July 26, 2009
37,000 places to go (I’m now 11,000th)
We’ll meet again, “Hell420”, oh yes.
A successful addiction formula:
- Gameplay is simple to learn but with plenty to master, and always satisfying;
- Games often take under a minute and are quick to restart, so it’s very easy to say “one more go”;
- it’s loaded with achievements and other ways of scoring Golden Balls (ahem), the game currency, which buy effective upgrades for your customizable avatar.
- Very quick and simple internet matchup play, with added flavour of international rivalry.
In short, you are doomed to play this.
Add me to your rival list : Yodeler, riding high at #11,365 in the world rankings.
Buy now, it’s only 0.59p today (store link).
App website at Com2uS
July 23, 2009
Is there an itch that the iPhone app store cannot scratch? Looking for the music from Raising Arizona, I went off on a Google fugue that led me to this gem of an app: U 2 can Yodel.
The app takes you through a detailed yodeling tutorial, including a record-and-playback feature, then on to a “yodeloke” where you can sing along with a professional yodeler, and a free-style section.
The app is highly usable and very engaging, largely thanks to the charming animated backdrops and easter eggs (well, egg).
Yodeling is supplied by Kerry Christensen, Master Yodeller (who has a CD by the same name). I’m not an expert on yodeling, but boy, he sure can yodel.
There has to be a fascinating back-story to this app, particularly since it is free – the production values are so high that this must either be:
- a “free for a while” app – until yodeling becomes a world-wide craze and they can charge mad bank for it;
- secretly financed by a Swiss yodeling / illuminati cabal intent on world domination via yodel-mediated sonic mind control.
Don’t be disappointed that it isn’t Bono in leiderhosen yodeling – this is even better.
Tested on: iPhone 3Gs || Price: Free.
Rating: it’s yo-de-lo-dee-yo-dee-lo-de-licious! Recommended.
ps: the owner is listed as http://playvisions.com – who don’t mention it on their site, but who do have awesome toys. The developers are www.substantial.com, who clearly know how to make an app engaging – one to watch out for.
Bonus yodel video feat. Kerry Christiensen:
July 22, 2009
Update: I don’t know why but the images keep vanishing from this post. If you can’t see any pics of the app in action, then just imaging some things, with beards on them, in a fairly convincing way.
When it comes to iPhone-enabled novelty facial topiary, there is only one serious choice: BeardMe.
The app features 32 mustache and beard styles that you can overlay on a new or library photo, and a range of colours, stylings, and photographic effects (sepia, B&W).
The positioning and rotating controls are pretty intuitive, and surprisingly deep – there’s a set of perspective tools included that should mean that you can match your ‘tasch to pretty much any face at any angle. I found them a bit fiddly, but worth persevering with if you want a high-quality effect.
- It’s subtle enough to be missed much of the time, but the app puts a watermark on all pictures (“BeardMe” in the lower right corner) – I can excuse that in free camera apps, but I don’t expect it in paid apps.
- The gorgeous interface design is inexplicably let down at the “email picture screen” (very minor niggle).
Quote from the BeardMe product page:
In a matter of seconds, give your child the political savvy of Theodore Roosevelt or your cat the historical prominence of Frank Zappa. Bestow on your grandmother the infectious gusto and zest of beloved movie critic Gene Shalit or on your roommate the pulsating star power of actor Billy Dee Williams.
Tested on: 3G, 3GS. || Price: 0.59p, or 0.99c
Developer Site: beardme.com ||Buy from: Apple iTunes Store link
Our Rating: 5/5: Hard to see how this could be bettered. || App store score: Not Yet Rated
June 22, 2009
SmallTalk is for people with Aphasia – an impairment to your ability to speak, commonly brought on by a stroke.
The main feature is the visual glossary, a set of every-day terms rendered as cartoons – enabling the user to communicate at a very basic level, such as asking for food or saying hello.
Additionally there is a set of videos of mouth-positions for self-practice, which is part of the rehabilitation program for stroke patients.
Notes: the main list of terms and icons is pretty easy to navigate – the list is not long enough to require a category or menu system.
There is one major navigation flaw, in that once you have launched the videos or the glossary, you cannot return to the start screen – you must exit and relaunch the application.
Verdict: this is more like an advert for the full Lingraphica product rather than something for day-to-day use – the list of terms could be much longer, and sorted into categories.
Version: 1.0 | Size: 23MB (due to video content)
iTunes: Small Talk for Aphasia, Free.
Review by: JimbobC
June 21, 2009
I wanted a simple app for determining the colour values of things I photograph, so I could steal colours from nature to use in web designs.
I wasted a bit of time with Think Ink (free) but it doesn’t do the hex values, and keeps trying to sell me “Neenah paper”, whatever that is.
Although intended primarily for colour-blind users, I’ve found that ColourBlind Avenger does exactly what I want, simply and quickly. As a bonus, it also gives you the plain English name for many shades, which is fun.
The developer describes the genesis of the app here:
The basic idea is that you can take a picture of anything and then tap anywhere on the image to get color values and more importantly color names for that point. I first found out that I’m colorblind when I colored Santa Claus brown in Kindergarden. Those darn crayons with labels torn off.
Rating: Recommended app. Excellent for people with colour-blindness, web designers, decorators.
Store link : £0.59
Developer: Brian Wardle | Version: 1.1 | Size: 0.3 MB
For extra fun, run the HEX value of your chosen colour into Kuler from Adobe, and voila, a fun swatch:
Swatch by kuler, colour by OxfordBus.Co.
Review by JimbobC
ps if you want something a bit more full-featured, for a higher price, check out cliqcliq, which looks slick.
May 31, 2009
Watch the video:
This thing looks like the most complete musical instrument (disguised as a toy) to appear so far. £1.19 seems a small price to pay for becoming the new Ray Lynch or Vangelis.
2 small problem blocking me from musical stardom:
- Sound is still broken on my phone;
- I’m crap at music.
The normalware.com website has a nice manual for the app, but sadly it does not include instructions on how to acquire musical talent. Hopefully there will be a flood of tutorial videos once this app takes over the world.
More from the app store:
Bebot is a feature-packed, polyphonic musical synthesizer with a unique multitouch control method, personified on-screen as an adorable animated robot character who moves and sings the notes while you play.
Featuring four different synthesis modes, juicy analog-sounding filters, a versatile delay/looping effect and overdrive distortion, Bebot is a full-fledged realtime synthesizer, offering a wide range of sounds and a high degree of control via the multitouch screen.
Up to four notes can be played and controlled simultaneously using multiple fingers. The note grid display, autotune system and user-programmable scales help you to play in tune with ease. Don’t just listen to your iPod music – play along! Or simply have fun making noises with your fingers, and let the cartoon robot entertain you and your friends.
Verdict: why oh why haven’t I replaced my phone yet
Version: 1.5, 1MB
iTunes store link (iTunes rating: 4 star, 100 reviews)
May 27, 2009
Jessica Sterling has just discovered a shocking, life-changing secret.
In the desert kingdom of Bha’Khar lives the family she never knew she had!
It’s a Harlequin romance novel translated into Japanese, into Manga, back to English, then ported to the iPhone.
The comic viewer takes you through the story panel by panel, panning around the larger scenes. This is a pretty smooth way of viewing comics, until you want to go back a scene and discover you cannot (well, I couldn’t).
"Gulp" indeed, Jessica
Subsequent chapters are $2.99! Someone write in and tell me the end of the thrilling story. If anyone translates some decent Manga to this format I’ll give it a look – the manga format is ideal for reading on the go. Salary Man Kintaro please?
Rating (the manga viewer, not the story): smooth, but needs clearer navigation options – or any navigation options at all. Not recommended.
Buy it: Store link
Version: 1.1 | Size: 6.9MB