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Application Gaming iPhone iPod Review

Review of Tap Tap Revenge For the iPhone

If you remember my review of the iPod game Phase you’ll remember how much I love rhythm games. Tap Tap Revenge is just that, music plays and as notes come down from above you must tap on them as they cross over a line, if you hit it on time you get points, if you miss, you lose points.

Currently Tap Tap Revenge has 17 original tracks to play throughout 4 different difficulty levels. The game has new tracks all the time and they are all free. Unlike Phase Tap Tap Revenge doesn’t use tracks from your iTunes Library (because iPhone applications don’t have access to those tracks) so they had to create they’re own original tracks for the gameplay.

The gameplay is very simple, as I explained above the classic notes coming at you and you have to tap on them as they cross over a line, but in Tap Tap Revenge they also have “shakes” which are arrows that come at you and as they cross over the line you have to move the iPhone in the direction the arrow is pointing making use of the accelerometer (you can also turn shakes off, as I have).

To keep the game interesting, the makers of the game have periodic contests to create Tap Tap Revenge videos or simple highest score wins contests giving away prizes such as iTunes gift cards.

I have had a lot of fun playing this game but what I consider to be the best feature in the game is the two player mode, which let’s you play the game with a friend, head to head style. One player uses controls on one side of the iPhone while the second player uses the other side (I’m not sure how this would work using an iPod Touch since the iPod Touch doesn’t have a built in speaker).

The only thing I would like to see add to this game (other than the obvious, more songs) is either a better visual confirmation or an audible confirmation that you hit the note at the right time. There are small fireworks-like animations when you hit it at the right time but that happens underneith your finger so you can’t see it. In other rhythm games they have a small sound that plays every time you get it right but I suggest a color change (maybe to green) across the entire bar at the bottom when you get the note right, you could also go with another color when you miss (such as red).

Overall the game is great and easy for anyone to jump right into, more songs are surely coming and should give you hours of more play.

Tap Tap Revenge – Free

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Apple Application Beta iPhone iPod Rumor

Apple Soon To Be Allowing Developers To Have App Store Beta Programs

One of the biggest issues developers have had with building App Store apps is that they can’t release betas to users. But, Apple is going to be fixing this problem by allowing developers to have closed beta programs with up to 100 users.

The beta apps will still be distributed through the App Store and developers will need to get the serial number of the beta testers iPhone and activate that iPhone as a beta testing phone.

This new functionality will be great for developers that would like to have a little bit more real world testing under their belts before they release the app to the public.

TechCrunch

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Application iPhone iPod Review

Review of WordPress Application for iPhone

Early this morning Automattic’s native iPhone application, WordPress was released.

The app doesn’t have too many features other then being able to create posts, save local (as in, on the iPhone) drafts, editing, posts, and changing of post status.

I haven’t seen any major bugs, the one that I did find though is that when you choose a category there is no back button, you tap at the upper right hand corner to go back, where there is no button, it isn’t very obvious. It was very easy to set up with both of my self hosted blogs and also works with WordPress.com blogs.

You can also insert photos that are in your iPhone’s library which is nice but it is difficult to place the image exactly where you want it.

The two features I’d like to see added is the ability to do links and the ability to moderate comments. In the future even you could install a plugin on your blog that could notify you with the push notifications feature that will be supported by the iPhone in September.

App Store

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Application iPhone iPod

The 10 Best iPhone Apps

The 10 Best iPhone Apps

Since it’s been a week since it’s launch I thought I would take a small bit of time to let you all know what I consider to be the 10 apps that I consider to be the best. I’m not going to spend a lot of time with them because many of them I have already reviewed and the ones I haven’t may not necessarily warrant a review (because they don’t do much and a short description does fine).

All of these apps are great and even though many of them aren’t free I think you all should go ahead and get them immediately (that is, if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch). (These are in no particular order).

Byline – $9.99
Read the latest news from your favorite sites and blogs, even when you’re offline. Simply use your free Google Reader account to subscribe to websites you’d like to keep track of. Byline will automatically stay in sync and bring you new content, puttings thousands of RSS and Atom feeds at your fingertips. Even when you have not internet connection (such as on the subway) Byline’s offline browsing feature gives you instant access to complete web pages.

Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D – $9.99
The richest 3D kart racing experience! Speed your way through 12 thrilling tracks and multiple environments! Race and battle against zany opponents and turn them to dust with 8 devastating weapons. Tilt and twist your iPhone for truly “Nitro” driving sensations.

Enigmo – $9.99
Enigmo is a 3D puzzle game where you direct animated streams of flowing liquid so that the droplets get to their destination. Water, Oil, and Lava fall from Droppers and bounce around the walls of the puzzle. You move and rotate various types of bumpers, sliders, accelerators, and sponges in order to divert the flow of the falling droplets. The faster you complete each of the 50 levels, the more bonus points you receive. The physics in Enigmo are truly amazing to watch! This is one of the most unique puzzle games ever created.

Mobile Flickr – $2.99
Mobile Fotos lets you Browse and Upload to Flickr, the best online photo sharing application.
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Super Monkey Ball – $9.99
Let’s roll! Guide a cute little monkey encased in a transparent ball to victory by tilting and rolling him through a variety of slopes and turns. You must navigate a large variety of obstacle courses to reach goal lines within set time limits. Collect as many bananas as you can along the way and you’ll be able to increase your remaining lives. Play through five worlds and 110 stages, designed to be fun for both first-time players and long-time Super Monkey Ball fans. Enjoy rich 3D graphics with an easy-to-master control system that utilizes the accelerometer inside your device. Insanely fun and addicting!

Moto Racer – $9.99
Grab your bike and hit the road with Wingnuts Moto Racer. Race through checkpoints, weave through traffic, fend off dangerous biker gangs and hit some sweet jumps along the way. Racing from Miami Beach to the Andean mountains and around the globe. Moto Racer is a rockin’ arcade experience that will explode your mind!!

Pandora – Free
Pandora Radio is your own FREE personalized radio now available to stream music on your iPhone. Just start with the name of one of your favorite artists, songs or classical composers and Pandora will create a “station” that plays their music and more music like it. Already a Pandora user? Even easier. Just log in. Pandora on the iPhone is fully integrated with Pandora on the web. Enjoy all your existing stations – and create new ones right from your iPhone or iPod Touch.

ShoppingList – $0.99
With ShoppingList you have your shopping list on your iPhone or iPod touch.
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Tap Tap Revenge – Free
Tap Tap Revenge is a music game that puts your rhythmic skills to the test in all-new ways. Tap through the beats or shake left and right as the arrows fall. Download exclusive tracks or take on your friends in Tap Tap’s unique two-player mode.

Twinkle – Free
Discover, connect and send messages to people nearby. Upload photos and update your Twitter account. Contact old friends and make new ones, all with Twinkle, the location-awakre network for iPhone and iPod touch.

Categories
Application iPhone iPod Review

Review of Byline for the iPhone

Update: With the 1.0.1 update to Byline Phantomfish has added the ability to mark individual new items as read/undread by swiping across them in the list, they have added a share button, and a “Mark All as Read” function (really big deal to me).

I was really hoping that Google would release a Google Reader client that runs native on the iPhone but unfortunately that may not happen. But, Byline is here to fill that void.

Byline is a pretty simple reader but what makes it great is that it syncs to Google Reader and caches items locally to be read offline and when you get back to an area with a connection Byline will sync those changes back to Google Reader.

Byline will even download the full webpage linked to by the RSS items instead of just what is enclosed in the RSS feed, that means you can choose to have Byline download pages from your new items, starred items, and notes (more on that later) to be viewed offline (full web pages).

Now back to the notes feature. Notes allows you to use a bookmarklet in your browser to save a web page like a bookmark but leave a little note with it, that of course is saved on Google’s servers. Byline will look at those notes and treat them just like items in RSS feeds so you can basically save any web page you want to Byline to be viewed offline.

Byline will also append a badge on the icon in the homescreen with the number of unread items. Here is where my issues come in, by default Byline will only grab the 25 most recent items and only 25 items so if you (like me) have about 500-1,000 new items a day from RSS feeds the dock will only show 25 and (from what I can see) it is only possible to cache 25 new unread items on the phone. Here’s an example, I am about to get on an airplane but I’d like to read all my RSS feeds from my iPhone while on the plane, I open up Byline and wait for items to be downloaded. I put the phone in airplane mode and get on the plane, but when you open up Byline it will only show you the 25 most recent items when it synced last meaning those other 475-975 items are unreadable until I get internet access again.

I’m sure these problems will be fixed with upcoming updates to Byline but it is still pretty frustrating. The other issue I have is the price (which I’ve mentioned in my review of Enigmo) $9.99 is too much to ask for this application, it really should only cost between $2-5. I don’t know if this is just developers testing the waters to see how people react to applications but boy is it frustrating to not be able to test an application out without paying the full price, in other words if there was a demo version available for free charging $9.99 might not be such a terrible thing.

But, if you spend a lot of time reading RSS feeds and Google Reader is your feed reader of choice this is a great app for you, especially if you are using an iPod Touch or spend a lot of time without cell service.

Byline – $9.99
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More screenshots after the jump

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Application Gaming iPhone iPod Review

Enigmo For the iPhone Review

I’ve spent almost as much time with Enigmo as I have with Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D, and that’s a lot of time. So if you don’t already know Enigmo is a physics based game where you use different pieces to bounce, slide, or deflect water droplets around obstacles and into their corresponding container.

It is a fairly simple game to grasp but as you get up to the higher levels they seem to get more and more complicated adding more obstacles and different colored water droplets.

Before experiencing this game on the iPhone I did spend some time with the Mac version, which surprisingly enough is practically the exact same game. Except in the iPhone version you use your tapping and pinching to move around the screen while as on the Mac version you use your mouse to do the same thing.

There are 8 different pieces used to make the water droplets go where you want to and it is pretty easy to understand how they work and what they do. Using your finger to drag the object around or selecting it and using the orange circle that appears around it to rotate it felt very natural.

One great feature Enigmo has (which I wish was added to Super Monkey Ball) is the ability to save your game after every level (in Super Monkey Ball it saves after 10 or so levels).

The game is very fun and I actually suggest it to anyone but I do have two problems with it. Being precise while moving and object or rotating it is a little difficult and sometimes I found myself having to zoom out and pull my finger away to make the orange circles larger so that I could do those precise rotations but what happened then is that the orange circle would obstruct my view of the water droplets and where they are going.

The only other issue I have with this game is its price ($9.99). I really think that someone needs to talk to these developers about the price, I’ve already spent $85 in the app store and thats about $45 then I wanted too initially. The reason I spent that much is because there are so many applications that cost me $9.99. I think that Apple’s game Texas Hold ’em ($4.99) has the right idea of being priced a little bit lower. I think Apple had the right idea way back when they first introduced games for the iPod, each one was priced at $4.99 which felt very fair compared to the amount of time I actually spend with the game. If I can beat the game in 2 hours I don’t want to spend $5 per hour on it, that seems a little steep to me.

Enigmo – $9.99
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More screenshots after the jump

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Apple Application Cell Phones Gaming iPhone iPod

Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D Review

A day after the App Store came out I picked up Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D for $9.99. I was a huge fan of this series on the Playstation and had high hopes for the game on the iPhone. Unlike other racing games on the iPhone you don’t have to hold down your finger on the screen to continue driving the game drives at top speed for you, which is quite nice. You obviously turn your kart by turning the iPhone from left to right, tapping the left or right side of the screen will make you jump, tapping the bottom of the screen will engage the break or put your kart into reverse, and tapping a weapon will use it.

The game has a total of 6 racers, 8 weapons, and 12 tracks. But, you won’t get bored very quickly because you can play different cups which is a set of 4 tracks back to back with a points system to determine the winner. You can also play in a story mode which puts you in races with specific missions such as collect 10 fruit and finish the race before your opponents, along with time trials and quick races.

The controls felt very natural and seemed to be much easier to pick up and play compared to other games in the App Store.

The races are very fun and there is a good number of racers to unlock (I’ve only have 4/6 right now), the missions are just challenging enough making them beatable but only with enough tries (usually 2-3 which surprisingly doesn’t get borring or too frustrating).

The only thing the game seems to be missing is a two player mode. Although I wouldn’t even be able to play a two player mode (since I don’t know anyone with an iPod Touch or iPhone) it would make the game feel much more complete.

The graphics were great and remind me of the Game Boy Advance (which in the grand scheme of things is pretty good for a device that didn’t even have games until a year after it’s release).

Overall Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D is a great game with several hours of fun. The game is a great value since a game with the same features could sell for $25 or more if made for the Nintendo DS or PSP.

Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D – $9.99
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More game images after the jump

Categories
Apple Application Gaming iPhone iPod

App Store and Applications First Impressions

So as you know, if you read my post earlier, the iPhone firmware 2.0 was made available and the App Store is now open for business. I spent $14 in the App Store today and got 6 apps.

Mobile Flickr – $2.99
Pretty simple application, allows you to upload photos to Flickr from your iPhone and browse photos from Flickr. I’m probably going to be using this fairly often. the fact that I can upload photos from my iPhone is quite nice and I won’t have to upload them later after syncing back to iPhoto.

People – Free
Search for phone numbers by address or by name. You can also search for information including address and name based on a phone number. Super handy if you get calls from numbers you don’t recognize fairly frequently. (More images after the jump below)

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Apple Application iPhone

Installing iPhone Firmware 2.0 Right Now UPDATE

Currently I am installing iPhone firmware 2.0, I downloaded it from here, remember that according to the knowledge base article it will erase all of your iPhones data, so sync your iPhone before updating. To install all you do is option+click on “check for updates” and then choose the ipsw file. Be sure you have iTunes 7.7.

It takes quite a while, I’ve been updating for 10 minutes already and it still isn’t done so, be patient. I’ve already downloaded a couple of applications from the App Store so I’ll be spending quite a bit of time playing with the apps that look interesting and possibly doing some reviews over the weekend.

Update: I just restored the settings to my iPhone and everything seems to be working just fine. I have the App Store and a Contacts application on my homescreen now. It looks great.

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Apple Application Cell Phones Gaming iPhone iPod

Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart For iPhone/iPod Touch

Here’s a game that I’m definitely going to be buying for the iPhone, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart. I was a huge fan of Crash Team Racing and still occasionally pick the game up and play a few hours.

It looks like you tap the screen for power ups and maybe tap the other side of the screen for power slides (which seems to be fairly natural).

No word yet on how many characters or tracks are going to be available but if it is nearly as good as Mario Kart for the DS it is going to sell really well.

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Apple Application Cell Phones Gaming iPhone iPod Video

Tap Tap Revenge Coming to App Store

If you remember back when people cared about jailbreaking their iPhones for games and other applications you may remember the incredibly cool game “Tap Tap Revolution.” Well, the game is going to be coming to an iPhone App Store near you very soon.

The creator, Nate True has been hard at work improving the game and building it with the official SDK. The game has received some graphical improvements, the addition of shakes (where you shake the iPhone to do certain actions), and a two player mode.

The game reminds me a lot of Phase for the iPod but translated with a touch screen in mind.

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Apple Application iPhone

Adobe Has Flash Running on iPhone Simulator

The blogosphere was all abuzz about this quote:

We have a version that’s working on the emulation. This is still on the computer and you know, we have to continue to move it from a test environment onto the device and continue to make it work. So we are pleased with the internal progress that we’ve made to date.

What very few people talked about is the idea that the iPhone simulator runs code much smoother then the actual iPhone does. That of course, means that Adobe didn’t really do much.

Currently there is no API for building Safari plugins and unless Apple wants to help Adobe out by giving them the information they need and the “okay” to actually build Flash for the iPhone, it just isn’t going to happen.

I really don’t think that we will see Flash on the iPhone any time soon (meaning the next year or so) Apple clearly doesn’t want Flash on the iPhone and have said nothing that would even be close to saying that. Unless Adobe is able to convince Apple that they will do a good job building Flash for the iPhone you won’t ever see it.

I don’t think Apple is being a jerk in this situation, It’s clear to me (from my experiences with laptops) that putting flash on the iPhone would not only be pretty rough on its processor but also severely effect battery life. One of the best things about the iPhone is that I can go an entire day without worrying about my battery dieing, if I have to start thinking about what websites I visit because they might have flash on it and kill my battery I wouldn’t enjoy the iPhone as much as I do.

CrunchGear