Recent App Reviews
Comic Touch is a very fun app to add flair to pictures in your iPhone library.
(Plasc LLC, $2.99)
So where exactly is Angola, other than somewhere on the African Continent? To answer this question I turned to my trusty 3G and quickly downloaded Ganesh Thambiran's app Countries Of The World Lite (free) to find out a few facts about Angola, which I discovered has a population of some 17 million people, and is roughly twice the size of Texas.
Developers need to take a closer look at successful apps
As an iPhone developer, I am always checking out the competition to see what the more successful applications are all about. I especially pay attention to reviews submitted by the users. What do they like about the game? What don’t they like? What suggestions do they have to make the application better?
This has nothing to do with copying someone else’s idea. It is driven by a healthy admiration and respect for the teams that created the apps, and it’s about trying to find out what the apps have that make them a hit. The reviews give me a direct view into the mind of the user. Traditionally, a company could spend millions of dollars on marketing research to get this information, but it’s available for free on the App Store!
What can I say, CandyCane Inc’s Fling (.99) is an awesome app! Though I have almost no time to myself, I often find when I’m stuck trying to solve a problem at work, or with my dissertation, I’ll sort of mindlessly open up Fling and start playing – after awhile I get my mind back into problem solving mode and put it away – so far I’ve made it to level 7.
Quality audio will enhance the user experience
One of the most overlooked aspects of the iPhone is its ability to playback uncompressed, CD quality audio. Apple has managed to squeeze even more quality and volume out of the tiny speakers on the newer
iPhone3GS. Also, most people are unaware of the 3D positional sound feature incorporated into the original iPhone and what it actually does. This feature allows the developer to simulate moving sounds and have them play anywhere in three-dimensional space around the listener. For example, if a game developer needs to have a jet fly by the left side of the player, they can use the positional sound feature to place it there. Other devices can do this, but Apple makes it a lot easier for the developer.
The genre of puzzle game that requires you to stack or unstack objects is becoming increasingly popular in the App Store, and like any such genre new entries really need something to set them apart from the rest of the pack. From a game play perspective I’m not really sure that Rescue Razzle has anything new to offer, but the theme is cute and for some reason I do find it to be one of the more interesting games of this type that I’ve played on my iPod Touch. That being said, I think it could use a little more pizzazz to break away from the rest of the gang.
Alien Strike (.99) by Red Crystal Studio is an app I thought I’d give a try since it struck me as kind of retro looking, cheap and probably not too hard to master. Well, two out of three ain’t bad.
The idea of the game is simple enough, pilot your flying saucer through the gauntlet of hills and overhangs, avoiding or shooting the other ships, and houses while gathering some bonus points by flying into them.
Some might call it a pointless app, but I call it moooooving! That’s right Erica Sadun’s app Moo (free) is an iPhone / iPod Touch version of the old school “moo box” open up the app and you see the image on the left, turn your iPhone upside down and out comes the moo. After goofing around with this app for a bit I found I could actually make a pretty good Formula One gear shifting sound if I shook my iPhone.
The App Store has a series of 5 Wallace & Gromit digital comics, and they're quite popular, especially in the UK App Store. You can now download the first one in the series for free: Wallace & Gromit 1: The W Files. The subsequent comics in the series are $0.99 each. Here's the description: "When strange shapes and flashing lights are seen in the night sky, there are only two paranormal investigators that can solve the problem. Sadly they aren’t available, Wallace and Gromit might as well have a crack at it. After all, what could possibly go wrong?" Not familiar with Wallace & Gromit?
Improve your presentation skills with Presenter Pro
There are only two things people fear more than speaking in public—a tax audit and death. Even if you’ve had extensive experience making presentations, the days or hours before you speak can be nerve-wracking. About the only thing you can do is to prepare and practice. You need to make sure that you have a dynamite presentation and run through it until you feel comfortable with the material.
Preparation and practice
Putting together an exceptional presentation isn’t a natural activity—otherwise none of us would be afraid of the prospect.