Apple's switch to Lightning could have gone better. On iPhone 5 launch day, my local Apple Store had plenty of the $19 Lightning-to-USB cables, but the promised 30-pin adapters (both cable and dongle) weren't shipping yet, and lower-cost third-party cables hadn't hit yet either. Finally our preferred destination for low-priced cables, Monoprice, stepped up with a 3-foot Lightning cable, certified by Apple, for under $12.
Meeting new people isn't as easy as it seems, especially when not in a work or school setting where you're required to communicate with others on a regular basis. If you're not the kind of person to hit up the bar and start talking to the first person you see, but have no problem jumping online and chatting with people you've never met, then maybe it's time to find some middle ground between the two approaches. We've collected eight apps that connect you with locals near you who you can talk to. Find some common ground in conversation and maybe you'll meet on common ground for real.
Since its early beginnings as a game platform, iOS has seen its share of racing titles. Amazingly, each year seems to find some developer upping the stakes with smoother controls and exciting, new features. Table Top Racing is not one of those games. More like a plodding journey into an almost forgotten time when Micro Machines were still interesting, Table Top Racing is a great-looking game without much substance.
We've seen so many slick and beautifully manicured iPhone apps over the years that it's rare to be wowed by a newcomer. However, Vine does just that when you first pop it open, immediately launching a brief shared video clip without hesitation. And assuming you have a half-decent Wi-Fi or cellular signal going, it simply doesn't stop as you scroll down the feed, with each subsequent six-seconds-or-less clip loading quickly and without prompt, giving you a very small window into the life of whoever was on the other side of that iPhone. Finally, somebody nailed the Instagram-for-video concept. Granted, that "somebody" is Twitter.
Back when it was first released on the Nintendo DS in 2009, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes' highly engrossing mix of match-three puzzle gameplay and RPG combat made it the surprise sleeper hit climbing its way onto year-end best games lists. While the low-resolution original was spectacular on its own, the fact that Clash of Heroes on iOS is a port of the updated HD console version is even better news for puzzle nerds.
Bit Dungeon brings together The Legend of Zelda’s top-down dungeon stomping, Diablo’s loot lust, and the unforgiving difficulty of roguelikes within a slick retro-style quest. Fresh from developer Kinto Games, this hack-and-slash action RPG distills the allure of classic gaming into an addicting mobile adventure. Between the simple mechanics and incredible challenge, you may find Bit Dungeon's stat-building pull difficult to resist, even if a couple of issues rear their head at times.
Digisocial is the latest free iPhone app with ambitions to become its own mobile social network. Instantly familiar in design to anyone who’s used Instagram or Path, Digisocial adds the ability to send and receive HD-quality voice messages, and even record audio to accompany uploaded images. It’s a clever idea that mostly works as promised – the app is fast and responsive at sending text or voice messages, and it’s quite entertaining the first few times you use it. Unfortunately, I can’t help but think Digisocial is just one announcement away from obsolescence, should an existing rival decide to incorporate the same concept.
For sports aficionados on the go, ESPN's long-available ScoreCenter app is a handy resource for up-to-the-minute scores, game breakdowns, news updates, and video highlights. Essentially, it's the ESPN web package wrapped up in a solid mobile app. So how does the sports juggernaut's new ESPN SportsCenter Feed app vary in execution or otherwise supplement its existing option? Compared to the more robust (and obviously score-centric) ScoreCenter, ESPN SportsCenter Feed makes news its primary focus, serving up a simple listing of story links divided however you see fit.
Foldify brings papercraft figure creation to the iPad, and while the idea is simple, the way it's implemented makes this app truly great. Choosing from 10 available shapes, you'll then see the editable cutout section on the right and a 3D representation on the left. As you decorate the shape, the 3D model is updated in real time, making it easy to see how your creation will look once complete.
Word games like Scrabble are great, but their classic sensibilities can sometimes feel a little staid. If you’re looking for something a little more mobile, you might want to give QatQi a try—it feels similar enough to the familiar formula, yet is a fresh take that has you “moving” around a darkened map looking for coins and multiplier bonus tiles. Yes, it’s rather interesting.