Monthly Archives: December 2011
Wintertime's here and besides the holidays there are other days that make people both young and old smile, snow days. Snow days mean there's no school and no work, so you can just stay in between the sheets where it's warm. But wouldn't it be better if you did not have to wake up early, take a shower, and have your first cup of coffee only to find out that the weather has taken a turn for the worse? Well thanks to a handy app called the Winter Wake Up by Boondoggle, your iPhone's alarm will let you sleep in if there is a snow day.
The Winter Wake Up is an alarm clock app that monitors the National Weather Service's website for forecasts in your area so it will trigger the alarm in accordance with the weather. You can set the alarm to wake you up earlier if there was a bit of frost or snow during the night so you will have some extra time to shovel the driveway and remove most of the ice covering your car. And if the weather was really bad, enough to warrant the announcement of a snow day, then it will not even bother waking you up.
To use the Winter Wake Up app, you just need to enter your area's zip code and you are all set. Unfortunately, this app is far from perfect as it only monitors the feeds coming from the National Weather Service and not the announcements from the local government, so there is a chance that your school or office will not agree with your decision to just stay home the whole day. But even though you are running the risk of getting punished for being absent on your self proclaimed snow day, the Winter Wake Up app is still useful somewhat.
Just admit it, up until now you still dream of starring in your own action movie, and who doesn't? It would be so cool to have a video with you calmly walking away from explosions happening in your background, or running around while being chased by a heat seeking missile. Sadly, for the regular folk who does not have multimillion dollar movie-making budgets, the reality of making Hollywood style explosions has been far out of reach, that is until today. With the Action Movie FX app for the iPhone and the iPad, you can now insert explosions and other cool special effects into your own videos.
The Action Movie FX app was created by Bad Robot Interactive, the special effects company owned by famed action movie director JJ Abrams. So if you thought that the special effects in Mission Impossible 3 and Armageddon was cool, then you will be happy to know that you can now use basically the same tools that were used in those movies, though in a much smaller and easier to use package.
You just shoot your scene using the built in camera, and then open up the app and choose which special effects explosion you like. You can choose from a cool missile attack, car pile ups, and other cool forms of destruction. You can even time the special effects so that they will work perfectly with your video. Now once you have finished your very own action movie clip, you can share it directly from the app to the social network of your choice and watch as the number of viewers increase.
Have you ever wondered how you would fare in a world where people have to do anything to survive, even kill other people? Welcome to The Nightworld by Glu Mobile, a post-apocalyptic themed stealth-based game for the iPhone.
In The Nightworld you play as a vagabond trying your best to survive, while at the same time toppling oppressive gangs who aim to control the lawless lands. The game is primarily stealth-based, so you need to move in the shadows to catch your enemies unawares. If you do manage to sneak up behind an enemy you can quietly exterminate the threat using quick kill techniques. But if you got clumsy and let the enemies spot you, there is always a Plan B, which is to pump them full of lead.
Based on the graphics and the plot, The Nightworld should be a great game, if only the developers put in some more work into it. The 3D environments and the character design are superb, even the soundtrack really puts you into the mood for silent assassinations, but sadly the controls and limited viewing angles of the game made The Nightworld just an “okay” game. The purpose of a stealth game is to sneak up behind your enemies, but in The Nightworld you will often be the one caught by surprise. The camera is placed on top of the player, so your view gets obscured by the tall buildings and other large structures, all of which are plentiful inside the game.
If games are ranked based only on high quality graphics then The Nightworld would have been one of the best games out there, but sadly the gameplay and bad camera angles killed what would have been a great game. Now if only the folks at Glu put in a little more thought into The Nightworld then it would not have been such a frustrating game to play.
Do you have problems making up your mind? Then this new iPhone app is perfect for you! Say goodbye to your problems with indecisiveness using the Magic 8 Ball app from Mattel. Yes, the world famous toy (and oracle to some) has now found its way to the iPhone in this new app.
This app is basically what you think it is, a handy-dandy decision making aid. Just like the toy, you ask the Magic 8 Ball a question that is answerable by yes or no and then you shake the device, or if you are too busy to shake your iPhone you can just touch anywhere on the screen. After a few moments of sparkling fairy dust and magic incantations the screen will display the answer to your query. And just like the Magic 8 Ball toy, the app will give you a definitive yes or no, and it can also give you a vague answer.
The graphics is reminiscent of the box that the Magic 8 Ball toys came in, different shades of purple swirled together to give a cartoon like background, and the eight-ball is not really realistic-looking. But graphics is not really important in this app, the important thing is that it works just like the real toy.
The only thing that makes balloons a lot more fun is if you get to pop them using huge lawn darts, but unfortunately, because of a couple of incidents where people got stabbed in the arm, this fun activity is frowned upon in many civilized cultures. But thankfully you can get your balloon popping and lawn dart throwing fix, by getting Bloons 2 for the iOS.
Yes, everyone's favorite balloon popping monkeys are back for another installment of the top selling iOS game. Bloons 2 by Ninja Kiwi is basically the same as the first one, as always the object of the game is to pop as many balloons you can using a limited number of darts, but the sequel has improved graphics. The backgrounds are a lot more colorful and vibrant than the first game, and the new levels are a lot more fun. There are levels where you have to shoot at moving targets, and there are also some where you need to make the darts bounce on some platforms before it can reach its target.
Besides the improved game graphics, there are several other additions to the game, like new power ups like the new bee balloon; when you pop this balloon bees will fly out, you can control the bees to pop the remaining balloons by swiping your finger across the screen. There are also tri dart balloons where you can shoot 3 darts at the same time, try doing that without poking an eye out!
Ninja Kiwi did it again with this new installment of the Bloons franchise. If you're a fan of the original game, then you would really like the new Bloons 2. Think about it, what is more fun than dart-slinging monkeys?
Only a couple of things in this world can really be considered as timeless, two of which is rock and roll, and pinball, and now both of them can be found in one iOS game, AC/DC Pinball Rocks by Gameprom.
In AC/DC Pinball, well, it's pretty explanatory, you play pinball on an AC/DC themed arcade machine. Once you open the game, the sheer amount of detail will be enough to blow your brains. The graphics are beautifully crafted, from the flames and lightning bolts drawn on the base, up to all the rails, plungers, and bumpers, literally all the bells and whistles that make a great pinball game is inside AC/DC Pinball Rocks.
The physics inside the game are very realistic as well, the ball moves smoothly through the table, and it actually behaves like it would in real life. The game also features a lot of props that are related to AC/DC's popular songs, like a real highway to hell, you can also ring hell's bells, and of course there are also some big guns.
But you cannot call it a real AC/DC game if we do not talk about the head banging, window shaking soundtrack. First of all you are greeted with the voice of Brian Johnson, the shorts-wearing lead vocalist of the band, telling you to start the game, and sometimes if you play really well, Brian will tell you that you rock! You are also treated to sick guitar licks while you play, making AC/DC Pinball Rocks not only a treat for the eyes, it can also blow out your eardrums; which is why it is recommended that you play this game using a great pair of earphones stuck on your head.
Non- iPhone 4s users rejoice, for a new ray of hope has come. It is possible to port Siri, the voice controlled personal assistant currently available on the iPhone 4s to older devices like the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3Gs. Before, the only way you can get Siri to work on older devices is to pirate some system files from the iPhone 4s, which is obviously illegal. But now with the new iOS 5.0.1 update it is now possible to get the necessary system files to port Siri into older devices, without violating any of Apple's copyrights.
MuscleNerd, a prominent figure in the jail breaking arena, has said in a recent post in Twitter that the new iOS 5.0.1 revision includes non-encrypted ram disks, basically it is the first time that main filesystem keys can be obtained legally.
There have already been several ways that Siri can get ported onto non iPhone 4s devices, all of them are either illegal or impractical to use. If you want to run Siri on non-4s devices you will need a key that serves as a unique identifier, which needs replacing every 24 hours lest Apple detects it and kills your ported Siri. There have been lots of speculation going around in the jailbreaking community, like maybe the update was rushed somewhat, or maybe Apple has a more sinister intention in mind. Some jailbreakers say that this might be a ploy to get information about the iOS 5's weaknesses and do something about it before releasing the much anticipated iOS 5.1 update.
If you are like most people who owns an iPhone 3Gs or iPhone 4 then you may not even know that there is a voice command feature in your phone, much less know what it can do, so to help you get familiarized with this feature on the iPhone here is a list of several things you can use it for.
If you do not know how to access the voice control function, you just have to hold down the home button, or the middle button on the included earbuds with volume controls, until you hear a beep and a voice prompt.
Making a Call
“Call (person's name or saying the number)” - This will access your phonebook and place a call to your intended contact.
Here are some commands you can use to play music using the voice command:
“Play” or “Play Music” - This will open up the iPod if it's not open yet and then play the first song on your device.
“Pause”, “Next Song”, “Previous Song”, “Shuffle” - These are some of the basic navigation commands.
“Play Song (artist name, playlist name, or album name)” - This will play the songs by a certain artist, or in a certain album or playlist.
“What's Playing?” - This will cause the iPhone to tell you some information about the currently playing track.
Besides playing music, there are some other functions of the voice controls that are not really useful for most people. For example “What time is it? Or What's the Time?” will tell you time, which is actually not that useful if you are not visually impaired.
This voice command feature is a far cry from Siri just based on what it can do, but until the time that Siri can get ported to older devices, this old school voice command feature will have to do.
The controversial game that started the whole adult-based video game market is now finally available for download at the App Store. Yes, Grand Theft Auto 3 from Rockstar games celebrates its tenth year anniversary (has it really been that long) by porting the game onto the iOS platform. Now you can enjoy doing drive-bys, beating up prostitutes, and committing all kinds of felonies that in the real world would land you in the big house.
In the very unlikely chance that you are not all that familiar with the game, you play as a newly-released former inmate that is trying to get a name for yourself in the seedy world of crime. You need to do a lot of odd jobs offered to you by different people in the game, tasks like collecting on a loan from a pimp or stealing a certain car and then stowing it away in your safe house, things like that, oh and you also have to avoid getting caught by the police in the process.
Fans that are used to using a controller to move around the sandbox world of GTA III will invariably have to learn how to maneuver using touch controls, which will either make them, hate it or love it immensely. But besides the new touch controls nothing much has changed from the original console game, it is still a bucket load of intense violence and fun!
If you're looking for a complete blast from the past, or you just like mindless violence mixed in with a little sex, then you should not miss out on getting Grand Theft Auto III. The game is available for both the iPhone and the iPad and costs right around 5 dollars to download from the App Store.
It seems that Apple is planning on giving the next MacBook Pro a major screen resolution upgrade, like what they did on the iPhone 4 and 4s and the 5th generation iPod. Apple took the mobile phone industry by phone when they introduced the iPhone 4 with its retina display. The pixel density in the iPhone 4 was unlike any other, and according to the late Steve Jobs the human eye is not even capable of seeing the pixilation on the screen, it is that clear. And now Apple is set to shake up the tech world once again by putting the same kind of technology in the new MacBook Pro.
According to one of the biggest source of information on the tech industry, Digitimes, the new MacBook that is set for launch probably on the 2nd quarter of the next year is said to be getting a Retina display-like LED backlit display with 2880 x 1800 pixel resolution, roughly 50 percent more than its predecessor. And if these rumors are true, then the new MacBook Pro will even beat Apple's own Thunderbolt display for the Mac, which has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. Whether it is Apple's intention to compete with its own products is still unclear.