If you’re a fan of buddy-cop movies, clichéd puns, and slapstick humor, you’ll feel right at home in Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse, Episode 1: The Penal Zone. It’s the first episode in a five-part adventure series, as the rather lengthy name suggests. In this first installment, the kooky pair of freelance investigators deals with some equally kooky characters, including the main villain, an alien named Skun’kape who lands on Earth in peace but clearly has an ulterior motive. It’s up to Sam and Max to find out the true reason for his arrival and banish him to another dimension.
We’ll admit it. We’re still having a hard time typing on the iPad--in particular, serious work in Pages, Bento, or other productivity apps cries out for a hardware keyboard. While we quickly adjusted to thumb-typing on the iPhone, iPad is a horse of a different color. In portrait mode, the keys are a little too spaced out to comfortably type with two fingers--and in landscape, forget it! Meanwhile, our traditional 10-finger typing is hampered by the lack of tactile feedback and having to hover over the virtual keyboard. Luckily, the iPad supports Bluetooth keyboards out of the box, so we rounded up the most interesting options to test as companions to our iPad.
Shazam was the original song-identifying app for iPhone, giving you the artist and title of nearly any studio recording within earshot, and the free iPad version offers the same kind of functionality. Hear an unknown, appealing song on the radio or in a commercial? Bust out your iPad, click the little blue icon, and let Shazam work its magic.
Last summer marked the 10th anniversary of InDesign, Adobe’s page-layout tool. While early versions of the program generated a buzz and built a solid user base, the pace of innovation slowed over the years, and some of the more recent updates have been less than sensational. Fortunately, that’s not the case with InDesign CS5, which has several cool new features for print publishers, some significant interface improvements, and an expanded set of tools for creating media-rich online publications.
There was a time when Premiere was the editing application on the Mac. Then Final Cut Pro and iMovie appeared. That prompted Avid to create consumer and prosumer versions of its expensive pro products, and Premiere quietly disappeared from the Mac landscape. But Adobe brought its video editor back a few versions ago, and this latest version is ready to do battle with Final Cut Pro--but it’s also charging too hard into the prosumer market.
iPad is the perfect device for keeping up with all of your favorite websites' updates via RSS feeds, and NewsRack is the first fully-featured reader to make an impact on the tablet. While some other readers offer more colorful or newspaper-like user interfaces, NewsRack keeps things clean and simple with easy to use touch commands in both portrait and landscape modes.
Considering the mobile web-browsing prowess of the iPad, apps that largely reinterpret existing websites must improve upon the original experience to warrant a download (or purchase). Wikipanion is luckily one of those apps -- much as it was on iPhone -- as the simple interface sorts through the Wikipedia database and presents entries in a very handy, easy-to-read format that skims out the filler.
These days, we all have way too much email to cope with. So when RSS readers make my news feeds look like emails, I find something else to do. That’s why Times impresses me so much. Thanks to its cleanly designed, gorgeous presentation and simple interface, it restores the pleasure of reading news in the way that only newspapers could previously provide.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are often expensive and tough to set up. While centralized, always-on network storage is a huge win, collecting everything from all your various USB drives to stash on a NAS can be a royal pain. Fortunately, the storage masters at Iomega have come up with a user-friendly solution that will appeal to both networking geeks and newcomers: the iConnect Wireless Data Station, a simple device that allows you to attach up to four USB storage devices and then access them via your home network.
The Brothers In Arms series is one of the greats in gaming--it stands out from the slew of generic shooters that trivialize World War II thanks to its perfectionist, respectful approach to historical accuracy and realistic squad combat. Which just makes this shoddy port all the more disappointing.