Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Do you like Candy Crush Saga and the many other games that have attempted to enjoy similar levels of success? Well then youâ€™ll like Bee Brilliant. Thatâ€™s the simplest way of summing it up, as Bee Brilliant is a lot like all the other games. For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane – www.snappy-apps.com.au
Instead of matching candies, youâ€™re matching up cute bees with smiley faces. Connect enough bees in one run and you get special â€˜busyâ€™ bees that can then take out whole lines of tiles in one fell swoop. Elsewhere, there are power-ups to help you along the way, such as one that offers you extra moves, as well as extra busy bees. In similar Match-3 fashion, there are also different objectives. While some levels simply require you to hit a certain high score, others ask you to clear honey tiles or clear spider webs as you go along.
Some levels are pretty easy to clear within the limited number of moves offered. Soon enough though, other stages will tax you and require some planning ahead and a bit of luck. Reaching the maximum 3 stars for each stage can prove tricky after a time, too.
Of course this is a format weâ€™ve seen before, because Bee Brilliant really is pretty derivative. Itâ€™s fun if you like that kind of thing (I do), but thereâ€™s little that’s particularly different here. There are the usual plethora of energy systems and timers holding you back, along with the option to skip ahead for a price, all meaning Bee Brilliant is more of a game you dip into rather than play for a long time. Ultimately though, youâ€™ve seen it before. And eventually, such repetition will get pretty unexciting.
Version Reviewed: 1.01
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
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Inferno 2 had a lot to live up to â€“ there are plenty of twin-stick shooters around, and the best of them sit as some of the most fun games I have played. When you’re in the same genre as something like Geometry Wars, you have to do a pretty good job to measure up.And Inferno 2 manages to do it in style.
Controlling your movement with one thumb and your weapons with the other, you’ll battle your way through small hordes of neon wireframe enemies in your constant search for each stageâ€™s locked exit, and the key that will let you advance.
The comparison canâ€™t be avoided â€“ Inferno 2â€™s visuals bear a distinct resemblance to Geometry Wars and its ilk. Stark lines, sharply contrasting colors, and bursts of light and sound accompany virtually every move and shot. The soundtrack is a well-suited chiptune beat that keeps you engaged. The controls, arguably the most difficult and important piece of any game in the genre, work quite well, though I thought it was an interesting design decision to use the same thumb for activating missiles as you do for movement. This effectively makes you choose between staying agile and mobile, or sitting in place as a turret and firing off far more powerful ordinance. Itâ€™s a very clever duality, adding even more depth in a very simple, straightforward way.
Inferno 2 features a fairly wide upgrade system of several different weapons and options, though some of the weapons did feel just a little too similar for me to bother with both of them (and besides, having Spread Shot as an opening choice is pretty much a no-brainer in any shmup). As you fly through the stages finding keys and picking off hordes of enemies, youâ€™ll gain a constant stream of XP that will allow you to unlock new upgrades or improve those you already have. While certainly not the most robust upgrade system, it still offers plenty more than the standard fair these games often have.
On the whole, my time with Inferno 2 was quite enjoyable, but there were a few spots that were less than ideal. The game is dark â€“ playing anywhere other than a dim room often left my ship plowing (painlessly) into walls I occasionally just couldn’t see. Also, while each individual stage isn’t particularly large, without any sort of a map or radar it was sometimes too easy for me to find myself lost – especially once the game introduced pass-through walls that otherwise looked completely solid. Some better guidance would have been handy.
Small complaints aside, Inferno 2 is a good time. Itâ€™s got tight controls, good visuals, fun weapons, solid gameplay, and is definitely a worthy entrant into genre. For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane – www.snappy-apps.com.au
Version Reviewed: 1.1.8
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Ever played an Angry Birds game and wished you could just shoot everything that moves? Possibly not. Itâ€™s certainly never occurred to me or any of the Angry Birds fans Iâ€™ve asked in recent days. Still, that hasnâ€™t stopped the arrival of Angry Birds Transformers – a game that deviates from the usual format and is actually quite fun thanks to that. Donâ€™t expect to progress too quickly though, as timers seek to slow you down.
Part auto-runner, part side-scrolling shoot-em-up, you control one of many Transformers as they stop the EggBots by taking out their platforms. Instead of flinging birds at your enemies you shoot at them, aiming for weak points in order to vanquish them. Itâ€™s simply done, with you tapping to create a reticule.
Each level is much the same meaning that Angry Birds Transformers can get a little repetitive, but itâ€™s often fun. At times you can transform in order to duck under obstacles coming your way, which ensures you keep your wits about you. Each level is also pretty brief so itâ€™s an easy game to dip into for a few minutes here or there.
Indeed, Angry Birds Transformers doesnâ€™t really lend itself to extended sessions due to its many timers. You can upgrade your transformer, gaining more health and so forth, but it takes time. Similarly, unlocking new areas involves waiting it out too. After a while these timers become quite intrusive and will put you off the game a little. Itâ€™s an unfortunate side effect given that Angry Birds Transformers is pretty fun when thereâ€™s something to do.
The beauty here is in forming a team of your favorite heroes or villains and steadily leveling-up, rather than feeling as if the game itself evolves to any lofty height of greatness. Itâ€™s quite the departure for the Angry Birds franchise but youâ€™ll be pleasantly surprised how it works out, assuming you get past those timers. For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane – www.snappy-apps.com.au
Version Reviewed: 1.0.59
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Hay Ewe is a line-drawing puzzle game in which players control a sheep (hence the “ewe”) who has to gather a flock of lambs from various farm locations (hence the “hay”). As its clever play-on-words title suggests, this game is full of charm and has a lot of spirit. Unfortunately though, Hay Ewe suffers from some control issues that keep it from being an absolute delight.
In each of Hay Ewe‘s levels players must trace a path that the sheep protagonist follows, with the ultimate goal of each stage being to collect as many lambs as possible with as efficient a drawn route as possible. As players progress through the game, obstacles, foxes, and other barnyard inhabitants force players to think creatively using both their wits and a slew of items. These items can be purchased via an in-game computer on a storefront cutely titled “Amoozon.”
It’s touches like “Amoozon” and “Ewetube” (for YouTube), along with clever items, varied stage types, and an overall charming aesthetic that make Hay Ewe a delight to play. Progression in the game ramps up at a well-balanced rate, and unlocks unroll at just the right speed so as not to feel overwhelming.
All of this is unfortunately hard to enjoy thanks to a control scheme and viewing angle that make trying to accurately control the sheep pretty frustrating. Although the line-drawing mechanic is something that’s been done well in many an iOS game, something about its implementation here makes it hard to get the sheep to go exactly where desired. Part of this problem comes from Hay Ewe‘s level design, which sometimes isn’t 100% clear about what aspects of the environment are traversable. On top of that some items that players can interact with seem too small to accurately navigate to, causing players to lose points purely out of an imprecise mechanic rather than a lack of ability. This is a pretty significant problem with Hay Ewe, and makes the experience of playing it feel rather unfair most of the time.
These problems almost makes sense when considering that Hay Ewe is made by Team17, the developers behind the imprecise multiplayer game Worms. Outside of a goofy multiplayer context where everyone is subject to messing up (usually in hilarious ways), this imprecision just feels bad. Although there is a lot to like about Hay Ewe, it’s almost too hard to get over its control problems.
Burnt offering: Whither the iPad mini? Photo: Stephen Hutcheon
Seven signs that tell you that after just two years, the iPad mini may be headed for the scrap heap:
1. The rise of the phablet
Apple launched the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus just last month and Google has a 6 inch monster phone (phablet) – the Nexus 6 – going on sale soon. It makes sense that bigger phone screen sizes means there’s less need for smaller-screen tablets.
2. Blink and you would have missed the announcement
At the launch event in the US overnight, the Apple executive who presented the new 7.9 inch iPad mini 3 spent approximately 29 seconds talking about it during a 1 hour 20 minute event.
4. The portability gap has narrowed
Two years ago, the iPad mini was 2mm thinner than the new iPad and 50 per cent lighter. Today, the larger iPad Air 2 is 1.4mm thinner than the iPad mini 3 and only 25 per cent heavier.
5. There’s now a feature gap
Last year’s mini and Air were neck and neck in terms of processing power and features. Now the iPad Air 2 has crept ahead with a host of new bells and whistles.
6. An even bigger iPad in the wings?
If the whispers are correct, Apple will launch the iPad Pro, a 12.9 inch device, early next year, a move that will mean there are effectively two "mini-er" options.
7. Steve’s prophecy was correct
In 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs called 7 inch tablet "tweeners" which would be "DOA – dead on arrival". Jobs was almost always right. For more information, visit Snappy Apps iPhone App Developers Brisbane – www.snappy-apps.com.au
Drafts 4 – Quickly Capture Notes, Share Anywhere! ($4.99) by Agile Tortoise is the brand new update for our staff’s favorite quick note-taking app. It’s now a brand new, separate app (the old version still works if you have it) for iOS 8, and it’s now universal, so there’s no more need for a separate iPhone and iPad version. Regardless of whether you’ve used it before or not, Drafts 4 is fantastic, and this is a great time to get into it if you’ve never tried it before.
Every time I have to restore my device or get a new iPhone and start fresh, one of the first apps I will install will always be Drafts. I love writing, so it has always been an invaluable tool to have at my side. I’ve used it since the first version that hit the App Store over two years ago, when it helped kickstart the world of iOS automation with apps like Launch Center, and it remains one of my must-have apps, always in my iOS dock. It’s continually gotten better over time, and Drafts 4 is solid proof of that.
If you are using Drafts 3, it’s easy to migrate your data into Drafts 4. The last update to Drafts 3 included an export button in the settings, which creates an export file that you just dump into Drafts 4. There is a separate export action for both your drafts as well as actions. Drafts 4 no longer uses the previous Simperium Sync method to keep your data intact across devices. Instead, it now uses iCloud syncing for your drafts and actions, which is easier.
First off, Drafts 4 features a refined interface that works much better than what it had before. Previously, Drafts had buttons for all of the features spread out on a row that sat at the bottom of the screen, above the keyboard. While I didn’t mind this layout, it did leave the top of the app feeling empty. Now the buttons for the drafts viewer, new draft, word and character count, and action menu reside at the top of the screen, along with a new info button. It will take some time to get adjusted to this (especially on the bigger iPhone screens), but it does make more sense. The Link Mode button (changes the draft to a non-editable view and all links can be tapped on) is still found at the bottom row, along with the new “arrange” button, appearance options, and settings.
The Info button will bring up data such as where the note was created, where it was last modified, an action log, and version history, similar to what you would find with a Dropbox file.
When you access the drafts list and action panel, they now slide in from their respective sides on the screen. There will be tabs for both, which allow users to scroll horizontally if everything doesn’t fit in the width of the panel (applies more to Actions than Drafts). A search bar in both gives you the option to search through your notes and even actions, which is handy.
A brand new feature with Drafts 4 is the fully customizable keyboard extension, which is located just above the predictive text row of iOS 8. To edit this to your own preferences, just scroll horizontally to find the pencil button, and then tap it. There is no limit to the number of extra keys that you can put in this extension, but you will have to scroll to find what you’re looking for at times. You can rearrange the existing keys by drag-and-drop, remove them, or add new ones from four different categories: Command, Label, Text, and Script. There is also the option of going to the new Action Directory.
The biggest new change, though, is the action builder. Drafts 4 has shifted away from the URL schemes for actions, and uses a more Editorial-like approach to actions and workflows using blocks. This means that it is much more friendly to users, since you no longer have to create all of the actions manually with URL schemes.
Action steps will consist of a single task, such as sending your text to Fantastical 2 as a new event, creating a list of to-dos in Reminders, starting a new entry in Day One, and much more. But now you can combine multiple steps to create a workflow in an intuitive interface. Drafts provides basic steps for you, such as posting to social networks, sending emails or messages, uploading to Dropbox or Evernote, and more. All of these steps have a template, which you can leave alone or edit for your needs. Regardless, the entire process makes Drafts actions much more accessible for everyone.
Previously, I mentioned the new Arrange button (it looks like the “hamburger” button). Arrange works much like Agile Tortoise’s other app, Phraseology, except it is now built-in to Drafts. If you’re not familiar with how this works, it’s pretty simple. Arrange will break up your draft into draggable sections â€” each paragraph and line break is its own block. This makes it effortless to rearrange your words to flow better. It’s great for longer pieces of writing.
There is now a Web Capture extension built in, which will be useful for a select group of users out there. Unfortunately, there is only one template for this, and while you can edit it to work best for you, there should be an option to have multiple molds to choose from. Perhaps this can be added in the future.
Drafts 4 also includes a share extension and a Today widget. The extension will take any text youâ€™ve copied from another app and throw it into Drafts. The widget allows users to create new notes from the Notification Center, and there is also a button to create a new note with whatever is on your device clipboard at the moment.
When you want to adjust the settings for Drafts 4, just tap on the cog in the bottom right corner. Much like the rest of the app, even the settings menu has been improved, and it is more unambiguous. Everything is laid out in a more organized manner, and it is much less complicated than before.
Drafts has always been a favorite of mine, and this new version just takes the app to new heights. I am enjoying the streamlined design and all of the new, powerful features that make this the best quick note-taking app there is â€” it can be as simple or complex as you want, thanks to infinite possibilities for customization.
Drafts 4 is definitely a must-have app this week. You can get it on the App Store as a new, universal app for $4.99. Believe me â€” it’s well worth the price.
Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Parents of children who enjoy storybook apps may be interested in Lucy Ladybird, a beautifully illustrated tale about a ladybug with no spots. Feeling alienated from the other ladybugs, Lucy goes off by herself, coming in contact with other creatures who are happy to give her a spot of their own. The illustrations are rich with colorful, delightful details including the tactile use of fall leaves in their color-changed glory to make up ladybug bodies as well as other details that make me smile. The different seasons are touched upon here showcasing the warm colors of fall, the icy cool colors seen in winter, and the lush floral displays of spring – wonderful scenes that make this book really stand out for its visual quality.
This story of Lucy collecting spots of different colors is written in a repetitious manner that may help younger children with listening as well as reading comprehension. Although a little predictable for adults, this format is quite classic and creates a timeless feel that adults and children will appreciate. Narration is included, and I enjoy the different voices created by the narrator, adding richness to this storybook. A question mark seen at the top of each page can be tapped to give hints on how to find the included interactions, which I really appreciate. The hints are displayed as text to be read – a nice inclusion for adults to share, but visual clues would be more helpful for pre-readers looking to enjoy this app by themselves.
This app also includes the chance to sing along with the song, karaoke style, as adults read the words that are highlighted in time to the song being played – a nice moment for those interested. I also really appreciate that as additional Sing Along mode is included with highlighted words as well as the chance to sing along with the narrator – a better choice for some.
Another section included is a coloring book. Six images from the story are offered, and although I enjoy that an eraser is included as well as appreciate the quality of how the paint looks on the page when one has chosen a color to draw with, only a single paintbrush point is included. I would prefer a selection of line sizes to draw with as well as other functions, without which this area seems a bit like an afterthought. Having said this, my mind does wander to the art of Eric Carle while reading Lucy Ladybird, as well as to the Elmer series of books and even elements from The Rainbow Fish, making it stand together with these classics – high praise to be sure.
My only reservation with recommending this app is the current price tag of $5.99, which I genuinely think is misguided given the features and functions found within other applications that are associated with this hefty, top-tier price tag. I would also like to see the links to the associated site, social media, and to Amazon to facilitate the purchase of the printed copy of this book be hidden away from the children who will be reading this storybook as links like these are not appreciated by most adults within the childrenâ€™s section of any application.
My last note is that as much as I admire much of Lucy Ladybird, the current size of 483 MB makes this app way too large to keep on our iPad past the review process, and I can see other families feeling that this app takes up too much room on their device as well. Condensing this app would be quite helpful to families who purchase it, to be sure.
Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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With recent incidents of brown recluse spiders invading homes [Editor's NOPE], and masses of killer bees stinging people to death, nobody is currently in the mood to give bugs the time of day. But we need to remember some bugs are OK dudes. Some bugs fight for what’s right. That includes the tiny cast of Best Fiends, a puzzle game from Seriously.
Best Fiends is set in the world of Minutia, a peaceful place where bugs co-exist with slugs. One day a mysterious meteor slams into the volcanic area of Mount Boom, and transforms the slugs living there into voracious, mindless eaters. When the slugs go on a kidnapping spree, a group of insects calling themselves the Best Fiends rally together and take the fight to every corner of Minutia.
Best Fiends is a match-three/battle game. Players meet and command a group of adorable bugs (nobody would mind seeing these guys scurry down their wall at three in the morning) by matching up three or more colored game pieces.
When a match is made, the relevant bug makes their attack on the slug staring them down. Temper, a mite, strikes when three or more leaves are matched up. Brittle, a housefly, goes to town when mushrooms are matched. Kwincy, a spider, springs into action when flowers are connected. And so on.
Successfully clearing each stage of Best Fiends means meeting certain conditions. Players may be required to zap a certain number of slugs, or they may need to match-up a certain number of game pieces, or they may need to meet multiple goals in a single stage.
All told, Best Fiends isn’t much different from many of the match-three/battle games currently available. That’s not to suggest it’s meritless, though. In fact, Best Fiends is well-polished, super-cute, and super-addictive. Let’s face it, match-three/battle games wouldn’t dominate the digital marketplace if they weren’t enduringly fun.
Best Fiends doesn’t try to present wildly innovative ideas. It just tries to be a solid, satisfying game with some adorable visuals. It certainly gobbles up the player’s time. At any rate, it’s enough to make anyone forget they’re fraternizing with bugs. That speaks well for the experience.
Contact My Clients does a great job of organizing all the ccontact you have with your clients, and with the least amount of effort possible. It will keep you methodically clued in to your communication with them.
Thankfully, you can now toss your hand-written scribbles and post-it note collection goodbye. Instead, scroll through your contacts, and set reminders galore. How often do you need to follow up with a client? Once, twice, three-times? Customize your contact with clientele with the neat and trim Contact My Clients App.
YourÂ contacts are automatically imported to the app when it is loaded and the rest is essentially self-explanatory. Once the contacts have been imported then begin to set reminders, choose the contact, frequency of contact, and youâ€™re set up. Youâ€™ll be reminded to call your client to follow up as many times as you desire.
Concept and Functionality:
Letâ€™s say that you have a viable but forgetful client that loves working with you, but is easily distracted. Pick this contact, set your reminders to â€œQuarterlyâ€, and presto!
Now, a few times a year youâ€™ll be notified that itâ€™s time to contact this individual. The rest is up to you, so pick up the phone and get to peddling those refrigerators or whatever else it is that you do!
The fact is, this app does capitalize on a nice little niche. Whereas the â€œRemindersâ€ app implicit within iOS helps you direct missed calls into their app, you donâ€™t have many options from there to follow up. With the comprehensive nature of this app, you could hypothetically program thousands of clients in a single go, and never have to scramble to connect or remember again.
Weâ€™d love to see an interface overhaul, simply because if this app could gravitate more toward an iOS 8 aesthetic, it might fit delightfully in with other apps like â€œRemindersâ€ and â€œEvernoteâ€.
It does stick out a little bit, but would only take a few minor tweaks to run at 100% fluidity with a beautiful presentation.
In general, if your business requires you to be in contact with lots of people, this app is a no-brainer and a delightful download.
Contact My Clients requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhoneÂ 5. A small expedite fee was paid to speed up the publication of this review.
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