Apple’s custom A4 chip introduced with the iPad a year ago was certainly impressive -- but let’s face it, that’s so 2010. The stars are aligning and they seem to indicate that this year’s iDevices will be taking a major step forward with a dual-core A5 processor.
If you've been begging your business' IT overlords to upgrade your old Blackberry beater to some new iPhone hotness, you might soon get your wish, as Apple has sorted out a method for enterprise iOS users to create customizeable App Store filters.
Don’t worry, Rovio -- your spot at the top of the paid iPhone apps chart is secure for now. But that free version of Angry Birds? Not so much, thanks to Bubble Ball, the work of a 14-year-old eighth grader from Utah.
Yawn, ho hum, another quiet week in the Mac world, as virtually nothing of interest to anyone happened, no big announcements were made, and we spent a week in a deep, deep coma. Wait, what? Something happened? Verizon got the iPhone? (Checking calendar) It's not April Fool's Day? Whew, lucky we've got tons of people on this beat or else this little news exclusive might have slipped right under our radar.
It is my belief that the best time to go on a winter trip is when everybody has about had it with winter trips. I'm talking about two weeks after the holidays, when all the hustle and bustle of the airports and highway traffic has been tamed by the fact that no one has any energy--or any money--to go anywhere.
So I'm out of here with my iPad, iPod touch and trusty MacBook Pro. Here are a few free apps I fired up for this occasion. I'll see you guys when I get back. Hopefully I have a tan.
In Fruit Ninja, you swipe you finger across the screen and slice fruit into little pieces, but the catch is that you can’t let any drop, nor can you ever slice bombs. Players receive combo bonuses for slicing multiple pieces of fruit in a single swing, and critical strikes add points at random. We used 10 fingers at one point in Fruit Ninja HD for iPad (it’s also available for iPhone) and it worked like a charm. It features two modes—classic and a new “Zen” mode—that provide a speed option and a marathon of slicing and dicing. Unlockables and a multiplayer mode help add a little replayability, even if it’s not likely to grab your attention for the long haul. Still, Fruit Ninja is a ton of fun while it lasts.
Fans of Choose Your Own Adventure books will love Phoenix Wright. This port of the popular Nintendo DS game is an engaging adventure, filled with courtroom shenanigans where each case involves investigating the scene of a crime and procuring important evidence. With five cases total (each with varying difficulty levels), the game delivers plenty of exciting legal drama, and because it’s filled with cheesy one-liners and dramatized Japanese animation, it maintains a light, humorous atmosphere. All in all, this game will have you shouting “Objection!” in no time.
This clever puzzle game combines the complete-the-circuit gameplay of Pipe Mania with the added difficulty of a sliding-tile puzzle. You can’t pick the pieces up, and obstacles like gates, switches, conveyor belts, and warp portals pose hazards along the way. New concepts are introduced gradually and the difficulty ramps up over time, but the puzzles themselves are one-screen affairs and great for short bursts of gaming. Plus, the app is playable on both iPhone and iPad, making this a challenging and addictive keeper.
Secret Exit’s puzzle hit returns with a visually upgraded iteration that features 100+ total stages, and is both playable and totally gorgeous on both iPhone and iPad. In Zen Bound 2, you’re tasked with wrapping a set amount of rope around a diverse series of wooden sculptures, with a certain percentage of the sculpture needing to be covered to pass the stage. Between the minimalist soundtrack and at-your-own-pace approach, it’s easy to zone out and get lost in this pleasant puzzler on your iDevice of choice.
Chillingo’s Cut the Rope has become an absolute App Store sensation in recent months, due to engaging touchscreen gameplay, fantastic visuals, and a steady stream of free added levels. The primary goal in each stage is to get the candy to the Om Nom creature by slashing ropes and popping bubbles (among other actions, but to truly master the game, you’ll need to collect the three stars scattered around each level. With dozens of levels currently found in the ever-expanding game, it’ll take some time to dominate them all!