All posts by Jeff Scott
Misfit Shine Activity Tracker Hardware Review
Adobe Announces Photoshop Mix for iPad, Lightroom for iPhone, and More
Adobe is making a few announcements today. Announcements like making their Creative Cloud Photography plan a permanent plan ($9.99/month for Photoshop CC, Lightroom, and more - an excellent deal) and further moves into mobile.
First up is Lightroom for iPhone. Earlier this year Adobe released Lightroom for iPad a companion app that allows quick edits when on the go. Today Adobe is releasing a separate app for use on the smaller iOS device. The iPhone maintains the same features as Lightroom for iPad, but some of the controls are optimized for the iPhone.
Next up, Photoshop Mix. It’s a whole new iPad application that brings some of the advanced features of Photoshop to the mobile world for the first time. This includes content-aware fill, layer support, cloud import/save, and more.
Adobe Line and Sketch allow more specific functions for mobile artists and designers. Sketch takes a mobile sketch book and adds collaboration features. While Line is a precision drawing and drafting app.
All of the mobile apps including Lightroom and Photoshop Mix, Adobe Line, and Adobe Sketch are available free. Some features will only work with a Creative Cloud subscription (like the CC Photography one mentioned above).
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good-bye... But, I'll see you soon
Just a quick note to say that it is with a very heavy heart that I must say good-bye to 148Apps. It’s been a wonderful learning experience building this site over the past six years. Thanks to you, the readers for making it the go-to reference for all things iOS apps.
Rob Rich will be taking the helm and steering this ship on to prosperous waters. I think you’ll find he’s witty and an all around good dude.
I’m off to build whatever is next. If you want to connect with me, my contact info is available here. Cheers, Jeff
Modern Combat 5 from Gameloft - We get an updated look
We got some hands on time this week with one of the most anticipated games of 2014, Modern Combat 5 from Gameloft. This series has seen some stellar titles in the past with the most recent one, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour being one of the premier first person shooters on iOS. This new installment in the series amps everything up to the next level with more game play types, new locations, and amazing updates to the graphics and realism.
Take a look below at our exclusive video for a look at three missions, a standard story progress mission set in Venice, a sniper mission, and a breach and clear mission.
The intro to the first mission in particular shows the updated graphics. With Modern Combat 5 taking full advantage of the latest in graphics technologies on the iPhone 5S.
While Gameloft hasn’t given us a release date yet, the game looks pretty darn ready for release. We’ll let you know as soon as we know more.
Quick Update on Gunnar Glasses - Do They Really Reduce Eyestrain?
When I first started seeing Gunnar glasses at conferences and mentioned here and there, I blindly dismissed them. Tinted glasses that can actually help with eye fatigue? Yeah right. Fast forward a couple years and Eli Hodapp from Touch Arcade starts talking about them. He said he wears them and noticed a difference. Hmm...
I’ve always had eye strain issues — comes from spending 14 hours a day, every day, in front of a computer screen I guess. Just seemed to be part of the job. I check in with an optometrist every once in a while to make sure I’m not doing damage. Everything has been fine, but I do notice eye fatigue. So, when Gunnar offered to send me a pair through their PR agency, Sandbox Strategies, I said sure, let’s give them a try.
This will sound like an infomercial, but imagine my surprise when they actually worked. Yeah, really. They aren’t miracle glasses or anything. But when I remember to wear them there is a noticeable reduction in eye fatigue at the end of a day. Who’d a thunk it? A product that actually does what it says.
So are they useful to me, yes? Will they be useful to you? Check out their site and see what you think. They do have a money back guarantee that makes the risk a little less.
Livescribe 3 Smartpen Review
The Seventh Sign: Hodappy Bird Released on the App Store
While simultaneously mocking and yet contributing to the App Store clone madness around Flappy Bird, Hodappy Bird has been released by Madgarden. And the whole Flappy Bird thing implodes upon itself. As Ryan Evans described it, it's "the Citizen Kane of Flappy Bird clones."
It’s the ultimate move of App Store ridicule, mocking them from within, Eli Hodapp of Touch Arcade fame now has his own themed version of Flappy Bird, and well, it’s a thing I guess.
With tongue firmly planted in cheek, this clone of a clone is meant to both capitalize on the Flappy Bird craze and also to poke fun at it. It’s basically Flappy Bird with all of the quaintness replaced by annoying free to play tactics. Methods like offering a continue for three coins - which can be gathered rarely by playing or watching video ads for other apps you probably don't want to play. Nice touch putting the watch video ad button right where continue button should be. Skewering free to play and the clone madness in one game.
It’s all in fun and it is funny, sure. Is it a sad statement about the App Store? It's that too. Is it worth your time, eh. Perhaps it's a bit too much of an inside joke for most. Did you notice that Hearthstone is out?
The Problem with Carousel
The problem with Carousel, the new app from Dropbox released today to organize, present, and share photos isn’t the app itself, it’s what it’s built on.
Carousel is a fantastic app for mobile presentation of photos. Quick and easy to find old photos and show and share them. It's really one of the better cloud photo apps I've tried. The real problem is that it’s build on Dropbox, which is a service created for cloud storage of documents and not for media. And that service is still priced for documents and not media.
Let me back up a second. Dropbox is an amazing service. I’ve used it and paid for it for years. But I’ve never considered it a great place to store photos, video, or other media files. The problem is that is is really expensive right now. In a time where Google is charging $10/month for a terabyte, and Flickr gives every user a free terabyte for images, Dropbox is charging 10x what Google is, and without upgrading to a business plan users can’t even get more then 500GB in an account (for $50/month).
Media piles up quickly. Especially so with photos since every reader of this blog likely has a camera with them at all times of the day, every day. I myself have well over 700GB of images that I’ve stored up from 10+ years of digital photography. I’ve just now started scanning old family photos and there are thousands of those waiting to be completed. All in all I’ll probably need close to a terabyte for just my images to store a “lifetime of memories.” And that doest even count the birthday, vacation, and all the other special occasion videos. This type of media is easier and easier to take and edit, but they will also fill up a Dropbox account very quickly.
So for now, Carousel is a great app, if you have a few hundred photos, but it doesn’t really fit the first selling point that Dropbox is touting it as, it doesn’t allow a lifetime of memories. That is unless you don’t have a lot of memories.
I think Dropbox will be forced into dropping their prices soon. Perhaps they are ready to do it now but didn't want to take the focus away from the new features. Cloud storage is a commodity, and Dropbox is way overpriced right now.
AppSpy Goes Hands-On with the new Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff *
As reported by Touch Arcade late yesterday, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff was released on the App Store for a short while in New Zealand, probably as the result of a mistake. It was quickly taken down and Fox apparently went all nuclear about people showing the game. Trying to erase history, just as their news channel loves to do, the Fox lawyers decided that it never existed and filed copyright claims and take down notices against the people who are likely the biggest fans of the Family Guy franchise.
Being ever so brave and handsome, our good friends over at AppSpy decided to throw caution to the wind and stream the game anyway. Fight the power! And all that. Things turn ugly almost as soon as they start the stream...
The game is officially released tomorrow -- which means it will likely be out at the usual time tonight. But with this fiasco, who knows. We are still trying to decide if we want to even further cover a game with such a hostile company behind it.
Space Pack from Mophie Hardware Review
Lightroom Mobile Announced for iPad
Adobe today is announcing Lightroom Mobile for iPad. With an iPhone version planned for later in 2014.
The app allows syncing of edits from the desktop version of Lightroom 5 to the iPad on selected groups of images. The service is free with any of a number of Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions.
What Lightroom Mobile is: Lightroom Mobile is a quick way to view and apply a select number of edits to a group of photos from a Lightroom catalog while away from a desktop. These images can be pre-synced to allow offline access, or accessed live. Even while away from the network Lightroom is running on.
What Lightroom Mobile is not: Lightroom Mobile is not a cloud photo service. It’s merely a way to sync photos and edits between desktop and iOS. These images can be manipulated on both ends and even displayed in low resolution on the web, if selected. But it is not a backup service, nor a large scale image sharing service. That is still left for other applications like Adobe’s own Revel.
Lightroom Mobile, like Lightroom desktop, does non-destructive edits to the images. Meaning the original is not altered, just a series of edits applied over the top of it. The original is always available.
Lightroom Mobile will also assist in moving camera roll images back to a Lightroom catalog. Users can create a new collection on the iOS device and choose to have camera roll images automatically added to it. This will cause the images to be synced back to the same collection on the Lightroom Desktop.
Lightroom Mobile is available free with the subscription to any of the following Creative Cloud plans:
• Creative Cloud—Photoshop Photography Program
• Creative Cloud complete plan
• Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition
• Creative Cloud for teams complete plan
We'll have more about Lightroom Mobile as soon as we can get our hands on it.
Winners of the 6th Annual Best App Ever Awards Announced!
We are proud to announce the winners of the 6th Annual Best App Ever Awards!
With millions of votes cast for their favorite apps and games, visitors to the 6th Annual Best App Ever Awards made this an amazing year. Without further ado, here are the winners:
Winner: DEVICE 6 by Simogo
Second Place: Fantastical 2 for iPhone - Calendar and Reminders by Flexibits Inc.
Third Place: Minecraft - Pocket Edition by Mojang
Winner: IFTTT by IFTTT
Second Place: Mailbox by Orchestra, Inc.
Third Place: DEVICE 6 by Simogo
Winner: Paper by FiftyThree by FiftyThree, Inc.
Second Place: Procreate - Sketch, paint, create. by Savage Interactive Pty Ltd
Third Place: Infinity Blade III by Chair Entertainment Group, LLC
Hit the jump for the full list of winners in all categories of the 6th Annual Best App Ever Awards!
Monument Valley, gorgeous puzzler from ustwo out April 3rd
We've talked about Monument Valley in the past. I got a chance to sit down with some of the development team at GDC last week to get an update. The game is looking even better than the last time I got my hands on it. I can't wait for the release. And the good news is it's going to be released next week on April 3rd!
GDC 2014: Unreal Engine 4 Launched - goes subscription at $19 per user
Expect to some some really pretty, graphically rich, 3D Flappy Bird clones soon.
Epic announced today a move that makes the Unreal Engine development kit available to all, at only $19 per month. In a risky move to counter other 3D engines in the mobile space, Unreal Engine 4, launched today, is available to anyone that wants to pay the $19 per month fee. That engine can be used to deny games to both desktop and mobile games. Previously the engine that powers Infinity Blade would cost millions and require a negotiated deal.
Unreal dies require that developers that make money from games developed with The engine, from premium, free to play, or ad supported, to pay a 5% gross license fee.
The engine is available to download now at http://www.unrealengine.com/.