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?
Our iPhones and iPads are ubiquitous devices that come with us wherever we go, but because of this they can also get clouded up with data that we might not actually need. Take email for example: sometimes you just want to wipe your phone clean of all that superfluous data and face the day with a fresh, clean slate. Fortunately you can do so in just a few steps.
The Game Bakers cooked up a tasty, well-plated iOS debut with its original twist on critter-flinging combat, and Squids: Wild West sees the gang of adorably stretchy cephalopod protagonists return for another round of crazy gun slinging and squid hurling fun. Deep sea vistas blend with the dusty west in each beautifully designed battlefield, making for a peculiar mix that works so well largely due to the high level of polish and personality woven throughout the presentation. The fact that Squids: Wild West is a real looker is bolstered by accessible gameplay that belies its strategic depth.
Back in the late 1960s, a popular public service announcement intoned: “It’s 10pm. Do you know where your children are?” Let’s rephrase that for today: “It’s 2012. Do you know where your data is?” My guess is that you don’t.
Thirty years ago, we geeks knew exactly where our data was: on floppies in Tyvek sleeves. Then we got multiuser systems at work, and shared hard drives with our coworkers. Next, networks put our files on central servers, a step further away from our direct control. In the 1990s came the Internet, which gave us access to a world of content, but which also gave the world a doorway--preferably a locked one--into our Macs.
Remember the scene in John Carpenter's sci-fi classic, They Live, where the hero dons a pair of special sunglasses and finally sees how the world around him really is? Using Google's awesome new iOS version of its Chrome browser offers a similar type of reality check, shining an ugly spotlight on how Apple holds back third-party browsers on the platform. If you've used Chrome on the Mac, you pretty much know what to expect from the iOS app: Fast omnibox search or URL entry, unlimited tabs, Incognito mode for private browsing, and the ability to sync open tabs, bookmarks, and passwords to a Google account in the cloud.
It was the week of Comic-Con and the week when Steam broke the internet by causing a stampede with their annual Summer Sale, and most of all it was another week with Apple and all the fun stuff you can do with your iOS device and your Macs. And it just my be that crazy summer heat, but we even allowed that Apple could learn a thing or two from rival Microsoft. Yeah, it was that kind of week.
Turn-based strategy games might seem like a somewhat complex genre for iOS’ pick-up-and-play market, but Outwitters seems primed to sell players on the approach with ease. Essentially, it’s an asynchronous online (or local pass-the-device) multiplayer board game utilizing hexagonal grid maps and a colorful, quirky art style, with the goal of maneuvering your team of odd creatures -- ranging from salty sea critters to sugary rainbow-pop cuddlies -- to destroy the enemy’s base on the opposite side of the board.
Like a few other apps we could name (ahem, Instagram), Pinterest remains mired in a pocket-sized mindset, stuck on our iPhones and iPods or simply blown up for our iPad. With all the great visuals posted to the popular social media site, we'd love it if there were a better way of interacting with our accounts than simply using Safari and a bookmarket. What about pictures we take on our iPads? Email them to ourselves, and then pull out a second gadget? Or sigh and stick with the official app?
Luckily, some third-party options are available to make Pinterest available in a native manner on the iPad, so here are some suggestions about how to get the best out of your pinning on Apple's big screen.
While GarageBand is arguably the best bargain in the App Store, offering up a potent brew of playable instruments and integrated multitrack recording, there has been an avalanche of impressive dedicated synthesizer apps in the last couple of years. If you're overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices, here's a quick rundown of some of the top available picks. None are designed to replace GarageBand; in fact, most are primarily meant to be used in live musical performances, played as unique instruments with no counterparts in the real world. And the most expensive iPad synth app is still cheaper than almost any commercial Audio Units plugin for a desktop, so you'll find quality, convenience, and value within these 10 apps.