My latest favorite iPhone game is Fruit Ninja. The premise of Fruit Ninja is simple; slice fruit, don't miss any and don't slice a bomb by mistake. Sound easy? Think again grasshopper! After beginning a game, fruit flies up from the bottom of the screen. You use your finger (or fingers) to slice the fruit. If a fruit falls back off the screen without being sliced, you receive an X. Three X's and it's game over. To make things interesting, bombs are thrown into the mix as well. So, not only are you trying to slice a lot of fruit coming at you and not missing any, you have bombs that shoot up as well. The challenge is, if you slice the bomb, it's instant game-over.
When it comes to difficulty with this game, it is a nice and smooth curve. The issue is that once you get good at it, it would be nice to start at a higher difficulty. However, Fruit Ninja always starts you back at the beginning. Your efforts are not at a loss though, the game has plenty of achievements via Open Feint and unlockables. Different colored swords and backgrounds can be unlocked if you have the dedication and skill of a true ninja.
Fruit Ninja also has two different play modes. First is Classic. This is the primary play mode I have described above. Score points by slicing fruit while avoiding the bombs. Zen mode is fun and fast. There are no bombs, but you have a time limit to slice as many fruits as you can. This is not hard, what is hard to is to slice with combos to rack up more points. Check out the Open Feint leaderboards and you will see what I am talking about.
I can't say enough about this game. It has great art direction, animation and fun. When you lose, it even gives you facts about fruit. This is a near-perfect game, I love it!
Spell check, which debuted in iOS 3.2 for iPad, is now a system-wide addition to iOS 4 for iPhone and iPod touch as well. Words that the OS thinks you've misspelled will be underlined in red (familiar to any Microsoft Office or Mac OS X user). Tapping on them will give you a popup containing a recommended replacement. Tapping the popup replaces the misspelled word with the (hopefully!) correctly spelled one. Combined with the iPhone's existing, fairly stupendous, predictive auto-correct, it's a powerful combination.
What makes it even more powerful is the addition of "replace" to the cut, copy, and paste popup. This is also something that debuted on the iPad but moved over to iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 4.
As an added bonus, if iOS 4 autocorrects a word and you immediately backspace, a popup will appear offering to replace the correction with the originally typed word.
It's no secret our beloved iPads will not be running Adobe Flash natively anytime soon. That however hasn't stifled the communities desire to at least try it out. Be it good, bad or just downright ugly; @comex has come to the rescue of those with inquiring minds by putting together what he considers and alpha build of Frash. Frash, being a port of the Adobe Flash runtime for Android taken from the latest Froyo builds. It's been a while now since the actual release took place. Given that, I decided since I have a jailbroken iPad I would give it a try and see if Flash on iPad was something so compelling that it would add to the already awesome experience and the following is what I came up with.
FaceTime might be easy but network traversal can be hard, which is why Apple has posted a knowledge base article to help you get your FaceTime behind a firewall.
If the Wi-Fi network router that you are connected to uses a firewall or security software to restrict Internet access, contact the network administrator and reference this technical article. To use FaceTime on a restricted Wi-Fi network, port forwarding must be enabled for ports 53, 80, 443, 4080, 5223, and 16393-16472 (UDP).
The Wi-Fi network administrator can refer to their router, firewall, or security software documentation for information on configuring port forwarding.
A war of words is a brewing between fring and Skype on both company's respective blogs. It was just last week Fring updated their application to include 2-way video calling so that all of you iPhone 4 owners out there could video chat with your cross-platform buddies. According to the official fring blog users can no longer communicate with their Skype friends and fring is encouraging users to invite their Skype friends to join fring.
The TiPb store just got the new Case-Mate Barely There Case for iPhone 4 in stock, so I decided to take a quick look at it. As you'd expect by the name, it's super thin and doesn't add any perceivable bulk to iPhone 4. Same token, while it will protect against scrapes and bumps, there's no padding to help you out in case of a high fall.
The finish is soft-touch but I don't find it that to be a huge difference from iPhone 4 by itself. It included a screen protector so you can be covered front and back.
Consumer Reports has run lab tests and confirmed what many real-world users likely already know -- in areas with weak signal, touching the iPhone 4 external antenna band at the bottom left side can cause a loss of voice and data connection.
My latest productivity app this week? Penultimate for iPad. There are several competing "free hand" note taking apps on our favorite tablet device. After our recent TiPb at Work Post, I thought I would see if Penultimate tries to separate itself from other note apps on the iPad. Is being simple with just enough of a "feature" to get the job done enough?
Penultimate starts you off with a single notebook. That notebook serves as a tutorial to show you how to use Penultimate. The example notebook is excellent as it "teaches" you everything you need to know about the app. The basic setup is this; you can have virtually unlimited notes in your notebook. You tap the bottom right corner to go to the next page and the bottom left corner to go to the previous page. You have a pen, eraser and a clear page button at the bottom as well. On the main screen you can create your own notebook, email or delete notebooks as need, you can even rename them by tapping the name located below the notebook.
Writing in Penultimate is a pure joy. As you draw or write with your fingers, the developers have given the virtual ink a very distinct look, almost like calligraphy. The ink is thick in some areas and thinner in others. If you want to adjust the thickness or color of your ink, simply tap and hold the pen icon at the bottom of the page to make your changes.
You can create new notebooks with the tap of a button located in the top left hand corner. The top right hand corner gives you additional settings. The style of paper be changed from graph to lined for example, you can reposition the tools (pen, eraser, etc.) to the top of the page and even email the entire notebook or just the page you are on via email. Penultimate converts the notebooks to PDFs for emailing.
I like Penultimate for what it does; it is a simple no-frills note taking tool. I find there to be a couple of irritations however. In landscape view, you are given a cropped view of the page and you can flick the right side of the screen to scroll towards the top and bottom. I feel there has to be a better way to implement this, or, give me completely different functionality in landscape. The other issue is that there is no way to zoom to give yourself more space; the notebook is it's real size and there is no zooming. I would have liked to have seen a pinch-zoom function that increased the size of your note area. Ah, perhaps in a future release. Regardless, Penultimate is a beautiful fun and easy note taking tool that most of use can find a use for in our busy lives.