There's no denying that Ms. Splosion Man – a port of the 2011 console original – is an incredibly well-designed platformer. Its 50 lengthy levels are filled with inventively demanding puzzles, it's built around an incredibly fun gameplay mechanic (the heroine explodes to jump or attack enemies), it looks great, and it exudes a constant stream of goofy charm. So it's a shame that on iOS, an otherwise fantastic experience is hamstrung by a couple of key problems.
Executives from Apple, Microsoft and Adobe were summoned to appear before an Australian court this week to explain why digital content prices are so much higher in the land down under than in other countries.
Despite what you may have read in the press, Apple's influence on the tech world is just as strong as it's ever been. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 released last month is clearly aimed at the iPad mini, and its Wallet app, let's just say, is inspired by Passbook. Amazon's recent TV ad directly pits its 1900x1200 Kindle Fire HD against the iPad's retina screen (and price). And Blackberry is so tweaked by Apple, at least one of its executives can't even bring himself to speak his competitor's name in public. But no matter how hard they try, no matter how much time Apple gives them to catch up, there's one thing none of them can seem to get right: the art of the product reveal.
Apple has been working fast and furious with the updates lately, knocking out two quick iOS 6.1 patches in less than a week along with a flurry of similar improvements for the Mac, two of which get the spotlight in our Tuesday recap. We've also got some sad news on Microsoft Office for Mac pricing and hey, there's a new version of Firefox ready to install as well, so let's get right to it...
Rolling out this week to iOS and Mac users, an update to Skype will add the ability to send video messages to your contacts. Using your iSight or iOS camera, the three-minute messages can be sent to friends, regardless of their online status.
By all accounts, Microsoft is struggling to become a player in the tablet market, and few need hard data to prove it -- but that doesn't mean the company is going to bring its golden goose to the iPad anytime soon.