Google Maps, hands down the best maps app for iOS, has received its first update and users now have better integration with their Google contacts. Upon signing in with v1.1 of the Maps app, any saved addresses on your Google account will show up when you look up the name of a friend of family member. This makes it easier to find driving directions to your contact’s address, of course provided that you’ve already entered their details beforehand. To help distinguish between search results of names you’ve typed in, your saved contacts will show up with a person icon to the left, while general results with a similar names will have a magnifying glass icon beside it. Currently, Google Contacts search only works with regular Google email accounts, and is not available for Enterprise Apps accounts.
To celebrate over 300 million copies on Android and iOS Devices, Polaris Office has dropped in price from $19.99 to $3.99 for iOS (though it’s been on sale at $12.99). A solid office suite that’s improved over various updates (the latest adding iPhone 5 support), Polaris lets you view and edit Microsoft Office documents like Word, Excel and Powerpoint on the iPhone and iPad. The main cloud storage services – Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.net – are also supported, so you can access your files just about anywhere. The price drop is good for 3 days, until March 7th, so you still have plenty of time to pick up this universal app up at a steep discount.
Infinite Dreams’ Let’s create! Pottery HD (makers of iQuarium and Jelly Defense) has already been downloaded 5 million times and is widely considered one of the more unique experiences on the App Store. Not only can you create virtual pottery, but now thanks to a partnership with Sculpteo and their innovative 3D printing technology, users can finally turn their works of art into real objects.
When I was in high school I spent a lot of time playing games like Bard’s Tale and Might & Magic (back when they were RPGs and not strategy games). After spending some time with QuestLord I remembered why I used to like these games so much. Sure 3D open ended worlds are nifty – I guess – and there’s no question that action / RPGs have their place in this fast paced mobile world. Still, there’s something to be said about old fashioned tile based world exploration, and it manages to engross me just about every time. QuestLord is no exception to that rule.
Sporos is one of those games that makes you wonder why they haven’t done something like it before. The game is like a chain reaction puzzler except that instead of trying to destroy objects and clear the board you’re attempting to fill the board with the few objects you’re given. It’s a clever take on the genre, and if it’s been done before I must have missed it. Whatever the case I’m glad I’ve been introduced to the idea now, and Sporos is certainly a great starting point for getting acquainted with this type of gameplay.
This past week was a great one for games, which correlates nicely with the fact that the impending snowstorm where I live will make it feel a lot like Christmas. One project I found rather interesting was The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain: Lost Chapters. This “sequel” to the 30 year old Gamebook was apparently officially sanctioned by the authors of the original tale, which is definitely a selling point. Unfortunately the game isn’t really ready for prime time yet, but I’ll be eagerly watching its progress. On the other hand, Alone In The Gloom 2 was a nice surprise and a worthy follow-up to the first installment. You once again must help a little critter escape a multitude of caverns, but your only “guiding light” is a flicker of lightening at the beginning of the level to show you the cave’s entire layout. If you’re tired of the infinite runner (and my constant babbling about them), you might appreciate Mr Jabbs: Epic Waste Of Time. Sure there is running and jumping, but you can also warp into many hilarious situations that sound like entertaining mini-games.
With the new year well underway, and, many people excited about this year’s new health and fitness resolutions, I thought it would be a good idea to review a wonderful gem found in the App Store. When it comes to staying fit, our gadgets and some well chosen apps can actually give us the edge or the push needed to reach higher levels of athletic performance. If, like me, your goal is to attain better overall health while using an app that’s not going to break the bank on your iDevice — and having fun at the same time — you must read on. I completed some intensive testing of an app called ‘MyFitnessPal‘, which integrates both nutritional and physical performance metrics, turning your iPhone or iPad into a powerful training tool.
I’m all for the latest trends in technology. In the end, though, I just want my games to be fun. If there’s one thing the METAL SLUG series has proven over and over again it’s that you don’t need the latest 3D accelerated graphics or quad core processor to make an enjoyable game. In fact, as a whole it seems like ports of older games provide some of the most intense scrolling shooter experiences available on the iOS platform. Besides, there’s something about awesome pixel art and classic 90’s video game tunes that’s hard to beat these days.
This week had a lot of titles that were both entertaining and cute, starting with the new puzzler Goats and Gadgets. Your task in each of the 40 levels is to get one goat to the desired apple, mastering all the different gadgets at your disposal and dealing with things like yetis and trolls. If platform action is more your style you might want to give Burt Destruction a shot. Spending just a little bit of time with this game was enough to realize the developers have some familiarity with classic platforming romps, and the sense of humor is actually quite funny. Now if you want something that’s just downright silly the Bunny Hill is the game for you. This 2D side view racer takes place between a bunch of cube shaped animals, and while there’s really not a whole lot to it before long you’ll find yourself tilting your device in a vein attempt to make your rabbit go faster.
While iOS’ autocorrect feature is fairly competent, there are undoubtedly times when users have wished that its text prediction was much improved. Enter Fleksy, the iOS app released last year where the developers called it the “most powerful text prediction engine out there”, has been embraced by thousands of users who are able to type on their iPhones and iPads without having to even look at the keyboard. The app was after all designed with the visually impair in mind. With its most recent update (new gestures, new menu and increased accuracy), the devs have also announced that the app has gone free (the full version was previously $4.99) – now and forever.