For those who have ever taken a Spanish or French class, you know that language learning can not only be a bore, but very challenging. But the rewards of speaking many languages exceed just that of being fluent in more than one tongue.

So, when I first stumbled upon Duolingo about two years ago, I was very interested. While I don’t remember how I exactly discovered the service, I do know that I am glad that I found it. And today, I’ll be reviewing its iPad app, which was released just this summer. Find out what makes Duolingo so great right after the jump.

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VLC has had a turbulent history on iOS, having already been released before being removed due to a disagreement on the compatibility of VLC’s open-source development with the licensing and DRM that Apple places upon all apps listed on the App Store.

After an absence of a couple of years, VLC is now back in the App Store but this time, it’s here to stay. Let’s take a look at one of the most popular cross-platform media playback apps, now available on iOS.

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For the computer artist, pixels are the medium of choice. They provide every simulated brushstroke, every subtlety of shading, and every colour on the digital palette. Yet, in the majority of modern digital art, pixels are barely visible, much in the same way that individual particles of dyed water are imperceptible when spread across a canvas.

This wasn’t always the case. Once upon a time, individual pixels played a major role in the overall look of a picture. Initially, this was due to the very limited graphical computing power of which early home computers were capable, particularly when such artworks were used together in games, but it was later adopted as a style of digital art in its own right. It was called pixel art.

To this day, pixel art is popular, both for its bright colour schemes, and for its games-related retro coolness. If you find, as I do, that a 16-pixel Mario or Sonic provides irrational visual appeal, then you’ll be pleased to read about Pixaki, a new pixel art creation studio on iPad, retailing at $6.99. Packing retro console template sizes and PSD output, Pixaki is billed as being a professional-level offering. But can a touchscreen app really improve on the pleasing, inherent simplicity of pixel artistry?

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If you actually stop and think about it, the iPhone and iPad has replaced the need for, well, almost everything really. Books, music, photographs, games, satellite navigation… it is all there, packed inside a device as little as half the size of a paperback novel. But can an iPhone or iPad replace the humble Moleskine, an iconic notebook used by people like Vincent van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway since the 19th Century, with Moleskine Journal? Let’s find out!

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I’ve reviewed a lot of calendar apps in the past six months. I like to think of them as one of the trends in design, particularly since Apple’s own app seems so disregarded at this point. Ever since Twitter started shutting the doors on third-party developers, it seems like weather and calendar apps have been the “it” things to build.

Most of the development is happening with iPhones, and there are some truly great apps to be had on that side of the iOS playing field. With the iPad though, I hadn’t tried anything that really did much for me. Most of them were boring visually and dry as far as features go. But that all changed recently with Calendars 5 for iPad, the new app from the visionaries over at Readdle.

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This month of Foodie Fridays is all about apps that make it easier to gather round the table as a family. I’ve issued a challenge: make a goal to cook supper at home five nights a week. Autumn is the perfect time to start fresh, creating a new routine. The key to success: keep it simple. This isn’t about fancy recipes with long lists of ingredients and complex steps. It’s about getting dinner on the table fast, everyone in the family pitching in and maybe even having fun.

Last Friday, I encouraged you to make a fresh start with The Photo Cookbook – Simple & Delicious. We’re taking baby steps in the right direction, beginning with a collection of basic recipes for busy people who don’t necessarily love to cook but want to avoid ordering takeout. This week I’ve selected BBC Good Food Quick Recipes, which offers more creative dishes featuring global cuisines. Keep reading to find out how this app can help you continue your new routine with quick, easy, flavorful meals.

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Professional and at-home DJs have been offering praise for djay throughout its evolution from freeware to an app. But it’s not one to rest on its laurels. Djay 2, its latest evolution, has just been released with enhancements that make it even easier to use on the fly at the club or in the privacy of your own home.

But is easier necessarily better? Are more gimmicks a boon or a bane to what is typically a simple-to-use app? Find out after the jump.
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In our last couple articles in our series on the iPad and Professionals, we’ve been looking at photographers/artists and filmmakers. This week, I’m going to take as in-depth a look as possible on the iPad and musicians.

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The original Reeder was widely regarded as the best feed reader on the iPad, something we wholeheartedly agreed with in our Reeder for iPad review. Unfortunately, Google Reader was shut down earlier this year which not only forced its users to find a replacement platform but also had developers scrambling to update their apps.

Silvio Rizzi, the developer of Reeder, wanted to ensure that any update to one of the most popular RSS apps wasn’t just a rushed job, taking the decision to pull the iPad version from the App Store until an all-new app was ready with support for multiple services. Whilst Reeder for iPhone gained some support for other services, Reeder for iPad required a complete rewrite, something that would wait until the next version.

Well, Reeder is back in the App Store with an all-new app for both iPad and iPhone. Does absence really make the heart grow fonder or has Reeder been gone too long?

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Back in the days where MySpace was the king of social networks, Digg was the news aggregator sites. But competition from sites such as Reddit began to draw users away from Digg and their disastrous re-launch in 2008, known as Digg v4, would be their undoing.

But since then, Digg has undergone somewhat of a renaissance under the watchful eye of Betaworks and has completely changed and, whilst its core values remain unchanged, this is not the same service we’ve used before. Add to that their brand-new RSS service that was released shortly after Google discontinued their Reader platform and you have the makings of a truly remarkable content aggregator.

As Digg now offers two services, content curation and RSS, we put Digg for iPad through its paces to see if it can truly be a one-stop source for all your news and content consumption.

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