iPad App Reviews

October 14th, 2011 at 11:16 AM EST | by inu846W

Facebook for iPad Finally Arrives

The long, long, long wait for the Facebook app for iPad is finally over. While there had been speculation for months that the Facebook app was ready to be released back in the spring, insiders were confused why the app was being held back. It appears that a fight between the most popular social networking site and the world’s most popular tablet company had been causing the delay. It also appears as though Facebook has finally backed down. At the heart of the fight was the usual dispute over the ability of Facebook to generate revenue through the iPad app. In the end, as has happened with companies like Barnes and Noble and Amazon, Apple got its way and any in-app purchases must be through the iTunes store, rather than through Facebook directly.

Facebook for iPad Finally Arrives 2

For its part, Facebook gets to come to the device that accounts for 97 percent of tablet Internet traffic. The iPad is so popular when it comes to mobile web browsing, that it is actually beating out the iPhone these days in traffic (48.6 percent to 42.6 percent.) The app itself allows for an very iPad specific interface, including the ability to swipe through photo albums. It also allows for the ability to chat with your friends much like you would on any other device. You can also play a full slate of Facebook games on the iPad and watch high resolution videos without being sent to another party’s website. The app is now available for free in the iTunes store.

 

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September 26th, 2011 at 3:27 PM EST | by Oliver VanDervoort

Comcast's AnyPlay For iPad Allows Streaming Video

Streaming live television to portable devices has been the next big thing for quite a while now. In regards to the iPad, there have already been a couple of cable companies who have tried to go with the flow by offering apps that allow cable subscribers to watch their programs on the tablet. Now it appears that Comcast is joining the fray, much in the same way Time Warner has done it according to macrumors.com. Time Warner allows you to watch certain channels on the iPad as long as you are connected to the same WiFi network that is registered to your television provider. Comcast’s new service, being billed as the AnyPlay will do roughly the same thing.

Comcast users will need to have the right kind of cable box in order for this particular app to work correctly. Apparently, as long as you are using the right box and inside the area that your network covers, you will be able to watch the same shows as you do on your television. Comcast will actually use Xfinity TV’s iPad app and will actually be a bit of an upgrade over what that app can do. Before AnyPlay was announced, Xfinity users could only watch programs that were on demand. Of course, Xfinity users could also change their DVR settings from the app and will still be able to. There is no announcement of when this service will actually launch, nor whether there will be any additional cost but AnyPlay is expected by the end of the year at the latest.

 

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September 15th, 2011 at 8:00 AM EST | by Oliver VanDervoort

Solar Walk 3D for iPad Lets You Stroll Through Outer Space

As the iPad is now well known among both users and developers alike, we are seeing more apps that take advantage of the full abilities of the tablet.  One of these newer apps that give you a combination of entertainment and education is Solar Walk 3D.  With this particular app you can navigate around the solar system with just the touch and drag of a finger.

When you open the app, you are immediately blown away as you travel through a sort of star tunnel to arrive hovering just outside a digital display of our entire solar system complete with all the planets as they are lined up, in rotation around the sun.  You can touch and drag anywhere you would like to better get a look as to where one planet is to another and how the diagram looks from up top, or below or at any other angle you’d like.  Of course this isn’t just a digital diagram.  Tapping on the magnifying glass on the bottom left of the screen will bring up a menu that allows you to look at a whole host of different interstellar objects.  Planets, stars, places and even satellites are all viewable with just a little scrolling.

Of course once you’ve selected a place or object to take a look at you can press the “I” button and get some very specific information on select places in the solar system.  The bottom right of the screen offers another menu and when you click on this you will find a bunch of other features to keep the app refreshing and new.  Through this menu you can choose whether to view objects to scale or Orrery (basically meaning you can zoom in or out.)  You can also arrange the screen the way you would like and then take a screen capture that can be placed on your Facebook, or Twitter or emailed to whomever you would like.  

The Starwalk 3D app also offers several animations that can do anything from showing you just how big or small one planet is to another to how the tides on the earth are affected by the moon and the surrounding planets.  All of this is set to a nice relaxing musical accompaniment that can be turned off if you choose to stare in awe in peace and quiet.  Of course because this is Starwalk 3D, we’d be remiss if we talked about the app without mentioning the 3D part.  

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September 14th, 2011 at 8:25 AM EST | by Oliver VanDervoort

How To Photograph An Atomic Bomb for iPad

While the iPad is mostly viewed as a mobile device that will let you play all kinds of fun little games, Apple’s tablet is capable of so much more.  One app that truly shows what the iPad can do is How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb.  The app combines some animation with sparkling black and white and color photos and plenty of back story to really show the user what it was like to be at the birth of the world’s deadliest weapon.  

History buffs will love this app because it documents a period and a place that has seemingly been glossed over by other historians.  The app isn’t skimpy either.  How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb for iPad brings you 136 pages of stunningly clear photos all taken with the best photographic technology of the time.  This particular app shows just how photographers back in the 1940’s recorded not only what the bomb going off looked like but – in one stunning representation – how the power of the weapon literally changed the landscape.  Going through over 200 photos that are included in the app, you get a real feel for what these people were trying to do and that should be something everyone gets themselves familiar with.

How To Photograph An Atomic Bomb for iPad 4

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September 13th, 2011 at 7:24 AM EST | by Oliver VanDervoort

The Game of Life for iPad Leaves Something to be Desired

Some of the most popular games on the iPad are those that are based on well known and well loved board games.  Electronic Arts has done a good job of porting a ton of the board games that have spent time in living rooms for decades.  Monopoly, Battle Ship, Scrabble and Risk all provide hours of run on the iPad.  One game that seems to miss the mark when it comes to its iPad app is The Game of Life.  I really tried to enjoy this game, but there just seemed to be something missing.
 
The graphics and interaction are all there to make a pretty good game.  The fact that you can both play against the computer or in a pass and play mode with friends should make the game that much more fun.  For a short period of time it probably does.  Maybe it is just the fact that the Game of Life, like no other board game I played back in the day, doesn’t seem to lend itself to a digital version. I remember thinking when I was playing the board game version of Monopoly that I would have liked a computer to keep track of how much money I had and what the rent for my individual properties were. The Game of Life was a board game where you were actually seeing your little car, suddenly loaded down with a wife and kids, tooling around the board.  That translation just doesn’t seem to make it for me onto the digital form.
 
The Game of Life is also a game that doesn’t have a distinct ending.  Of course you can go around the board once and then retire and count up your money.  But in the board game, the funnest part was going around and around, changing jobs and having more kids and taking in even more money.  The digital version seems to take a little fun out of this.  The app is actually quite nice looking; the animation is done well and sticks very much to the theme of the game.  But there is just something that is left lacking.  I liked being able to move my car and decide which turns it was going to take more than when I was playing any other board game.  

iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

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September 10th, 2011 at 1:04 PM EST | by inu846W

MyLine for iPad Brings Different Perspective to Facebook Viewing

There are plenty of different Facebook themed apps for the iPad but there is one that gives a different enough view it stands out from the crowd. While several of the Facebook apps for the iPad offer you the ability to interact with the social networking site, the MyLine for Facebook iPad app gives you the ability to see what has happened with your account over a long period of time.

MyLine Facebook app for the iPad gives you a look at what has been going on with both your own account and your friends in a sort of timeline. This allows you to better see exactly what people were talking about a month ago or a week ago or even an hour ago. There is the ability to look at different sections of the Facebook pages as well. You can see the statuses for all your friends or the pictures that they have posted. The app is actually free if you want to go with a very basic timeline that is only represented by the time you have had the app installed on your iPad. However, if you want to upgrade for $1.99, the app will go back and look at everything that has been done on your account since you first set it up on Facebook. Depending on how long you’ve had an account, this can be quite a walk down memory lane.

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