RSS

Monthly Archives: January 2011

MOBILE MOUSE [MAC / IOS] – REVIEW (87%)

Mobile Mouse is an application that turns your iOS Device into a wireless controller for the Mac and is released by R.P.A. Tech.

This application is designed to let you connect your iOS device via WiFi to Mac. Those making your device into a wireless controller. Keyboard, Mouse etc.

The application is nicely designed, it is easy to set up and use. 

There are screens for web browsing, music (iTunes), and there is even a perfect duplicate of your applications in the dock on one of the screens, allowing easy switching to a different application.

The iPhone version is great, but really only if you want to use one piece of functionally at a time. Need an external mouse, you have got it. Need an external numeric pad for lots of maths work, then it is there. I have known lots of people who have paid several dollars for accessory devices that are now offered on the iPhone screen.

The iPad version gives you the best experience due to the large screen. The Keyboard is the same as the iPad version with an additional bar above it for some of the Mac keyboard functions.

Interestingly you can run the devices at the same time, so you could use the iPad as the keyboard and the iPhone as the mouse or numeric pad.

This application is more for working and entertainment, rather than trying to game using it, however, the response time is very quick.

The user interface is excellent on both versions, but it is the iPad version that shines. For example, if you are typing on the iPad the words appear on the device, so you can see if you made a spelling mistake without having to look up at the Mac screen.

One note, on the iPhone version, if you do get rid of the keyboard, then you have to shake the device to get it to return.

Clearly you need to consider battery life and sleep times of the devices when using this product, for example, when using the iPhone as a mouse I would start typing a large amount of text and then go to move the mouse, and of course the device had gone to sleep so I had to wake it back up again. You can change this setting from the options, but then you will need to think about battery life.

On the upside:

  • Very easy to start up over WiFi
  • Excellent wireless mouse and keyboard option with the iPad

On the downside:

  • The keyboard layout could be improved a little.
  • Having to run the server on the MAC, but no way round this one.
  • Would have been nice if it was a universal app so you did not have to buy them separately

Overall, this is a great application allowing you to use your iPhone or iPad as an external keyboard and/or mouse for the Mac. The iPhone version is more of an accessory only really about to do one job well at one time (a mouse, a keyboard, external numeric pad or a remote control), but the iPad version is solid. I would have liked to have seen a customisable keyboard option within the iPad application and the arrow keys in a better layout, but apart from this I found the iPad version excellent. i was impressed with whole experience.

Rating: 87%

Size: 5.7 MB [iPhone] other versions smaller.

Price (at time of review): Server Free via the Mac App Store / iPhone: £1.19 / iPad: £1.79 

Link: iPhone: Mobile Mouse Pro (Remote / Trackpad) – R.P.A. Tech / iPad: Mobile Mouse (Remote/Trackpad for the iPad) – R.P.A. Tech

Advertisements
 

MACWORLD 2011 – SOAPBOX

MacWorld 2011 is now over and people have returned home to reflect.

People said that last years MacWorld was going to be the last after Apple pulled out, however, MacWorld is still alive and kicking. The main thing about it, it is has changed.

The tech talks, training and conferences are pretty well the same as always. There are lots of nice events to walk and take part in, and I believe that this will be what will keep MacWorld going in the years to come. Apple fans love to talk about the future of the Mac and iOS platforms.

The trade show floor is where the biggest changes have taken place. The big companies have been staying away and small companies are filling the spaces, but there are no real companies wanting to fill the void left by Apple.

The indie developers are still there trying to be seen and trying to push their products. For the U.S. based companies this is a lot easier and more cost effective than for the rest of the world, but more power to them for trying.

The biggest thing you notice walking around the trade show floor is the shear amount of iOS accessories on offer, they outnumber the Mac ones by about two to one. Most of the companies are selling cases and protection for iPhones and iPads.

I hope they managed to make the money back in sales that they spent on floor space, as will all the hundreds of items there, only a few managed to get their names into the press and that is a real shame.

I worry for the companies who had good products, but where overlooked by the sear amount of things at MacWorld. One piece of advice to them, you need to be able to evolve quickly to keep up with Apple.

It is well know that Apple generally refresh all product lines every year, and sometimes the refreshes are very dramatic, with sizes and shapes changing not by millimeters but by centimeters. I was shocked taking to some of the companies who felt that their device for the iPad would more than likely fit the iPad 2. How can you say that at this stage, where is the slot of an SD card reader, where is your hole for the rear facing camera? It is true that no one really knows what Apple will bring to market later in this year, but it you cannot adapt your product design quickly when the iPad 2 is announced, then you can be sure that dozens of others will be able to.

I was very tempted to buy the ZAGG iPad Case/Keyboard, but I think I will wait for the iPad 2 to be announced, so I can get a product that will be useful to me at the end of 2011.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 31, 2011 in Article, Soapbox

 

CANNIBAL BUNNIES – REVIEW (77%)

Cannibal Bunnies is a arcade puzzle game released by Creative Drops Studio.

From the moment this game began to load up I so wanted to love it.

The idea behind the application is simple, the world is populated with rabbits, some as nice fluffy mostly brainless bunnies who hope around eating anything that smells like a carrot. There are purple bunnies, who have gone crazy and then have started to eat other bunnies. Then there are red bunnies, who are lazy and do not move, but just wait for stupid bunnies to hope close enough to eat or roll boulders at them (in later levels).

Your job is to grab the bunnies and lock them into cages to save their lives before they mindless hop off cliffs or into purple and red bunnies.

Gameplay wise the application presents you with side on world view made up of several platforms with ladders and cages around the landscape. As you tap the start button the bunnies all start moving. Almost immediately you will see the bunnies falling off the platforms. There are carrots in the level that make the rabbits temporary strong or sick (which is contagious).

The graphics are wonder, they are cute and well animated. The sound is good, the music is cute and bouncy.

The biggest downside of this game is the scrolling. The screen immediately zooms and you are unable to zoom out again. You need to get a cage on the screen to put the bunnies into and also have bunnies on the same screen to save. Meanwhile, bunnies are been eaten or falling off the platforms. So you are continually scrolling around, annoyingly, the screen will not scroll if you are holding a bunny, so you need to drop it.

On the upside:

  • Fast action game
  • Cute and Funny bunnies

On the downside:

  • Too much scrolling at times.
  • Bunnies are dumb, they die within seconds of the level beginning.
  • No indication with a bunny is able to drop into a cage, so you may let go and they fall off the screen. A glow around the cage would have been nice.

Overall, this game is good, but has some gameplay issues that just make it a bit annoying at this stage. The large amount of scroll (zooming a little would have been nice) and no hint if the rabbit is in the right position to enter a cage or not is also annoying. This is one of the first games I had to turn down the difficulty level to progress in the game, as too many bunnies fall or were eaten within five seconds of entering a level on the default difficult level (with is Hard). I think with an update to fix some of these issues this game could be a best seller, but at the moment, the gameplay is not quite there.

Rating: 77%

Size: 81.5 MB

Price (at time of review): £2.39

Link: Cannibal Bunnies – Creative Drops Studios

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 30, 2011 in Game - Arcade, Game - Puzzle, iPad, Reviews

 

NEWS FROM THE LAST 7 DAYS (JAN 30 2011)

Here are some of the headline from this week.

  • Apple Release iTunes 10.1.2, mainly in readiness for the Verizon iPhone release
  • MacWorld is a success, but seems to be filled with iPhone and iPad accessories and not much else.
  • Apple and News Corp due to unveil “The Daily” on the 2nd February
  • Pixelmator grosses 1 million dollars on the App Store in 20 days.
  • Office 2011 for Mac has a 30 day free trial, to get Mac owners interested. 

How are sales of Windows 7 phones going, not as well as Microsoft expected.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 30, 2011 in Article, News - 7 days

 

WRITINGS – REVIEW (84%)

Writings is a plain text editor tool released by Ice Cream Studios.

To give this application a fair test, I have switched to using it as my text editor since it was downloaded for review, and I have written it using the Writings application.

This application allows you to create or open plain text files, and then edit them. That is all it does, that is all it is designed to do, and it does it very well.

There are now dozens of these plain text editors on the App Store now, each of these apps have their unique selling points and it really depends what you are looking for to which one suits you best. Writings main selling points are the integration with Text Expander by Smile, a Night Mode and a large amount of editor customisation (fonts and colours).

Dropbox Syncing is included, but you need to SYNC from the main screen manually, it is not an automatic process as per some other similar apps.

The user interface is excellent, but some things are a bit strange, why on the main screen show a character count for a document, rather than a word count?

On the upside:

  • Support for text expander and dropbox
  • Simple and Clean user interface
  • Useful options, nothing that is not needed.

On the downside:

  • Not a Universal app.
  • Export only via cut & paste, iTunes and dropbox.

Overall, this is a great application for writers who love a clean interface while just working on the contents of their work. It sets itself apart from the crowd by the options of colours and fonts. It also gives you to options to switch spell checking on and off, which is very useful for fantasy or scientific work. I feel this is one of the best of it’s class, if not the best at this time.

Rating: 84%

Size:  12.8 MB

Price (at time of review): £2.99 

Link: Writings – ice cream studios s.r.l.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 29, 2011 in App - Business, App - Life Style, iPad, Reviews