Recent App Reviews
Apple's Airplay technology has reset the expectation bar for ubiquitous, wireless multimedia streaming. However, finding accessories that embrace and enhance the Airplay experience is a challenge. One company, AQ Audio, has entered the market with a wireless speaker that promises easy setup and great audio. Did they deliver on this promise? Read on to find out.
I've seen a number of lists of apps recommended for those lucky individuals who got a new iPhone or iPad from Santa, but CNET's listing strikes me as being the most useful. They include a number of free apps that are my favorites and that I use every day. Let's take a look at some of their recommended apps.
Flipboard — This is likely the most popular aggregator of news and content ever developed for iOS devices. Its interface is gorgeous and intuitive, and very easy to customize to your interests. Many people find it to be their favorite window onto Facebook or news or entertainment or sports, or whatever your interest is.
Google Maps — When Apple dumped Google Maps in favor of its own maps solution, many were disappointed that Apple's effort was missing some of their favorite features, such as transit directions and Google Street View. Fortunately, Google eventually came out with a full-featured version of their app for iOS devices that has almost all the functionality of their highly popular maps app for Android devices.
Well, look what we have here. I discovered this through browsing on Amazon.com. :)
You can now get an AmazonBasics Lightning-compatible cable for only $14.99.
When I upgrade to a future iPad/iPhone with the Lightning connector I am going to grab a couple of these cables. I have a few of the AmazonBasics 30-pin cables for my iPad (3rd) and iPhone 4S - they work perfectly. So, I trust the quality of this new Lightning-compatible cable from them.
“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” - Will Durant
Assigning projects is a critical point in engaging students in higher order thinking projects with or without iPads. It just has to be done right.
"The hard part of feature design... what to leave out." - Dan Bricklin
Numbers is one of the most useful and powerful applications you'll use on your Mac, iPad, and iPhone. It is the spreadsheeting component of Apples's office productivity suite iWorks.
I've been asked by several of my readers to post a detailed review of, along with It's Playing and GoodPlayer, the best generic iOS media player, AVPlayer(HD). Below, I provide you with a video / audio / subtitle / container type-dependent list of pros and cons so that you can see whether the player does fulfill your needs or not. While AVPlayer is truly an amazing player, there are some things it's entirely incapable of or where some of the alternatives are considerably better. It's based on this list that you will want to decide whether the player is for you or not, at least when it comes playing back some specific multimedia formats.
Two awesome 99 cent titles this week, and likely my last WIPTW article of 2012, so a happy holidays to everyone, and here is hoping you have a great new year in 2013! Starbase Gunship is a new game from Capital j Media. A stationary 3D shooting game that puts you at the center of the action as enemy ships and incoming weapons head toward your base station. Blasting through and surviving enemy waves will allow you to build up enough creds to update your base firepower and protection levels. Angry Birds Space HD is pig busting in zero-G, and like every other Angry Birds (all of which are currently on sale), powerfully addictive.
Got to love the holiday sales, right? In the spirit of the season, several vendors are proving their "non-Scrooge-iness" by offering up reduced pricing and FREE apps to close out 2012! But some only appear to be free, so FREE buyer beware! First up, you can grab great Activision re-styled classics like Pitfall (uh, TOTALLY FREE), Guitar Hero ($1.99), Call of Duty: Zombies ($1.99) and more great games at reduced prices (search App store for Activision). You can also grab a slew of cool games like Shoot the Zombirds (FREE) from Infinite Dreams, iQuarium HD (99 cents), and Jelly Defense (99 cents), plus several more low-priced titles. While you are up in the App store nabbing these great games, you might check out Sleigher and Ears the Astronaut, both pseudo-FREEBIES that I must now sadly report require in-app purchases to advance, which RUINS FREE, IMO (and must now pull from my review queue)...
Google has posted a very helpful article on 10 ways to make your Google Maps for iPhone experience even better. Google Maps (free) has been hugely popular and was downloaded over 10 million times the first two days it was available. The tips include:
1. Press and hold to place a pin on the map.
2. To see Street View images in panorama, "press and hold any location on the map, tap the info sheet, and then tap the image."
3. Shake your phone to send Google feedback.
4. Swipe the info sheet to the left or right to browse more results.
5. Tap the three buttons at bottom right to access the satellite, traffic and public transit views.
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein
I believe if you want students to use higher order thinking you give them freedom to think for themselves and to express themselves knowing their ideas are valued even when they are wrong. This is how we learn.