Recent App Reviews
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).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 Report, AppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.
Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!
Good news for music enthusiasts: Spotify's streaming music service is now free. The Spotify app has always been free, but you had to pay $10 per month for the opportunity to listen to on-demand music. That meant that you could request any particular song from their catalog. This, of course, was different from services such as Pandora and iTunes Radio, which let you indicate your favorite music but then stream similar music rather than the particular favorite you identified. Spotify's new free service for the iPhone falls somewhere in between. You can identify a particular artist, album, or playlist, but then Spotify streams the music in "shuffle mode," meaning that you get your favorite music but not a particular song at a particular time. The playlists available include those you've put together as well as playlists your friends have created.
Just when you thought OlloClip's lens add-ons for the iPhone 5 had everything covered, the company released the Macro 3-IN-1 set that provides three levels of microscopic detail. The latest OlloClip adds 7x, 14x, and 21x magnification.