It's often said that there's nothing more rewarding than being a parent. However, bringing a child into the world is a huge responsibility, and knowing you'll someday have to expose that child to the contents of that world can be a scary proposition. You'll want to use all the resources at your disposal to keep your kid safe. To help you make the most of your mobile devices on this mission, we've collected eight apps that let you keep tabs on your children, communicate with them, protect them from potentially dangerous situations, and more. You can give your kids access to technology and seem like the cool parent when secretly it helps you know they're safe.
Each week, we highlight a selection of the most interesting, exciting, and unique new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch titles released on the App Store. It’s a heavy week for sequels on the App Store, with GT Racing 2, Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous, Stellar Wars, and Epoch 2 heading up that list, but we’ve also got some intriguing newcomers on the list, such as puzzling platformer Stealth Inc. and the Legend of Zelda-like Oceanhorn.
When Pages for iOS was released alongside the iPad in 2010, it was a showcase of all that was possible with Apple's revolutionary tablet. A natural extension of the Mac app, it set the tone for multitouch content creation, with powerful page layout and word processing templates plus tools that complemented the ones we used on our MacBooks. With the new version 2.0 release, however, Pages is no longer a companion app. A complete rewrite for iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks has brought parity across all platforms, and you'll find the same templates, menus, and features everywhere you go, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and editing.
It’s been only six months since Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol brought its unique, tactical take on World War I air combat to iOS, and already we’ve got a sequel. Pushing the action forward to the Pacific during World War II, Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies pits American and Japanese aces against each other in missions that range from simple dogfighting to defending or destroying vital ships, bases, or other structures.
Pathogen stylishly refashions the classic game of Go into a deadly struggle between warring cells and viruses. You’ll face off against one or more opponents in either a single-player campaign or on multiplayer maps, with the end goal being to control more than 50 percent of the squares when the board is filled. Fiendish-yet-simple capture and destroy mechanics combine with cool neon visuals, a map editor, and a variety of stage types to make this a stellar strategic engagement.
What's the fastest way to get the space bucks needed to get your giant galactic battlestation fully operational so you can terrorize the galaxy? Opening up a snack shop and peddling womp rat stew, apparently. Tiny Death Star leans heavily on its adorable pixel art presentation and silly personality to suck you in, as the cutesy Star Wars-skinned take on Tiny Tower reimagines the Death Star as a strip mall of sorts. And keeping it running smoothly is fun — assuming you don't expect any action, explosions, or space battles.
LEGO The Lord of the Rings' transition to iOS is impeccably smooth, even if you'll miss out on some of the more exciting moments from the Mac version. Guiding Frodo Baggins and his crew of heroes on the path to Mordor works amazingly well on the smaller screen of an iPad or iPhone — and when the ring is finally cast into the fire, you'll still want to return to the fold to grab all of the elusive collectibles in Free Play mode.
Touchscreen platforms typically do a solid job of recreating individual aspects of a sport (like swinging a bat or kicking a ball), but they're rarely good at offering full simulations. While it might be a decidedly unrealistic take on football, Football Heroes does provide a fairly complete — and, more importantly, a very fun — version of the sport. Heroes is a straightforward version of 8-on-8 football with a few key differences, the most notable being your ability to punch opponents and use various power-ups.
Apple Maps has had a rough time in the publicity department, starting with a less-than-stellar debut least year and culminating in recent stories about passengers following erroneous directions onto Alaskan runways. But according to data from comScore and The Guardian (via 9to5 Mac), Apple Maps is doing just fine for itself. It's doing so well, in fact, that 35 million iPhone owners in the U.S. use it as of last September, compared to the six million iPhone owners who use Google Maps.
It’s the week of updates and shutdowns, of explosions and insomnia. In short, it’s another week of the biggest news stories from the writer of Mac|Life, getting you up to date with everything you ever might have missed that you shouldn’t have. So without further ado….