iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:57:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 20 Must Have iPhone Apps for All Your Social Needs Mon, 16 May 2011 22:09:21 +0000 Read More]]> Any one who owns an iPhone will most likely have one or more social networking apps on their iOS device. We use our iPhones to do most things we once did on a computer alone. Here at Touch Reviews we thought of featuring a list of 20 must have apps that cover all your social needs.

1. Tweetbot – A beautiful and well designed app for accessing your Twitter account. Check your timeline, mentions and dm’s. You can send tweets, send photos and videos too. If you use lists then you can add them in your main timeline section or use the bar at the bottom. The app allows you to save drafts and add locations to your tweets. It doesn’t have all the features that some of the other Twitter clients have but it is a very worth-while app to try out. The UI and sound effects are great and makes your twitter experience a great one!

2. TwitGlitch – If you are a little addicted to Twitter or just use your Twitter account professionally then this app is ideal for you. TwitGlitch will keep you informed of the status information for Twitter and when clicking further into the app it will tell you the cause of the latest ‘fail whale’. You can also view past history and it will tell you the time and date of disruption. The app will also inform you of any official annoucements and the Twitter accounts latest tweets. Within the app you can add your own Twitter account to track your rate limit. A great app for keeping you up to date on all things Twitter!


3. qTweetings – This app is perfect to use when you are on the go but want to keep all your friends on Twitter and Facebook updated. It does one thing, post your Twitter and Facebook updates. You can post photos and videos as well and even schedule your tweets to a set time. There is an option to your follow list as well should you wish to reply or send a message to one of your friends.You can even tweet music you are currently listening to. A great way to Tweet whilst out and about.


4. Trickle – Another Twitter client but this one is rather unique. If you are busy at work or doing something that prevents you from loading and reading your main Twitter client then Trickle is for you. You can simply load it up pop it in your dock at your desk and watch your tweets flow on the screen one tweet at a time. It displays all your timelines tweets covering the whole of your screen for easy reading. You can also retweet and favourite tweets within the app and add multiple user accounts.


5. Birdbrain – Keep up to date with all of your Twitter Statistics. It keeps you updated with a list of all the latest in your followers. Find out who unfollowed you or who’s started following you. It keeps a count of all your mentions and all the tweets you send out. The app also shows you a new list you have been added to, your tweets retweeted and by whom.


6. DMs – The last in the selection of Twitter apps and another app that is great to work alongside your current twitter client. DM’s is great for managing all your DM’s efficiently. You can list all your friends into set groups for easier access or just view them in one long list. If you like keeping your messages, well you can keep them here for as long as you like. You can star important messages, write notes for users and search for old messages. This app almost feels like an instant messaging app but working with your DMs. A must have app for all twitter users.

7. Instagram – A fun way to capture and share your photos on your iPhone. Choose from several filters and tilt-shift effects, add a comment and simply post. This is a great social app. You post your photos to Instagram for all your friends to see. Other users can then follow you and you can follow back. There is an option to have your pictures private if you wish but part of the fun with this app is sharing for the world to see. You can post anything you like when out and about and you don’t have to be a professional photographer to make your pictures look great.


8.Viddy – Another fun sharing app with social tie-ins. This time it is all about the videos you capture. It works the same as Instagram, you simply capture a 15 second clip on your iPhone, choose a choice of filter and sound effects and then upload on to Viddy. Other users can then like and comment and you can follow other people and their daily videos.


9. Facebook – Just in case there is someone out there that doesn’t have this app I thought it was worth a mention. The official Facebook app for managing your Facebook account. View your timeline, profile and private messages. You can also use the chat section within the app and view upcoming events and birthdays. Post your status updates easily and like or comment on all of your friends status updates.

10. Foursquare – A fun, social app to let all your friends know where you are and what you are up to. Foursqaure lets you ‘check-in’ to the place where you are. You can then add photos, comments and send to Twitter and Facebook. You can leave tips for users visiting the places you go to and on occasions certain check-in destinations offer discounts and freebies. As you go you collect badges and  earn points to battle away against your friends.


11. FitFu – A fun app to use to get fit but with a great social feature. Start slowly doing the set exercises and unlocking them as you go. Each time you do any activity you earn points to help you level up. You can also add friends to motivate you and also earn points. You can visit your friends profiles to see what level they are at, what exercises they have done. A perfect app if you want to start exercising but need a little motivation from a few friends to get you started.


12. Boxcar – If you want to know as soon as you have a mention or DM on Twitter, or if someone just wrote on your Facebook wall then Boxcar is for you. It is a notification app that sends you alerts almost instantly when you get a message. When using with twitter it not only alerts you of your mentions and DMs but you can set it to notify you when you are retweeted, if someone favourites your tweets or if you have a new follower. It also works alongside many of the twitter apps already available. You can also set it up with your email, Google voice, Google buzz and any RSS feeds. Great to ensure you don’t miss any messages.


13. Colloquy – The IRC mac client on your iPhone, great when you are out and about. Supports multi-tasking and all the common IRC commands. There is also a built-in browser so you don’t have to leave the app. You can also set it up with Instapaper to read later any links you receive. The app stays connected for 10 minutes when you leave it and you can set it to alert you if it is going to disconnect. It is very easy to set up and get started and chatting.

14. PingChat! – A great chat application that works across several other platforms. Great for chatting individually and group chats. Instant messaging that is like texting but without having to give your phone number out. You can also share videos and photos. The app notifies you of any messages and it is all very easy to reply and send back to them. It also shows when a message is sent and read and you can see if they are typing a reply back. A great app to keep you always online and in contact with your friends.

15. LiveProfile – This is very similar to PingChat but with some slightly different feaures so we thought it was worth a mention. It works the same way, instant messaging to all your friends. Again when you send and receive it will notify you when it has been delivered. You are also able to let your friends know if you are available, busy or away and set a status update to let all your friends know what you are up to.

16. Skype – This is another well known service and a popular app but again one that is worth mentioning. The app enables you to voice call, video call and chat free to other Skype users. You can also purchase Skype credit to call other phones and text and lower rates. The app is great for using over wifi or 3G perfect for when you are out and about and can’t use Facetime or don’t have an iPhone 4.

17. IM+ Pro – A great all-in-one app for all your instant messaging sevices. You can use it with Skype, Gtalk, Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and Jabber! There is also a new feature called neighbours to connect with the people around you. You can locate friends on the map nearby and chat with them. The app also stays connected when you leave it and sends you push notifications. You can do group chat, view your twitter feeds and create your own status messages. There is even a built-in browser to surf the web. This is an excellant app that works well and perfect for those who have lots of different IM to log into.


18. Verbs – A beautiful, easy to use instant messaging app. This one is specifically for GTalk, AIM and Mobile Me. Chat with all your friends who use those services. It notifies you with alerts for any messages you receive and you can toggle your status from available to away. It also integrates Droplr and Cloudapp to enable you to send photos. You can also view downloaded text and documents from within the app. Update your status and let your friends know what you are up to. A lovely design and works very well.

19. Meet New People – A social networking app to meet people. An app that is used mainly for chatting and socializing and possibly leading to a date. Search around you or in an area you are wanting to meet someone. Very easy to use, just check out users profiles and then when asked whether you are interested say yes, maybe or no. You are able to see who looked at your profile and all the people that were interested in you to see if you want to chat with them. You chat privately to your friends. Very safe to use without giving out too much information.

20. WhatsApp Messenger – A cross-platform messenger service that works with your phones telephone number so no need for a PIN or user name. Instant messaging with push, use it just like you would when sending a SMS. You can also send videos and images and participate in group chat. The app is always on with no need to log off so feels just like the sms service. There is also the option to update a status to let your friends know what you are up to.

So these 20 apps cover a wide range of social networking apps available on the App Store. Which are your favourite apps? Let us know in the comments below.

]]> 2 TouchTerm SSH – Command Line Access Tool for iPhone Wed, 10 Nov 2010 18:24:11 +0000 Read More]]> TouchTerm SSH [rating: 3/5]

TouchTerm SSH is a command line access tool which you can use on your iPhone or iPod Touch. If you’ve ever had to use the “Terminal” app on OS X, or an equivalent on a PC, or had to log into a remote server then you should be reasonably familiar with what this app does.

In a nutshell, any SSH client allows you to remotely log into other computers. On the Mac, for example, the entire front end that you use day in day out is simply a facade of pixels giving you a pictorial representation of what is actually going on behind the scenes. Where your computer is actually running a command line based Unix core on which everything, absolutely everything you do with a GUI can be done with text commands. So, in essence, much of what you do with your mouse pointer can also be done with simple text commands in “Terminal” or any “Shell” type interface.

I was originally hoping to do a comparison piece on the various SSH clients available for the iPhone. But the guys at Aji who make TouchTerm SSH were the only people kind enough to get back to us.

A fun command to run on any Unix based device when logged in via a Shell is “top”. This will give you a very informative, constantly updating screen chock full of text about processes, memory usage, and all manner of technical info about your computer.

Here is a shot of me running “top” via TouchTerm SSH remotely on my development Mac… (If that image does not ignite the geek in you, then there is something wrong with you… or perhaps me?)

TouchTerm SSH iPhone_1

For those of you that have no interest in controlling computers using text commands, and are not sure what an SSH client is, then this app probably isn’t for you. Which is a shame, because hacking around on computers and servers using only a text command line is a great way to learn about what really goes on under the hood. And is sometimes essential to get you out of some situations even with todays modern, stable GUI based operating systems. For example : Developing graphics software for OS X I have on occasion crashed my Mac’s screen handling processes, and using an SSH program from another computer in the office was able to get into the “crashed” machine, rescue data, and reboot it without having to power it on and off. Neat eh!

Warning : It is worth noting, though, that logging in as “root” on any computer, which is probably what you’ll be doing with an SSH client, is inherently dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. So do bear that in mind too.

Among other tasks, I maintain a couple of servers for the company I work for in my day job, and without command line access I would not be able to do any serious work on those beasts. Being able to get into the servers and monitor how they are running, and issue important commands to check on daily backups or simply turn services on and off when on the move is sometimes essential, particularly if a server hits a problem.

Doing that from an internet cafe is not a great idea because of security and convenience, and often I am not able to find one when I need one anyway. The kind of server problems I am talking about always seem to hit late at night when you are in a restaurant, or when you are out in the boonies racing at the weekend! And anyway, in this day and age surely we should be able to do this stuff from our smart phones anyway, right?

So being able to fire up a low bandwidth, text based command line on my iPhone, even over a slow GPRS connection, is essential to my peace of mind. And that’s exactly what TouchTerm SSH for iPhone allows me to do.

Setting up TouchTerm SSH is easy. You can make user accounts for your computers at home, or your servers abroad, and save the log-in details, optionally with or without the password. This makes firing up a connection quick and easy. They even provide a password lock for the app itself, if you are nervous about putting server logins on a device you might lose.

Landscape and Portrait modes are fully supported. As are all the special keys like Ctrl, Esc, Tab etc. that the iPhone’s keyboard does not have, and are essential for special commands in a terminal app. And options for protocols and security settings are all also present and correct. Like OS X and iOS are backed by a proven Unix OS, so too is TouchTerm SSH underpinned by an industry-standard OpenSSH open-source library.

Terminal use is all about using the keyboard, so if that bit doesn’t work then we have a problem! When the keyboard pops up it fills most of the screen on the iPhone (as we all know), and Aji have come up with a neat solution, which is to make the keyboard semi-transparent. This works well and makes you feel like you have more screen real-estate. You can also touch scroll around the large terminal window that the app allows you to work on. But no pinch zoom, or “magnification”, which would be a nice touch. But they did choose the right default “Matrix” style colouring for the text display.

I didn’t feel totally at home with the way that the TouchTerm display stutters and freezes with a spinning indicator as you enter each command and wait for a response from the remote machine. Sure all internet connections lag, and you are always going to be waiting for the device you are connected to complete its task and send the result back to you. But you don’t expect the iPhone interface to stutter and lock up while waiting. The app does have an option to turn that locking off, but that comes with the caveat that your iPhone may become unresponsive if the device constantly receives a lot of data from the computer it is connected to. This needs to be tidied up in my opinion. But marrying text driven interfaces to iOS is not an easy task, especially with all the requirements power users have, and overall Aji have done OK.

TouchTerm SSH hasn’t been updated in a while, which shows with some of the older and more clunky ways that the interface works overall. When doing stuff on the move, on a small screen, it is essential to be able to task switch, and unfortunately TouchTerm SSH does not support multitasking, yet. So if you need to check some information from another app, or copy and paste commands this is quite hard to do.

Aji have addressed some of these issues in their TouchTerm Pro app by having save-able commands to speed up input via the keyboard. But we have not had the chance to review that version, and updating the basic version so that you can task switch would enable you to have commonly used commands in a note pad sheet, and then copy and paste them in.

Using the app over the last 24 hours I have been able to do pretty much anything I needed to do on our servers, which are located in the US and Europe, all from my sofa just outside Bangkok. I have also been able to experiment on my computers at home. It certainly works. And has a lot of customization features to make the app make you feel more at home. I just wish the overall look and feel was more polished.

TouchTerm SSH certainly gets the job done. And it would be nice if the developer updated it to give it some iOS loving. At $3.99 I can recommend the base app, and forgive some of the clunkiness. But if the Pro app is based on the same core GUI model then I think it is probably overpriced, and could do with some refreshing and polishing.



$3.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Utilities
Updated: Jun 24, 2009
Current Version:
1.3 MB
Language: English
Seller: Aji, LLC
© 2009 Aji, LLC
Rated 4+
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 2.0 or later

]]> 0 ThumbJam – Make sweet live music with your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad Sat, 06 Nov 2010 17:58:31 +0000 Read More]]> ThumbJam [rating: 4.5/5]

It’s rare to see an app with so many positive reviews and so few negative ones on the App Store. So we decided to check ThumbJam out.

Apparently it can make anyone into a live performance pro, and groups of iPhone users into their very own synced up band!

ThumbJam iPhoneThumbJam should not be looked upon as a tool for creating tracks with (although you can record your jam sessions, and some loops or tracks), but rather a live performance tool that provides some assistance to make you sound good, in tune, and perhaps record that.

Instruments included number too many to list in their entirety, but include Cello, Violin, Viola through Flute, Acoustic Guitar, Rhodes, Synth Choir and even signature sounds from Jordan. So, a lot. And a set which overall contains a bunch of staple instruments splattered with an eclectic smattering of some more diverse ones too.

ThumbJam is easy enough to pick up and use by anyone, with any level of skill. And that is despite its interface looking a little daunting initially. Its really impressive array of instruments have been sampled at very high quality, and at various frequencies to provide authentic and dynamic sounds across a large range of notes. And ThumbJam consequently sounds great when your iPhone is hooked up to your home sound system.

Once you have started to master the app, and wish to delve deeper you may want to encourage a friend or two to get a copy, and jam together. The app provides ways to sync your devices so that they match each others tempo, key and scale. This is all done via Bluetooth.

Multi-touch is implemented pretty well, allowing you to play many notes at once, creating chords, and also affect pitch, vibrato and glissando by moving your fingers, or tilting and turning the device. So you can really get into the music you are performing, and even perhaps fall off your chair if you get too carried away. In many ways ThumbJam is a musical instrument in its own right. I did get a few notes to stick while pushing the multi-touch limits of the interface. But it was infrequent, and easily remedied by stopping the instrument.

Every instrument has a plethora of settings you can play with to affect how they behave and sound. And the “keyboard” of ThumbJam is customisable to have more notes on screen, or change its octave range.

A recent update to the app added the ability to save and load tracks, and share / import them with apps like BeatMaker. And a further update has allowed you to use the app as a MIDI or OSC controller.

The author (Jesse Chappell) has obviously started building a relationship with users, and is listening to their feedback, as well as enjoying the music that many of them create. One example of that is here, and indeed in version updates many of the requests that this user had have been implemented.

One notable request, that many early reviews of this app picked up on, was the lack of a metronome to help when recording loops or tracks. This has been added as part of a recent update. And added with an impressive array of settings. As have more instruments, and usability tweaks and enhancements.

On any other platform this app would be considerably more than $6.99. And it wouldn’t be being updated quite so often either. It may seem expensive for an iPhone app, but the price hardly reflects the level of detail and professionalism, not to mention love, that has gone into producing what is probably the best music creation app for the iPhone at the moment.

A Twitter comment I received when reviewing this app said that the new iPad update “defines what my iPad is for”. I personally prefer using this on my iPhone. I like having it in my pocket for moments when inspiration strikes. But can also totally see how iPad users are able to get more from their larger interface, and the enhancements made to the app specifically for the iPad. What’s more, according to Jesse, “This is just the beginning for the iPad”.

If you like making music, and are at any skill level from beginner to pro., you are going to find something you like in ThumbJam. In short, if you are into music creation in any way, and have an iOS Device, get ThumbJam! It’s addictive! Now, where was I…



$6.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Music
Updated: Jul 26, 2010
Current Version: 1.3
1.3 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
152 MB
Language: English
Seller: Jesse Chappell
© 2010 Jesse Chappell
Rated 4+
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later

]]> 1 120 BPM for iPhone Unleash your inner DJ! Sat, 06 Nov 2010 17:28:41 +0000 Read More]]> 120 BPM iPhone

120 BPM [rating: 3.5/5]

120 BMP, as its name suggests, is all about modern music with a beat. With a user interface that is not dissimilar to Garage Band (if it had had a fluoro make-over), it is bright, fun, and embraces sharing user generated content, as well as the all important Facebook!

120 BMP fires up quickly and launches straight into one of its sample tracks whilst showing a gyrating club girl dancing away behind the main menu. And you’re off.

The app has basically three parts. A sample recording area, a track creation area, and a world view where you can share content.

The main part of 120 BPM is the track creation area, which is based around a music creation timeline I have already said it is similar to Garage Band, and in fact to most side scrolling timeline based music creation apps. Initially it is a little confusing what each icon above the timeline is for. But with a little bit of experimentation you will find your way around. There are ways to choose sets of samples, alter the positioning of sounds, and save or load your tracks. There is also a “Help” area accessible from the Main Menu, or while in the editor, which has text written instructions on how to use the app.

Basically, you place samples (which are arranged down the left hand side of the screen) into the timeline by simply touching and dragging them where you want them. Moving along the timeline can be done by playing the track, touch dragging it, or using a slider. Unfortunately the app does not let you use the slider while a track is playing. So there is a lot of starting and stopping of the track, and moving back and forth, which is a bit fiddly. This is a shame when the developers have given you so many ways to move around. Simple touch and drag, and a track that is actively playing picking up from where you dragged it to would be preferable, and would have served to clear some space on the display for more info on the sample buttons, and other menu buttons.

The included samples are great. And by and large seem to be beat matched, however you place them. But it is disappointing to download an app and immediately be told that you are gonna need to stump up more cash for any samples over and above the one very focussed set included. However, you can record your own samples using the “My Samples” area of the app. But that area seems to be limited to 6 slots, as far as I can tell.

120 BPM

By far the best feature of this app is the World View where you have a Google Earth style globe that you can pinch zoom and rotate to see markers all around the planet where other 120 BPM users have uploaded their creations. Focussing on any purple dot turns it briefly into an hour glass, before it changes to a green note and you can hear the music that a person has made.

One downside to this user generated content is that it is clear that many people like the same standard tracks included with the app. Or don’t want to pay more for new ones. But hopefully as people experiment more with the sample recording, and downloading the additional sample packs the diversity of these creations will grow.

I have already mentioned this, and I do have a little bit of an issue personally with apps that come with three quarters of their content disabled. But that is just me. At 99 cents though, it is hard to complain. But factor into that price the notion that if you want more than “Electro” sounds, and want a full range of samples from different musical genres to choose from, you are either going to have to make samples yourself, or download them. With the latter option this app’s price is really closer to $4 if you also want to have “Dance”, “Funk” and “Pop Rock” content. After that if you want even more samples to choose from then the developer offers plenty. And all are at the 99 cents a pack.

Worth the money? Yes. Fun? Yes. A Tool for Pros? Definitely not. Will it make you famous? Probably not. But who knows! Look at Justin Bieber!

At the end of the day it’s all about the in app purchases, baby!



$0.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Entertainment
Released: Nov 03, 2010
Version: 1.0
1.0 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
18.8 MB
Language: French
Seller: Little Worlds Studio, sarl
© Little Worlds Studio
Rated 4+
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later

]]> 0 Audio Tool for iPhone Nifty little Audiophile’s Sidekick Sat, 06 Nov 2010 17:07:31 +0000 Read More]]> Audio Tool [rating: 4/5]

If you work in music then having a way to measure sound levels, that is always in your pocket, is a must. There are many apps that offer this functionality on the App Store. So to stand out you need to go that extra mile. Let’s see if Performance Audio’s Audio Tool does that.

Audio Tool iPhoneThe Audio Tool app offers a Decibel Meter, for measuring sound levels. A Microphone function so that you can hook your iOS Device up to an amp and use it as a microphone. It also offers a Data Rate calculator, so you can figure out how much hard drive space a digital audio recording will require, depending on its quality. There is also a Tone Generator, which apart from being a fully featured tone generator is great for annoying your pets with! Finally it has an audio terminology dictionary.

At the price, when you consider that all the modules in this tool work very well and look great, even down to old school silver flick switches which turn functionality on and off, this app is a bargain.

The Decibel Meter is not going to be the most accurate piece of kit in the world as it is very dependent on your iPhone’s microphone, or the quality of the input device you connect to your iPod. But in a pinch it’s a lot easier than having to carry a dedicated meter around with you all of the time. And the fact that it keeps track of Max, Peak and Average levels is very handy.

With the Bit Rate calculator, I have found myself sat at my desk coding this weekend, picking up my iPhone to work out sample sizes for my own purposes. So I can see myself or others going to this app anytime we want a calculator which works with audio units.

Audio ToolThe tone generator is handy for getting pre-generated frequencies out of your iPhone when working with audio. It does exactly what it says on the box, with all the settings you would expect for frequency, waveform type etc. But, honestly, it’s much more fun dialling the frequencies up nice and high and irritating kids or pets with it!

A nice surprise feature is the Audio Atlas, which is basically a dictionary of audio related terms. But again, it’s well presented and full of information.

It is clear that Performance Audio are all about selling quality audio hardware, and this app serves them well as an advert for their services, which they are not backward at coming forward about in the notes provided in the app. But that is not a crime, and if they demand that an app with their name on it is of this quality that does give you a good idea about how their other services might be. So if I need an audio cable for my iPod to turn it into a microphone, I may well buy it from them!

Audio Tool is well presented. Does the job it is sold for, and is priced fairly.

Touch Reviews Recommends Audio Tool for iPhone.



$1.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Utilities
Updated: Oct 19, 2010
Current Version: 1.0.4
1.0.4 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
26.5 MB
Language: English
Seller: Performance Audio
© Performance Audio LLC, 2010
Rated 4+
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later

]]> 0 Skyfire App for iPhone will be Available in ‘Batches’ Fri, 05 Nov 2010 23:08:23 +0000 Read More]]> The new Skyfire app for iPhone and iPod touch has been causing lots of headlines lately – it’s the first application for iOS that converts Flash video in to HTML5, allowing users to watch it on their iOS devices, and due to overwhelming demand, the developers have pulled it from the App Store.

If you didn’t manage to get your hands on Skyfire during the short time it was available, then don’t despair. Skyfire’s CEO, Jeff Glueck, said in a statement today that they will be making the browser available to download through the App Store over the next few days, but you’ll have to be quick if you want it!

In order to provide a good user experience, and ensure they have capacity for the demand, Skyfire will be making their app available in ‘batches’ and on a first come, first served basis. This is currently just for U.S. (View in iTunes) users only, however, Skyfire have stated that support for other countries will follow shortly.

The Skyfire blog explains:

Due to overwhelming demand, we are taking this approach because Skyfire believes a good user experience should come first, and we would rather have fewer, happier customers, and add new users as we can support them.  We will open the first batches to US users only, with additional country support to follow shortly.

Skyfire expects to release these batches more frequently over the coming days, so users waiting to get their hands on the app should keep their eyes peeled.

To find out when the next batch will be available to download, you can follow Skyfire on Twitter or Facebook and they’ll keep you updated.

]]> 0 iPhone Users Overwhelm “SkyFire” Server Watching Flash Content Thu, 04 Nov 2010 19:26:23 +0000 Read More]]> The Skyfire app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad from Skyfire Labs is an iOS app that provides a way to view Flash based web content. The way it actually does this is to have the app request Flash based content, which is then transcoded on Skyfire’s servers into an iOS friendly format, before being squirted over the web to our devices. All of this is seamless as far as users are concerned. But the more people that use the service, the busier Skyfire Lab’s servers will become.

As we all know Flash is a swear word as far as Steve Jobs and Apple are concerned. More on that in a moment.

SkyFire iPhone AppAs soon as the Skyfire app was approved iPhone users rushed to download the $2.99 app. Within 5 hours Skyfire was topping the App Store’s utility list, and then became the top grossing app on the App Store itself. Knocking “Angry Birds” off the top spot. Which means it was being downloaded in massive numbers!

Within a few hours of all this Skyfire’s servers were over-loaded, the user experience for app users was degraded, and so the company was forced to pull the app from the App Store.

The irony of a technology that Apple refuses to put on their platform because it is a resource hog, cannot be lost of Skyfire here. But it is clear that people want to at least see what all the fuss is about with Flash on iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch. It remains to be seen how long that excitement will last.

Whether the level of usage that the app has seen is something that fits within the business model that Skyfire Labs have worked out around their $2.99 app price remains to be seen.

But they seem confident that this proves their assertion that iPhone users are desperate for Flash, and they vow to have the app back on sale as soon as they have upgraded their server farm to handle the incredible amount of customers that seem to want to use this service.

Did you get to try Skyfire out? Would you like to try it out? Let us know in the comments…

[via SkyFire] ]]> 1 Kobo Introduces Newspapers and Magazines Now Available on the iPhone and iPad Kobo Reading Apps Wed, 27 Oct 2010 22:28:19 +0000 Read More]]> Dozens of Popular U.S. and Canadian Publications Now Available for a Free Two Week Trial from the Kobo Store

TORONTO, ON — October 27, 2010 — Kobo, a global eReading service, today announced that a selection of the most popular newspapers and magazines are now available for download with a two -week FREE trial from the Kobo store. Effective immediately, dozens of top U.S. and Canadian publications have been added to Kobo, which currently boasts over 2.2 million eBooks including the hottest new releases, New York Times bestsellers, timeless literary masterpieces and thousands of free titles.

The Kobo Store now offers the following digital publications across select Kobo devices and Apps: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Scientist, The Seattle Times, Wilson Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, American Scholar, China International Business, Columbus Dispatch , Guideposts, Harvard Business Review, National Review, New York Observer, PC Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Reason, The Christian Science Monitor Daily Briefing, The Nation, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Vancouver Province, Vancouver Sun, Victoria Times-Colonist, and The Globe & Mail. Kobo will be continuing to expand its newspaper and magazine offering to ensure that we have all the publications that people want to read worldwide.

Delivering on the Kobo promise of providing consumers with a best-in-class eReading experience, Kobo’s newspapers and magazines are formatted to bring publications’ same unique qualities to the digital format. Readers can customize their content by selecting from several text sizes – enabling an optimal and comfortable reading experience. Readers can also now organize select newspapers and magazines, along with their eBooks, on the Kobo Wireless eReader, the iPhone and on the iPad. Reading books and select newspapers and magazines is seamless across devices, as users can pick up where they last left off with Kobo Sync.

“Kobo continues to build on our commitment of making sure that consumers have the best reading experience on any device with the largest selection of content worldwide, ” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “We’ve had tremendous success with eBooks and we’re very excited to expand the Kobo offering to include newspapers and magazines with a two-week free trial, allowing consumers to try first without any obligation. We continue to bring on top publishers to ensure that Kobo’s newspaper and magazine offering meets our customers’ highest expectations.”

The addition of newspapers and magazines allows Kobo customers to purchase their favorite publications through a monthly subscription. Following a two-week free trial – monthly subscriptions start as low as: $13.99 for newspapers and $2.99 for magazines. The current edition of a newspaper or magazine can be immediately added to a customer’s library, and with the subscription, customers will receive wireless delivery directly to their Kobo iPad or iPhone App or their Kobo Wireless eReader. It is so convenient – readers can now get their morning paper delivered right to their Kobo Wireless eReader just in time to enjoy with their morning coffee. The new Kobo iPhone and iPad apps are available for download today from the iTunes App Store. Subscriptions and 2 week free trials can be accessed directly from the iPad, iPhone, and the Kobo Wireless eReader’s onboard store, or from the Kobo Newsstand at

For more information, visit

*Pricing and delivery method varies based on the publication.

About Kobo, Inc.

Kobo is a global eReading service backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, Borders Group, REDgroup Retail, and Cheung Kong Holdings. Kobo believes consumers should be able to read any book on any device. With a catalog of over two million eBooks, and an open platform, Kobo enables retailers, device manufacturers and mobile operators to bring the joy of eReading to customers everywhere. For more information, visit

]]> 0 VLC Media Player now available for iPhone and iPod touch Mon, 25 Oct 2010 22:34:16 +0000 Read More]]> VLC has been around for the iPad for a while now. Today it was updated so that it would also work with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and recent iPod Touches.
VLC Media Player iPhone
There have been a few other updates to the app which include being able to delete videos from within the app, more extension compatibilities and faster media decoding which I assume is to do with Neon optimizations as it only runs on devices with Apple’s newer ARM CPU. Neon is a set of ARM machine code instructions which are well suited to media optimizations.

You can download it from Apple, via iTunes, from here.

VLC in my opinion is a must have media player on any platform. So I am particularly pleased that the cool geeks over at VLC central have updated it for more of Apple’s iOS based devices.

Are you excited that VLC is now an iPhone and iPod Touch app? Have you tried it out yet? Let us know in the comments.

]]> 0 Apple’s App Store Passes 300,000 Apps Milestone Mon, 18 Oct 2010 17:44:45 +0000 Read More]]> With its second birthday just behind it Apple’s App Store now boasts 300,000 Apps. The App Store Gnomes are apparently pumping around 1000 new Apps per day into the store, once they have tortured them for long enough to ensure they are up to scratch.

Just under two-thirds of the total apps in iTunes are paid apps. Games still come a close second to Books as the most downloaded media both having a smidgen under 17% each of overall downloads.

One thing worth considering is that this figure is not necessarily showing us the whole picture. Although it is probably a good estimate, there are a lot of apps which have been in the App Store, but have been taken off sale. However, as a counterpoint to that, this most recent survey data, collated by Mobclix, does not take into account many apps sold outside the US.

The Android Marketplace is fast on the heels of the App Store, now reported as having over 100,000 apps.

Both marketplaces are set to grow further as we get closer to the end of the year but the Android Marketplace is expected to do so more, as a shower of new Android tablet devices hit highstreet shelves.

Will Android Apps overtake those of iOS in 2011? When will the App Store hit 1 Million apps? 2011 or 2012? Have your say in the comments.

[via VentureBeat] ]]> 1 Atomic Tom performs live on their iPhones Sun, 17 Oct 2010 20:00:20 +0000 Read More]]> PR’s a wonderful thing, especially if you’re a local band wanting some free publicity. What’s the best way to get free publicity? Well, getting half the world’s top tech blogs to post about you works, and that’s what Atomic Tom managed to do with a supposedly impromptu performance aboard a New York train. The tech angle? How about the whole thing being done using just iPhones?

So here’s the story. Atomic Tom ‘had their equipment stolen’ and decided to give an ‘impromptu’ performance while sat on a train in New York City. The apostrophes are there to denote something I don;t believe for one second, by the way.

According to the video that just happened to be recorded and uploaded to the band’s official YouTube account, the band-members whipped out their iPhones and proceeded to do their stuff. 231k YouTube views later (the video only went viral yesterday!) and there’s your publicity.

Now I know I might seem a little down on the whole thing, but it’s really quite clever and shows a savvy use of social media to boot. More importantly, they’re using friction’ iPhones, which obviously makes the whole charade infinitely more cool.

How long before Apple turns this into a TV ad?

]]> 3 Netflix App for iPhone 4 and iPod touch Updated – Adds Video-Out Wed, 06 Oct 2010 20:05:28 +0000 Read More]]> Netflix updated its free app for Apple’s iPhone 4 and fourth-gen iPod touch yesterday and it now boasts video-out capabilities.

Netflix iPhoneThe latest version of the Netflix (View in iTunes) app – which also included bug fixes – allows users of the popular movie rental application to use a video adapter with their iPhone or iPod Touch and send content to their televisions and other, larger displays.

Those of you who have just set up your new AppleTVs may not be excited by this news, as the new device offers support for Netflix content streaming, but for many, this feature has been a long time coming to the iOS application.

If you don’t already have it, you can grab the Netflix (iTunes link) application for free from the App Store. You’ll need a Netflix subscription to enjoy the content, though. Video adapters for the iPhone and iPod Touch are available from Apple and several third-party vendors.

]]> 1 4 Noteworthy Educational and Entertaining iPhone Apps for Kids Sat, 02 Oct 2010 20:42:14 +0000 Read More]]> Among all the iPhone apps for adults are some great games and educational apps for kids. Many are simple and easy to use and all perfect for keeping your child entertained. With that in mind here are four apps we have selected that are worth purchasing.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

Developed by THUP Games the app is aimed at pre-school children aged 2-5. It includes five educational games for your child which are presented in a fun way. Help the monkeys pack their lunch and let them learn as they go!

Each game brings something different to your child. It will teach them colors, counting, matching, letters and shapes. All brought to you by cute little animated monkeys and all about fruit which is even better as it might encourage your child to eat lots of it too.

The five games are:

Each game is easy to use and very enjoyable for your child. The monkey gets all excited when it gets his fruit and makes lots of happy noises when you get it right. The animation is very eye-catching as well and would interest any child of the specified age.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is a fun app which educates your child in a fun-filled format! (View in iTunes)

Jacob’s Shapes

jacobs shapes

Jacob’s Shapes is created by Little Hiccup and is a puzzle app for children. With 100 words to learn over 20 fun levels it is a game that will delight any child.

When you first launch the game you can choose if you want to hear a childs voice or an adults through out the game, you can change it at any time. Once that is done you are ready to play. There are no menu’s to navigate or set up first.

Next choose which type of puzzle you would like to play first. There are many great ones to choose from. There are scenes from the seaside, the jungle, dinner, clothing, things around the house and many more. A great variety for your child to play.

Once the scene is displayed on the screen you will also get relevant items on the left which need to be placed. This scene will have objects around and some will just be a shadow of an object. These are where you search for the right object and match it with one of the pictures on the left. When you have found it you place it in postion by simply tapping and dragging it. Then do the rest of the shapes. Once completed you can go on to another level.

When you place each item it will speak the name of it. Great for your child to learn about different objects. It also shows the name of the object as well so an older child will be able to read the words. After completing each scene it gives you a huge cheer and says ‘great job’!

The pictures are lovely and colourful and the animals are very cute looking. They are sure to entertain any child. It is a great game that can be picked up at any time and played. (View in iTunes)

Motion Math

Motion Math is an app designed to teach children mathematical fractions. Quite a lot of children can find the subject difficult and for some it doesn’t interest them. Motion Math attempts to get you to interact wih the app and see the fraction visually.

Motion MathFractions are hard to learn at times so this app brings a fun way to learning them. On the screen is a bouncing ball and you have to tilt your device to answer the questions.

So for example, at the bottom there is a bar with 0 to 1 and the bouncing ball is showing ½. You have to tilt your device to the half position on the bar and make it bounce there. If you are correct it will move to the next question. If it is wrong it will show you guidelines to give you a clue.

You work your way through the questions if you complete them all it will tell you how many you have got right at the end. If you don’t answer a question in a set time it also ends the game and your score is shown. Great for motivating a child to have another go to improve their score.

The fractions are shown in different ways, similar to how a child would be taught at school. Fractions come in many forms so this app covers numerator over denominator, percentage, decimals and pie charts.

It is very easy to use and control and the backgrounds also change to make the app interesting and appealing. There are different skill levels to choose from so perfect for any child of any level of Math knowledge. I would say it is for a child of school age, five and above.

Yet another great app that is teaching your child an important part of their education. (View in iTunes)

Gyro The Sheepdog

Gyro Sheepdog

Developed by Imageform help Gyro the sheepdog herd the sheep to safety. Watch out though for trucks, wolfs and UFO’s!

This fun animated game is very easy to play and children will certainly love it! Tilt your device to control the sheepdog around the sheep. To make them jump and go towards the exit, give a little bark. To do this you just tap the right side of the screen. A fun game with no hard controls to figure out.

Along the way Gyro can collect items like bones for him to eat or cane juice, to help him with his days work. Just make sure you watch out for the wolf who isn’t friendly and certainly not there to help you, it just wants a lambchop!

The animation is very adorable and all children will love the cute little sheep wandering around and the game is full of barks and baa’s. This is a great game for children which is not too easy and is more of a challenge for them. It is very addictive and one that they will not want to put down. (View in iTunes)

What apps are your children playing at the moment? Let us know in the comments section below.

]]> 1 Weather HD for iPhone Simple Weather App That is Simply Stunning Tue, 28 Sep 2010 08:49:33 +0000 Read More]]> Weather HD [rating: 4/5]

There are a multitude of weather apps available for the whole range of iOS devices. One such application is Weather HD which provides a pretty unique focus on providing you live weather and forecast information for your current and any other location you wish to know about.

Weather HD has been getting rave reviews for it’s beautiful HD images and videos for a while now and it’s these features that are the main selling point of this whether app.

Weather HD iPhone 1Initially Weather HD was only available for the iPad but this latest version now includes iPhone and iPod touch support through a single app so if you have both devices it will install on both with a single purchase. While the iPhone and iPod Touch may not have the same large screen as the iPad the latest generation of iOS device with it’s high resolution screen still show off Weather HD’s images in all their glory.

The setup is the standard for most weather apps and you can simple add multiple locations either using your devices location or type in the location and search it’s huge database.

With the locations loaded the application will pull the latest weather information and display the information on the screen including the temperature, daily highs and lows, humidity, chance of rain and wind direction/speed. All of this with a back drop of a truly stunning visual representation of the current weather.

My only criticism is that there appears to be only a limited number of images for each weather type so if it’s raining you get a certain image pertaining to rain, if it’s sunny you get the a couple of images pertaining to sunny weather. So while the they look great I would like to see a larger selection of pictures to keep things a little more interesting.

Weather HD iPhone 2In addition to the current forecast you can show/hide the 7 day forecast and an hourly forecast for the next 24 hours. All of the forecasts whether it be for a day or an hour can be clicked on at which point a more detailed forecast will be displayed, again along with the HD image/video of the forecasted weather.

The current time can also be added to the screen allowing you to use it as if it were a screensaver for your iPhone/iPad when you’re not using it for anything else.

If you are looking for a weather app with satellite images, historical data and other such details then this app is probably not for you. However, if you are looking for an app that tells you the weather basics in the most beautiful way possible this is the app for you.



Reviewed on an iPhone 4 and an iPad.

Weather HD for iPad Video

$0.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Weather
Updated:Sep 29, 2010
Reviewed Version:1.5
Size: 155 MB
Languages:English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish
Seller:vimov, LLC
© vimov, LLC
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.

]]> 0 GV Connect and GV Mobile + Google Voice apps for iPhone now available Sun, 19 Sep 2010 23:11:30 +0000 Read More]]> The new app store review guidelines and changes in iPhone developer agreement has lead to the approval of many iPhone apps which were neither approved nor rejected.

GV Mobile Google Voice iPhoneApple did not allow any native Google voice application in the app store but after the revised guidelines were published two apps have been appoved.

GV Connect ($2.99, App Store) and GV Mobile + ($2.99, App Store) are the only two Google voice apps now available for purchase in the app store. These native apps aim to offer a faster and better experience than the web interface. You must have a Google Voice account in order to use the apps to call or send sms.

A few month back Apple had to answer FCC’s questions who had requested information regarding Apple’s app store and it’s application approval process. It is possible that in order to avoid the investigation Apple relaxed its guidelines, approved these apps and made changes to the developer agreement.

Have you bought any Google Voice app for your iPhone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

]]> 4 App Store Nears 250,000 Apps. Facebook Hits 100 Million Sun, 22 Aug 2010 23:56:33 +0000 Read More]]> Facebook, which some would claim is probably the most used service on iPhone (via the Facebook app particularly), has passed 100 Million active users this weekend. Coincidentally that is close to the total number of iOS Devices that Apple has sold.

Meanwhile Apple’s own iTunes App Store now boasts close to 250,000 Apps currently in its storefront, and has had some 300,000 different Apps pass through it during its lifetime. The 50,000 differential is for Apps that have either been pulled by their own authors, or removed by Apple.

Is 250,000 Apps and 100 Million users impressive to you? Or is it simply too many apps and too many people? Are you one of the millions that uses Facebook on your iPhone? Let us know your views in the comments…

[9to5Mac] ]]> 4 Dunk for iPhone : A Super Stylish Dribbble Feed Viewer Thu, 12 Aug 2010 18:34:38 +0000 Read More]]> Dunk for iPhone

Dunk for iPhone [rating: 5/5]

Dribbble is a “show and tell” web site for designers and other creative types. The idea behind it being that you share sneak peaks of your current projects. Your peers will then give you feedback on your work, and you can respond in kind. Being invitation only Dribbble is chock full of arty people who want to be there, care passionately about design, and strive to produce work of quality.

Dunk is an iPhone based client which allows you to surf the timeline of recent Dribbble shots. You can also customise your feed so that you keep tabs on your favourite designers.

Being an app designed to showcase design, and good design at that, Dunk needs to work well and look good. So does it?


When a Dribbble user wants to show something off they produce a “shot”, which is a small screen image of their work. Typically a 400 x 300 pixels in size. Other users can then comment on that work, or fire a “rebound” back, which is another “shot” they created and is inspired by that idea. Yeah, you got it, the terminology is basketball based.

If you want to know more about Dribbble then you can visit their faq, here

But we are here to talk about Dunk…

In a word, the user interface of Dunk is beautiful. Its the kind of app Steve Jobs might use to demonstrate how good a GUI can be on the iPhone.

Dunk does all the things that you expect from a well rounded iOS app. Touch controls are intuitive, and tab and navigation bars drift in and out when needed. If you want to glide through Dribbble user’s shots then you are one tap away after app launch.

The entire Dribbble time line can be scrolled through by swiping from page to page, whilst artwork loads on the fly. It works in exactly the way that Apple’s own Photo app allows you to view images, but these are pieces of artwork loaded from the web.

To read comments, or find out other related info on the design on screen, you simply tap the bottom of the image and that info all scrolls up. It’s seamless. To keep moving just swipe forwards or backwards.

I have to admit to being quite professionally jealous of how well rounded Dunk’s UI by robocat is. Nice work guys.

You don’t need a Dribbble account to use Dunk, so if you are interested in the community and the concept give Dunk a whirl today. Its probably a must have app for designers on the move to keep in touch with a vibrant and growing community.

Touch Reviews highly recommends Dunk for iPhone.



Price: $1.99 (App Store)
Category: Productivity
Released: Aug 06, 2010
Reviewed Version:1.0
Size: 12.2 MB
Seller: icelantern
Copyright © 2010 Robocat
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.


Dunk for iPhone screenshot1 screenshot2 screenshot3 screenshot4 screenshot5 ]]> 1 Is iPad Gaming Still Born? What can we hope for in the future? Mon, 09 Aug 2010 15:34:15 +0000 Read More]]> Apple iPad Keynote Games Launch

The iPad is an unmitigated success. It has grabbed the hearts of consumers and TV personalities alike. Early in its life the likes of Colbert clutched a pre-production model at the Grammy Awards.

Consumers in the US and 20 other countries, cannot get enough units of the device. And recently I marvelled at the number of Formula 1 racing drivers and media personalities clutching them in the Formula 1 paddock in Turkey.

By the way, if you are into F1 motor racing the F1 Live Timing app is an excellent example of the kind of application that the iPad is perfectly suited to. Anyway, I digress. Amusingly the majority of the iPads at the F1 race in Turkey had apparently been brought back from the US by Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, and sold at cost plus a “commission” to his fellow drivers! When I had iPads brought to Thailand for friends and colleagues I did it at cost! Silly me! One of the reasons I was so excited about the iPad was that I was looking forward very much to playing some cool new innovative games on it.

But has the iPad really taken off as a gaming device the way we expected it to? Not yet in my opinion. Even though I freely admit that I was one of the ones who saw the iPad reinventing gaming, I have yet to see any evidence of that happening.

We reported that 35% of iPad apps were games back in early April. Since then it has been unclear how that figure has developed. Initially the vast majority of iPad games were simply ports of existing iPhone and iPod Touch titles. Albeit “enhanced” versions with the ubiquitous suffix “HD”. Worryingly, from my own observations, I am not seeing a change in that trend moving forward. More and more ports of iPhone apps are hitting the iTunes store as dedicated iPad apps, or Universal apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad. Sure the iPad versions are better, but they are not jumping out of the screen and screaming at me this is what iPad gaming is all about!

There are a huge number of innovative media apps for the iPad. In some of those products online and written content is being re-imagined for Apple’s revolutionary device. Wired’s app for example. This is much as Steve Jobs predicted. Similarly in art apps developers are offering us ways to daub on the screen using our fingers to draw and paint with coloured digital inks and oils.

Music apps are taking advantage of the iPad’s huge touch screen to make more interactive and complex instruments than we’ve seen on the iPhone so far. Some innovative designers have created huge iPad mixing desks, or more ergonomic and innovative keyboards than can be squeezed onto an iPhone or iPod screen. Some other apps are complete re-imaginings of how we might make and enjoy music.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for iPad games, yet.

During WWDC we had Farmville and Guitar Hero as big game announcements, sharing stage time with the iPhone 4 and Steve Jobs. Sorry to be cynical, but that is more of the same type of games we are seeing ported to every gaming platform. If I want to play those games I’ll play them on Facebook or on a PS3 or 360. I can accept those on the iPhone, but I expect more from iPad developers. And I am sure you do too.

So far the list of the top 25 games for the iPad makes somewhat disappointing reading too. Titles can be taken from a range of fairly mundane ports of games like N.O.V.A, Mirrors Edge, or Need For Speed. We then have the inevitable ports of original, and admittedly fun iPhone breakout successes like Harbor Master, Flight Control, and Plants vs. Zombies.

Other developers have taken a stab at recreating board games like Scrabble or Monopoly. But they have produced what are literally recreations of board games on an iPad. I expected far more innovation in that field. Rather than say a complete carbon copy of Chess I expected something more akin to the way Chess was re-imagined in Star Wars, on the Millennium Falcon.

To date most of the games I am seeing on the iPad float somewhere between so-so and cynical attempts to cash in on previous successes.

Admittedly, it is early days yet. But I have to wonder how much effort big publishers are going to put into this platform until they have gauged the success of their ports of existing IP. I also think it is clear that the success of the iPad, and the demographic it is selling to is currently that of people who are more interested in media consumption and media manipulation. So the big game publishers may not get the feedback they are waiting for – unless they innovate, and stimulate customers like me.

One thing is for sure. People should rightly be expecting more out of the games they get on their iPad. They shouldn’t necessarily expect a game like Fallout 3, KillZone 2 or Red Dead Redemption. And sure, people still love Solitaire. I know that very well. My glorious new iPad often has to be prized from my wife’s clutches as she seems to enjoy Solitaire on my $500 Tablet far more than on her laptop or iPhone! But from the people I have spoken to, they do by and large expect something more akin to a full game on the iPad – and are being disappointed. Whereas they will just play noughts and crosses, or other trivial time wasting activities on an iPhone, in idle moments on the train or in a taxi, they actually take time out to use their iPad to do fun and interesting things. iPad games makers should recognise and cater for this.

The potential of the iPad for many activities, including gaming, is not hard to see. Its larger screen, and more flexible touch interface, as well as its surprisingly powerful graphics capability are all obvious facilities for great entertainment software. But therein also perhaps lies the iPad’s problem.

Indie developers are going to have problems producing content on a budget for this device. Art assets need to be of the next level in terms of quality and fidelity. Complex and efficient shaders need to be written for the Graphics Chip, to make the most of the iPad’s GPU’s capabilities with such a large screen to fill with pixels, and keep pretty at the same time.

The gameplay experience on the iPad needs to be a little more than squishing zits, or blowing up stick men over and over again. So not only are iPad apps going to require more resources to develop, they are going to require better design and planning, and more coding and asset production. So more money, more time, and more risk!

Production times are going to be longer. This may also be why we haven’t seen any truly breakout games on the iPad yet. Perhaps they are still in development?

But then again, perhaps they haven’t even been started yet, as Indie Developers hold fire for fear of burning too many resources on a project that may fail in development, or not sell well. Other Indies, more experienced ones with iPhone and iPod Touch games under their belts, have already shipped ports of existing iPhone titles. Likewise, so have the large publishers. Many of the large publishers have more to be ashamed of, as they have had advanced access to hardware for several months – whereas some Indie Developers can’t even buy an iPad in their country yet!

I assume a large portion of the existing iPhone game development community, small and large, are sitting back to see what sort of numbers they sell before embarking on more ambitious, resource and time intensive projects.

The problem with sitting back and seeing, though, is that we end up in a chicken and egg situation. In order for gamers to flock to a platform you have to give them a reason to come. Conversely developers want the gamers to be there so they have a captive audience – and guaranteed sales.

I know as a gamer I am disappointed with what I am seeing on the iPad in the entertainment sector so far. Right now the iPad lacks a killer app in gaming. By that I mean it doesn’t have the XBox’s Halo franchise, or the PS3’s Little Big Planet. It doesn’t even have the Wii’s Zelda. What it does have is a high number of mediocre 5 minute coffee table / dollar app diversions.

To be frank, right now, the iPad’s killer app is iWork and iBooks. After that it is basically Mobile Safari. Not much gaming going on in any of those.

The killer app for iPhone 4 is iMovie, and its ability to to play any existing iPhone game natively. On top of that it is somewhat easier for iPhone developers to justify augmenting and re-releasing the kind of games they have already sold on the iPod Touch and earlier iPhones. It’s a still a phone, after all.

What no-one is doing right now, as far as I can see, is taking a leap of faith and producing something that is so good to play that people want to buy an iPad just to play it. Without that catalyst the iPad as a gaming platform could be still born.

Can you show us any killer games for the iPad? What’s your favourite iPad game? And what would you like to see? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s Note:

This post is a part of our series of opinion articles, in which we encourage our writers to present their opinion on something they feel strongly about.

]]> 7 Pocket God Hits Monumental Three-Million Sales Mark Thu, 05 Aug 2010 18:38:54 +0000 Read More]]> SAN FRANCISCO – Aug. 5, 2010: Bolt Creative today announced that its widely popular deity simulator,Pocket God, has now surpassed the three-million download mark and continues to be one of the best-selling apps of all time. If you were to lay down three million great white sharks (with freaking laser beams of course) from nose to tail, they’d stretch from New York to London and back.

This milestone for the wildly successful app also comes just days within Bolt Creative releasing Pocket God #1, a new comic book based on characters from the game, which will be the first issue of a new four part mini-series.

Starting out as just a week-long pet project for Dave Castelnuovo and Allan Dye, Pocket God became a breakout success just months after its release. What began as a great sandbox app where the only premise was to torture loyal islander subjects has transformed into one of the most beloved titles on the App Store. With more than 30 free updates, which have introduced a slew of mini-games, new islands, and creative ways to end Pygmy lives, Pocket God continues to remain in the top 50 Paid App list on iTunes, consistently impressing players old and new with its deviant humor and all around fun.

“We can’t thank the fans enough for all their support, enthusiasm, fan sites, YouTube videos, suggestions for content, and everything else,” said Bolt Creative CEO Dave Castelnuovo. “Since day one we’ve embraced our community and we’re ecstatic to see that feeling reciprocated. We’ll continue to push Pocket God into new realms and keep giving the legions of PG fans out there more tools to become great deities. Deities great at offing the little islanders that is!”

For more information about Pocket God, please visit

For more information on the Pocket God comic book, please visit or

To read the misadventures of Ooga and the rest of the Pygmies, check out Pocket God #1 on iTunes at

Pocket God can be purchased in the iTunes App Store by pointing your browser to

About Bolt Creative

Bolt Creative is a San Francisco-based developer creating original iPhone applications and games, including 2009’s blockbuster iPhone game Pocket God. Bolt Creative’s goal is to create games that are not only fun to play, but fun to develop and make them laugh. For more information, please visit

]]> 1 Readdle Celebrates Third Anniversary. Win Free iPad Sun, 01 Aug 2010 21:09:38 +0000 Odessa, Ukraine – Readdle, a pioneer in iPhone and iPad application development since 2007, celebrates today its third anniversary. In August 2007, Readdle was the first to provide iPhone users a document reader and attachment saver a full year before the official iTunes App Store had launched. In 2010, Readdle still continues to expand upon the iOS platform by releasing new products for Apple iPhone users and opening potential to a growing Apple iPad audience.

“Over the last three years, Readdle has grown strong notwithstanding the many challenges on this emerging platform,” said Igor Zhadanov, Readdle co-founder. “Our success is based on a single platform focus – enabling iPhone owners to be productive and efficient on the go – and a great mutual collaboration between the peers in our team with an individual approach to each user,” he explained. “This serves our company and our customers very well.”

During these years, Readdle has achieved industry recognition as a strong developer of business applications for the iPhone and iPad owners. In celebration of its third anniversary, Readdle is offering a time-limited discount on all Readdle products. Price reductions will take effect for 48 hours since August 1st. Additionally, Readdle is giving away three iPads to its Twitter followers.

Readdle Turns 3
All Readdle Products

Founded in 2007, Readdle provides Apple iPhone and Apple iPod touch users with high quality applications missing in a standard application set. The company flagship products are Scanner Pro, an application which transforms the iPhone into portable scanner, and ReaddleDocs, a revolutionary file manager, document reader and attachment viewer for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Copyright 2007-2010 Readdle. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod, iPad and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries.

]]> 0 MaxiVista turns Your iPad into a Second PC Monitor Fri, 16 Jul 2010 22:20:52 +0000 Read More]]> Turning my iPad into a second monitor was one of the first things I did with it. Luckily there are a number of apps of varying quality on the App Store that allow you to do so. I actually wrote my own in the end, because they weren’t quite up to my needs at the time. It was also a bit of fun for a weekend, believe it or not!

Being able to dock your iPad and have it become a second monitor for your Mac is a great use of the device when you’re at home and not using it for anything in particular, or anytime it’s simply docked on your desk. It could also save you the cost of buying a second monitor if you don’t have one already. Offsetting the cost of the iPad overall.

Well now you can do the same with a PC.

According to Cult of Mac “MaxiVista” is priced similarly to the Mac version (which is called Air Display, incidentally), at $10.

We have not tested it yet ourselves. But two PC users I know say it works as advertised. And the reviews on the iTunes App Store are positive, which is a good sign.

If you pick it up, do let us know how it performs for you in the comments..

[Cult of Mac] ]]> 1 Create apps for Android with Google’s ‘App Inventor’ Mon, 12 Jul 2010 20:48:41 +0000 Read More]]> Apple’s app store over the past two years has seen substantial growth in the number of developers developing for the iOS devices. In a recent report AppStore HQ revealed some interesting numbers which show that there are around 43,000 active developers for the iOS platform and just around 10,000 developers for the Android platform.

The availability of quality apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad certainly helps in pushing the sales for Apple and Google is also trying its best to experience App Store’s success with the Android Market place.

App Inventor is a tool by Google (still in beta) which promises to enable almost anyone to create apps for the Android. It allows you to visually design your apps using “blocks” based interface. The App Inventor team also claims that you don’t need any programming knowledge in order to develop an app or game.

To use App Inventor, you do not need to be a developer. App Inventor requires NO programming knowledge. This is because instead of writing code, you visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app’s behavior.

The Android platform is not the only one to enjoy this DIY tool to develop apps. GameSalad offer similar game creation tools for the iOS platform.

It will be interesting to see if the public release of App Inventor will give Android Market place the boost it was looking for.

Are you excited about App inventor for Android? Have you used GameSalad to create any iPhone game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

App Inventor in Action

[Engadget] ]]> 0 Calendars Review: iCal for Google Calendar on the iPhone Fri, 02 Jul 2010 19:35:00 +0000 Read More]]> Calendars [rating: 3.5/5]

The best way to describe Calendars for iPhone and iPod Touch is that is it iCal for Google services. Aesthetically it is less garish than iCal. Which is a good thing. The colors used for the GUI tend to be less bright, and more pastel in shade. Functionality is almost the same as iCal. And graphically there is a little more glitz.

Calendars by Readdle is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and compatible with the iPad.


Calendars fires up quickly, and offers a visual appearance which is more refined than iCal. It is very obviously modelled on a real world ring bound flip-over calendar. And all the rings and perforations in the pages are drawn as part of the GUI in a pleasing, and subtle way.

This attention to detail with the overall look made me wonder why the developers didn’t use Apple’s page flip animation for changing pages. That would have been a nice touch. Perhaps in an update?

Navigation from page to page is done by tapping right and left arrows at the top of pages, and again I wondered why Readdle didn’t get a little more creative here and allow us to swipe pages so that they flipped or rolled up and over.

Having said all that the functionality is quick, responsive and just fine in daily use.

To work with Google Calendars all you have to do is put in your account details and the app will sync with your online calendar automatically after you edit or create events, and on request. You can do partial updates and also full syncs. The latter taking a little longer.

You can add attendees to appointments, and also request SMS, email and on device alerts to remind you of upcoming appointments. The SMS alert only works if there is a number on file in your Google account.

Entering reminders, and appointments is simple, and employs the usual tumblers that we are accustomed to on the iPhone / iPod Touch.

Moving events around in Calendars is easy, and this is one of the nicer features. You can of course edit them manually using tumblers. But it is also possible to slide them around using drag and drop. In practise I found this worked most of the time quite intelligently. But occasionally when appointments overlapped I could get myself into a mess. But any confusion was soon sorted out with some more dragging and dropping.

When you change things the app will sync with Google if it has a network connection. This will sometimes cause the odd stutter in updates to the screen, or delays to information being updated. But nothing terrible.

Calendar is certainly a competent app. And I am the last one to argue that developers should be dropping their app prices. $6.99 is only the cost of a meal from McDonalds, after all. But when you can buy software like Apple’s iMovie for iPhone for $4.99, and there are other Calendar apps out there for less I think Readdle need to add some more pizazz to this app, or perhaps drop the price a dollar or two.

Still Calendar does what it says on the box. And quite well too. So certainly take a look if you are in the market for a Calendar app for your iPhone or iPod Touch.



Price: $6.99 (iTunes Store)
Category: Productivity
Updated: Jun 23, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.0.2
1.0.2 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
Size: 3.6 MB
Language: English
Seller: Igor Zhadanov
© 2010 Readdle Inc.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.

]]> 2 Facebook Updates iPhone App. Disappoints iPad Users Sun, 20 Jun 2010 21:52:29 +0000 Read More]]> It is amazing to think that 55 Million Facebook users can almost do whatever it is that they do on Facebook’s website from their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. With 100 million Apple iDevices in the wild that means that more than 50% of iDevice users out there are on Facebook, and they are accessing the service on the move with Apple’s devices.

Facebook has just updated its iPhone App to version 3.1.3. Included in the updated features, and bug fixes, is the ability to watch Facebook Videos and upload images larger than 720 pixels wide from the iPhone. Interestingly it seems that this functionality will be part of iOS anyway in the future, as we have already reported.

What is frustrating some is that Facebook have not yet produced a dedicated iPad app, although they do say that they have one in developement.

Here are more details on the update:

What’s New in Version 3.1.3

New features in this version:

This version contains fixes for the following bugs:

Do you use Facebook on your iPad? Are you impatient to see an enhanced iPad Facebook app? Let us know in the comments.

Download Facebook for iPhone here.

]]> 5 Is iPhone 4 FaceTime The Video Calling Revolution? Sun, 13 Jun 2010 22:52:04 +0000 Read More]]>

FaceTime Video Call iPhone 4

When the iPhone 4 prototype seemed to drop from heaven to us mortals in a bar in Redwood City, California one of the immediate take-aways was the forward-facing camera. Long listed as a must-have accessory on the checklists of tech pundits everywhere, it seemed like we were just on the tip of some undefined video calling revolution. A future defined by the Jetson’s where we could call our spouse, show them the choices at the grocery store, and ask them just which brand of juice they wanted. A future where, unfortunately, we could no longer show up for conference calls in our gym pants on work-at-home days. Yet, even as those things seem more and more like possibilities, it seems premature to believe they will be revolutionary or become commonplace. Will the iPhone 4 usher in a video calling revolution? Let’s explore the area and see what we come up with.

The iPhone 4, with its forward-facing camera and FaceTime application, is certainly an interesting piece of hardware. To call it revolutionary though would require channeling a bit of Steve’s famous hyperbole. Video calling as an available technology is really very old. Skype has been doing video calling since version 2 and iPhone apps like Fring have support for it as well. The front-facing camera that makes video calling practical (versus trying to aim a rear-facing camera) is also nothing new. The HTC/Sprint EVO 4G smartphone sports a front-facing camera and other devices in the past have as well. Every time someone declares their device or service is going to revolutionize the video calling space, initial excitement leads to long term disappointment. The problem lies in the same one that vexes the iPhone 4; proprietary software. Skype users can only call Skype users, EVO users can only call EVO users, and iPhone users can only call iPhone users. While the new FaceTime application / API is marketed as an open standard, one has to wonder if it will be an open standard on Apple’s terms. Is Apple able to look past the issues it has with controlling the user experience to understand that the more devices that use FaceTime, the better overall it will be for iPhone sales? Apple has a vested interest in making FaceTime a new standard like QuickTime but one has to wonder whether Apple will be able to let go and see where the standard leads. Would Apple be able to accept an Android app that supported video calling through the FaceTime standard? I may be shortsighted but I think such an application would fall into the approvals limbo the Google Voice application lives in; officially unapproved but not officially banned.

And in the end, if anything is going to hold back FaceTime-supported video calling, it will be Apple. Hamstrung by a bureaucratic process that requires official approval of everything, many large companies will be reticent to use an Apple-developed standard in their own technology. Many large mobile companies also have their own standard or technology they would like others to adopt, why would they offer support for a competitor? And lastly the real hurdle is how the mobile marketplace currently finds itself divided. In today’s world it’s iPhone versus Android versus RIM. Can you see either Google or RIM forming an alliance with Apple by supporting their standard? In a lot of ways, Apple has perfectly positioned this aspect of iPhone 4. By creating a situation where they offer their video calling technology as an open standard with the full knowledge no one will actually adopt it, they have some ammunition against the critics that say all they make are closed systems.

While the iPhone 4 and FaceTime will certainly give video calling a higher visibility than it previously enjoyed, I would hesitate to call it a revolution. Revolutions completely overturn the status quo in favor of some new and unexpected direction. The French Revolution threw out the monarchy in favor of an almost anarchist democracy. The iPad is a revolution because it threw out the mouse, keyboard, and monitor in favor of an unobtrusive and all-in-one device. Video calling is not a revolution. While the iPhone 4 may embody what Steve would have us believe is Apple’s perfection of the service, it’s still a service that has been available before and isn’t going to toss out the voice-only standard. Of course half the fun of the tech industry is that in a year I may look back at this article and wonder how I could be so miserably wrong. But then I’ll just laugh, grab my iPhone 4, and video call my wife to ask her what I should make for supper.

What do you think of video calling? Will the iPhone 4 ignite a revolution of video calling where others have failed? Will FaceTime become the de facto standard or end up on the heap with other video calling codecs? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

Poll Question

Cast your vote.

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