Reviews

Final Fantasy for iOS vs. Final Fantasy for NES: Retro gaming shoot-out!

Back in the day, the NES and the Super NES were THE consoles with THE the best role-playing game (RPG) titles, and Squaresoft (now Square Enix) was THE best of the best. Square's most renowned franchise, the Final Fantasy series, debuted on the NES in 1987 in Japan. That original Final Fantasy game was later released iOS in 2010. Or so they would have us believe. How does the iOS version of Final Fantasy stack up against the NES version of yesteryear? Was it moved over pixel for pixel, bit for bit? Was it improved to take advantage of modern hardware? Was it ruined by a process with no respect for the original? For the honor and virtue of retro gaming fans and RPG players everywhere, we decided to have a look.

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iOS 7 wants: Album art centered on Lock screen

Album art has never been perfectly centered on the iPhone or iPod touch Lock screens. It's been placed immediately on top of the slide-to-unlock bar. Because of the 3:2 aspect ratio of previous iPhone and iPod touch devices, however, and because the top of the album art and the reflection beneath it peak through the translucent time and slide-to-unlock bars, the visual weighting was close enough to appear centered and thus, balanced. Not so with the iPhone 5 and its 16:9 aspect ratio. Now the bottom alignment of album art lookes decidedly bottom heavy. Worse, there's a big black gap between the top of the album art and the bottom of the time bar.

The advantage of bottom aligning album artwork on the 16:9 display is that none of it is obscured by the name of the song, and even when you double-click the Home button to bring up the music controls, very little is obscured. The disadvantage is, in design parlance, "Oh god, my eyes, my eyes..."

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iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Which one should you get?

Apple has released the taller, thinner, faster, lighter, brighter iPhone 5 -- and we've got your definitive iPhone 5 review right here -- and now Samsung is bringing their next-generation giant, the Galaxy Note 2 to market.

As much as Samsung has been labeled a "copyist" over the course of the last couple years, the Galaxy Note series has always been a big exception, literally. Due to its size, some have labeled it a "phablet", half phone, half tablet. While it's both of those things, it's also neither. It's really a Wacom-style digitizer put into highly mobile form. And as anyone who's ever used a Wacom knows, it resembles a stylus in shape only.

So what happens when you put Apple's precision up against Samsung's power? The iPhone 5's elegance against the Galaxy Note 2's enormity? Let's take a look.

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PowerSkin Battery Case for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 review

If you updated to iOS 6 on your iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 and despite all our battery life tips, still aren't getting enough power to get you through the day, or if you simply travel and need to recharge on the go, the PowerSkin Battery Case for iPhone is worth a look. Like other battery cases, the PowerSkin fits snugly over your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S -- sorry, no iPhone 5 version available yet! -- and hooks into the Dock connector to supply power.

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Flurry for Twitter for iPhone review

Flurry for Twitter is a new iPhone twitter app in the App Store that is just absolutely stunning in design. It features gorgeous animations, intuitive gestures, great sounds, and more. Flurry for Twitter is by no means "fully featured", and although I'm always one to argue that less is more, Ash Apps may have left out a little too much to justify Flurry's price.

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Bad Piggies for iPhone and iPad review

After what feels like an eternity since Angry Birds maker Rovio teased that they were working on a game that was from the pigs point of view, Bad Piggies is finally here. I wouldn't call it a "sequel" to Angry Birds, however, because it doesn't feature the birds at all. Instead, it's an entirely new game featuring only the pigs -- and it's awesome!

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iOS 6 Maps vs. iOS 5 Maps vs. maps.google.com: Location data shootout!

iOS 6 removed the Google-powered Maps app that launched alongside the original iPhone in 2007 and replaced it with new Maps app and location services more fully under Apple's control. That's means iOS 6 got features like turn-by-turn navigation, vector-based maps, and Flyover, but lost features like built-in transit directions and StreetView. It also means the quality of the location data changed drastically for many users. While this was hardly unexpected, reaction has varied from "beautiful and perfectly usable" to "dreadful and a deal-breaker."

Recognizing that Apple's new location data, licensed from TomTom and others, seems to vary in quality considerably from place to place, with big, populous American cities tending to be much better than small, rural, international areas, iMore still wanted to put them to a test.

So I got in the car and drove for nearly 6 hours and did just that. Here are the results.

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Sound To Go Plus portable audio system for iPhone, iPad, and Mac review

If you’re like me you absolutely hate -- hate! -- the weak speaker performance of your iPhone, iPad, or Macbook Air, Edifier has made the Sound To Go Plus, a quality built auxiliary audio system that's as portable as your Apple devices.

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iPhone 5 review

The iPhone 5 was, is, and remains inevitable. An iPhone, new to be certain, but still an iPhone. Some say this is a sign Apple has lost their drive for innovation. Others, a sign Apple has kept their sense of focus. Both are facets of a single truth -- that through craft something is revolutionized, refined, and one day, replaced. The question then becomes, where is the iPhone 5 along this continuum? Is it a boring, uninspired, end-of-line update that should have Apple desperately seeking to once again "think different", or is it iconically, deceptively, insanely great enough to delight customers, inspire developers, and once again drive the entire industry forward?

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New Apple EarPods vs. original earbuds: Should you upgrade?

If you haven't yet upgraded to the iPhone 5, can you get some of that iPhone 5 experience by upgrading to Apple's new EarPods earbuds? At $29 they're not as expensive as high-end earpieces, but they're not exactly cheap either. Compared to the original Apple earbuds, the ones that shipped with every iPhone, iPod, and iPad up until the iPhone 5, are they a worthwhile upgrade, or are you better off waiting and just getting them for "free" with your next iOS device?

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