If managing and expanding a kingdom sounds like a good time, perhaps you haven’t thought it all the way through. Governing an empire, as the real-time strategy game The Settlers 7: Path to a Kingdom is eager to point out, is all about micromanaging. Wage wars on too many fronts, and you’re toast. Don’t research enough technology, you’re toast. Don’t cut down enough trees…well, you get the point.
Craigslist is the premier site for people looking for a good deal. Unlike Amazon and eBay, its searches are refined to sellers in defined proximities--usually people who are looking for quick pick-ups. Craigslisters who check often enough are bound to find something awesome for cheap, which means that well-designed iPhone and iPad apps could be huge.
We set out to determine if an iOS app could top the Mobile Safari experience, and it was no surprise to find literally dozens of Craigslist apps for the iPhone and iPad. It’s as if developers realized that the infrastructure was already set up, and all they had to do was beautify the site. However, many of them missed that mark, and we ended up wading through a sea of glitchy, crippled versions of the popular site--or apps even less attractive than the infamously minimal website. Still, a few interesting options emerged, so let’s take a look at the best of the bunch.
After a two-year hiatus, Polaroid is back with an instant camera that has a whole new look and feel. The Polaroid 300 instant camera is a cross between the company’s now-antiquated One600 model and the i-Zone pocket camera from the early 2000s, and taking photos with it is just as much fun as it was with its predecessors.
GoodGuide, a website that reviews companies based on their impact on health, the environment and society, has had an iPhone application for a while that allowed you to search through the more than 65,000 products they have in their database. Recently, however, they updated the application to include a barcode scanner, making it even easier to search for the "good" in any product.
Almost six years after its release on Windows, the legendary Half-Life 2 has arrived on the Mac thanks to Valve’s Steam digital distribution channel. For newcomers to the series, Half-Life 2 is everything the Mac hasn’t had since the halcyon days of Marathon--it’s a terrific sci-fi/horror first-person shooter with a brain.
When I was a kid, we played videogames with plastic Atari controllers—mine had teeth marks on the joystick for some reason. But time marches on, and now we play with all kinds of futuristic implements: a plastic Fender Stratocaster, motion-sensing nunchucks...and a sophisticated dual-camera, Wi-Fi equipped, iPhone-controlled quadricopter.
Yes, really. Not only is the AR.Drone a mind-blowingly cool toy and efficient way of making nerdy new friends at the park, its support for augmented reality gaming could really help it take off (ooh! pun!) if developers jump on the open platform. At press time, no games were ready, except the built-in "Drone Wars" which requires two copters, one more than we had. But the potential for awesomeness is clear.
The iPad is great for video, but after about 15 minutes of holding it up, we start looking for ways to use it hands-free. Griffin’s A-Frame gives your arm a rest and sports a minimal style that doesn’t detract from the iPad itself. If it weren’t for the logo plastered on the front, it could almost pass as a piece of modern sculpture. But don’t be fooled--there’s quite a bit of substance here to go with that style.
Cases--we needed them to shield our iPhone 4s and our iPads from the inevitable crash and burn they could suffer after months of hardcore usage. Not only that, but with all the movies you're making with your iPhone 4, there's bound to be a time you'll drop it onto the floor, just to see that gorgeous retina display shatter into a million little pieces. Or, at least, force you to high tail it to the Apple Store for a replacement unit.
For everyday snapshots of your kids, your dog, and your road trip to see the world’s largest ball of twine, your Mac comes with iPhoto, a simple way to organize and edit your photos. But pro shutterbugs and photography enthusiasts need far more serious tools to manage ever-growing libraries of tens of thousands of images. Adobe’s latest iteration of Lightroom aims to answer that call with pro-level organization and photo management, as well as robust editing tools for perfecting your shots.
From the moment you take it out of the box, Doxie will charm you--and not just because it’s adorned with pink heart stickers. Doxie is a portable, easy-to-use scanner that may very well replace that huge hunk of a scanner you have collecting dust in the corner of your home office—as long as your scanning needs fall into the “nothing too complicated” category.