Amidst rumors Google is about to swallow up voice recognition provider Nuance, Domino's Pizza has teamed up with the current Apple partner to provide a new voice ordering assistant in the latest version of its U.S.-based app, which pretty much brings us full circle back to ordering on the phone, although without any human interaction. That's progress... right?
Continuing in the vein of memorable iOS gimmick apps like iBeer and Tom Cat, SpeakaZoo is part kids app and part parlor trick. As the zookeeper in charge of a whole stable of colorful, crudely animated animals, your sole job is to keep them happy—but not in the usual ways. You won't be feeding or washing them; instead you'll help them work through their various neuroses and idiosyncrasies. But while the wow factor wears off a little too quickly, SpeakaZoo’s chatty characters and childlike charm should be enough to keep your little ones coming back.
Despite the support of nearly every Hollywood studio, cloud locker service Ultraviolet has failed to gain much traction with consumers. Ultraviolet holdout Disney thinks there’s a better way, and the company has released an app to prove it. Disney Movies Anywhere is a free, universal app serving up more than 400 Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies (no TV shows yet) to any iOS device. Digital-only purchases made via the app are handed off to the iTunes Store, but now include the same kind of Disney Movie Reward perks that DVD and Blu-ray buyers are accustomed to.
It’s no surprise that a cartoon like Adventure Time would branch out into video games to attract its young (and alternately, geeky adult) audience. What is slightly more startling is how well the latest effort from Cartoon Network stands on its own merits. While certainly effective as a tie-in to the cartoon, its card-battling mechanics are so strong that Card Wars could have done without the license and proven just as sophisticated and inventive.
One of the challenges facing educational game developers is how to strike a balance between lessons and fun. Too much teaching, and the game ceases to keep a child’s attention; too little, and it becomes just another game. That’s one of the reasons Slice Fractions is so great: it has mastered teaching kids about fractional math without having overt lessons to do so. Slice Fractions tasks players with clearing a path for a woolly mammoth to get from one side of the screen to another.
It's often said that there's nothing more rewarding than being a parent. However, bringing a child into the world is a huge responsibility, and knowing you'll someday have to expose that child to the contents of that world can be a scary proposition. You'll want to use all the resources at your disposal to keep your kid safe. To help you make the most of your mobile devices on this mission, we've collected eight apps that let you keep tabs on your children, communicate with them, protect them from potentially dangerous situations, and more. You can give your kids access to technology and seem like the cool parent when secretly it helps you know they're safe.
LEGO The Lord of the Rings' transition to iOS is impeccably smooth, even if you'll miss out on some of the more exciting moments from the Mac version. Guiding Frodo Baggins and his crew of heroes on the path to Mordor works amazingly well on the smaller screen of an iPad or iPhone — and when the ring is finally cast into the fire, you'll still want to return to the fold to grab all of the elusive collectibles in Free Play mode.
If you search for endless runners on the App Store, you’ll find a slew of games in all sorts of settings, using a variety of people or animals as subjects. Buddy & Me is another one of those games, but rather than emphasize challenge and dynamic action, what sets it apart from the pack are its gorgeous art, less intense gameplay, and charming, light-hearted feel. You play as a boy who dreams about running through the forest with a large, flying dog-like creature helping him.
Riding the success of Disney Infinity's huge console launch last month, the Toy Box app for iPad allows players to build and test their creations from inside Infinity's creation mode, and then transfer it all back to your console. It benefits from the intuitive nature of touch controls and portability that the tablet allows, but struggles with keeping a constant frame rate even when dealing with a low number of items in your world. That takes some of the shine off of the experience, especially when transitioning from a glossy home console game.