I can't remember the last time I looked forward to a game as much as I'm looking forward to Duke Nukem Forever. I've always loved first-person shooters, but they're all so dark and serious these days. I'm ready for some old-school fun; to kick some ass and chew some gum--and I'm all outta gum.
For whatever reason, that infamous Duke quip doesn't appear in the new Duke Nukem Forever Soundboard app for iOS. Fortunately, the app delivers more than two dozen other hilariously juvenile Duke-isms, including "Tonight you dine in hell" and "Hail to the king, baby."
Many of the others aren't suitable for reprint in a family blog, and indeed the app is rated 12+ for its mild profanity and crude humor.
Ultimately, the app is little more than a scrolling list of sound clips. But it's a fun little teaser to whet your appetite for the game, which ships in about two weeks. And it's free.
Alas, no word yet on whether we'll ever see a proper Duke Nukem Forever game for iOS. For now, you'll have to settle for Duke Nukem 3D, a port of the original PC classic.… Read more
The big news this week from the world of Apple was the discovery that iPhones have been tracking users' locations as they go about their daily lives. Apparently, whenever you use Google Maps, or take a picture, or do anything that consults the GPS, your location and a time stamp are recorded in a log file on your iPhone. Apple is not using this information for anything, but it's not surprising many people find this particular previously unknown feature pretty unsettling.
Like probably anyone who heard this news, I had a lot of questions about what was being recorded, why it's being recorded, and what Apple has to say about it. Fortunately, our very own Josh Lowensohn and Elinor Mills put together an extensive FAQ to help you get all the info about the iPhone location-tracking function. Apple has not yet commented, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks and whether the company will strip this functionality from later versions of the iOS.
This week's apps are a DJ app that lets you mix music on the go and an artistic adventure game that is both challenging and very engrossing.… Read more
There's a major holiday approaching, and that can mean only one thing: a new Angry Birds Seasons update! Sure enough, version 1.4.0 just roosted in the App Store, bringing with it 15 new levels for everybody's favorite chocolate-infused holiday (besides Halloween): Easter.
As Angry fans know, this is becoming a regular happening. After Angry Birds Halloween made its debut last year, developer Rovio followed up with free Christmas-themed levels--and changed the app's name to Seasons.
A couple of days ago, some long-awaited iPhone hardware news finally hit the Web. No, it's not the iPhone 5 (which some are saying won't be released until fall). The big news out this week is that the white iPhone 4 will finally become available as soon as by the end of this month.
I have to admit that the white iPhone 4 looks pretty cool, but I can't imagine anyone waiting to take the plunge to buy an iPhone based on the color of the device. Is it just me? If anyone reading this has been waiting for the white iPhone 4, let us know in the comments.
This week's apps are an audio-enhancement app that gives your music 3D surround sound and a snowboarding game that might be the best in the App Store.… Read more
In a CNET News story yesterday, our very own Josh Lowensohn explored Apple's recent patent application for an interesting touch-screen concept. The patent details separate smaller displays outside of the regular iPhone touch screen. According to the patent filing, these separate displays could be used in tandem with the main iPhone touch screen or used by developers to show added information in apps and games. Josh is careful to point out that patent applications don't necessarily mean a company will use an idea in a future product, but they are nonetheless interesting to consider.
Obviously, adding separate screens would open up all kinds of options for apps, but I wonder if these areas would be used by Apple for showing things like battery life, current time, camera information, or other more generic smartphone-related uses. But if these added touch-screen areas could be used by app developers, it would open up a huge number of possibilities for more interesting on-screen controls and other information widgets related to what's happening on-screen.
Even without knowing whether this will come to light, what sort of uses can you envision for extra displays around the main iPhone screen? Let me know your ideas in the comments.
This week's apps include an app for star gazing that uses augmented-reality technology and an app that lets you play classic arcade and console games from the golden age of gaming.… Read more
Digital comics have been around for longer than the iPad, but they were previously confined to either the computer or a tiny smartphone screen. The iPad breathed life into this burgeoning field by providing a larger, colorful display that was still portable.
How the eye follows the page In fact, one of the very first apps to debut on day one of the iPad's release in 2010 was Comixology, an app that allows you to purchase, store, and read comics right on the iPad.
Comixology's iPhone app debuted in late 2009, but it wasn't until the iPad version that the digital comic potential was realized. Comixology boasted a reading experience that's almost cinematic, supposedly mimicking how the eye follows the printed page with a mode called "guided view." In guided view, you read panel by panel, instead of page by page. David Steinberger, Comixology's CEO, claims that around 50 percent of its users use guided view instead of full-page mode.
Content deals soon followed, as Comixology started offering titles by Marvel and DC, the two biggest names in comics. Indeed, Comixology helped the two publishers come up with their own dedicated apps in the iTunes App Store. It has also created title-specific apps like the Scott Pilgrim app that only carries Scott Pilgrim books.
The reason is simple: Specific apps get higher level searchability in the iTunes App Store. This proved especially useful when the movie of the same name debuted and people wanted to read the books that inspired the film.
Audience diversity and growth One of the more interesting results of digital comics on tablets and smartphones is that they typically draw in more casual consumers who are newer to comics. Steinberger said, for example, that the digital audience tends to favor pop culture hits more than traditional comic book fare. When the zombie-centric "Walking Dead" series debuted on AMC, digital sales of the comics on Comixology went up dramatically. This might be because casual consumers either don't know about their local comic book store or just don't want to go there.
"The [traditional] distribution of comics is lame," Steinberger said. "They're not on newsstands anymore, they're not in the corner stores. They're only available to direct-market retailers and there's less distribution than it used to be. There's great opportunity here to gain a larger market [of comic readers]."
He pointed out that the app actually includes a retailer finder. While it might seem odd that Comixology is promoting its brick-and-mortar rivals, Steinberger sees them more as allies.
"Everyone expects us to be a disrupter to steal market share," he said. "We feel that the way the market is shaped in the first place, there's an incredible chance here to enlarge the market. We feel that getting more people to discover comics at all is great for everyone."… Read more
Since the launch of iOS 4.3, several iPhone users have complained their batteries are draining much faster. I haven't personally noticed a difference, but for those of you who have, you'll happy to know that iOS 4.3.1 unexpectedly launched today. (It was rumored earlier this week that it might launch in two weeks).
Though there aren't many details about the release besides minor security and maintenance updates, it is likely that this early launch for the iOS means that Apple is trying to smooth out the bugs and hopefully take care of battery drain quickly.
Please let us know in the comments if you've experienced issues with iOS 4.3 and whether you noticed a difference in this latest update.
This week's apps include a well-designed barcode scanner and a game that challenges you to race through traffic on a motorcycle.… Read more
Maggie Reardon wrote a post today on her Signal Strength blog about AT&T beginning to crack down on customers using the iPhone's tethering capabilities without paying for the service. Apparently the company has begun sending out e-mails and text messages to the offending customers inviting them to sign up with its tethering plan--$45/month for what it calls a "DataPro" 4GB service.
I haven't used this feature at all yet on my iPhone and I probably never will at $45 a month. But this story also brings up the old "Unlimited Data" plan argument. I think I was grandfathered in with an Unlimited Data plan (which frustratingly doesn't include texts for no reason I can understand accept that AT&T is nickel-and-diming us to death), but as you can see, my "unlimited" plan has very clear limits when it comes to tethering (and texting!). I don't know about you, but last I checked, unlimited meant without limits. Also, if the connection is going through my iPhone to my laptop, how is that any different than simply using the same connection on my iPhone without a laptop? It's the same connection, right? If not, is it really a $45-per-month difference? Somehow I doubt it.
Anyway, I just thought I would (vent) put it out there and see what readers think about the new tethering features, the pricing, and the highly limited "unlimited data" plans. Let me know what you think in the comments.
This week's apps include a unique background image collection app, and a combination first-person shooter and role-playing game that's set on Europa, the ice-covered moon of Jupiter.… Read more
Today's the day, sports fans. The NCAA men's basketball tournament slams into high gear, with 16 second-round games kicking off at noon ET--and 16 more lined up for tomorrow. Our nation's productivity is about to take a two-week nosedive.
As evidenced by the introduction of Unifi at CES 2011, there's a move to provide cloud storage services that focus specifically on media files. Of course, the problem one runs into with these types of files is that they tend to be a lot larger than things like documents, spreadsheets, and presentations--downright huge, in the case of video. A new software and service called Libox is aiming to tackle that problem.
Like Unifi, Libox serves to aggregate your media files from various drives and devices (though at this time, it doesn't bring in content you may have stored … Read more