It might not make as many headlines as the iPhone, but no other product in Apple's catalogue has gone through so many radical design changes as the iPod nano. Virtually unrecognizable from generation to generation, the iPod nano is kind of like Jonathan Ive's personal playground, a blank canvas where he can let his imagination run wild.
Tomorrow when iOS 6 comes out, the installed base of Siri -- Apple's still-in-beta, voice-controlled personal assistant -- is set to explode. Originally exclusive to the iPhone 4S, Siri will now work on the iPhone 5 (which drops September 21), the fifth-generation iPod touch (which is available for preorder, shipping in October), and the third-gen iPad.
Okay, we're gonna briefly touch some other stories this week, but you know what it's all about here on Mac|Life dot com -- the iPhone 5 is our story of the week, just like the whole internet. So in case you weren't glued to the keynote and you haven't followed our regular stream of updates, here's how it went down and here's what you need to know.
The iPhone 5 was certainly the big star of Apple's September 12 event (sorry, Dave Grohl...), but the recently neglected iPod touch got a major makeover as well, and the iPod nano got its video-playing mojo back.
Not feeling much enthusiasm for a new iPhone? Then maybe a new iPod touch will get your blood pumping, with one analyst claiming Apple could unveil the "biggest upgrade ever" for its media player at today's media event.
The App Store has an originality problem. Too often, developers ape the exact themes and mechanics from top-selling games, creating a sea of never-ending cartoon birds and temple chases. But despite the incredibly familiar mechanics driving Marvel's new Avengers Initiative, there's no denying the satisfying crunch of a Hulk fist smacking a Skrull. Sure, it's a bit of a knockoff, but the best examples of imitation lead to great new ideas.
Depending on whom you ask, there's a sentiment in some circles that the Japanese games industry is struggling to maintain relevance. While traditional Japanese role-playing games don't clinch the Western market quite as tightly as they once did, The World Ends With You stands as a prime example of the genre's staying power. Actually, it's one of the best role-playing games – regardless of region – we've played in years.
Platformers often come with an expectation of nostalgic bliss -- that starting the game will bring back feelings of blowing into a large plastic cartridge. Mikey Shorts nails its 8-bit-inspired aesthetic. It looks like an HD-infused Super Mario Bros. and sounds so Eighties that it should have the faint noise of a Metallica album behind the chiptune score, as if it's creeping in from behind the closed door of an older sibling's bedroom. The simplicity trickles down to the controls, which consist of a two-way directional pad and jump and slide buttons.
Though Pitfall! for iPhone and iPad shares its namesake with the classic 1982 Atari game, this 30th anniversary "remake" bears little resemblance to its predecessor. It is, through and through, an infinite runner -- a style of game popularized by fantastic titles like Canabalt and last year's hit, Temple Run. Pitfall! doesn’t push any boundaries or blow away expectations, but it is bigger, flashier, and bolder than others of its kind.
The presidential election season is in full swing, with the candidates vying for your approval this November. But if you're quickly growing tired of the back-and-forth campaign ads and serious subjects at hand, VOTE!!! The Game offers some comic relief. Unfortunately, the relief is short-lived; the game's nothing more than a quick novelty gag, hardly worth the space it takes up on an iOS device.