A medieval board game for the twenty-first century
Kindo by Space Bears is a two player board game where the players take over spaces in an attempt to capture the King of their opponent. The developers describe it as a "fresh new medieval board game", which sounds odd; it's a pretty good description. The style of the design is fairly simple and we could see it in the same category as Checkers, Go, or most of all Othello. The mechanics are certainly interesting, and it includes all the game modes one could ever want from a board game app. We're still not sure how we feel about the choices of colors in the various themes though.
Apple Game Roundup for May 26
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. In today's entry we look at the Telltale Games collection coming to GOG, the 35th anniversary update to Pac-Man for iOS, the latest Overwatch character reveal, and Terra Battle's new update.
A monthly subscription that lets you see a movie per day
MoviePass is a subscription service for people who go out to the movies often. The member uses an app to "check into" a movie at a nearby theater, and then uses a special card to pay for the ticket. The directions say the number of movies a member can see through MoviePass is "unlimited," but what they really mean by that is there aren't any blackout dates. In reality, there are a number of restrictions, but they're not onerous. For people who find themselves going out to the movies often, this has the potential of being a pretty good deal.
New tool intended to take the load off of developers; provide analytics, activation
MacPaw has officially released a new platform for app development and distribution called DevMate. The new package is a two-fold platform that helps developers with app distribution, collection of data, and analysis. The SDK, DevMateKit, simplifies integrated activations, updates delivery, collects feedback, and collates crash reports. The Dashboard displays application data that gives developers a quick overview of how the app is performing in the App Store.
Easy to use, hard to spell, super graphics tool now on iPhone
You've got to say this for OmniGraffle: there aren't many other graffles in the App Store. There also aren't many tools that do what it does, and we've enthused before about OmniGraffle's ability to let the artistically-challenged among us sketch out plans, designs and notes on OS X. There's also been an iPad version, but OmniGraffle 2.1.1 is now a universal app, which means it is now on the iPhone for the first time.
Test your spatial reasoning with this devilishly deceptive puzzle game
We know that spatial-awareness puzzles require a certain kind of person: a bold person, one who isn't afraid to get their mind tangled up in the puzzle. They've got to be a little pensive, too. After all, these puzzles often require a very specific solution, putting the wits of even the best lateral thinker to the test. One such puzzler is Breezeblox, a deceptively inviting puzzle game about a jiggly square.
A zoomable calendar app for iOS, coming to Android soon
Streamline Calendar by Serendipi shows everything on the user's various calendars on a zoomable format. Rather than looking at a traditional calendar, the app organizes events and appointments into a timeline that can be expanded, or narrowed down.
Project Rigel to be available in late 2015, offer advanced features
[Updated with correction to erroreous CC subscription requirement] Adobe has chosen to withdraw its current photo editor for the iPad and Android tablets, Photoshop Touch, as of May 28, but has announced plans for new and supplemental technologies manifested in a number of apps to come later this year. A new photo editor, currently dubbed "Project Rigel," will offer greatly-improved speed, and was teased in a video that shows the program offering selective object removal, warping, and color swapping. The new app will be free of charge, unlike the $10 Touch app, and does not require a Creative Cloud subscription.
Somebody please hold our hand
We're no stranger to spooky games and scary themes, but sometimes the suspense inherent in horror survival games makes us very anxious, and it's difficult to get a good play session rolling. When faced with having to sneak through a creepy asylum, with a creepy kid whispering creepy things at us, and gurgling "inhabitants" chasing us into lockers ... we did the only thing any rational adult would do. We called our friend Todd, and asked him to virtually hold our hand through Skype while we played Lost Within by Amazon Game Studios.
Robust filter app caters to picky photographers
There's no doubt about it: vintage is in. That's probably one of the reasons that photo filter apps have taken the App Store by storm. The big issue with most of these apps is that they'll often only feature a handful of preset filters with little to no customization. If you're looking for a great way to make your pictures stand out from all the others, we think that Stackables might just do the trick.
Feature-packed illustration app closely mirrors desktop versions
When it comes to art apps for the iPad, there's a ton of choices. When it comes to good, functional, and worthwhile art apps for the iPad, there's significantly less. That's why Autodesk, famed designer of AutoCAD, had created Autodesk Sketchbook. The idea was to provide a great app designed with features for illustrators and designers, and we're here to show you just what this app can do.
Another papercraft toy creation tool from Pixle
Foldify Zoo -- Create, Print and Fold Paper Animals! and Foldify Dinosaurs are two more papercraft toy creation apps from Pixle, makers of Foldify and Storest, which we have looked at previously. Both Zoo and Dinosaurs include all the tools from Foldify, but have more limited papercraft patterns to choose from. What the user gets in exchange is an educational rundown of the creature in question, and where in the world it's from.
Apple Game Roundup for May 19, 2015
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at iOS Minecraft getting proper controller support, Adventure Time Puzzle Quest hitting the iOS App Store in the summer, a content expansion pack for Civilization: Beyond Earth, and an index of the top 15 games of 2015.
Don't let the dead eyes find you
Lots of people have told us they're "done" with Zombies. We hear that they're everywhere, over used, and it's gotten old. Well, we have to admit, we're not tired of Zombies yet. Now we're not as enthusiastic about them as some of our friends might think we are, but we're not opposed to some zombie based entertainment. It's true, there's a lot of zombie stuff out there and it seems to be still going strong. So when we see something with zombies in it, our attitude isn't to say, "oh no, not again." But rather, "okay, let's see what you've got." So when we saw a turn-based puzzler called DeadEyes, we wanted to see what developer Load Complete was able to do with the zombie-apocalypse genre. The answer is, "deliver a solid gameplay experience."
Wacom offers well-designed, albeit simple drawing app to pair with stylus lines
Design giants Wacom are known for their line of drawing tablets, which they've been producing for the better part of two decades. Because of this, they've become an industry standard when it comes to graphic design and digital illustration. Seeking to extend their market, Wacom recently made the leap of producing a line of Bluetooth-enabled styluses for the iPad, and with it came Bamboo Paper, a stylus-compatible drawing app designed for the iPad.
A simple but engaging connect-the-dots puzzler with some micro-transaction issues
Two Dots by Playdots purports to be the story of two brave dots. We're not sure there's actually a story there; certainly the game's visuals portray themes of travel and adventure which we quite like, but really what the user gets is some simple but engaging connect-the-dots puzzle action. We enjoyed the gameplay in Two Dots, but it does the thing we dislike most in games with micro-transactions. That being, it keeps us from actually playing the game.
Streamlined RTS makes for addictive, stressful gameplay
Real time strategy games are undoubtedly popular, with their mechanics being stripped out and placed in tons of other genres. These games run the gamut from tower defense to shooters to MOBAs and more, but today we're going to take a look at an ultra-simple, straightforward RTS called Battledots.
Face off in no-holds barred competitive local multiplayer with this reflex-based game
Local multiplayer games are somewhat of a rarity on the iPad, and we think that's a shame. There's something about sitting down and playing a competitive game with a friend that we enjoy, and the iPad seems to beg for this experience. One such game that takes advantage of the size and accessibility of the iPad is Circulets, a seriously competitive local mutiplayer game.
Design, print, and assemble paper-craft toys and art
Readers might remember our Hands On for Storest, an app that gives kids physical paper props with which to play store. Today, we take a look at Foldify -- Create, Print, Fold! by the same developer, Pixle. Much like Storest, Foldify is an app that kids -- or immature adults like us -- can play with and then take part of that app into the physical world by printing it out in paper.
New P2P instant messaging app helps keep conversations private
It's hard to have a conversation about the Internet without also having a conversation about privacy, or the lack thereof. As a response, BitTorrent Bleep is a new messenger service brought about by a desire for a little more privacy than the average text or IM program. We sat down with Bleep to see just how well this newcomer holds up to its promises.
Headline news app now free
If you're confused by The New York Time's range of online and mobile apps, the short answer is that this is the one you want, this is the one that ought to be on Apple Watch -- and this one is now free. It used to be a subscription-only app, but this week that changed, and you can the get the good one, the NYT Now 2.0.1 app, for nothing.
Get moving, meatbag
Oh Carrot, how we enjoy your sardonic attentions. She's back, our favorite digital overlord, with a fitness app. CARROT Fit - 7 Minute Workout, Step Counter & Weight Tracker by Grailr LLC, is here to get you moving and track your efforts. The app has a number of features that must be unlocked by leveling up, but even before you achieve those there's lots of fitness goodness to be hand.
Creative kids app encourages kids to explore designing clothes!
Toca Boca is a developer we feature regularly here, and it's not hard to see why. Their apps are bright, friendly, easy to use, and consistently ranked among the top apps for young kids. Today we checked out Toca Tailor, a sandbox-style game with a similar feel to games like Toca Hair Salon and Toca Mini.
Apple Game Roundup for May 15, 2015
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at a massive content upgrade for Stardrive 2, the exit of Massive Chalice from early access, Badland: Game of the Year Edition, and iOS runner Zombies, Run! going free to play.
Paper by FiftyThree gets a business-minded update
We took a look at Paper a while back, a slick little drawing app by FiftyThree. It was an instant favorite, especially when paired with FiftyThree's Bluetooth stylus, Pencil. We loved the ease of use, the stylish design, and the ability to easily create new drawings within collections of notebooks. Recently, Paper recently was the recipient of a significant new update and we decided it was time to revisit the app to see what changes have come about since our last look.
Addicting lateral thinking number puzzle requires a keen eye, serious patience
There are a lot of number games out there, floating around the App Store. Sudoku is a reigning favorite in these parts, and we spend a fair amount of time playing it. 2048 is another popular title that we've enjoyed, and we've had a torrid affair with Threes for a while. Today, we introduce you to our newest number-based addiction, Numberama 2.
Women's cycle apps -- we compare two
We understand completely, for many people, the human body is biological and gross. That goes for everybody and every body: male, female, human, jellyfish … it's all horrible, sticky, and gross. Don't get us wrong, we think that's great! It's something we all have in common! That being said, this Hands On is about apps that are specifically for those who are female-bodied and currently experiencing what we going to tactfully call "cycles." So if that applies to you, or somebody you care about, this is here to inform you. If it doesn't apply to you or somebody you care about, or it's not something you want to read about, go ahead and give this one a pass.
Adorable app lets kids create their own fun music!
We're glad that there are a number of developers who are targeting the under 5 crowd with games designed for curious little minds. One such developer is Duckie Deck Development, who has a dozen or so apps that are designed for kids between the ages of 1-5, all focused on free play and exploration. Today we checked out Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra, an app that allows toddlers the chance to create their own music.
Apple files brief to protect customer data from sale in RadioShack bankruptcy deal
Users can choose to be updated on artist activity, comment on posts
Sources familiar with plans for Apple's new streaming music service, supposedly now to be called "Apple Music," have revealed that the service will have a deep social networking aspect for artists, but will not be the same as Apple's previous attempt at fusing social and music together, dubbed "Ping." Artists will have their own page that can be used for posting samples, concert and tour information, photos, and other messages that fans can comment on and "like."
Specific details about offering eligibility, specific content not yet known
AT&T and video streaming service Hulu have signed a deal that will bring the popular video purveyor to AT&T customers through AT&T's websites and mobile applications. The offering will be through an IP- or device-locked website or app, limiting the streaming to AT&T customers.
Excellent update to a superb but not flawless tool
Here's the thing. FileMaker Pro is a quietly spectacular app: it's for creating databases but for three decades now it has also created careers. There are people whose entire working lives have been devoted to creating databases in FileMaker Pro and they do it for lone freelancers, corner shop businesses and even corporations. Now a new FileMaker Pro 14 has been released for the app's 30th anniversary and, with one caveat, it is hugely recommended. Check our full review to see what we liked, and what we didn't.
Well, there's future potential at least
It is one of the oddities of life that weather forecasts are considered part of the news. Frankly you could well question why sport gets a mention but a summary of weather that hasn't happened yet really is not news. Finally, Google has made a stand: its updated Google News & Weather app for Apple Watch does not include weather.
Paired down strategy offers quick Risk-like gameplay for both single and multiplayer
We're willing to bet that a lot of our readers grew up playing games like Risk, and have fond (or not-so-fond) memories of the game. Sitting around a table with your friends, making pacts, breaking pacts, acting like you didn't know about the pact in the first place -- it's all part of the game. There's something unique about the emergent qualities of strategy games, and we're positive that's why games like Risk stick with us. We took a look at Strategic Dice, a game that replicates the feeling of playing strategy-based board games and will likely send you hurling down the path of nostalgia.
Apple achieves only perfect score in ranking of tech companies' use of renewable energy
Apple, once routinely criticized and protested by environmental activist group Greenpeace, has topped the organization's poll of tech companies using renewable energy, and was the only tech company to achieve a perfect score. Citing the company's statement that 100 percent of its US operations and 87 percent of its global operations now use renewable resources (as of the end of 2014), the group says Apple has been "the most aggressive" and transparent about renewable energy use.
Apple Game Roundup for May 12, 2015
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at the Solforge upcoming beta exit, a big patch for Civilization: Beyond Earth, the launch of Elite: Dangerous on OS X, and the reinstitution of gambling apps on iOS in Sweden.
Intuitive music app lets users create great songs, regardless of prior skill
We're not sure if Apple ever assumed that the iPhone and iPad would ever become legitimate musical instruments, but it's become apparent over the last couple years that there are many artists who are successfully producing music on their favorite iDevices. This is largely due to the complex-yet-intuitive apps that allow users to create viable songs with just a little practice. We checked out one such app, NodeBeat, an ingenious music-creation app.
New version simplifies business automation, improves tablet browser experience
In parallel with the Apple spin-off's 30th anniversary of its flagship product, FileMaker on Tuesday announced Filemaker 14, its flagship database program for OS X, Windows, and iOS. New features in the update include a new Script Workspace to speed up common business processes, and also includes a redesigned WebDirect optimization for tablet browsers, a Launch Center for more app-like visual icons for FM-based programs, an enhanced iOS experience, and general speed and interface enhancements.
First approval doled out by Apple for third-party HomeKit SDK
Chip maker Broadcom today announced its Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) software development kit (SDK) has been certified by Apple for full HomeKit support. The company is the first vendor to offer HomeKit's specs for Wi_Fi and Bluetooth Smart communications.
Lateral thinking puzzle offers a relaxing escape from your day.
There's a new type of puzzle game sweeping the app store, and I like the direction these games are headed. Instead of relying on fastest speed or fewest moves, these puzzles are designed to help a player unwind, not unlike meditation. Instead of feeling frantic or stressful, these games offer a calm experience to get wrapped up in. We found one of these gems, Hook, a simple puzzler that focuses on relaxation rather than frustration.
From Comixology to GoodReader, options to curate your burgeoning comic pile
How many movies is Marvel doing in the next five years? The Walking Dead is a weekly show, as is Agents of SHIELD. How many have they done in the last decade? No matter how you cut it, comics are hot right now. So, you may have questions about what readers to use, and where to get content. As always we've got opinions! Presented for your approval are five apps that will slake your need for a graphic novel reader, both from reading what files you may have already gleaned, to discovering new content.
Crowdsourcing makes your DLR vacation less stressful.
We quite like apps. There's generally one to address just about any need and more than a few wants. An example we discovered recently is MouseWait Disneyland Wait Times Platinum Insider's Guide to Disneyland by app316. This is a very specific app for a very specific place we understand. This app made an impression on us as we were on vacation and had a large group of people to herd like cats through a crowded place. MouseWait gave us information that let us make choices and feel good about them.
A time-lapse timeline of selfies
The other day, we saw a sign in a public place announcing there would be construction blocking off access to certain areas of a building. The sign excused the mess and inconvenience caused by the remodeling as "creating a better backdrop for your selfies." There are any number of accessories for taking selfies, and some people are absolutely selfie-obsessed. Enter Everyday by Little Pixels, an app that not only encourages the user to take a selfie every day, but creates an animated timeline of those selfies to share.
A slick flying game of near misses and nearly misses
Kayos by Jonathan Lanis is an arcade game what the player tries to keep their sleek minimalist design jet alive as long as possible. Obstacles are either scattered about or falling from the sky, and the space between them becomes tighter and tighter. In all honesty, we don't think we're very good at Kayos, but we actually enjoy playing it just the same.
Apple Game Roundup for May 12, 2015
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at the release of Legend of Grimrock for the iPad, a Game of the Year update for Wasteland 2, Nintendo's tone-deafness on the smartphone game market and five forthcoming releases through 2016, and a possible future release of military shooter ARMA for OS X.
Popular Latin American mobile puzzle game releases to the US iOS App Store
Turn-based puzzle games aren't new, and the genre offers a lot of different takes on game mechanics and content, covering everything from games with RPG elements to games that feel more like shooters. Today, however, we checked out Armadillo Gold Rush, a turn-based puzzler which has been a popular mobile title in Latin America for almost a decade now, and has finally made the leap to iOS.
We're not here for a princess, we're here to kill you
Dungeon Crawlers Metal by Ayopa Games is a top-down fantasy tactical RPG. The player controls four characters -- a warrior, priest, mage, and a rogue -- in their quest to "cleanse" a dungeon of monsters for the smarmy-looking Dungeon Keeper that hired them. The meat of the gameplay is in turn-based combat on a grid, and it's quite fun -- although there were a few hiccups when we played with it.
Design giant Adobe updates digital sketchbook to include flow, opacity, and size controls
Many people would be surprised to learn that the iPad is an entirely viable way to create art, but thanks to the amount of fully-functional drawing apps on the app store, that's exactly the case. Today, we took a look at Adobe Photoshop Sketch, the brainchild of digital design empire Adobe, to see how it stacks up to other sketchbooks on the App Store.
Good, minimalist podcast player
You've already got a podcast player on your iPhone, maybe you don't need another. Yet you may well want another, or you may not yet be aware of your desire to change from Apple's barebones offering to something that has more features or is just nicer. While we're not going to knock Apple's Podcast app which does the job well enough, Castaway has its advantages.
Developers frustrated as iTunes Connect, TestFlight experience lengthy downtimes
On the heels of a long period on Wednesday where iTunes Connect, the portal for developers to monitor, modify, manage, and upload apps to the App Stores, Apple's beta-testing platform for iOS, TestFlight, has been down for more than 12 hours. Oddly, Apple has not modified its Developer System Status page to reflect the problems, nor is there any indication when the problems might be fixed. While service to iTunes Connect was restored yesterday, the TestFlight problems continue.