Reviews

Quick Review: Early Edition RSS Reader for iPad

Glasshouse Apps, makers of the gorgeous Barista and Cellar apps for iPhone and iPod touch is branching out for the iPad with Early Edition RSS [$4.99 - iTunes link] -- and yes, it's gorgeous.

Like Apple itself, they're going for a much more "real world" UI metaphor, in this case a newspaper. The main content is not so much flowed as typeset into place beneath the big, banner headline that's your latest article, and a cascade of older, and thus smaller, articles beneath it.

In landscape mode you get a sidebar similar to the built-in Notes app, with a circle around the currently viewed feed (or all feeds, the top choice). In portrait mode, you get a popover that serves the same function.

There's no Google Reader or Instapaper support yet (see comments, below) but they should be coming. That'll be a major drawback for some, but in the meantime you can add any feed you like with the handy plus button. (I cut and pasted Android Central's feed in from Safari with nary a problem).

Once loaded, tapping on a headline takes you to the RSS version of the article and you can toggle over to the web version in-app. In a nice touch, if you back out of an article and then tap it again, it remembers which state you were last in.

All the text showed up nicely rendered and easy to read, and graphics and even inline YouTube video were right there. I couldn't double tap to get the video full screen, but it played within the page just fine.

Note: they were kind enough to include TiPb's review feed as a default, along with TUAW, Apple Hot News, and some others. Risky, because if they mangled it our thanks could easily have turned into venomous sideways glares. Lucky for all involved, they nailed it.

If you're looking for RSS on your iPad, love good design, and Google Reader and Instapaper aren't "must haves" at this very moment, then check out Early Edition and let us know what you think!

Video and screen shots after the break!

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Quick Review: Crosswords on the iPad

My love of Crossword apps on mobile devices is no secret, so I was pleased to see that Standalone, Inc had their Crosswords app ready for the iPad at launch.

The phrase "just a big iPod Touch" is getting tossed around a lot this week and in some ways Crosswords is a perfect microcosm of that - some of the same iPhone screens and elements are available as pop-ups and in general there's no actual functionality that's available on the iPad version that you can't get on the iPhone -- except the gigantic screen. Portrait mode has enough space to show you a long list of clues, the keyboard, and in most cases the entire puzzle without zooming. Landscape is even better, giving you both the across and down clues in separate columns, the keyboard, and a zoomed-in view of the puzzle.

Naturally, there are plenty of features like hints, the ability to tweet your time, and of course the ability to download dozens of different crossword puzzles every day from both free and for-pay premium sources.

Video demo and gallery after the break!

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iPad Video: ABC, Netflix, and Videos Apps

We have to say we're pretty excited about the streaming video possibilities on the iPad. So excited, in fact, that the YouTube app feels pretty much like old hat. Jeremy already took a quick look at Netflix on the iPad and the verdict is that it works and the magic of simply having Netflix streaming on an iPad does much to overcome the fact that what you essentially have here is an app made of up Netflix's webpage.

ABC Video, however, is much more elegant and is a nicer iPod app. You get a set of tabs at the bottom for viewing video, your video history, and even a schedule of ABC shows. The video looks crisp to my eyes, but I'm especially impressed at how well the app saves my place on the various shows I've watched.

A quick video comparison of ABC, Netflix, and the default Videos app, along with a gallery of ABC and Netflix, are after the break!

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Quick Review: Twittelator Pad for iPad

I've spent a good time of today tweeting from Twittelator Pad [$4.99 - iTunes link], and I must say that I'm rather impressed.

Twittelator Pad is best viewed in landscape. On the left hand side, your timeline is displayed in a nice traditional fashion and on the right hand side is where you can access all other features of Twittelator Pad. Choosing different tabs on the bottom has nice animations that are appealing to the eye.

One of my favorite features of Twittelator Pad is that photos are embedded into your timeline and conversations. In most cases, pictures are plenty large enough with no need to enlarge them. Twittelator Pad also has a nice drafts feature that is easily accessible when you need it.

So far, Twittelator Pad has given me the Twitter experience I desire on the iPad. To see what Twittelator Pro has to offer in more detail, check out the screenshots and video after the break!

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Quick Review: Plants vs. Zombies for iPad

We are pretty sure by now most of you have heard of a little game called Plants vs. Zombies from the developer Popcap. TiPb would now like to introduce you to Plants vs. Zombies HD. [iTunes Link - $9.99] Right away I know what many of you may be thinking, why spend another $9.99 on a app I always paid for on my iPhone or iPod touch? I am here to tell you that if you love the game on any platform - buy it for iPad as you will not regret it. Plants vs. Zombies HD on iPad is the best way to experience this game.

The iPad version is identical to it's iPhone counterpart in the gameplay aspect but is much more graphically pleasing to the eye on iPad. You defend your home from invading zombies with an arsenal of 49 zombie destroying plants. The plants (a.k.a. weapons) available to you include peashooters, wall-nuts, cherry bombs and more to dismember the 26 different types of zombies. Along with all of this zombie action you get five game modes:

  • Adventure: 50 levels — Play through day, night and fog, in a swimming pool and on the rooftop.
  • Mini-Games
  • Puzzle
  • Survival
  • Stress Free Zen Garden

Screenshots after the break!

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Quick Review: Netflix for iPad

You say you just picked up a new iPad and wanted to sit back and watch your favorite episode of Lost or perhaps a blockbuster movie? If you are a Netflix member you can do just that with the official Netflix iPad application! [iTunes Link - Free]

All you have to do is download the Netflix app from the App Store and you can instantly watch TV shows and movies directly on your iPad. Once you start the app you will be taken to the Netflix website that seems to be optimized for iPad and you will enter in your password and username and everything will be familiar. If you start to watch a movie from your computer or TV and want to resume it on your iPad, you can. Even better is that since the app uses the web interface you have the ability to manage your que or make any account adjustments directly from your iPad.

I've been playing around with it for a while now and must say it is very snappy with no lag in the UI and the video content streams flawlessly. This is a must have for all Netflix users out there!

Screenshots after the break!

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iPad Photo Gallery

We know, you've seen plenty of photos of the iPad. But we have one and, dang it, we want to show it off!

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OtterBox Defender for iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS [Project Pink!]

Here is the OtterBox Defender in pink [$42.95 - iMore Store link], also offered in black, white, and yellow [iMore Store Link] a case said to be strong enough for a man but made in pink for a woman.

As a special bonus, we asked you, our readers, if you wanted to see Rene use this case for a day along with photographic proof, and you responded with a strong, hell heck ya! Though, getting Project Pink to happen was more difficult that originally planned...

Read on for the review, and the results, after the break!

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Case-Mate Vroom for iPhone 3G/3GS

Tired of your iPhone slipping out of your hand or off of your desk? Looking to add a little color and grip to you iPhone? If so the Case-Mate Vroom for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS [$12.95- iMore Store Link] is one to consider. For the full review follow me after the break!

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TiPb Gear: Aquapac Case for iPhone and iPod

The Aquapac case is a waterproof case for your iPhone and iPod [$24.95 Store Link] for anyone who wants to the beach, pool, fishing, or take their device anywhere near the dangers of water. What the Acquapac misses out in looks it makes up for in sheer usability. Watch us put it to the test, after the break!

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