Recent App Reviews
New apps are arriving in the App Store at such a rapid pace it can be a real challenge to find the stellar entries. This week we'll take a look at a handful of newly released, noteworthy apps worthy of special mention.
1. The Loop (Free)
This new subscription-based magazine is the brainchild of longtime Apple journalist and reporter Jim Dalrymple. He will publish The Loop magazine twice a month, and it will cost $1.99 per month. The Loop magazine app is not just a spin-off of the Loop’s website online. This stand-alone app will feature articles written by some of the great authors in the field of Apple journalism, with all if the articles being written exclusively for the magazine.
While Dalrymple doesn't officially work for Apple, it's safe to say he has his finger on the pulse of the company.
As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 840,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App Report, AppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.
Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!
1. Jigsaw App (FREE)
If you occasionally like to kick back and do a puzzle to help clear your head, this is a great app! You can enjoy building a puzzle from the library, or you can choose to create a puzzle from your own photos. This might be a fun one to bring to the beach this summer. It’s good for ages 4+ so even the little ones can enjoy it.
Moxtra (free) brings together real-time collaboration and personal knowledge management in an app designed to help people collect their artifacts of work or play. Moxtra lets you not only share your projects with others, but work on them together across a variety of mobile modalities. Many people compare Moxtra to Evernote or to Microsoft’s OneNote, and to be honest, there are overlaps.
There is nothing new about collaboration. Lotus Development, now part of IBM Corporation, created the first large-scale enterprise solution with Lotus Notes. Developers designed and built Lotus Notes and all other current collaboration solutions during the era of client-server computing, where internal servers hosted databases accessed by desktop computers. We now live in a post-PC world where devices need different tools and workers have widely different expectations.
Sometimes a sequel to a sub-par game is so close to the original, you wonder why the game developers bothered. Other times, the sequel is so far removed from what made the first one popular that no one cares. Then there are games like G5 Entertainment's Youda Survivor 2 HD (Free, or $6.99 In-app purchase for full game). While mechanically it doesn’t seem much different than its predecessor, it’s so easy to get into and so hard to put down that you won’t care. I’m not sure what makes the style of game play so catchy, but whatever it is, the developers behind the Youda Survivor series have pretty much perfected it.
I've written about Sculpteo before, which lets you order custom 3D printed cases and accessories from its app. But its latest effort takes its capabilities a step further, which lets you create virtual works of art and then order real-life equivalents!
The app, Let's Create! Pottery HD ($4.99) is a partnership of Sculpteo with Infinite Dreams, letting you create artwork and generate it in 3D.
Let's Create! Pottery stands on its own as a fun, beautifully-designed app, which my kids have used for some time.
After seeing A Knight's Tale the movie, I seriously wanted to get in a time machine and go back to the Middle Ages (though I'd likely end up a lowly field peasant instead of a knight)! It would be awesome to see knights with swords clashing, gleaming armor, damsels in distress and well... jousting! Jousting has to be the coolest sport ever, am I right? Think two medieval maniacs thundering toward each other set on knocking the other into oblivion! Want some of that action today in modern times? Get the most excellent Knight Storm (Free) now!
Historically, ABC has led the way in making its content available through on-demand streaming, via its website and mobile apps. However, until now, that content was delayed 12–24 hours after the original broadcast. That's about to change if you live in New York City or Philadelphia. According to The New York Times, ABC will release an update this week to ABC Player (free) that will include a "Live" button. Tap that button, and you'll be able to live-stream the programming from the local ABC affiliate stations in those two cities. However, as with other streaming apps such as HBO Go, you won't be able to live-stream the program unless you subscribe to cable or satellite TV and first log into your account. The feature, according to the Times, will be available in six additional cities this summer. And ABC is in talks with affiliates in 200 other cities to offer live streaming in those cities.
Increasingly, businesses rely on audio and video technology for enterprise training, conference calls, not to mention spring and summer office parties! Therefore, I'm reviewing two new speakers, not through the lens of the audiophile, but of the business user for a change.
Saturday, Amazon released a new app with functionality similar to Apple's Photo Stream. The app, called Amazon Cloud Drive Photos (free), automatically backs up your iPhone photos to Amazon's Cloud Drive. You can access your photos via the web as well as share them via Facebook, Twitter, and email. The beauty of this, of course, is that your photos are secure in the cloud even as you take them. Without even having to manually upload them, you can access them via any web browser. Amazon gives you 5GB of free storage in its Cloud Drive, and lets you store up to 2,000 photos. Apple's Photo Stream, which is built into the iPhone, is similar, except that it limits you to 1,000 photos. Another serious limitation is that your photos in Photo Stream expire after 30 days. With Amazon's service, there is no time limit. You can store your photos for as long as you want.
Summer vacation is coming, and you know what that means...? ROAD TRIPS!
But anyone who’s been on a car trip with kids knows they'll need more than snacks and silly songs to keep children occupied for those long miles. Otherwise, they’ll drive everyone nuts with endless requests to use the restroom and complaints that the last round of Punch Buggy got a little too rough.
In an effort to help parents of the world cope, I’ve gathered a few apps for them to whip out when times get tough. You’ll never have to say, “stop the fighting or I’ll turn this car around!” again! You know you don’t really mean it anyway.