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Review: Reiner Knizia's City Of Secrets Skyline HD

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One of the things I like about a Reiner Knizia game is that you never know what you’re going to get, but it’s always in a good way.  Sure several of the games might feel like board games (especially since the source of many of them are), but the actual contents of each game is unique and often thought provoking.  City Of Secrets Skyline HD is no exception to the rule.  I will admit that one of my motivations for wanting to try the game was its tie-in to the upcoming City Of Secrets 2, but by itself the game is a simple yet challenging strategy game that certainly doesn’t feel like any other Reiner Knizia game I’ve played on my iOS devices.



Middle School Confidential graphic novel apps offer novel ways to enhance confidence

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I've written before about this company's (Electric Eggplant) first app, but the latest one, Real Friends and the other kind, builds on the past one and focuses on friendships. It's hard for middle school kids to make friends and deal with the cattiness and prejudices that seem to crop up as kids enter a new school.


Graphic illustration of the striking difference of the new iPad retina display

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If you want to get a good idea of how much clearer photos are on a retina display, check out this post on Art Authority. They have some effective side-by-side shots showing the dramatic difference.



VIP Orbit: Groups, circles and orbits, oh my!

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I wrote about VIP Orbit a while ago, but they've made some enhancements that leverage the real estate of the iPad, and address some of the cosmetic concerns I raised in my initial review. As Hannibal used to say on the A Team, I love it when a plan comes together. Well, Mike Muhney, the creator of both VIP Orbit and of the highly popular ACT database program must love how the world has migrated to both circles in the case of Google and the cloud in the case of Apple and others.



iKlip Studio Review

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The dedicated iOS application and accessory designers at IK Multimedia have been hard at work amassing quite a catalog of products optimized for the musician. A recent addition to this line-up is an iPad stand that meets the stringent requirements of durability and stability that have been shown in the rest of their iKlip line. Does the iKlip Studio match these high expectations? Read on to find out.



Free CW Network app streams full episodes of primetime programs

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This is a trend that I like: more and more programming from the networks is available online via free streaming video. Now the CW Network has joined in, offering its complete primetime slate of programs via steaming video. Their new app, The CW Network, is available for free. In addition to streaming video, it also offers clips, photos, social networking, and a schedule. CW, which launched in 2006, is a joint venture of CBS and Warner Brothers.



WINNERS: iPhone Life's Weekly Weekend Giveaway 3-26

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Thanks to everyone who entered the iPhone Life Weekly Weekend Giveaway. We have selected the winners of this Giveaway. We gave away 8 apps!

And the winners are... (drumroll please):  Vanessa Alvariño, Robert Bolling, Matt Johnson, Anna Cruz, Megan Hoover, Lela C, Emmanuel Rivera and Donna Koskuba!

Didn't win this week? No worries! Next week we have 3 exciting apps to give away:



Hands-on with the new iPad

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I'm in an odd situation: I have the money in my pocket to replace my iPad 2 with the new iPad. But I like my iPad 2 a lot, and have been trying to figure out if there's a compelling reason to upgrade. If we had LTE in this area, I'd buy the new iPad in a minute. But it's not likely to come to this corner of Iowa in the near future. So the question in my mind was whether the new retina display was enough to swing the decision toward the new iPad. And my odd conclusion is this: it all depends on how good your eyesight is.



Review: Boy Loves Girl by Grubby Hands

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The title of this game kind of scared me away, because I thought it was going to be the video game equivalent of a chick flick.  The truth is that in a lot of ways it really is, but never the less it’s proven to be quite amusing.  It’s a runner with finite levels, multiple goals and an altruistic purpose – to find true love.  When you get past the mushiness you’ll discover a game that can at times be challenging, is always visually appealing and even manages to have a sense of humor occasionally.  It’s not the ‘next best runner”, but it has certainly done the job of keeping me entertaining while I’ve been playing it.



Pocket-lint GarageBand experiment - May the Force be with you!!

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I had to share this with the iPhoneLife group, since several of our blog team (including myself) are musicians. Seems some of the team over at Pocket-lint.com decided to attempt to recreate the music score (or part of it) from Star Wars, specifically the cantina scene track using only GarageBand on their devices in jam mode. Listening to the final result, I couldn't help but smile and think that this is exactly what Steve Jobs was going for... Of course, the rendition they created might be considered a loose interpretation, but hey, it's a jam after all! Even an experienced musician knows that the spirit of the thing is the point, not necessarily the execution. You can check it out at the link above, and get the full back story (which is also a handy startup for GB noobs). I included an embed of the final rendition below. In case anyone wants to know, Han shot first, and good for him! 



Everything iPad - Apps, Accessories, Reviews, Wallpapers etc | iPhone Life Magazine

What's bigger than an iPhone, smaller than a MacBook, and the most anticipated Apple product since the original iPhone? On January 27, at a special invitation only event at the San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Steve Jobs announced Apple's new "magical, revolutionary product" -- the iPad. Meant to fill the gap between the laptop and phone, Jobs said it was "way better" than either. Let's take a look at it.

Thin, lightweight, and powerful

The iPad shares many hardware features with the iPhone, including an accelerometer, an orientation sensor to switch from portrait to landscape mode, solid-state memory, and the same 30-pin doc connector. Connectivity is also virtually the same, with wireless 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR included on all models.

iPad runs iPhone apps!

The iPad will run a version of iPhone OS, and the new device can run virtually any app developed for the iPhone or iPod touch. Aps developed for the iPhone can run on the iPad in native resolution but is large enough to touch type on.

The larger screen not only makes familiar iPhone apps like Calendar, Mail, and Safari look stunning, it also provides screen real estate for more complex elements in the UI. For example, Calendar display a split-sreen view that describes the day's appointments on the left and shows you a color map of used time slots on the right. The split-screen view in Contacts displays you contacts list on the left and the full information for the contact you've selected on the right.

An ebook reader and more

Although not build into the iPad, Apple will offer a free app called iBooks, which will allow you to download and read books from it's new virtual bookstore. The new iBooks store will be accessed from and as easy to use as iTunes.

The ultimate media device?

The iPad is not the world's first tablet PC or the first eBook reader. Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer, and others sell Windows-based tablets, and Amazon has had considerable success with it's Kindle. But Apple thinks the iPad will reinvent the category by offering a vastly superior multi-touch interface an easy access to a wide-variety of apps and media via iTunes. Aple hopes to make the iPad the ultimate media device by leveraging it's existing assets which include over 100 million paying iTunes customers, established relationships with music and video content providers, and over 100,000 iPhone OS app developers.