Word processing on the iPad is far from perfect. No matter how adept I may be at using the touch keyboard, tapping through a document to delete a stray word or dragging blue dots to rearrange a thought is an overly arduous task. Tyype HD leverages iOS gestures to envision a better way to edit text. Power users of Pages already know about the one-character swipe, but Tyype HD kicks it up a few notches with a dramatic re-imagining of how we interact with text on our iOS devices.
With all the buzz surrounding the Summer Olympic games, which are now well underway, we're totally stoked for all of the friendly competition among international athletes playing out in London. For those who aren't content to be mere armchair spectators glued to your TV, iOS devices, or web browsers, the London 2012 Official Mobile Game puts a little taste of the Olympic action at your fingertips. Unfortunately, a few loose screws rattling around underneath the buoyant presentation make this official game a rather embarrassing affair at times.
Sometimes, a video game's narrative, mechanics, and platform complement each other in such a seemingly perfect way. While Telltale's Walking Dead: The Game is far from the first adventure game to shine on iOS devices – the same developer has other titles on the App Store, in fact – few have emerged as splendidly. The Walking Dead is emotionally charged, wonderfully paced, and a fine example of why the adventure genre is such a concise fit for the iOS hardware.
There was a time when Batman games were about as fun as a root canal. Thankfully, Rocksteady changed all of that with Batman: Arkham Asylum; but since the bar has been officially raised in the past few years, we have higher expectations from any game approaching the franchise. The Dark Knight Rises competently recreates a console-like experience on iOS with a pitch-perfect story played through an open-world Gotham City – but it's also plagued with bugs.
While it might not be as powerful as its name suggests, Layout brings a fresh style of design to the iPad, with a clean interface, brilliant menu approach, and robust color palette that rivals the most powerful desktop publishing software. With Layout, you can create neat, modular collages with up to 16 pictures and captions, customized borders, and in-app photo enhancing.
William Shakespeare's Sonnets is a collection of 154 poems that deal with love and beauty, and this new app from Touch Press is an extremely original way to experience them all. The company is rather adept at making very clever reference works for the iPad, like the excellent The Elements and Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy, and The Sonnets by William Shakespeare continues in that tradition.
As with App Store classic Tiny Wings, Knights of the Round Cable utilizes a simple tap-and-hold approach to chase high scores and complete objectives; and despite the breezy setup, the gem-collecting affair proves to be a demanding and engaging experience.
There's a fine line between form and function. Every developer who puts a premium on design inevitably faces tough choices along the way, sacrificing features and usability for the sake of retaining their vision. Like its name suggests, WTHR is a minimalist reinterpretation of Apple's Weather app, offering the current temperature and conditions alongside a 7-day forecast. As a Dieter Rams-inspired design project, it hits on many of his 10 principles, with a pure, clean aesthetic that practically begs you to touch it.
Angry Birds developer Rovio really knocked it out the park with its first run of physics-heavy bombardment games, which (as we all know) starred agitated avian getting hurled through the air to annihilate grunting swine in haphazard fortifications. By contrast, Amazing Alex HD isn't the most original or fresh follow-up -- it's essentially an updated and re-skinned version of Casey's Contraptions, a game the studio acquired and then removed from the App Store. But the revamped, physics-heavy, puzzle-solving gameplay still offers an entertaining way to bend your brain nonetheless.
Gabi reimagines Facebook with a gorgeous design and custom filters, but it ultimately lacks nuance in highlighting the content people want to see. It replaces the usual Facebook feed with a selection of over 100 questions -- such as "Which of my friends' statuses are most liked?" -- that are answered in ranked lists from which you can do the usual Facebook interactions, with an option to limit results to today, this week, or anytime. This unofficial option is a joy to navigate and explore, but is it a suitable replacement for the proper Facebook app?