2K Mobile Games Sale Begins Today

2kmobile sale

Get ready for some impulse purchases. 2K Mobile is discounting many of its top games beginning today with the sale price available through August 5. Titles such as NBA 2K13, Civilization Revolution and Sid Meier’s Pirates! are all getting some heavy price slashes.

The sale is only for iOS titles. The following is the complete list – links will take you to their download site on the App Store:

 

Editorial: iOS 7 Good for Some, Terrible for Others

iPhone5-3up-Pyramid_iOS7_PRINT copyApple’s  iOS 7 was the revolutionary overhaul that had been rumored for months. Gone is the stitched leather, faux notepad and other elements of the now infamous skeuomorphism. Apple has redesigned iOS to be minimalist with pastel colors and translucent effects.

For developers the changes to iOS are largely positive. Full multi-tasking capabilities and 1,500 new APIs will give plenty of ways to strengthen applications. The App Store got some tweaks to better highlight different apps, including offering suggestions based on the user’s location.

The visual overhaul, however, feels rather elementary. While the excessive mimicking of real-life objects was getting out of hand, some of the new icons are equally unappealing. The pastels combined with the translucent smudges feels almost child-like. Where Windows Phone is overly modern and Android too utilitarian, iOS now looks like one’s first smartphone operating system. And the idea of live information on the home screen, even a working clock, seems like a dream worth surrendering. [Read more...]

Flayvr Brings Order to Chaos of Photos

Flayvr Image 4Organizing and editing photos are quite the rage these days. So before you give them all to Google, take a look at the more independent-minded flayvr.

The iOS/Android app attempts to sort your images into albums, making them easier to share with others or look back at for those fond memories. It is designed to eliminate the constant scrolling and hassle that comes with trying to find that particular image.

“flayvr redefines the way we consume and share our favorite life moments by magically organizing photos and videos. flayvr is instant, hassle-free and allows for a seamless shareable interactive experience across all Android devices,” said Ron Levy , flayvr’s Founder and CEO, in a statement. “Launching on Android is an opportunity for us to share the best of what flayvr has to offer with new audiences across the world and help them bring back to life millions of photos and videos that are stuck on devices.”

While many of these tools can be found in other applications, flayvr does a good job of creating a pleasing interface. It also may be a welcome replacement on Android devices for some of the rather annoying add-ons that manufacturers add to the gallery (I particularly dislike how HTC Sense wants to fill your gallery with Facebook photos). [Read more...]

Sonic the Hedgehog Launches on Android

Sonic 1_Screenshot 1The 16-bit masterpiece that stole many hours of my childhood is now on Android. Sonic the Hedgehog can be had for $2.99 on Google Play; it is still available for that same price on the App Store.

The classic has been remastered for mobile devices, complete with 60 frames per second graphics. The memorable characters are there, as the gameplay is virtually the same with touch controls rethought for mobile devices.

Given the game’s excellent reception it furthers the mystery as to why Nintendo has not jumped on board with a mobile edition of its popular games. Super Mario Brothers would likely garner millions of downloads, as Sonic has done rather well on iOS with multiple four- and five-star ratings from users. [Read more...]

Gmail for iOS adds YouTube, Google Maps Links

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Google’s subversion of iOS continues. Today the company pushed out an update to it iOS Gmail app that will open links to YouTube videos and maps in those respective Google-built apps. This circumvents the default method in iOS, where links open in Safari.

Google previously had included the choice to open links in Chrome. While these options are turned on by default, they can be disabled. This would return one to the standard behavior of opening a link in Apple’s Safari browser.

This move comes after Google added its Google Now service to the company’s search app. It is another indication that while the Mountain View company would love to have everyone using Android, it knows that it has a large base of its users want to access its services on the iPhone and iPad.

Another minor addition is rather convenient. If you are signed in to multiple Gmail accounts, you can now just sign out of one instead of being forced to sign out of all of them at once.  [Read more...]

Google Now Comes to iOS

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Google Now has been added to the Google search app for iPhone and iPad.

By enabling Google Now, you can get current weather, sports team updates, traffic recommendations, public transit information and calendar reminders. The feature has been available for some time on Android devices running Jelly Bean.

After downloading the update from the App Store you will receive a tutorial on how Google Now works. Then you have the option to enable it or continue with the app as it previously worked.

While the implementation is good, it shows the difference between having it locked inside of an app on iOS as opposed to its operating system integration found on Android. For example, on an Android device the notification center will prompt you to a new score from a favorite team once a game has begun.

WordPress, LinkedIn Revamp UI

WordPress-for-android

Updating an app’s user interface has been rather popular lately. WordPress and LinkedIn are the latest to jump on the design craze, giving their apps a more consistent look across iOS and Android.

LinkedIn

For LinkedIn, the newest version brings a consistent design to its iOS and Android options.

Gone is the awkward home page that broke everything from the app into four different categories.

Outlook.com

Outlook.com has emerged as a strong alternative to Gmail. However, outside of Windows Phone its mobile component has been lacking, especially on Android.

The new UI in the latest update mirrors the Windows 8 interface and looks great on its own platform, but feels out-of-place on Android. Also the folders found on the desktop to not sync across to the mobile app.

While Outlook.com is a substantial improvement from Hotmail, Gmail power users who rely on labels and the strong integration that Google has built into its Android app are unlikely to be satisfied with Outlook. Nonetheless, grab the updated app to check out one of the alternatives out there in Google Play.

 

SnipSnap Suspends ‘Follow the Money’ Contest

snipsnap-iosCoupon-clipping app SnipSnap has nixed a contest designed to increase the social component of the network. Due to “significant mechanized entries, collusion, and fraud” the company sent an email to users announcing the suspension of the contest.

SnipSnap, a popular coupon sharing app, has been building up its sharing component and sought to use the contest as a way for users to gain additional followers. Those who gained 100 followers were eligible to win a $100 gift card.

Below is the text from the company’s email:

SnipSnappers,

We have been forced to suspend the “Follow the Money” contest (get 100 followers, win $100 gift card), due to abuse.

Over the weekend, the contest was compromised by significant mechanized entries, collusion, and fraud.

We are sorry to have to cancel the contest after just one short week, but we don’t have the manpower to investigate each and every claim, especially given the overwhelming number of false ones.

We will be reaching out to all individuals who already submitted a claim, and attempt to adjudicate accordingly. If you followed the rules of the contest and got 100 new users to follow you, you’re golden! However, if your follower count appears to be identical to other submissions, automated, or otherwise fishy, you will likely be disqualified. [Read more...]

Feedly Cures Google Reader Blues

wpid-Screenshot_2013-03-17-22-46-51.pngAfter spending some time using Feedly I began to think all the weeping and gnashing of teeth over Google Reader was overblown. Feedly is a robust, cross-platform RSS tool that all Google Reader nomads should consider as their new home.

In fact, the developers have smartly included some guidelines for customizing Feedly to look and act much like Reader. This is because Feedly has enough flexibility to give a Flipboard-like magazine experience or the utilitarian look of a traditional RSS reader.

While some have argued that RSS is past its utility, for many it still has an important function. For example, I subscribe to several product feeds from Google, Apple, Microsoft and others that aren’t designed for an imaginative layout. Such posts are short and designed for quick updates.

Power users will also want to learn Feedly’s keyboard shortcuts, which will help transition to zipping through a large number of sources.

Feedly looks great in the browser and has apps for iOS, Android, and Kindle. While Reeder and Press are both excellent apps and will likely recover from Google’s decision, Feedly has an inherent advantage with its cross-platform appeal and free price tag (the browser version has occasional advertising.) [Read more...]

Google Reader Shutdown Sends Developers Scrambling

Google-Reader

Google’s announcement that it was nixing Google Reader will not only disrupt those who use the service to read their feeds. Many of the most popular news reading apps like Reeder and Press use Google Reader to pull in their data. It makes it simple for users to quickly log in with one’s Google account credentials and see a list of all of one’s RSS feeds.

Developers were quick to react Wednesday, pledging to continue on despite what was disappointing news.

Jay Ohms, developer of the Press app for Android, said his team already is working on a solution.

“We’re as surprised as everyone to hear about the death of Google Reader,” he said. “We’ve put a ton of work into Press and will do everything we can to keep it alive and an app that people love. We’ll be looking over all our syncing options over the coming weeks, but our plan is to absolutely carry Press into the post-Google Reader world.”
[Read more...]

Follow The Conclave With These Apps

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The process of selecting a Pope may be centuries old, but mobile apps are helping send the message as soon as smoke leaves the chimney. A number of developers have updated existing apps or cranked out new ones in order to keep the public informed on the selection of the next pontiff.

Conclave: This app was jammed together by the developers to serve as a resource, or something. It is a small piece of a larger Logos Bible Software company, which creates Bible software for all major desktop and mobile operating systems. (iOS) (Android)

The Cardinal bios section is rather interesting, with a trending list of the candidates supplied by the NewAdvent.com buzz meter. If you feel like checking out the previous 2,000 years of church history, hit up that section as well. Nearly all the links are to desktop web sites, so browsing can be kind of a pain. However, there are plenty of great historical snippets, especially stuff about the antipopes.

The Pope App: While less imaginative, this is the official application of the Vatican news agency. When a new Pope is elected, this will serve as the official mobile application. (iOS) (Android)

Radio Vaticana: The Vatican has a surprisingly robust multimedia presence, and this app offers the official Vatican radio network along with its other sources of media. 
[Read more...]

Plants vs. Zombies for iOS is Free (For Now)

plants-vs-zombies

Considering that this is probably a temporary promotion, be sure to grab Plants vs. Zombies for free on your iOS device. This is one of the original strong games that debuted when the iPad launched. I spent a considerable amount of time loitering at my local Best Buy playing the game before deciding to purchase my own iPad.

For anyone unfamiliar with the game, players must use a variety of plant life to defend against an invasion of (mostly) slow zombies. The strategy involves upgrading plants and weaponry as the zombies become faster and more adept at dodging the defenses. [Read more...]

HelpBridge is for Givers and Survivors

As the recent winter storm Nemo and cruise ship Triumph have demonstrated, being able to communicate quickly with a group of friends and family can be highly valuable. HelpBridge can be a useful app to have, as it allows one to instantly send a mass “I’m OK” message to a large group of people.

The free app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. There are two stock options along with the ability to specify what you want any kind of outgoing message to say. Connect HelpBridge with your Facebook account for quick access to all of your social network contacts. Though, of course, use some caution in when to send such as message. You don’t want to be the boy who cried wolf. [Read more...]

Mailbox Rethinks iPhone Email

swipeMailbox has an ambitious goal: rethink mobile email. The free iPhone app, which is generating considerable buzz with its launch this week, is designed for streamlining one’s Gmail into a manageable workflow.

It arrives at a time when larger numbers of iPhone users seek an alternative to Apple’s uninspiring Mail app. This once sent people flocking to Sparrow. However, that app is now essentially retired given that the developers have joined Google. Plus, it lacked push notifications, which always was a major drawback to its utility as a go-to mail app.

After many lackluster attempts, Google has a solid Gmail app, though it still lags behind its Android counterpart. The timing is perfect for an application like Mailbox to finally create a benchmark mail client for the iPhone.

First, iPhone users should realize Mailbox only works with a Gmail or Google apps account. They will also need to sign up on the company website for a reservation. This is a good thing, however, as it allows the startup to manage server access and provide push notifications.

The design may be jarring if you are just looking for a Gmail clone. Instead, Mailbox includes four options to perform with each message, all based on gestures. Messages are snoozed or deleted based on swiping to the left or right. There is also some categorization customization available depending on if the emails contain content to be read or watched. The animations pop nicely – the current version feels more like a 2.0 release instead of a first effort. [Read more...]

The Weather Channel iPad App Test Ends

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The Weather Channel “test” icon is no more. The most recent version of the application (3.5.1) fixed a rather unusual bug that had been introduced with the 3.5 update. The word “TEST” was inserted into the home screen app icon.

The image was listed there for several days prior to it being repaired by the newest iteration of The Weather Channel iPad app.

The test message inadvertently arrived with what was to be a substantial update, which included statewide flu levels, an improvement to breaking news, more images and an improved video section.

The update also notified users that the animated weather images are going away. As of this version, however, they are still available.

Should other bugs arise, or for those who just want to reach out to the development team, The Weather Channel asks for feedback at feedback.weather.com.

The full changelog for The Weather Channel 3.5.1 from the App Store:

  • We corrected the app icon “test:” graphic on the home screen. We apologize for any inconvenience!

 

 

Gesundheit HD is Must-Have Game for iPad

How is it that I just discovered Gesundheit? It recently scored the Free App of the Week promotion in the App Store, being one of the best to get that tag.  The bottom line: get Gesundheit. You will never think of snot the same way again.

You play as a pig who must strategically blow his mucus in order to lure large, snot-eating monsters toward their doom. The hilarious concept combines with mind-bending gameplay to create an addicting experience. After I scored Gesundheit HD it easily ate up several hours of time.  [Read more...]

Paper Galaxy is Kid-Friendly Gaming

Paper Galaxy is a solid kids’ game that can also serve as a good challenge for pondering the laws of physics. Players take charge of the moon, which must make its way through the galaxy in order to reunite with Earth.

The moon’s journey is accomplished through using the gravitational pull of the planets. To help, the planets and moon all have faces and personality to create a lively gaming experience.

While it appears the younger set is the core audience, there is definitely enough content here to make it enjoyable for anybody.  [Read more...]

Noble Nutlings is Quirky Fun

Noble Nutlings carries the subtle influence of Angry Birds into its clever use of physics and zany characters. The game puts players in control of a a group of legless squirrels piloting bath tubs and other unusual modes of transportation. Noble Nutlings is the work of Boomlagoon, a new gaming studio created by three former Rovio developers.

Players must tilt their iOS device (sorry Android gamers) to zip the squirrels through a variety of obstacles and airborne adventures. Noble Nutlings succeeds by offering customization and original characters in a very playable game.  [Read more...]

Chat With Your Main Squeeze in Pair

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to rekindle some romance, consider Pair. The app for Android and iPhone is designed to be a communication tool just for couples. It has a strong suite of communication tools, such as instant messaging, photos, videos, real-time drawing and a super-cute feature called thumb kiss.

In fact, everything about Pair screams “cute.” But don’t let that stop you if cute isn’t your thing. Pair adds some fun and creativity to communicating with your significant other. For example, a couple can share a doodle space in real time, sharing their love (or other emotions) with drawings when words just won’t do. Many others have come up with some rather well-crafted creations. [Read more...]

Super Dragon Review: Kid-Friendly Fun

For those looking for a solid game to hold the attention of a child or child-like adult, give a glance to Super Dragon. It includes many of the elements that work very well in mobile games; physics-based play, gestures, a fun character, and lots of gimmicky noises and zany gameplay.

The aim is to get Super Dragon’s teeth back. Do this by launching him into the air through a Jenga-like collection of obstacles. By blasting through the refrigerators, washing machines, and other items Super Dragon can get his chompers to fall harmlessly back to earth and into his mouth.

The challenge accelerates given the larger number of obstacles that separate Super Dragon from his teeth. If not careful, they will knock him senseless, ending the game. There are a number of protective devices, such as an umbrella or helment, which players can acquire in order to protect the happy dragon. [Read more...]