Yep, it’s that time of the year again. Hundreds and thousands of students around the world have graduated from high school and are currently loading up their parents’ cars almost to bursting point, raiding the kitchen cupboards for tins of soup and instant noodles and shipping off to either college or university, depending on which part of the world you’re from. It’s a difficult time for a lot of people but I believe university really marks the second stage in your life when you lave home, brush up on both your ironing and social skills, and discover what kind of a person you really are.

Besides the countless things you’ve got to think about, there’s one thing that is worth considering — should I get a new computer for university? There are hundreds of great deals out there for students looking to buy a new computer for their studies (including Apple’s very own, and very generous, education discount) but I believe that an iPad should be your essential purchase for university. As a recent graduate and proud iPad owner, I can truly say that I wouldn’t have survived college with one, and I found it indispensable on so many different occasions.

Here’s why.

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Are you a fan of A Beautiful Mess? No, I am not referring to that time your toddler decided to transform your living room wall into a Crayola mural when you turned your back for five minutes. I am talking about the oh-so-popular lifestyle blog written by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.

Fan or not, A Beautiful Mess has recently launched an app of the same name, designed to beautify your photographs without having to spend hours post-processing. Click “more” to read on.

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Hopefully you’ve been keeping pace with our new Secondary Pythonista series. In our last article we were presented with the project brief for our script. This kind of brief, some sort of starting point, is essential to creating a good script. Without a sense of direction, without a clear goal in mind, the script will be aimless, essentially useless, and may never end up being completed to any functional degree.

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Finally, after a three-year wait, Plants vs. Zombies 2 has landed on the iOS platform, albeit in freemium form. Needless to say, as a longtime fan of the series, I woke up at the crack of dawn and got stuck in, and I am happy to report that I was not disappointed. In fact, the game has even exceeded my (very high) expectations!

For those of you who have seemingly been living under a rock for the past half-decade, Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defence game in which you must protect your home from a zombie invasion using nothing but, erm, plants. Intrigued? Hit the jump to find out more!

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Passionate cooks are always looking to learn something new — a clever tip for chopping onions without tears, a silkier mashed potato or how to really know when that steak is cooked perfectly. Cookbook apps are evolving on iPad to really help home cooks learn new techniques and be more efficient in the kitchen. The competition is getting stiff, and innovators are quickly leaving mediocre apps in their dust.

The Cooks Encyclopedia is a lofty title for an app, creating high expectations of the ultimate cookery book. This collection of 350 recipes by Michelin starred Chef Patrik Jaros and renowned photographer Günter Beer declares it “takes the reader by the hand and teaches the many techniques that the world’s great chefs have mastered.” Using more than 3,400 step-by-step photos and preparations outlined “in depth” the app hopes to provide a “complete, professional guide to shopping for and creating meals, from simple omelets to three star dishes.”

How many Michelin stars do I award The Cooks Encyclopedia? Keep reading to find out.

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When it comes to Markdown editors, iPad users are pretty much spoilt for choice. From Byword to iA Writer, there’s something for almost everyone and each app boasts a myriad of features that makes choosing one a pretty lacklustre affair. I personally use Drafts when I’m working on my iPad, as I can use it for both scribbling down a quick note and typing a longer document and I’ve been a four-month relationship with Ulysses III on my Mac, which is simply awesome — I do pretty much all my writing on there.

So, you’d probably guess that when a new Markdown editor comes along, I don’t get that excited, right? Yes, that’s right, but there was a certain amount of mystery surrounding the release of Editorial. Federico Viticci has had his hands on the beta for quite some time now, and the developer Ole Zorn released a few pretty awesome-looking screenshots as well, which really started the wheel turning. Now, the final version is out — and it’s mighty impressive. Editorial has now become the Markdown editor on the iPad — and here’s why.

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With school coming up just around the corner, it is important to have all the tools you might possibly need for the next school year. Nowadays, many students use iPads as a tool in their studies, and for good reason: the iPad has a wealth of amazing apps for education. The following is a roundup of iPad apps that are geared toward, but not limited to, high school students. Find out which apps students can’t miss after the jump.

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IK Multimedia wants to bring music creation into the mobile world, and its suite of apps and gear is a fine step in the right direction. I say step, it’s worth noting, because neither the apps nor the hardware I’ve been testing over the past few weeks manage to produce the full package.

But it’s a great start, and much of what we’re about to discuss would suit both professional musicians, journalists, podcasters, and DJs doing some light work on the road and hobbyists or amateurs on a budget or just dabbling in audio production.

I’ll be running through most of the IK Multimedia apps for Android and iPad, while touching on a few worthy competitors and alternatives, and weighing in on the hardware I was sent for review — the iRig Mic Cast, iRig Mix, iRig Pre, and iRig Mic. First, let’s look at the gear.
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I’m on a lot of social networks, partially because I do a lot of work in the tech industry, and partially because I use my work in the tech industry as an excuse to be on a lot of social networks. When it comes down to it, though, I’m on the networks for two reasons. The first is so I can keep up with my friends and be jealous of their lives — especially thanks to Instagram, where I can see my one friend had a pulled pork sandwich for lunch at one of my favourite restaurants while I had peanut butter on toast and a banana. The other real reason I’m on social networks, at this point, is to keep up with the news.

Twitter and App.net are good at both, but both can be difficult to keep up with. That’s why I was really interested to see App.news, an aggregator of the links being shared on App.net. It skips all the chatter and just puts together a feed of articles — think of it as a sort-of RSS Reader for App.net. Is it worth your time? Read on to find out.

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Tetris is an insanely popular franchise and I’d happily bet that you’ve played the game in some shape or form during your time on Earth. One of the newest reboots on the classic game formula is Tetris Blitz, a two-minute take of the classic game of clearing lines.

Tetris Blitz‘s two minute games are a race for points, awarded by clearing lines, that’ll earn you a place on the app’s virtual leaderboard. It’s very much a freemium app, though, so while the app will often beg for cash, when you do invest you’ll be rewarded with unique powerups that offer a new way to play. Let’s dive in and take a look! (more…)

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