Category Archives: iPhone

Doodle Cat: Like "Simon’s Cat", like "Doodle God", but with cattitude

Simon’s Cat (Free) is undoubtedly an adorable app. The question is, rather, is this app for you? It’s basically a mash-up of Simon’s Cat-like art and Doodle God (which was among our suggestions for great vacation apps). You combine on-screen items to “alchemically” create new objects. The cat purrs, plays, and is generally sweet and cute.

After playing with the app, I rather like it, but with certain caveats. First, I found it really hard to play on the iPhone — it really needs the iPad’s bigger screen because the manipulatable objects are just too freaking small.

Second, I had a hard time with items being dragged offscreen, before I figured out that big swipes across the play surface would reveal hidden items. After hearing my grunts of frustration, my daughter was all “What’s the prob, mom?” and I was all, “I lost my cat!” And she was all, “But we never had a cat.”

Parrot MINIKIT Neo voice-controlled hands-free kit coming in September

Parrot MINIKIT Neo voicecontrolled handsfree kit

For many drivers, hands-free kits are not only a good idea, but the law. A huge array of devices have come out over the past few years, many with a common problem — they’re rather bulky and unattractive. Now Parrot, the same company that brings you the über-cool AR.Drone, has announced the MINIKIT Neo (US$99.99) to change all of that.

From an initial look at the MINIKIT Neo, I think it’s going to be a winner, and for those who either don’t have an Siri-equipped iPhone or won’t be able to get a Siri Eyes-Free Mode button in their car, it appears to be a good solution. The device weighs only 2.5 ounces, is battery-powered (eliminating the need for dangling cords), and is advertised as “100 percent hands-free”. There’s a reason Parrot is making that distinction — a lot of “hands-free kits” that I’ve tested actually require the user to tap or push a button to perform certain actions, which can be just as distracting to a driver as picking up a phone.

Microsoft: "Post-PC" is the wrong idea

The Verge has a piece contrasting the Microsoft and Apple diverging views on what Apple calls the ‘post-PC world’.

The Microsoft view is there is no post-PC world, just what the company calls the ‘PC+’ world. Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner discussed this at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference.

Amazon announces GameCircle, similar to Apple’s GameCenter

Amazon has announced a new service for its Kindle Fire platform called GameCircle, which is akin to Apple’s own GameCenter service. It’s set to provide a series of APIs for leaderboards, achievements, and other socially-centered game-related features. GameCircle has already been tested with a few popular titles on the Kindle Fire, and it’s available for developers to sign up and check out right now.

Obviously this has nothing to do with us iOS users, as GameCenter not only covers our needs on Apple’s portable devices, but it’s also coming to OS X in the quickly approaching Mountain Lion. But this does show that other device manufacturers are learning from Apple’s history. Originally on the iOS platform, there was no official social gaming network, and it was a free-for-all between popular networks like OpenFeint, Crystal, and plenty of others. But Amazon’s heading all of that off early, aiming to bring developers under its own official umbrella for social gaming.

Tiny Wings update tonight brings iPad support, new modes

Tiny Wings 2.0 is now available on the New Zealand App Store, and is currently making its way around the world, to be available here in PDT around midnight or so. We heard about the game last week, but it turns out it’s not a full game — it’s just an update to the incredibly popular iOS app, and it’s a free update at that, available for download for anyone who’s already bought the first version.

The update brings iPad support, which a lot of Tiny Wings players will surely appreciate. There’s also a new mode called Flight School, which features four different Tiny Wings birds flying across the landscape, trying to reach a goal first. And there’s also a two-player same screen multiplayer mode, where two players touch on either side of the same screen.

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