Recent App Reviews
Thanks to everyone who entered the iPhone Life Weekly Weekend Giveaway! We received entries from 499 people in 29 different countries this week! And we have now selected the winners.
Microscopes have been around since 1590. Up until the age of electronics, they too were personal devices. However, with small camera sensors connected to the lenses, researchers and educators can easily share images on a display in real-time.
Microscopes may be portable, but they aren’t made for fieldwork. Those cameras require power. And traditional microscopes require a level surface that won’t cause back strain, and a good light source, either from electricity, or from an old-fashioned mirror. With increased sophistication comes cost and weight. Scanning Electron Microscopes weigh hundreds of pounds and use dangerous elements. No microscopes travel well.
I love infinite runners to the point where I’ll even play a bad one a lot longer than I should in hopes it might suddenly become enjoyable. As such, I get a bit nervous when trying a new one due to the small chance it will live up to my self-inflated standards. In some ways JOOL ($0.99) reminds me of another infinite runner I recently reviewed and wasn’t particularly kind to. However, it just goes to show that while one game might falter because of certain criteria, another can shine in spite of such things. This game might not stroke everyone’s plumage the right way, but if you’re a fan of infinite runners like I am, you should at least give it a try.
When studying the solar system, it's hard to beat Solar Walk ($2.99) from Vito Technology. You begin with an image of the earth with many light blue lines circling it. Tap one and the app provides a close-up view of a satellite. All the satellites are rendered in 3D, and a clickable info button reveals information and images associated with the satellite. Solar Walk provides enough satellite detail to have good conversations about orbits, satellite construction, and observation. Combine this app with Google Earth and you can have a good dialog about public and private surveillance. There also is information on the International Space Station.
When we peer out at the night sky on a clear, moonless night, we see thousands of individual stars — millions if you count galaxies mixed into the field of view. Look at your finger and you'll see the intricate swirls and folds that make up your fingerprint. In both cases, we only see the surface of vast processes that bend light and time, or those that create and sustain life. Our human senses aren’t sufficient to perceive the magnitude of the activity, nor the structure, that defines the universe.
I've long thought Amazon Prime is an excellent deal. For $79 per year, you get free two-day shipping on everything you buy on Amazon, unlimited instant streaming of movies via Prime Instant Video, plus a free book per month from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library of more than 270,000 titles.
And now, those of you with Prime accounts have yet another benefit — the option to stream video while perusing movies on IMDb’s free app, IMDb Movies & TV.
Sometimes you don’t know you need something until someone shows it to you, and you realize, “That’s so cool! I need that!”
That’s why I’m totally digging Apps Gone Free (FREE) right now. Unlike AppGratis, which offers one free app per day, Apps Gone Free offers several paid apps free for a limited time. Some days there are more; some days less, but every day there’s fun! It’s awesome because you get a random bunch of apps to browse through and decide if it interests you or not. I love it so much I’ve actually found myself checking it first thing in the morning even before I’ve had my coffee or checked my email!
Think of Winston for iPhone as Flipboard with a voice. In fact, the interface somewhat resembles the extremely popular news aggregator app, but instead of presenting text on the screen, Winston speaks the news. Winston is free, and like other aggregator apps, you can customize it according to your interests, as well as connect it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
A brand new video player, Fresh Video Player, has recently been released (AppStore link; $1.99). As its developers flooded quite a few iOS forums (for example, that of iPadForums) with their ads, I've found it necessary to thoroughly test the app to find out whether it's any good so that my readers are properly informed.
I have several games to report on this week, plus interesting news about the makers of Galaxy on Fire 2 releasing a mobile space shooter, MMORTS (Massive Multiplayer Online Real Time Strategy) game later this year. So let's get right to it!
First up is Trigger Fist (my favorite shooter of all time), which I finally got around to grabbing an expansion pack for. Second, I'll review an old emulation game called Gridlee, a game other blog sites say allows you to drop other game ROM files into and play, although I have not yet personally confirmed this. If true, the free Gridlee may have a short life in the app store as Apple frowns on emulators and may soon yank it. Third up is P.R.O.B.E., a free Sci-Fi board game I played, which has a synthed up computer voice. Last but not least is Versu, a just-released interactive story app, reminiscent of old-school adventure games.