Reviews

mommy to be for iPhone - app review

mommy to be is a pregnancy tracking application for the iPhone. It provides detailed weekly information, photos, tips, and a place to store notes.

The home screen of mommy to be displays how many weeks you are into your pregnancy, your baby's length and size, a meter to visually see how far you've progressed, and much more. There is also a new photograph displayed for each week. Although these photographs are very nice, I would prefer to see a picture that shows how the fetus looks at this stage in development. One thing I found strange about mommy to be is that the accomplished number of weeks is correct, but the current week is one week ahead. My suspicion is that since this app was developed in Europe, they count their weeks different than we do in the US.

In addition to the home screen, there are tabs for "You" and "Your Baby". Here you'll find detailed information about what to expect with your body and the developmental changes that are happening with your baby. One or both of theses sections will generally also include a cute picture that is related to the topic being discussed.

The tips tab is an excellent section of this app. Each week, mommy to be gives you a different tip related to pregnancy, babies, shopping, or anything that is related to being pregnant. I find this part especially helpful as a first-time mom.

mommy to be is a great pregnancy application that offers a lot of useful information. This app will be good companion for any pregnant woman wanting to track their pregnancy and learn about the process on the way.

Video and screenshots after the break!

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Box.net for iPad - app review

Box.net for iPad is a front end to Box.net's cloud-based service that allows you to manage and share your data from anywhere. Thanks to the app, you can access your content not only through the Box.net website on any computer, but from your mobile devices now as well. 

The iPad version has a very intuitive and easy to use interface.  I recently set up an enterprise unlimited Box account for our business.  As we are in real estate development, we have tons of files to upload.  I was surprised you can even view AutoCad files with a plug-in.  Plug-ins are another area I really enjoyed looking at.  OpenBox is a service Box.net offers which features several plug-ins for 3rd party clients and apps that can work in conjunction with Box.net.   I spoke to a consultant at Box.net that also confirmed desktop syncing is about to come out of beta and hit officially in the next few weeks.  That was one of our biggest concerns as we'd like a cloud backup of all our data.

Also, being a small business, we especially liked the collaboration feature. We can leave notes or tasks for eachother on certain documents and folders.  When I sign in, I see what's new or what files have been uploaded or change since my last log-in.

Box.net offers the following features (some features vary with account type):

  • Sharing with links
  • In-folder collaboration
  • User permissions
  • Integrated file views
  • Online workspace
  • Tasks
  • Uploading files on the go from your iPhone or iPad

Box.net has a few pricing schemes for individuals and business users.  The unlimited business version you'll have to call for details on as it can vary.  The enterprise unlimited version also comes with your own dedicated account manager for any technical issues.  You can also add an unlimited number of users for a set price per user, per month.  Besides the enterprise plan, the other plans are pretty straight forward:

  • Lite - 1GB storage, 25MB file size limit, Free
  • Individual - 10GB storage, 1GB file size limit, $9.95/month
  • Business - 15GB storage per user, 2GB file size limit, $15/month per user up to 3 users
  • Enterprise - Unlimited storage, Unlimited users, Call for pricing

These prices are very reasonable compared to maintaining a server.  Speaking from a business perspective, we've had no issues that Box wasn't able to resolve.  If you use Box on a personal or business level, let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Update: After recording the video, Box.net released an update that allows for the uploading of files. We'll look at that in the iPhone review soon!

[Free - iTunes Link]

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Groupon for iPhone - app review

Groupon for iPhone is an App Store front end for the free Groupon service that acts like a buying group in your city. You can get a wide selection of things at a discount from massages to baseball tickets.

You can go to the website to view what the daily deal is, or just launch the iPhone app. The app allows you to select a city, place an order, view your Groupons, expirations and more.

This is how it works. Groupon coordinates deals with vendors in your area. When a certain number of people "buy" the Groupon, the deal is on and everyone is charged. If the limit for the deal is not met, no one gets charged.

The Groupon app is divided into three sections: Today's Deal, My Groupons and Settings. Today's Deal shows you all of the information about the daily deal. You see the cost, how many bids are needed for the deal to happen and let's you know when the deal is "on" too. It gives details on how much you are saving and what's in the "fine print". Fine print includes the expiration information, blackout dates, etc. If you have decided that this is a Goupon you want, click the Buy button. You are not charged until the quota for this deal is met; nice.

The My Groupon section is to review what Groupons you have and get a history of your purchases. Location and expiration information of your Groupons are kept here as well.

The last section is settings and currently the only option is to enable a passcode lock for the app.

[Free- iTunes Link]

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OmniGraffle for iPad - app review

OmniGraffle for iPad is a great application for creating workflow diagrams, organizational charts and more. At work I use Microsoft's Visio to create workflow diagrams pertaining to software implementations. I now have almost the exact same functionality in my iPad.

The layout is very similar to Apple's own iWork suite for iPad (and OmniGroup's other iPad offering, OmniGraphSketcher) in that you swipe between open documents and can easily create or delete documents from the same screen. If you have used OmniGraffle on the Mac or Visio on Windows you will be instantly familiar with the interface once you have created a document. The top right corner has all of your stencils, drawing tools and properties of the objects you are working with. In the top left you have control over layers for your diagram. For this review, I am going to cover the simpler aspects of OmniGraffle so you understand at a high level what it does. Advanced users will revel in the other aspects.

To begin drawing, open the stencil group your want and drag an object to the grid. This can be done in portrait or landscape. From there you have almost limitless choices: color, line thickness, rotation, curve edges, shadows and so on. After placing a few objects in your drawing you can connect them with the connector stencils. Again, drag to the drawing and connect. The properties for lines are the same as other objects but you can add different types of arrows and even branch the arrows out. OmniGraffle for iPad can also use third party stencils, but no guarantees. These stencils should be added via iTunes.

So now you have several objects in your drawing and you want to change the properties of all of them, perhaps change the fill color. How do you accomplish this? Very, very, very easily. All you have to do is tap and hold the first object, then tap subsequent objects. Any object you touch will become a group for editing. You can then apply any changes you like to those objects; colors, line thickness or style, just about anything. It is awesome to have this power at your fingertips and it is a shame OmniGroup does not have templates available for the user to edit since changing properties are so easy to do. OmniGroup has suggested they may add templates in future release of the app.

It is important to note that OmniGraffle gives you excellent placement tools and control over your drawing. You can add, edit or duplicate layers in your drawing and activate snap to grid so you can precisely position every object placed.

The single biggest drawback for this wonderful application is that unless you already use the Mac version of OmniGraffle, it is difficult to share with other types of applications. Exporting options include: send .graffle in email, send email PDF, copy as image and send to photos. There is not an XML or Visio export at this time unfortunately.

I could go on about all of the fantastic features of OmniGraffle and for a 1.0 product launch with iPad and I very excited for the future of this application for the iPad. OmniGroup says that they have a lot of plans to enhance this app and they are coming soon. The short development time did not lend itself for adding a lot of features at launch (though I still think they did an amazing job) For business, this has to be one of my favorite applications.

[$49.99- iTunes Link]

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Bloomies game for iPhone - app review and give-away

Bloomies for the iPhone, from Phantoom Entertainment, is a time management or sim-style garden game. Your goal is to advance your garden by gathering more plants, bees and achievements.

Upon starting up the game you are taught how to plant a flower by touching the shovel and adding soil to set up the location. Then you choose your flower and place it in the soil. There is also a bee that gathers nectar, which you will use to purchase other bees and flowers.

Bloomies is a beautiful, easy to understand, open ended sim for casual and younger games who want the fun of building their garden without the responsibility of always having to log in to maintain it. If you go away for a little while and don't water your plants, they'll get unhappy but they won't wither and die, and will be ready and waiting for more when you return.

If you're looking for something more interactive and immersive, however, then this style and pace of gameplay may not be for you.

Video, pictures, and a give-away after the break!

[$0.99 - iTunes Link]

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FullForce for iPad - Jailbreak app review

FullForce for iPad is jailbreak app that will automatically format iPhone apps to the resolution of the iPad without the distortion of the 2x zoom.  Anyone who owns an iPad knows that all the apps you had for your iPhone will run on the iPad, and you can zoom them in, but they get pretty grainy.  It makes me sad to see grainy apps when the iPad screen is so beautiful. FullForce tries to solve that sadness.

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Pinball HD for iPad - app review

Pinball HD brings classic pinball arcade playing to the iPad. The graphics are beautiful and motions are smooth.

There are three tables included with Pinball HD: Wild West, The Deep, and Jungle Style. I find Wild West to be the least interesting table to play, but it will probably be great for a child who doesn't need a complicated and involved table. The Deep and Jungle Style are much more detailed and require much more skill to get a good score.

Pinball HD can be played in 3 different views. Holding the iPad in landscape will display the full table from a perspective view (the front is bigger than the back). In portrait, you can either view the full table or play with a "flying-table" view. The latter view follows the ball around the table and zooms in even closer when the ball is doing something interesting like bouncing around a bunch of bumpers or entering a special hole. The graphics in "flying-table" are very impressive; however, I find myself getting a little dizzy when playing in this view.

If you're a fan of pinball, Pinball HD will not disappoint. The physics are accurate and the gameplay is fun. For video and screenshots, follow us after the break!

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iPhone Twitter app roundup

So you have an iPhone and you use Twitter, but with the plethora of Twitter applications available in the App Store (including one that just went official), which do you chose? TiPb is here to help with a Twitter app roundup! Now this is not your typical top 5 or top 10 must-have, best Twitter app list. This is about options and alternatives, and Ally, Leanna, and guest writer Alli Flowers have chosen the following 12 to review and help narrow your search:

  • Twitter for iPhone
  • Twitbit
  • Tweeterena
  • Osfoora
  • HootSuite
  • SimplyTweet 3
  • Tweetdeck
  • Twitterrific
  • Twitbird Pro
  • Twittelator Pro
  • Echofon
  • Fluttr

To see what we had to say, follow us after the break!

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Motorola EQ5 Wireless Stereo Speaker for iPhone, iPad

The Motorola EQ5 Wireless Speaker for iPhone 3G/3GS  and iPod Touch is one awesome Bluetooth stereo speaker setup. Looking for a good speakerphone? Need an excellent portable speaker with surprisingly good sound? This might be for you! It is currently available in the TiPb Accessory store for $99.95.

I have been searching for the perfect complement to my iPhone; an external speaker that sounds great, small, portable and asks like a phone. What did I find? The Motorola EQ5 (part of the Moto Rokr brand) portable stereo Bluetooth system. You might remember I reviewed the Blueant stereo speaker in the past; I really liked it and the missing piece for me was the ability to have great sounding stereo sound. Guess what? I have found it in the Moto EQ5. Read after the break to learn more!

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Zombie Infection for iPhone - app review

Survival horror thriller Zombie Infection for iPhone has to be Gameloft's highest production game to date. The graphics and voice acting are top notch and the cinematic style is engrossing.

Zombie Invasion starts off with you landing in a small town, that -- wait for it -- has been overrun by zombies! The first level is basically a tutorial showing you the moves for your character. You can shoot and stomp on crates to find goodies such as ammunition and medical supplies. You can move while aiming (albeit very slowly) and you can dismember the zombies by shooting their legs, arms and heads; what more can you ask for?

As you progress through the 12 levels in the game you unlock them to replay at any time. This is great since Zombie Infection has a trophy achievement system. You can go back though levels and practice/earn achievements. There are some fun ones too, for example if you shoot off both legs of a zombie, you get an achievement for that. It is this type of mechanic that makes me come back for more.

To add a little variety to the game, you can also play as one of two characters; Ex-soldier Damien Sharpe and reporter Alex Rayne. The names are cheesy, yes, but the gameplay and fun factor is not. I love this game and I am thankful that Gameloft is bringing these types of games to iPhone; it makes one really compelling alternative to other platforms for mobile gaming. Check the video and pictures after the break!

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