The games you play waiting for an Apple delivery
Hey now, steady down there, Slim. Got no beef with you today. Just moseyed on in to town to wait for the stagecoach that's a-bringin' me my Apple Watch. Think I might take a pew here and play myself some cards. Barkeep! Quit polishin' that glass and fill it with some firewater. I got me a copy of Bang, The Official Video Game version 2.1.6 and I mean to have me some fun.
Official program will authorize third-party accessories; bands, chargers, more
Apple has officially expanded the "Made for i" program that already covers authorized accessories for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to include the Apple Watch. While the program mostly focuses on allowing third-party bands to correctly work with the new device, accessory makers will soon be able to create other accessories such as USB chargers, protective cases, charging stands, and other items with the "Made for Apple Watch" designation that confers Apple's approval.
Tabletop gaming app boasts stunning graphics, cool features in a portable package
One of the biggest problems of tabletop gaming is that requires a lot of things to be in place before you can even begin to play. First, you need to get a group of people together in the same place to play a game, and generally, that place needs to have enough space for a table, a board, miniatures, and more. But what if it could be easier? 3D Virtual Tabletop gives you the ability to take a tabletop map and miniatures virtually anywhere you can take an iPad or an iPhone.
Convert text from an image into editable text with one touch
Apps that promise to help you snag pictures of real-life documents aren't new, and we've checked out several in the past. Typically, the apps tend to scan a document and convert the image into a PDF, which is useful if you're planning on reading the document digitally. However, if you're looking to edit the text you're reading, you're out of luck. That is, until we checked out TextGrabber + Translator, by ABBYY.
Bulbs change hue depending on time of day, user settings
GE Business Innovations today debuted color-changing LED lighting compatible with Apple's HomeKit during GE's Connected Future event, unveiling LED-enabled Intelligent Environments capabilities for cities, buildings and homes. The new HomeKit-enabled LED bulb will utilize GE Align technology, automating lighting according to the body's natural sleep cycle, tracked by HomeKit and Apple's iOS-based HomeKit..
For when you need to be still
Whether you take meditation as an essential part of your life, or see it as just being able to shut up and stop thinking for a minute, there are an awful lot of meditation apps for iOS. Seriously. There are more of these than there are notepad apps, and we didn't think that was possible. Normally we'd examine them all, but it just seems somehow wrong to stress-test meditation apps. We've come to Meditate Plus after anecdotal recommendations, which also said you can see this app as a model for how they all work.
Quirky road-rage based games has players avoiding accidents, jumping TVs
We dig games. We spend a lot of time playing them around here, and we've become somewhat adept at picking out games that we think are particularly good examples of both enjoyable and challenging mechanics. We took a look at a fun, albeit strange title that we think you'll like, called Stickman Rush.
Meticulous gathering game makes us say 'thanksaxolotl'
Bean Dreams: Bean's Quest 2 by Kumobius is a 2D platformer starring ... you guessed it, a jumping bean. Currently, there are 13 "dreams" with six stages each, to be played through as the hat-wearing bean bouncing around collecting fruit and finding adorable pink axolotls sequestered away in difficult-to-get-to nooks of each level.
Easy to use tool for musicians includes tone generator, tuner, and metronome
Being a musician today certainly has its perks. Between the accessibility of starter instruments and the wide variety of sounds available to musicians, it's a great time to start playing, regardless of skill or previous experience. Of course, there's also the added bonus of the wide variety of apps available to musicians, which can do everything from teach you how to play, to recording, to keeping everything working just the way it should. Today we checked out Tunable, an easy to use app for both the iPhone and the iPad that lets musicians tune their instruments on the go.
Cute and rhythmic, but tries too hard in the attitude department
We enjoy rhythm games, particularly when the music is catchy -- and if there's a character that makes adorable squeaky noises, so much the better. There's a lot to be said for the satisfaction inherent in getting into a groove and becoming one with the music. If the groove is elusive, than finding it becomes so much sweeter. One such app is Give It Up! by Invictus, and we really wanted to like it. The music is fun, and the little character is an adorable blob of ink that bounces and squeaks when the player is doing well, and even its death animation is cute. Unfortunately, we followed the advice given in the app's title.
Simple app tackles the problem of comparing multiple sites with ease
Switching back and forth between web pages in Safari on the iPad is a massive pain. Trying to compare any sort of information becomes tedious and frustrating, and more often than not, we find ourselves bolting to the nearest desktop or notebook computer to do our research instead. That's where Split comes in, a simple little browser that allows you to compare two webpages, side by side, at the same time.
Apple poaching more BBC Radio 1 producers for upgrade to Beats Music, iTunes Radio
Following the hiring of influential former BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe in February as part of both iTunes Radio and a speculated revamp of the Beats Music service, a trade magazine for the music industry has reported that as many as four other top producers for Radio 1 are leaving to join Lowe to work on the revamped subscription service at Apple, which could be announced as early as June's Worldwide Developer Conference.
Even our political games aren't funny
You've got 18 months of hard political campaigning left before your Presidential elections: here in the UK we have less than a week. Next Thursday, 7 May, is our General Election and while take very seriously the job of choosing the least worst candidate available to us, it is fair to say that we are ready for some relief. Debate Time is an iOS game that intends to do exactly that by switching our attention from the political party leaders to cartoon images of the same people.
Single-Screen 2D 16-bit arcade fun
Drop Wizard is a single-screen 2D arcade platformer, with an adorable 16-bit style in the tradition of the original Mario Brothers. In Drop Wizard, the only thing the player controls is direction of travel. Every time the wizard drops down to a new level, he shoots a bolt from his wand in the direction he's facing, hence the name.
Mind mapping to project management in one go
The easiest way to describe iMindQ is to say that it is a mind-mapping application: you can jot down stray ideas, then sort them out, join them up into groups, and be sparked into thinking of more related ideas. Even the makers start by calling it mind mapping, but really this is something more than that.
Fast-paced, apple-catching action in another Orisinal arcade title
If we've said it once, we've said it a dozen times: we like arcade games. We like beating our own high scores, and we even begrudgingly admit to liking the fact that we'll eventually lose when we play them. Maybe it's nostalgia from our arcade days, or maybe it's some form of gamer-based masochism. Whatever it is, we keep coming back to the genre, time and again. One example is Apple Season, which will challenge your reflexes and ability to quickly catch apples as they fall from the sky.
New apps tailored for eldercare, long-term monitoring of patients
As part of Apple's partnership with IBM, a new deal has been struck with Japan Post Holdings to improve elder care in the country. IBM will combine forces with Apple and Japan Post, which provides insurance and healthcare solutions in addition to mail delivery, to develop software to assist with information transmission, communications with family, and help monitor health parameters of customers.
App used for disabled to communicate through the app with caretakers, others
Assistive technology software developer AssitiveWare today announced Proloquo2Go 4.0, a major new release of its symbol-supported Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app that provides a voice to over 125,000 children, teens and adults who cannot speak. Proloquo2Go 4.0 is designed to enhance language development and communication for AAC users. It also aims to better support parents, teachers and therapists to implement AAC best practices.
Unknown flaw or attack causes chart app used by pilots to shut down tablets
[Updated with further explanation of issue following investigation] A software bug that is suddenly causing iPads, used as "electronic flight bags" (EFBs) by pilots for American Airlines, to shut down and become unresponsive is causing delays and groundings of "several dozen" flights on the airline as experts scramble to identify the issue. One passenger on one of today's affected flights, which was delayed for more than two hours, said that the pilot had claimed the entire 737 fleet on American was affected by the issue.
Developers offered variety of ways to bring apps to Windows
Microsoft has used Build to reveal to developers what to expect when they develop apps for the incoming upgrade to Windows 10, both for mobile and desktops. More details about universal Windows apps was issued, as well as new ways for developers to create new apps or port existing apps from other platforms, including iOS and Android.
More fitness app goodness from Six to Start
We're living in the twenty-first century people, and that means we really don't want to do anything unless we're accumulating some kind of points or working towards achievements. Six to Start's The Walk is an activity tracking app which unlocks visual and audio content that tells a story. The Walk - Fitness Tracker and game is different from Six to Start's other activity apps, like 7 Minute Super Hero Workout and the Zombies, Run!. It does have a compelling audio drama starring the user as the main character, but this time the app tracks the user's time walking passively over the course of their regular day.
Apple Game Roundup for April 28, 2015
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at Heroes of the Storm's release date, Spiderweb Software departing iOS development, and the release of Chapter II of Broken Age.
Artist-owned music streaming service rumors refuted by musician
Rapper Shawn Carter, known as Jay-Z, has taken to Twitter to claim artist-owned music streaming service Tidal is doing fine. Defending against suggestions that the service isn't as popular as initially anticipated, Jay-Z claims the service has grown to over 770,000 subscribers in the month since the celebrity change of ownership, and that it won't be as big as other services for quite some time.
Put down those bags of meat, you meatbags
A sad by-product of being made of meat is that we must eat, but not too much. Enter Carrot Hunger, the talking calorie counter. Did you ever wish you could get nutrition advice from GLaDOS? Well you can't, but that's okay, because Carrot has three times the attitude, and actually cares about your health. No really you guys, she cares. She's just also a big proponent of tough love; and by "tough love" we mean massive amounts of sarcasm and dry wit.
The quest for the crown continues
The third installment of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! game series is now available from iTunes. It isn't necessary to play the first two chapters to enjoy the third; each leg of the journey is its own self-contained quest and story. However, for those willing to put in the time, a magic word is given at the end of each game to add input into the next. Friendships, items, curses, abilities, and knowledge transfer from one to the other, giving the whole experience a richer feel.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 24, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we search online and offline retailers for discounts, offers, and sales on an array of hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today, we cover the still-active deals from throughout the week, while the new deals list includes a sub-$300 960GB SSD, the Pure Jongo T2 wireless speaker, and the Garmin Vivofit fitness band.
Deliveries makes us as happy as a new phone book makes Steve Martin
We've said it before in other venues, but it's worth repeating: when you become an adult, you get really excited over the strangest things. You know that part in the 1979 film The Jerk when Steve Martin's character jumps up and down yelling, "the new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!"? That was us when we tried out Deliveries: a package tracker by Junecloud. We tested Deliveries on an iPhone 5 and an iPad Mini 2, but there's also a Mac app, and everything syncs through iCloud.
One tip for more precise timers on your iPhone
This is not going to be the longest tutorial you've ever read. Here it is: you can tell Siri to set a timer that includes seconds, not just the whole minutes you're forced to with the dials. Its a bit finicky, but here's the way to do it. That's it. It's short, and we're not going to pretend that it's a power-users hidden zen-ninja tip but, oh, is it useful. Also, there is just a fraction more to it than it sounds. A fraction. Barely a pixel, but handy to know.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 23, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, that time of the day when the staff of MacNN and Electronista search the Internet for sales, discounts, and offers, compiling the more notable items into a single post. The usual recap of still-active deals is joined by a Sony Action Cam, a 3D scanner, a Seagate 4TB NAS, and a new way to discover deals for yourself.
Revamped iOS version could make integration easier, but sale seems unlikely
Apple and a number of other companies -- including Facebook, Amazon, Sirius XM, and China-based services Alibaba and Baidu are among many other firms being targeted by Nokia as it prepares to sell off its Here mapping service and technology. While Apple has periodically purchased map technology that can be integrated with its Apple Maps service in the hopes of eventual public transit data, Nokia may be overvaluing the deal.
Project management now on your iPhone
OmniOutliner is for everybody, OmniFocus is for most people, but OmniPlan is is for comparatively few. It and the graphics app OmniGraffle can therefore seem the least important of the four Omni applications that have now been brought to the iPhone but if you do use OmniPlan, this is big news. If you don't but you are a project manager, it's big enough that you should take a hard look at OmniPlan.
Smooth and faithful iPad version of the board game
If it were any more famous, you'd have heard of it. Or possibly also have been there. For Carcassonne is a French town, and it's a board game, and it's now an iPad app. Take on the world through Game Center, take on the people in your house, or just play against the iPad and not have to spend an evening with anyone. If you like board games, this is so good that you've probably got it already.
Dull errands become vital quests in the grand adventure of your life
When we look at what our friends are posting online, everybody seems to have come down with a case of the "I don't wanna's." Even when the errand will lead to something cool, like, "fix rip in tent" or "buy zombie makeup," having a list of stuff you need to get done is dull and unexciting. EpicWin by supermono limited wants to make a to-do list into a series of quests that will bestow great power and treasure upon the murder hobo ... uh, sorry ... upon the brave Adventurer with the wherewithal to take them on.
Kids love playing store, and now they can create a real store with paper
Storest by Pixle has to be, hands down, one of the cutest apps we've seen so far this year. The app has two modes: the first is a virtual store where a kid can play at shopping, checking out, paying and getting change, on the tablet itself. The other mode provides materials to be printed and cut out, so a real store-themed play space can be set up in the physical realm, with the app used as the cash register. Storest isn't so much a game as an educational tool or prop to facilitate play, and we are utterly charmed by it.
Exploit puts iOS devices in reboot loop, only fix to exit range of router
Security firm Skycure have divulged the existence, but not the actual exploitation method, of a exploit in iOS that allows a Wi-Fi provider to reliably crash an iOS device upon connection to a known access point. The flaw allows a maliciously-crafted SSL certificate to crash the device completely, forcing it into a "repeatable reboot cycle" as long as the device remains within range of the assaulting Wi-Fi network.
Apply the filters before you take the picture
We've spoken before in this space about the importance of sweet filters when it comes to posting pictures on line. Generally, the user takes the picture, and then plays around with filters to see which one will make the image really pop. RetriCAM by Sergii Gerasimenko is here to cut out the middle-man. This app has a variety of "live" filters which are applied to the app's camera view before the picture is taken. So there's no fiddling around with the image -- the picture is already vintage or stylized as soon as it exists, and is ready to post immediately. While we're not sure this was a problem that really needed to be solved, RetriCam does have a couple of really sweet filters.
Compulsive newsreading app became an obsession
The entire point of the Living With articles on MacNN is to examine what software and hardware are like after that initial first glow. To show how products have borne up under pressure, or have crumbled under the stress. Invariably and unsurprisingly, this long-term testing brings out problems that are just not apparent until you are months into it. Except now. There is one single issue with my use of Reeder that I might change if I could go back in time, and only one single feature of RSS newsreading in general that claws at me. Otherwise, this newsreader app is perfect for me – yet I do keep on looking around.
Developers can sign up for single Sport model, shipping guaranteed by April 28
A new email being sent to developers from Apple is offering them the opportunity to buy a specific, single Apple Watch model -- and, importantly, guarantees shipping by April 28. The company is trying to ensure that developers either actively working on Apple Watch applications or are planning to develop apps for that platform have a test model they can use to confirm and troubleshoot their work. Apple is offering a single variation in the pitch to developers: a Sport model (42mm) with the aluminum casing and a blue sport band.
Apple game roundup for April 21, 2015
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at our DiRT 3: Complete giveaway, a Carcassonne sale and forthcoming OS X version, Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm open beta and release, and Kerbal Space Program exiting Steam's early access program.
New version adds mobile to desktop photo sync, slideshows, facial recognition
Adobe today announced a major update to its Creative Cloud Photography plan, with the release of an all-new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC that improves performance and gives users new tools to edit, enhance, organize and present photos. Lightroom CC 2015 also includes mobile capabilities, including the ability to automatically sync photos with Lightroom CC on the desktop and Lightroom on mobile devices, allowing users to access and the ability to edit their entire catalog of photos on iPad, iPhone, and Android smartphones and tablets.
Blizzards online collectable card game comes to mobile platforms
This reviewer has been avoiding Hearthstone since it first came out. We doubted our conviction in being able to resist spending scads of money on card packs, or spending on extra money on a card that represented something with which we had a particular attachment from our time playing World of Warcraft. Time and experience dealing with games with in-app micro-transactions later, we think we're finally ready to take the plunge, now that Hearthstone is on iOS. In a nutshell, we enjoyed the experience, and find the game as a whole charming.
Keeping track of what's on, and what it's costing
Neurio Home Intelligence is a piece of hardware that, when integrated into a home's breaker box, monitors electricity usage and allows the homeowner to see at a glance if they left the oven on, and what their electric bill might be. While the installation seems simple enough, we recommend having a qualified, professional electrician install it; using it after that is as easy as pie. While the performance of the Neurio Home Intelligence wasn't as magical as some of the documentation made it out to be, we really like this thing, and found it very useful -- check our review to see why we liked it so much.
Smart document scanning app comes to iOS
Didn't we just do this one? At first glance, if you compare the new Microsoft Office Lens to Evernote Scannable, you might conclude that one is red and one is a sort of cyan blue. Otherwise, they do the same job of scanning documents very quickly, they do the same job of processing them, and they do a very similar job of passing that data on to other applications. In the case of Office Lens, that is chiefly anything beginning with Microsoft, and with Scannable, that is chiefly Evernote.
Former iOS chief acts as advisor to Snapchat, helps fund Broadway play
Following more than a year of silence, former iOS software chief Scott Forstall has re-emerged into the public eye in one intentional way, and one unintentional way. Leaked emails from the Sony Pictures data breach note that Snapchat paid Forstall in stock for services as a "special company advisor," while Forstall himself debuted his Twitter account by announcing his role as a co-producer of an upcoming Broadway musical Fun Home, based on an autobiographical graphic novel by noted cartoonist Alison Bechdel.
An an epic quest in a vintage tabletop RPG style from Steve Jackson
The third installment of Steve Jackson's Sorcery will be out later this month, so we sat down with the first and second chapters in preparation. Sorcery and Sorcery 2 are, at their core, choose-your-own-adventure style experiences, but it all has a very vintage table-top RPG flair we really appreciate.
Curses. It's on the iPhone now. How will we get any work done?
Bad news for fellow addicts of the iPad game Sue Doku: it's been updated, and is now a universal app. You do hear that term a lot, and it often isn't explained, so let us clear that up now: a universal app means Sue Doku is now available on both your iPad and iPhone. Translation: distraction. It's just a sudoku app, we can stop playing any time, but it is a particularly well done one on the iPad, and enough so that we sidled back to our desk to quietly pick up our phones and download it immediately.
Get the good and avoid the irritating features of streaming music
There are other streaming music services, and you can well argue that there are better ones, but Spotify is winning the war to become the Hoover, Xerox, and iPad of its class: the brand name that somehow becomes synonymous with the idea. At least, nobody tells you what their favourite iTunes Radio station is, no one in the world sends you links to Pandora, and it's like few people have heard of Beats Music. Yet. However, Spotify is known even by normal people, and it is a way in to the whole streaming music subscription concept.
Apple Game roundup for April 17, 2015
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at Halo: Spartan Strike for iOS, Amplitude Studios' free weekend on Steam, WWE 2K for iOS, and the shipment of Age of Wonders III, alongside its new expansion pack.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 16, 2015
Hello and welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we find great offers, discounts, sales, and deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today's recap of still-active deals from earlier this week comes alongside new items including the Belkin WeMo Wi-Fi enabled light switch, an all-in-one laser printer from Dell, and the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band.
Spacial reasoning puzzle may help you hone cognative ability
Puzzle games are considered casual gaming, requiring little skill to solve the problems presented. However, every so often we come across a game that poses an actual challenge, a game that is mind-meltingly difficult, and that's what we've discovered today. We took a look at Tapslide, a game that will give even the most battle-hardened puzzle players a mental workout.