Until Apple opens up the iOS file system — and don't hold your breath waiting for that — we'll likely continue to be reliant on cloud services to transport our files to and from our Macs. There's no shortage of ways to do this, but keeping track of everything can be daunting, especially if we can't remember where (or if) we uploaded a file. Doo attempts to solve this problem with a master cloud service that brings all of our files under one roof. On our Macs, it definitely simplified things, but it was missing a mobile component to make it truly useful. Doo for iOS opens the service up to our iPhones and iPads, but unfortunately, it isn't the stellar complement we hoped it would be.
Human, a fitness tracker for iPhone and iPod touch, aims to help you lead a more productive and healthy life by letting you know how active you are throughout the day. Unlike other more robust trackers currently available, Human simply tracks your daily activity levels in minutes and not calories. All you need to worry about is staying active with your device in tow. Though its ease of use makes it great for those seeking an uncomplicated way to manage their fitness levels, Human’s sparse features and inaccurate sensors may make it more trouble than it’s worth.
The appearance of a traditional Call of Duty on iOS is long overdue – with the gap ably filled by Gameloft's lookalike Modern Combat series – as earlier entries focused on the Zombies survival side mode from the console games. But much as Call of Duty: Strike Team resembles its big-budget brethren on the surface, it's not quite as typical as it seems thanks to the ability to switch to an overhead tactical view and control multiple squad members with simple taps. And that's a very good thing, as the mobile-friendly perspective is actually the better half of this glossy military shooter experience.
The seemingly blissful union of Adult Swim and developer Pik Pok has resulted in some wonderfully weird iOS affairs, including Robot Unicorn Attack 2, Monsters Ate My Condo, and Extinction Squad – and Giant Boulder of Death only continues that trend. Kicking off with the titular stone seeing its beloved counterpart carved into a statue of a military dictator, the game finds you indiscriminately rolling forth for vengeance through soldiers, spiked barricades, and innocent wildlife alike.
It's always awkward when you reach that on-the-fence moment where you're pretty sure you hate the game you're playing, but you just can't seem to stop plugging away. That sums up my experience with Star Wars Force Collection pretty accurately. As a huge Star Wars nerd, I appreciate the sight- and sound-driven homage to a galaxy far, far away found throughout this virtual collectible card game. The actual game itself, however, is on shakier ground than Luke's X-Wing parked in the swamps of Dagobah.
As former users of the Commodore Amiga, we fondly recall the quaint simplicity of graphics editors like Deluxe Paint. Those looking to revisit that bygone era will have plenty of fun with Pixaki, assuming they have the chops to actually paint with pixels in the first place. Pixaki is a touch-powered painting app for the iPad, but unlike modern tools such as Adobe Photoshop Touch, developer Luke Rogers has created a playground for retro artists to embrace those chunky pixels from the glory days of personal computing.
With the right apps, even the rankest of amateurs can make beautiful pictures on their iPhones. Studio Design is one such option, packing an array of powerful tools and palettes into a deceptively simple interface that will have you generating professional-looking layouts without watching hours of tutorials. Even if you've never pushed a pixel, you’ll be able to dive right in.
Open-ended, world-building sandbox games are spawning at an increasingly rapid pace on iOS of late, with each offering a slightly different twist on Minecraft's addictive mix of exploration, scavenging, building, and crafting. While Terraria builds off of the Minecraft vibe in some interesting and adventurous ways, Junk Jack X copies it a bit too blatantly. Lack of originality aside, that's not entirely a bad thing. Translating many of the familiar-looking gameplay and visual elements to 2D works fairly well, offering moments of fun for patient players with collection obsessions.
Sometimes licensed games leave you scratching your head in confusion at their bizarre muddling of a beloved pop culture franchise. Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM Pocket adapts a popular trading card game based on the Yu-Gi-Oh manga and anime series into an entirely different trading card game, just barely managing to string together something moderately enjoyable in the process. Battling wits with virtual and real opponents is both fun and challenging, but there’s not enough depth to keep you interested for long.
There are tons of faux guitar apps on iPad, and frankly, most of them aren’t worth the pixels they occupy on your screen, especially if you happen to own and play the real thing. While it’s still not what we'd call the Holy Grail, Pearl Guitar shows some real promise, especially for anyone who has been completely underwhelmed by previous offerings. Pearl Guitar is based on samples recorded from a 1979 Martin acoustic dreadnought guitar, and includes many subtle touches, like the sound of the guitar's wood being knocked if you move the iPad, or the string buzzing sound that happens when you move your fingers around a real fretboard.