In case you have been living under a rock, Google’s new social media venture Google+ came upon the internet scene last month, launching with an invite only member program. It’s been the buzz of the social media community and the hype is good. All it needed to seal the deal was an app. Well Tuesday, it came to iOS.
Google+ for mobile is the compliment to it’s web counterpart. The design is very uniform, sticking to the Google color scheme on a white background. The new black bar is also present, as a notification bar. This bar is on the home page along with the Stream, Huddle, Photos, Profile and Circles options. Simply choose an icon to take you to the option. The Stream is much like
the familiar Facebook news feed, consisting of all the updates from your Circles. Swiping right or left gives you two more options, Nearby and Incoming Messages. Nearby displays updates and check-ins near your location and Incoming Messages will store exactly that.
The newest and most talked about inventions of Google+ is its organization feature Circles and messaging system Huddle.
Lately I have been perusing the Entertainment section of the app store. It is filled with wonder and yet asinine concepts. There are some true time killers among the selection, and some true wastes of time. After finding the highly stimulating Songify earlier this week, I went back looking to find some more entertainment gold. And then, eureka!
Video Time Machine. (Is there a more intriguing title?) Literally travel through time with this awesome video app that has been
Games, games, games. Since the immense success of Angry Birds, the App Store is flooded with games. Some good, some bad. It has turned this little gadget we call a phone into a portable gaming system. And with most at .99, or even free, it
In Gameloft’s BackStab, the gamer becomes Henry Blake, an officer in the Royal Navy currently battling the Spaniards. Immediately thrust into battle, the beginning of the game gives a good tutorial in moving and battling with your new found hero. Armed with only a sword at first you thrust and slash your way through enemies, even sparring sword to sword with them in defense. You are tutored through your companion Kane, who you follow throughout the beginning levels. The missions involve multiple weapons including cannons and pistols, all which allow for a slow reloading time, giving it more of the period feel. You can aim at targets at a distance and are even challanged with adjusting for moving enemies.
The controls are very well done, giving you the feel of a console version, complete with analog stick control and attack buttons. I especially liked that that the analog button was able to be moved depending on your thumb’s placement. This made for less mistakes when moving the character around the world. The graphics are definitely Gameloft’s best, with the opening sequence a beautiful scene to watch. The world is 3D and as you move Blake you are able to adjust the camera. Though this is a nice touch, sometimes the camera angle would would cause you to fall if it wasn’t placed right. The option of an automatic follow for the camera, or at least a way to center it behind the character would have been helpful. There are a few other gliches with the geometry of the levels and some characters floating in air, but nothing that messed with the actual gameplay.
As the storyline progresses Blake finds out his buddy Kane has flipped sides, thus the name BackStab, and Blake is captured and imprisoned. On his day of his execution he is rescued by a busty heiress and escapes. Once back in his hometown, Blake changes his appearance and becomes a rogue killer seeking revenge. The story is basic but a good one to layer gameplay on. Once in the town the world is open and Blake is free to roam around, buying goods, weapons, houses – or even getting frisky with the ladies of the night. Though be careful, not all characters are as they seem and will rob you at the drop of a hat! The open world is very familiar bringing back all the enjoyment of a Grand Theft Auto type game with the freshness of a new time period and storyline. It makes for excellent replay value as there is always more to discover. At the price of just $6.99, BackStab is a great value and is sure to keep you coming back for more.
Junkies, the land of iOS is a vast and beautiful one, we can all agree. It definitely has quite a lot of strengths. But like anything else, there are some weaknesses. For one, the lack of Flash ability. Now I know, or I keep hearing, that Flash is on it’s way out, but there are still so many that use it. Much of the sites that do are still very popular. There’s nothing I hate more than to click a link for a video on my iPhone only for the error that it is not compatible. Now there have been a few apps that have tackled this problem in the form of a browser, but my favorite multi-function app that tackles this problem and several others is Splashtop Remote Desktop.
The Splashtop Remote Desktop app works with Splashtop Remote software to give you access to your computer remotely. This allows you to access your computer from a totally different location, whether it be for a file you left for work or to watch Hulu from your computer’s browser. You can also listen to music and run your programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc. Work on anything right from your phone! The best part is that it will do this on not only WiFi, but 3G and 4G as well! Just sign in with a GMail account to use the internet to discover your computer.
The setup is minimal and super easy. Download the software for your version of Windows or Mac and then the app from the app store. Once the software is running and app is configured you are off and running. Now the software must be running and your computer be on for you to gain access, but when you do, it works really well. There are built in touch control shortcuts for scrolling, drag and drop and right click. There is also a little button in the bottom right corner to bring up the keyboard. It is so simple and works exactly as advertised. I also think it works great if you’re one of those that use your computer as and entertainment center. It gives you a true universal remote to play your internet videos and music.
Now the description for this app does say that it streams “smooth, high-res video and audio”. I had no trouble hearing and understanding any audio for sure, and I could type in Hulu and definitely watch a video. Was it smooth? Not exactly. Now maybe if you have movies stored on your computer, running them would be easiest as you would be using the computer to process, but the buffering made the online videos lag. Of course this all depends on your network and process speed of your computer and Splashtop does recommend a computer with dual-core CPU for best performance. With the right hardware this app could definitely make the iPad a definite multimedia dream.
Overall Splashtop Remote Desktop is a great multi-task app that anyone could find useful for a number of reasons. Get it now as they celebrate their #1 app status in 49+ countries and have knocked the price from $4.99 to $1.99! Splashtop also comes in iPad and Android versions, all which are also on sale. Junkies, add it to your collection and never be more than a click away from your home PC.
How creative are you? Think you can make a stylized, interesting video in 15 seconds? This is the question asked by Viddy.
Viddy is a video sharing app from Viddy, Inc. Much like Instagram, it is all about creating and sharing with the world, but instead of a still picture, you get 15 seconds of video.
After creating an account, you are ready to record. You can record straight from the app or choose a piece of video that has already been recorded. Once you’ve filmed your 15 second masterpiece you can begin adding effects. There are tints, vintage looks and junked and scratched film cells. Each effect also comes with a music track. You can adjust the volume on the music including turning it completely down. You can also customize the opacity of the added effect. Once completed it’s time to share.
Aside from submitting your video for the Viddy community, you can add Facebook, Twitter and other social accounts. Even your location can be added once linked to Foursquare.
Shared videos can be liked and commented on like a mini YouTube. You can follow other users which will show in your stream and see the most popular and trending videos. The interface is very user friendly, especially if you are an Instagram fan.
I really like the concept of Viddy. It is definitely not as complex and feature rich as the Vimeo app, but it’s not trying to be. It’s a simple shoot and share idea that gives you an instant gratification and encourages you to create. And it does all this without bogging down your phone. There has already been an update of improvements with more to come. I expect to see more effect packs along the way, and I cannot wait.
Junkies, apps for music seem to be everywhere these days. Some far exceed others. Some crash incessantly and are more trouble than they are worth! But there are a few rare gems out there. One of these gems is Slacker Radio.
Slacker Radio is available for iPhone, iPod Touch and, more recently, iPad. Now, I am a longtime fan of Slacker Radio, my favorite feature over other apps being not the music, but the comedy stations. And not just censored comedy collections, but explicit as well. Their selection is varied and rarely do I hear repeats. Slacker Radio allows you to listen to their over 150 expert-programmed radio stations or create your own. This app gives you access to the entire Slacker music library featuring millions of songs from thousands of artists. And now there are brand new features added just this week.
You can now browse the songs and artists on Slacker stations and make your own custom stations within the application. Search or simply browse station and artist pages for new music. Slacker also offers subscriptions with additional features. A Slacker Premium Radio subscription, gives users the ability to create playlists as well as play songs, albums and artists on demand, a feature I would gladly pay for! In addition to being able to stream on-demand content, Slacker Premium Radio subscribers can also cache stations, playlists and albums to their device to listen without a network connection! No Wi-Fi or wireless needed. Enhanced music discovery featuring artist bios, album reviews & lyrics is also included with paid subscriptions.
This week on Noob Radio Richard and Christian return from their busy week of wedding festivities (not to each other, that’s not legal here) for a jam packed show. This week the guys discuss why the new Conan trailer sucks, Can David Slade save Daredevil, as well as take on a super sized edition of The Comic Break brought to you by www.comicbreak.com. All this and much much more on this episode of Noob Radio…
Free comic book day party, May 7th
The Beverage Bar
2950 Thousand Oaks Dr.
San Antonio, TX
Come meet local comic book writers and artists!
Plus, comic themed Live Art Show!
Okay App Junkies, here is an oldie but a goody. If you are like me and are always looking for ways to make your phone more productive, then this app is for you. One of the first productivity apps I downloaded was Vlingo voice application, and boy did it replace a number of apps I had already purchased!
Vlingo voice app lets you do multiple things while staying hands free. Text, search and update your status all with the sound of your voice. You can even dictate an email and voice dial. Simply say,
Want to use social media to really get your name out there? Then you need HootSuite. HootSuite compiles multiple accounts into a dashboard that you can monitor and manage. Not just limited to Twitter, you can