Prune review: yard work has never been so beautiful

By Lory Gil on Aug 3, 2015

There truly is an art form in pruning. Trees of all shapes and sizes act differently based on the way you manipulate their growth. The art of the Bonsai is the perfect example of how a perfectly trimmed tree can become whatever you want it to be.

Prune is a game about trees. In it, players trim branches to grow their foliage until they reach the sun. We’ve got a hands-on game review of Prune for you today. Read More

 

Create colorful keyboards that match your mood in an instant with Photokeys

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2015

Photokeys by developer Appyfurious was released in the App Store last evening. This quite interesting application makes it easy and fun to create your own colorful keyboards in seconds, from any photo in your library.

Just take or import a picture, adjust color themes as you like and your keyboard is ready for use in any application.

If you’re unhappy with the results, refine your custom designs with manual controls to mix and match your own colors and achieve the keyboard nirvana. But wait, there’s much more to Photokeys, a 99-cent download from the App Store, than meets the eye. Read More

 

Review: Inateck MercuryBox Bluetooth speaker

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 30, 2015

One of my biggest beefs with the iPhone and iPad is the lack of love given to sound output quality. Neither device features speakers that face the user, and the speakers that are there produce sound that’s just passable in my opinion. It’s definitely one of the biggest opportunity areas for improvement when it comes to iOS hardware.

Other devices do a much better job with sound quality. For example, the HTC One M9 features front-facing speakers, as does the just-released Motorola G 3rd-gen. Even tablets like the Nexus 9 feature front-firing speakers that sound relatively good. The iPhone and iPad? Not so much.

But that’s okay, because that’s what external speakers were made for. In fact, I just got my hands on stylish-looking Bluetooth speaker called the MercuryBox (42.99 with Amazon discount code below). It’s from a German company called Inateck, who sent us a sample unit for review.

Is this the perfect device to improve your iPhone’s sound output? Read More

 

Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition is so engaging you might forget to eat in real life

By Lory Gil on Jul 30, 2015

Sometimes, there are games that are so engrossing that you don’t even realize that time has passed. They can sometimes get you into trouble, especially if you suddenly find yourself still at home in your slippers when you should have been at work 10 minutes ago.

Don’t Starve is an action survival game for the iPad that might cause you to forget to eat dinner while trying to keep your character well fed and safe from things that go bump in the night. We’ve got a full game review of Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition for you today. Read More

 

Review: Moto G 3rd-generation – an iPhone user’s take

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 30, 2015

The Moto G is a budget Android smartphone line from Motorola that has nurtured a very good reputation in the tech community. The latest 3rd-generation Moto G, which debuted on Tuesday, is now available in stores like Amazon and Best Buy.

We’ve made it our mission to review various Android smartphones over the year in order to provide you with a balanced look at what the so-called “competition” is offering. As most of you know, I’m a die-hard Apple fan, but I do have a soft spot in my heart from Android, even though I think that many of the decisions that Android OEMs make are borderline shameless.

That said, I’ve been extremely keen on testing out the latest and greatest version of the Moto G, because I think it’s the perfect companion Android phone for iPhone users wishing to dabble into the “other side”. At a mere $179.99 unlocked, the Moto G is an outstanding value. Yes, there are other Android phones that fall within this price range, but they’re usually horrible specs-wise, or if they’re decent, they’re inundated with bloatware (I’m looking at you Asus ZenFone 2).

The Moto G is different. Not only is it factory unlocked, but it features decent specs for a phone this cheap. But most importantly, it lacks the bloatware so popular in other phones in this class, or even so-called flagship phones. True, it’s not a Nexus device, which is 100% stock Android, but it’s very close, and arguably, improves on stock Android with some of its unique offerings.
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Lead Them review: help the microcosm grow by pointing the way

By Lory Gil on Jul 28, 2015

As far as simple mobile games go, there are an uncountable number of them, so many that it is difficult to search through them to find the interesting ones.

That’s where I come in. One game that was recently introduced to me is called Lead Them. While at first glance, it may seem like a vertical scroll game with a pretty skin, it turns out that it has a few tricks that make it stand out. We’ve got a full game review of Lead Them for your reading enjoyment today. Read More

 

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

 

This War of Mine review: a brutal look at war from the civilians’ side

By Lory Gil on Jul 25, 2015

In the video game industry, most war-related titles involve soldiers on the front line and put players onto the battlefield, fighting for a cause. Most are shooter games that let you test your sniper skills.

This War of Mine works from a completely different perspective. Instead of rescuing hostages in an airport, players act as civilians trying to survive in a war torn city. We’ve got a full game review of This War of Mine today. Read More

 

Xenowerk review: a top-down shooter with an ever-expanding arsenal

By Lory Gil on Jul 24, 2015

If you are a fan of top-down arcade shooters, then you know how much fun it can be to run from room to room, killing things and blowing up stuff with wild abandon. Pixelbite, the team that brought us the Sci-Fi western Space Marshals is back with a new adventure in space.

Xenowerk is an action shooter that puts players in charge of cleaning up a mutant mess left by a biological experiment gone bad. We’ve got a hands-on game review of Xenowerk for you today. Read More

 

TodoMovies 4 adds Apple Watch app, custom lists, richer views, tabbed navigation and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 23, 2015

As a longtime fan of TodoMovies, an excellent movie tracker by German developer Taphive, I’ve been using the app to keep tabs on the movies I wanted to watch.

Since its March 2014 App Store debut, developers have constantly updated the app with meaningful feature additions like Motion Posters in TodoMovies 2, a revamped design in TodoMovies 3 and lots of other goodies.

Previously a $1.99 download, TodoMovies went the freemium route and it did help widen the app’s user base. And as of Thursday, TodoMovies 4 is available in the App Store with tons more perks.

For starters, it now offers a nicely designed Apple Watch app for your wrist. On the iPhone side, enhancements include custom lists, a richer movie details view, tab-based navigation, support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screens and more.

Read on for a quick review based on my brief hands-on time with the new version. Read More

 

Days of Wonder’s board game Splendor goes digital: we go hands-on

By Lory Gil on Jul 23, 2015

Splendor is a hugely popular board game distributed by Asmodee that first launched in 2014 and has received much acclaim in its short lifespan, including a nomination from the board game world’s most coveted Spiel des Jahres awards.

Splendor is now available on iOS so you can keep your merchant skills sharp without waiting for your board game group to be ready. We’ve got a hands-on game review of Splendor for you today. Read More

 

Apple stops users from leaving app reviews from iOS betas

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 21, 2015

I think this can definitely warrant a finally. Apple has disabled the ability for users to leave app reviews in the App Store while running iOS betas.

The change seems to be retroactive, as I tested it from both the just-released iOS 9 beta 4 and the previous beta 3, and both throw up errors that the review feature isn’t available while running a prerelease version of iOS. Read More

 

5 things I like about the LG G4

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 21, 2015

I’ve had the privilege of testing out an LG G4 for the last 3 weeks, and I’ve finally found the time to write down my impressions about the highly esteemed flagship phone. If you’ve been keeping up with all of the rumblings regarding the G4, then it probably won’t be the first time you’ve heard some of the things I have to say in this overview.

At iDB, we strive to stay in the know about competing devices, and freely acknowledge that some of them do things better than the Apple devices that we’re most intimately familiar with. In this post, I’ll share five features about the LG G4 that particularly stood out to me.

First and foremost, the camera is bonkers! Not only is the general quality of the camera really good, but it excels in low light situations, features a great 4K video camera, and has tons of manual controls to fool around with. Check out our video overview of the camera inside. Read More

 

iPod touch 6th generation review

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 16, 2015

I debated over it for a while, but I just couldn’t resist ordering a brand new 6th generation iPod touch after looking at the specs of the device. The new iPod touch, despite not changing much from a use-case standpoint, is quite the compelling device.

When you consider how underpowered the previous generation iPod touch was, this really is a major upgrade. You’re essentially getting an iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus level 64-bit A8 system on a chip (SoC) with its M8 motion coprocessor, along with double the RAM at 1GB.

The SoC and RAM alone would be enough to blow the previous iPod touch, which is downright painful to use on iOS 8, out of the water, but Apple has included significant improvements to the iSight Camera—bumped up from 5 megapixels to 8 megapixels—there’s faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an upgrade to Bluetooth 4.1, a 128GB storage capacity option, and more.

Make no mistake, the iPod touch 6th generation is more powerful than some of the lower tier phones hitting the market today. If you’re serious about gaming, photos, and video, but don’t need the capabilities of a phone, then the iPod touch 6th generation might be considered a bargain.

Watch our full video review for the unboxing, benchmarks, comparisons to the 5th-gen iPod touch and much more.
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Review: Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch—an unassuming charging dock and a great stand

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 11, 2015

Apple Watch stands are multiplying like rabbits and getting more useful. Today, I get to tell you all about the HiRise for Apple Watch.

This is one of the first stands for Apple’s wearable device and the very first watch stand from Twelve South, a company based in Charleston, South Carolina which has been designing premium accessories exclusively for use with Apple devices.

Like their popular HiRise stand for iPhone and iPad, the Apple Watch edition helps protect your device while it’s charging. And like other Twelve South products, it looks gorgeous and was designed to support all Apple Watch sizes, models and bands.

But is it worth your attention? Read on for all the details. Read More

 

Review: Monowear third-party Apple Watch band

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 3, 2015

The folks over at Monowear sent me a couple of their third-party Apple Watch bands to try out. I’ve always been a little skeptical about third-party bands, because I worry about their quality, and whether or not they can truly match up to what Apple provided us with.

I’ve never tried a third-party band until now, but I can tell you that along with being inexpensive relative to what Apple’s charging, these bands are high quality and have a great fit. If I was in the market for a third-party, and I just might be after trying these out for the last few days, I’d definitely give Monowear a look.

Read More

 

Formula Cartoon All-Stars review: cart race against Cartoon Network celebs

By Lory Gil on Jun 30, 2015

If you love battle race games that let you speed your way across a variety of courses while taking down your opponents, there is a new game in your future.

Formula Cartoon All-Stars is a new racer from Turner Broadcasting that puts you behind the wheel of a crazy cart. We’ve got a full game review of Formula Cartoon All-Stars for you today. Read More

 

LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham review

By Lory Gil on Jun 29, 2015

Mobile technology has advanced so much in just a few years that it is hard to believe that mobile gaming used to be little more than physics-based puzzle games and endless runners.

LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham proves that you can immerse yourself in rich gameplay with quality graphics right on your iPhone or iPad. We’ve got a full game review of LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham for you today. 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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FirstLetter review: a word game designed specifically for Apple Watch

By Lory Gil on Jun 24, 2015

Personally, I am fascinated with the future of gaming on Apple Watch. While I am interested in apps that make my life more convenient and organized, I am really excided about apps that make my wearable technology fun.

FirstLetter is a game that was specifically designed for Apple Watch. It is playable on the iPhone, but its minimalist design and simple game mechanics make it perfect for the wrist worn device. We’ve got a game review of FirstLetter for you today. Read More

 
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