Flexibits, developers of the excellent Fantastical app for Mac OS (my favorite calendar app by far on the Mac thanks to its beautiful and unobtrusive design), has finally released the long-awaited Fantastical for iPhone. What makes Fantastical special? For starters, its natural language engine rocks, and this feature has made its way on to the iPhone. So you can type (or dictate if your iDevice supports it) events like “Have lunch with Bob at 123 Awesome blvd. next Monday at 1pm” and the app will enter all the appropriate details for you. In addition, Fantastical’s unique DayTicker UI makes it a breeze to view your past/upcoming schedule at a glance.
One sign that you’re getting older is when things you remember from your childhood start having their 30th anniversaries. Such is the case for me and the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series. Granted I was only 10 when the first one debuted, but you get my drift. In this year that marks the third decade of the series’ existence the man himself, Ian Livingstone, has penned a new entry called Blood of the Zombies. Thanks to Tin Man Games we can enjoy this milestone adventure on our iOS devices, and enjoy is being quite conservative. I’d say this is probably one of the best electronic gamebook adventures yet.
When it comes to iPhone cases that offer the most protection, Otterbox’s Defender series cases are among some of most popular. From the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 5, the Defender has no doubt saved countless devices from accidental falls and drops. Slim and elegant it is not, but it’s added bulk and built-in screen protector will give users even more peace of mind – especially when it comes to the iPhone 5, a beautifully crafted phone whose sides are highly prone to scuffs and scratches.
A couple of years ago apps that remembered your business cards and scanned your papers were the rage. It’s not so much that time has changed, it’s that the smartphone really is a computer replacement. Now, the haphazard storing of files in Notes and pictures doesn’t cut it. Lunabee Pte. ltd., makers of oneSafe, seem to think so. And after a over month of use (yep, rather overtime this review is), I think so, too.
I first tasted of the intrigue that Phosphor Games could produce as I wandered the creepy halls of Dark Meadow. It had its issues, but overall it was a captivating game with wild creatures and a unique control scheme. That was, of course, until I played Infinity Blade and realized that I had suffered Déjà Vu in reverse. Now Phosphor Games has released Horn, and while the fantasy theme is reminiscent of Infinity Blade, it actually has a lot more to it then either of the aforementioned games in terms of things to do besides combat. At first I was a bit skeptical about it just because I was afraid it would be a clone of the Chair Entertainment Group’s franchise, but every time I load up Horn I manage to get lost in its mystery and grandeur.
The concept of combining the RPG with match 3 mechanics seems to be pretty popular, though few entries come close to either Puzzle Quest for a more hardcore experience or Dungeon Raid for the casual folks. Still, many of the options at least offer a few things that make them worth giving a chace, and Dungeon Story is no exception. While there are no quests to speak of, it’s more persistent than Dungeon Raid in that you can build up your character between plays. It still provides a more casual experience than Puzzle Quest, however, because even if you get “stuck” in a dungeon all you have to remember between sessions is that when you come back there is another monster to fight.
With the release of the iPad mini, Apple has finally entered the small tablet market. Much has changed since the first iPad ushered in a new era of mobile computing, as tablets like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD have become even more portable, with higher resolution displays to boot.
And so with great expectations, it’s somewhat strange to find the mini to be one of the most polarizing Apple iDevices ever. It’s beautifully crafted, extremely light and fun to use, and yet, it also houses the same A5 processor from the iPad 2 and a display with a resolution of just 1024 x 768 pixels . That said, after a week of using the mini, these initial concerns have been put to rest and I’ve come to love this 7.9-inch iPad.
Heir Audio’s youngest children have been thrust into the thick of a do-or-die competition. Custom earphone manufacturers are pounding with exceeding energy toward the lucrative – and showy – universal earphone market. I see no end in sight – and to be honest, that is a good thing. Technology handed down from top-flight customs is good stuff. Heir Audio’s 3.Ai and 4.Ai carry the goods inherited from their more expensive, custom siblings.
Several months ago, I accidentally dropped my iPad 3 on the ground as the Smart Cover I was holding detached itself from the tablet. Sadly, the screen got banged up and several inches of scratch marks were made. Thankfully Apple replaced it for free and gave me a brand new iPad – this despite not having the extended AppleCare+ warranty. Now if I had bothered putting on a worthy screen protector, the iPad’s display wouldn’t have been damaged in the first place. Since then, I’ve gone through several brands (mostly the cheap ones), though all of them left much to be desired for one reason or another. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. That’s when I decided to finally skip the junk and try out some of the “premium” screen protectors out there, like the hugely popular ZAGG invisibleSHIELDs. In particular, the invisibleSHIELD Extreme for the iPhone 5 and High Definition shield for the iPad 3/4.
Besides using my iPad 3 for surfing the web, working on TMA articles when I’m on the road or watching movies/TV shows, I love my PDF apps for reading ebooks, documents and magazines. For the longest time, my two favorite have been the ever reliable GoodReader and PDF Expert. However, I recently came across a lesser known app in the crowded genre by Com-Tec-Co - PDF Cabinet - and it’s quickly won me over. Not only is it well designed, but it’s also got one of the most intuitive and easy to use annotations interface I’ve come across.