We’ve collected the top four reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in February. Whether you’re interested in Mac, iPhone, Web, Android, Windows, or iPad apps, there’s bound to be something you didn’t spot over the course of the month. Now would be a good time to explore a part of the AppStorm Network you’ve never seen before!
Thanks for reading AppStorm, and I hope you enjoy looking over some of our favourite posts from last month!
Best of Android.AppStorm
Here we are again with a fresh batch of 60 more wallpaper images for your phone (or tablet or even your desktop for that matter). A lot of the images we have linked are available in a variety of resolutions and will therefore suit your needs just fine. Given the crazy variety of screen sizes and resolutions on Android today, you will most probably need to crop the image to fit your screen. Shouldn’t be a problem though, since the OS should take care of letting you do that at the right time.
Personally, I came to use ADWLauncher EX very late indeed; after being smitten with LauncherPro for a while, but disappointed when the development on that launcher ceased, I went looking for something else and found ADWLauncher EX. I remain completely open to new launchers and persist in trying new ones out. However, time and time again I always return to ADWLauncher EX. Why do I do this? Why keep coming back? Read on for more…
HTC has always held a place of honor in the Android community in general. Since the launch of the Dream, they have grown bigger and stronger and have not looked back. While still holding an extremely influential place in the smartphone industry, they have evolved from their humble beginnings into one of the industry’s largest innovators.
However, at this year’s Mobile World Congress, HTC’s launch of the One series of smartphones signalled a shift in philosophies that had served them well for the past couple of years, but was starting to show signs of weakness. I believe that this change is definitely for the better, and indicates exciting times ahead for HTC, consumers and developers.
Best of iPad.AppStorm
March 7th was a bit of a milestone for me – it was the first time in my life that I had reserved and bought an Apple product straight after it was launched. Normally I am a bit dubious when it comes to technology, and before investing in a new gadget, I like to read countless reviews about it to really ascertain whether I’m getting the best value for money. But when the new iPad was announced I was certain that I could trust my instinct, took the plunge, and bought it outright without even reading one single review.
The features were certainly worth shouting about – that all-new, highly anticipated retina display and a beefed-up A5X processor with more powerful capabilities. All sounding good so far, I thought to myself. Then, the bombshell dropped – the new iPad will have 4G support (LTE), allowing blisteringly fast download speeds that makes 3G look ancient and sluggish.
Okay, so you’ve got your amazing new “resolutionary” iPad and you’re looking for the best way to show off the powerful display. I mean really, you’re going to want some breathtaking wallpapers and backgrounds that are the same resolution as your new iPad to go along with the device – so that people can see how great it is. Well you’re in luck, because I’ve managed to gather 100 of the best iPad Retina-optimized wallpapers, saving you all the work of searching the entire World Wide Web for them.
We all have the capacity to be creative, it’s in our very nature.
The iPad is a wonderful tool for creation is almost every sphere you can imagine, from expressing poetry to capturing artistic ideas, from exploring musical invention to manipulating captured light. Whether you consider yourself a creative professional, or are simply a person who loves to dream and imagine, there are hundreds of awesome iPad apps to help you do just that.
Exercise your mind, make something new today!
Check. Check. Is this thing on? Hello everyone. If you’re a developer of iPad applications, then today, I’m talking to you. More specifically, the one’s who shouldn’t snooze through today’s address are the iPad game developers, but what I want to talk about applies to a wide range of apps.
I come to you today with a problem that I’ve been putting a great deal of thought into over the last few months. You see, I’m what the tech world might call a “dinosaur.” I got my iPad (the original iPad) around Christmas time the year it came out. This was, if you don’t recall, only months before the iPad 2 was released. I’ve watched as the new iPads and the apps developed for them have gotten better, and I can’t help but feel like I’m being left in the dust – specifically, regarding graphics.
Best of Windows.AppStorm
Microsoft is under tremendous pressure from multiple fronts. Every vertical of the company’s business is facing steadfast competition from battle hardened brands like Google and Apple. Frankly, they missed the smartphone revolution and it looked like they were about to lose the desktop and tablet revolution to the Mac and iPad.
For a company deeply entrenched in bureaucracy, Microsoft bounced back with the stunning Windows Phone 7 and now, Windows 8. Windows 8 is designed to offer the familiar user experience of the past and a brand new one for the future. Join me after the break to find in detail what the future of Windows holds for you.
Is this the end of the ultraportable as we know it? Not so, I say! In addition to the fresh arrival of the buffed up ‘ultrabook’, the netbook category has been bolstered by an arrival from Dell-owned purveyor of gaming systems, Alienware.
The group, renowned for its reputation in building high-powered gaming systems, surprised us in 2010 with the m11x, which could probably be the world’s first ‘Gaming Netbook’. Those two words I thought I’d never see together, and now with the m11x in it’s third revision, I thought I’d see if it lives up to its promising nickname.
It’s not at all a secret that if you live your digital life within the clouds of technology and the internet that you spend a significant amount of time transfixed to your computer screen.
Though with lesser fears of the age old ‘square-eyes’ myth, a common symptom of late-night hours-long continuous gazing at your computer monitor is eye-strain. It happens to everyone, but what if not using your computer as much for extended periods of time at night is not an option?
Well, this is where F.lux comes in.
The PDF is one popular file type to exchange different types of information. Mostly eBooks, article pages or simply a collection of images. To open and view PDF files you need of course a PDF viewer.
There are many of them, but I picked out the ones which I think are the most popular and useful.
Best of iPhone.AppStorm
How can I introduce League of Evil 2? As a sequel to one of my favorite iOS games? As a difficult, well-designed platformer? How about as a testament to the responsiveness of the iPhone’s touch screen? League of Evil 2 is all of those things and more. I had the chance to review the original game a while back, so I think that it’s only appropriate for me to take a look at this, the hot-off-the-press sequel.
The only thing I need to ask is this: are you ready for some hardcore, evil scientist butt-kickin’? I mean, not physically, obviously. What did evil scientists ever do to you?
It seems as if word games and iOS come hand in hand. As with all types of applications, there are several different word games out in the App Store. However, there are only a few that stand out from the rest of them.
This is where Scramble with Friends comes into the picture. The ever-so-popular ‘With Friends’ series of games has just expanded with this new release, Boggle’s iOS counterpart. It’s yet another stellar iOS application from Zynga, but what makes it so great? Read more about it after the break.
Last week, Apple dropped a few big products our direction. We saw a new AppleTV, 1080P video for true HD content, a new iPad and even more. And then there was iPhoto, the latest and greatest piece of software for the iPad that allows you to edit your pics right there on the device. Oh, and it’s a universal app too, so it’s on the iPhone! Yay!
But how would an app that’s built to perform well on the expansive screen of the iPad work with the iPhone? Let’s file down those fingertips and find out.
As most of you probably know, Apple held a press event this past Wednesday, and they introduced the new AppleTV and the new iPad. Note, that’s note the AppleTV 3 or iPad 3 as some had expected, but just the new iPad.
So what does this mean for the next iPhone? Will we see an iPhone 5, iPhone 4G LTE or just the â€œnewâ€ iPhone? It may not sound important, but it kinda is.
Best of Web.AppStorm
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll have heard of Basecamp being described as the project management app to rule them all. Built from the ground up in 2004 to help users complete projects without getting in their way, 37signals‘ Basecamp has been a runaway success. It has become the weapon of choice for software companies, universities, design agencies, freelancers and everyone in between, because it did one thing well: helping teams work together on projects. Since then it has helped manage over 8 million projects.
Having learned a few things along the way, the team behind Basecamp gave it a fresh coat of paint and a few tweaks under the hood. Naturally, as users (and ardent fans) of this wonderful app, we just had to take a closer look. I went ahead and signed up for the trial to create a new project and kick the tyres on this redesign. Hop in and let’s take a ride through some of the major updates to Basecamp.
As most of you know that read this site, there is a huge movement toward cloud based computing. With the rise of applications like Evernote and Dropbox, people are starting to put more and more of their documents and media in the cloud. With this rise, comes devices like the Doxie Go scanner that make the transition to the cloud that much easier for people.
For those of you that don’t know, Doxie has been around since 2009.They came out with their first scanner that year and I decided I had to try it out and I liked it, but it still had some quirks. Then fast forward a few years to this January and Doxie introduced the Doxie Go + WIFI. Paul and the team over at Doxie were kind enough to give me a review unit to test out and let me tell you, I have been loving this thing.
Remember that picture you shared last fall? Or the link you shared in 2009? How about the note you write in CloudApp and shared on Twitter? Or that article that was about … ramen noodles. You shared it, you’re sure. Now how in the world can you find it? Facebook and Twitter’s search sure won’t help you, and it’s no where to be found on your computer.
Welcome to 2012. Back in 1995, folders were enough to organize the digital things you wanted to keep, as they were all on your computer. Bookmarks helped a bit as we transitioned to a world where the web mattered more than files on our devices. Native desktop search made it relatively easy to find our files and favorites. But today, most of the digital things you really want to keep up with are on your social network profiles, and for the most part, are wildly inaccessible and incredibly difficult to find when you want.
It’s time for a new way to organize and find the digital things that really matter to us, no matter where we shared and stored them online. We’ve looked at Otixo, a web app to combine cloud storage services, but it’s still more focused on the old files-and-folders viewpoint. What about the social media part of our lives, that in some ways is often a more important part of people’s digital lives than static files today? That’s where Jolicloud Me comes in.
Sometimes email and Facebook and Twitter and everything else isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need to send an SMS. For many of us, that sometimes is more often than we might think; no wonder unlimited SMS plans are still in vogue most places. When you send SMS messages that turn into a conversation, you can quickly send more messages than you even realize. And even though smartphones keep threatening to make SMS obsolete, the frank truth is that SMS is here to stay until everyone you ever txt has an internet connection on their phone and is using the same messaging app.
So you need to send an SMS, but pulling out your phone to txt while you’re sitting at your computer seems rather odd. Why not put the larger keyboard to use, and just send an SMS from your desktop? There’s a number of apps and sites that let you send free online SMS messages, but there’s one you likely already have open: Gmail. If you didn’t know you could send SMS messages right from Gmail, keep reading to see how you can sta in touch with everyone through Gmail, even if they don’t have email on their phones.
Best of Mac.AppStorm
This post is the answer to the first question that any new Mac user will ask: which apps are the best? The next time someone asks you this question, don’t think twice, just send them here.
We’ve spent hours and hours browsing the web, combing the Mac App Store and wandering through our own archives for the absolute best Mac apps around and we’ve found a whopping one hundred of them that we think you’ll love. Whether you’re looking for a screenshot utility, a todo list or even a great game to play, we’ve got you covered. We’re not merely offering a mindless list of links either, we took the time to tell you what each app does and why we love it so you can make an informed decision. Happy downloading!
If you take a look at the Buyers Guide on MacRumors, you’ll notice that the iMac has been lying dormant for just under a year (since May 2011 to be precise), the longest period of silence since before 2008. The site recommends that any potential iMac buyers hold off for the time being, seeing as ‘updates are due soon’. This would tie in with Apple’s product refresh cycle, which usually occurs every year.
But this hibernation got me thinking about two things. Firstly, are we due to see a massive overhaul of the iMac product line sometime in May/June and secondly, have Apple forgotten about their fantastic range of desktop computers?
In some ways, the built in Mac OS X Address Book wears like an old pair of sneakers – comfortable and familiar. What it lacks in style and features, it makes up for in dependability. Over the years, updates to Mac OS X have brought numerous improvements and enhancements. Yet despite these changes, the Address Book has remained largely the same. A facelift here and there, some improved syncing capabilities, but not much to get excited about (in fact, the Lion overhaul was largely protested).
Seeing the opportunity for real feature improvement in the realm of contact management, the team at Cobook have created a unique, innovative app that breathes some life into the Address Book. If you’re looking to give some more muscle to your Address Book, Cobook will take care of the heavy lifting.
Let’s face it; buying a Mac isn’t cheap, but you can help justify some of that cost if you use only a few of these outstanding free Mac apps. I’ve included my favorite apps, from simple text editors to advanced publishing tools, which are available at no cost to you.
In addition I attempted to stay away from the apps that everyone uses, instead focusing on the apps which are either up-and-coming or gems in the rough. Read on and see if you can’t get some extra value out of your Mac!
Share Your Ideas
Is there something in particular you’d like to see on the site next month? We’d absolutely love to hear your suggestions for articles, topics and giveaways. Just let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading AppStorm!