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Follow Up on the iPhone Game Center

September 28th, 2010 by admin

We had a laugh when we read, on Twitter:

zachx: So any cool games out for the iPhone game center yet??

StarDunk
 

Because, so far, the iPhonegizmo team answer would be a loud NO!! And this is surprising. After all,game developers have flocked to develop games for the iPhone. There are thousands of free and pay-for games  to play on our iPhones.

But when it comes to multiplayer games available to play in the Game Center, there is not the same quality or range of games on offer. Now, there are over 1000 multiplayer games to choose from in the App store and  364 of them free.

But hardly any of these are available from the Game Center. This means that - compared to Sony’s Playstation@Network game options - the Game Center is a non-starter.  So although Apple has now provided a game center - they have a long way to go before the game center is any sort of competition for either PlayStation or the Xbox live alternatives - where serious gaming takes place!

There are currently only 45 games on offer in the Game center and most have to be purchased (only 5 or around 10% are free. This compares to over half of the single-player games being free - ie literally thousands - and 33% of the multiplayer games in the App store being free)

AT present the most complex FREE mutliplayer games on offer are from the Game Center are games like tic tac toe, back gammon, ball/racket games and word games. One exception is StarDunk, which has had some great reviews. So this could be a good game to give the Game Center a trial with? Let us know what you think of the Game Center so far.

THIS is the way to launch an new iPhone App!

September 25th, 2010 by admin

iPhonegizmo gets promo emails from a LOT of app developers. Most of them are hoping to get a hot write up for their app. We have a standard policy which basically means that we want the app developer to give you - the reader - a free trial or a free app or the chance to win a free app.

As part of the SDK requirements each app developer has to make 50 apps available for free. So we know these are available. Most of these get used up in the trial  phase of app development. However, it is our experience that app developers are smart with technology  but not smart with marketing (they should really pay attentuion to how Apple does things!!) So, in their innocence, they are reluctant to give away any apps becuse they fear that that is much needed revenue being lost.

But you know - as we know - that freebies are a necessary part of getting wide acceptance and good revierws etc. Even better if the app is launched with a video. Even better if there is some other motivator - like a competition, for example.

Which is why we are doing this post on the relatively uninspiring app called the Ruler.
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Its a smple, unglamorous but very useful app. We are even doing this post despite the fact that the app has a price tag (temporarily 99c). And that is because they have done such a great launch promo for the app. First up - they have a great contest with fantastic prizes:

   • Grand prize: The brand-new 64 GB iPod touch with FaceTime, Retina display, HD video recording, and Game Center.
   • 2nd: The 16 GB iPod nano redesigned with Multi-Touch.
   • 3rd: The smaller, streamlined Apple TV.
   • 4th: The new iPod shuffle.

The details of this easy to enter competition are on the Ruler site.

Secondly, they are launching the app at half its normal price of $1.99.

And finally, they have a very neat demo  on their site. Go check it out!

Oh… and BTW, these are the developers that paved the way for Apple’s ibooks. So they know how to create great apps.

Amazing Free iPhone Downloads from iTunesU

September 19th, 2010 by admin

Free iPhone downloads - sex and smell

Most people get one of two things from iTunes - music or apps.  Despite the amazing expanse of knowledge on offer for free - getting downloads from iTunesU is not so nearly popular.

But the iPhonegizmo team think this is an amazing resource and we want to bring it to our readers attention. For example, there are lectures on a very wide range of topics - from the truly brainy stuff that few of us will ever understand (quantum mechanics and the lectures from real mathematical brainiacs, a-la-Numb3rs ).

But there is also a heap of information on really useful and/or interesting topics.

Take for example the whole issue of sex and smells. Did you know that less than10 years ago some scientist were still categorically denying that humans could be affected by pheromones (ie smells)? And now? Well, you would not believe what the researchers are saying about how important these smells are to sex, performance, mate choice, faithfulness etc! Well, in iTunes you can get the latest info on this hot topic in the free lectures for download by Catherine Dulac from Harvard University (latest update was June 29 2010). And if that talk excites you - you really should check out this book on the subject.

The Details of Diet and Nutrition

Interested in dieting and nutrition? How would you like 30 FREE videos to watch on your iPhone - by experts on the subject? Because that’s what UCTV (Uni of California) have provided via iTunesU.

Just want to be entertained? Ok - just use the “power Search” to find the entertainment that appeals. Dozens of podcasts (video and audio) of music  and about music, comedy, drama etc of varying genre!

So - go check iTunesU out and see just what you have been missing!

Free Backup for iPhone files

September 16th, 2010 by admin

There are quite a few iPhone Apps that are connected to online storage, backup and file sharing services. For those iPhone users that already use a service, it is worth checking the App store to see whether your service provides an iPhone app that allows you connectivity via your iPhone to their service (eg Carbonite, Norton, Diino)

Dropbox
 

Two other companies offer a free 1 to 2 GB storage service with iPhone access. So we figure they deserve a special mention. For those with only a limited need or interest in backing up their data (photos, music etc) then these are super good deals. Also it gives us the opportunity to try out these backup and file sharing systems (most people are not that familiar with the cloud technology that they are based on) and see if we like them.

1) DropBox (4 star iTunes rating - so goes first), allows users to sync data, share folders, collaborate folders, share links, and (most important) add photos to the gallery. Using the iPhone App we can access and view files as well as images in the Dropbox.

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The good news is that Dropbox offers a 2GB free service!

FilesAnywhere

 

2) FilesAnywhere app (2.5 star rating) allows us to view, share and manage our “remote” files  from our iPhone. We can also share these “remote” files with anyone. The sharing is done without the need for  downloading - that’s the benefit of the cloud technology! It also allows us to upload photos. There is a free 1GB service available as well.

One final backup/file sharing  service deserves a mention. Because of the HUGE free service it offers. ADrive has a whopping 50MB free option! Now, whilst the free service does not come with all the nice features that the paid service offers, this is still a fantastic offer. Sadly, they so far do not have iPhone access!

iTune Ping

September 11th, 2010 by admin

iTunes Ping
 

With the latest update to iTunes (iTunes 10) comes Apple Ping its (long overdue?) social network for music.  And, for a change, this time Apple is playing catchup (with Zune, for example, who has had a social network for music since day one)! Given the success of MySpace and the blow out popularity for a whole rash of music-based social network sites, it is surprising really that it has taken Apple so long to jump on this bandwagon. They are usually the innovators not the followers!

The nice thing about the new network is that it is accessible from our iPhones.  Tap the iTunes icon, sign in to iTunes  and go to Ping where there are three buttons to tap that take us to: ‘Activity’, ‘People’, and ‘My Profile’ views. We are also able to “Like” and “Comment” on posts. Not sure we can edit our profile picture or our details from the iPhone - we could not do it.

The most astonishing thing about Ping, however - at least to the iPhonegizmo team - is the fact that iTunes has links that send us to OTHER sites!!. Take for example the Taylor Swift profile:

iTunes Ping - Taylor swift

On the profile page there is - on the right hand side bar - a “concerts” sub-category. And inside that there is “tickets” and THAT is a link that sends us to the Ticketmaster website!! No doubt Apple has done a deal - but still, this is the first time that Apple has been prepared to share their audience with anyone (well, that is overstating things as music and apps all have links to websites - but this link is not on a “sale” page)! Or did they but Ticketmaster while we were all asleep?

Given that Taylor Swift already has more than 130K followers and that Ping has been available for only a matter of days, we are not sticking our necks out by saying we suspect that Ping is gonna be a financial bonanza for Apple (Katy Perry and Lady GaGa have even more followers!). Especially when you consider how good the interface on iTunes looks.

You need to update iTunes and the software on your iPhone. Just go to Apple to get iTunes 10 .

BTW - Ping will also be available for  iPad  users - but they will have to wait till November for their update!

The iPhone Game Center

September 5th, 2010 by admin

The iPhone has already dished up major competition for other game platforms. Not just other mobile devices, but other platforms such as the PSP, Nintendo and - we would argue - even the PS3 and X-Box. Now you might think we are overstating the success of the iPhone as a games platform. But the stats speak volumes about the success of the iPhone across all ages, nationalities and even the sexes.

iPhone Game center

The new games center  will only increase the pressure on Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Touted as Xbox-like in the media, the new Game Center provides both iPod and iPhone gamers with the opportunity to expand their social gaming interests.

According to Apple, the Games Center:

lets friends — and soon-to-be-friends — in on the action. (WE can) Invite someone to join, then get a game going. Or go up against people you don’t know, from anywhere in the world, in a multiplayer game.

The game center will be accessible on both the  iPod touch and iPhone once they are running iOS 4.1. All it will take to use the App is to tap the Game Center app, log in with our Apple ID, and then choose one of the games to play. It will also be possible to download any of the games we see in the games center just by tapping the link provided there.

Which, BTW,  is a great marketing tool for Apple. Keen to compete against your friends - or just anyone? Then you are going to be very motivated to buy the games developed to let you do just that! Scores are kept and rankings are made - leader boards have been set up. It will be interesting to see how quickly the games center is adopted!

The new iOS 4.1 is due for release this week - so we recommend get your upgrade and check this new games center out!

 

 

If you can’t wait - then you can check out  the new game developed for the mutliplayer platform by Epic Games.

At the Apple Music Event last week - where the Games Center was unveiled, Mike Capps (CEO at EG)  demonstrated the new EG game called Project Sword. It is a cool action role-play game. Whilst the game will not be released till later this year, EG have released a free demo on iTunes called Epic Citadel. And it is awesome.  The graphics are as good as PS3 or Xbox and set a new standard for what we can expect from games on the iPhone!

Apple 2010 Music Event

September 2nd, 2010 by admin

iPhone software update

At the Apple Music event yesterday, Jobs outlined the key improvements on offer in the next software update for our iPhones - to be released next week. These include: Other features: cheap TV show rentals, (HDR) high-dynamic range photos, the ability to upload high-definition video over Wi-Fi, iTunes Ping (a new social network) and more.

There will also be a major new feature called Game Center where users can play interactive games online with friends or other online players. Our next post is devoted to this new feature - which we think adds a whole new dimension to an already exciting platform. And the post after that will look at the new iTunes Ping in detail.

The event began with the usual “mine is bigger than yours” routine. And of course, with Apple this is not just a vain hope. Take a look at some of the latest stores that Apple has opened across the globe:

1) The latest Paris store (it was an opera house) is just extraordinary - and, according to Jobs, took 18 months to restore:

Iphone Shop - Paris

The inside is even more spectacular:

iPhone store - Paris

2) In complete contrast is the new store they have built in Shanghai - a 40 foot high glass cylinder:

iPhone Store - Shanghai

- just look at the environmental context of this thing:

iPhone shop - Shanghai

If you thought that building beautiful architecture - or maintaining it was a thing of the past - well, Apple has just proved you wrong.

These building project seem so apt. After all, Apple is in the business of elegant designs-for-living. It seems totally appropriate that they use some of their massive profits to create wondrous buildings for our enjoyment and use.

The iPhonegizmo team give Apple - one again - the thumbs up for being design leaders.