This Week in Tech

Hey guys,

I thought I’d try out something new today, so here it is. I’m going to name out a few interesting articles in tech today, and give brief summaries of them. Please comment if you want me to do more of these!

  1. More Competition for the iPhone as LG is hsowing off their new LG Xenon, a touch-screen phone with a full QWERTY keyboard. Having seen the video review, some things have been copied from Apple, and others, like their browser, just suck. Overall, the phone is pretty good, though.
  2. Companies are still green as despite these tough times they continue to invest in Green projects in the long-term.
  3. Microsoft and Google are fighting against eachother to make an ad deal with Twitter. Hopefully Twitter rejects this, because we don’t want ads on our Twitter:)
  4. EA will be losing a strong arm when Sims and Sim City creator Will Wright leaves EA. As if the 4-month Sims 3 delay didn’t make people mad enough!
  5. Intel is still at the top in CPU market share, though Qualcomm gained a 15%+ growth in 2007-2008! Intel’s ’07-’08 growth lowered by 0.5%.

That’s about it. As for TeenCast, we are working on the Twitter problems (it’s driving me nuts how the feed is almost always down).

-dude02

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ComicZeal (iPhone) Review

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Developer: bitolithic
Price: $2.99
Version reviewed: 2.08

iPhone Integration: 5 stars
User Interface Rating: 5 stars
Re-use/Replay Value: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars!

ComicZeal is an innovative, amazing comic book reader for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

The application has a beautiful interface and in my opinion it is very well thought out.
Your comics are presented on appealing wooden shelves with the cover of your comic. If you have 2 or more comics
that belong to the same series then they are placed into boxes. Once your finished reading your comic a plastic sleeve is placed on it giving you that
authentic comic book collector feeling.If you need to exit the app for some reason and you were in the middle of reading your comic book it leaves a bookmark
there and lets you go back to where you left off the next time you start the app. Incase you don’t want any of these cool graphics you can turn them off in
the Settings appication (I don’t know why you would though).
Tap the comic and it will begin the viewer.

Now the viewer is well designed you can either use this toolbar to scroll through pages or flick them yourself. You can zoom in and out
aswell the standard iPhone way.
I was very excited when I got this app because I really wanted to read my comic book collection on my iPhone and luckily for me
this app has free software to accomodate with it called ComicZeal Sync which allows you to sync your very own CBR, CBZ, PDF and many other
comic book formats to your iPhone/iPod Touch.The sync literally is completed in seconds and you can begin reading your very own comics straight away!

Well that sums up about everything and all I can say is that this is THE best comic book reader I have used so far on the iPhone it contains everything an app should have
a beautiful interface, easy and convineant controls and a high replay value. You could probably never get tired of this app if you have a large comic book
collection like me. It’s worth the price and totally awesome.

Catch @freeiphoneapps on twitter for ComicZeal Promocodes!!!

iGrenade – Reloaded – Grenade 2.0

Developer: HYPERTRON DOT COM INC.
Price: $0.99
Version reviewed: 2.2

iPhone Intergration: 5 stars
User Interface Rating: 4.5 stars
Re-use/Replay Value Rating: 4.5 stars
Overall Rating: 4.7 stars

iGrenade is a realistic and fun to use grenade simulator. However if you explore

the app in depth you will realise that it does much more than create explosions.

It features different modes like Pass-the-grenade to keep you and your friends entertained.

You can set a timer for how long it should take to blow the grenade after the pin is pulled.

The simulator has a very easy-to-use interface, you can either drag the pin out of the grenade with your finger or you can shake your device to pull the pin (the response to the accelormeter is excellent). There are other modes as well like Tilt-to-activate.

Once you pull the pin the grenade will blow depending on the time you set and a realistic video of an explosion will play

with amazing sound effects. You can however choose from other things than just a video of an explosion like:

*BASS

Activate Bass mode by touching the flame nozzles, each nozzle has a realistic dancing flame and triggers a bass sound.

Trigger multiple nozzles to create all sorts of strange effects.

*Annoy

Also known as crowd control, this is the First Grenade APP to allow you to mix and create your own annoying high frequency sounds.

I did notice one glitch and that is when you pull the pin out and tap the grenade’s pin-hole, the pin appears again but has no-use!

Overall iGrenade 2.0 is an easy-to-use, realistic grenade simulator which only costs $0.99. I myself think it’s pretty awesome

and it is a very reasonable price. So what have you got to lose go and get iGrenade 2.0 NOW!


Chess Pro Review

Developer: 99Games

Price: $3.99

Version Reviewed: 1.2

iPhone Integration Rating: 3

User Interface Rating: 4

Reuse/Replay Value: 5

Overall: 4

Chess Pro is an intuitive application that allows you to play chess on your iPhone. With a realistic gameplay, hints for beginners, and 2-player mode, it’s a must-have for chess lovers.

The UI on this game was pretty good, but the menu wouldn’t respond for a few seconds sometimes when I was testing it out, which is annoying because you think that the app is going to crash (that’s even more annoying:). My personal experience with the game was pretty good, thanks to the hints, but I still lost. I haven’t tried the two player mode yet, though. The Reuse/Replay Value is high not necessarily because the app is good, but because chess is really fun.

Overall, Chess Pro is a good application. At a low price of $3.99, Chess Pro is a pretty good deal.

Hell’s Kitchen Review

Developer: Ludia

Price: ON SALE at $2.99

Version Reviewed: 1.0.3

iPhone Integration Rating: 3

User Interface Rating: 4

Reuse/Replay Value: 5

Overall: 4

Hell’s Kitchen is an game application emulating the famous show Hell’s Kitchen. It features multiple account possibility on one iPhone, a great gameplay, and a great imitation of the show.

The User Interface features just a touchscreen menu and gameplay. There are ways to incorporate the accelerometer, but this would change the whole gameplay. There is an arcade mode and career mode. I personally tested the career mode, as that is the funner one, and the most advanced one. The UI is above average, but not amazing, so it got 4 stars. The reuse/replay value is very good on this game as the career mode is long but entertaining, and you can always play the arcade mode.

Overall, Hell’s Kitchen is a very good application. With its great gameplay and low price of just 3 bucks (again it’s on sale, so buy now if you want it), it’s really entertaining and a great imitation of the show.

(Hell’s Kitchen is rated 4+, in case anyone has little siblings/kids who love the iPhone)

BeeJiveIM 2.0 for the iPhone


Developer: BeeJive
Price: $15.99
Version Reviewed: 2.0

iPhone Integration Rating: 5
User Interface Rating: 5
Reuse/Replay Value: 5
Overall Rating: 5/5!

Beejive IM [iTunes link], the king of instant messaging, turned 2.0 a month back. Beejive allows you to use many different instant messaging services like AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN/Live, Myspace IM, and Yahoo messenger all in one application. This application was already top-notch in the previous versions and this new version just makes things a lot better. Here are some of the changes in BeeJive 2.0:

 

You are now able to send photos directly from your iPhone and have them show up in-line with the body of the chat. In addition, you can now easily see photos sent to your iPhone. Probably one of the coolest new features is the ability to record and send voice notes to the people you are chatting with. Tapping on the toolbar at the top, which lists the current chat name, gets you four options. One of those options is a small microphone; tapping this icon makes your iPhone show a recording view, and instantly starts recording audio. When you tap the stop button, your recording will be saved. You can play or record your voice note over again and if you want to send the voice note, tap the “Send” button and your voice note will be directly transferred to the current chat.

In addition to being able to send/receive audio on your iPhone or iPod touch using Beejive 2.0, you can also receive and open multiple types of files, including:

– Most image, audio, video files, PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint documents (Any file you can open as an attachment in the native “Mail” app)

I found that once you receive these types of files, you can also forward them to another person on your buddy list. Once you accept the file transfer, you will get a small blue button that will give you more details about the file that you just received; when you are in this view, you will be able to tap the forward button and find another person to forward it to.

By default, Beejive will use the default sounds for incoming/outgoing messages. These sounds are very similar to the sounds that iChat ships with; however, if you get tired of them, there is an option for you in this new version. You are now able to change the sounds in the Beejive section of Settings.app. Under “Sounds,” you are able to change between default, AIM, and Yahoo sounds.

I found that there were two settings for transferring files, and both are useful. Under the “File Transfer” section of Settings.app > Beejive, you are able to choose between two ways of sending files: post a link or direct send preferred.

I testing BeeJive IM with 3 of my friends who have iPhone’s. We did everything from normal chatting, to sending voice notes and pictures.  Overall, the experience was amazing, and the UI was very clean and clutter free.

Priced at $15.99, BeeJiveIM isn’t cheap, but it is a great instant message program, that deserves a place in every iPhone.

Cro-Mag Rally Review


Developer: Pangea Software, Inc.

Price: $1.99

Version Reviewed: 1.0.4

iPhone Integration Rating: 5

User Interface Rating: 4

Reuse/Replay Value: 3

Overall Rating: 4

Cro-Mag Rally is a racing application used for entertainment. It features accelerometer use, audio, and some good old fashioned racing fun!

The UI in Cro-Mag Rally was OK, the quick tips that come up were on a tiny screen, which I found was not a good use of space as lots was said in that little popup. The menu interface was normal, and once in the game the graphics were pretty good. My experiance with the application only came across one audio bug, but I really liked the game (especially since I came in 1st place in my first race!)

Overall Cro-Mag Rally is a very good app. Costing just 2 bucks, you can’t go wrong purchasing this app!