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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Gets the Remastering Treatment, With the Long-Lost Hidden Palace Level Restored

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 13th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: :: Read Review »

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has been given the remastering treatment by Sega and Christian Whitehead, who presided over the Sonic CD remake and original Sonic the Hedgehog remake that released earlier this year. Available as a free update to the previously-emulated version on the App Store, Sonic 2 contains some cool new goodies along with widescreen and iPad support.

Unlike Sonic CD and the original Sonic the Hedgehog, which were both games that only let players control Sonic in their original versions, Sonic 2 was much more comprehensive with its characters. Tails made his first appearance in Sonic 2. Knuckles showed up later, but was patched in to the game for people who locked-on Sonic 2 to Sonic & Knuckles. However, Tails has been given the ability to fly where users couldn’t control it in the Genesis original.

Thus, the big addition to this game is Hidden Palace. Sonic 2 is pretty well-known for having had a few levels left on the cutting room floor, discovered through leaked betas. One of the most intriguing pieces that was abandoned was a level called Hidden Palace. While the name and perhaps its giant emeralds were reused in Sonic 3, how it would fit into Sonic 2 was never quite known and this level in particular has only been found in an unfinished form. But now Christian Whitehead has gotten to add the level to the game, finished it up, and given it a proper conclusion - including a brand-new boss fight.

Finding the level isn’t too difficult: one particular quasi-bottomless pit near the middle of the game that would just kill players with spikes has become the entrance to Hidden Palace. You’ll probably discover it accidentally. Or, just watch the video below!

There’s still a good selection of secrets to be had. To access level select, go into No Save Mode, and tap on the letters S-E-G-A in order. Then, tap and hold with two fingers on the title screen to access the level select. Here you can select any level, including Hidden Palace.

You can use the Sound Test to put in cheats. Playing 4–1–2–6 will give you all 7 Chaos Emeralds. Playing 1–9–9–2–1–1–2–4 will unlock debug mode; tap in the upper left corner to turn into an item. Use the + and - icons that appear to cycle between icons. There’s some unused item boxes that can be placed, and ones that only appear in the two-player mode.

And oh, that’s been preserved too - and now the two-player race mode supports Game Center online multiplayer. There’s no iCade support, but MFi gamepads are supported.

Even beyond the new additions, considering that Sonic 2 is a game that holds up incredibly well to this day even without any additions, this is a must-have for fans and anyone who has yet to play this classic. The game is a free update to those who owned the previous original emulated version, and is available now.

TouchCast Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad only
By Arron Hirst on December 4th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar ::
TouchCast's obvious want to blur the line between creating and sharing interactive, presentation-quality video is great - for the most part. However, some elements could do with a visual update.
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Carter vs. the Developer: Pivvot

Posted by Carter Dotson on November 8th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: SWING AROUND! :: Read Review »

I have a reputation for being able to go toe-to-toe with developers at their own games, beating their best times and high scores. This is Carter vs. the Developer.

This episode does things a little backwards. It turns out Whitaker Trebella, creator of Pivvot, isn't the best at Berserk mode in his own game. I have a higher time than he does! So, after trying to beat his score on video almost instantaneously, we decided to flip the script. Trebella takes the helm and tries to beat my record time in what should be rightfully called Developer vs. the Carter.


Dropcam Pro Lets Users Monitor Their Homes Through Streaming and Cloud Recording

Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 28th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: :: Read Review »

Dropcam Pro is now available in Apple stores and on Apple.com, letting users monitor their homes, kids, and pets straight from their iPhone or iPad. Users can purchase Dropcam Pro for $199 to begin live streaming in the area the wish to keep an eye on. They can also use the camera to record and save to the cloud through cloud recording.

Check out the video below!

Cameo Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Mike Deneen on October 25th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT
While Vine and Instragram are the hot video apps, there are other apps that give users way more options. Cameo is one of them.
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Mindie Lets Users Choose Songs From Their iTunes Library and Create Jammin' New Music Videos

Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 21st, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Mindie gives users the ability to create their own music videos. The app provides users access to their iTunes library, allowing them to easily pick a song and then start recording a video while the music is playing. Once complete, users can share their creations with friends on Facebook and Twitter! Yay!

Go grab the app and begin creating 7 second music video loops!

Spark Camera Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Angela LaFollette on October 18th, 2013
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: LACKLUSTER
Spark Camera is beautifully designed but its lack of creative control is disappointing.
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Carter vs. the Developer: Impossible Road

Posted by Carter Dotson on October 11th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: DOWN THIS ROAD AGAIN :: Read Review »

I have a reputation for being able to go toe-to-toe with developers at their own games, beating their best times and high scores. This is Carter vs. the Developer.

Kevin Ng is the madman behind the high-flying Impossible Road, featuring a rolling ball on a difficult-to-survive course. I try to beat a pre-determined score of his, and then try to tackle his record for most gates jumped. Along the way there’s plenty of helpful tips, and a trick for experts that even I didn’t know going in to the game. Watch!


Dropcam Pro - Network Connected Camera Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jeff Scott on October 10th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar ::
Dropcam Pro is an upgrade to the previous model, which we already loved. This new model adds beefier hardware and better software.
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Carter vs. the Developer: Mikey Hooks

Posted by Carter Dotson on September 16th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: :: Read Review »

I have a reputation for being able to go toe-to-toe with developers at their own games, beating their best times and high scores. This is Carter vs. the Developer.

Mike Meade, one of the namesakes of Mikey Hooks, the game he co-created with Mike Gaughen as BeaverTap Games, is a speed-running champion. He's dominated the leaderboards on games like Super QuickHook. So I'm up for a formidable challenge as I try to beat one of the best in the world at the game they made! I have ten minutes to top Mike Meade's time on level 4-1 of Story Mode. Do I have the precision turning ability to beat his time?

Carter vs. the Developer: Zombie Highway: Driver's Ed

Posted by Carter Dotson on September 9th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: HIGHER EDUCATION :: Read Review »

I have a reputation for being able to go toe-to-toe with developers at their own games, beating their best times and high scores. This is Carter vs. the Developer.

I take on Kevin Pazirandeh's (Auxbrain, Inc.)high score in Zombie Highway: Driver's Ed. With the agreed-upon rules of starting at level 7 in experience with the second upgrade for all vehicle parts and the first popper upgrade bought, Kevin set a high score of over 110,000, which you can watch for yourself. I have ten minutes to best that score. Can I do it? Watch me try below.

Hands-On Video Demo with Pocket Audio Tools: an Audio App for Audio Professionals, by Audio Professionals

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 29th, 2013
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. That’s what George Hufnagl, a Chicago-based sound designer, did. In need of easy-to-use portable tools for audio and video editing, he set out to do just that. And the result? Pocket Audio Tools.

He partnered with Canada-based Christian Floisand, who is also a programmer but learned Objective-C specifically to make this app, to help bring Pocket Audio Tools to life. The app itself is a bit technical, and of use primarily to certain audiences, which George Hufnagl was glad to show me in this demo video running down the various features:

The app currently has four features: a tempo finder for finding the BPM based on a region’s duration, beats, and the type of notes being played. This relates to the Modulation section, where particular tempos can be modulated to different values when trying to slow down or speed up a piece for particular uses. The SMPTE section allows those who work with audio along with video to calculate particular frame values based on SMPTE (Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Frames) timing or frame timing, to help get audio down to the specific value they need it to be at, with the ability to save favorite values.

The scale frequency section is the only one that actually features sound output! This lets sound designers see the frequencies of certain notes, their MIDI key equivalents, and to output that frequency to test how it will sound. Different scales based in different notes can be chosen to help get the exact frequencies necessary.

But most importantly, this is an app that George says that he uses regularly, especially the tempo finder in the sound projects that he works on.

This is just the beginning for Pocket Audio Tools: the app is planned to be updated over the next year with additional features added in (the Feedback link will send an email to the programmer, Christian) as per users’ requests and with plans to bring the app to other platforms including desktops. This is a tool meant to be handy for audio professionals, and considering that the creators are audio professionals themselves, they don’t just have to live up to their users’ standards: they have to live up to their own.

MixBit Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Carter Dotson on August 28th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: SIR MIX-A-LOT
MixBit has a great app and service - but will anyone actually use it?
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Sago Mini Doodlecast Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Amy Solomon on August 26th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CREATIVE KEEPSAKES
Sago Mini Doodlecast allows users to record their own themed drawings complete with narration.
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VideoPlay Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 10th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ATTRACTIVE YET BASIC
Offering a simple if somewhat basic way of creating videos with filters, VideoPlay isn't an all-in-one solution but it does the job for most users.
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