Reviews

iBooks on iPhone 4- app review

With the iPhone 4 now available, many people want to use that gorgeous retina display to begin reading books on the go via iBooks. We have looked at iBooks on the iPhone 3GS and on the iPad. How does iBooks compare on the iPhone 4?

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iPhone 4 Review

Full review of iPhone 4: Apple's attempt to re-revolutionize the iPhone

Reviewing iPhone 4 is a challenge. It has been hailed by Apple as the greatest leap forward since the original iPhone 2G and dismissed by critics as just another iterative rehash. iPhone 4 has a new look. Polished stainless steel bound by sleekly laminated layers of glass, it harkens back to the heydays of Leica and Braun and might just be the iPhone Apple has always dreamed of making. Yet having glass front and back and the antenna array banded along the side could end up being as much functional loss as it is form win.

iPhone 4 also ships with Apple's latest software, iOS 4. It brings features such as multitasking and folders, unified inbox and threaded email, and FaceTime video calling. Each of these come with limitations however, that while making them nearly effortless for new users to pick up, ensure power users will retain a level of frustration with the platform.

Like every one of Apple's iOS products before it, iPhone 4 is going to be as divisive and controversial as it is popular and passionately embraced. Some of you will be looking at it, iPhone 3GS, 3G, or even 2G still in hand, wondering if its worth the upgrade. Others may be looking across from Android or BlackBerry, webOS or Windows Phones, trying to figure out if its finally time to make the switch (or come back).

So is it? Read on as TiPb goes hands-on with Apple's latest hardware and software to help you decide.

Update: The Verizon iPhone 4 has finally shipped and there are some differences and new options. Check out our full Verizon iPhone Review for all the details!

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Tap Tap Radiation for iPad - app review


YouTube link

If you love Tapulous' Tap Tap Revenge on the iPhone then it's newer, bigger brother for the iPad, Tap Tap Radiation is something you're going to want to check out. The core idea is the same -- you listen to your favourite tunes, Tap Tap Radiation visualizes them as shiny colored circles racing towards you, and then it is up to your fingers to tap along with the beat.

Tap Tap Radiation gives you 30 free tracks to choose from. Some of the free tracks you are by Serge Devant, Richard VIsson, Mos Def and premium tracks (paid) include songs by Lady Gaga and Pink. The themes, graphics and effects do a good job showing off the iPad's larger screen and graphics power.

Tap Tap Radiation is the app to get for anyone who owns a iPad and enjoys playing games and listening to music. It's easy to pick up, relaxing and fun to play, and has three difficulty levels to help keep it challenging.

Tap Tap Radiation Free [iTunes Link].

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iMovie for iPhone 4 - app review

iMovie for iPhone 4 is a video editing application designed by Apple. iMovie is also the name of the video editing software included in iLife, which is bundled with every Mac. iMovie is only available for iPhone 4. (Don't be sad, it needs the extra RAM and Apple A4 processing power).

As with most Apple products, iMovie is very easy to use and is fairly intuitive. If a tap doesn't do what you want, a double tap will. iMovie can be used in either portrait or landscape, but landscape seems more natural for me.

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QuickOffice HD for iPad- app review

This week I am looking at QuickOffice HD for iPad. In my ongoing pursuit of productivity apps, I am very pleased with what is coming out of the development community for iPad. Does QuickOffice HD raise the bar again? Let's dive right in and take a look.

Getting documents into QuickOffice HD is a relative snap. First you have the familiar ability to sync from iTunes. Just add your documents and when you sync, they appear in the app. However, the more useful feature is the ability to sync to the cloud. QuickOffice supports the basic usual suspects: MobileMe iDisk- both public and private, Google Docs, Dropbox and Box.net. You enter in your login credentials and QuickOffice will sync the folders to your iPad, but not the content. The folder content will give a preview but only load when you access the document. Once accessed, it stored locally. You can also open and save documents from email and that is always a bonus.

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Griffin Jumper case for iPad - accessory review

The Griffin Jumper [$27.95] is a nice neoprene case for the iPad. If you're in the market for a sleeve for transporting your iPad, this case may be what you're looking for.

The neoprene material of the is excellent because it doesn't need to be very thick to provide protection. It is also very stretchy so that there is a snug fit around your iPad. In fact, the Jumper was almost too snug when I first received it; but after a few uses, the neoprene stretched out just enough to be snug but not a challenge to use.

The inside of the Griffin Jumper is lined with a very soft fleece-like material. There will be no concern of your iPad receiving scratches when sliding it in and out of the sleeve. In fact, a few of the fingerprints on your iPad likely get wiped off when removing it from the Griffin Jumper.

The Griffin Jumper offers full protection of the iPad except at the corners of the flap. Many times there is a very small part of the iPad exposed at one or both of the corners. This may be cause for concern for some, but I don't see it as a huge problem. Something would have to poke into the spot in order to make contact with the iPad.

I have been very pleased with the Griffin Jumper. The nice slim design, soft interior, and tough neoprene exterior make this an excellent sleeve case for the iPad.

The Griffin Jumper is available from the TiPb iPad accessory store.

Video and photos after the break!

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Sigma for iPhone - app review

Sigma is a puzzle matching game for the iPhone. It is well made and fun to play.

The goal of Sigma is to match three blocks of the same color to blow them up and get points. This game is played in landscape, and on each side of the screen there is a roll of colored blocks. If you tap on the left of the screen, then the center block on that roll will shoot to the right side (and vice versa). Once you make a match, you have a few seconds to add more blocks. The more blocks in your match, the higher your score.

Matching five, six, seven or eight blocks produces special blocks. With five, you are given a block that when used in a match, blows up every block in that row. A match of six gives a block that blows up every block in that row and column. The special block when matching seven is a color bomb, which blows of every block of the color it is matched with. Lastly, a match of eight blocks creates a nuke bomb that blows up every block on the screen.

Sigma has three game modes: Sector, Time Attack, and Multiplayer. In sector mode, the goal is to clear blocks as fast as you can to fill up the progress bar before time runs out. In Time Attack Mode, the goal is to get the highest score possible within the time limit of one, five, or ten minutes. You can play against a friend via wifi or bluetooth in Multiplayer Mode. The fun twist is that if you fill the progress bar, an obstacle block will appear on your opponents screen.

If you like matching games, I guarantee you'll enjoy Sigma. It is designed well, fun to play, and a challenge to score high. If you decided to pick this on up, let us know what you think!

Video and screenshots after the break!

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iBooks on iPhone 3GS - app review

Finally, iBooks for iPhone arrives! I have been enjoying iBooks on my iPad for some time now. With iBooks for iPhone many more people can enjoy portable reading with their phones. How does iBooks measure up? Keep reading to find out!

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Case-Mate Gelli Checkmate Case for iPad - accessory review

The Case-Mate Gelli Checkmate Case for iPad is a beautiful way to add grip and color to your iPad. It is made with a soft silicone base that makes holding your iPad easy and much more secure.

The Case-Mate Gelli is easy to apply and remove from your iPad. The case is translucent so it allows the back of your iPad to still show through. The case also has a triangle pattern on it which gives the case a bit of style in comparison to a regular plain silicone case. The case is very easy to put on the iPad and has open spaces to allow for all the buttons and ports and controls. The case goes over the edges of the iPad so it will protect the iPad against minor impacts.

Case-Mate Gelli Checkmate Case is about 2 to 3 mm in thickness at it greatest points so it is still lightweight but also durable. This case is a nice silicone case as it has good grip but does not feel sticky as some other silicone cases can. I have been using this case for a week and I am quite happy with it. I would have liked if it came with a screen protector.

If you like silicone cases and you like the color selection then the Case-Mate Gelli Checkmate Case for iPad could be what you're looking for.

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Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney for iPhone- app review

Phoenix Wright is Capcom's latest game for the iPhone. It's a port of a port (GameBoy to Nintendo DS to iOS) that still retains it's fun factor through the years and is a great addition to any iOS gamer. The concept behind Phoenix Wright is simple; you are a new a attorney and you have taken on your first criminal case as a defense attorney for your best friend from high school, Larry Butz, and he is accused of murder!

The main game play takes place in the court room. Just like any court case, you are given evidence that you can reference at any time from the court record. And you WILL need to reference it as your clients future depends on it.

Your first case deals with Larry's girlfriend's murder. The witness pins Larry as the killer... but is he? This is where the fun begins. It is up to you to prove his innocence. In the courtroom you listen to the witness testimony and try to find holes in it based on the evidence you have in your possession. Regretfully, I can't give away too much more without spoiling the story... There are additional levels though and each one gets more and more challenging, you even move out of the courtroom to gather evidence yourself.

As fun as the game is, the writing is geared towards a younger audience. Even though the subject matter is adult, it often uses "childish humor" to get points across at times. Though I shrug this off, it may bother some adult gamers, kids will love it. But I do admit, I chuckled from time to time. It is important to note that this game is not 3D but instead kind of like one of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books. The game is based primarily on reading and critical thinking skills and lends itself as a quick pick up and play game, but you will be spending some quality time with it. The good news is that you can save anytime and it usually places you right at the spot you were last at in the story.

In the end I found Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney very enjoyable and fun. Was it challenging? Yes. Was the crude humor at times? Yes. Will I play it again? Most definitely.

[$4.99- iTunes Link]

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