For baseball junkies who absolutely need to be on top of the latest scores, standings and stats at all times, the iPhone is a godsend. Second only to ESPN MVP, the iPhone puts every ball and strike into the palm of your hand, thanks to a very decent mobile MLB site that provides a speedy blow-by-blow rundown of every pitch.
But the stakes have been raised with MLB.com At Bat. Through a simple, sleek interface, MLB boils down its stat-intensive WAP site to a quick-reference scoreboard that provides an up-to-the minute rundown of base-runners, pitch count, hits, errors and runs for every game across the league. What’s lost in the box score, however, is gained through in-game video updates, 30- to 60-second clips uploaded from MLB.com within moments of the live highlight.
SlappingTurtle Software’s iAlertU is a software-based alarm system for your Mac. When tripped, it blares very loud sound effects that mimic a car alarm. The screen also flashes at regular intervals, simulating a car’s flashing headlights. And you can arm and disarm the software using your Mac’s remote control.
The main portion of Targus’s Defcon 1 Ultra Notebook Computer Security System is a 3-foot covered steel cable that retracts into a plastic alarm housing, and uses a four-digit combination to lock the cable. When engaged, the alarm is sensitive to motion; it also sounds if the cable is cut.
Portable pinball crams a big-table feel into an iPhone
Light glinting off silver pinballs always pulls us in like crows to a piece of foil. Zen Pinball Rollercoaster taps our flipper lust with an authentic-feeling iPhone and iPod touch game. On an original table, balls cascade off bumpers, up ramps, and otherwise replicate the real-world pinball feel. While some consolations are made—we miss the physical buttons of a real table—iPhone enhancements include an optional, changing camera angle based on your phone position. Because of the great table and physics, Zen Pinball Rollercoaster is a must-have for any pinballer.
Put a monkey in a ball, put the ball in a maze, and put the maze in your iPhone or iPod touch. Very little of that concept makes rational sense, but Super Monkey Ball’s absurd style and simple premise work well together. You’ll gently tilt the iPhone to steer one of four monkey characters around obstacles and through a circular goal. The 110 mazes vary in complexity, but nearly all of them seem fair, even when challenging. The novelty of rolling the character by tilting the phone might wear off quickly, but the surprisingly agile game will hold your interest beyond the fad.
The physics-based iPhone game, like Tiggers, is made for bouncing.
Enigmo salutes those who "fix" ceiling leaks by placing a bucket underneath, making this mechanic into a game. A faucet drips a steady stream, and a vase waits some distance away, often obstructed by walls and other blockades. You’ll have to route the water to its goal by bouncing it off drums and other objects. Originally released on the Mac, Enigmo works well on the iPhone and iPod touch; you just drag parts to reposition them. We usually enjoyed the game’s pace and challenge, but an inconsistent difficulty progression and a lack of a tutorial keep Enigmo from fully riding its wave of potential.
New software company, Publisher X, has targeted the iPhone and iPod touch in launching its first five games through the App Store. A pinball game, a puzzler, and three casino titles are available now at a price range between $4.99 and $9.99.
Zen Pinball: Rollercoaster brings a pinball table to the iPhone. 3D graphics show the action, while finger taps to any of the four corners launch the left or right flippers. An optional tilt mode even lets players nudge the table by twisting the iPod. In our initial experience with the game, the action felt fluid, resembling a physical table. Zen Pinball: Rollercoaster costs $4.99.
If high-gloss color photos turn you on, the new Epson R1900 will give you a real thrill. Using long-lasting pigment inks and a special gloss optimizer, the wide-format printer puts out shiny, eye-popping photos up to 13 by 19 inches that’ll bring on the oohs and aahs.