2012 was the first year I really started taking iOS games seriously, and the first I found the device a life saver for gaming over long subway rides and vacation trips. A lot of great titles were released, and as usual Touch Arcade has a great handle on what stood out. (I still find Punch Quest and Pinball Arcade monopolizing far more time than I expected.)
I generally dislike iOS third party apps that mirror or attempt a slight tweak on good Apple default system apps like Music or the Alarm Clock. Yet this new app by Simple Bots is awesome. It’s pretty and has slick gestures, but the key advantage here is speed. I can set my morning alarm in about 10 seconds: a swipe up or down followed by a quick pull to the left and I’m done.
I’m pretty hooked on a workflow of plain text lists synced with Dropbox. That said, Clear for iPhone is pretty slick and now that they actually will be introducing syncing via the Mac…it looks a bit tempting. Available next week on the Mac App Store.
Mobile gaming on devices like the iPad and iPhone will (or already has?) supplanted consoles as the flagship, mainstream gaming device going forward. That’s what makes this podcast episode of BYOT (Bring Your Own Topic) so interesting. The very knowledgable Dan Hsu sits down with Andy Yang and Gabe Leydon, two experts in the mobile gaming sphere. Lots of talk about monetization, free to play and more.
Loren Brichter’s Atebits just released this fun word game in the App Store last night. As The Verge put it earlier today, it’s “an amorphous Words With Friends“. You’ve got a five by five grid where you pick letters, making it kinda like Scrabble, but also there’s a conquest Reversi-like strategy where you can surround and “lock down” letters, shutting their access away from your opponent.
It’s a free download, with a buck unlock to play multiple games and visual themes. Really slick UI and from what little I’ve played I hope it ends up being a huge hit.
The first thing will be an app and that app will be a game. Can’t wait to share it with you.
Lauren created the popular iPhone Twitter client Tweetie, one of the most influential, slickest made apps I’ve ever used. His company Atebits was acquired by Twitter in 2010, but eventually they parted ways.
Now he’s back, but with a game? Bit of a surprise choice, but I can’t wait to see what it looks like.
The always reliable design firm Teehan+Lax have released a new psd that contains all core elements from iOS 6 along with a great looking iPhone 5 shell. I’ve used Teehan+Lax’s work repeatedly in the past for my own design ideas. They are always very well organized, critical for psds of this size.
I’ve written off most tech opinions on the new iPhone 5 camera because they aren’t written by photography professionals. Granted, it’s clearly better than the 4S, but how does it realistically stack up against a dedicated point and shoot? That’s exactly why DP Review’s recent look at the phone’s camera matters: you get their usual rigorous studio tests and the attention to detail you rarely find elsewhere. (There’s a reason that when it comes to new DSLR releases DP Review is pretty much the review benchmark.)
Checkmark is a location-based reminder iPhone app. True, ever since iOS 5 and Siri we’ve had the ability to add simplistic reminders via Apple’s built in apps. Yet entering a new reminder remains cumbersome. That’s where Checkmark shines – a new reminder is three quick taps away, and the UI is clean and easily digestible.
It’s currently $2 in the App Store. If you occasionally need quick reminders when you leave/arrive at work or home, it’s a good buy.
Major credit to the Apple CEO here: this is a flat out apology. No wiggle room, no “we’re sorry you feel this way”. And then there’s this:
While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.
Apple, naming five competitors as acceptable alternatives? Wow. I’m not a fan of revisionist history, but I doubt we’d see this candor during the Steve Jobs era.