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Pocket, formerly known as Read it Later, and the app I rely on for saving all the articles I come across for offline/later reading, has announced that users across various platforms have saved to Pocket over 240 million times in 2012. The most-saved article this year was “Obama’s Way,” Michael Lewis’s 13,000-word presidential portrait for Vanity Fair, while the most-saved video in Pocket was (you guessed it) Gangnam Style. Some other stats include:
- There are currently 7.4 million users of Pocket
- Users save 10.4 items per second to Pocket
- 75% of active users have connected Pocket to two or more apps or devices
- The computer is the most popular platform for viewing content in Pocket (28%), followed by Android phones (25%), iPhone (21%), iPad (16%) and Android tablets (10%)
Below is an infographic and top 10 list for the most popular ‘pocketed’ items.
The Gamebook Adventures are among some of the more underrated gaming experiences on iOS in my opinion. The choose-your-own adventure style of play, great writing, and Tin Man Games’ excellent gamebook engine have helped make each installment a satisfying one. And the latest entry into Tin Man’s growing catalog is none other than the all new Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies, written by the legendary Ian Livingstone himself. This comes 30 years after he and Steve Jackson co-authored the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
“Insane megalomaniac Gingrich Yurr is preparing to unleash an army of monstrous zombies upon the world. He must be stopped and his undead horde defeated. In this life-or-death adventure the decisions YOU make will decide the fate of the world. Can YOU survive or will YOU become a zombie too?”
After countless browser reloads on UPS’ tracking page and waiting for the UPS truck to show up, my pre-ordered iPhone 5 (Black/Slate 32GB) finally arrived on Friday afternoon. Upon opening the box like a slobbering kid in a candy store, I was greeted with a familiar looking iPhone, one that was noticeably taller, but not wider. Despite reading all the reviews online and hearing about how it’s 20% lighter, I was still taken aback by just how much lighter it actually felt in my hand. It almost felt like I was picking up an iPhone made entirely of plastic. And the fact that it’s 18% slimmer is also immediately apparent when held. All in all, the iPhone 5′s form factor is just sleek and sexy as hell. Factor in that I skipped the 4S, this was one heck of an upgrade.
A little over a month ago, Apple confirmed that YouTube would no longer be pre-installed in their new upcoming OS. “Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended. Customers can use YouTube in the safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the app store”. And with just a day to go before the iPhone 5 running iOS 6 is unveiled, the standalone YouTube app for the iPhone has been released.
Listening to audiobooks is sort of an acquired taste for some folks. I know it was for me, and it wasn’t until after experiencing several did I really begin to enjoy them. In fact, I listen to books way more than I read them nowadays, as I find it to be a great companion when I’m driving or in bed while getting my daily fix of Drop7. There are several ways of buying audiobooks for your iPhone (iTunes and Audible), though they can be expensive and do add up in cost. Enter Audiobooks.com, a site that offers unlimited audiobooks for $24.95/month. And with their recently released iOS app, you can stream or download unlimited books from over 10,000 of best sellers and new releases (Stephen King, Hunger Games Trilogy, Steve Jobs Autobiography…sorry, no 50 Shades of Grey). Their selection pales in comparison to Audible, but if you can find enough authors/books in their library that you like, the price of admission may be worth it. If this sounds intriguing, you can sign up for a free 7 day free trial to test out their service on your iDevice.
There’s now one more reason to use imo instant messenger on the iPhone. With the latest update, the all-in-one chat app can now make voice calls over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G between imo users. All that’s required is an iDevice running iOS 3.1+ (or Android phone) and some friends who have imo installed. Unlike other popular messaging apps on iOS (Whatsapp, Viber), imo lets you connect with friends from existing IM accounts, including Skype, MSN, Google Chat, Facebook, Yahoo and more. Other features include group messaging, voice IMs, persistent push notifications (1 week after app closed) and searchable chat history. One other cool thing is that you can head over to imo.im on your desktop web browser and do pretty much the same thing. If you haven’t checked out imo yet, it’s completely free well worth the space on your iPhone/iPad.
imo.im, imo instant messenger - Free
The possible release of the iPad mini is one of those rumours that just won’t go away. The latest such rumblings come from Chinese tech site MyDrivers, where ‘anonymous sources’ claim that the 7.85 inch iPad mini will feature Sharp’s IGZO display and retail for under $300. As Wired points out, IGZO is a new and improved manufacturing process that makes displays “thinner, higher in contrast, and less power-hungry than current display technology”. It is worth noting that this technology was rumoured to replace the IPS screens on the new iPad, but this turned out to be false. The report also says that the smaller iPad will be as thin as the iPad 2, have a resolution of 330 pixels per inch and 8GB capacity, which will go for between $250-299. There is no mention of release dates, though a previous report from net portal NetEase claimed that the iPad mini will be launched in the 3rd quarter of 2012. With the recent release of the Google Nexus 7 (among a bevy of other 7″ android tablets), it’s not surprising that Apple reportedly have plans to introduce a more cost effective and portable iPad.
Apple officially unveiled iOS 6 earlier today at the WWDC, calling it “The world’s most advanced mobile operating system”. Hardcore Android users and Google may beg to differ, but one thing’s for certain: iOS 6 will come loaded with over 200 new features, including an all-new Maps app, improved Phone functionality, a smarter and more capable Siri, and much much more. The next gen OS is set to drop this fall and will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS/4/4S, iPod Touch 4th gen, and iPad 2/3. Here are some of iOS 6′s more notable features:
MADFINGER Games, the talented developers behind the hit iOS games Samurai II: Vengeance (TMA Review) and SHADOWGUN (TMA Review), have unveiled their next release: Dead Trigger, an action packed first person zombie shooter. Created using the Unity game engine, Dead Trigger will bring console quality graphics to the mobile platform and will feature ragdoll physics, volumetric fog, advanced lighting and post-process effects. Typical story aside (a present day virus has turned billions into flesh craving undead, and only a handful of survivors left on earth), the game is certainly looking like it’ll be among the best of the FPSes on the App Store and Google Play when released in late June. Device compatibility has not been revealed yet, though it’s a good bet that only the more recent iDevices and Android phones/tablets will be able to run Dead Trigger. In the mean time, check out the video trailer, more screenshots and press release after the gap.
Note: To setup VPN primarily on a PC or Mac (and even on a smartphone), you can check out Hidemyass, one of the largest VPN providers around.
Setting up and configuring a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on the iPhone and iPad can be a daunting task for many. You can first search online and choose from one of the many providers, pick a plan that suits you, and then manually enter the account details into the Network area under Settings. You can of course use the the recently released Onion Browser for more secure browsing, but relying on the Tor network can be frustratingly slow at times. For those not familiar with VPNs, they’re great for accessing websites or social networks that have been blocked by your company’s (or even country’s) firewall and allow you to surf the web without revealing your true IP address. But perhaps even more important for iOS users, using a VPN while logged onto a public WiFi network — something we’ve all done, be it in a hotel, coffee shop or airport — will ensure that your data (namely usernames and login passwords) is encrypted and protected from would-be snoopers. Let’s take a look at two iOS apps that will easily let you setup a VPN and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.