Rightly or wrongly, the foosball table became the symbol of the Dot-Com Era excess. Seemingly every big-spending tech start-up of the late ’90s featured a foosball table in its office in an effort to paint itself as a free-wheeling haven for innovative thinkers. Usually, though, it just illustrated how the company was willing to throw good money after bad.
It’s fitting, then, as the mobile apps bubble continues to swell a decade after the Dot-Com Boom went bust, that the foosball table is making a comeback. In this instance, though, it’s a virtual version of the table soccer game built for your iPad. And rather than serve as a symbol of irrationally exuberant excess, Foosball HD is a well-designed iOS game that makes great use of the iPad’s screen and touch controls.
Ever wish you could see photos of your favorite bands and musicians while listening to their music? Electric Pocket Limited has launched Coverjam Pro, an app to do just that. Released on Tuesday for iOS, Coverjam Pro visualizes the music-listening experience by playing a slideshow of images tagged with an artist’s name, as their music plays.
Specifically, the app searches through and retrieves images from photo-sharing services Instagram and Flickr. Users can select the songs, albums, or playlists for which they want images and Coverjam Pro does the work of fetching and compiling the photos. The app is also compatible with the default iOS iPod player, so you can launch Coverjam Pro without interrupting your songs.
At least, for some of Apple’s mobile platform. While the Google+ iOS app is designed for iPhones running iOS 4.0 or later, there’s currently no support for either the iPad or, bizarrely, the iPod touch.
Upon launching Google+ for the first time, you’ll be prompted to log in to your account, after which you have access to your Stream, Photos, your Profile, and your Circles, along with a new mobile-specific feature called Huddle. One feature that’s not present is Google’s Hangout video chat, but given that it relies on a Flash plugin, that’s not exactly a surprise.
Just because Apple hasn’t released a new iPhone in more than a year doesn’t mean demand for the handset is waning. The latest survey from market research firm ChangeWave Research shows that Apple’s mobile platform is maintaining a high level of demand as well as attaining solid satisfaction numbers. And, in good news for Cupertino, the announcement of the company’s iCloud online service may actually bring in more users.
ChangeWave surveyed 4,163 consumers in June, asking those who planned on buying a smartphone in the next 90 days which platform they would prefer. iOS clocked in at first with 46 percent, followed by Android at 32 percent—both were up, from figures of 44 pecent and 31 percent respectively, since ChangeWave’s last survey in March. RIM, meanwhile, has dropped back down to a meager 4 percent of intended purchases, matching its all-time low. Keep in mind, however, that the survey numbers mainly refer to the domestic smartphone market, as only 11 percent of respondents were from outside the U.S.
Another week, another installment of our ever-popular iPad-case roundups. This week's selection includes some interesting contenders, from the exotic allure of kangaroo leather to the iPad generation's answer for the eighties boombox.
Aranez: All the way from Down Under comes Aranez’s selection of kangaroo-leather cases (iPad 2; price unavailable), each made from authentic Australian-kangaroo leather. A boon for lovers of the exotic, the company says its leather is a byproduct of a culling campaign conducted by the government to control the kangaroo population, rather than from kangaroos raised specifically for tanning.
Back in the pre-Internet days, kids who loved to learn found particular joy in the World Book Encyclopedia—a blue-spined collection of volumes, filled with information about just about everything, that could be found in most school libraries across the land. Geo Walk-3D World Fact Book should hold similar appeal to the newest generation of precocious, iPhone-savvy students.
The most appealing part of the $1 app from Vito Technology—and its $3 iPad counterpart, Geo Walk HD—is the user interface. (Though “3D” is a bit of a misnomer; the apps feature well-rendered interactive images, but no glasses are required.) A globe fills the screen, which you can spin back-and-forth or up-and-down, revealing a series of location-based flash cards. Tap a card and you’re given a picture of a person, a plant, an animal, or a landmark associated with continent or country you were viewing. Tap the picture, and it flips over to reveal a few sentences describing the person or object.
After last week’s report from the German government regarding PDF-related security vulnerabilities in MobileSafari, Apple has stepped up: The company on Friday released updates for all iOS devices that fix the problem. The updates are recommended for all users of Apple’s mobile devices.
Though they both fix the same three vulnerabilities, the patch comes in two versions, thanks to the different flavors of the iPhone 4. iOS 4.3.4 applies to the iPad and iPad 2, the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch, the iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 4 (GSM model); users of the CDMA model of the iPhone 4 instead get iOS 4.2.9.