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Joey Davidson

Senior Writer | 148Apps

Purveyor of words and tiny nuggets of useless knowledge.

Connect with Joey:
Twitter: @joeydavidson

Garbageman Review

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 23rd, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: doubleleft
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar


Garbageman, as a premise, is actually pretty cool. You play as a trash collector following a garbage truck down a straight street. You’ll dodge cars, poles, people, banana peels and other objects as you move from left to right grabbing trash cans and trash bags. Once you’ve got the junk in your possession, you’ll need to swipe your finger towards the truck in order to toss it in the back. It’s fast, simple and relatively addictive. However, rough execution and nothing but the bare essentials keep it from being incredible.

The gameplay, if one were to only consider this feature, is mostly fun. Grab the trash bags and cans and toss them into the back of the truck. As you progress, levels change and the speed increases. You earn money by discarding waste. If you’re good enough to pitch three items in a row, you’ll see a gift wrapped present drop down and earn you a nice power-up. You’ll either fly like Superman or enter this crazy trash-man bullet-time.

The issue comes from the physical act of tossing the bags at the truck. You’ll need to slide from you character to the back of the vehicle. It’s too bad that any error in judgement or any slight alteration of your finger’s path will cause the bag or can to fly way wide. Because of this factor, there’s a massive learning curve presented at the beginning of this game. You’ll likely spend a good deal of time just figuring out what constitutes a proper slide and what doesn’t before you’re actually settling into having fun. That is, if you can do so before you frustration reaches critical mass.

Additionally, the gameplay is repetitive and there’s not much inherently rewarding here. First of all, you’re moving down a single, straight street with a looping environment. After 15 minutes, it’s boring. The scenery doesn’t develop, it doesn’t change, it just is what it is.

Second of all, this is an age of social and competitive gaming. The high scores are entirely local and there’s no way to share your triumphs with friends. You won’t be unlocking achievements or seeing where your friends faltered. There’s no co-op or versus. Basically, it’s you, the trash and the open road. And nowadays, that just isn’t enough.

Don’t fret, though. Given a few updates and some revisions and this game could actually be quite stellar. Social media integration, new levels and achievements would do the trick.

Everything's Okay, the Girls Scout Cookie Locator is Here

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 21st, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Without this one indespensable app, the world may have fallen into complete chaos. In fact, now that it's here we're almost positive that we'll never be able to even consider a time when we weren't able to locate the nearest Girl Scout Cookie sale on our phones. It's like thinking of an age without the internet, TV, electricity or even fire. Unfathomable.

What's obviously been done in good spirit by the Kellog Company, makers of this application, is so very easy for us to tease. But this is certainly a fun, easygoing application meant to entertain and take shots at boosting sales. Sure, we jest, but the Girl Scout Cookie lovers that download this app for a simple chuckle may actually use it once or twice to find their nearest fundraising pack of children. They'll even be presented with the reserved hours of said cookie sale with this application. They'll run out to buy the baked treats by the box, and when that happens: mission accomplished.

Beyond just finding cookies, this application lets users look up nutrition facts and remember the tricky names that belong to the treats they love so much. You'll also be able to take a personality test that links you to your destined cookie (look to the cookie...).

Useless for some, incredible for many, this Girl Scout Cookie locator is an excellent, if not a slightly ridiculous, addition to the App Store. Before you go criticizing too hard, just remember that this product is little more than a marketing tool. And a good one at that. We only wish the entire thing was presented with more of a sense of urgency. Perhaps even a simulated cookie radar would have been a nice touch. Just spitballing here.

Hit the "Find Cookies Nearby" button and go enjoy a Samoa. You earned it.

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Apple Reports the Most Successful Apps Ever

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 21st, 2011

As the world awaits the 10 billionth app download and the subsequent $10k iTunes gift card prize to follow, Apple has released lists ranking 40 of the most successful apps of all time. Each list comes from a specific section of the App Store: Free iPhone/iPod Touch, Paid iPhone/iPod Touch, Free iPad and Paid iPad.

Each list stands as a microcosm of purchases, rash decisions and cultural oddities. We still can't get over the fact that the 7th most successful paid application for the iPad is a fart generator. A fart generator. What does that say about the majority of people that on the device? What does it say about me?

Also ranking among the surprising facets is the spread between Angry Birds and Doodle Jump. Doodle Jump is the most successful paid iPhone and iPod Touch app of all time, while Angry Birds stands in the fourth position between Pocket God and Tap Tap Revenge 3. We'll attribute that to the amount of time that's passed since each app's release. Doodle Jump saw birth on the iOS in April of 2009. Angry Birds? December of 2009.

The lists!

Paid iPhone/iPod Touch Apps
  1. Doodle Jump
  2. Tap Tap Revenge 3
  3. Pocket God
  4. Angry Birds
  5. Tap Tap Revenge 2.6
  6. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz
  7. Traffic Rush
  8. Tap Tap Revenge Classic
  9. AppBox Pro Alarm
  10. Flight Control

Free iPhone/iPod Touch Apps

  1. Facebook
  2. Pandora
  3. Google Mobile App
  4. Shazam
  5. Movies by Flixster
  6. The Weather Channel
  7. Google Earth
  8. Bump
  9. Skype
  10. Paper Toss

Paid iPad Apps
  1. SoundHound
  2. StickWars
  3. FlightTrack
  4. Backbreaker Football
  5. Calorie Tracker
  6. BlocksClassic
  7. iFart Mobile
  8. GoodReader for iPad
  9. Cro-Mag Rally
  10. Ambiance

Free iPad Apps

  1. Pandora
  2. Google Mobile App
  3. Movies by Flixster
  4. Google Earth
  5. Yelp
  6. Fandango Movies
  7. Remote
  8. iBooks
  9. Bible
  10. Solitaire

What about iBooks? iBooks is actually a suggested download. Users are physically prompt by a notification with the option to download iBooks. Everyone is. So why is it only ranked 9th? It just seems odd.

Application developers will likely take two things away from these rankings: a sense of pride (or disappointment) and the urgency of competition. Sure, Apple likely used these lists as an opportunity to add another layer of exposure for their marketplace, but a potentially unintended side effect could actually be a spurred sense of competition amongst developers.

Angry Birds beaten by Doodle Jump, you say? I bet Rovio and Lima Sky are working hard because of this new spotlight.

[via TechCrunch]

Chillingo Announces Updates for Guerrilla Bob and Ice Age Deluxe: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 19th, 2011

Chillingo has updated two apps from their catalogue of titles. Ice Age Deluxe: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is seeing the much improved and sought after Retina display upgrade. But Guerrilla Bob? Well, this announcement comes with a lot more than just improved visuals.

Guerrilla Bob now packs in wi-fi co-op action so that players can team up across several platforms. You'll be able to pull each other up by the boot straps on your iPhone, iPod, Mac or PC. This kind of cross-platform play is mind blowing. We're giddy with geek anticipation.

Beyond just co-op, this update also includes Retina support, two new characters, faster app switching, Game Center support and improved controls and balancing. All of that makes this jump to version 1.3 well worth the wait.

There are, however, some hanger-ons suggesting that this title still lacks a definitive, true version of online multiplayer. By that, we think they mean one that doesn't require a wi-fi connection. We're not magicians engineers, but we assume that the wi-fi necessity comes from the fact that the folks from Chillingo don't want to see their product lagging out due to network issues. Who wants to be in the middle of some highly humorous combat only to see it falter because of some less than perfect data reception? No one.

But, to those folks that are still somehow disappointed, Chillingo has offered up a sacrifice. Guerrilla Bob is currently on sale for just $0.99. If you're unfamiliar with Guerrilla Bob, well, just know that it's positively ridiculous. And we mean that in the most wonderfully complimentary ways. See for yourself with a trailer tailored specifically for this update below.


TiVo App Now Available for the iPad

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 19th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

As Comcast updates their interesting Xfinity app, TiVo delivers on their long awaited iPad promise. TiVo for the iPad makes use of the massive real estate, the touch controls and the snappy navigation potential within the device in order to deliver, according to them, “the world’s most amazing remote control.”

The app has been designed specifically with the TiVo Premiere and Premiere XL boxes in mind. The whole pitch with this application is that you can now search, browse and share without ever interrupting your television viewing. From the application, users will be able to browse channel listings (up to 14 days in advance), set and manage recordings, view actor and actress bios and even comment on specific shows, events and movies.

TiVo’s also included the ability for users to post to Facebook and Twitter from the application in relation to what they’re currently watching or doing.

The TiVo system has always been designed to work in conjunction with users’ home television setups. Its purpose is to complement the experience customers already receive. With the Xfinity app from Comcast and this new TiVo iPad app, the marketplace is getting tougher and tougher to manage. Comcast keeps adding functionality to what they offer, at a cost, as they try to push competitors like TiVo away from the market.

It actually looks like the only thing TiVo’s application does that Comcast’s doesn’t is the ability to discover and learn more about programming and actors. And with the potential addition of live streaming to the Xfinity application, is TiVo’s wonder remote enough to keep the device relevant? Our guess: probably. People do love their TiVo.

[gallery imagesize=”thumbnail”]

[via TiVo]

Apple Celebrating 10 Billion App Downloads with $10k Gift Card

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 18th, 2011

The first person to download the 10 billionth application, or submit the first free entry after the 9,999,999,999th download (more on that in a second), will win a $10,000 gift card to the iTunes store. We'll consider that victory marginally better than the free balloons you get when you're the millionth shopper at your local market.

It's absolutely absurd to consider that in the span of only two and a half years (the App Store launched on July 10, 2008) there are more application downloads in a single marketplace than there are people on Earth. Nearly double the amount, in fact. That is, if you consider being shy by two billion a small margin of difference.

Those interested can head to the contest's page on Apple.com. There you'll see a scrolling ticker representing how close the world is to seeing that 10 billionth download. Is the ticker an accurate representation of the actual apps downloaded? Probably not. One would assume that Apple took the time to figure out how many apps are downloaded in a given span of time and then applied that rule to the ticker itself. But why is that important?

It's only important if you plan on using the no purchase necessary form of entry. For those that don't want to download the 10 billionth app or, alternatively, even for those that don't have an iOS device, you can simply enter using this form within the contest page. You can do so 25 times a day. Obviously, it's not fair to let non-purchasing folk walk away with the prize by just entering a bunch of times. So, the factor that contributes to the entrants eligibility is the timing of said entry.

The gift card will go to either the person that downloads the 10 billionth app or the person that uses the entry form immediately after the 9,999,999,999th download, whichever comes first.

Ramps Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Joey Davidson on January 18th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SIMPLE FUN
Challenging, straightforward and good for both long and short gaming bursts.
Read The Full Review »

Empire Online MMORPG Now Available in North America

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 18th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Say goodbye to your free time, MMO fans. Empire Online, the iPhone MMORPG that's been taking Asia by storm is now available Stateside. We predict a forecast of dropping battery life and too much time spent in the bathroom, because this Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game is free.

And it's huge. Fans will find exceptional graphics, over 300 maps, 1000 quests, 5000 items and 6 million avatars. There's more to do here than we could even begin to comprehend. Moreover, it's likely that the game's developer, Lakoo, has even more in store for their gargantuan product.

This next crazy fact almost blew our minds. The app description lists that players will be able to interact with over 5 million people. For perspective: that's nearly twice the population of Chicago, IL and more than the entire population of New Zealand.

The game itself centers around questing, turn-based combat and PVP action. And all of it, like the game's vast presentation, is done with huge presence in mind. You'll be able to group together with other avatars, or even take part in 20 person battlefields.

The action happens over great looking maps in front of well created NPCs. The presentation has this nice 32-bit feel of rich color and simplistic design. Players will be able to change their equipment constantly, and the new equipment will alter the look of their avatar. This gives each player a unique feel and fashion.

The folks from Lakoo are obviously excited about the further expansion of their title. In the press release, Kin Ko, CEO of Lakoo, offers that “the Lakoo team has been anxiously awaiting Empire Online’s expansion into the North American market. Now English-language players have the keys to the kingdom, and you won’t believe how many MMO elements we can fit on a smartphone.”

If the screenshots, factsheet and trailer are to be trusted, then no, we won't believe how many MMO elements Lakoo can fit on a smartphone. This game seems humongous, and RPG fans better be salivating over what's being offered here.

Empire Online released on Saturday, January 11th 2011 and is slated to be free for good.

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Rimelands Now Universal, Brings a Slew of Updates

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 18th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: EPIC :: Read Review »

Rimelands: Hammer of Thor is now officially a universal application. Dive face first into the turn based action on both your iPhone, iPod and iPad with this single purchase. For those unfamiliar with this massive title, here's a bit from our review:

"Rimelands is about as good as it gets for a turn based RPG on the iPhone. Unless Fallout 2 gets directly ported into the App Store, Rimelands is the game to get."

This update packs more than just the universal upgrade. Now users have Retina Display graphics for the iPhone, native resolution for the iPad and, supposedly, fixes for all of those game-breaking glitches. Since the game's initial release, some users have complained about balancing issues, freezing cutscenes and awkward bugs throughout the title. Here's some bullets from the press release we received regarding the update itself.

  • Ending cutscene now launches correctly

  • Convoy level will not lock before completion

  • Early enemies are easier, late enemies harder

  • Some bosses are harder

  • AI Improvements, enemies will retreat and heal

  • Many crash fixes

  • Tons of smaller bug fixes

This update rolled out on January 15, 2011, only a few days ago. Since then, some users are still complaining about awkward freezing during cutscenes and pivotal moments during the game. Issues likely to be addressed quickly by Crescent Moon, the company behind the title. One has to assume that such a massive game is due to release with problems, but we're more than sure that the frustration from the fans is being listened to and addressed as you read (and I write).

The final portion of this update, and the one that will likely earn a little more forgiveness for the remaining glitches, is the addition of some new content. All of this is available after completing the game, so here's hoping that the fix the bugs during the final cut scene as soon as possible. Players will find two new levels with unique textures, three new tough bosses, six new enemies and new items.

Before You Buy Makes You Question Everything

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 17th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Here's an interesting little application for your iPhone, iPod or iPad that takes a simple concept and makes it completely horrifying, though I'm sure that's not exactly what the fine folks at OwenMobile were going for.

Before You Buy is a financial calculator that will run you $0.99. The premise goes like this: when you're about to make a purchase, of literally any size, you can whip out your iOS device and enter a few parameters in order to see what sort of long term ramifications the product will cost your retirement fund. This app makes the assumption that you already have a retirement account, so don't forget to take that into account should you decide to pick it up.

You'll enter your current age, your retirement age, your retirement fund growth rate and both the cost and frequency of your purchase. With that information, this app crunches the numbers and returns the exact amount of money said purchase will drain from your retirement fund. That's how you'll be able to find out exactly how much that daily trip to Dunkin' Donuts is hurting you in the long run. For me? That's about $752,632.36.

Consider the financial slam dunk above and you understand exactly what I meant when I said that this application has the potential to be positively terrifying. Yes, you could get the same results with a calculator and an easy formula, but Before You Buy makes it all too easy to find yourself scared of buying anything.

As I said, not having a retirement fund renders this application nearly useless. Then again, it's probable that the only people considering this app in the first place are the types that currently have retirement accounts. For those folks, Before You Buy may be an absolutely perfect source of reminders and gentle nudges.

Rather than making this application one dimensional by focusing on what purchases do to retirement accounts, why not let users build a simple savings engine? Most 25 year olds, despite the advice given by financial advisors, don't have retirement accounts. Let these people customize the time frame and nature of their savings account. This application will instantly go from limited to well rounded.

Knitting Daily Available on the App Store

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 17th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

If you love to knit and regularly cruise the internet, odds are you've stumbled over or become a regular reader of Knitting Daily, Interweave's site centered around yarn, needles and whatever surrounds them. Interweave is the masthead of a network of craft related magazines, web sites, books, television shows and communities. It's massive. I don't even knit and I know about this conglomerate and their products. Perhaps that just means I'm a bit more nerdy than I like to admit.

Knitting Daily is now available as an app for the iOS. However, don't just expect to download it and boot up a simple regurgitation of the web site you tend to frequent. This app is a collection, updated weekly, of the latest knitting videos and blog posts. The good folks at Interweave explain that users can expect to regularly learn new tips and tricks from knitting experts as they keep this mobile collection with them at all times.

Those that download the app will also be informed of new, free knitting patterns and catch exclusive expert interviews. Users will be kept abreast to information from Knitscene and Interweave Knits (magazines from the publisher). There's even a handy glossary of knitting terms for people that may fall into the beginner or intermediate categories.

This app has been designed for the iPhone and iPod. It's free and available as of January 11, 2011.

This less-than-novice knitter discovered something completely wonderful while reading up on this old craft: Yarn bombing. The act of surprise knitting objects in an urban environment is nothing short of legendary, and it explains the sweater wearing bull statue in New York on Wall Street. For some examples of yarn bombing, or guerrilla knitting, hit the Googles. Otherwise, get out your needles and this new app, and start a new project, why don't ya?

CBS Sports Football for the iPad is Playoff Ready

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 17th, 2011
iPad App - Designed for iPad

CBS Sports has updated their football app specifically for the playoffs. And as another playoff weekend arrives, football fanatics and iPad owners both may want to hit the App Store and snag this free application.

Even those that aren’t much for the game with that weird oblong ball may need to check this one out. What better way to stroll into that Super Bowl party you usually only enjoy because of the commercials than to do so sporting your iPad, a sweet new app and all the random season and playoff stats you’ve memorized along the way? Next time you slam dunk those nachos into your pie hole, you’ll do it with a new air of confidence and unending justice.

With CBS Sports Football for the iPad, you’ll be privy to live drive charts for each game, constantly updating stats, play-by-plays, relevant headlines, video clips, message boards and more. All of that content can make this application’s presentation a little too chunky and crowded for some folks’ likings, but stat junkies and those that need to be up-to-date on every playoff moment will likely rejoice. Be warned, however, as some users complain about a little screen lag.

Those among us a bit resistant to change are probably pointing towards their currently installed sports or football specific application as their go-to for gridiron glory. To those fans we toss out this nugget of logic: this application, like many others of the same variety, is completely free. That earns you a free perspective on all the action on the field, post-game, pre-game and throughout CBS’ current football headlines.

That’s right, “it’s good.”

PressReader iPad Update Boasts New Look and A Ton Of Content

Posted by Joey Davidson on January 14th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

PressReader attempts to give users an excellent way to ingest their Newspaper subscriptions from around the world. Its first iteration was bold, if not a bit wonky in delivery and style. Customers dug the idea, but were a bit split when it came to the execution of the app itself.

PressReader 2.2 has been released. This update features a fresh new look and a slew of changes poised to make users old and new extremely excited. Champion among them, in this news reader's opinion, is the much smoother navigation. Reading news quickly, effortlessly and effectively is what makes the iOS and tablet era a thrilling one. In fact, one probably wouldn't be too hard pressed to argue that stuttering scrolling is a major detriment to news and reading apps that could otherwise be incredible.

According to the release that accompanied the update to PressReader, users can expect smoother operation, faster navigation, simplified downloading and delivery of newspapers.


  • Faster zooming in graphics mode

  • Ability to wirelessly print full pages and individual articles to AirPrint-enabled printers

  • Improved message format when sharing an article via Facebook

  • New Library Shelf view that mimics a traditional newsstand

  • Improved navigation using section and page slider

  • Ability to automatically remove publications after 60 days (users can still choose to automatically remove issues after 3, 7, 14, and 30 days, or choose not to automatically remove old publications).

  • Simplified automatic delivery of newspapers

  • Ability to exclude downloaded publications when backing up via iTunes

  • Numerous performance and stability improvements to enhance the browsing experience
  • As an aside, while the app may be free, the newspaper subscriptions are not. PressReader was designed to complement the PressDisplay service previously available. PressDisplay is the service you subscribe to in order to actively read and download newspapers in PressReader for your iOS device.

    See the app in motion below.

    The Green Hornet's Recent Comic Series Available in a Single App

    Posted by Joey Davidson on January 14th, 2011
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

    One of America's classic pulp heroes from the 1930s is coming, again, to the silver screen in January of 2011. That's right, in, like, a few weeks from today. In honor of and preparation for the film's release, Dynamite Entertainment (publisher of the comic series, that's plural) and comiXology (makers of an exceptionally good comic book reading app and subscription site) have come together to release an app centered around the Green Hornet's fiction.

    Those familiar with the comiXology site and application will certainly feel right at home with this little collection. The presentation, the reading software and the fluid navigation are all present except they've been done up in green and black in honor of the Green Hornet and his trusty sidekick, Kato.

    Download the free app and you'll get access to free samples and full issues (for purchase) across six different series. In total, 29 books are here for nerds new and old, while even the samples typically come in at about 10 pages in length. Fans of the old Green Hornet lore should know that these new runs by Dynamite rock in with new plots and a new rogues gallery.

    And, yes, the Kevin Smith you see listed as an author on some of these titles is really that Kevin Smith. Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob, Zak and Miri. That guy. Bet you didn't know he wrote comics. And, like that, it's all coming together.

    Sure, you could absolutely write this production off as nothing more than comiXology in green, but where's the fun in that? The project serves as a great launching point for fans looking to dive deeper into the Green Hornet story than what will be offered in theaters later this month.

    Miriel's Enchanted Mystery HD Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Joey Davidson on December 24th, 2010
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BUN IN THE OVEN
    This sequel concentrates on the successes of the original, but is that enough to warrant praise? Yes.
    Read The Full Review »