Christmas came early late last year as Santa’s elves restored Google Maps to iOS as a third-party app. Seven months later, the mobile Maps has already hit version 2.0 with another stocking full of enhancements, including native support for the iPad. At first glance, Google Maps 2.0 looks identical to the previous version – iOS users were the first to receive this all-new user interface, which finally started arriving on Android devices over the summer. The moment you begin searching, however, changes abound.
Ever wanted to make the Internet bend to your will without needing a degree in computer science? The folks at IFTTT have made that dream a reality since 2010, and now have a way to do it from the palm of your hand as well with the new iPhone app. IFTTT is an acronym for “if this, then that,” a statement familiar to computer users with basic programming knowledge. It’s also a web-based service that makes it possible to connect disparate services using a trigger and an action, known as a “recipe.”
Back in the video-game heyday of the ‘90s, it wasn’t uncommon to see high-profile titles get releases on portable systems as well as home consoles. The former ports were invariably watered down — handhelds could at best make a valiant attempt at capturing the spirit of whatever the game was, but the chunky hardware just couldn’t quite get there. Surprisingly, the iOS conversion of well-regarded shoot-'em-up Sine Mora feels like a throwback to those days.
Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride developer Halfbrick announced its next iOS game, Colossatron: Massive World Threat, at a panel at the PAX Australia gaming convention this weekend, revealing details about its story, gameplay, and development. Colossatron puts you in the role a giant robotic snake from outer space that's intent on doing as much damage as possible to the Earth. Producer Sean Druitt came up with the idea after noting that tower defense games tend to be passive once you’ve set up your defenses. “I wanted to do something where you could build things on the fly, and actually react to the environment around you while you're playing,” he explained during a panel discussion on the game.
Pac-Man is in the midst of a renaissance right now; between multiple video games built to support an upcoming cartoon launch, the character is headed in a lot of different directions at once. Pac-Man Dash! is his latest iOS incarnation, and it's an endless runner with some enjoyable gameplay mechanics — and also a few missteps in its approach to in-app purchases.
Knowing more than one language not only gives you a better understanding of the world around you, but it can also open up new job opportunities, make travel easier, and help you improve your thinking skills. The creators of Duolingo seem to think so too, which is why they've created an app counterpart to the website – newly compatible with iPad alongside iPhone and iPod touch – that makes it incredibly easy to teach yourself a new language at any time.
It's hard to keep track of the seemingly countless photographic editing tools on the App Store, but Tangent actually brings some new tricks to the virtual light table, combining some very appealing graphic design elements together with a really slick, effortless interface, making it easy and enjoyable to add visually pleasing effects to any picture.
From the Osama bin Laden compound raid to the rescue of hostages from Somali pirates, small military strike teams have grabbed more and more headlines in recent years. It's only fitting that video games, which so regularly imitate soldiers' actions via first-person shooters, would follow suit. Breach & Clear is a celebration of the slow, methodical, and tactical side of combat, with your squad of four soldiers tasked with taking out enemy combatants in a series of engagements. You set their paths and then let them loose, watching as your decisions pay off or get your men killed.
There's a trend these days toward smart calendars. No longer is it enough to just keep track of our appointments; apps like Tempo and Horizon combine our important dates with weather forecasts, contacts, and emails, and even Apple is getting into the act with directions and traffic reports in iOS 7. On the surface, Cal – the first in a planned suite of productivity apps from the creators of Any.Do – seems too simple to compete with this new class of calendar. But while it won't blow you away with powerful features, its slick interface and attention to detail show that smarts aren't just about artificial intelligence.
The Zumba craze has spread to sports clubs, living rooms, and even video game consoles over the years, and its blend of dance and fitness moves makes exercising feel more like a party than a chore. Making its way to iPad for the first time, Zumba Dance gives you the same tried-and-true Zumba gaming experience, but lets you take it with you wherever you go. It may not offer a whole lot of songs to dance to without spending extra cash, but if you’re looking for a fun way to sweat away some calories, Zumba Dance is the way to go.