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Manga Art Academy Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Timothy Smith on June 8th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: HANDY
Manga Art Academy is a nice resource for budding artists, but don't expect to be an expert without some real practice.
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Book Crawler Review

Posted by Gianna LaPin on May 18th, 2011

Developer: Jaime Stokes
Price: $1.99
Version: 3.3
App Reviewed on: iPod Touch 4g
iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar

Those of us with extensive book libraries, or even casual book lovers who like to keep track of their literary adventures, have just been given a brand new reason to love our iOS devices. Book Crawler, by Jaime Stokes, is a full-featured book cataloging program packed with thoughtful features. For starters, Book Crawler offers several powerful ways to get books into the application. Hardy souls can input the books manually, filling in nearly two dozen input fields by hand. The more impatient of us will be happy to hear that we can also search and add through Google Books or opt to make use of the built-in ISBN scanner camera on our iOS device. Book Crawler comes with zbar by default, but suggests that users download pic2shop as an alternative. I tried both and had much better luck with pic2shop. If you accidentally scan the wrong barcode (there can be as many as 5 on a single book), a helpful error message will set you straight. Users planning on adding a large number of books at once should check the Settings screen on the home screen for the “batch input” field, as it provides a smoother data entry workflow. Any book with a ISBN/ASIN number, even Kindle books, can be cataloged.

Once a book is recognized via manual or scanned input, it is added to the collection. Depending on the data source some fields may be empty, including fields the app expects to be filled in by the user, such as the star rating. Book Crawler offers an almost obscene number of ways to tag, filter, sort, categorize, flag and otherwise hack and slash a literary collection. Besides the option of user-defined tags and “smart” (self-populating) categories, users also have two completely undefined custom fields, an undefined off-on switch, a decimal field, date field, and a URL field. This kind of extensibility should make it accommodate any bibliophile’s arcane classification system.

Once we get our books in to Book Crawler, it gives us some handy options for getting them out. For example, it lets bookworms share books with the world via Twitter (using the #bookcrawler hashtag) and Facebook, as well as through boring old email. It integrates with the Goodreads review service and lets users see if that particular book is stocked at the local library, via WorldCat (which mysteriously didn’t pick up on any library closer to me than 70 miles away, so YMMV).

Once there’s about a dozen books in the app, it’s time to start looking for the backup and export options, which Book Crawler has in spades. It’s flexibility in this regard almost makes me overlook the fact that it has no companion desktop application for easy data entry, although any literary cataloging system worth its salt would probably generate (and ingest) a CSV if you asked it to. I was pleased to see that the app natively syncs to Dropbox.

Overall, Book Crawler’s user interface is nearly watertight, making it a delight to use. There’s one particular sequence of screens which tripped me up a few times (I couldn’t find the “Home” button) but other than that I have no complaints. I see a bright future ahead for Book Crawler and hope its developers will consider the addition of companion web-based, or desktop, app for data entry and backup purposes.

The Official Ferrari Opus For iPhone Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 21st, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CLASSY
Offering some stunning visuals, this is a must buy for Ferrari fans.
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Unwanted Guest: iPhone Edition

By Phillip Levin on February 25th, 2011
A new kind of storytelling brought to iPhone.
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An Unofficial GameSalad Textbook Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Chris Hall on February 23rd, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: HEAVY
An Unofficial GameSalad Textbook is a nice resource to have, but it definitely needs some editing and a redesign to be worth the high price.
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John Henry Review

Posted by Chris Kirby on December 20th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

John Henry does almost everything right. First off, it's a universal app, so it plays perfectly on both the iPhone and the iPad. Second, it's priced at only $0.99, which is an absolute bargain compared to buying a physical hardback children's book. Third, it's wildly entertaining and provides three distinct options for experiencing its content. This is an excellent app that is sure to delight children as well as their parents.

If you're unfamiliar with the story of John Henry, he's one of the great folk heroes of America's early industrial period. A "Steel-Drivin' Man," John Henry could hammer railroad spikes faster than any man or any machine. The myth of this man who could defeat machines spoke to an America first encountering the possibility of machines replacing workers, and that myth still speaks to us today.

This version of the John Henry story was first published as a book with a cassette read-a-long with Denzel Washington, but developer Ruckus Media has merged several media together to create an app that stands well on its own. You can, of course, choose to read the book in a conventional manner, flipping pages and reading along. Or, you can watch the story's artwork go into motion (in a limited, but still effective way) in a 20 minute animated version narrated by Denzel Washington with wonderful music written and performed by B.B. King. Or, you (or your child) can record your own narration to accompany the images in the story. All are terrific ways to get children interested in the story, and even interact with it at some level.

If you have children, or even if you simply appreciate the value and beauty of a good children's book, this is a no-brainer. John Henry for the iPhone/iPad is a welcome addition to the growing library of apps devoted to translating books to Apple's electronic devices. And even John Henry would appreciate the fact that machines still need a human touch.

Cookbookie Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Chris Kirby on December 3rd, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: UNDERCOOKED
Wins my vote for most under-realized concept of the year.
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Davey and Goliath Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Bonnie Eisenman on November 29th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SIMPLE STORY
Taken from an old TV show and revived for iOS, Davey and Goliath uses stills from the old show coupled with audio and text.
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The Bronto Family Adventure Review

Posted by GiggleApps Staff on October 22nd, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

The Bronto Family Adventure is a nice book app about Jax Bronto and his dinosaur family as they go on an adventure. Children can choose to be read to or read this story to themselves, and there is a short peek-a-boo themed game your child can play as well.

This app includes nicely drawn, simple illustrations, and the narration is pleasant. My son enjoys listening to the story, and I appreciate the mild suspense created as Jax gets lost after roaming away from his parents. The ending is a happy one, but is does gently remind children not to wander too far away from mom and dad. I like the idea of being able to either listen to or read this story to my child, and when my son gets older, he can read this now familiar story to himself.

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WMDs Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Chris Kirby on September 22nd, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: SUPER UNDERWHELMING
There's a fair amount of glitz up front, but underneath it all is a rather generic comic book.
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Pocket God Comics Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Bonnie Eisenman on August 11th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SHORT BUT SWEET
Pocket God Comics' first issue is a little short, but the art is great and the story sheds light on the backstory of the game. Oh, and lots of pygmies die. Naturally.
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Marvel Comics Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Chris Kirby on April 23rd, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: A GOOD START
Judgment Day has at long last come for the traditional paper comic book. Ok, so maybe that's hyperbole (something Stan "The Man" Lee would no doubt appreciate) but Marvel Comics for the iPad represents a significant step forward for digital comics. Chan
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101 Classic Novels

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Ryan Wood on March 16th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: FREE BOOKS
101 Classic Novels offers an impressive library of books at no cost to the reader. The appealing graphical format and ease of use make this an easy decision for anyone looking to acquire a substantial library of books quickly and cheap.
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B&N eReader

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Bonnie Eisenman on July 21st, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EXCELLENT
The B&N eReader is a fantastic piece of software that is far superior to Amazon's Kindle for iPhone app. But without a killer piece of e-ink hardware, B&N's app might not be widely adopted...yet. Regardless, I'm ecstatic that there's a new player in the e
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MRM Comics: Love is in the Bag Vol.1 Issue 1

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Christine Morris on May 12th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: INTERESTING
A beautifully drawn Manga comic for your device. The graphics are stunning and a comic could make a nice gift idea for the geek in your life. [me! me!]
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