iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apple Updates iBooks with Better Asian Language Support, Paid Japanese Books Wed, 06 Mar 2013 20:04:27 +0000 Read More]]> iBooks update

With Asia a major source of revenue for Apple, and its products becoming hugely popular in countries such as Japan and China it is not surprising that the company is releasing more of its online services in the region.

On Tuesday, Apple updated the iBooks application with improved Asian language support on the books available in the iBooks store, and finally opened up Japan to the iBookstore. Now, users in Japan will be able to download books through the online store directly to their iOS devices.

What’s New in Version 3.1

The iBookstore in Japan now has hundreds of thousands of books available for purchase, including fiction, manga, light novels and more. This version of iBooks also includes a number of improvements for reading Asian language books.

Apple did not limit the book titles available to Japanese users, allowing them to download books from all over the world, including a large selection of Japanese titles. Types of books include fiction, manga, light novels, and many others. iBooks 3.1 is a sizeable 43.1 megabyte update and is now available through the App Store on both iOS and through iTunes [Direct Link].

{Via AppleInsider}

]]> 0 Sponsored Feature: NARR8 Limited Aims to Make Comic Books Come Alive with NARR8 on iPad Mon, 19 Nov 2012 20:00:51 +0000 Read More]]> NARR8 for iPad

Those “Choose your own adventure” books were impressive back in the day. Nowadays, however, most people will likely want something shinier, something all new – something they’ve never seen before.

Developer NARR8 Limited has created a digital book reader that it hopes will be all that, and more.

We spoke to Alexander Vaschenko, founder of the team that developed NARR8, to find out about the what the app does, how it is constantly expanding and improving, and the reasons for making it free to download.

What exactly is NARR8 – and why should people be excited about it?

Alexander Vaschenko: There’s no all-in-one application or place where interactive books of different genres – from motion comics to non-fiction – are done in series sets with constant episode updates.

What does NARR8 offer that you can’t get from reading a comic book or ordinary book?

The integration of rich multimedia elements – such as animations, visual effects, sounds, music and interactive elements. This is a new thing, especially in non-fiction. The aforementioned series principle is also another new thing in terms of comparing NARR8 to an ordinary book.

How have you made sure the app is easy to use, and that it caters for all tastes?

There’s some tutorial in the first episodes where to click and how to navigate. Also we’ve tried to make all the navigation as obvious as we can. And we’ll improve it in the future for sure. In terms of tastes, the app is a 12+ because of some scenes in Subject 9, Prodigal Angel and Final Feat. Currently there are three enres though, which are motion comics, interactive novels (sci-fi and horror) and non-fiction (world history and popular science).

What challenges did you face during the app’s development?

The main challenge was to make rich and fast performing cross-platform content utilizing HTML-5 and other universal technologies. It’s all about making episodes again and again, remaking them until they work and look great.

The app is free to download – but are there any items that can be purchases within it?

This year the app and the content is completely free. Why? We want to get as much users as possible to polish our platform and content, but we have lots of thoughts on how to monetize the content and will decide how that will work better for users in 2013.

Have you got any famous artists or writers to work on some of the stories?

Not yet. We’ve started with unique, specially done content to show our vision. In the future we plan to sign famous artist and writers — we’re really open and will provide them the technology and the distribution platform.

How often will the updates for the app be?

Currently we update the app every eight to ten days, and new episodes in each series are coming every two weeks.

Have you any plans to bring the app to other platforms, such as Android?

Yes. In the first quarter of 2013 we plan to launch Android and Web-versions of the NARR8.

You can download the NARR8 app on your iPad for free now [iTunes link].

The trailer for the app can also be found below:


mzl.xyncdkdm.480x480-75 NARR8 for iPad mzl.nhlwmydr.480x480-75 mzl.adqoaoww.480x480-75 mzl.oqbjmyqx.480x480-75 ]]> 0 Apple’s Education Media Event Video Now on Website and Podcast Fri, 20 Jan 2012 19:04:20 +0000 Read More]]>

On Thursday, Apple held a special education event in New York City and introduced a number of software products, including the newest version of iBooks, iBooks 2, bringing textbooks to the iPad from large publishers including Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton-Mifflin.

Now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All you need is an idea and a Mac. Start with one of the Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. Add your own text and images with drag-and-drop ease. Use Multi-Touch widgets to include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more. Preview your book on your iPad at any time. Then submit your finished work to the iBookstore with a few simple steps. And before you know it, you’re a published author.

Apple also released an iBooks Author application, which allows users to create their own textbooks for the iPad 2. Since then, Apple has posted the video of the event to its site, alongside all other past events.

The Cupertino company also posted the Podcast for the event in both HD and standard formats. Apple is continuously increasing support for iBooks and is attempting to move into the e-reading market to compete with other popular reading devices such as the Nook and Kindle.

]]> 3 Apple Schedules “Education Announcement” Event For January 19th Thu, 12 Jan 2012 21:15:53 +0000 Read More]]>

The Loop reported on Wednesday that Apple has scheduled an education announcement on January 19th in New York City. The invitation simply reads “Join us for an education announcement in the big Apple” and does not disclose any specific information.

The New York Times later confirmed that the event is going to focus on digital textbooks and that no new hardware would be introduced.

The event will showcase a new push by Apple into the digital textbook business, but will not feature any new devices, according to a person briefed on the event who did not want to be identified talking about it before it occurs.

The event will take place in New York’s famous Guggenheim Museum, and is not open to the public, only press invited as with all other Apple events. Reports of the event were revealed last week, with many online news sources suggesting that Apple was planning to announce new hardware. The event will be highlighting publishing and digital textbooks, suggesting that Apple might ready to revamp their iBooks Store and its offerings from different publishers.

iBooks was released after the announcement of iOS 5 and gained some attention, but definitely not enough to Apple’s liking. With these new improvements, Apple will try to move further into the publishing market.

The event will be held on Thursday, January 19th, however, a time for the event has not been announced. The event will likely be held around 10AM, similar to earlier Apple events.

[Via MacRumors] ]]> 5 A Snappy Christmas 3D for iPad: Fun Idea, But Needs Work Mon, 26 Dec 2011 21:30:37 +0000 Read More]]>

[rating: 2/5]

A Snappy Christmas 3D Review: A storybook for kids based on the Snappy Dragons character. While the character is cute, the book is lacking in many areas.

The app is a reading book for children and offers options between English and French, and between Read By Myself or Read To Me. There are also three games included that give you a bit more to do than just the short story.

First the story itself, the plot felt a little weak and the characters were distant. Snappy and his friend Meline build a snowman in the woods but are missing a key piece until they get some help from Santa. Good enough for kids, I suppose, but there’s no real connection built with the characters.

The design itself has issues. First, the cursive font that was chosen is not suited for young children. It was difficult to read from time to time and would be hard for kids to identify some of the letters. And some words were highlighted in different colors, which might lead you to believe they were emphasized or interactive. They weren’t. Also, the narrator made an error and spoke an extra word that wasn’t printed. That is a critical error in a reading book for children.

Then there’s the technical side. The 3D layers effect was best thing about this app. And some of the animations were also good. But I had continual problems with the app crashing, even after an update was released. And it only works in one orientation that was upside down for most iPads with cases.

On the positive side, the app had a classic appeal and characters with potential. The UK English accent was engaging and clear. The sound effects added to the story. And adding a few simple games to the app gave it a bit more bang for the buck. There’s actually some good potential here. Potential.

A Snappy Christmas 3D disappoints in its execution, but leaves room for improvement. With a few tweaks and maybe some additional background on these two characters’ relationship (I mean how does a little girl come to have a dragon as a best friend?), there’s an opportunity for a successful series of books. While I might pass on this title, I’d be interested to see what they do with it in the future.

What we like:

What to know:

]]> 0 Flava for iPhone: The Promise of Everything in One Place Thu, 18 Aug 2011 19:57:04 +0000 Read More]]> Flava iPhone App Review-10Flava Review: The app is a combination of scrapbook, journal, and calendar all in one. It gives you a place for everything and keeps everything in one place.

Consider this app an Internet-connected, multimedia diary and you’ve got the general idea. You can write notes, take pictures, mark locations, tag books and music, and link to websites all within Flava. It sorts your entries with a timestamp and organizes them on a calendar.

The interaction with the app is intuitive. You have a set of icons to choose from when you wish to enter new information: Text Only, Camera, Album, Places, Music, Books, and URL. Select one of those and you go to an entry screen specifically designed for the type of information you wish to enter.

Flava iPhone App Review-9Flava ties into both the Photo and iTunes apps on the iPhone for pictures and music. That means you can either take photos with the camera or select an existing one from your photo gallery. You can have some fun with photos too by adding stickers and captions to them. Music is selected from your iTunes library and you can add comments here too. There’s also a button to link to YouTube from the Music screen. This does a search on YouTube and finds videos related to that song. And it plays them without leaving the Flava app.

Flava is a great concept that could be used in a lot of contexts. While it’s a bit skewed toward the cutesy, it would prove useful to travelers, students, and professionals, for example. However, it has a few shortcomings currently that hold it back a bit. It desperately needs a search function. Capturing this information is only half the picture, finding it again is the other, missing, half. In addition, it could really use a movie link similar to the books tie in. And the fact that the Places feature was essentially non-functional at the moment also needs to be addressed. There was a Next button on the maps screen that didn’t appear to be working.

With a few bug fixes, Flava would be a great app. With some additional features it could be awesome. It’s your choice to spend the $0.99 now and hope for the upgrades or hold off for the time being and wait until it’s a little more well-developed.




Flava iPhone App Review-1 Flava iPhone App Review-2 Flava iPhone App Review-3 Flava iPhone App Review-4 Flava iPhone App Review-5 Flava iPhone App Review-6 Flava iPhone App Review-7 Flava iPhone App Review-8 Flava iPhone App Review-9 Flava iPhone App Review-10 ]]> 0 Apple’s iBookstore Ready for International Launch Fri, 21 May 2010 16:16:00 +0000 Read More]]>

In a perfect world, well Apple’s version of a perfect world, there would be no iPads outside of the US at the moment. But there are! In a few of the countries that the iPad will officially be launched the iBookstore app is starting to show up some locally available content. So we can see Apple starting to breath life into its services a little ahead of their official launch.

The content is limited at the moment. And most offerings seem to be coming from the free Project Gutenberg titles. Hopefully we’ll see more in coming weeks. As well as the iBookstore app on iPhones and iPods when iPhone OS 4.0 drops.

One of the reasons for this limited amount of content is because of different regulations for book copyright in some territories, as well as ongoing negotiations by Apple to sign publishers up. In the UK, for example, competition law regulates that publishers must be in control of book pricing. This presents problems for Apple’s iBookstore agency style model.

“The legality of the model in the UK is yet to be established,” reports The Bookseller. “Industry sources have warned for several weeks that the agency model used to sell e-books through the iBookStore could face legal hurdles.”

But it does seem that Apple are committed to making this work in other places than the US alone. And that will be a good thing for books, just as it was a good thing for music with iTunes.

Are you looking forward to digital book distribution on the iPad in Europe and elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

[9to5Mac] [The Bookseller] ]]> 0