Archive for February, 2013

‘Real Racing 3’ Debuts in App Store

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

If you’ve been keeping an eye out for the newest entry in EA’s Real Racing series for iOS that was first revealed last September at the Apple keynote event when the iPhone 5 was announced, today is your day to hightail it over to the App Store. Real Racing 3 for iPhone and iPad debuted last night in the App Store in all its free download glory.

Real Racing 3 lets you race virtual versions of real cars on virtual versions of real tracks around the world. You can compete against others using Time Shifted Multiplayer, a feature that lets you race against other players even when they’re not playing the game right at that moment. There are over 900 events you can compete in and you earn in-game currency to buy new cars or upgrade and repair cars when you complete events.

The graphics of Real Racing 3 are crazy good. As shown in its first demo at Apple’s keynote last year, you can actually see the other cars behind and next to you in the mirrors as you drive and details and lighting are realistic and crisp. It’s truly a treat on a retina display device like the iPhone 5. Here’s the trailer to give you a peek (and yes, it looks this good as you’re playing):

While Real Racing 3 is free to download and you can play it to your heart’s content without spending a dime, you do have the option of putting down real money to speed things along. You do earn in-game currency when you complete races but it can take time to rack up enough to buy stuff. Repairs and upgrades to your virtual cars take time to complete and if you don’t want to wait for them to finish, you can spend the in-game currency you’ve earned or buy more via in-app purchase to get them done immediately. The same goes for buying new cars and upgrades if you don’t wait to wait until you’ve earned enough from completing races.

If you want to keep your Real Racing 3 experience as low-cost as you can, check out ‘Real Racing 3′ Tips on How to Spend as Little Real Money as Possible over at TouchArcade. While you’re there, check out their full review if you’re not convinced it’s worth the time to download.

I’ve spent some time playing Real Racing 3 today and it’s been super fun and more realistic than I was expecting. I haven’t come across any tracks that I’ve actually been on yet but the interior of the BMW 1 Series M Coupe I chose (which cost me $1.99 in real money that I don’t regret spending one bit) looks just like the ones I’ve seen in real life. If you like cars and racing, Real Racing 3 offers an excellent experience for a mobile game and you should hit that Buy Now button below toute de suite and get it. And if I see you on the virtual version of Laguna Seca where I’ve had the pleasure of flogging a sportbike a few times, I will give you a run for your money.

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‘Twitterrific 5’ for iPhone and iPad Gets Unique Muting Feature

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

The Iconfactory’s Twitterrific 5 for iPhone and iPad debuted in December (our review), featuring a gorgeous interface that was a complete redesign compared to its predecessor. However, it lacked the ability to mute users, a useful “pro” feature that hides users you don’t want to hear from temporarily. In an update last week, Twitterrific 5 gained this feature with a unique and brilliant twist.

With Tweetbot and other Twitter apps I’ve used, you can easily mute other users. This means that you won’t see any tweets or retweets by those users temporarily or even forever. It’s handy when you’re a little tired of someone’s tweets and just want to not hear from them for a little while. Or for when you really just can’t stand someone or their tweets but unfollowing them would be rude or even unprofessional. When you mute someone in Tweetbot or other apps, their tweets and retweets disappear entirely from your timeline and you have no idea if or when they’ve tweeted at all unless you specifically navigate to their profile and look.

(Yes, you could argue that muting is silly and simply unfollowing someone is the most mature and reasonable option but I’d still bet many people follow at least one friend or family member who is a horrible tweeter that you just don’t have the heart to unfollow or you have a co-worker or client you can’t unfollow without professional repercussions.)

Twitterrific 5 handles muting differently. The Iconfactory calls this feature “muffling” and you can do it to users, hashtags, or domains. The unique thing about muffling is that muffled users, tweets, or domains don’t completely disappear from your timeline – they still appear in a collapsed view so that you know that they’re there but you can still read them if you want by tapping on them, which expands the view.

Here’s a video by The Iconfactory’s Gedeon Maheux showing how muffling works:

I only muffle a couple of people I follow (don’t ask, I’m not telling who or why) and I’ve found it incredibly useful to still see when they tweet or retweet with the option to see their tweets if I want. And when you muffle someone or a hashtag, there’s even a cute shushing sound effect to go with it.

Muffling isn’t the only feature that Twitterrific 5 got in the update to version 5.1 – new image services and a new font, Avenir, also made the cut along with several improvements and bug fixes.

Twitterrific 5 still doesn’t offer push notifications but this is planned for a future update. Yet even without push notifications,Twitterrific 5 is a beautiful and feature-filled Twitter app that’s worthy of your hard-earned money.

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‘Plants vs. Zombies’ for iPhone and iPad Free Until February 28

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

PopCap games has made the iPhone and iPad versions of its super cute and incredibly popular game, Plants vs. Zombies, free for one week. This is the first time ever that these apps have gone free and you even have the luxury of several days to hit the Buy Now button instead of some ridiculously small window of time. But don’t wait. Don’t be fooled by the stretch of time before you until Plants vs. Zombies goes back up to $2.99 for the iPhone version and $6.99 for the iPad version next Thursday. Locate the Buy Now buttons at the bottom of this post and click them immediately.

I’ll stop pestering you for a moment and take a step back. Plants vs. Zombies is a tower-defense style game in which you need to defend your home, and ultimately your brain, from zombies. The home defense weapons at your disposal are in the form of plants. You might think that plants would be useless against zombies but you’d be wrong. These plants can shoot peas and spikes and do other amazing things to destroy the zombies marching across your lawn and even your roof with the goal of eating your warm, delicious brain. Despite the gory intent of the zombies and the rampant destruction you’ll rain down upon them, Plants vs. Zombies is cute and suitable for a wide range of ages.

If you want more information, check out the review of Plants vs. Zombies over at TouchArcade. Here’s the official trailer for Plants vs. Zombies:

Now enough talking. Move your mouse to the Buy Now buttons and click before February 28!

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Mokriya’s Take on Craigslist for iPhone Debuts

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Though more than 60 million people in the US alone use Craigslist every month, the incredibly popular classifieds site does not have its own iPhone app in Apple’s App Store. However, there are at least 50 apps in the App Store that let you access Craigslist on the go and Silicon Valley-based Mokriya has added another selection for your downloading pleasure: Mokriya Craigslist debuted in the App Store this morning.

Mokriya Craigslist is free to download and lets you browse Craigslist ads from around the world. With a $.99 in-app purchase, you can add the ability to post ads, set alerts so you can be notified when something you want is listed, and mark ads as favorites for viewing later.

Mokriya created this overview video that highlights the paid features of the app:

I’ve been using Mokriya Craigslist for a few days now and it’s got a polished and eye-pleasing interface. One of the most useful features is the map view for the housing section, which could make Mokriya Craigslist indispensable to anyone looking for a place to live.

Mokriya is not new to the App Store – the company has previously partnered up with (to create SideCar Ride) and Path (the folks behind the social networking app of the same name). Mokriya Craigslist is another sleek notch in Mokriya’s App Store belt and it’s worth a download if you post ads on Craigslist frequently or like to keep an eye on those Missed Connections posts in case you think you may have passed by your one true love at the grocery store the other day.

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‘Bump’ for iPhone Can Now Send Files to Computers

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Bump, the popular file-sharing app that debuted in the App Store in 2010, has been updated with a new feature that allows you to send files on your iPhone to any computer. To send files to a computer, you simply need to tap the space bar on the computer with your iPhone while the computer’s web browser is pointed to

Bump Technologies has created a demo video showing how this works:

If you’ve never used Bump before it can seem pretty magical. How on earth can you send files to another iPhone or computer without a direct connection via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth? Bump Technologies uses the information from the sensors in your iPhone along with a fancy algorithm in their cloud servers to match up bumps between devices around the world to transfer files. Here’s the official FAQ answer on how it all works from the Bump Technologies site:

There are two parts to Bump: the app running on your device and a smart matching algorithm running on our servers in the cloud. The app on your phone uses the phone’s sensors to literally “feel” the bump, and it sends that info up to the cloud. The matching algorithm listens to the bumps from phones around the world and pairs up phones that felt the same bump. Then we just route information between the two phones in each pair.

I’ve had Bump on my iPhone since it was released but I have to admit that I’ve never had an opportunity to use it in real life. I’m sure I know people who own iPhones and have the app as well but I default to sending photos or other files via email or SMS/MMS rather than going through the “Do you have the Bump app installed?” dance with them. I’m not sure if this new feature to send files to a computer will change my behavior and prompt me to actually use Bump outside of testing for work but it’s a cool addition nonetheless.

Bump is free to download and requires iOS 4.3 or higher on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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Kickstarter Releases iPhone App to Let You Crowdfund On the Go

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Kickstarter, the online crowd-funding platform that was launched in 2009, released an iPhone app today. Kickstarter for iPhone is free and lets you browse and back projects and keep up with any projects you’ve already backed.

Accessories for Apple products and even iOS apps have been funded through Kickstarter, including weather app Dark Sky (review) and the iPhone-compatible Pebble and Metawatch smartwatches, which each have their own companion apps, Pebble Smartwatch and Metawatch Manager, respectively.

I’ve personally backed several Kickstarter projects over the last couple of years and the new Kickstarter app makes it a bit easier to look for new projects and read updates on the projects I’ve backed. Not that it was incredibly hard to go to Kickstarter’s website before but I appreciate this kind of easier access and formatting optimized for the iPhone’s screen.

If you’re a Kickstarter user or if you’re a little curious about what new and crazy projects people are looking to fund, check out Kickstarter. My current favorite is the open source Death Star. Yes, a Death Star. How awesome is that?

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PSA for App Developers: Get 50% Off Custom App Icon Stickers From Sticker Mule

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

This isn’t exactly app related but I thought this deal was newsworthy for any app developers among AppShopper’s readers. Our sister site, TouchArcade, has worked out a deal with Sticker Mule where you can get 50% off an order of their vinyl 2-inch by 2-inch stickers with rounded corners by using the coupon code TOUCHARCADE at check-out.

TouchArcade’s Editor-in-Chief Eli Hodapp can personally vouch for the quality of Sticker Mule’s products. If you’re going to GDC or any other app-related event this year, you’ll want to get some stickers printed up of your app’s icon to do some trading. TouchArcade will have plenty on hand to trade at GDC in San Francisco next month so get in your orders soon so you’ll have them in time.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to download the official TouchArcade app to stay on top of the latest news and reviews in the world of iPhone and iPad games.

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‘Mailbox’ for iPhone Promises a Better Email Inbox Experience (But You’ll Have to Wait to Use It)

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Orchestra released its heavily hyped and anticipated mail management app, Mailbox, to the App Store yesterday. The free app lets you access your Gmail account and turns email chains into chat-like conversations. Like Clear, you use gestures instead of virtual buttons to navigate, with swipes letting you delete messages or “snooze” emails to get them out of your inbox temporarily to reappear later when you can deal with them.

Here’s a teaser video showing how Mailbox works:

Orchestra first teased Mailbox for iPhone in December and it impressed TechCrunch enough to call it “the best email management app you’ll ever use” and prompted The Verge to declare it to be “nothing short of spectacular”.

The free app debuted in the App Store yesterday but there’s a significant snag you should be aware of. The parsing and formatting of your emails to show the chat-like conversation view and snooze your emails is handled by Orchestra’s servers and in order to avoid overloading their systems, the company is limiting access to the app’s functionality. So when you download Mailbox you’ll get in a virtual line and a countdown will show you how many people are ahead of you to get access and how many are behind you.

Orchestra offered the ability to register in advance for Mailbox in late January, sending you a text message with a couple of codes to use when the app became available in the App Store. I’d done this pre-registration on the day it was made available but forgot about it when Mailbox came out yesterday and at first the app told me there were about 170,000 people ahead of me to get access to actually use it. I found my pre-registration codes later and entered them (hold down the mailbox symbol in the app to display the code entry screen if you skipped entering them the first time you opened the app like I did). When I’d checked my status yesterday, there were 17,701 people ahead of me and as I write this post today, there are about 18,680 people ahead of me and over 580,000 people in line behind me. At this rate, I should have access to use Mailbox in about 17 days if the approval rate holds steady.

Holding back access to use Mailbox has had a negative effect on its App Store rating. Right now, there are over 300 1-star reviews for it and the overall average rating is just two stars. Clearly, many users are not taking the need to wait well at all. While I understand the need to make sure their systems can scale and work for all users, I have to think that there could have been a better way to release the app and avoid preventing most people from being able to even use it right away.

At any rate, if what’s shown in the teaser video intrigues you at all, download Mailbox today and be prepared to be patient and wait. It’s free, so you’ve got not nothing to lose in terms of money and only a little to lose in terms of time to take a few seconds to open the app and get in line.

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Control ‘Final Cut Pro’ on Your Mac with ‘ProCutX’ for iPad

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Pixel Film Studios and LightWORKS Solutions have released ProCutX for iPad, an app that lets you control Final Cut Pro X on your Mac. ProCutX connects to your Mac via Wi-Fi and offers direct access to Final Cut Pro’s editing tools to adjust color, timing, audio, and more.

Built from the ground up to meet the needs of today’s creative editors, PROCUTX breaks free from the menus and tabs to streamline editor tasks. This application gives users control over all the FCPX editing tools in one clean interface, eliminating the need for clicking and searching through the Final Cut Pro X menus. From import to export, PROCUTX can control every step of the FCPX editing process.

Freelance videographer and photographer Paul Bunyard recorded this video of ProCutX in action earlier today:

Apple released Final Cut Pro X in June 2011 to a mixed reception over the lack of key features that were present in previous versions. Apple has since updated Final Cut Pro X several times, adding many of the features missing at its launch.

ProCutX debuted in the App Store yesterday and costs $24.99. It’s compatible with the iPad only and requires iOS 5.1 or higher.

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Tapbots Makes ‘Netbot’ for iPhone and iPad Free

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Tapbots, the maker of several popular iOS and Mac apps, has made its client for iOS, Netbot, free in order to “spur adoption” of the budding ad-free social network. The iPhone and iPad versions of the app will remain free for an “unspecified period of time” according to the company’s post on announcing the price drop.

The price drop also coincided with the release of version 1.3, which adds support for private messaging. was created by entrepreneur and developer Dalton Caldwell. It’s an alternative to Twitter that is promised to remain ad free and flexible for developers. lets users get a bit more verbose than Twitter, allowing 256 characters per post compared to Twitter’s limit of 140 characters. However, isn’t free – you’ll need to shell out $5 per month or $36 per year to use In addition to posting privileges, an account now comes with 10 GB of storage that can be used by client apps for file storage.

The iPad and iPhone versions of Netbot debuted in October at $4.99 each. Netbot looks exactly like Tweetbot for Twitter though it has a different color scheme and some slightly different functionality to reflect what is capable of. Since it’s a paid service and doesn’t have nearly as many users as Twitter (and it’s uncertain that it ever will), the average person probably isn’t going to be interested in and a client app like Netbot. However, if you prefer a smaller audience for your musings and want to avoid the advertising that Twitter forces on its users, is the way to go and Netbot is definitely an excellent iPhone and iPad client for it.

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