Take a 15 by 15 grid and add one hundred tiles, each with a letter (excepting two blanks), whose distribution and point values were determined by performing frequency analysis from sources including the New York Times. What you have is a 75-year old word game, Scrabble®, that is the world’s second-best selling board game after Monopoly®. It is estimated that one-third of American homes has a Scrabble board.

It’s been one of the best-selling on iOS devices, since it was introduced, maintaining a position usually within the top 50 best selling apps. And now it has received a major revamp.

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If an iPad is Apple’s post-PC platform of choice, it will have to be capable of completing tasks of every type. Certain activities, such as photo and video manipulation, are well-suited to the iPad’s fluid UI and direct interaction methods.

Other areas are something of a different story. For example, there is still no outstanding way to manipulate, organize, and share numerical data. The simplistic extreme of this is something like Calcbot, which makes it easy to do rather trivial mathematical operations, and then copy those to the clipboard to share via iOS’ built-in copy/paste functionality.

Calca is a step beyond this, but not quite a dedicated spreadsheet program: it leaves out most of the organization features. Instead, Calca focuses on the manipulation and sharing of data. (more…)

Squareboard is a most unusual app that is a new take on organising your life. Sometimes the things we need to note down, buy, schedule or purchase just don’t fit into a neatly ordered list. Squareboard offers us a way to quickly record an item into a square, associate it with a category and add further detail or a photo.

Having each item in a square (or rectangle) allows you to get a quick overview of many tasks in a single glance. You can also freely re-arrange items using simple drag-and-drop gestures. It really is great fun and a novel way to increase your productivity. It offers the ability to group together items of similar interest and then quickly re-organise should your plans change. Take a closer look after the jump.
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I feel dumb. A constant diet of internet memes and cat videos has done nothing to expand my mind over the last couple of years, and my time in school, when my brain was really active, is seeming further and further in the past. I’m worried if I don’t give my brain a workout, it’s not going to be good for anything anymore.

Lumosity wants to fix that, with lots of exercises and metrics to show me what’s happening with my cognitive skills. Can my brain make a comeback or has the damage gone too far? (more…)

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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