The biggest problem with Apple’s products is that they keep people within a walled garden. There’s a lot of benefits to the walled garden in some cases — namely security — but there can also be annoying detractions. One example is the DRM in the iBooks app that makes it altogether impossible to read anything you purchased on anything other than an iPad (I’d love it if Apple used .mobi instead so I could put anything I purchase from them on my Kindle).
But then there are some walls in Apple’s garden that nobody likes, like Newsstand. Newsstand is one of those apps that Apple let get away. Not only are most of the magazines in Newsstand difficult to search for in its Store (Apple really needs to merge the Newsstand with the iBooks Store), but they’re also merely digital scans of paper-based media with a few hyperlinks thrown in for good measure. Newsstand’s proprietary format and wooden shelves have driven a lot of people away from the app and towards its only clear, cross-platform alternative: Zinio. (more…)
Designing a successful adventure puzzler must be akin to perfecting an art form. If the game’s too difficult, then it becomes frustrating and the player immediately sets it aside. If the game’s too easy then the player whizzes through it and never gives it another thought. So, how do developers get it just right?
I’m not sure what magic formula the team at Colibri Games is using, but they are blazing a trail for others to follow. The Tiny Bang Story HD is a perfectly challenging adventure game featuring beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, five different chapters, dozens of mini brain teasers and an immersive storyline about a Tiny Planet that fell apart after being hit by a meteor. As you solve each puzzle, you’ll help rebuild the planet. Just remember: it won’t be easy.
Click “more” to take an in-depth look.
I am ashamed to admit that I have never actually played SimCity before, despite being a longtime fan of The Sims franchise. Luckily, I had a chance to rectify this when the App Store reduced the price of SimCity Deluxe for iPad to a mere 99 cents last week, prompting a speedy download.
Originally released in 1989 for the Commodore 64, the aim of SimCity is to build and maintain a thriving city come whatever thrown your way. Have you got what it takes to be the next Mayor? Let’s find out!
Readers of the Discworld series always want more. If not, there wouldn’t be roughly a million billion books published about the goings on of the inhabitants of the Disc. Now the series has made the jump to iOS with Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork Map. How well does it stand up to the tower of books that precede it and can it satisfy Terry Pratchett’s most discerning fans?
CloudOn is a revolutionary way of working with fully-featured applications without having to install anything except for a small viewer app on your iPad. It works by using a virtual working environment — a Workspace — which links to one of several cloud-based storage providers, so none of your personal work is stored anywhere on CloudOn‘s infrastructure. You get to use your favourite cloud storage provider with all of their security protection, backup provision and so on whilst still working with industry-standard Microsoft Office 2010 and Adobe Reader, and all that right on your iPad.
That’s a pretty decent offering for a free application. Let’s take a closer look to see if it’s usable and practical working with this solution on the iPad’s tablet environment.
With the recent trend in the App Store it is surprising to see a weather app which is not following the bandwagon by making the simplest one possible. Seasonality Go breaks this trend by trying to become your weather power station. Instead of finding simple colors with a sliver of weather data and no real grasp of weather predictability, Seasonality Go provides a complete weather solution showcasing weather prediction with current weather conditions. When looking at weather apps there are always questions such as the reliability of the app and its weather data. Keep reading on to see how Seasonality Go stacked up in these crucial features.
The answer: it’s absolutely brilliant. It proves that money management apps don’t have to be boring and functional – the interface is simply stunning and although it’s not yet been optimised for the new iPad, on a retina display it looks absolutely fantastic.
Since then, Moneywiz has been tweaked and altered considerably and a couple of days ago, version 1.4 was released for all to feast their eyes on. So, in light of this, let's take another look at this fantastic money management app and see if it still lives up to that impressive 9 out of 10 rating.
There’s been a lot of press about the freemium business model recently, whereby the basic game is free but users have to pay for in-app purchases that give them extra game currency or allow them to complete levels quicker, and it seems that most game developers are progressing toward this model — EA being a notable example. The Verge recently made an interesting point about Real Racing 3, in that although it’s an enjoyable game it has been completely “ruined” by in-app purchases, as they are needed for everything and progress through the game is extremely slow.
Well, now it’s over to you. What exactly do you think of the freemium business model? Does it make gameplay more enjoyable (in that you can speed certain aspects up through purchases) or does it just rack up your iTunes bill massively? Let us know in this week’s poll on the right!
And stay tuned for iPad.AppStorm’s debate, which is coming up later this month, where we’ll look both sides of freemium games — both the good and bad (and perhaps, the ugly).
Everything that we do nowadays is somehow connected to our social networks: we get new content from Twitter, we share things on Facebook, we reblog things from Tumblr; so why not just make our iPad web browsing experience a social network in itself?
That’s where Webnote comes in. It’s a brand new iPad app that parts from the concept that everything that we do around the web is social nowadays, so why not make your browsing experience sharing-enabled? Interesting, right? Let’s check it out!
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to command your own clone army, Pixel People is just the simulation game for you especially if you’re looking for less of an army and more of a suburban town populated by industrious clones working 9 to 5, just trying to make ends meet. That’s what Pixel People gives you, with lots of humor on the side, but does the fun come thick and fast or will this sim prove to be a bit too thin on real gameplay? (more…)