iPhone Life magazine

Recent App Reviews

Game Centered: Special Holiday Edition, Exciting New Games and Awesome Updates.

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. This week, in advance of Apple’s annual iTunes Connect closing dates (12/21-12/27) we've been treated to a whole slew of top-of-the-line new games and big updates that slipped into the App Store just in time for Christmas! We've got a lot of exciting gaming news to cover, so let's dive right in. And don't forget, the App Store allows us to gift apps and any of the following games would make excellent holiday presents.



This Escher-inspired iPad Game is a 'Beautiful Impossibility'

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Described as an interactive M.C. Escher artwork, Monument Valley may change the way you play puzzle games. It's currently being developed by London-based design studio ustwo, specifically for iPad.

The ustwo team established the game as a "surreal exploration through fantastical architecture and impossible geometry." Designer Ken Wong adds: "Monument Valley is a beautiful, exploratory experience, somewhere between exploring a toy shop and reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,000,000 — 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 ReportAppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



3 Ways to Protect Your iDevice

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It seems that almost every day we read a story about a company getting hacked. There's no doubt that hackers have been very busy lately. But there is no need to live in fear. There are things you can do to protect your privacy at home and on your iDevice.

While this list is far from being exhaustive, I give you three ways that you can protect yourself from hackers, those who steal your phone, and yourself (as in when you lose it).



New App Aims to Change how Students, Parents, and Teachers Interact Online

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Social media platforms like Facebook have changed the way we interact with friends and family, and many would say for the better. It’s become easy to get in touch, stay in touch, and reconnect, and the practical applications have been endless. Planning a get-together, project, or reunion? Disseminating information efficiently is a breeze. Private conversations and group conversations are intuitive and simple. So is sharing photos, files, and links. Now a new app, Classting, is changing the way real classrooms interact—virtually. 



Focus on What's Important in Your Photos with Big Lens

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Big Lens ($0.99) just had its two-year anniversary in October and is still going strong. Recently selected as a Starbucks "Pick of the Week," this photo blurring app offers much more than tilt-shift effects, but should you give it a try?



Apple Posts Best of 2013 Lists: Duolingo Named iPhone App of the Year

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Monday Apple posted their Best of 2013 lists, including Music, Movies, TV Shows, Apps, Books, and Podcasts. The free Duolingo - Learn Languages for Free, was named iPhone App of the Year. And it's well deserved. Not only can you use it to learn Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, and English, but the app makes it fun. It uses gaming techniques to help you learn. And, interestingly, the app also has a crowdsourcing function, such that in the process of learning and doing translations, you are helping translate the Web into other languages. 



What I Played This Week: Angry Birds Go and Quantic Pinball!

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There's a buzz over Angry Birds Go (free), and 'freemium" titles in general to discuss in this edition of WIPTW. I was not aware that computer bits were being subjected to such draconian work conditions on our devices that they needed to rest; but Angry Birds Go introduces the "energy" concept to the Rovio game chest: a union break for overworked player characters, I suppose. Otherwise, ABG has plenty of good graphics, and is mostly goofy and fun like a cart race should be. Also played this week is the jam-packed action pinball slam of the season called Quantic Pinball ($2.99). If you like pinball, you will gorge yourself on this version.



Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Music Lovers

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The holiday season is in full swing, and for those of you still looking for that special gift for the audiophile in your life, we’ve  put together a roundup of choice apps and gadgets that can't go wrong!

 

* Don't forget, the iTunes App Store allows us to gift apps as well as music!



Cognition Episode 1: More Than The Eye Can See

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Cognition Episode 1 ($3.99)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Back when graphics were first starting to take shape for computer games, Sierra set the standard for adventures with titles like King’s Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. The fact that you could actually see your character follow your commands along with the immense amount of dialog made the experience feel as much like an interactive movie as anything. Phoenix Online Studios clearly understands what it takes to make this style of game, and as much as I loved the old Sierra games, I’d say the Cognition series kicks things up a notch or two. More realistic characters, adult subject matter (in a mature way, not like Leisure Suit Larry), and a focus on exploration and discovery (instead of finding an obscure key in a tree to unlock some mystic chest) give Cognition Episode 1 more of a Law & Order bent than anything. It’s just too bad this intriguing story telling couldn’t have come with a better interface wrapped around it.



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