Recent App Reviews
When it came to PC gaming I think adventure games were what I grew up on, and I’m happy to see more developers bringing this great genre of game play to the iOS platform. In late November of 2012 we were treated to a cool time travelling piece called Tesla’s Electric Mist, and since I’m now getting back into it to try and finish it up I thought I’d share my experiences with the game. There’s no question that the developer has a deep fondness for this style of game play, and there are plenty of puzzles to solve and mini-games to conquer. I think it would have been nice to have a little golf cart with all the walking I had to do, though.
FinderCodes is an electronic lost/found exchange (see my review here) that helps you get back your lost gear. A 2013 CES award winner, you use the service to mark and register your stuff in the cloud (with tags) so that should someone find it, they can scan the QR code on the tag and easily and privately return your stuff (and collect a reward you offer). The cloud system tracks and alerts you as well. I met with Blake Sohn, the founder of FC at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, NV, and he discussed the latest partnership with FedEx (also giving me a quick demo of the new return features), and what is next on the horizon for this up and coming mobile service brand.
Over in the Las Vegas Hotel (right next to North Hall), the CES iLounge Pavilion continues full of great accessory gear for the intrepid wanderer! I'll be posting up a full review on the iXY from RØDE after the show, but the high points include: stereo dynamic mic input wrapped in a superb hardware package, and with a recording/sampling ability and impressive range of editing and sharing options. Serious journalism types, podcasters, and musicians that want to capture high-quality audio with nothing more than iPhone (and the iXY) should give this product a serious look!
I'll do a full post up on the Mobile App Showdown later, but wanted to get the word out that MyScript Calculator, an awesomely cool scratchpad-like calculation app (with handwriting recognition and the ability to solve equations) ran away with the MAS this year at CES. The app garnered oohs and aahs during the 4-minute pitch, and the applause-o-meter went off the chart as the crowd went wild for it at the end. If you grab one app this year, make it this seriously cool, award winning calculation app (currently FREE)!
“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” - Milton Friedman
It seems Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim found a “free lunch” when they founded youtube.com. As of 11:00 AM 1/10/2013 my youtube account contains 562 videos with 53,067 views and I have not seen one dime of revenue. At least not from youtube.
Instagram has really been making a dent in the social media world lately. We can't really blame it because of how innovative, interactive and fun it is. An easy thing to get frustrated with is the limited films and effects that it as but have no fear, PowerCam is an app that provides a whole lot more.
Essentially, PowerCam is like an expansion pack for Instagram. With tons of effects to add to a photo or a video in some instances, it is very simple to jazz up a photo.
iOS-based platforms have one major flaw: slim storage. Even with 64GB of memory, you can’t fit your entire movie collection on an iPad or iPhone, even including all the music you want is a challenge. Streaming attempts to overcome this limitation, but in some cases that means rebuying films or video you already own on other media just so you can watch it when you are near a hotspot—who yes, you have to be at a hotspot for streaming to work. What would it be like if you own the hotspot? That is exactly what Seagate offers, a 500GB GoFlex Satellite Wi-Fi Drive that becomes its own content hotspot.
I really like the ability to simply ask Siri for directions rather than typing in a destination, so I tend to use Apple's Maps app over Google Maps. But both are excellent. I want to point you to a couple detailed reviews, in case you're wondering which app you should favor, and also want to note the ability of Apple's Maps app to cache large areas of data, so that you can use the app even if you don't have an Internet connection.
Back in 2011, I reviewed the iW1 when it first came out; an awesomely portable/rechargeable wireless speaker from iHome--portable, as in literally no wires--with an internal 2600 mAh Li-ion battery. The Wi-Fi setup was a bit sketchy, but I finally figured out a compromise by setting up a second Wi-Fi access point. Been looking forward to trying out one of the new iW3 models and got my hands on a review unit. The iW3 is like the iW1, but taller, lighter and easier to haul around the house. The sound quality is pretty close to what I remember from the iW1, and though it won't blow out a window, it will let you easily push quality music to any room in your home.
"Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and orginal manner possible." - Richard P. Feyman
Udemy is capitalizing on the growing market for video-based online education with a new interface and a new iPad app.