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.
For pyromaniacs on the mend (or rise), Little Inferno might seem like a dream come true, as the oddball iPad app allows players to burn more than 100 distinct digital items within a virtual fireplace free of soot and real-world ramifications. For everyone else, the simple and repetitive act of buying items and using your finger to set them ablaze might initially seem pointless, but a mysterious back story, ample style, and a dollop of humor keep this compelling curio interesting long enough for it to show what's beyond the somewhat banal interactions.
CloudClipboard is a clever app designed to save whatever you’ve copied into the memory of your iOS device or Mac (using that version of the app) and sync it effortlessly through your iCloud account to all your other devices, be it iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The way it works is really simple: copy something – be it text, a URL, image, or a web-clip (part of a section of a webpage you can copy) – and then switch to CloudClipboard and that content is automatically added to it.
Launch Turnplay and you're greeted with a gorgeous knockoff of the Technics 1200, long considered the gold standard among DJ turntables. If you missed out on the chance to own one, this richly rendered iPad version might just scratch the itch. However, if you put "The #1 vinyl record player for iPad" in your app title, you've really got to deliver. Unfortunately, this iPad music player isn't quite the equivalent of the classic wax it tries so hard to emulate.
I got a demo of Smith Micro's Manga Studio 5 earlier this week, and came away impressed -- rarely does one application pack in so many advanced features for professionals while still remaining accessible to hobbyists. No wonder it's the industry standard software for creating not just manga (traditional black-and-white Japanese comics) but also graphic novels, web comics, and comic books.
Gimmicky apps certainly have their place on our iPhones. At some point, we've all been suckered into plunking down our hard-earned pennies for an app that seemed like a great idea (iBeer, iSteam, etc), but ultimately they end up in one of those folders that rarely gets opened – or worse, deleted outright. Cycloramic might not seem like it belongs in that class, but after a few attempts to make a panoramic photo, it becomes clear that this phone-spinning app is mostly a short-lived diversion.
At its core, Notion is a powerful music notation tool. Basically, it transcribes music on the fly, allowing composers to quickly and easily get ideas down onto paper with the help of a MIDI keyboard or other controller. It also allows for fine editing of individual notes, and even step-recording (that is, note-by-note) to transcribe complex passages.
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.
If there’s one thing you should know before playing The Cave, it’s that appearances are deceiving. What at first seems to be a whimsical spelunking adventure gradually becomes a surreal trip through the depths of the soul. Cute, big-headed stock characters hide dark, twisted secrets. And what might at first seem like a straightforward 2D puzzle-platformer is in fact a clever throwback to classic point-and-click adventures of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Of course, discovering all that is a big part of what makes The Cave so irresistibly engaging.
Most image editing apps for iOS are built to enhance photos or add artistic flourishes such as filters and frames, but what about using text to get your message across? Swipe makes it fun and easy to adorn your pictures with type and quickly share them with the world. The app is a model of simplicity: Merely swipe your finger across the screen wherever you want to add text, tweak to your liking, and then whisk the results off to most anywhere you’d like.