Novelty apps face two challenges when it comes to gaining a foothold in the App Store. First, they have to capture the imagination in some way. But more important, they also have to be good, well-designed apps that continue to be of use even after the initial novelty wears off. Otherwise, you’re left with the mobile equivalent of a joy buzzer on your iPhone or iPad.
Both Tweet Hunt: Classic and its spinoff Tweet Hunt: Celebirdies get the first part right, combining our fascination over the Twitter microblogging service and an old-fashioned shooting game. The trouble with both apps lies in the execution. Despite some clever design touches, both versions of Tweet Hunt misfire in how they operate. After a few frustrating plays, they’re likely to sit there on your iOS device as forgotten as the pet rocks of yore.
United Airlines is joining the “paperless flight deck” revolution, announcing Tuesday that it is distributing 11,000 iPads to United and Continental pilots to replace bulky paper navigation charts in the cockpit.
Sharing, as many of us we were taught back in kindergarten, is caring. But especially in this new age of social networking that shouldn’t mean you should have to share with—or care about—everybody all the time. Sepia Labs’s new iPhone app, Glassboard, is aimed at giving users the ability to share information with just certain people.
Glassboard is built, appropriately enough, around the concept of “boards.” A user creates a board—assuming the position of that board’s “chair”—and can invite whomever they want to participate in it. Once invited, a user can post messages, pictures, videos, and location data to the board or comment on and “like” other users’ posts. Like most social networks, users can pick a profile picture, but pictures can also be assigned to boards to make them easy to tell apart. You can keep up with posts to your boards either by browsing each board individually or by checking your News Feed, which shows you the latest updates on all of your boards.
Internet calling company Skype said Sunday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GroupMe, a startup that offers a free group text messaging and conference call service on mobile phones.
Skype did not disclose how much it is paying for GroupMe.
Whenever I travel, there’s a moment as I pull away from the house and start the drive to Newark Liberty International Airport wherein I first convince myself that I’ve forgotten something, and then convince myself that whatever it is mustn’t be that important.
Then I spend the rest of my airport drive trying not to panic.
Quinn Genzel’sPacking Pro, a $3 universal iOS app, tries to help folks like me shed such self-induced agita. Ultimately, however, it fails—and perhaps introduces some added agita of its own.
Summer’s end is approaching, but there's no let up in the amazing variety of cases that continue to appear for Apple’s iPad. This week’s roundup features the usual exciting mix of products that tackle the challenge of protecting your iPad while offering new ways of taking advantage of the hottest tablet around.
Addo: Touted as the “all-in-one integrated iPad case solution,” the SlateShield (iPad 2; $55) is a case that has it all: a rotating handle, an adjustable strap, and an integrated stand that allows both landscape and portrait viewing. The SlateShield is made of tough, durable ABS plastic and comes in a black finish.
Last year RIM introduced the BlackBerry Torch 9800, a touchscreen/QWERTY-keyboard hybrid. Almost exactly a year later, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 ($50 with a two-year contract from AT&T as of August 16, 2011) has arrived.
Designwise, the two smartphones are pretty similar. The real change is in the software: The 9810 (along with the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and the all-touch Torch 9850/9860) ships with the new BlackBerry 7 OS. However, although BlackBerry 7 OS is a big step up from the previous version, it still lacks a modern, cutting-edge feeling. On top of that, I noticed a few performance issues with the Torch 9810's browser.