LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias sounds like it could be a Pixar film: using the power of the wind, a boy goes on a quest to find his missing mother in a faraway land. Exploration and puzzle-solving make innovative use of that wind, letting you move a finger across the touchscreen to “draw” the path of a gust, which the young protagonist Toku can use to jump, move objects, or otherwise interact with his environment, to name a few abilities.
Given the popularity the Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure console game -- which uses toys with built-in RFID chips to interact with the digital characters -- it's disappointing that the series' iOS debut is a simple gallery-style shooter, paired with the kind of persistent challenge progression done best in the excellent Jetpack Joyride.
Offering only nine pre-set filters, no digital zoom, and two flash options (fully on or off), KLIK by Face.com is by no means a great camera. But what this social media camera app does offer is facial recognition software that learns and grows smarter with every use. And while it lacks fancy editing options, it does the job it sets out to do with remarkable skill.
The Smart Baby Monitor actually took longer to arrive than my baby did. Announced at CES in January 2011, it only started shipping at the end of February 2012, but it’s every bit the bundle of joy I hoped it would be. An Apple-esque marriage of form and function, Withings’ sleek design and tight iOS integration doesn’t just give parents peace of mind, it raises the bar for luxury iPhone accessories.
Polymer's about as basic a puzzler as they come, requiring players to slide tiles into place to assemble large, amorphous shapes. The larger the shape, the more points are rewarded. Simple, right? But there's a catch: entire columns need to be shifted around, making a game of Polymer more like futzing with a Rubik’s Cube than simply swapping tiles.
iPod accessories have taken a turn for the wireless since the introduction of the iPad, especially since it’s a bit bulky to prop up on a clock radio or speaker dock. The tide has shifted toward AirPlay or Bluetooth-enabled speakers that work with a wider range of smartphones, media players, and tablets. Logitech cuts the cord almost entirely with its $149.99 Logitech Wireless Boombox.
The iPhone 4S actually does have some killer new features. The 2011 iPod refresh, on the other hand, is just that-- a refresh. But sometimes good enough is plenty good enough. Though the newest iPods lack any whiz-bang new features, they’re still the best music players out there. You could buy a no-name MP3 player, or a Zune (oh right, not anymore!)-- but why would you?
Imagine every feature you could ever want from an iPod dock. Go on, make a list. Ours includes AirPlay, solid sound quality, an iPod charging dock, and a reasonable price tag. This is good news for the iW1, which includes all these features and a boatload of others we didn’t even know we wanted.
Following up on the success it had with the P5 headphones (March/11, 5 stars) and the Zeppelin Air iPod dock (June/11, 4.5 stars), Bowers & Wilkins is bringing its considerable audio experience to bear on the iPhone. The C5 headset is a killer set of earbuds that do double duty making phone calls, too.