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.
Fairly tricky to track down in North America, Dragon Quest III’s $9.99 asking price doesn’t seem so bad when placed into the context of eBay prices for a NES or Gameboy Color cartridge. That doesn’t stop Dragon Quest III from seeming rather dated by modern standards, but JRPG fans will enjoy this slice of history. You play the child of a hero, sent to see the King on their 16th birthday before being thrust into an adventure to save the world. Dragon Quest III doesn’t bother with too much originality on this front but it’s forgivable. It adds some more originality and flexibility through its party system. While there’s no chance of being overly attached to your fellow party members, given they’re essentially soulless husks of statistics, they do offer plenty of potential. You simply head to the local tavern to recruit your party and then head out, forming them into exactly what you want of an ally. –Jennifer Allen
Roaming the Oddworld version of the Wild West is the Stranger: a gruff bounty hunter turning wanted criminals in for cash. There are a few gameplay styles on offer here, the first being the third-person platforming that allows for navigation of each area, as well as basic combat. The second is a first-person shooting mode that enables players to think more strategically by making use of a variety of critters that can be captured and used against enemies. Will they use a Bolamite to tie up their enemies, a Chippunk to draw them away from their buddies, or just electrocute them into submission with a Zapfly? Either way, the freedom of approach is an excellent touch. Last of all is the stealth element, giving players the option to take out enemies one by one by setting off traps or creating them, all while hidden from view amidst tall grass. These different styles come together seamlessly to give players the ability to decide how they resolve the matter at hand, preventing Stranger’s Wrath from feeling too linear and monotonous, and instead feeling fresh and exciting. –Lee Hamlet
As unlikely as it might sound, I had a job once that was vaguely like playing Papers, Please. It wasn’t on the border control of a corrupt state, but it did involve conducting background checks on people and checking that their papers as well as their stories added up. I stuck around as there was a strange satisfaction in looking out for discrepancies, and I also happened to be quite good at it. Papers, Please succeeds partially because of that similar sense of satisfaction, but also because of a storyline that draws you in bit by bit. Not that it should, technically. The idea of a game all about working on border control, checking over people’s papers before either admitting them to the country or rejecting them, really isn’t that fascinating on the surface. Two things save Papers, Please from being monotonous, however. The first is how, on a simple level, it gradually introduces new elements to what’s expected of you. –Jennifer Allen
Text editing apps are fairly commonplace on the App Store, but every now and then one will come along that clicks that bit more easily than the last. 1 Writer is one such app. Simple to use but reasonably powerful as well, it’s the kind of text editor that works just as well for taking notes quickly as it is for more powerful markdown-based work. A quick tap on the plus sign guides you straight into things. You can choose to just type away as normal or opt to throw in links, bold, italics, lists, and even images. Along the way, 1 Writer can upload it all to Dropbox and generate the relevant markdown syntax for you. A cursory swipe to the right takes you to a built-in web browser, lending itself well to research purposes. –Jennifer Allen
Flyhunter Origins from Ripstone and Steel Wool Games offers a solid demonstration of how mobile games are getting a bit ahead of themselves. Players zip through Flyhunter Origins as Zak, an alien janitor aboard a flyhunting spaceship. During some impromptu roleplay, Zak accidentally jettisons the ship’s crew and its cargo (bugs) into space. Then they promptly fall back to Earth. Zak needs to round up the crew and the bugs or else he risks making his powerful boss very unhappy. –Nadia Oxford
Recently, I was given the chance to review the 10 Digits learning toy – wood numbers that interact with the iPad and other tablets. Two apps work in tangent to this number set that teaches basic number recognition, addition and the manipulation of numbers up to one hundred within these Montessori-styled applications. I was eager to test this new toy as its brightly colored classic good looks and wooden construction remind me of the wood number puzzle my son had as a toddler, which he loved and oddly anthropomorphized by dragging these numbers within their frame to listen to stories or play with other toys as though this puzzle would take an interest in these activities. A close look at each of these wooden numbers from the 10 Digits toy will find three soft plastic feet on the back to allow these pieces to work on top of the screen of the device. Each foot pattern is unique; they’re akin to Braille and work with the iPad and other tablets to recognize each number in use. Both the apps 10 Fingers and Up to 100 have free lite versions to download and unlock easily using the 10 Digit toy pieces. I admire the clean look of these apps; the white screen, boldly colored numbers, and other details seen with bright translucent colors and subtle brush strokes are details reminiscent of felt tip markers on a dry erase board. –Amy Solomon
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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:
Being fit is gently moving on from being a pastime to being a habit of successful people. Of course, as the need to be healthy becomes more pervasive, it is natural to see more and more tools that have a mobile component. It makes sense… smartphones are the ubiquitous pocket companions. The Pear System looks to bridge this gap, first by being a veritable heart rate measuring tool, and then by wirelessly connecting data via one’s Android device. The review package Pear send to us highlights the system; the review packet contains the Pearl heart rate monitor, a chest strap, headphones and a carrying pouch. Most of th pieces are bathed or accented in bright blue. The HRM unit is diminutive, with the company logo tastefully stamped on the front. The back has two press-in buttons and the battery cover. The strap is black, with the press-in receptacles, and is adjustable and stretchy. The headphones look simple, but have interesting buds, and there is a button on the right ear. Finally, the carry pouch is light and zippered. –Tre Lawrence
Star Wars Galactic Defence is a pretty basic tower defence game. Enemies of different types run along lanes in each level. The player must build a series of towers to prevent the m enemies reaching a certain area . After each level the player receives a rank depending on how many enemies they managed to stop. Player can also select 1-3 heroes for each level. These heroes can be freely controlled. Star Wars Galactic Defence doesn’t stray far from this formula and indeed lacks fairly basic tower defence features, like an upgrade system or hero skills. The only hint of progression in the game is new towers that are unlocked at certain levels. Galactic Defence doesn’t just encourage players to replay previous levels, it requires it. Every level after the first is so difficult that it is nigh on impossible to repeat earlier levels to gain money and hero experience. Enemies simply flood in and getting three stars is difficult indeed. This is the polar opposite of fun and is compounded by the fact that to unlock later levels the player must acquire a certain amount of stars. –Allan Curtis
Call of Duty: Heroes, despite its action game roots has more in common with Clash of Clans than with Modern Combat. Does the mammoth license of CoD make it a good game? After an initial battle, like other city builder games, the player is put in charge of constructing a base from the ground up including resource buildings, troop training facilities and base defence. This proceeds slowly. After a few resource buildings are ticking over the player can begin to crank out an army. These range from average rifle wielding grunts to..other slightly different soldiers such as RPG ones. –Allan Curtis
And finally, what were the ten most watched videos on AppSpy? What are the best gamebooks on Android? And just how good is Galcon 2? All of these questions, and at least four more, are all answered on AppSpy’s lovely website this week.
Also this week, Pocket Gamer finished off its advent calendar with five more amazing freebies, reviewed the new SimCity and Brothers in Arms games, and reported on the most Googled game of 2014. It wasn’t Destiny… All that and loads more, right here.
Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Are you one of those people who likes to watch LetsPlay videos and check out new games that way? Then Kamcord might be just for you.
Newly updated to version 2.0, the app is a social network for gamers, allowing you to check out millions of LetsPlay videos from some of your favorite mobile games. Quick and easy to use, you can now watch videos of the likes of The Sandbox, Stickman Soccer 2014, and even children’s favorite, My Talking Tom.
The Kamcord update means there are now full social features such as the ability to comment, follow, and like videos, so it should be quite the delight for sociable mobile gamers.
Kamcord is out now from the App Store and is a free download.
Posted by Carter Dotson on May 13th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
EndlessTV is a series of apps that are designed to make internet video into an experience more like watching TV. Fire up one of the EndlessTV apps, like the Sports app, and start watching sports videos – with different video ‘channels’ available to watch, sourced from different internet video providers, set to an endless playlist, so there’s always something to watch, with the ability to change channels and videos on a channel at will.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on May 8th, 2014 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Adobe has just released a creative app named Adobe Voice; the utility is geared towards making it easy for users to create animated video in very little time. No filming is required; users can select from more than 25,000 images that reflect an idea and vision, tell the narrative that needs to be expressed, and the app takes care of the rest by attaching cinematic motion and a musical score. Completed creations can be shared via social networks, or disseminated by other means.
As MacRumors notes, the output hearkens more to animated slideshows than true video, but the draw is probably in the simplicity of operation.
Adobe Voice is available for free on the App Store.
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on September 12th, 2012 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
While this isn’t an issue until iOS6, when the YouTube app will no longer be part of Apple’s mobile operating system, Google has just released a standalone YouTube app for the iPhone. An iPad version should be coming soon.
On one level, it’s just a new app. But YouTube’s mobile usage is large and growing – 1bn mobile views a day at the moment, with a big chunk of them coming from music videos. As Google and Apple’s fractured relationship continues to splinter, it matters to the music industry how YouTube is accessed on iOS devices.
Exercise workout videos have been around since the days of VHS and, more recently, DVDs. It makes perfect sense that the next evolutionary step is workout videos through an iOS device. Even better, an app that offers AirPlay support so you can see the videos via your AppleTV. That app is FitPlay.
FitPlay isn’t the cheapest of apps, with in-app purchases priced from $14.99, but it does provide some high quality advice from some of the world’s best coaches. Plenty of different activities are covered here from Kettlebell training to Yoga, Tennis and Soccer. Professional trainers, sportspeople and even Gold Medallists offer advice with tips on how to avoid injury and boost nutrition, as well as their chosen talent.
For those in need of some video based motivation and advice, FitPlay should be an ideal place for help. The ability to stream the content makes it all the more useful for the home set up.
Force Therapeutics has recently released their new app, FORCE Mobile. FORCE Mobile is a video library app that recommends rehabilitation exercises and creates custom playlists for its users.
The videos included in the app are used around the country by physical therapists to help prevent injuries. Bronwyn Spira, president of Force Therapeutics, boasts “It’s basically like having a physical therapist in your pocket.” The app contains over 300 professionally produced videos for its users to access.
The recommendations that FORCE Mobile gives to users is based on sport played and the area and type of dysfunction the user is suffering. Particularly appropriate videos can be favorited for quick access the next time the app is opened.
FORCE Mobile is free to download but has a monthly subscription of $4.99. Users can also visit the FORCE online store within the app and purchased equipment recommended by the app per exercise. There’s a two-day flat-rate shipping for the store anywhere in the U.S. The app is also available for Android.
As a companion to the 2012 Swimsuit Edition, Sports Illustrated has officially launched its companion iPhone app. The free version of the app allows access to a selection of photos for each of this year’s models, while those who pay the $6.99 upgrade will get every single photo from this year’s issue as well as exclusive videos, the ability to rotate the photos, and more. Those who already have a subscription to the magazine can grab the premium version of the app for free, all you have to do is punch in your subscription info and the upgrade is yours.
For those who want to show off to friends, the app also supports Airplay, so if you happen to own an Apple TV you can easily stream all the content directly to your HD television. Furthermore, due to “popular demand,” SI has included pinch-and-zoom capabilities, so you can get up close and personal with all those beautiful… bikinis. What? You’re just checking the labels to see what sort of swimwear to buy your wife, right? Yeah, that’s what we’ll tell her.
To be fair, there are a fair number of video editing apps available for the iPhone right now. I suppose it’s because the portable nature of iDevices makes them perfect for amateur film folk. Cinefy is another such app meant for creating video clips, sure, but it appears to be much more extensive than most of the current offerings.
For one thing, it has a pretty sleek and accessible-looking interface: the individual tracks are easy to distinguish from one another thanks to some vivid color-coding. But it’s not just about the editing. Cinefy also offers what, to my knowledge, is a first for iOS video apps. It features “one click licensing,” which gives users access to a large selection of copyright-cleared tunes (provided by Friendly Music). A feature meant to streamline the process of video production, no doubt, and it seems like it’ll do just that. Once a video has been finished, it can be exported to Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.
There’s no official pricing and release info available yet, but interested cinematic auteurs can head on over to the website to try and get a spot in the beta. And if anyone reading this gets in, please feel free to tell us about it!
There’s a lot to take in online isn’t there? Every day more and more information, whether it be useful new Wikipedia entries or funny and entertaining videos, emerges on the internet. Things can get a little overwhelming. As is fortunately the way, there’s an app to help tame it all. At least on the video side of things.
Shufflr promises that videos will find the user. It’s not quite as stalkerish as that, fortunately, but it does offer a way for users to quickly see what videos their friends are sharing on Twitter. They can also discover other people with similar tastes – whether that be complex political narratives or cute cats doing silly things. Plus there’s the all important personalized video recommendations and the ability to check out trending videos quickly.
For the video fan, Shufflr looks to be an ideal solution to missing out on all the latest and greatest without taking too long to find such things.
It’s not always convenient to be permanently around a wi-fi area or 3g connection zone even if it is useful to view YouTube videos while on the go. Fortunately there’s now a way for users to watch Standard and High Definition YouTube videos while on the move, courtesy of SPEEDbit HD.
It’s an app that allows users to save videos on their iOS device for later consultation. There’s no freezing, no buffering, no problems basically with videos loading quickly and smoothly. Other than that, it’s a pretty regular YouTube search app but that one feature is a truly useful thing indeed.
Being able to view videos without relying upon a strong data connection is perfect for those who regularly travel to out of the way places or who worry about racking up high data charges.
SPEEDbit HD is a free and universal app. Check out the video below for more details of how it works.
Most come to 148apps to learn which apps to spend their hard earned dollars on. Today I’ll mix it up, because my favorite four are apps with free video content.
Crackle, a division of Sony, adds 20 new movies and TV episodes to its app monthly. It’s 100% free and a must-have app for anyone. It’s always there for me to just whip out and watch whenever I don’t really have a preference. Some of my current favorites available are 21, The Nines, The Karate Kid I and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-04-18 :: Category: Entertainment
SnagFilms (iPad only)
SnagFilms is an app dedicated to nothing but documentaries. While documentaries aren’t for all movie-lovers, those of us who like them will jump at the chance to have an app filled with free documentaries. The app is currently boasting over 80 films and I’m hoping for more in the future. To highlight some available, it has “A to Zeppelin” about Led Zeppelin, “Close Encounters” about the existence of aliens, “Hell on Wheels” about a group of women trying to bring back roller derby, and “MacHeads” about us Mac fanatics.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-01-05 :: Category: Entertainment
ABC Player (iPad only)
The ABC Player is a free app dedicated to catching up on various ABC shows. As far as I know, all shows available to watch on their website are accessible on the iPad app. This is an awesome app for anyone who’s a fan of at least one show on ABC. Currently, some popular shows on the app include Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Desperate Housewives, and Grey’s Anatomy.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-04-01 :: Category: Entertainment
While TED talks aren’t movies or TV shows, they’re definitely free video content – arguable the best free video content available online. It’s arguable because to say otherwise would be to argue with me! I love TED talks. Basically, they are talks almost any subject imaginable delivered by field experts. Some of my favorites include one from Adam Savage (Mythbusters guy), Pattie Maes about her SixthSense device, Malcolm Gladwell about spaghetti sauce (but it’s much more general than that!), and Sal Khan about his educational video program, Khan Academy.
The problem with our vast amounts of media nowadays is that it’s often in so many places – stored on our computer, on our phones, on our game consoles – and sometimes those files wind up on just one place instead of where we really want them. Twonky Media is here to help alleviate some of that content dislocation, by presenting a solution for streaming media to and from your iPhone and iPod touch.
Twonky Mobile serves two purposes: first, it lets you access media being played remotely, so you can access media being played by remote UPnP servers and other Twonky Mobile servers on your iOS device. This means that you can listen to music shared from a computer, or if you have an Android phone and an iPod touch and want to listen to music from your Android on your iPod, you can do so easily. Second, it works as a media server – this means you can easily share your photos from your device to an Xbox 360 hooked up to your TV, for example. You can also use this as a middleman to beam content from servers to a device like the Roku using your iPhone or iPod touch.
One of the drawbacks, due in part to iOS restrictions, is that your music and video libraries appear to be unavailable for streaming, so you can’t use this app to play your iPod library on your Xbox 360. This is an unfortuante limitation of iOS, to prevent music and video content to be used outside of any Apple-sanctioned use. This limits some of Twonky Mobile’s use on iOS, especially as Android’s Twonky Mobile has no limits on what content can be streamed, and it even works for transmitting to AirPlay receivers. The app also doesn’t support multitasking yet, so you can’t use this to listen to audio from a remote server in the background. So while the app could definitely make use of some loosened restrictions and expanded features, but if you’re big on streaming content across your house, this could be worth checking out.
It goes without saying that there are some things in life that I don’t know. As much as I would love to convince everyone otherwise, I am far from a genius and more often than not turn to the internet to fill in my educational void. This is where an innovative video “how-to” site site by the name of Howcast comes in. Combining informative videos amusing presentation, they have taken an interesting new approach to teaching the masses. Sure, some of the clips may share a similar vibe with an Enzite commercial, but fear not, all of the content is solid.
If you are looking for a perfect example of the kind of information and presentation that the site has pioneered, check out this clip entitled “How to Freestyle Rap.”
I realize that I still will have no future dropping a beat, I still feel like I know a little bit more about how to be successful. With a lighthearted delivery and fun content like “How To Make Your Dorm Room Livable” or “How To Set Up a Hayride,” you are bound to find just the information you are looking for and maybe even some that you weren’t.
The problem is that the site’s videos are ran using a flash based media player, therefor rendering them useless on iOS devices. Well that was the case until a few weeks ago when they debuted the Howcast iPad application. Now that their impressive back library of videos have been ported to our platform of choice, we will be able to soak in all of the fun on the run. Plus, as you can see in some of the screenshots, everything is seamless and simple to navigate as well. Possibly best of all is the pricetag, which is a heaping helping of absolutely nothing. So act fast and download the app, before they wise up and decide to make some money!
Robo-fighter Ironkill has been out on iOS and Android for a while now, but the roster’s been missing a certain feminine touch. Thankfully, developers Play Motion are ready to hook all 148Apps readers up with an exclusive code to unlock Sunshine Girl, the ladybot with attitude. All you have to do to unlock Sunshine Girl […]