App Review

Animate to your heart's desire with Hype 3 and Hype Pro

I'm not a big fan of WSIWYG editors for the web. But Hype is something special.

Tumult's Hype — an HTML5 WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web and animation editor — is approaching its four-year anniversary in May, and what a way it has chosen to celebrate: The company is releasing a major update for its professional and prosumer users in the form of Hype Pro, packaged inside the all-new Hype 3 as a $49.99 upgrade.

I've had so much fun testing Hype Pro over the last few months: It's an excellent upgrade for longtime Hype users, and I suspect it may draw in quite a few new pro users, as well.

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Forge is an iPad storyboard for your creativity

Most sketching apps on the market focus on single projects and their underlying layers, rather than a canvas of ideas and suggestions. Forge is different.

I've long thought the iPad was perfect for rough storyboarding: It's not an artist's preferred medium for detail work, but it's portable, and easy to sketch on, and has plenty of storage space. Forge, built by the folks behind the Jot Touch stylus, invites you to explore a hundred different ideas and sketches in storyboard format, iterating and trashing and reinventing as you go. I've been testing Forge for months, and it's become one of my go-to tools for planning and messing around with creative ideas.

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Duet Display turns your iPad into a second monitor

Sometimes you just need more work space on your Mac. You could appease this by buying a second monitor, but it may well be that you need this space while on traveling — a place where a second full-sized screen becomes much more cumbersome than helpful. The solution? Use your iPad.

Duet Display is a tethered second-screen option that lets you borrow your iPad's Retina display for your Mac. You can display anything you like on that second screen — including full-framerate video — and interact with that content directly on the iPad, as well.

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Conquer your fitness resolutions with Fitstar Yoga

While my fitness resolutions tend to be based around the roller derby season rather than New Year's, they remain a popular January tradition. If you're looking for a fitness resolution for the new year, I'm going to suggest something for you right here: Fitstar Yoga.

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Review: Monument Valley's Forgotten Shores expansion is a triumph

When it comes to gaming, in-app purchases are a tricky thing. Some games use Apple's mechanism to wrest more cash out of you to complete levels faster; others enrich the game experience with new costumes and player characters; others still use the in-app purchase to build off the original game.

It's that last option that has come to Monument Valley, ustwo's brilliantly-constructed architectural puzzler. The Escher-homaging app first appeared on the iOS App Store in April, winning a number of awards shortly thereafter — including Apple's own prestigious Design Award at the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Monument Valley was one of my own favorite iOS games to play back in April, and I've been eagerly awaiting its expansion ever since I heard rumors of its existence a few months back. Was it worth the wait and the $2 purchase? Oh, architectural gods, yes.

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iMovie 2.0 for iPhone and iPad review

Apple has recently made some pretty big changes when it comes to its iMovie application for iOS. It recently got an overhaul for iOS 7, but perhaps more importantly for more people, iMovie went free – at least for anyone buying a new iOS device, anyway. That's particularly important because it opens up a whole new audience, those who might not have been willing to drop $4.99 on a video editor for their iPhone or iPad.

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Animal Puzzle for Kids for iPhone and iPad review

Animal Puzzle for Kids - by Play Toddlers for iPhone and iPad is a fun app filled with up to 24 animal jigsaw puzzles. The puzzles are very simple and clearly targeted toward young children. You can choose the difficulty of the level (number of pieces) based on the skill of your child. Animal Puzzle is not only adorable, but a lot of fun and if you play with you kids, you can teach them about animals and the sounds they make at the same time!

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Monster Coloring Book for iPhone and iPad review

If there's one thing that all kids love to do, it's to color. They also love cute monsters. Put the two together -- and you get Monster Coloring Book! This iPhone and iPad app will allow your kids to color and paint without the mess or risk of markers making contact with your carpet or one of the other many disastrous things that can happen to your home when your child decides to express his artistic side.

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Search for the blue, googly-eyed bandit in The Great Cookie Thief - Starring Cookie Monster for iPhone and iPad

The Great Cookie Thief - Starring Cookie Monster is an iPhone and iPad children's app that features a story of a town in the wild wild west that as a serious problem - a cookie thief! The members of the town have a poster of what the thief looks like (the Cookie Monster), and when someone shows up who looks similar to the poster, it's your job to determine if he is indeed the Cookie Thief by comparing the similarities of the poster photo and the suspect.

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Quickly and easily build an organized collection of recipes with Basil —A Smart Recipe Book For iPad

Basil — A Smart Recipe Book For iPad is app that lets you save recipes for around the web and keep them organized. It features a very simple and basic UI so that it's easy to see and use while cooking.

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