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Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 – A YEAR IN REVIEW [SOAPBOX]

It has been a year of ups and downs for InternetGumshoe and for the webOS and Apple fans.

The Tech industry changed a lot in 2011. We have seen several technology giants fall (including HP and RIM) and Apple grow to the biggest Company in the world. It was also the year that Steve Jobs passed away.

InternetGumshoe grow massively over 2011 as we expanded to cover webOS as well as Apple products as we focused on the best in the Tablet market place.

We have seen webOS go from a brillant product line announcement in the early part of the year, to a lack luster release with poor advertisement to the hardware being pulled weeks after release, and finally webOS going open source at the end of 2011, with no hardware on the cards in 2012.

Apple released some “Speed Bump” products with the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S. Some great products if you did not own an iPad 1 or the iPhone 4, but not enough if you had these already. People wanted the iPhone 5, but as we predicted it was not going to happen in 2011. iOS has gone from strength to strengh, but iCloud has had a rough road with it not quite living up to the “It just works” Apple catchphrase.

Android has seen massive fragmentation over 2011, but finally showed signs of getting on track with Ice Cream Sandwich, but it looks like 2012 will have to be the year that things may get ironed out.

So what does 2012 hold for InternetGumshoe and the Tech world, well we will cover that in tomorrows article. 

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Article, Soapbox

 

FREE APP ROUND-UP (DEC 30 2011) [TOUCHPAD]

Three more free Touchpad applications get the round up treatment.

Bible for Children HD : 61%

This application contains several stories from the old and new testaments of the bible. They have been simplified for children to understand them. The artwork is fairly average, with several pages with the same image, which appears to have been drawn with a mouse on an old fashion artwork package. If you want your children to read the bible then this application may be worth a look.

Dribbzine : 56%

This application shows several pieces of high quality and interesting artwork. However, apart from scrolling through the gallery of artwork (which does not always work) you can do nothing with the application. The artwork cannot be increased to full screen for a good look and you will not be able to download the artwork.

Your First Android App : 35%

First off, why do an android themed app on webOS? The application is lacking in content and a usable user interface. The developer should have focused on learning webOS rather than looking at Android. The content can be obtained anywhere on the internet and would be more complete then the information offered here. If you scroll the content too quickly you will find it shooting off the top of the screen and you being stuck with an empty screen with nothing on it, and having to close the application as there is no way back to the menu.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Free App Round Up, Touchpad, webOS

 

DOCTOR WHO ENCYCLOPEDIA [IPAD] – REVIEW (74%)

Doctor Who Encyclopedia is an interactive book and is published by Random House.

Explore and search over three thousand entries by episode, character, place or object and see the connections that link them together. Open interactive ‘portals’ for the Doctor, Amy, Rory, River and other major characters. Build an A-Z of your favourites, explore galleries of imagery and preview and buy must-have episodes.

This application currently offers information on the Eleventh doctor (the two series released to date), information on the 9th and 10th doctors can be purchased in app. The 9th doctor can currently be purchased for 69p  (was £4.99 on release, which many people complained about as it is only one series of information.)

The encyclopedia can be explored in many different ways with several portal pages, images, friends and places being just some of the the options available.

The application has a great visual look, but unfortunately, you soon find this is still over substance, as you will find it hard to find some information and easy to find others.

Most of the information lacks images or sound, and the text is given in a small scrollable area, rather than making more use of the large screen of the iPad. On one section I called up a pop up box appeared with only enough space for six or so words per line, and a scroll bar that went on for miles.

There are nice images and galleries in the application and these are nicely done with the option to expand the image to almost full screen.

Sound in the application is lacking, with the odd effect or Tardis noise, you will find yourself reading the application in silence.

The main issue I had with the application was the navigation of the information, I have used hundreds of application over the years and this has to be one of the worst “encyclopedia” designs I have seen. The search often does not work when you enter it, you select an option and sometimes wait not knowing if it is going to go a page or not. There are portals for some of the companions, but these do not include all the information on that companion, there is more hidden elsewhere in the app. For example, you need to search which episodes River song appears in, this should have been within her portal.

On the upside:

  • Lots of Doctor Who information.
  • Some great artwork and images.
  • A searchable database of information.

On the downside:

  • Crashes a fair bit.
  • User Interface is not great, could be a lot easier to navigate.
  • Search does not work as expected at times, like coming back with no results on a search for “Dalek”

Overall, this is an interesting application which could have been great. I am a big Doctor Who fan and would have been very happy if this application fulfilled half the promised features. However, it all seems a little half baked at times. Some of the stuff is great, but other sections are just lacking in images, sounds and content. For something claiming to be the “ultimate series companion” it is incomplete and badly put together. Fans will more than likely give it a break, but will find themselves disappointed rather than excited.

Rating: 74%

Size: 99.4 MB

Price (at time of review): £2.49 (With in-app purchases for additional doctors)

Link: Doctor Who Encyclopedia – Random House

 

FLIGHT CONTROL [TOUCHPAD] – REVIEW (80%)

Flight Control is a traffic control game released by Namco Bandai Games America Inc.

“Keep the skies safe in Flight Control, the insanely addictive worldwide hit! It only takes a minute to learn but you won’t be able to put it down. Guide aircraft to their landing zones but don’t let them collide!”

The basics of the game, are you are given an airport to control. You need to plot paths for the incoming aircraft to follow to allow them to all land safely and avoid air crashs. The game continues until a crash happens and it is game over.

The game has a simple design and you basically have the goals of improving the score of landed aircraft for each of the 5 airports and to try and get the several achievements that are available in game.

There are several different aircraft that can enter the airport air space. They all have different speeds and can only land on a single landing area title, so you need to plan the routes carefully and make sure you do not get them too close to the edge of the screen, else you will not have time to dodge other aircraft entering the screen. Luckily, you can change the flight paths at any time and you will find yourself doing this often.

The game is controlled by touching the aircraft and dragging a path to the landing areas.

The graphics and sound are very good, although the music does not repeat on longer games, so you are left with only the sound effects.

I have played the iOS version of the game and it stands up well gameplay wise, it lacks one or two on the current iOS features, but in the main is complete.

On the upside:

  • Fast and fun gameplay.
  • Great mix of planning and strategy to avoid crashing the planes.

On the downside:

  • An old title for the rest of the mobile industry.
  • Lacks some of the features of its iOS counterpart.

Overall, this game has been around a long time now, but still as playable as ever. I am very happy to see Namco releasing it on the Touchpad and hope to see other titles in the future. If you like this style of gaming then Flight Control is still one of the best around, and at 79p it is well worth a look.

Rating: 80%

Size: 26.9 MB

Price (at time of review): £0.79

Link: Flight Control – Namco Bandai

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in Game - Strategy, Reviews, Touchpad, webOS

 

FREE APP ROUND-UP (DEC 28 2011) [TOUCHPAD]

Three more free Touchpad applications get the round up treatment.

LittleFox Songs HD Free : 67%

This free application contains 11 cutely animated and sung childrens songs. Most of the songs I had never heard of before, but for my young daughter that did not matter to her and she liked the application. This is not a full application and more of an advertisement for the full version, but can still be enjoyable for younger kids.

LetItSnow : 53%

An application that can also be used in exhibition mode. This is a clock app with an gingerbread man in the middle. Tap the gingerbread man, he will animate (one or two animations) and some snow flakes will fall down the screen. Basic and overall, unimpressive.

52 Pickup : 40%

A very basic application, that is really not that great. Tapping the 52 cards on the screen to collect them gets dull fast. There is no time to beat. Also sometimes the game goes a little wrong and cards are left on the screen. This app is also advert filled and really feels like a way to make you look at the screen and see the apps, or maybe tap on them by accident while collecting the cards?

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Free App Round Up, Touchpad, webOS