10 New App Store Games To Watch [September 9 – 15]


Apparently I spoke too soon last week when I cried that the Christmas like flow of games had ended for now.  I could probably write double my normal size article this week and still have games I’d want to cover to spare.  Anyway, Tiny Death is a new platform game that’s sure to resonate well with former – or current – console gamers.  Cute graphics, decent level design and a nice sense of humor may not make this game worth dying for, but it would certainly be prudent to check it out.  Disney has upped the ante for cute physics puzzlers once again with the release of Where’s My Water? 2.  You can expect more game play elements, additional quirky characters and I even hear rumors of gravity manipulation.  If you can’t get enough of infinite runners you’ll definitely want to check out Infectonator : Hot Chase.  This sequel to Infectonator takes the action to an infinite side scrolling format, but you still get to turn people into zombies.
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Pocket announces most popular articles/videos of 2012, over 240 million items saved


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.

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Read easier on iPad mini (while surfing the web) with these bookmarklets

Readability’s bookmarket lets you change font size, themes and margins

The iPad mini is a fantastic 7.9-inch tablet, though there’s no denying that there’s plenty of room for improvement when it comes the display. Factor in the smaller screen and only 163 PPI (pixels per inch), browsing the web on the mini with Safari can at times be trying. The easiest way of course is to simply double tab or pinch-and-zoom into any webpage, or better yet, tap the Reader button located in the url bar once the page has completely loaded, which then strips out everything save for the text, with the option to increase/decrease font size. But for those who like to tinker and tweak, there are other options out there that can get the job done too. More specifically, they’re bookmarklets that you can easily “install” on your mini (or any iDevice for that matter); one works very much like iOS’ Reader functionality, the other lets you change the font size right from the bookmarks toolbar.

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10 New App Store Games To Watch [June 18 – 24]

Once again there was a nice variety of games to report on this week, and the highlight of the week for me was the adventure game Yesterday from BulkyPix.  After spending just a few minutes with this game I felt like I was playing an old masterpiece from Sierra Online or LucasArts, but one that had been given an interface boost that makes it perfect for touch screen devices.  The causal RPG fan should check out Elphis Adventure, a new free offering from Com2us.  You take on the role of Red Riding Hood in an attempt to rescue your grandma by traveling through different fairy tales and historical time periods.  For those that are interested in learning Magic The Gathering, or those that are just looking for another avenue with which to play the game, Wizards of the Coast offers up Magic 2013.  You can sample the card based strategy game for free, but if you want to test your mettle against other humans you’ll need to buy the premium edition.

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Google Drive has finally landed

Google has finally launched their highly anticipated Google Drive today, a cloud storage service that will finally give Dropbox some serious competition.

Today, we’re introducing Google Drive—a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.

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Read It Later now becomes “Pocket”, free across all mobile devices

Read It Later, a popular read it later service with over 4.5 million users, has rebranded itself as “Pocket” and is now free across all major platforms (iOS, Android, Kindle, Web). Much like Instapaper and Readability, it lets you save web content for reading at a later time, with a user friendly format and offline viewing as well. Unique to Pocket however, is a video/image filter that allows users to easily find Youtube or Vimeo links that have previously been saved (or any article with a video embedded). The universal app also supports bulk editing, favoriting and tagging and is integrated into over 300 apps, including Zite and Flipboard. From my brief use so far, I’ve been impressed with its UI, ability to tag, and more importantly, I love the fact that I can now save videos I come across and watch them whenever via a neatly compiled list. Definitely worth checking out if you like saving articles/webpages to read later on your iPhone/iPad. Check out the promo video and full press release after the break.

Pocket (Formerly Read It Later) Idea Shower, Pocket (Formerly Read It Later) – Free

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Windows 8 on your iPad now possible thanks to Splashtop’s Win8 Metro Testbed app

A little over a month ago, we saw a video comparing iOS on the iPad and the upcoming Windows 8 running on a tablet. Well, now you too can experience first hand Windows 8 Metro with touch gestures on your iPad, thanks to the release of Splashtop’s Win8 Metro Testbed app. Following in the footsteps of their highly popular remote access app Splashtop Remote Desktop, Win8 Metro Testbed gives you full Metro UI gestures, including swipe from right for the Charms menu, pull down from the top to close apps, swipe slowly from the left to run two apps side-by-side and more. The one big caveat here is that you must be running Windows 8 Consumer Preview on your PC (or Bootcamp on a Mac), with the free Splashtop Streamer client installed. This is certainly a great tool for developers planning on building mobile apps on the Windows 8 platform, without the need to spend hundreds of dollars more on new hardware. The app is currently on sale for $24.99 (50% off) and now available on the App Store. Check out the demo video and more info after the break.

Win8 Metro Testbed - powered by Splashtop Splashtop, Win8 Metro Testbed – $24.99

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Review Roundup for the New iPad

We’re only a day away now from the official release of the new iPad and reviews have started to appear on the web. While most components on the tablet have been upgraded – the CPU, the rear camera and 4G wireless capability – it’s the retina display that stands out the most. You get the impression that once you set eyes on the high resolution screen, it’ll be pretty darn difficult to go back to anything else. Sure it’s a bit thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, but overall, the new iPad appears to be a heavyweight champ. Here’s the complete roundup of reviews from around the web:

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New HTML 5 Tutorial Offers Guide to iOS-Friendly Web Design

Toronto, Canada – Technology training leader InfiniteSkills Inc recently released its new HTML 5 training course offering real-time demonstrations of industry standard design and development techniques, with full compatibility for Apple devices. The course aims to assist both beginning and experienced HTML users in effectively implementing many new capabilities of the latest version of emerging web standard as transitioning web sites to HTML 5 will allow them to more easily support coming features of the protocol.

The InfiniteSkills HTML 5 tutorial includes 66 lessons focusing on basic HTML usage, website design, and embedding images and videos. HTML 5 is the most recent revision of the standard HTML web language, the basis for almost all internet viewing on personal computers, smart phones, and tablets. It is being designed to improve support for multimedia across a variety of platforms, keeping pace with the demands of today’s mobile web browsing technology. The InfiniteSkills HTML5 tutorial reflects these innovations, helping viewers understand the fundamentals of language and understand how it can be utilized to make websites more flexible, more interactive and more accessible to a wide range of audiences.

Instructor John Ulliman, an HTML expert with nearly 20 years’ experience in technology tutoring, guides learners through the basics of web design using HTML 5. The course is arranged around the step-by-step construction of a web site in which the essential elements of HTML 5 are employed. Users learn skills such as basic web page design, how to insert links, employ CSS styles, and embed images and videos.

Chris Johns, content coordinator, says that the best way to start using HTML is to be shown and guided through the direct steps. “The approach at InfiniteSkills,” says Johns, “is to create an immersive environment where users are guided through the actual use of HTML 5 right on their screen rather than reading a book or trying to work from an overview.” He adds that the InfiniteSkills approach allows beginners to intuitively grasp the most necessary skills for using HTML in a workflow.

Pricing and Availability:
The HTML 5 tutorial videos are both Macintosh and Windows compatible, and can be downloaded directly from the InfiniteSkills website or ordered on DVD-ROM. The complete tutorials in any format are priced at $99.95 USD retail. Shipping and purchasing options are available worldwide. Free demonstration videos and a complete list of tutorial subjects are also available on the company’s website.

Learning HTML 5 Tutorial DVD – Video Training
Box Cover Image

Based in Toronto, Canada, Infinite Skills is a leading provider of computer based training for individuals, businesses and educational institutions. Combining content delivery innovation with a strong emphasis on customer service, the provides cost effective training solutions for the world’s most popular creative and productivity software platforms and programming languages. Infinite Skills continues to release new tutorials and expand the formats in which its training can be accessed, from DVDs to mobile devices. Copyright (C) 2011-2012 Infinite Skills Inc. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod, iPad and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Mindshapes Hires Publishing Industry Veterans Gaffin and Michaels

London, United Kingdom – Interactive learning company Mindshapes has hired two publishing industry veterans to join the company’s senior staff. Deb Gaffin is Vice President, Marketing and Chris Michaels is Managing Director of Magic Town, the first virtual world for children based on popular picture books. Magic Town launches in March.

Deb Gaffin will oversee branding, consumer insights, strategic marketing partnerships, and the company’s global product launches, with a special focus on building online communities. Gaffin was previously Digital Product & Marketing Director at Nosy Crow, where she managed the creation and promotion of Nosy Crow’s award winning children’s apps. She previously served as VP, Parents and Kids Online at Scholastic Inc. in New York.

Deb Gaffin, Vice President, Marketing said: “I’m thrilled to join Mindshapes, a company that is on the cutting edge of creating immersive digital learning products. Children love Mindshapes’ iPad and iPhone apps, and the virtual worlds we’re launching next will offer even more exciting and enriching learning experiences for both kids and adults.”

Chris Michaels was previously SVP, Publishing at Chorion. He oversaw the company’s activity for books, magazines, digital publishing and computer games for leading children’s and adult entertainment brands including Octonauts, Mr. Men, Olivia, Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie. Prior to that, Michaels was Digital Publisher for adult publishing at HarperCollins UK, where he founded the multi-award winning Angry Robot imprint.

Chris Michaels, Managing Director of Magic Town said: “From the first moment I met the Mindshapes’ founders, I knew this was a company with huge ambition, and the ability to deliver upon it. Having worked with some of the world’s top children’s brands, I know that Magic Town represents a major step forward in helping preschoolers learn through interactive entertainment.”

David Begg, CEO of Mindshapes said: “Deb and Chris bring a wealth of experience in children’s and adult publishing and creating successful digital brand franchises. They will be key to helping us produce game changing digital products that make learning fun for people of all ages.”

Currently, Mindshapes has 9 apps for iOS devices available on the App Store. In 2012, Mindshapes will release Magic Town, a first of its kind virtual world for pre-school children featuring picture books from top publishers as well as original stories and games. Magic Town will be available on computer, tablet devices and mobile phones. Later this year, Mindshapes will introduce Language City, a virtual world game for adults to learn foreign languages.

Purchase Mindshapes Apps

Mindshapes’ mission is to change the way children and adults learn through interactive game play. The company was founded in 2010 and has offices in London, New York and San Francisco. Copyright (C) 2010-2012 Mindshapes. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.