The number of differentiators between iOS and Android has gradually evaporated over time, but one cavernous gap remains: Apple won’t allow third-party developers to create alternate keyboards — a hurdle that hasn’t stopped a longtime favorite on Google’s mobile platform from trying anyway. SwiftKey Note might sound a lot like Fleksy, an alternative keyboard for iOS that actually attempts to build a better mousetrap than Apple’s own. But this is something else entirely: A note-taking app that instead improves upon Apple’s standard touch keyboard.
Handwriting apps are hardly novel anymore. There was certainly a time when we would download the latest digital whiteboard or notebook just to marvel at the realism of its pen strokes, but these days we're more interested in usefulness than newness. But despite its cringe-worthy name, INKredible grabbed our attention. With a clear focus on work rather than art, developer Viet Tran distills the fantastic ink effects of his popular Notes Plus release into a simple, elegant app that just might make you forget you're not using a pen.
If you’re in an area currently blitzed by heavy snowfall, you’ll likely appreciate the distraction offered up by the frantically challenging Dawn of the Plow. Taking the wheel of a pixelated plow in a lo-fi world of cars, snow, and asphalt, you’ll battle to keep the roads clear for the never-ending influx of traffic. It’s at once silly, hectic fun and frustrating brutality, punctuated by chirpy chiptune music.
With the advent of officially supported iOS 7 controllers, many types of games that weren’t always a perfect fit for a touch interface — like shooters, racing games, and 3D adventures — suddenly have an opportunity to shine much brighter on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Now you don’t need a dedicated gaming box to experience a wider array of really excellent experiences. Here are our current picks for the 25 best games that support iOS 7 controllers, and we’ll be updating this list from time to time as even more stellar games add support or are released.
Major League Baseball wants you to come out to the ballgame, and there's a good chance that it plans on using iBeacon technology to help you find those peanuts and crackerjacks. According to an unnamed source "familiar with the plans" who spoke with MacRumors, we could see "thousands" of iBeacons scattered throughout America's ballparks by the time the season starts next March. Sounds like a home run for Apple.
Venerable music gear maker KORG has already brought some very cool audio apps to the iOS universe, and it continues the onslaught with Gadget, a slick, lovely-sounding iPad app with 15 synth devices — each capable of some true sonic mayhem, and all wrapped into a productive sequencing environment. It’s not hard to quickly whip up some pounding electronic dance music (EDM), especially once you get the hang of the interface, but there are significant holes in the slick veneer.
Whether you play hard by getting your run on or your game on, we've got a bevy full of great app sales going on this week. And if you choose to relax with a brewski after your gaming, we can hook you up with all the deets on just what it is you're quaffing. We even have a little something for lovers of art and fine literature, so don't keep reading this, click that link ------->
Our monthly recap looks back at the games we reviewed during January, with a total of 21 iOS and Mac games presented here in bite-sized, to-the-point encapsulations. And if you want to read more, simply click the link on each slide to read the full critique and find the link to purchase each game. The year started off right on Mac with strong titles like Broken Age Act 1, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, and The Banner Saga, but even iOS gamers got a fair bit of fresh greatness in the form of Castle Doombad, Lost Yeti, Jet Car Stunts 2, and much more.
The original Dungeon Keeper series on PC turned the tables on old-school fantasy conventions. Rather than being the do-gooder hero, you instead took the role of a dark overseer tasked with carving out a vast subterranean realm and populating it full of insidious traps, not to mention evil minions primed for slaughtering virtuous warriors. Opening the floodgates and sending the good guys to their doom was a great change from the norm, which made for lots of fun and oft-hilarious moments. Dungeon Keeper on iOS — a free-to-play reboot of sorts — streamlines things enough that it's a different beast from its predecessors, but the series' trademark humor and absorbing lair crafting remains blissfully intact.
You’ll find a promising-looking slate of new releases on the App Store this week, including John Woo’s ultra-violent Bloodstroke, the comic-based Marvel Run Jump Smash!, winter-themed retro arcade entry Dawn of the Plow, and EA’s free-to-play reboot of Dungeon Keeper. And The Room Two — previously only playable on iPad — also expands to iPhone and iPod touch this week.