Iphone Apps

Guitar Hero for iPhone - app review

During the WWDC 2010 keynote, Activision announced and released Guitar Hero on the iPhone. This game is well made and provides a lot of enjoyment for players as they strum, tap, slide and whammy to the beat of popular rock songs.

The gameplay of Guitar Hero is fun, unique and includes much more than tapping notes. An arrow pointing left or right indicates that you need to tap the note where the arrow begins and slide your finger to where the arrow ends. This action needs to happen fairly quickly. If two or more notes are connected by lines, then you must tap the first note and slide your finger to the next notes. Your finger needs to reach each note connected in the line at the appropriate time that corresponds to the beat of the song. A vertical line means that you must hold down the note until the line ends. Sometimes these appear at the end of an arrow which mean you must slide and hold. The last thing that comes up is an orange bar that is the length of all four notes. This bar simply needs to be tapped at any location.

Some notes have stars on them. Successfully hitting all these notes in a sequence adds to your star power. There is blue bar on the right of the screen which indicates how much star power you have. Once it reaches half-way, a blue bar will appear above the note catchers. Tapping this activates your star power and doubles your score multiplier. The more star power you have, the longer it lasts.

Guitar Hero also offers character customization, leaderboards, Faecbook sharing, and in-app purchases. If you want more than the 6 songs included with Guitar Hero, then you must purchase songs in bundles of three. Each song pack costs $1.99. There are no free songs available for download.

Guitar Hero includes the following 6 tracks:

  • Queen – “We Are The Champions”
  • Rise Against – “Savior”
  • The Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”
  • Vampire Weekend – “Cousins”
  • Weezer – “Say It Ain’t So”
  • The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”

The downloadable song packs via in-app purchase are grouped by the following artists:

  • The Faint, Minus the Bear and Silversun Pickups
  • Band of Skulls, Obits and The White Stripes
  • Darkest Hour, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Protest the Hero
  • A Day to Remember, AFI and Breaking Benjamin
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Queen

I have thoroughly enjoyed the short time I've spent playing Guitar Hero and don't plan to stop playing anytime soon. The game runs great, looks great, and is very well designed. It's only a matter of time before I become a famous rock star!

Videos and screenshots after the break!

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Give away: Slacker Personal Radio Plus streaming music with local iPhone cache

Slacker Personal Radio 2.0 is now in the iTunes app store, along with its great new local caching feature (hello new AT&T capped data plans!), and to celebrate Slacker wants to give away five (5) one-year subscriptions to their premium Slacker Radio Plus service (and they're throwing in five (5) 3-month subscriptions for runners-up as well).

It'll be the perfect thing to run on a new iPhone -- and oh, yeah: TiPb's giving away an iPhone 4 as well.

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Line2 brings iPhone, iPad calls into 21st century - TiPb at WWDC 2010

Peter Sisson, founder and CEO of Toktumi talks Line2, their premium, business-optimized calling solution for the iPhone and iPad (with optimized iPad UI coming soon). While many forms of communications have leapt forward in the digital age, our telcos have been content to keep telephony in the relative dark ages. Line2 is one of several services hoping to pull them kicking and screaming forward, with both cell and VoIP based solutions.

Currently you can conference call over VoIP -- which is really nice on an iPad -- with full call waiting and real SMS functionality. With iOS 4 VoIP will work in the background meaning apps like Line2 could just be first-class telephone solutions (and strangely carriers don't seem to be as afraid of this as they used to be).

Line2 competes with free-as-in-Google voice by offering a more user-centric app, with lots of features and a focus on customer care. They're US/Canada only at the moment but will be expanding into the top 7 international iPhone markets soon and especially for business users, they think their offer will be compelling. (Enough that Peter suggests a MiFi rather than device data plan might just be the way to go forward...)

Check out the video interview after the break!

[Line2 on iTunes]

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TomTom talks iPhone, iOS 4 multitasking - TiPb at WWDC 2010

Tom Murray, SVP of Marketing, TomTom sat down with me to discuss their turn-by-turn navigation app for the iPhone. Announced at WWDC 2009, over the last year TomTom has managed to get the app to where all its core functionality is in place and they can give iPhone users a really first-class tool to get them from point A to point B. Now, with iOS 4 and its multitasking API for location, they can start getting them in style.

Since TomTom does everything from owning their own maps to selling their own devices, they're uniquely positioned do things like crowd-source changes in roads or analyze patterns in routes and get that fed back into their system so their 40 million users can share local wisdom whether they're improving their daily commute or driving in a new city for the first time.

With the iPhone, Apple is providing the device (and the GPS) but TomTom still offers a car kit to supplement and extend the built-in hardware. (I asked if the existing car kit would be compatible with the just-introduced iPhone 4, but they hadn't had a chance to get their hands on it yet so they're waiting to whether it fits, whether it requires an adapter, or whether some reengineering will be in order).

No word on an iPad version yet, unfortunately, but turn-by-turn navigation on smartphones is still growing. With free-as-in-Google and open source map apps now on the scene, TomTom is investing in the quality of their service and the trust in their data.

Check out our video interview, after the break!

[TomTom on iTunes]

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Chaos Rings for iPhone- app review

Chaos Rings is the ultimate RPG thus far on the iPhone. Square Enix has done a fabulous job bringing the console RPG experience we have come to love on to our beloved Apple devices.

Our story begins with several pairings of unlikely partners thrust into a battle they do not wish to fight in a tower competing for rings. Starting the game you are given two choices for characters. Both teams include two people and you are always a party of two. When beginning, you are given a choice of two pairs and both have a similar story but different dialog. Each team has a stronger "fighter" type of character and the other is more of a support/magic character.

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Guitar Hero now available in App Store

As announced during the WWDC 2010 keynote, the widely popular guitar game Guitar Hero is now available for iPhone and iPod touch.

With Guitar Hero, you will be able to "play" songs from multiple rock artists by tapping, strumming and sliding to the music. It also features robust avatar customization and social integration so you can share to Facebook and view leaderboards.

Guitar Hero will include the following tracks:

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Apple announces iMovie for iPhone

As part of the iPhone 4 introduction during WWDC 2010, Steve Jobs announced iMovie for iPhone, with one-click sharing. This is basically iMovie from the iLife suite for Mac brought to the iPhone. Up to 720p editing and most of the functionality you'd expect, including transitions and Ken Burns effects.

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New iPhone apps: Netflix, Farmville, Guitar Hero

Steve Jobs made millions of iPhone app lovers happy today during the WWDC 2010 keynote by bringing development houses up to introduce Netflix, Farmville,

  • Netflix, already on the iPad, brings the same great search and adaptive video streaming technology to the iPhone, which means 3G (and AT&T data caps make sense now, right?). Available this summer.
  • Farmville goes Flash-free and today invents farming- - with push -- for the iPhone. Available end of June.
  • Guitar Hero, with Queen, Rolling Stones, Vampire Weekend. Available now!

[Images via Engadget]

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Pregnancy Tracker from WhatToExpect.com for iPhone - app review

What to Expect when Expecting is one of the most popular pregnancy books available, and they also have an app to compliment their book and website. Pregnancy Tracker from WhatToExpect.com is an iPhone application for pregnant women to keep track of their pregnancy.

There are 5 sections of Pregnancy Tracker. The home screen, called "tracker", is where you see your due date, a countdown to your due date, Baby's gestational age, what trimester you're in, and something to compare your baby's size to. (This week, my baby is the size of a butternut squash!)

The Weekly tab provides useful information about what to expect with your body and also the changes that are happening in your baby's development. This section is very thorough and gives quite a bit of information.

The Daily tab is my favorite part of Pregnancy Tracker because I haven't seen this in another pregnancy application before. Here you are given a new tip, fact, or reminder each day. Most apps have something similar, but it only changes weekly.

You can store photos related to your pregnancy in the Photos tab.

The last tab is for Forums. This is a great section to communicate with other moms and moms-to-be about pregnancy or anything else related. What makes the forums even better is that they are the same forums that you can find on WhatToExpect.com. This opens up the conversations to anyone, not just iPhone users.

Pregnancy Tracker is a great pregnancy application that is packed with information. The main thing it's lacking is good pictures; It would be really nice if nice pregnancy related pictures were added to the app. Other than that, I have been very happy with Pregnancy Tracker. And the best part... it's free!

Video and screenshots after the break!

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New and notable iPhone and iPad apps for June 4, 2010

Sure, new and notable iPhone and iPad apps isn’t a theme, but with so many new and such a large swathe of notable, who needs a theme? Join us after the break to see what’s going on in the iTunes App Store this week!

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