As iOS apps become ever more sophisticated and feature-laden, it’s nice to see some creative developers opting for a more barebones, streamlined approach to app development. Loop is a notable example of a program lacking a long list of features, instead delivering a tool that serves as a solid introduction to the mechanics of cel animation. But as refreshing as that focus on simplicity may be, it also keeps the app from being particularly useful.
In theory, an app-based social media platform for creating shareable stories — by stringing words, animated images, and audio together — sounds pretty cool. NARR8 aims to do all of this and more, but it fumbles the process so badly that the intriguing idea alone won't warrant your time. The overall quality of the available reading content through the app (both user- and developer-generated) is lacking, and building your own stories is an unintuitive process rife with unnecessary hoop-jumping and technical issues.
Just as Disney has long made drawings come to life with its many classic animated films, the Disney Animated app makes what could have been a solid, static book feel exuberant and entertaining as an interactive experience, full of behind-the-scenes footage and touch-based activities. The iPad app explores the long history of Disney's in-house animation efforts, breaking down the process step by step while explaining its many aspects using more than just words.
Ever find yourself thinking that there's something fishy about Apple's performance in China? Apparently you're not the only one, as Taiwan's Next Media Animation released a video mocking their mainland cousins' government, state-owned media, and trumpeting of domestic brands over foreign ones in response to what they call "the Apple iPhone electric shock scandal."
Another day, another lawsuit against Apple -- only this time, it's not over patents or even the devices it makes, but rather Chinese animation content being sold in iTunes without a license from the company who owns it.
Like all parents in the digital age, we have a couple of folders on our iPhones and iPads dedicated to our young children, filled with apps designed specifically for their growing minds. At first blush, Petting Zoo – an interactive picture book created by New Yorker cartoonist Christoph Niemann – seemed like one more cutesy app for our collection. But once we started playing with it, we realized that we were enjoying it almost as much as our little ones.
Developed by Angry Birds creator Rovio, The Croods is a village-building game inspired by DreamWorks’ latest CG animated film. With these two studios behind it, you might expect the game to be a sure thing, both as a promotional tool and as a fun iOS game for all ages. Instead, this freemium title isn’t the least bit charming, and all it seems to want is your money. Your objective is to create resources for the prehistoric Croods family by trapping, taming, and caring for wild animals, but the game downplays its characters in favor of a hollow gameplay approach.
Few things in life are as magical as watching inanimate objects come to life--something about it brings out the kid in everyone. iStopMotion 3 for Mac is likely to rekindle that interest in a big way, particularly for those old enough to remember classics like the original King Kong in constant rotation on TV.
The JibJab brand may be synonymous with pasting your face onto a dancing elf at Christimas time, but the company also makes a line of children's e-books under the same name as well -- but that will be changing next month.