Articles and Reviews by Michael Alexander
I've asked several developers what they would like to see in Apple's next software development kit and more than a few have answered "push notification services." What's the big deal?
"Push notification" is dev-speak for "I would like to run apps in the background, pretty please." At the moment, Apple does not permit apps to do different things at the same time, although the capability would be a tremendous boon to users.
These days, file transfer apps are doing much more than just transferring files. Readdle's, new intro ReaddleDocs, file transfer app, does everything it's supposed to do and then some.
Add Kristanix Games' Mahjong Epic to the the stack of 20-plus Mahjong games in the App Store.
Mahjong is so popular, not just on the iPhone/iPod touch, if you were to throw a stone in any direction, there's a good chance you'd conk a Mahjong player in the head.
Packing - A couple of years ago, I raced to Boston's Logan Airport to catch a flight to Sao Paulo. It was only after I was standing in front of the nice lady at the ticket counter I realized I had forgotten my passport.
Photo fx is a set of digital optical filters (filters are Tiffen's main line of business) for the iPhone and iPod touch. You use these filters to simulate the results you get with a variety of filters and lab processes when taking photographs with film.
It's not hard to figure out what Memory and System Info does, from the name alone. IntelligentMobiles' app gives you a peek at your iPhone or iPod touch's inner workings. Having this info handy may enable you to figure out why an app is misbehaving or crashing.
Smule, known for Ocarina and other best-selling apps, has introduced a new version of Sonic Lighter that enables users around the world to help answer one of life's most pressing questions: "Boxers or briefs?"
If you're a boxer guy, flick on a green flame; if you're a briefs guy, light it white.
mBox Fax & Voice, from mBox enables you to receive and manage faxes and voicemail on your iPhone or iPod touch via mBox's online messaging service. It's an iPhone app and online service combination that is aimed at business people who are frequently out of the office.
Frozen Bubble, from EGB, is a port of the free version of the popular Frozen Bubble game for the Mac and Linux platforms. It's the classic shoot and pop game, along the same lines as Snood, Puzzle Bobble and Bubble Town, which I reviewed recently.
Personal iPhone/iPhod touch privacy is top of mind for everyone these days, which probably explains the sudden influx of apps — such as PrivateWeb, Privateer and Anonymous Web Browser — into the App Store that promise to wipe the trail of crumbs you leave behind when you're on a surfing safari.
These apps are useful if you share your iPhone/iPod touch with a nosy relative or neighbor. They might also come in handy if you happen to leave your handheld on your desk at the office and the guy in the cube next to you decides to mess with it when you're in your manager's office explaining why you spend all your time surfing instead of working.
The organizers of the 2009 Independent Games Festival Mobile have named their finalists for its second-annual competition in mobile games for the leading platforms. Games for the iPhone and iPod touch are predominant to the extent that the organizers carved out a new "best iPhone/iPod touch game" category.
I generally like bubble puzzle shooting games like Snood, so I was looking forward to playing I-play's Bubble Town. What I came away with was the thought that the developer tried to shove a game into a platform that it is ill suited for.
Retro - Cave Flyer, from Big Head Games, is indeed a retro concept and a game for cave dwellers, as the name clearly says. Successfully steer your space ship through a cave, rescue your comrades and avoid a variety of dangers capable of blowing you to kingdom come.
Every time I begin to think I've seen every imaginable variation on a word game, along comes something like Gameblend Studios' WordJong. Evidently the game has been around for the PC, DS and Wii platforms for quite a while, so I'm surprised I haven't run across it before.
I could play MotionX Poker, from MotionX, all day long, every day for the next year, and I'd still be shaking my head and iPhone in awe.
MotionX Poker is poker (five-draw card) dice.They're dice with a playing card on each of their six sides: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 and 9 (there are no suits, so there are no flushes).
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