“Serious fun” is kind of an ironic slogan for Natsume, as there’s not a whole lot serious about their games. Their iOS lineup for 2013 involves fishing (which I guess some people take seriously enough), zombie attacks, human attacks, ninjas climbing over Tetris blocks, and, in a pleasant surprise, a HomeTown Story.
LEGO App4+ is essentially a side scrolling, coin collecting platformer. The idea is that you can build your own LEGO vehicle and drive it. I loved the game, and my children’s incessant nagging to play it again and again says it all, really. LEGO App4+ is a kids game through and through, but one that’s truly developed and produced with the child in mind.
I’ve discovered that one of my favorite iPad accessories is essentially a pillow; specifically, iPevo’s very cool PadPillow iPad support, which is a disarmingly simple concept in theory and a fantastically brilliant one in practice. Now, building on the success of PadPillow, iPevo has expanded the PadPillow family with PadPillow Lite.
“No Fear” is a popular slogan to put on the back of your pickup truck. It’s also entirely meaningless, and an outright lie. It’s important to fear things; that’s how we, as a civilization, stay alive. One thing we shouldn’t have to fear, however, is poor audio quality when recording podcasts, music and whatnot. That’s why Blue Microphones has released Nessie.
By now, you all know the iOS 7 Beta is available for developers (it won’t be available for all of us until September). I have the iOS 7 Beta on my iPhone 5, and what can I say? iOS 7 blows me away. Apple did it again, successfully revitalizing an otherwise aging mobile OS and transforming it to something fresh. I can bravely say iOS 7 is a cleaner, leaner, and simpler version of Android.
AT&T is making plans to send emergency alerts to its customers, specifically those who own an iPhone 4S or 5. On Friday, AT&T made the announcement via their consumer blog, with some customers running iOS 6.1 already receiving the updates. Some of the alerts will include AMBER alerts to notify the public of missing children, emergency weather alerts, and even Presidential Alerts, which are sent directly from the President’s office.
E3 and WWDC 2013 have come and gone, but our Street by 50 on-ear headphones giveaway continues until Saturday night at midnight PDT. The Street by 50s from SMS Audio are valued at $179.95, so don’t miss this chance to get a great new set of cans to hear all that game and app audio in its full glory.
Accessory developer X-Doria continues to ramp up their product line for the iPhone with two announcements this week. First is the Shield case, which provides 360 degree protection for your iPhone 5 in an ultra-slim-fitting case. They’ve also released their Stylus Pro, which combines bamboo and aluminum to provide a lightweight writing experience.
There are many innovative ways you can use your fingers to interact with apps, but for action and fighting games you can’t do better than a joystick or gamepad. It’s great to see that Apple is offering iOS 7 game controller support, and I hope there will be many options from which to choose in the near future.
This week on the Free Apps Roundup: I can’t get you early access to iOS 7, but if you like comics (specifically Marvel comics), you’re going to be happy to see Avengers Alliance (and THOR: Son of Asgard) available this week for free. It’s a game full of heroes and missions. There’s also Minion Rush, a game that lets you be part of the super villain Gru’s loyal group of minions. Surely some of these apps will help keep your mind off of how much you’d like to upgrade to iOS 7 this very instant.
So, ending this pretty exciting week for the mobile industry is the arrival of Microsoft Office Mobile for iPhone. Some are reporting it as Office Mobile for iOS but there’s no optimized for iPad version. And while the app is free to download from the App Store, it requires an Office 365 subscription, be it Office 365 Home Premium or Office 365 ProPlus.
During the WWDC 2013 keynote, Apple released new Macbook Airs, a new Mac Pro, and the latest OS X update called Mavericks. As a result, minor details such as the design of icons were overlooked, and a lot of people didn’t question how Apple made the decision to include certain features while excluding others. Some of these questions are being answered now that details about the process have been revealed.