There are many iOS music creation apps, but very few that are designed primarily as real-time multi-FX units. Turnado instantly takes the throne as the king of iPad audio processors. It’s a powerhouse of 24 different audio effects – all highly programmable and sonically luscious – resulting in a monster effects unit suitable for both studio and live performance that sports excellent audio quality and some truly insane sound mangling potential.
If you were a gamer with an Apple II in the mid-'80s, there are a few names likely to stir nostalgic echoes somewhere deep in your heart; names like Choplifter, Hard Hat Mack, Ultima, and (most relevant to this review) Karateka. The first-ever game by Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner, Karateka finally reappeared as a rhythm-based remake in late 2012, but now Mechner's giving old-school Karateka fans what they really want: the unvarnished original, adapted for iOS and fitted with tweaks designed to tug at our sense of nostalgia (while also making the game less frustrating).
A slick cyberpunk vibe with a futuristic neon glow sets the stage nicely for Frozen Synapse's brain-twisting tactical combat encounters. When it first launched on Mac and PC, this cool indie strategy game garnered high praise for its unique asynchronous take on turn-based combat and play-by-email style multiplayer matches. This iPad port gloriously packs all of the clever strategizing and insane resolutions of the original – and even lets you play against desktop users – without losing anything in the jump to the portable format.
If you have kids, you have photos. And if you have an iPhone, you have lots and lots of them in your pocket at any given time. There are plenty of apps that'll help you personalize your favorite pictures by adding captions, colors, and effects, but they all require a hefty dose of effort – especially if you've let a lot of birthday and vacation shots pile up. Disney's Story understands that most parents probably have a couple hundred photos and videos sitting in their Camera Roll, but don't know where to start with organizing them. With an emphasis on speed and simplicity, the app will help you effortlessly create personalized stories out of your favorite moments without having to pore over dozens of unrelated pictures.
Firaxis, the developer behind Civilization, has been busy on Apple platforms lately. The past few weeks brought us an excellent Mac port of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and the kid-friendly iOS strategy game Haunted Hollow, and now the company's rolled out Sid Meier's Ace Patrol, a free-to-play, turn-based tactics game set in the skies above World War I.
In the tradition of Plants vs. Zombies, Go Home Dinosaurs delivers streamlined tower defense action on iPad under a delightfully absurd premise. As a projectile-tossing gopher, you'll collect coconuts to fill each stage with an array of offensive turrets and structures to ward off colorful dinosaurs attempting to disrupt your precious BBQ. And the game even adds in a puzzle element, as the defenses arrive on Tetris-like pieces that must slot into the purposely cramped grid layouts. While not always the most electrifying mash-up, Go Home Dinosaurs still charms as it (lightly) challenges.
Pizza may be the delivery food nonpareil these days, but there remains a certain charm in exploring an unfamiliar city and stumbling across unforgettable pizza parlors hidden on side streets known only to the natives. Pizza Compass wants to introduce you to these parlors, and it usually manages to do so. Under the right conditions, it's a fun little novelty app that delivers a few smiles and new culinary experiences for less than the usual price of a slice.
Cupertino may frown on formats like AVI and MKV, but that hasn’t stopped developers from creating apps to support playing such videos via iOS. The problem is, most of them are downright ugly. Luckily, that isn’t a problem for Infuse, a universal video player from the folks behind aTV Flash. However, while Infuse may boast refined visual flair, this slick player lacks expected features, like organizational tools and video output support.
Classic Note doesn't exactly bring anything new to the world of iPhone text editors, but as a magazine with "Mac" in our name, we couldn't ignore it. Basically, it's an homage to the early days of the Mac System Software, with monochrome accents, bitmapped corners, and crude springy animations. There's a delightful simplicity to its interface that harkens back to a time when docks were still control bars and dogcows roamed our screens, and anyone who fondly remembers extensions and longs for the original Chicago typeface will adore it.
Geocaching is not for the casual urban adventurer. The concept is simple enough – seek out a hidden treasure by following a specific set of GPS coordinates – but there's a reason why it never caught on in the mainstream. Not only does it command a giant commitment of time and energy, but there's also a pretty steep learning curve for new users. Wonderground is geocaching for the rest of us. Created by General Electric (yes, that one), the scavenger-hunting app challenges users to explore their favorite cities with the promise of the ultimate reward: Knowledge.