Old MacDonald (by Duck Duck Moose, the makers of Wheels on the Bus) is an interactive storybook for preschoolers based on the time-honored song of the same name. Kids navigate forward and back through the book's 12 "pages" using touch-screen arrows, and every page offers multiple opportunities for interaction with a simple slide or "poke." The song plays in several languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German) or with just instrumental accompaniment (piano, cello, violin, or kazoo)--or best of all, with a do-it-yourself recorded sing-along, which the app walks you through using karaoke-style subtitles.… Read more
Popular iPhone gaming developer Ngmoco released Eliminate Pro yesterday, its much-anticipated, online, first-person shooter. This well-polished "free" game features smooth looking graphics, onscreen controls that are fairly effective (no match for a controller or keyboard/mouse setup, but that's to be expected), a number of power ups to improve your weapons and armor, and five playable maps. In-game kills and winning matches earn you credits you can use to buy new weapons and armor. There are eight armor types, five weapon types, and items to buy like armor designs (skins) to give you a new look. The … Read more
The evolution of the app store witnessed another milestone recently, with the release of a game that doubles as a very effective advertisement. One of my favorite iPhone games of the year, Firemint's Real Racing, just got a Lite version that doubles as a promotional tool for both the app and an outside company. Real Racing GTI (Free), sponsored by Volkswagen, lets you race on a few of the tracks of the full game using the 2010 Volkswagen GTI. You only get a small taste of the action in the full game, but it should be enough to help … Read more
Old MacDonald is a musical, farm-themed educational game designed for kids ages 1 and up. Based on the time-honored song ("Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o!"), kids choose from a spinning touch-screen wheel of 21 different animals, including a duck, cow, beaver, octopus, and more. As each animal is selected, you hear its name spoken aloud, along with a matching animal sound effect. You then touch the animal to see if it "belongs" on a McDonald's archetypal farm.
Many of them don't belong, and the narrator will let you know ("A fox? A … Read more
Do you have a "jailbroken" iPhone? Ever since the iPhone first came on the scene, there has been a large group of users who believe Apple tries too hard to control what works and what doesn't on the iPhone. The minute a new iPhone firmware update is released from Apple, a whole slew of people search for ways to unlock the device, letting them download apps that have never had to go through the App store acceptance process. This means that apps that would have otherwise never seen the light of day can be used on an … Read more
Apple released an update today for iPhone which addresses some issues and fixes some crashes in specific situations. According to Apple, iPhone 3.1.2 resolves a sporadic issue that may cause the iPhone to not wake from sleep; an intermittent issue that may interrupt cellular network services until restart; and fixes a bug that could cause an occasional crash during video streaming. If you've experienced any of these issues (or even if you haven't), make sure to plug your iPhone into iTunes to get the latest update. Be aware that the update is over 200MB so will … Read more
Apple's iPhone is still king of the smartphone hill.
J.D. Power and Associates on Thursday released the results of its 2009 Wireless Consumer Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study and the 2009 Wireless Business Smartphone Satisfaction Study. It may not surprise you to learn that Apple topped the list for satisfaction among consumers, but the iPhone is also the No. 1 pick among business users, too.
The factors determining satisfaction for business users (in order of importance) are ease of operation (29 percent); operating system (23 percent); physical design (21 percent); features (16 percent); and battery function (11 percent).
Apple … Read more
Apple on Thursday released an update for the iPhone operating system, bringing the current version of the OS to 3.1.2.
According to notes accompanying the update, Apple fixed three bugs, which may not seem like a lot, but they are important. Among the changes is a fix for what Apple says is a "sporadic issue," where the iPhone would not wake up from sleep mode.
The update also resolves an issue that could interrupt the cell network until the phone is restarted. A bug that caused a crash during video streaming has been addressed in iPhone … Read more
The cat and mouse game continues between Apple and the Dev Team, a group of guys who are passionate about freeing Apple handheld devices from the company's short leash. The Dev Team has been jailbreaking new Apple firmware for years, and it just did so again--though this time around it seems Apple is still taking the decisive lead.
The team announced Friday the availability of PwnageTool 3.13, which allows for jailbreaking and unlocking the iPhone 3GS running the latest firmware, version 3.1. Currently only a Mac version of the tool is available, but the Windows version will be out soon. (Keep in mind, however, that you download and use the PwnageTool at your own risk.)
The tool creates a custom firmware from the version 3.1 firmware released by Apple. To install it, you put the phone into recovery mode (turn it off, then plug it in while holding down the Home button) and use iTunes to restore the phone with the custom firmware (hold down the Option key while clicking on the Restore button).
The custom firmware, apart from jailbreaking, will not upgrade the baseband--the chip that connects the phone to a service provider--and therefore still allows the phone to be unlocked.
But there's a catch here. The tool only works with the iPhone 3GS that has been jailbroken with the firmware version 3.0 or 3.0.1. This means if you buy a new iPhone 3GS that already has version 3.1 on it or you have updated to version 3.1 using iTunes, there's still no way to have your phone jailbroken. There's even a rumor that there might never be one, unless a new exploit is found.
If this is true, it seems Apple has finally been able to gain significant ground in stopping the practice it claims could pose a threat to national security. And for thousands, if not millions of iPhone 3GS users who rely on jailbreaking and unlocking to use their phones with the service of their choice, this is sad news. … Read more
If you browse the iTunes Store for iPhone and iPod Touch games, you've probably noticed there is no shortage of Tower Defense titles. It's probably because this genre seems to be a natural fit for the touch-screen interface. I decided to put together a collection of my favorite Tower Defense games (all rated highly), just in case you've been looking for a new time-waster or just want to sample what Tower Defense is all about.
Check out our collection of Top Tower Defense games for iPhone and iPod Touch.