Battle your way through the dystopian planet Mongo as Flash Gordon
Whether you came in on the original comic strip, the movie, short-run TV series, or any of the various cartoons, there's no denying that Flash Gordon is awesome. Fighting alien bad guys, saving the Earth, exploring the reaches of space -- Flash Gordon did it all. Today, we check out Flash Gordon, an endless runner that has you tearing through Mongo, avoiding all the dangers that Ming the Merciless has at his disposal in glorious '80's style.
The Mac version don't get no respect
There's a new update to this outlining app for OS X, but even the makers say that OmniOutliner 4.3.2 is a minor improvement. It's just that sometimes, you need a minor improvement to remind you how much you rely on something. Even when we've previously enthused about OmniOutliner for iPad and iPhone, we've always gone "oh, yeah, and there's a Mac version too." Yet there are those of us on MacNN who use OmniOutliner for Mac every day.
Neat, deft and good-sounding Bluetooth on-ear headphones
There are people at MacNN who can pop headphones into the lab, and scan them over with a sonic screwdriver to get every last pixel of specification tested, shaken up and tested again. Then there's me. If you want to tell me that the rose gold Kitsound Manhattan Headphones don't sound as good as some $1,000 professional gear, then we'll believe you because it's you. We'll still be a bit surprised, though, as we like this pair a lot.
Never miss a new episode of your favorite show ever again
If you're still paying for cable TV but haven't sprung for a DVR so far, we're willing to bet you get pretty mad when you miss a TV show. That's why we're going to make sure you know about Trak TV Show, an app that makes sure you don't have to worry about missing any of your beloved shows ever again.
Likeable origami cover, but keyboard version doesn't quite hit the mark
Up-front disclaimer: I'm very fond of products by Moshi. As someone who gets to use a lot of brands of accessories, I have used and enjoyed the company's keyboard protectors, iPhone cases, iPad cases, adapters, and car chargers. The company's products are unfailingly lovely, practical, sturdy, and beautifully packaged. They are among a handful (but growing number, happily) of top-quality Mac accessory makers. With the Versacover, they have created another high-quality iPad cover, but with the Versakeyboard, I feel like they missed their mark somewhat. Let's take a closer look.
Melt away your stress by playing with an adorable music generator
We think that one of the most soothing activities you can do in your daily life is take time to play with sound. Whether it's passing time during your morning commute, or at your desk when you've got some downtime, there's something undeniably awesome about playing with sound generators. If you're a big fan of music and sound generators, we've got a real treat for you: Polyphonic, a fun music generator that anyone can use.
Study art and human anatomy at the same time with these famous da Vinci sketches
We've covered a few different art museum-type apps here before, but they're generally databases of a vast swath of famous artworks that are picked for their, well, artistic value. Today we're going to show you something a little different -- the Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy app, an art app that is every bit as educational to look at as it is gorgeous.
Visually use and manage your clipboard history
There was a time when iOS didn't have copy and paste, yet despite Android users mocking us, we honestly weren't that fussed –- until we got it, and couldn't believe we'd functioned a single day without it. It's the same with clipboard managers for OS X: first you can barely register what the term means, you're that disinterested, but then you use one and, wallop, you're wondering why anyone would work without one. Yet people do, otherwise perfectly normal and sane people get through life without clipboard managers. Paste 1.1.0 could be the way to convince them, because it is a very visual clipboard manager: you see this and you understand right away.
Compete with other species for dominance in complex strategy board game
One of the nice things about the iPad is that if you're a board game enthusiast, there's a ton of great games that have been ported to this portable platform. Having a collection of board games that you can toss into your bag for easy gaming without having to tote around giant boxes is fantastic, and makes on-the-go gaming far more plausible than before. If you're looking for a new game to try out at your next game night, allow us to suggest the recently re-released Dominant Species.
Sturdy stand combines with ultra-secure handgrip for multi-faceted tablet protection
There's no denying iPads are great, but out of the box they can be a little limiting in some pretty common scenarios. Carrying one around is somewhat cumbersome due to their size, and leaving one out in the open isn't exactly the smartest idea either. Luckily for us, the Grip and Dock by Maclocks is designed to keep your iPad secure, whether you're toting it around town, or have it hanging out on your desk.
Work around Apple's sequence
When MacNN gave iOS 9 the full Hands On treatment and examined it in detail, one of our few complaints was that you could only use Apple apps in Slide Over. We said this feature of swiping in an app from the side was great, and would only get greater when other developers' apps were included, but they weren't there yet. We should've waited 20 minutes: now, so many third-party apps are working with Slide Over that we've hit a problem we just never saw coming: it's hard to find the app you want.
Rosa and Joey reprise their roles in the newest installment of the Blackwell series on iOS
If you're a person who plays games regularly, there's a good chance that you're familiar with the point-and-click adventure games known as the Blackwell series. They're not new games by any stretch of the imagination, with the fifth and final game of the series, Blackwell Epiphany, released in 2014. They are, however, new to iOS, so they merit a look-see. Today we're going to check out Blackwell 4: Deception, the fourth game and the most recent addition to the iOS collection.
Apple's latest and largest steps out from the phablet crowd
The 5.5-inch Apple iPhone 6s Plus features a lot of the same upgrades as the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s. Like that model, it is powered by either a Samsung- or TSMC-fabricated custom dual-core A9 processor that puts most quad-core and octa-core chipsets from other companies to shame. It also features the same new 7000 series anodized aluminum unibody construction and the same fundamental design language. However, there are some key differences between the two models. Let's take a closer look at the larger of the two iPhone 6s models.
Half great, half head-slapping
You know that Google Maps is better than Apple Maps: there's probably no one outside Apple itself who would deny that Google's service has far more and richer data, and in some countries is better at finding routes. So the fact that the new Google Maps 4.11.0 release adds Apple Watch support is, in all ways, brilliant. Strike that: it's in all but one ways brilliant. As is so very often the case with Google, you have to switch on settings that you struggle to find -- in part because Google itself tells you the wrong place to look. There's an irony there in a map app by a search giant telling you the wrong place.
Couldn't be simpler, probably couldn't be better
It just works. Specifically, it just records. The new Just Press Record 1.0 for iOS, OS X and Apple Watch records audio -- on any of those devices, including the Watch -- and then saves it. That's the entire app right there, and if this means we now have to struggle to fill the rest of this page with anything useful, then that's just our tough luck. Just Press Record is finely done, and does one specific job well.
A portable email surgeon
Email is not dead, email is not dying, email is still brilliant. True, we get a lot of it, and that is a problem. The volume is a problem that services and apps try to fix by being like Apple Mail, but better somehow. Dispatch 3.1.2, though, is like an adjunct to Mail that makes handing your emails faster and more efficient -- under certain circumstances.
Cute platformer includes quests and lots of thematic flavor
Have you noticed how complex games are becoming these days? It seems that every game we come across has some sort of new mechanic, some in-depth stat system, some cross-genre complexities that you've got to keep straight. If you long for the days when games were a little less complex, maybe you should check out 2-bit Cowboy, a retro platformer set in the old west.
Gorgeous endless runner offers lots of unlockables for dedicated players
We find that arcade games have a lot of merits. More often than not, they're quick games that you can use to pass time when you're hanging out at the DMV, or waiting for the bus. They also give you the opportunity to play against yourself, in an endless attempt to beat your top score. If you're someone who has some time to kill and wants something quick to play, we're here to show you how Sky might fit the bill.
Sweet paper puzzler offers all-ages gameplay with lots of personality
We like math puzzles, we like word puzzles, we like spatial reasoning puzzles -- if it's a puzzle, chances are, we like it. That's why we're so excited to show you a puzzler that packs a ton of personality into pieces of paper, a little game called Paper Titans. Before we delve into it, let's get it out of the way: Paper Titans looks incredible.
Endless runner makes vast improvements over others in genre
We've covered several games in the "runner" genre before, and for the most part these simple platformers are pretty decent, but all have a few drawbacks. Today, we think we've found a game that may have changed the way we feel about runners. Let us introduce you to Chaos Chambers, an endless runner that really blew us away.
Simple mathematics puzzle game will get your brain working in overdrive
If you would have asked us 10 years ago if we would have been playing math-based puzzle games for fun, we probably would have told you that you were insane; but here we are, with an iPad full of math puzzles we can't seem to put down, no matter how hard we try. We recently tried out another game that we quickly became obsessed with, a minimalist math puzzle game called 10.
Dash through a lemonade factory in this single-player co-op platformer
If you're a big fan of platformers, you might consider yourself somewhat of an expert. If you are looking for a challenge, we highly suggest trying out something a little different, like a single-player co-op platformer. Today, we're going to tell you about Super Lemonade Factory, an eccentric little game with a surprising amount of heart.
Cute JRPG boasts good story and decent playability
We've discovered quite a few RPGs for iOS, and there's a surprising amount of both live-action, open-world, western-style RPGs and turn-based, story-driven, Japanese-style RPGs, called JRPGs. Today, we're taking a look at another JRPG, a plucky little game by Kemco called Link of Hearts.
Cute app for kids is a spin on a classic Chinese puzzle
When you were a child, you may have had a Tangram, a flat square that was cut into seven smaller shapes. It's a Chinese puzzle designed to teach kids (and adults!) how to create images from simple shapes. Tayasui has decided to take this concept digital with Tayasui Tangram, the perfect app for creative kids.
Reviewing today's game and yesterday's origins
This is a hands-on review of what I expect I'd be calling, easily, the best game I'd ever played, if only I'd kept my hand in. For I played the original Elite, the really original one, as first appeared on the BBC Micro in 1984. It was a marvel that stretched that 8-bit technology to its core -- yet as good as I got at it, I wasn't bitten by the gaming bug. I can't claim I've never played anything since -- I lost some decades of my life to Lemmings -- but Elite: Dangerous is my first exposure to modern games. It's my first introduction to Steam. Elite back after 30 years, and Steam in all its 2015 power: I'm really reviewing the game alongside this entire environment, and also exorcising some of my childhood.
This is the charging stand you want
No more calls: we have a winner. True, there are other excellent Apple Watch stands, and we've enthused about one, gushed about another, but the Enblue Premium One W3 (US store, Europe and rest of the world is all that and more. We've wanted to say "all that and more" for ages, and this is the first time it's both literally and figuratively true. For this is an Apple Watch stand, yes, but it's also an iPhone one -- and an iPad stand too.
Pilot a cargoship with twitch-reflexes and a delicate hand
You might already know it, but we like games that are designed to be somewhat of a challenge. We think that twitch-based reflex games are fun, and we don't mind if a game can be a bit frustrating. We ran across one such game recently, and we're proud to show it to you. Allow us to demonstrate for you why we think Super Grav is a fun but frustrating game.
Updated video player for Mac
Since we reviewed version 5.1.482 this past March, the program has stepped up to become Elmedia Player Go 6.0710. It isn't a giant transformational leap, but it adds some features all users are likely to want, and some that are more niche. If you get the in-app purchase to the Pro version, for instance, you can now download YouTube videos.
Practice your math while learning how to create simple circuitry
Are you a big fan of math-based puzzles? What about electrical engineering? Well, if you answered yes to either of those questions, then we've got the mother of all games to show you. Allow us to introduce you to Light This Up, an app that has you solving electricity-based puzzles while improving your basic mathematical skills.
It's everything we hoped it would be
There is a gigantic temptation, bordering on a compulsion, to say that finally this is what Apple Watch needed. In truth, we were very pleased with what we must now call watchOS 1, and what we didn't like was usually either a small niggle, or just a desire for it to do more of the same, please. Such as run apps natively, rather than have your iPhone run them, and the Watch sort of show you a bit. Or the way we love the Watch faces, but we wish they didn't turn off so quickly. Now that watchOS 2 is here, we have more of the same, and we love it -- and, go on, okay, this is what the Watch should have had all along.
Amazingly versatile tool, but think about going for the Pro version
We've looked at DevonThink Pro before, and found it so powerful as to be a bit intimidating. For the rest of September 2015, though, the slimmed-down version DevonThink Personal 2.8.6 is included in a MacUpdate bundle. If there are any other apps you like in that bundle, this is the time to buy -- and if you're as intimidated as us, the personal one may be the one to get.
Star Trek debuts a match-three RPG, heavy on the pay-to-win mechanics
Well, it finally happened. Star Trek has hit the scene with a match-three RPG. We can't say we're even slightly surprised, though: with games like the Puzzle Quest series getting popular, we anticipate a ton of match-three RPGs hitting the App Store in the future. We decided to take a look at Star Trek -- Wrath of Gems, to see how it stacks up to others we've tried.
Revamped release includes iOS 9 features
In January, we enthused about 1Password version 5.2, and then in April we found more to say over the tiniest of updates to version 5.3. Much as we like it, we knew then that it would take the makers adding something very special to give it a third full Hands On for what is, essentially, the exact same product. They've added something very special. This is now 1Password 6.0, and while it doesn't feel as giant a leap as it was to version 5.0, it's significant -- and we like it a lot. A lot.
Niche appeal but very thorough temperature tool
You've been lying awake at nights wondering why your CPU Core 1 is running at 46 degrees Celsius, but CPU Core 3 is 49 degrees, haven't you? Plus, you understand why there isn't a CPU Core 2 listed, and instead you get two CPU Core 1 entries. TG Pro 2.8.5 is the tool for you, and quite possibly only for you. This is a tool for monitoring the temperature of every element of your Mac and maybe, maybe there are a few people who need this -- but there's never going to be enough of them to fill a conference. Still, if you do need it, then the odds are that you really need it, and if nothing else, TG Pro is very, very thorough.
It's not a Pencil, but it's good
Before you read even a pixel further, know this: the Kit Precision Stylus is currently only available in the UK. Well, doubtlessly you can import it from Amazon UK, the way we over here regularly have to buy things from the US store. Officially, though, it is UK only for now. America and the rest of the world isn't missing out on a life-changing piece of engineering, but if you're looking for a stylus for your iPad, then this is a good piece of work, and it has certain advantages.
Go head-to-head with a friend in this turn-based paper wargame
We love local multiplayer games. Maybe it's our age, or maybe it's just that there's something about playing games face-to-face that we can't get enough of. We recently heard of a neat, skill-shot style game called Lead Wars, that we think should be a part of every game night arsenal.
Try to navigate an eerie world with minimal help from within the game
Once upon a time, there was a well-known genre of games that were designed to test the mettle and resilience of a player, rather than their quick reflexes and ability to manage their stats. These games were often brutally difficult, and provided very little help, but were often worn as a badge of honor when the player finally completed them. Today, we found a modern rendition of such a game, a cryptic, otherworldly game called Hiversaires.
From 'so what?' to 'oh wow' in 20 minutes
Should you wait a day or two before you upgrade to iOS 9? We advise it, but only because that's sensible whenever something big rolls out to so many people at once. Sometimes, it's hard to wait for the greatest from Cupertino, and that's partly why your first reaction to iOS 9 is going to be quizzical. You'll go through what is hopefully a quick upgrade process and, picking up the iPhone or iPad, may even turn it around looking for any signs of something different.
Try your hand at inks with this simple, sleek app
Ink drawing can be a bit intimidating to get into, and a bit expensive if you're not sure you're going to stick with it. Thankfully, once again the App Store has come to the rescue. We checked out Zen Brush 2, a slim and slick app for artistic expression.
Traverse a winding storybook world in this unearthly puzzle game
Every so often, we find a game that completely floors us and sticks with us long after we play it. Sometimes these games are rich in story or boast revolutionary mechanics, but that isn't always the case. For example, Oquonie isn't going to win any awards for controls, and it's not going to win story of the year, but it still managed to make it as one of our all-time favorite iOS games.
Take charge and create your own music with this intuitive beat maker
Creating your own music is an exciting and rewarding prospect for a lot of people, and most people dabble in music at one point in their life or another. However, we're aware that it's not second nature to most people, and creating your own music can be incredibly intimidating. That's why we're here to suggest trying out Loop Pads 24, an app that is so easy to use but still produces fantastic musical beats for the novice to play around with.
At last we're getting great stands
The first stands released for the Apple Watch were rubbish. We had just about despaired of finding a stand that we were happy to slap our expensive new watches on every night, and then one came along. That was Twelve South's HiRise, and we enthused about it. Now we're going to evangelize Nomad's Stand for Apple Watch, and if it's frustrating to have two recommendations, it's better than we were just using the boxes our watches came in.
Help Lalo strap on a jetpack and find his family in this endless flyer
Jetpacks are one of those things we've been waiting for, for as long as we can remember. How cool would it be to strap on a jetpack and take to the skies? Well, that happens to be the premise of a silly endless flyer that we can't get enough of. Without a doubt, Pull My Paw is one of the cutest arcade games we've come across.
For when you can't stick a GPS on your windshield
Usually the best car mounts for holding your iPhone up as you drive along, shouting at either Google or Apple Maps, are ones that stick firm to your windshield. Not every state allows that, though, and not every driver likes it anyway, so there are alternatives -- and the OSOMount Arc 2 Extendable Arm and Dash Mount Holder is one of them.
jRPG offers near-perfect battle system but fails to deliver on story and setting
One of the best things about Japanese Role Playing Games (jRPGs) is that they tend to translate well over to mobile platforms. Because these genres are frequently turn-based, you don't have to have lightning fast reflexes that depend on the tactile sensations of a keyboard or controller, or ludicrously high frame rates. No, the jRPG is one of the genres of games that translates over relatively snag-free. Today, we're here to show you Chrome Wolf, a jRPG for die-hard fans of the genre, but maybe not everyone else.
Stop reading now and go buy it
Okay, no messing: this is a gorgeous keyboard that we were instantaneously smitten with, and then came to like more and more in our testing. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a simply superb piece of work, and a pleasure to write on. Fair warning: with a few mild caveats, the rest of this entire Hands On is going to be in much this same style -- so if you're already convinced, just know that it's available on Amazon for about $70, and away you go.
Poker and Solitaire collide in this simple yet challenging single player game
We check out a lot of games here, if you haven't noticed, but there's always one genre that we seem to overlook -- card games. And we don't mean trading card games, as we've put out ample coverage on titles like Hearthstone and Scrolls. No, we mean games like Solitaire. Today, we take time to fix the error of our ways, by showing you a gem of a card game: Sage Solitaire.
Keep your power-hungry electronics topped off on even the longest car trips
Most cars only feature one cigarette lighter (or DC port as they're called these days), which can be a bit frustrating if you're a household of multiple devices. So what are you to do if you're on a long trip with two near-dead phones? Snag the Y-Charge Quik and charge both, of course.
Craft your own Star Wars character and fight your way through the galaxy
If you're a Star Wars fan, you know that The Force Awakens is on the horizon, and you're probably excited. What you might have not heard about just yet, is that there's another Star Wars title, a game, that has come out recently. In an attempt to wet your whistle in the same manner as Fallout Shelter did, Star Wars: Uprising was released with the intention of providing a bit of extra fuel for the hype-train before The Force Awakens.
Ultra-cute game has you hopping from car to car to top your best score
We've talked about Orisinal games before around these parts, noting that they're often adorable games that end up being quite difficult to get the hang of. We had said previously that some of the games were better suited for players looking for a challenge, and that casual gamers need not apply. If you're looking for something a little more forgiving, we've got a great arcade game from Orisinal, called Sunny Day Sky.