously to the entire world, or those content to silently dig through random strangers’ dirty laundry, can check out PostSecret on the App Store right now.
Jack in the Box (the social media blog, not the blacklisted burger joint) has released their own iPhone app, designed to cram everything from the website into a more iOS-friendly package, even including their Facebook and Youtube feeds. Ten of the tech industry’s biggest websites are featured, and funneling their news feeds through the tiny clown head in a box is as simple as a few quick taps. Setting it all up takes a minute, at most.
From there it’s a simple matter of checking-in with Jack every once in a while. The two newest articles appear in a speech bubble over the tiny toy’s head, and once something good pops up a tap is all that’s needed to check it out. Of course, the tiny bubble can also be expanded to make browsing the list easier. Searching through the plethora of news stories is all done using an in-app browser with a handy “tab left/right” function that makes jumping from news item to news item a breeze. Simply tap the right arrow and it loads the next news item.
And what if it’s a slow news day? Well then there’s an entire history of social media to read up on, of course. Hidden under the not-so-hidden Evolution tab is a tree that chronicles the growth of digital and social media, which itself contains a fairly extensive encyclopedia of terminology to help out the less tech-savvy. Not sure what the word “aggregator” means? Tap it and get the definition. It doesn’t do much to help with news-gathering, but it’s still a nice feature to have for anyone who isn’t entirely up to date on networking sites such as Twitter and the like.
Sure, information-gathering isn’t a new concept for the App Store., but that doesn’t make AppJack any less handy to have around. It puts the content of ten major tech sites in one convenient place, and does so for the low low price of absolutely nothing. Not a bad deal, eh?
Fruit Memory HD is, in my opinion, one of the nicest Memory-type games available on the app store, and is one that my daughters and I have a ton of fun with on a regular basis. The thing that first caught my eye with Fruit Memory was its very clean and attractive art style that […]
What do you get when you mix Farmville, Google Maps, Yelp, and zombies? Fleck Touch.
Fleck Touch is a massively-multiplayer game that takes place on Google Maps. It’s possible to plant plants, trees, shrubs, and more on plots of land that actually exist. Players can dig up zombies from tombstones and fight them; especially if they are encroaching on the players real-life address! It’s even possible to buy restaurants that actually exist (I’m told that they must be reviewed on Yelp to show up). Friends can go on cooperative quests and zombie-blasting outings. And everyone who plays on Fleck Touch plays on the same, real-world Google map!
Fleck Touch provides quests for those who need some direction. Starting quests like building a house and dancing with another player are available. And more complex quests like killing certain amounts of zombies start popping up after getting used to the game.
Like all free games of this sort, the moneymaker is buying in-game currency. There are coins, which are relatively easy to get by farming and killing zombies. And there are gems, which are a bit harder to get (and cost much more) that are used to buy the coolest stuff (of course!). The currency can be used to buy more plants, decorations and power-ups. Some power-ups include Red Bolt which gives more stamina (not wings!), Ca$hUP (which looks like a bottle of ketchup) increases how many coins are gained, 24 hour Bolt Shots double stamina for 24 hours, and other humorous references.
Fleck Touch is available for free on the iPad and is playable in a browser. While Fleck has officially been launched, the developers are still looking at the game as a work in progress with more to come.
“…even though this is the culmination of a year+ of work with a pretty sizable group of people (for a mobile game – this is still smaller than even the smallest team I’ve worked with on a console game by a significant margin), it’s also not really the end of development – it’s only the beginning. We’ve got a ton more work to do,” written on the Self Aware website.
On-demand social music app Rdio has added a new form of payment for their subscription service – you can now pay using your Amazon Payments account. Hurrah!
For those who haven’t tried it yet, Rdio is a social music service from the founders of Skype that allows you to listen to as much music as you want through your iOS device as well as the web and your PC or Mac. You can build your online music collection from a catalogue of over 8 million songs while also checking out other people’s collections and playlists, as well as see what’s popular at the moment. Chris reviewed it favorably upon launch last year and a recent update has looked promising.
The app costs from $4.99 a month, which was previously only payable by Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Now you can let Amazon Payments handle it all, thus saving you from entering your card details on another source -something that’s bound to be reassuring to many.
If you’ve not tried Rdio before, there’s a 7 day trial available on the website for US and Canada based residents.
On Monday night Ning launched its social Mogwee app for iOS. The app is a brand new product from the social network-focused company and has nothing to do with its online community service.
Mogwee essentially provides an alternative platform for chatting with friends either on an individual or group basis. This is a free app that runs on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and will eventually be available for the Droid platform as well as accessible online through a web version on the app’s website.
You create a username and then different “hangouts,” which act more or less like chat rooms. The experience isn’t unlike communicating via text messages. So, if you’re looking for a text message-like experience in a group setting, Mogwee is for you.
In addition to being able to chat, you can also share images and videos. What’s more, you can also give gifts to each other, such as a burger or cake. And you can perform silly actions like throwing sheep and even zombie sheep.
All around, it’s an interesting social tool that goes out of its way to add more fun to chat. Will it make a splash? Hard to say. But you can check it out for yourself for free on the iTunes App Store.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted December 6th, 2010 by Carter Dotson Our Rating: :: CONQUERING SOCIAL GAMES
Kingdom Conquest is Sega's take on the popular freemium and farming sim genre, bringing land conquering elements as well as a real-time multiplayer dungeon crawling mode to bring far more depth than similar games on the platform.
Today more than ever, we use technology to announce the minutiae of our lives. Where we are, who we’re with, what we’re doing. We tweet about breakfast, check into places on Foursquare, write reviews about restaurants on Yelp while waiting for the check. Or at least, some of us do. If you’re like me, maybe you’ve wondered what the heck all that information is good for. I mean, who really cares what you did for breakfast, or where you were at on Tuesday night?
While the endless stream of status updates might be annoying on a personal level, however, some companies have found that they provide a rich trove of data that can actually be quite useful. buzzd is one such example: the free app harnesses the power of the swarm, drinking in real-time data from Twitter, Loopt, Yelp, Foursquare, and many other sources and distilling it to figure out which nearby locations are most popular.
buzzd measures places with a “buzzdmeter,” which tracks the “buzz” each location has received on various social networks. The app then checks your location, and shows you nearby places with the highest buzz. These can be restaurants, museums, or shops; in New York City, for example, the Museum of Modern Art was “buzzing.”
buzzd claims that by rating places within the app, you earn “influence,” which can then be applied towards rewards such as gift cards, plane tickets, and more. However, I couldn’t find any specifics on the website about how to actually obtain rewards.
Regardless, buzzd seems to be a great way to harness all of our real-time social networks to show which places are the most popular…right now. Combine that with the app’s awareness of your location, and buzzd feels like a real iPhone native. And thus, out of the swarm we find something useful…!
(Blackberry and Android users, y’all can also join in the fun with platform-specific versions of buzzd.)
Now here’s a clever idea. Forget about meeting people on Twitter who you think might be cool to get to know, find them based on their musical taste by comparison to yours.
MeetMySong is a new social networking service and app that matches your iPhone music library with other users of the app and even lets you see them and their sonic selections in real time using augmented reality. The app scans your iPhone’s music library in order to create your Music Personality and then creates feeds based around the songs you play. Not only does MeetMySong show you what music your friends are currently listening to, it also lets you know what’s being played locally, based on your GPS location.
The existing social networks aren’t ignored either with the ability to post your currently playing track to Facebook and Twitter as well as import your friends from both services. Ideal for this kind of app is the integration with your iPhone’s iPod app, which means you don’t have to leave the application to control your music, which is monitored by MeetMySong to further develop your profile.
What’s instantly enjoyable about MeetMySong by comparison to other social networks out there is that you don’t need to type a word, just listen to the music that you feel like listening to in order to interact with the community. Of course, there is a messaging option built in, but your audio picks are what are important here. Another huge benefit is the exposure to new music that you’re probably going to like. With friends based on your preferences, their tastes should throw up a selection of new bands for you to sample and you can even preview and buy songs from within the application. Sadly, if you use Pandora or Spotify on your iPhone for music, there’s little integration to be had with MeetMySong and, until iPhone OS 4.0 this will likely be impossible. However, with some clever coding and the addition of multitasking to the next iPhone OS, it might not just be iTunes music the app pins your tastes on.
More so than Twitter, we can also see this app bringing people together through a mutual love of music, especially given the apps location aware nature and, as the network grows in numbers another interesting element, likely to pique the interest of record labels, will appear. The Top Artist feature that creates a sort of unofficial top 20 chart that could help track artist performance on a play-by-play basis or pick out musical trends in real time.
We’ve only just started using MeetMySong and so far have found it an interesting, interactive alternative to simply playing music from your iPhone. Judging by the “on air” activity within the app it seems like others are enjoying MeetMySong in a number of locations worldwide too. MeetMySong is free to download from iTunes and requires a quick account creation process in order to get it up and running. Once you are done, new songs and friends await you.
If you love your music, this app is certainly worth a go although we’re a little worried that our closest MeetMySong match is currently only 41% compatible. Then again, perhaps that’s just down to our taste in music…
If you’re currently running Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and MySpace apps on your iPhone, why not update them all from one spot? Say hello to Seesmic.
Seesmic has been available on a number of mobile and desktop platforms for a while now and has, at last, made its way to the iPhone. For those who don’t know, Seesmic allows users to update multiple social networks from one place and by default offers Twitter, Facebook and Ping.fm. Ping.fm is a service bought by Seesmic this year and covers the rest of the social networks that include MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr and more.
Seesmic offers a clean, dashboard-like interface with spaces for each network, and customization options allow users to add a space for particular social networking feeds such as trending topics and searches. Updates made from Seesmic can be sent to all of your networks and also across multiple accounts as well, so you don’t have to log in to each one separately anymore. Another cool feature is the ability to save messages and updates to Evernote for future reference. Unlike many Twitter apps for iPhone, Seesmic’s flexibility and customization options make it a very useful tool and one that will benefit those of a social networking persuasion.
If you have more social network accounts than friends and time saving time is important to you, this looks to be the application to keep you in the loop and your contacts up-to-date.
We’re getting excited about an upcoming racing game for iPhone called Cubed Rally Racer. Jared Bailey, creator of DuckNCover for iPhone, has submitted his latest app which, from the look of the trailer below, could be an addictive slice of fun for your iPhone. The app is described as a 3D isometric rally car racing game and Jared says “Think Dirt meets RC Pro-Am meets Canabalt”. If this turns out to be true we can see ourselves getting hooked!
Cubed Rally Racer features randomly generated levels and sees the user play for best times while picking up gas cans scattered across each track. The game has a nice retro 8-bit look with exciting curves and jumps and will also offer OpenFeint connectivity as well as Facebook and Twitter integration.
Cubed Rally Racer has been submitted to the App Store and will cost $1.99 so check out the video below and keep tabs on www.nocanwin.com for news of the game’s launch.