The holidays are about being with family, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play games while you’re home with them. Mobile games are the perfect things to take with you as you travel to wherever you’re going, as they’re experiences you can always have with you and bust out at a moment’s notice.
In honor of the upcoming break, I’ve put together a list of the top four games I plan on bringing with me on my travels. All of these picks have their particular use cases, but all can be played in just about any situation, even if you are going somewhere that doesn’t have a good data or wifi connection.
Out of the Loop
Out of the Loop is a great little party game for 3-9 players with a really simple concept. Everyone playing is clued into a particular keyword based on a category (e.g. animal, household item, etc.), but one player is left quite literally out of the loop. Then, players are prompted to ask each other specific questions and the person who doesn’t know what the word is has to hope they aren’t found out.
This game is a great pick for holiday gaming if you want to get your whole family involved. The instructions for every step of the game are clearly written out on every screen, and the concept is so simple that everyone immediately gets how to play.
It's almost December, which means that the festive period at the end of the year is almost upon us. You've probably already done some shopping. Or, if you're anything like us, you've tutted about people who've already done their shopping. But we thought you might like some help getting prepared for the holidays, which is where this article comes in.
We're going to update it regularly with everything you need to know to make sure you spend the holidays in the finest mobile gaming place the world has ever seen. Every Wednesday we're going to be adding some new tips, tricks, deals, and more, as well as linking out to all the other festive content we're going to be creating.
Since the holidays are all about friends and family, we'd love you to join in. Got your own questions, comments, or ideas? Then please do let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the article. We might even get you a present or two, in the form of replies.
Scanbot, the document scanner and QR reader by doo GmbH, is updated and ready for the holidays. To celebrate, the app will be free for a limited time for everyone.
Scanbot Pro uses will be able to send their friends and family a coupon for a free copy of Scanbot Pro and Scanbot users will be able to gift a discount for Scanbot Pro. You can also enjoy a unique 3D winter theme with snow, presents and Christmas music.
The update comes with the ability to add pages to already existing scans, and a new search feature that allows you to do a fast full-text search. Scanbot Pro users will also be able to protect their PDF scans with a unique password now.
You can download Scanbot for free for a limited time right now.
Happy Holidays! If you're like many folks, you'll have gotten a new iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch this holiday season. And if you're looking for a place to learn all about this new magical device in your life, you've come to the right place. 148Apps has tons of resources on using your new device and filling it with the best thing about it: apps.
Learning The Basics
The operating system of these devices is one of the most intuitive around. However, there's always more waiting under the hood to make things just that much easier or better on us. While your new iPhone or iPad may not come with a manual, you can download one fairly simply from the iBooks Store. First, grab [appinline:364709193,"iBooks"], then grab the manual for your new iPad, iPhone, or
Speaking of the operating system, we've written a few articles about the latest and greatest from Cupertino right here on 148Apps. Check out our Full Feature Roundup on iOS 5.
We even published some downloadable magazine-style User Guides last year, on each of the devices. Feel free to grab them and read through them - many of the tips and tricks included there are just as relevant today as they were then. iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
To the iCloud!!!
You may have seen some of the information about iCloud in the Apple TV commercials. It's a great system that gives you unprecedented storage and sharing options. Here's a short intro to iCloud from Apple.
We've got you covered with iCloud as well. Here's information on both moving your data to the iCloud to help keep things synced and backed up. You may also need more information on how you set up iCloud in a multiple user family. This details all the ins and outs of multiple user groups who may otherwise share iTunes accounts.
There Really is an App for That
Once you've got a good handle on using that sleek new iOS device, you'll of course want to dive in and start downloading apps. Whether you're an avid gamer, a music lover, a book reader or even (gasp) all three, you'll find everything you need in the iTunes Store.
When it comes to Apps, iOS has no peer. There are over 500,000 apps in the App Store, so you'll doubtlessly find something you like. The trick, however, is filtering through all of those apps to find the specific things you want. That can be tricky, but luckily there are many ways to help.
First off are our very own reviews. We review a ton of apps weekly to give you the best recommendations about the best apps we find. Be sure to look through our Reviews lists, which can be filtered by type of app as well as sorted by date, app name, or app rating. If you just want to read reviews of our highest rated iPad games, for example, it's an easy click. And for on the go browsing of 148Apps reviews, grab the [appinline: 444792529,"148Apps App"].
In addition, we have our famous Price Drops lists, which can be sorted to just show the latest drops in prices, or even just the latest FREE apps. Very handy, if we say so ourselves. If you're looking for the very latest additions to the App Store, we have a list for that, as well as one for the Top Apps across all the App Store categories for each device. Then of course there's always the very best of the best in free apps available in the free games and free apps lists.
If you want even more app discovering goodness, you might want to check out a few apps made to help you wade through the App Store. Some of our favorites are [appinline:387037496,"AppShopper"], [appinline:348286549,"Chomp"], and [appinline: 383151779,"AppZapp"]. There are even specific apps to help you find the latest free apps. Some of the best include [appinline:348650932,"Free App A Day"], [appinline: 470693788,"Apps Gone Free"], and [appinline:484505841, "Free App Alliance"]. These will all help you sort and find and browse apps and games to your heart's content; we use them all the time to find new great apps to use and write about on the site.
Where Else To Find 148Apps?
We're everywhere, really. However, the best places to find us are on Twitter, Facebook, and now even Google+. Be sure to come visit and chat with us there. We're ever so responsive.
Free Apps You Shouldn't Do Without
Now, we wouldn't be the premier Apps review site without some sort of parting gift, now would we? How about some apps you really should try out? To make the deal even sweeter, let's make them free apps.
iBooks, Nook, & Kindle - Reading ebooks is all the rage these days, especially on these fancy new iOS devices. We love reading on our iPad, and have even been known to crack a virtual spine or two on our iPhone while waiting at the doctor's office. For those of you with shorter attention spans, there's always Newsstand, iOS's magazine subscription service. Some of the best ereader apps include [appinline:364709193,"iBooks"], [appinline:384910586,"Nook for iPhone"], [appinline:373582546,"Nook for iPad"], and [appinline:302584613,"Kindle"]. Happy reading!
Facebook, Twitter, & Instant Messaging - Keep in touch with family, friends, and us - your favorite Apps website - with these free social networking apps. Tell 'em 148Apps sent you!
There's [appinline:284882215], [appinline:333903271] though [appinline: 428851691,"Tweetbot"] is much better, though not free like the official Twitter app.
For instant messaging, check out [appinline:336435697,"imo"] and [appinline:405179691,"imo for iPad"]. And don't forget [appinline: 304878510,"Skype"] and [appinline: 442012681,"Skype for iPad"]. We've become big fans of [appinline: 392796698 ,"GroupMe"] lately too for group communication.
Gaming on the Cheap - Now, we put out a sweet weekly article that tells you about the latest FREE gaming apps, but here are a few we think you won't want to miss. We could go on for hours about it, really, but these should get you off to a good start.
For a great free endless runner, check out [appinline:420009108,"Temple Run"]. A wonderful game. For some great physics puzzle fun, the new king is [appinline:467810884,"Where's My Water? Free"] and you can never go wrong with the classic [appinline:409807569,"Angry Birds Free"]. A couple other free games we really like include [appinline:466965151,"The Sims Freeplay"] and [appinline:422667065,"TinyTower"].
You should also check out our massive iOS game and app sale post. There are tons of great deals and quite a few temporarily free apps there. Be sure to grab the great [appinline: 457446957,"Jetpack Joyride"] while it's free. It's one of our favorite games of the year.
We hope you've enjoyed learning about your new magical iOS devices. The iPad, iPhone and iPod touch are some of the best new gadgets to give or receive. Be sure to come back often to see what we have for you; we're always looking to find the news or apps you want to know about first. From all of us here to all of you out there, Happy Holidays!!!
He spoke not to me, but to my device,
And Jeff quickly asked Siri if I had been nice.
Her answer was good, so he connected Wi-Fi,
And filled my gadgets with even more apps to try!
His work here now done, he gestured with a wave,
And called for his assistant, the jolly Rob LeFebvre.
But I heard them exclaim, as they logged off for the night,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
It's four days until Christmas and if you are like many of us, you likely have some last minute holiday shopping to do. Inside stores lines are long and prices change daily, and at this point if you order online you might want to upgrade shipping, but if you still have some people on your "nice" list here are our four favorite apps to help you find a great gift at a great price even at this late date.
What's there to say. If you want to find anything, and get last minute shipping the best place online is amazon.com. Amazon Mobile allows iPhone shoppers to navigate Amazon's labyrinthian site quickly, compare prices, read reviews and purchase directly through the app. Search options include keyword searches, as well as barcode scanning or even upload a picture.
With Bakodo on their iPhones shoppers can scan barcodes for in-store price checking , but there that's not all. Bakado includes product reviews, and can search by keywords too. The app makes shopping social allowing the indecisive to post what they are looking for on Facebook and get feedback from their friends.
Gilt on the Go
Have a taste for the finer things in life, but not necessarily the budget? Gilt has been providing a service that offers deep discounts on highly sought after items for some time, and they also have several apps. To use Gilt, you need to be a member and have an account on their site, but in-app shoppers can browse before they decide to sign up. For the brand name bargain hunter, Gilt is a guilt-light shopping experience.
Target is not only considered upscale compared to Wal-Mart, while still offering deep discounts, their app is preferred too. The Target app allow seasonal spenders on a budget to shop at any Target store. The app sends daily deals straight to the iPhone, locates the nearest store and keeps track of gift lists with TargetLists. This app also includes a bar code scanner to make extra sure Target's deals are the best.
This week at 148Apps.com, we opened the floodgates for the 2011 Best App Ever Awards. Site founder Jeff Scott writes, "In its fourth year, the Best App Ever awards is a people’s choice awards for apps. Last year over 500,000 votes were cast in the quest to find the best apps, not just the best selling. This year it’s back bigger and better than ever. In a big change this year, not just iOS but also Android applications and games are up for nomination in the awards competition. Users can nominate their favorite apps and games in any of the multiple categories by heading to the app nomination page and choosing a category."
Over at GiggleApps, our site dedicated to reviewing the latest apps for kids, reviewer Amy Solomon took a closer look at the new Charlie Brown Christmas App, saying, "It is lovely that children can decorate their own tree with included ornaments and other decorations, as well as a few that must be earned by finding all the hidden items as accomplishments. This area is found on the first title page of the book and can easily be overlooked as one starts to read. Please look for it. I am also smitten with the last page of this app where the characters are all shown with image and name, and a tap letting readers hear the line they are most noted for in this story, a great section for me to go over with my son as he is new to these characters."
Finally, AndroidRundown writer Carter Dotson published a commentary regarding the recent CarrierIQ revelations. Dotson says, "Some of the fallout is settling from the explosive Carrier IQ revelations – naturally, most parties involved are denying any kind of wrongdoing, or even that their tools are even installed at all on the phones. Apps to search for the existence of the tools on phones now exist. As well, apparently even Carrier IQ was found on iOS devices, although Apple has pledged to remove them in a future iOS software update. Interestingly, one researcher has found that the software likely isn’t sending vast swaths of user personal information back to carriers and manufacturers, although there are still some questions about the data that is being recorded by Carrier IQ tools. In fact, a lot of this data may be used for benign purposes such as determining where phone calls are being dropped, rather than any kind of purpose of spying on user information."
We're done for this week. But next week brings us that much closer to Christmas, and closer to the new year. Keep informed by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter. Jingle on your merry way....and see you next week.
Ah, mid-November. The time of year when everyone starts buzzing about gift exchanges, menorahs, fat guys in red suits and all manner of "tidings." Yessir, nothing like getting the holiday into full-swing before December. Suffice it to say, I'm personally not very thrilled with the practice of jumping the gun. But just because I'm morally opposed to shoving holiday cheer down the throats of the masses well over five weeks too early doesn't mean I'm against general preparations. And what better way to prepare for the inevitable and lengthy trip to a distant relative's house for a seasonal meal then to have an assortment of topical audiobooks on-hand?
Tales2Go is a fairly popular subscription-based (1,600+ books and counting) kids audiobook app in its own right, but Tales2Go - Happy Holidays is something a little different. This is a stand-alone app, with no subscription fee needed to access the 20 different stories contained within. These include The Night Before Christmas, A Christmas Carol, The Gift of the Magi (read by Jim Weiss), The Story of Hanukkah (read by Joel Ben Izzy) and many, many more.
Tales2Go - Happy Hoidays is already available, and all of these audiobooks can be had for a total of $0.99. That's one dollar for 20 audiobooks. It might seem a tad too soon for this kind of stuff, but it couldn't hurt to be ready once it's time to jump in the car and drive 14 hours to grandma's house.
As if it weren't hard enough to walk away from the adorable Om Nom and his insatiable desire for candy, we've just learned that Cut the Rope will have its hooks into us a bit longer as Chillingo prepares for the release of Cut the Rope: Holiday Edition. Tis the season to fall in love with the game all over again.
The new title will be a standalone game available free of charge and should show up in the App Store any day now. The game features 25 new stages as well as a new "Christmas Sock" mechanic. Apparently the magical stocking will allow you to teleport candy from one place to another, putting a whole new wrinkle in the experience. All of this will be bundled with new music and achievements, not to mention a generous helping of holiday cheer.
It's nice to see high-profile games getting in on the holiday spirit, and it seems that games published under the Chillingo banner are leading the way. First we got Angry Birds Halloween, which has now morphed into Angry Birds Seasons and is providing a new level every day throughout the holidays. The only difference was that while that update went for $0.99, the new Cut the Rope content is free, which is an even sweeter deal.
More than current Cut the Rope owners, this promotion seems aimed at the folks who will be getting an iOS device for the holidays and are looking for fun new apps to add. If Chillingo can hook them with a free tinsel-strewn version of an already addictive game, then the odds are very high that those same consumers will go pick up the full version of the standard game practically immediately. It's a smart strategy indeed, and one from which all us current Cut the Rope owners will also stand to benefit.
Tis the season to both give and receive. iOS developer Smule seems to understand that better than anyone else, and accordingly, are ready to announce a special holiday giveaway. Starting at 1pm on Tuesday December 7th, their critically acclaimed program Ocarina will be absolutely free. The only catch is that it is only for a limited time.
Looking back in time through the magic 148Apps.com crystal ball, we can see that not only has the app been well received by numerous junkets, but our very own Jeff Scott gave the then fledgling software a perfect five star rating. Trust us on this, we were not the only place that told you it was the best around, either. Word of mouth spread so quickly that it went on to garner over 2.8 million downloads since the original release in November of 2008.
Now boasting an impressive online community of digital ocarina composers, this is where the true appeal of the app lies. This is so much the case that the online library of composed pieces has reached an astounding sixty million playbacks. Here is what our own review had to say about it, way back in the day:
"Overall Ocarina, while not the most exciting musical instrument on the iPhone, does use the network connection on the iPhone to it’s fullest to create a fantastic social application. It’s a lot of fun." -- Jeff Scott
The fact that Smule is willing to give one of their marque titles away, even if it is only for a limited time, is commendable and another reminder that sometimes it is better to give than to receive. In this case though, we will happily take part in the receiving as well! Be sure to head to the App Store and pick it up before the promotion ends on December 10th at 1PM. When an app manages to gain our five star approval, it would be a crime to let this opportunity slip by.
Longtime iPhone lovers will remember last year's Appvent Calendar, Blacksmith Games' initiative which offered one free game per day from December 1st 'til Christmas. Last year's Appvent Calendar was a huge success, with tons of awesome games, many of which subsequently rocketed up the charts after returning to their normal prices.
Yes, that's right: free. games. And this year, the Appvent Calendar back!
This year the goodies are even better: in addition to a free game every day, the Appvent Calendar will be offering a free app as well. Get ready to load up on a ton of free goodies, and be quick about it; most apps return to their normal prices after a day of being featured. Unlike other sites which have since sprouted up—such as, say, Free App a Day—most of the Appvent Calendar's offerings are "real" games that are normally paid apps, rather than lite versions or games that were free anyway.
The first two apps featured by the Appvent Calendar this year were Time Geeks, a geeky, retro find-them-all; and My Artists, a replacement for the main iPod app that augments your songs with extra info about the artists. For the second day, we get to nab Sailboat Championship Pro, but I'm personally more interested in Notesy—a note-taking app with Dropbox integration.
What do kids want Santa to bring them this year? According to battery-maker Duracell, iOS machines sit atop the list. Fourteen percent of tykes want an iPhone 4, while 13 percent are wishing for an iPod Touch and 12 percent opine for an iPad. As a point of comparison, Microsoft's Kinect, the new "controller free" controller, comes in at only six percent.
The survey was conducted with over 2,000 children ages 5-16, and we're hoping that it was the upper tier of ages which tilted the numbers in favor of the iOS devices. While there's plenty of reason for a 16 year-old who wishes nothing more than to be cool to want an iPhone or iPad, the machines should really hold little sway over a kindergartner. Then again, Apple's ubiquitous iOS ads may have made demand transcend age, in which case we can only say kudos to the evil-yet-effective marketing team. Here's the full top-ten list for those who are curious:
01) iPhone 4 (14%)
02) iPod touch (13%)
03) iPad (12%)
04) Kinect (6%)
05) Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters (5%)
06) Flip Video Camera (4%)
07) Toy Story 3 Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear (4%)
08) PlayStation Move (4%)
09) Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4: The Video Game (3%)
10) Barbie Video Girl (3%)
For those of our readers with kids, how closely does this list align with what your youngsters have been asking for? More importantly, how many of you are thinking about getting your children an iOS machine and how many believe that these are devices really more aimed at adults and should be kept out of the hands of kids? Maybe instead you buy yourself the iPad and let your kids play with it when you put it down -- which is never.