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What’s Up with Readdle? – The Verge Examines How and Why the Successful Development Team has Managed to Stay Away from Silicon Valley

It seems like Readdle is all over the App Store these days. Calendars, Scanner Pro, and even the now-defunct ReaddleDocs have received plenty of praise (and downloads) over the years – all good indications of a developer that knows what they’re doing. The Verge recently went to visit the folks at Readdle, based out of Odessa in the Ukraine, to learn a little more about how they’ve managed to get to where they are today. And also how they’ve managed to do it without setting up shop in Silicon Valley.

You should definitely check it out, it’s a fascinating read.

odessa-verge-1486_crop

Image Credit: The Verge
Photographer: Alex de Mora

source: The Verge

Review disclosure: note that the product reviewed on this page may have been provided to us by the developer for the purposes of this review. Note that if the developer provides the product or not, this does not impact the review or score.

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Knight Saves Queen Review

Knight Saves Queen Review

Mixing up puzzle elements with Chess-based sensibilities is a fun move for this simplistic looking puzzle game.

Offering a fairly original riff on the components of Chess, as well as puzzle gaming, Knight Saves Queen might look a little rough but it’s quite an intriguing mix.

Players take control of a Knight Chess piece as they attempt to liberate the Queen from the threat of enemy Chess pieces. There are restrictions, of course. The Knight can only move in a L-shape, just like in Chess, while enemy pieces also move in a corresponding manner to their type. Fortunately, they don’t move at all times – only when there’s the opportunity to grab the Knight.

knightsaves3Starting out, the Knight only has to fight it out against Rooks; meaning as long as he avoids being in a direct line with one, it’s reasonably easy to take one out. Soon enough though, other pieces come along and things get trickier. On the plus side the player is also given more pieces to deal with, although the Knight is always the most important of the bunch. There are limited moves too, restricting what one can accomplish with fewer moves also meaning more chance of a gold star.

Those gold stars lead to the opening of golden gates and progressing to harder fare, so it’s important to be accurate. It’s a shame then that there’s little indication as to what’s needed to gain that all important star, though. There’s also no sign of a hints system with a level skip available, but at the price of an in-app purchase for five. I’d have preferred some way to unlock a single hint rather than a complete solution.

knightsaves1Still, Knight Saves Queen is quite charming. It won’t win any prizes for its looks, but it’s an interesting amalgamation of puzzle elements. Being able to unlock new equipment later on is a fun touch, too. As something a little different from the crowd, it’s worth checking out.

Posted in: Games, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: dobsoft studios, free, Knight Saves Queen, puzzle, review

Review disclosure: note that the product reviewed on this page may have been provided to us by the developer for the purposes of this review. Note that if the developer provides the product or not, this does not impact the review or score.

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Scrap Squad Review

Scrap Squad Review

It turns out that dividing up trash can be quite fun in a chaotic kind of way.

Starting out slow, Scrap Squad soon turns into quite a frantic affair highlighting the importance of recycling. It might not be the kind of title to lose one’s self into for hours on end, but that doesn’t stop it from being a satisfying experience to jump into every once in a while.

The concept is simple enough: players control an evil genius as he moves various pieces of waste to their relevant boxes in order to create evil scrap yard robots. Okay so it doesn’t sound so simple, but in execution it is. On either side of the screen are four boxes, each representing a different color and type of waste. A conveyor belt brings down various different types of trash and it’s up to the player to use a finger to sweep them across to the correct box. Combos can be achieved by collecting numerous pieces of the same colored trash. There’s a mission available at all times, often relating to achieving such a combo – with more points meaning more coins.

scrapsquad5scrapsquad4These coins can then be used to buy upgrades and bonuses, thereby helping the player achieve even higher scores. It’s simple but effective in enticing one to play again. Gaining plenty of coins will take a while, which is why there are in-app purchases available to hurry things along, but they’re not essential.

Instead, the fun is focused on simply dividing up trash. Power-ups pop up to change things around to an extent and, at times, negative power-ups get in the way such as oil slicks. In each case, intuitive controls ensure they’re reasonably entertaining to clear. Admittedly, I’d have liked to have seen more exciting unlocks arrive at earlier points in the game, but as a mindless way to pass the time, Scrap Squad does the job well.

Posted in: Games, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: arcade, chaotic, fast-paced, free, Relevant Games, review, Scrap Squad, Trash

Review disclosure: note that the product reviewed on this page may have been provided to us by the developer for the purposes of this review. Note that if the developer provides the product or not, this does not impact the review or score.

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Air Berlin updates iPhone app with Pebble boarding cards

Air Berlin and Pebble

If you’re a regular flyer with Air Berlin then you definitely want to grab the latest version of the airline’s iPhone application. Besides a complete redesign that makes some other airlines apps look tired by comparison, Air Berlin has added support for Pebble with the release of version 3.0. And that means you can get your boarding passes on your watch.

Air Berlin isn’t the first airline to try smartwatch boarding passes, and we sure hope it won’t be the last. To make use of the new feature you need to have both the iPhone application installed and a Pebble specific app which is available in the Pebble app store.

I’ll actually be flying with Air Berlin this weekend, so you can bet that I’ll be trying this out. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes!

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Apple launches ‘Powerful’ new iPhone 5s ad

The iPhone has always be a great musicians tool for me with a good guitar (and bass) tuning app (Guitar Toolkit) since I had the 3G. I just can’t figure out the meaning of this ad. If it were for a new larger screen iPhone 6, “Gigantic” would have far more meaning if the large screen models are more than simple rumors.

Currently, I still rock the original iPhone 5 and love it just as much as the day I got my hands on the original when it was truly something different.

Sure Apple is in between product cycles now and wanting to drum up sales (see what I did there?) trying to retain interest post the launch of the Galaxy S5 and other tough competition.

I do hope the ads work as I invest a few more shares in Apple and hope for the best. I love my iPhone 5 but my large hands still struggle with the narrow keyboard and held on it’s side, you have little view of what’s going on where you’re typing.

Just my thoughts. I’m no troll or intend to bait phone wars, I just feel Apple is sending the wrong message at the wrong time. I don’t have an alternative idea, just thinking about the ad itself.

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Apple launches new iPhone 5s ad ‘Powerful’

The iPhone has always be a great musicians tool for me with a good guitar (and bass) tuning app (Guitar Toolkit) since I had the 3G. I just can’t figure out the meaning of this ad. If it were for a new larger screen iPhone 6, “Gigantic” would have far more meaning if the large screen models are more than simple rumors.

Currently, I still rock the original iPhone 5 and love it just as much as the day I got my hands on the original when it was truly something different.

Sure Apple is in between product cycles now and wanting to drum up sales (see what I did there?) trying to retain interest post the launch of the Galaxy S5 and other tough competition.

I do hope the ads work as I invest a few more shares in Apple and hope for the best. I love my iPhone 5 but my large hands still struggle with the narrow keyboard and held on it’s side, you have little view of what’s going on where you’re typing.

Just my thoughts. I’m no troll or intend to bait phone wars, I just feel Apple is sending the wrong message at the wrong time. I don’t have an alternative idea, just thinking about the ad itself.

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Iterate 66: Supertop on Tokens and Castro

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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Why Tim Cook narrated Apple’s new environmental video, Better

Apple recently launched a new, environmentally focused video called “Better” and what’s more — it was narrated by their CEO, Tim Cook. That, having a high ranking executive voice-over a video, marketing or corporate, isn’t common for Apple. Steve Jobs, famously, recorded the voice over for the now-iconic “Think Different” ad but ultimately went with Richard Dreyfuss as narrator. So, why Tim Cook?

My best guess as to why Tim Cook narrated the “Better” video is because it speaks to Apple’s core values, and speaking to Apple’s core values is both deeply important to Tim Cook, and how he’s been positioned atop and within Apple. back in January, I wrote Tim Cook is Apple’s moral center and ‘we believe’ its post-PC battle-cry:

Tim Cook comes out at the beginning and end of Apple events, just as Steve Jobs did in his latter years, and where he inherited “the crossroads of technology and liberal arts” he’s steadily, passionately, visibly moved Apple down the road of core values. From matching charitable donations to apologizing about maps to championing equality in employment to stating when and how Apple would put their signature on their products, Cook has brought the discussion of not only what Apple does, but how and why they do it front and center.

Earlier this year at Apple’s annual general shareholders meeting, when asked about environmental policies impacting Apple’s bottom line, Cook not only replied but got as close to angry as we’ve ever seen him in public:

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” Cook said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader. … He didn’t stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

It’s obvious these issues mean a great deal to Cook, and Apple’s ability to make a difference means a great deal to Cook.

And he’s not just championing those issues and those values on stage or with shareholders, but in videos and with everyone.

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Apple updates iTunes Connect with new content descriptions, territory restrictions, Brazilian game rankings

Apple updates iTunes Connect with new content descriptions, territory restrictions, Brazilian game rankings

Apple has made some updates to iTunes Connect, the backend that lets developers manage their apps, that seem to address several long standing pain points. Among them, there’s a new “unrestricted web access” description that might help apps with built-in browsers from presenting as adult/porn apps to the unfamiliar, and compliance with Brazil’s games rating system, which has caused a lot of frustration for everyone over the years. Here’s the full list of updates:

New App Content Descriptions

You can now use the following descriptions: Medical/Treatment Information, Gambling and Contests, and Unrestricted Web Access (for apps that permit navigating and viewing web pages, for example with an embedded browser).

Update to Territory-Specific Restrictions Based on Rating

Territory-specific restrictions in the Korea, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia App Stores have changed. You can see the current rating and territory restrictions for your apps in Manage Your Apps on iTunes Connect.

New Rating System for the Brazil App Store

The Brazil App Store now issues a Brazil-specific rating for games to ensure compliance with local regulations. The Brazil-specific rating is automatically generated from your existing content description on iTunes Connect and will appear next to the existing rating information displayed on your app’s page in the App Store.

The information was sent out via email to developers. If you’re a developer, let me know — how do the changes affect you?

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AT&T posts $17.9 billion in revenue, adds 625,000 postpaid customers in Q1

AT&T reported its first quarter 2014 results, showing impressive growth in revenues, handset sales and customer acquisition for the quarter. While AT&T operates businesses outside of its wireless division, we’re going to focus on this portion. For the quarter, AT&T posted $17.9 billion in revenue including handset sales, up 7 percent year-over-year, leading to $5.1 billion in operating income, up 8.1 percent.

On the customer side, AT&T added 625,000 postpaid customers, its largest first quarter gain in five years. It also added 693,000 “connected devices,” but saw prepaid customers dip overall in the quarter mostly due to the loss of over 200,000 reseller subscribers. Of those additions, 311,000 were for postpaid smartphones, while 313,000 were tablets.

AT&T sold 5.8 million smartphones in total for the quarter, making up 92 percent of all postpaid phone sales — which first quarter record. This leads to 78 percent of AT&T’s postpaid customers now using smartphones, up from 74 percent this time last year. In terms of connectivity, 57 percent of AT&T’s postpaid smartphone subscribers have an LTE-capable device.

One interesting note on the growth was that AT&T says 40 percent of the gross smartphone additions and upgrades came by way of its AT&T Next device installment plan, up from just 15 percent last quarter. Additionally, about 45 percent of all postpaid subscribers are now on a Mobile Share plan, with a full 81 percent now being on some form of usage-based billing (i.e. not unlimited) plan.

Source: AT&T

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