Load your shotgun, put on your trench coat, and find your best black hat. Vampire Origins HD combines slick design and hardcore vampire-blasting action, but it falls short of great because of poor writing and repetitive game play.
A few months back I told you about five amazing iPad e-books for kids, noting that Apple's tablet is arguably the single best platform for reading (and, thanks to various interactive features, experiencing) children's books.
App developers and book publishers seem to agree, as the App Store is now home to dozens, if not hundreds, of kid-friendly e-books.
Here's a look at five more (seven if you count the Seuss stuff) that are sure to please wee readers and parents alike.
1. Aesop's Wheel of Fables No children's book collection is complete without Aesop's Fables. This app serves up 20 tales, all of them showcased in a spinning wheel that adds a bit of tactile fun to the story-selection process. It also has spot-the-difference games that get unlocked as you read, and an option for parents to record their own voices for kids to listen to in place of the prerecorded voice. The app's on sale for $6.99 until August 5, when it goes up to $8.99.
2. More Dr. Seuss Oceanhouse Media continues to crank out terrific Seuss classics, all of them optimized and enhanced for the iPad. The latest releases include "Green Eggs and Ham" ($3.99), "Gertrude McFuzz" ($1.99), and--yay!--"Yertle the Turtle" ($3.99). If only my kids weren't on the verge of outgrowing these! Hmm, maybe I should have one more...
3. "The Little Mermaid" Not the Disney version, but the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale, here brought to life with animated, interactive elements reminiscent of the now-classic "Alice for iPad." Beautifully illustrated and thoroughly engaging, the $8.99 app also includes "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Happy Family."… Read more
If you ever sat in third grade math class imagining that the doodles covering your spiral-bound notebook could come to life, InkVaders HD for iPad is for you.
Simplicity is the name of the game in this side-scrolling, alien-blasting, shooter from Chillingo. The unique artistic style of InkVaders HD takes advantage of iPad's amazing screen, combining retro-inspired "doodle chic" animation and live-action hand interactions.
You'll get to use three weapon styles--futuristic energy guns, everyday physical attacks, and the always exciting grenade launchers--to guide Generic Marine (or "G" to his friends) in his quest to … Read more
With the undeniable popularity and success of the iPhone 4 (despite the antenna debacle), iPad, and ever-increasing Mac sales, Apple is gaining customers faster than ever. If you're thinking about making the switch, this could be your perfect setup.
Most gadget owners know that leaving any piece of electronic equipment in the direct sunlight isn't a great idea. Now an iPad owner, who claims their touch-screen tablet overheats and turns off when left in the sunlight, is suing Apple.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the complaint was filed Friday in federal court in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit is seeking class-action status and asks for unspecified damages because the device "overheats so quickly under common weather conditions." The suit says Apple's iPad "does not live up to the … Read more
When I see an app like TheScore for iPad, it forces me to think in big-picture terms, as in: this is how sports news was meant to be consumed. Not in some day-old newspaper or tiny iPhone app, but on a big, beautiful screen jam-packed with scores, standings, videos, and blogs.
In other words, I'm really digging TheScore--and I'm not even that into sports. (It says clearly on my Tech Nerds of America membership card that sports are permissible only as a "passing interest" or for "social interaction research.")
Whether you consider the Apple iPad to be a milestone of magical technology, or just an over-hyped iPod, there's one thing we can all agree on: the damn thing doesn't include headphones.
Maybe we're spoiled, but we've come to expect Apple to bundle its ubiquitous white earbuds with all its mobile products. Then again, for all the complaints we've made about the sound quality of those cursed 'buds, perhaps Apple is doing us all a favor by forcing us to invest in a proper pair.
But with its latest creation for Apple's iPad, called Discover, Cooliris is moving beyond the presentation and organization of photos and into something a little more pedestrian: text.
Discover, which was submitted to Apple on Tuesday, takes content from Wikipedia--both text and still images (but mostly just text), and splits it up into sections. These can be flipped through with your finger, instead of scrolling down a large page in Safari. The app also keeps track of where you've been so you can retrace your reading path if you've gone several pages deep.
"When the iPad came out, we took an idea we had, and said 'this is probably a perfect platform to try it on,'" Cooliris' executive VP of products Michele Turner told CNET. "This new application takes structured data--in this case Wikipedia, as the starting point. We've then created a templatized starting page and structured data from Wikipedia to let users navigate the depths of Wikipedia in a beautiful and efficient way."
The end result is a Wikipedia with larger text that can be read like an e-book, and photos that can be thumbed through and scaled up to the iPad's full resolution. The app also takes advantage of orientation to reposition, or expand or consolidate the data it's showing. Along the way, Cooliris serves up advertisements, which is where it can make some of its money given the app's free price tag.
But why Wikipedia, and not a larger chunk of the Internet, as something like the recently popular Flipboard has done with RSS feeds? The short answer is that it's not there yet, but it will be soon. Turner and company do, in fact, envision Discover as a platform for various data feeds from around the Web. "We have over 100 content partners in the mainstream Cooliris product," Turner said. "The longer term opportunity is to work with the content partners to flow into this application, but that's kind of down the line."
Eventually the company plans to bring it to other platforms, including Android tablets. In making the iPad iteration of Discover, the company even built one for the iPhone, though Turner says it didn't feel quite right given the smaller form factor.
More pics of Discover can be seen after the break.… Read more