Review: Tweet Hunt for iPhone and iPad

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.

Space Constraints: The Tweet Hunt shooting gallery games often display cut-off tweets and trending topics, particularly on the iPhone’s smaller screen.

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United puts iPads in cockpits for 'paperless flight deck'

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.

The announcement gives further momentum to a movement underway since spring, when the Federal Aviation Administration authorized pilots to use iPads running the Jeppesen Mobile TC navigation app instead of paper maps. FAA spokesman Les Dorr told Macworld on Tuesday that about a dozen airlines—including, perhaps most famously, Alaska Airlines—have made the switch to iPad-based charts.

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Glassboard takes social networking private

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.

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Packing Pro for iPhone and iPad

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’s Packing 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.

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The Week in iPad Cases: August moon

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's SlateShield

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.

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Motorola Titanium: Great battery life, not much else

The Motorola Titanium is a push-to-talk (PTT) Android phone geared toward foremen and other "grey collar" workers. Though the phone is targeted at a specific, accommodating niche user, they would not be satisfied with the slow data speeds and clunky performance of the Titanium.


Priced at $150 (with a new two-year contract on Sprint), the Titanium looks like a steal for anyone looking for a rugged smartphone. The device looks very similar in design to the Motorola Droid Pro and XPRT, though the Titanium doesn't feel as solid as its business class cousins. This is particularly odd when you consider that the Titanium meets military specifications for dust, shock, and extreme temperatures. Unlike Motorola's other rugged offering, the Defy, the Titanium is not waterproof -- although it does sport a 4mm thick Gorilla glass display for added screen durability.

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