Obscura simplifies taking the perfect picture

By Timothy Reavis on Jul 26, 2015

Photography is the capture of emotion for reuse. I’m particularly fond of art – photography or otherwise – that makes me feel something on an emotional level, because if art doesn’t induce emotions, what is its point?

Obscura is a new camera app for iPhone that simplifies the art of taking meaningful pictures. The first real shot I took with this app made an onlooker want to download the app immediately, because she looked at the image and felt something. Even Obscura’s flat, black and white interface leaves the user with a feeling of simplicity that, while decidedly modern, somehow connects back to the original colorless photograph. Read More

 

Apple Music, Beats 1 & store services experience downtime during VMA nominee announcements

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2015

In what’s become a norm for the company these days, another outage has hit a number of cloud-based services as users around the world report issues accessing Apple’s content stores: the App Store, the Mac App Store and the iTunes Store.

We’re also tracking issues with Apple Music and Beats 1.

Indeed, I’m currently struggling to stream my Apple Music songs and Beats 1 radio.

UPDATE 1: Apple has now acknowledged the outage on the iCloud status page. “Users are experiencing a problem with the services listed above,” reads the notice. “We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available.”

UPDATE 2: The iCloud dashboard says all services have been restored after three and a half hours of downtime. Read More

 

Focus brings beautiful time management to iOS and Apple Watch

By Timothy Reavis on Jun 28, 2015

Perhaps my biggest productivity hindrance is time management. If I’m able to set aside time to focus on a task without distraction and stick with it to completion, my productivity levels exponentiate. Getting to that point, however, can be difficult and requires an incredible amount of self control. Focus is an app I picked recently that helps to both manage time and concentrate on the task at hand. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and, soon, Mac as well, and I have a full review below.

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App Watch: Dash, MindNode, WeatherBug

By Timothy Reavis on Jun 21, 2015

One of the tasks for which Apple Watch is best suited is displaying information. Whether it be an upcoming calendar event, an incoming text, or simply the date and time, having this information a wrist raise away is what makes Apple Watch so invaluable.

This week, we have some apps that excel at displaying information on your wrist without requiring or even allowing much user interaction at all. These apps conform to the idea of using Apple Watch for very short amounts at a time, making the experience more natural.

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A closer look at Apple Watch apps: PCalc, Notes, and Dispatch

By Timothy Reavis on Jun 14, 2015

I’m looking forward to the day when an iteration of the Elder Scrolls will come to iPad. Imagine strolling through Tamriel on your Retina display, engaging in Infinity Blade-style combat with man and beast. It’d be glorious. I’m not sure that day will ever come, but I’m anticipating it just the same. I’ll be happy when the latest version of iPad has the hardware to run such a game, regardless.

Instead of discussing my recently renewed obsession with Skyrim, we’re here to talk about some noteworthy Apple Watch apps that I’ve come across recently, so let us begin.

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App Watch: power pack

By Timothy Reavis on May 31, 2015

I like to think of myself as a power user when it comes to my apps and devices, and although that term isn’t always applicable, I’ve spent hours in Workflow trying to craft recipes that will save me precious seconds later on, and I enjoyed doing so if for nothing other than the self-satisfaction when I get to run a handmade workflow and watch it perform beautifully.

Today’s App Watch has a couple power user apps to help streamline your day (and an app to make you a powerful user), and I hope, once we’re done, you’ll be as excited as I am to use these apps in the future. Read More

 

App Watch: game on

By Timothy Reavis on May 24, 2015

Although I’m not a hardcore gamer, I do my fair share of gaming, largely on my Mac or PC, but iOS has demanded my attention as a gaming platform as well. Console gaming doesn’t greatly interest me, however, due to the cost of games and limitation of genres. But I don’t mind investing into a gaming PC that I can also use for work, school, and countless other things, and my iPad Air 2 is also great for playing the more graphically intense titles on iOS.

More recently, gaming moved beyond iPads and iPhones to alight on users’ wrists with Apple Watch, which is our primary focus in this article. Although the games are very basic, as they should be, many are designed to burn a few minutes while in line or other places where pulling out an iPhone isn’t entirely convenient, while others are built exclusively for Apple Watch. Read More

 

Learn how to build 14 different apps for Apple Watch with this course

By iDB Deals on May 22, 2015

The Apple Watch’s debut is the perfect opportunity to learn how to create apps for a brand-new product—especially considering that it’s expected to be on the wrists of more than 2.5 million people in the coming months. Check out our deal on an Apple Watch Course. At 87% off, it’s an amazing deal for the amount of hands-on instruction and experience you’ll get.

The course starts with the very basics of Swift and WatchKit and doesn’t require any prior programming experience — but if you’ve got some, it’s easy to skip ahead. You’ll get a whopping 134 lectures and 12.5 hours of content covering actionable notifications, glances, general interface principles, working with APIs, and beyond. Read More

 

Noodles! review: a complex puzzle game (with absolutely no heptagons)

By Lory Gil on May 19, 2015

When you are relaxing with a nice, simple puzzle game, do you prefer it to be mindless and easy, or are you the type of gamer that likes things that are hard to solve?

Noodles! is a simple puzzle game with a nice, solid challenge. It isn’t so hard that you give up, but it is hard enough to make you feel smart when you finally solve a puzzle. Check out our game review of Noodles! below. Read More

 

App Watch: artificial intelligence

By Timothy Reavis on May 17, 2015

Artificial intelligence may very well take over the world one day, but I find it absolutely fascinating, regardless. The concept of teaching computers how to “think” brings an entirely new level to technology, not only in relation to programming, but in how we interact with it as well. The issue is that, once they become sentient, computers will in theory no longer be content doing as we command, but instead turn on humanity and kill us all.

Anyway, the App Store has yet to feature an app for controlling a maniacal robot from your Apple Watch, but there are some apps that utilize a form of artificial intelligence, and we’re looking at a couple of them today. Read More

 

Hackers find easy way to steal large sums of money through Starbucks app

By Jake Smith on May 14, 2015

Hackers are stealing money from users’ credit cards, banks, and PayPal accounts through the Starbucks mobile app, the coffee giant confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

The app, which lets users pay at checkout and reload Starbucks gift cards, has an auto-reload function that makes it easy for hackers to take from users, not needing any account numbers. Read More

 

Cooped Up review: don’t let your expectations cage this gem

By Josh Gallagher on May 14, 2015

One of the first iPhone games I, and certainly many iPhone owners, ever played was Doodle Jump. It came out while the App Store was still in its relative infancy, and the iPhone was beginning its meteoric rise in earnest. Since its release in 2009, we have seen numerous games that copy its pencil and paper art style or gameplay mechanics. So many, in fact, that it has become relatively hard for any game that looks even remotely similar to stand out.

When you first look at screenshots of Cooped Up, I have no doubt that Doodle Jump, Mega Jump, or any number of other apps will be the first thing to spring into your mind. Cooped Up is more than just a cheap knock off, though. What makes this game different? Well, that’s going to take a bit of explaining. Read More

 

App Watch: food edition

By Timothy Reavis on May 10, 2015

Eating is perhaps my favorite pastime. While I typically prefer to eat at home where I can prepare higher quality food with enhanced taste and healthier ingredients, there are occasions when I have to pick up something in town. In these instances, I tend to gravitate toward restaurants with a mobile app so I can take my time while deciding on my order, and Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell are a couple restaurants that fulfill this criterion.

Unfortunately, the iPhone apps of these establishments don’t yet support Apple Watch. There are, however, some food apps that do, so let’s take a look at them. Read More

 

Celebrate Star Wars Day with discounted games, featured books, TV shows & movies, Disney events and more

By Christian Zibreg on May 4, 2015

Today is Star Wars Day, an unofficial annual celebration of everything Star Wars, and Apple is joining festivities with limited-time discounts on select Star Wars-themed games and In-App Purchases for the iPhone and iPad on the App Store.

In addition, the iBooks Store is running a dedicated Star Wars section highlighting books, comics, graphic novels and other Star Wars content.

But we’re only getting started.

The iTunes Store has joined the big push by featuring Star Wars music, related television shows and additional iOS apps at standard prices, while Disney is pulling out all the stops with special events at its studios and resorts. Read More

 

App Watch: the day after Christmas

By Timothy Reavis on May 3, 2015

If you have kids, or if you were a kid at some point, you probably remember opening your presents each Christmas, using them to no end for the rest of the day, and forgetting about most of them the day after. That never happened to me, actually, but it’s a long-standing stereotype, so go with it.

The difference between your RC car and your Apple Watch is that your car began collecting dust after a day or two, and your Apple Watch is becoming an integral part of your life. The initial novelty of the Digital Crown has become a natural scrolling mechanism, and the urge to constantly try a new watch face turned into changing the color to match today’s shirt, or switching from an informative to a simple face from a work day to the weekend. Apple Watch has become a background track in your day-to-day life, and that’s a good thing.

However, there is always more room for great apps to expand horizons and streamline workflows, which is why App Watch exists. So let’s see what Santa (bearded app developers) has for us this week. Read More

 

Singularity review: a singularly enjoyable puzzler

By Josh Gallagher on Apr 29, 2015

The core concept behind many iOS puzzle games is something we’ve seen before. Whether it’s a match three or a word jumble, there is a lot of familiar ideas out there. Truly great games are able to take these ideas and expand on them. They mix in brand new concepts and create a game that is unique and exciting. The newest game from unexpected3rd, Singularity, is a tried and true concept that I think we’ve all seen in other games. The question is; does Singularity expand upon its premise enough to be considered great? Read More

 

Unsurprisingly, Apple says ‘no’ to custom faces, fart apps and time-telling Watch apps

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 28, 2015

Apple on Tuesday updated the official App Store Review Guidelines, officially taking a stance against third-party applications for the Apple Watch whose sole purpose is to tell the time, as first discovered by developer David Smith.

A newly added clause of the agreement guiding third-party development now explicitly states that Watch applications which simply tell the time will be flatly rejected.

“Watch Apps whose primary function is telling time will be rejected,” reads the document. Moreover, the same principles appear to apply to custom watch faces and flatulence apps.

It’s worth mentioning that these rules have been enforced since the onset as there has never been a single time-telling Apple Watch app, or a fart app, (or a custom face for that matter) available on the App Store. Read More

 

App Watch: the first wave

By Timothy Reavis on Apr 26, 2015

You’ve received your Apple Watch in the mail, unboxed it, tried it on, and now the months of anticipation and waiting have finally come to an end. It’s surreal, really, and you can’t help but glance at your wrist every few minutes, even after wearing it for a couple days, to play with your new toy.

Or you haven’t received your Apple Watch yet and must sit alone and forsaken, watching all your friends talk to their wrists, wishing you could’ve gotten that pre-order in just a little bit earlier, or chosen a more plentiful model.

Or perhaps you simply couldn’t justify the price of the Apple Watch for its functionality, at least in the first generation. But you are interesting in its potential, particularly in how third-party developers will be putting its unique skillsets to use.

If you fall into one of those categories, it is for you that I’m excited to introduce App Watch, a new weekly article series by iDownloadBlog. In these posts, I’ll be covering a small handful of Apple Watch apps that stand out to me in terms of design, ease of use, convenience, and real-world usage. The point is not to cover every WatchKit app, but to highlight those that bring something significant, beautiful, or practical to wrists around the world. Apple Watch has an incredible amount of potential, and I want to help you tap into that. So, let us begin. Read More

 

Review: Forgotten Memories remembers what it means to be a survival horror game

By Josh Gallagher on Apr 26, 2015

For years, the survival horror genre has suffered from a bit of an identity crisis, with genre mainstays straying into everything from action adventures to point and click romps. With Forgotten Memories: Alternate Realities, developer Psychose Interactive seeks to resurrect the ideals that made survival horror great and prove that the early games in the genre got it right the first time. Read More

 

‘Offers Apple Watch App’ label added to App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 23, 2015

In order to better distinguish between regular iPhone applications and those with added Apple Watch functionality, a new ‘Offers Apple Watch App’ label is now available in the App Store across the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. It’s also found when browsing Watch-compatible iOS apps in the App Store section of iTunes for Mac/Windows PCs.

When available, the label appears right below the app icon on individual app pages and in search results, making it easier to discover Apple Watch apps. Read More

 
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