Yikes, what memories flood back to this 30 year old as Rare Metal’s screens slide by my eyes. I used to be a car guy way back in 1988 (I was nine years old). I’d sit up all night looking over pictures of the then-new Ferrari F40 and Porsche 950, and dream. Geez, well Black Ice Applications (fitting don’t you think?) have just rolled out (oh the puns) Rare Metal, a puzzler for car geeks, and it looks good. Hell, combine cool metal with any puzzle game and it’s all good, but with a slide puzzle? the sort you carried around between two dirty thumbs as a child? It’s all reaaaaaaal good! This 0.99$ app features seven cars and 5 levels of difficulty. Woot!
Black Ice Applications, Rare Metal, 3.84MB – $0.99
Tobias Thomsch may be an artist, but his business sense is keen. Cervo Media hooked up with Tobias in outing Magic Pictures HD, an entertainment app that gets you in touch with art and the artist. I’ve been playing around with Magic Pictures HD for a few days and have formed a very terse opinion of it as a unique, if quieting digital experience.
The Android Marketplace has real success stories such as Aaron La’s Advanced Task Manager; its open slant gives opportunity to many developers who can’t afford a Mac to join a huge market place. Every day, Android grows, and barring the all-out success of Windows Phone 7, it is destined to remain at the top, at least as market share leader. But, all is not well.
According to the Reg, Google’s hands-off approach allows its Marketplace to drown in oceans of porn just as the App Store was chocked by useless apps (fart and flashlight) in its early days. There is another negative effect: piracy. Despite the fact that the average selling price for Android apps is less than their iPhone, developers are strangled by app pilfering. The net result is that 49% of Android developers are making less than they expected and only 27% making more than they expected. Again, there is no question that Android is the market leader. For developers, it is an attractive platform. But it isn’t the heaven and spice that disgruntled iPhone developers may think it is. Google needs to adapt to keep its most important customer, the developer, happy. Happy, loaded developers make great apps. Currently iPhone Development, while a lot more controlled, has a friendlier, more lucrative face; it also tends to sport much more high quality apps.
Ongoing’s Tim Bray wonders how Samsung did it. They managed to launch the Galaxy line of Android smart phones around the world on almost every carrier of note. That IS a significant feat, especially considering Apple’s comparatively meagre iPhone 4 rollout, but it is insignificant if you put it into perspective. Firstly, adapting Android to any piece of hardware is easy. And if you own pretty much every piece of mobile hardware as Samsung does, it is even easier. Secondly, Samsung’s revenues put it in the top ~30 of the world’s largest GDP’s. Samsung are richer than most countries in the world. They are by far, the largest conglomerate in the world. How hard is it for them to get their grungy phones to carriers across the world? For a company that dips its enormous fingers into almost every country (legal or not) and still has the resources to personally attack ordinary citizens, not hard at all (TWSS).
They’re building the tallest building in the world; getting a measly piece of plastic and glass into the hands millions of customers is easy. Of course, Samsung also have a knack for screwing up design, mucking up UI, and forgetting to slip chargers or cables with their phones. So, while Samsung’s Galaxy may by numbers become the biggest Android name out, it will more likely than not, line the bargain bins as another piece of shoddy work. Don’t look to Samsung to show the world how to make a good Android phone, only look to them to show how to make the most circulated, cheap piece of plastic with an ‘Android’ label.
It’s no shame on me to love spot-the-difference titles. And it’s no shame on me to say that Dreams HD is one of the best in the business of spotting the difference. What it’s got going for it: hand-drawn scenes, serene music, lots and lots of differences to spot, and enough levels, is charming to say the least. You don’t have to fuddle with strange FindIT interfaces or waste time zooming in and out endlessly. There are several difficulty settings that will help you enjoy the same levels again and again as indeed, you rarely will play the same level in exactly the same way.
More after the gap:
Flash video alert: Notre Dame students getting used to Apple’s iPad in the classroom. I have no idea what they are using it for, or if the ‘organic’ professor even knows what an iPad is for, but thanks TeleRead
Get over it Fanbois, you can’t separate your favourite product from the pile of others. Security this, security that, market penetration, user base – irrelevant to proving which product is ‘better’. Want to talk about app numbers? About OEM growth? Go ahead. But no matter how you crack it, you’ll only prove one point: that you are capable of only proving one-sided points.
In this article, I will aimlessly rail on the sort of clueless fanbois blogger we see around the net.
Canadian Science Fiction giant, Cory Doctorow, has put up a nice piece about why Apple and Sony suck. Rather than getting into boring techie talk, he very stealthily opines as a writer who longs for a DRM-less world, one where users can share, buy, borrow, and lend digital content as easily as they do non-digital content. As a content creator, his is a unique and important viewpoint that clashes directly with antiquated pro-Bono business models. Doctorow’s body of science fiction is captivatingly modern and so too are his finger-to-the-man opinions that hopefully, will help change the way digital books are circulated.
With year-end holidays approaching, it is high time Apple’s competitors to finally hit the copy button. ViewSonic have a nice looking, ‘seen it before’ tablet coming… sometime soon. It will sport Android (or Windows), expandable memory, dual cameras and a USB port. In other words, it is the same exact same thing you’ll get from LG, HP, from Dell, from Toshiba, and myriad other manufacturers. Expect this copy-cat solution to be fun for a good old-fashioned Apple haters, but worthless on its own merits.
There is one in my house, a beautiful 13 slab of aluminium and glass that flexes even less than MIT’s champion chess team. Well, that perfect sexiness might make it to Apple’s 4th generation iPod touch. Currently, the iPod touch uses a rounded shiny (and easily scratched) steel back. Apple’s 2010 iPod event is only days away and we expect rumours of the new back, dual cameras, FaceTime, and zippy new iPhone 4 internals to be corroborated.
iLounge shed some light on the new iPod touch:
…Familiar. Think of the top of a MacBook Pro, only smaller, which is to say flat rather than curved at the center—closer to the look of the first-generation iPod touch’s back, only with modifications. The rear camera is there, but there is still some question as to whether what’s next to it will be a LED flash like the one in the iPhone 4, or a microphone like the one next to the video camera of the iPod nano. We’ve been told to expect a microphone rather than a flash, with a continuation of the bottom-mounted headphone port and Dock Connector port.
iLounge also mention the above cases: one for the upcoming iPod nano refresh and for the new iPod touch. The new nano may sport a darling 3cm*3cm screen and shave over half its size. Something in me wonders if the shuffle will be retired.