David Perry of Didev Studios wrote in to tell us about Bugz for the iPhone, and was kind enough to send along some interesting insights into the game, developing for the iPhone, and the App Store.
On the origins of Bugz as a PSP game:
Bugz was originally conceived about 2 years ago as a PSP game. It took me around a year of coding, design, graphics and audio work before I made a release into a competition that was being run at the time. Bugz was well received in the competition and received first place. The public seemed to like Bugz and it’s quirky cuteness.
On moving Bugz to the iPhone:
Recently I decided to look at iPhone development and Bugz was an obvious choice as a first project. The initial version of Bugz for the PSP only had 17 levels – this would obviously need expanding for the iPhone version. Whilst contemplating the iPhone port of Bugz, I asked a friend to join me on the project, he accepted and Didev Studios was born.
Looks like Google isn't the only one making sure that when a user talks, the iPhone listens. Vlingo wrote in to tell us that their well-known BlackBerry app is now available for the iPhone, and it sure looks like they've been listening as well!
Vlingo lets you:
Initiate calls to anyone in your address book.
Look up anything through Yahoo! or Google in one step. Just say, “Web search: concert tickets in Boston,” and the results are displayed.
Look up and map local listings. For example, by saying, “Find Italian restaurants in San Francisco,” vlingo will show choices and can populate Google Maps with the touch of a button.
Send Facebook and Twitter status updates without typing. Vlingo also automatically embeds a Web browser so users can easily access the mobile versions of Facebook and Twitter to keep track of their friends’ updates.
Google works pretty well, but doesn't include contact search (and seems to have trouble with British, Southern, or anything other than TV-ized North American accents.)
Vlingo does search contacts, and does a good job of it (and even suggests alternatives, which is welcome when it has trouble distinguishing between individuals with close-sounding names). However, unlike Google (which uses forbidden API's to access the phone-like "lift to your ear and start talking" functionality) you have to press a button, then talk, then press a button again when you're finished. There are helpful tutorials included to get you used to the process and on your way.
You may have heard our very own fearless leader, Dieter, chime in on one thing that he hates about iPhone 3G, the fact that you can not turn on Wi-Fi while the radio is off (in Airplane Mode). Or so Dieter thought. You can indeed turn Wi-Fi on while the radio is off! And doing so is a snap!
Ahh, sports. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. If you are old enough, you probably remember the "agony of defeat" guy - painful on more than one level (for him, and for you if you are old enough to know what I'm talking about). I love me some sports, and thankfully there are some great sports apps for the iPhone. Two of my favorites are freebies - Sportacular and SportsTap. Which one has the edge? Who comes out on top as being more competitive and "sportier?" Who hits the shot at the buzzer FTW?! Check out the App v. App after the break!
UPDATE: Chad here giving Amazon Mobile for iPhone a try!
I am very excited for Amazon's new native app on the App Store [iTunes Link] for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I like to shop on Amazon, so this offers a convenient tool. Second, it is a really neat experimental feature called "Amazon Remembers", more on this later...
The app gives you what you would expect in an iPhone app these days: a home screen, search, cart, remembers and more. Let's discuss each of these briefly.
Home: This is your start page in the app. It displays items from your wish list and search
Search: You um, search for products here
Cart: View any items you have in your cart; items display from the web or the app
More: This is where everything else is placed. Wish lists, account information tracking packages, etc.
I am very impressed with the app. Amazon could have just made a native app that mimicked their web app, but instead they are trying new things (Amazon Remembers) and giving us access to useful tools (Tracking Packages). I have captured several photos, enjoy them below!
Amazon sent me an email telling me they found a matching product for the picture of the Sharpie marker that I took (see screen hot below). Very cool! I can then buy that item directly from the iPhone! Sweet!
Gallery and Rene's original post after the break!
Sure, Android may have the Amazon MP3 store, but now the iPhone has everything else! Amazon Mobile for iPhone lets you shop quickly (1-Click) and securely (SSL). Will it be as good an experience as the WebApp optimized website version? We'll see -- we still prefer the Facebook WebApp to the native App, but Google's latest native App is killer. So far, it offers all the usual Amazon goodness, plus a new feature called Amazon Remembers, which lets you snaps photos of things (they use a folding chair in the example) you like, which it then keeps in the App and sends to Amazon, and shows you alongside anything Amazon thinks is similar in their catalog. Seems to be US only at the moment (at least it's not in the Canadian App store yet, anyone else get it internationally?), but if you grab it, please let me know how it works (and if it stimulates you to spend a little for the economy, 'natch!)
Apple has put up a special iTunes page showing off the top free and top paid apps of 2008. In addition to the overall standings, Apps are also broken out according to categories like Games, Entertainment, Music, Utilities, and Social Networks.
Koi Pond leads the paid apps while Facebook owns the free. To see the complete list, head on over to iTunes.