Angry Birds' remarkable success has made it an easy target for snide remarks and copycats alike, but it's been difficult for other creators to successfully mimic its beguilingly appealing formula – and it must be harder still for Rovio to try and expand its own design without losing the magic that made it such a smash. That's part of why it's so pleasing to see Angry Birds Space launch as a carefully considered and well-designed extension of the brand, rather than a quick attempt to draw some easy cash from the legions of series fans.
Last night, instead of watching the Mad Men season premiere, I was playing Draw Something. But it wasn't just me: Susie was playing it, and our contributing writers were playing it, and basically we were all hanging out somewhere in our respective houses last night trying to guess each other's doodles.
Draw Something, if you don't know, is an iOS (and Android!) game that basically lets you play Pictionary with friends. It's primarily developed by Omgpop, but because of its crazy popularity -- 20 million downloads five weeks after launch -- Zynga jumped in and threw the company $180 million. We're not quite sure what exactly has piqued the interest of so many users, but it's now our favorite way to spend Saturday afternoon.
When Apple started the Retina Display ball rolling with high-resolution updates to its catalog, we eagerly headed over to the App Store to grab the latest and greatest versions of our favorite iWork and iLife apps. But as we waited for the little blue progress bars to disappear, we couldn't help but notice how much longer they took to complete. Just last night, it took over half an hour to download a 750mb app over Wi-Fi.
In order to display those high resolution applications and have them look supreme on the Retina Display, the images have to get bigger, which means that the size of the apps have to go up, too. Pages went from 95.1 MB to 269 MB, and Numbers and Keynote packed on quite a few megabytes. What's worse: if you're updating these apps on the first-generation iPad or an iPad 2, they're taking up all the space on your device and you can't even take advantage of the fact that they're high resolution.
More often than not, licensed video games don't amount to much more than glorified advertisements. So, when word spread of a free-to-play The Hunger Games movie tie-in arriving on iOS, you'd probably be forgiven for any initial apprehension. But when that same game is developed several noted members of the indie games community, it's hard not to snap to attention and take a look. And as a free, universal download, there's certainly not reason not to see whether it lives up to the hype of the books and blockbuster film.
Has anybody been doing anything else on their iPhones besides playing Draw Something? I know I haven't. You wouldn't believe how many hours I've wasted playing co-workers, friends, and various Mac|Life readers on Draw Something this week. When I can finally peel away from Draw Something, I know I'll want to finally book hotels for that trip I'm taking this summer down to Southern California. Hotels.com's iPad app can help me out.
Switching away from the genre's typical in-car or behind-the-bumper view doesn't suck the thrills out of Reckless Racing 2, which uses a top-down camera to spotlight the action across muddy trails and cracked asphalt alike. While not quite as fresh or revelatory an App Store entry as the original, Reckless Racing 2 is a hearty upgrade packed with fresh tracks and customizable vehicles, plus a slick visual overhaul.
There is almost always a plethora of new titles that hit the App Store every week, but this go-round seemed a little sparse. That said, there's no shortage of games worth checking out--especially if you're looking for some heavyweights. From blockbuster games to blockbuster movie tie-ins, and a few under-the-radar hits, this week might be light in number of releases but its no slouch in quality.
With warm weather on the horizon, it’s prime time to plan a much-needed vacation or long-distance trek to escape the nine-to-five grind for a spell. Whether you’re planning a short jaunt or putting together the most epic travel journey imaginable, we’ve rounded up some iOS apps to make your road trip a smooth ride.
People take trips for a wide variety of reasons: Conducting business, attempting to get away, studying abroad, or maybe even being exiled from your homeland. Regardless of the reason for escape, planning for travel is often stressful. Aside from the never-enjoyable act of packing, there's the hassle that comes with trying to organize your entire trip with no guarantees, except for a string of numbers for ticket confirmation and an uncomfortable moment with an overly grabby TSA officer.