Group Messaging Gone Wild – Get in on the Action!

Spotlight, Limelight, Buzzing, Trending, whatever you want to call it, group messaging apps are hot, evolving and likely to end up on your iPhone or iPad. Thus, to help bring a bit of clarity with regards to who the key players are right now, as well as what you can expect, we are unveiling the top three group messaging apps.

GroupMe

GroupMe – Free

Groupme is a name you may recognize. First appearing in the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, GroupMe has since garnered a large and loyal following, as well as over $11 million in funding.

With regards to functionality, GroupMe offers the core feature of group texting, however, they have bundled this with conference calling. Hence, users are able to text or call multiple contacts simultaneously.   GroupMe provides up to 25 simultaneous users the ability to text or call, and you are also able to share media files, such as photos, with groups online.

Like others in this evolving niche, GroupMe polished and launched an updated app in time for SXSW. The upgraded iPhone app is more robust, offers greater stability, and more importantly, users may now text via push notifications, rather than SMS. Sorry AT&T and/or Verizon, your laughing-all-the-way-to-the-bank SMS fees will not profit here.

 

Beluga

Beluga – Free

Although Beluga sounds more like a bodily function that an iPhone app, it is actually quite sophisticated.  Beluga calls their groups pods, and although they may not have as many bells and whistles as other group messaging apps, their user satisfaction tends to be higher due to a greater level of stability.

Before we delve into the features on this app, it is worthy to mention that Beluga was fairly recently acquired by none other than Facebook. Yes, Beluga, you may stand up and take a bow. You now have a juggernaut, social media powerhouse behind you. But Beulga is more than just accolades; their app has the functionality to deliver solid group messaging performance. We love that as a default Beluga utilizes push notifications, and they only resort to SMS on a need-to basis should push notifications fail.

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Improve Your Word Skills the Fun Way with Letterfall

Reviewed By: Phil Charlton

Letterfall - Digital Scrawl

 

Price: $0.99
Rating

Combining an old school Tetris style of gameplay with educational word creation Letterfall, an iPhone app by Digital Scrawl, makes learning words so much fun.

There are many different word games iPhone apps currently being churned out for kids and adults alike to sharpen their educational skills. This means that each app needs to bring with it something unique and special. With Letterfall that special something is the game style that surrounds the word creation aspect of the game. A large variety of people love playing games like Tetris and Letterfall creates developing a game that utilizes this style of gameplay is sheer genius.

Gameplay:

Starting out as an unassuming and simple game, Letterfall is an easily accessible game that gets players to make words from the letters that fall from the top of the screen to the bottom. As more letters come down and begin stacking on top each other the word possibilities slowly grow, but so to does the chance of those blocks reaching the top of the screen and ending the game.

Okay, so that was the basics; now add to that the fact that as you play the blocks start falling faster and faster, and on top of that are the various other special blocks that fall which inevitably either help or hinder your chances of success, and you have yourself a fast-paced, exhilarating, and educational, app.

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With Stealth Skills You Too Can Become King of Thieves in Thief Lupin!

Reviewed By Jackson S.

Thief Lupin! - BLUE WIND

 

Price: Free
Rating:

Thief Lupin is a fun and fast paced side-scroller iPhone app from BLUE WIND.  You can choose between a few cartoony characters and immediately get thrust into the action.  The background of Thief Lupin is that you are a thief and you have received an invitation to become the King of Thieves by sneaking into the world’s top most famous buildings and bypassing their security, winner takes all!

Graphics

This game is fast and fun.  It is reminiscent of the side-scrollers from years past that brought us so much amusement back in the day.  There are new threats that appear in each of the levels and a boss to defeat at the end of each level.  While it is 2D, the graphics are quick and look slick.  The motion is smooth and it never fluttered or staggered during gameplay.

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Increase Your Chances of Finding Work With the HiddenJobs App

Reviewed By: Phil Charlton

hiddenJobs - JobRadio.fm

 

Price: $0.99
Rating:

Any help in finding a good job will be warmly welcomed by most these days and HiddenJobs iPhone app will definitely give anyone using it the edge over those looking for jobs in the traditional way

In the current economic and financial climate there are many people that are desperate to find work. Many have lost their jobs or had their hours cut during the recession and in order to stay afloat financially it has become vital for some people to find work. There are also those that are looking to get into work having just left school or college, as well as those that have taken time out and want to return to work. Whatever your reasons for wanting to find a job, you may have noticed that there simply doesn’t seem to be a great deal out there. However, part of the reason for this is that a surprising number of jobs never actually get advertised – at least not in the traditional ways. This is where the iPhone app Hidden Jobs could prove invaluable.

Content Value

This app does just what it says on the app. It finds jobs that are not advertised via traditional means and then provides links to the relevant jobs or sites for users. The app is extremely easy to use, which is great news for users. If you are desperately trying to find work the last thing you want to do is to be glued to your iPhone for hours trying to work out how to use the app when you could be spending that time looking for work! With this app you can gain access to a large number of jobs in seconds. You can search for jobs by state, which provides even greater convenience because you don’t have to trawl through jobs that are not even in your state never mind your area!

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Feel like an Italian Native with MobiExplore Italy

Reviewed By: Phil Charlton

mobiEXPLORE Italy - Mobiexplore

 

Price: Free
Rating

MobiExplore Italy iPhone app by Mobiexplore provides anyone planning a trip to Italy with a wealth of information that rivals any guide book, and all at the touch of a button

Imagine that you’re planning a vacation to Italy and think of all the things you would need to do to prepare you for the trip. You would probably get a guide book, a phrase book, look for the best places to stay and then find a good hotel. This app rolls all these things into one incredibly easy to use bundle and then adds a ton of other features as a bonus.

You can also use this app to find out about the various different foods Italy has to offer, check out the latest news and even get access to important numbers, tips, facts and advice on the country.

Ease of Use

With a main screen full of big colorful icons, each one showing you exactly what is contained within, the MobiExplore Italy app is instantly accessible to anyone. Each and every area is filled with a wealth of information that would confuse anyone if the app had been poorly designed but thankfully this isn’t the case. Once inside, the information is laid out clearly and simply so that you know exactly where to go to get what you need.

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Weekly iPhone Apps Roundup – Top 5 for March 11

Top 5 iPhone Apps

Another fantastic week of inspiring, creative, and enthralling apps to discuss!

During the course of the week our iPhone app reviews had the pleasure of showcasing several blockbuster iPhone updates. Not only did Foursquare grace us with version 3.0, which included a slew of new features that we thoroughly appreciated, including  an enhanced leader board and “Explore” button, but several other big names made some big updates. Netflix served up a hushed update which severed some functionality, and Twitter ruffled quite a few feathers in their latest update as the “Quick Bar” was overlaid on all tweets. The new Twitter update also has a swarm of users complaining that the app is force closing and crashing with regularity.

Aside from the juggernaut apps, there were some other developers who made quite an impact on our team of iPhone app reviewers. BodyFate, which boasts a instructor with black high-heel boots and a whip,  scored high marks for its effectiveness and versatility. Teach Me Sushi for the iPad was mouth watering, so much in fact, that we found it to be app lickin’ good!

Like millions of other iPad fans, or soon to be iPad fans, we are welcoming the new iPad 2 with open arms. In fact, the upgraded hardware found within the iPad 2 will up the ante and be a solid game changer for other tablet computers. And, iPad 2 owners will reap the benefits that include a faster dual core processor, rear facing camera, and 360 degree (gyroscope) motion control. With this in mind, several classics will be rebooted to benefit from the new iPad 2 capabilities, and some have made it onto our top 5.

Real Racing 2 HD

Real Racing 2 HD – Price $9.99

Get ready to put the pedal to the metal with Real Racing 2 HD! Firemint produced a racing game that made the industry stand up and take notice, in the original Real Racing. Now they are harnessing the power of the iPad 2, unveiling today a new version that fully maximizes the A5 chip’s greatly enhanced graphical abilities.  We took a closer look at the latest release and indeed, our adrenalin was pumping!

As always you are able to take advantage of the range of 30 fully licensed cards, 15 amazing locations, and of course, a robust and engaging multi-player race environment that will put your skills to the challenge

This game will set the bar for other developers, and we are eager to see the evolution unfold of higher level gaming environments.

Infinity Blade

Infinity Blade -Price $5.99

Once again our hats tip to the iPad 2 A5 processor. It takes some serious strength to render the graphics that infinity blade demands, and A5 has proven up to the task!

Infinity Blade utilizes the Unreal Engine 3, which is a definitive plus for graphics, and a serious challenge for processors. In fact, while the game was visually appealing on the iPhone 4, there was some frame rate chop and overall slowdown in graphical processing. However, these issues are put to rest on the iPad 2!

The new app update, The Deathless Kings, blew us away and we were unable to detect any graphical issues. Everything with smooth, fluid, and essentially gave us a buffet of eye candy to feast upon.

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