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Hands On: Give It Up! 1.3 (iOS, Android)

05/02, 2:01pm

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.


Hands On: Split v1.0.2 (iOS)

05/02, 8:18am

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.


Briefly: More BBC Radio 1 Beats hires, iMovie update, App Analytics

05/01, 6:04pm

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.


Hands On: Debate Time 1.0 (iOS)

05/01, 4:01pm

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.


Hands On: Drop Wizard 1.0 (iOS)

05/01, 1:50pm

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.


Hands On: iMindQ 6.2.0 (OS X)

05/01, 11:04am

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.


Briefly: Amazon Instant Video on iOS, Sprint Wi-Fi deal with Boingo

05/01, 9:10am

Amazon Instant Video iOS app adds HD video, cellular streaming

Amazon Instant Video now allows iOS users to watch HD content. Version 3.0 of the app upgrades the available resolution from standard definition to HD for both TV shows and movies. The same update adds cellular streaming to the app for the first time, as well as new mobile data usage settings, and also introduces streaming of content to an Apple TV using AirPlay.


Hands On: Apple Season v1.0.1 (iOS)

05/01, 7:04am

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.


Anonymous sharing app Secret shutting down

04/30, 12:23pm

Remainder of $35M Secret funding returning to investors

Secret, the app that allowed people to share private thoughts or information publicly and anonymously, is shutting down. After consulting with the board of directors, CEO David Byttow has decided to wind down the company over the next few weeks, closing access to the apps and deleting data, declaring "Secret does not represent the vision I had when starting the company."


Assistive communication app Proloquo2Go updated to version 4.0

04/29, 5:56pm

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.


Microsoft offers tools to port iOS, Android apps to Windows 10

04/29, 2:24pm

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.


Uber expands food delivery efforts, merchant delivery rumored

04/29, 8:01am

UberEats provides rapid deliveries of food in Chicago, New York City

Uber is attempting to expand the usefulness of its fleet of vehicles, by providing more delivery options to its customers. The company's food service is expanding into two new cities, while a rumor claims it is planning to launch a merchant delivery program that could provide same-day delivery of produce to customers via nearby Uber drivers.


Hands On: The Walk 1.2 (iOS)

04/28, 8:01pm

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.


Hands On: 2.0 (iOS)

04/28, 5:54pm

Basic counter gets iOS 8 facelift

Yesterday was a handy and simple app for counting things: today it's 2.0, a more elaborate application that comes with a new iOS 8 look and features. It's lost a little of the simplicity that made it appealing but the new aesthetic is good and an ability to export your counts is handy.


Apple Game Roundup: Spiderweb and iOS, Broken Age, Heroes of the Storm

04/28, 5:43pm

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.


Facebook adds video calling to Messenger app

04/27, 10:03pm

Video update to Facebook Messenger arrives one year after VOIP addition

Facebook is making its Messenger app more competitive against Skype and FaceTime, by adding video calling one year after it introduced free voice calls. The standalone Messenger app can now start a video call with other users from within any conversation, by tapping the camera icon, and allows for video calling sessions to work between different mobile platforms, including Android and iOS.


Briefly: Instagram adds three filters, NBC Sports on Roku, Apple TV

04/27, 5:04pm

Instagram adds three filters, emoji hashtag support to iOS, Android apps

Instagram has updated both the iOS and Android versions of the photo app with more filters. Lark desaturates reds and adds more to blues and greens for landscapes, Reyes adds a dusty layer to the image, and Juno tints cool tones green while making warmer tones pop. The app also introduces the option of using emoji when writing hashtags for images.


Jay-Z defends Tidal's growth, claims over 770,000 subscribers

04/27, 6:58am

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.


Hands On: Carrot Hunger 1.0.1 (iOS)

04/25, 11:16pm

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.


Hands On: Sorcery! 3 – The Seven Serpents 1.0.2 (iOS, Android)

04/24, 7:25pm

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.


Daily Deals: Crucial 960GB SSD, Jongo T2 speaker, Garmin Vivofit

04/24, 1:10pm

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.


Hands On: Deliveries 6.1 (iOS, Mac)

04/24, 12:33pm

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.


Pointers: Timers, Siri and soft-boiled eggs

04/24, 8:00am

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.


Apple Watch: now shipping, Watch App Store opens, Ion-X scratch test

04/23, 7:33pm

Early pre-orders now shipping as Apple confirms UPS tracking numbers, status

There are an indeterminate number -- possibly as high as a couple of million -- very early pre-order customers who are very excited today, having received confirmation from Apple that their order for the Apple Watch has shipped. Various forms of evidence, from emails from the company notifying buyers of the status change to UPS alerts with tracking numbers has confirmed that a number of customers who got in early should be receiving their Watch order on or about April 24, the original planned public debut day.


Daily Deals: Sony Action Cam, 3D scanner, Seagate 4TB NAS

04/23, 1:45pm

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.


Nokia courting Apple, others to buy Here mapping tech, reports claim

04/23, 1:00pm

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.


Hands On: OmniPlan 2.1.1 (OS X, iOS)

04/23, 12:55pm

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.


Hands On: Epic Win 1.65 (iOS)

04/22, 4:51pm

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.


Hands On: Storest 1.3 (iPad)

04/22, 1:44pm

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.


Researchers able to crash iOS devices through Wi-Fi router exploit

04/22, 9:46am

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.


Hands On: RetriCam 1.0 (iOS)

04/22, 7:35am

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.


Living With: Reeder (OS X, iOS)

04/22, 7:15am

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.


Apple Watch: developer draw, iWork update, new Ahrendts video

04/21, 6:22pm

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: Kerbal 1.0, OS X Carcassonne, Blizzard MOBA

04/21, 2:03pm

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.


Adobe Lightroom CC updated, aims at Apple Photos

04/21, 1:01pm

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.


Hands On: Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft 2.5.8416 (iOS, Android)

04/21, 8:23am

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.


Review: Neurio Intelligent Home Monitor

04/20, 3:03pm

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.


Hands On: Office Lens 1.01 (iOS, Android)

04/20, 7:20am

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.


Ex-Apple exec Forstall re-emerges as consultant, co-producer

04/19, 7:03pm

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.


Hands On: Sorcery! 1.4.3 and Sorcery! 2 1.1.4 (iOS, Android)

04/19, 8:07am

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.


Hands On: Sue Doku 2.0.0 (iOS)

04/17, 4:33pm

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.


Pointers: getting started with Spotify

04/17, 10:44am

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: Age of Wonders III, Halo: Spartan Strike, more

04/17, 10:42am

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.


Daily Deals: Belkin WeMo, Dell laser printers, Garmin Vivofit

04/16, 2:14pm

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.


Hands On: TapSlide v1.0 (iOS)

04/16, 1:26pm

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.


Hands On: Mophie Space v2.0.2 (iOS)

04/16, 7:11am

File organizer and transfer app makes quick work of arduous tasks

We love using our iPhones and iPads as much as anyone else, but we do have a few issues with the process as a whole. Sometimes transferring files between our computers and our iDevices is a real hassle. What if we don't have iTunes on the computer we want to use? What if we need to do it quickly? What if we forgot our cables? That's why we checked out Mophie Space, an app that helps you out if you're ever in any of these situations.


Daily Deals: driveless QNAP NAS, Titanfall, daVinci 2.0 3d printer

04/15, 11:45am

MacNN and Electronista daily deals for April 15, 2015

Hello and welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers to find discounts, offers, and sales for you, our discerning readers. A recap of still-active deals from the rest of the week follows the new deals batch, which includes one of the cheapest 3d printers we've seen, a great gaming monitor from Monoprice, and a six-pack of LED lightbulbs to save even more money!


Briefly: Netflix adds audio descriptions, Office Delve for mobile

04/14, 10:47pm

Audio Description tracks added to Netflix-produced shows

Netflix is making some of its content more accessible to the visually impaired, by adding an alternate "Audio Description" track to shows. Starting with the recently-released Daredevil today and reaching other Netflix-produced shows in the coming weeks, the extra option provides a narration track that describes scenes and important character attributes, such as costumes, facial expressions, and actions.


Hands On: Sunny v1.618 (iOS)

04/14, 1:15pm

Unique relaxation app offers calming sounds and eye-catching interactive visuals

We like our relaxation apps here, from our sound generators to our guided meditation apps. We're also open to trying things that are a little more "out there," which was one of the biggest reasons we took a look at Sunny, an audio and visual relaxation app that's pretty special.


Hands On: Casanova v1.0.0 (iOS)

04/14, 7:36am

Cute and challenging arcade game

Cute games often get a bad rap for being too easy, and we tend to agree. Cuteness is often one of the first bullet points on the list of things that make up casual games, and even the look alone tends to tell you what's in store, even before you begin playing. Well, fortunately for those of you who like cute games but wish they were a bit more challenging, Orisinal must have had you in mind when he designed Casanova, an absurdly challenging and absurdly cute arcade game.



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