Posts Tagged upgrade

ipodtouch03I’m an iPod Touch owner, and I think it may be time for me to admit that my device’s time is almost up. But firstly, a little bit of back story for you: 

My first iOS device was a 2nd generation iPod Touch, which is long ago enough for it to not have had a camera or microphone. My second iOS device was a 4th generation iPod Touch, with my current device being a 5th generation device. Putting it bluntly, I’m a fan of the iPod Touch.

To me, the iPod Touch was Apple’s accidental handheld console. Sure you can purely use it as an iPod with a camera if you so wish, but to someone like me, it was (and still is) my gateway into iOS gaming at a much cheaper cost than an iPhone – one that also just happened to fit into my pocket. The fact that I could access the wide variety of iOS games through a relatively cheap device (compared to other iOS devices, anyway) is the reason I’m here today, on a site devoted to iOS apps.

ipodtouch02Once upon a time the release of an iPod Touch was a yearly thing, with the tech in the device just below that found in that year’s iPhone. The 4th and 5th seemingly started the pattern of a new device every two years, meaning this year should’ve bought on the release of the 6th generation. The September 9 iPhone 6 announcement event has long since come and gone however, and the world is seemingly nowhere nearer to seeing a six next to the iPod Touch name.

If you sit down and think about it though, in this day and age the iPod Touch is an unusual thing. It’s the size of the phone and does almost everything you’d expect from a modern phone besides be a phone: it has a touch screen, two cameras, a microphone, and the ability to run apps. To be fair, that’s also everything the average person would likely expect from a modern tablet as well. And therein lies the rub.

I can understand why Apple seems to be no longer supporting it. In the past year, the hardware giant released four iOS devices – the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, and the 2nd generation iPad Mini. Four devices, all varying in price and size, and each with their own niche to cater to. Within those devices, there’s something there for pretty much everyone. You want a phone-sized device to play your iOS games on? Fine, go get an expensive contract and get an iPhone. You want a device devoted to running apps? Fine, go get an iPad or iPad Mini with their bigger screens and better resolutions. You want both? Before, the answer to that question was the iPod Touch. Now, I think Apple would much rather you gave them more money and bought an iPhone and an iPad.

ipodtouch01This time next year, we’ll likely see the release of iOS 9 and the end of support for the generation of devices that used the A5 chip – including the 5th generation iPod Touch. As much as I hope Apple will announce a new iPod Touch next year, part of me knows that the brand is effectively a dead parrot at this point. And as much as I want to nail it to a perch, it’s already pushing up the daises and has joined the choir invisible.

So, farewell iPod Touch. The iPhone minus the phone. The iPad Mini but even smaller. The accidental handheld console. You will be missed.

I still own an iPhone 4S, and the arrival of iOS 8 and the new iPhone 6 line pains me.

First off, I should explain that I’m not some half-committed neo-Luddite with a knee-jerk fear of new technology. I actually picked up my iPhone 4S on the day it launched – it was shiny, new, and top of the line. It was like basking in the glow of a new relationship, where everything is perfect and you’re so in love. Then, a few months later and through no fault of my own, the person whose family plan I was a part of flaked out and I found myself bereft of service and unable to afford the deposit required to spin my old number off to its own line. My still-relatively young significant other then began its new life as an extra beefy iPod Touch.

Image Source: Nerdrepository.com

Image Source: Nerdrepository.com

I was phoneless for the next couple of years, then eventually acquired a prepaid on a different carrier because it was both cheaper and I wouldn’t be locked to a contract. After enduring months of terrible service (including not being able to get a signal at home, within almost-literal spitting distance of the second-largest city in the state’s downtown area) I finally found out that not only did my old carrier offer prepaid service, but they had just recently allowed the iPhone 4S to be activated on it. I was elated. I could have my phone back again!

But our rekindled romance was short-lived. Once the thrill of having a signal anywhere I went wore off, I immediately began to feel the immense weight of my three years away.

In the interim, Apple had launched and fully iterated the iPhone 5 and and was gearing up to move along to the impending iPhone 6 and the concurrent launch of iOS 8. As I worked my way back into the world of iOS devices, I began to feel increasingly like a relic from a bygone age. Most new apps were not only optimized for iPhone 5 and up, but an increasing number just flat-out wouldn’t run on my old hardware at all. And with each new iOS update, that hardware – already rapidly spiraling towards obsolescence – ran just a little bit worse. Also, my prepaid plan won’t support the 5 series phones at all.

And so, I’ve begun to eyeball the postpaid world once again.

Now mind you, even if I had the money I wouldn’t have been one of those people who obsessively acquires each new phone the second it comes out. I’ve always believed in getting my money’s worth out of a device before moving on. In fact, if I had upgraded a year or so back to, say, a 5s, I could likely be singing a completely different tune at this point. Maybe I wouldn’t yet feel that an upgrade was in order. Sadly, that’s not the case.

Now, after an arduous process that took several hours the other night, my iPhone 4s groans under the strain of running iOS 8. Some features are nice (the integrated Siri song ID via Shazam, the pull-down text message reply from the lock screen) and work more or less as intended. But beyond that, things chug and sputter along slowly and hiccups, glitches, and freezes are far-too frequent. I know some of this is inevitably the bugs that accompany any initial roll-out of new operating systems, but I would be extremely surprised if a fair chunk of it wasn’t due to the fact that I’m running it on a three year old phone that just doesn’t have the muscle to properly support it. And if I thought I was being left behind before with the iPhone 5 app optimization, well it’s about to get even worse.

iphone6-01

And that’s to say nothing of the new hardware itself. I got to put my hands on it a few days ago and I was pretty impressed. I feel like the size issue has been overstated by a lot of people. Despite being a pretty big guy I have surprisingly small hands, but even the iPhone 6 Plus didn’t feel too gargantuan for me to hold reasonably. And despite the fact that it’s an ounce heavier than my 4s, it actually felt lighter. And then there’s the fact that the regular iPhone 6 actually is lighter, despite being considerably bigger. The recently reported bending controversy doesn’t especially concern me either as I don’t wear super-tight pants. And even if I did, I’d most likely normally stash the phone somewhere else, like a jacket pocket or my messenger bag, rather than forcing it uncomfortably into somewhere it would have problems fitting in the first place.

While I loved (and still do love) my 4S, I just feel that our relationship has run its course. We had some laughs together and created some great memories that I will always cherish, but I think it’s time that we move on and see other people.

Total Defense 3D Review

Total Defense 3D Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
This run of the mill tower defense game has a few interesting points and a unique perspective on the genre.

Read The Full Review »
Platoonz Review

Platoonz Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Lead a unit of elite soldiers on a one way march through enemy ranks.

Read The Full Review »
TinyLegends – Crazy Knight Review

TinyLegends – Crazy Knight Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Use lots of different weapons and combos to protect the kingdom from fearsome monster invaders.

Read The Full Review »
Deadmans Run Review

Deadmans Run Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Race classic cars in deadly competitions and wield powerful weapons to ensure victory.

Read The Full Review »
Gun Runner Review

Gun Runner Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The name says it all. This clever homage to classic side-scrolling shooters is easy to enjoy but hard to master.

Read The Full Review »
Starbunker: Guardians 2 Review

Starbunker: Guardians 2 Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Command futuristic soldiers to defend from the further onslaught of various enemy alien species.

Read The Full Review »
WonderCraft Review

WonderCraft Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Simple controls and an fast paced naval battles aren't enough to keep this title focused and consistently entertaining.

Read The Full Review »
Dead on Arrival Review

Dead on Arrival Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A top-down take on the zombie killing gameplay made popular by big budget first person shooters.

Read The Full Review »
Extraction: Project Outbreak Review

Extraction: Project Outbreak Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
No confusing controls, no gimmicks, just zombie hunting pure and simple.

Read The Full Review »
Finger Shot RPG Review

Finger Shot RPG Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Slide fantasy characters around varied environments in heated back and forth battles.

Read The Full Review »
Vermes on Mars Review

Vermes on Mars Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A unique blend of real-time strategy, tower defense, and action elements on the surface of the red planet.

Read The Full Review »
Forever Drive Review

Forever Drive Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The combination of persistent progression, user generated tracks, and bright neon graphics takes this simple racing game to a whole new level.

Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps, October 3-7

To say that there were tumultuous ups and downs in the world of all things Apple and iOS this week is a colossal understatement. Suffice it to say, then, that the interest, anticipation and enthusiasm generated for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 4s was sadly muted by the untimely death of Steve Jobs. While the print and television media have eulogized Steve thoroughly, 148Apps.com founder Jeff Scott posted a succinct and elegant send-off for the icon: “Personally I’d like to thank Steve for all he did and all he inspired. It should be obvious, but without what he created this site that I love and labor over wouldn’t be here. He will leave a void that may never be filled.”

While Steve Jobs has passed, his company and its products continue to live and thrive, and the iPhone 4s is just the latest iteration of that product legacy. Jeff Scott asked the question on the minds of all iPhone owners – should I upgrade now? “Hate to start the rumor mill early, but there will, most certainly be, a next iPhone. And it could come out anytime between 6 months and 18 months from now. It will also likely be a major upgrade and a new form factor. Probably true LTE 4G as well. There, I said it. Rumor mill restarted.

Should you wait? Depends on what kind of user you are. If you are a tech geek, we both know you aren’t going to wait. If you are happy with sticking with a phone for a couple of years maybe you will wait for the next one.

But the iPhone 4S is a great phone. If you have an iPhone 3G or non-iPhone, this is the best time to get one. The jump from an iPhone 3G to an 4S will be huge. You won’t believe what you are missing.”

Read the full discussion on 148Apps.com.

Over at our sister site, GiggleApps, reviewer Amy Solomon took a closer look at a new app for kids from National Geographic, WeirdButTrue. Solomon writes, “Very easy to use, the app is a random fact generator filled with interesting tidbits that kids and adults will enjoy. Each page has its own weird but true information, with bright colors and many vivid photos of related images used to illustrate what is being explained, and I also appreciate the creative use of fonts and design in general to fit the text onto the page in most interesting ways possible. These facts can be about animals, the human body, toys and other topics as the app has a plethora of information and it is great fun how varied sound effects are used per each page that in some way relate to the fact being presented.”

Read the full review on GiggleApps.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-09-01 :: Category: Books

That’s it for this week, true believer, but keep watching our Twitter and Facebook feeds for news, giveaways and more. Join us here next week for another recap – same app time – same app station.

4Towers Onslaught Review

4Towers Onslaught Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
This neon glowing tower defense game has a retro feel but includes some interesting combo options that vary the gameplay.

Read The Full Review »
Flapcraft Review

Flapcraft Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
This game about bored Vikings gliding through the air on logs certainly won't leave players bored.

Read The Full Review »
A Knights Dawn Review

A Knights Dawn Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
This tower defense game pits the player against a constant flow of relentless enemies and it doesn't pull any punches.

Read The Full Review »
Fractal Combat Review

Fractal Combat Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Take to the simulated skies in this sci-fi flight sim, but don't expect to find much variation from mission to mission.

Read The Full Review »
Gods of Nibiru Review

Gods of Nibiru Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
While it is a fun game to play, it lacks focus and ultimately suffers from too many options.

Read The Full Review »

iPad App Preview: BibleScope

One of the ways that developers can release an app for the iPad is known as a universal app. A single app that work on both the iPhone/iPod Touch and the iPad. These apps are specially designed to know what device type they are running on and adapt the application to take full advantage of that device. We’re not talking pixel doubled iPhone apps on the iPad, we’re talking true hybrid iPad and iPhone applications.

One such application is BibleScope. This app is a veteran, having been one of the 500 applications on the App Store on launch day. It did really well, relatively, those early days of the App Store, charting well into the Top 100 in sales.

This coming update for BibleScope is the first applications that we know of that will be offering to unlock the iPad functionality via in-app purchasing. It’s an interesting way for developers to recoup the expense of creating the iPad version, but we wonder how customers will take to it. The general response from consumers has been very negative when a developer tries to charge for increased functionality, hopefully this will be different.

Developer Kenny Ham says that he plans on testing the waters by charging $1.99 via in-app purchasing to unlock the iPad functionality, the first time he’s charged for a feature upgrade in the nearly 2 years the app has been available. The main new features for the iPad version include optimization of the display for the larger screen including a 2-page view and pop-over controls.

biblescope-ipad-main-white-blue

The upgraded app should be available at iPad launch or shortly after. Hit the jump for more pictures of the iPad version of BibleScope.

---


Continue reading iPad App Preview: BibleScope »

    Advertisement    





Featured Apps

    Advertisement    


Categories

Developers

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


Latest Posts

So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness! [Updated x1]

Seriously, there's a rather obscene amount of stuff on sale right now, and more discounts are inevitable.

Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze

Toyze, the 3D marketplace app by Eligo Games, has signed a licensing agreement with Game Insight to offer fans the chance to own 3D figures from three of their properties: Tribez, Dragon Eternity, and Mirrors of Albion. “Game Insight is one of the most successful players in the international mobile gaming industry and we are thrilled to […]


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