DeluxeMoon Monitors the Phases of Our Planet’s Natural Satellite

Price: $.99     Score: 9/10     By A. PapachristosDeluxeMoon - Lifeware Solutions

Our world may seem gigantic, but Earth is a mere speck on the radar when one begins to think about how vast our universe truly is.  With our sights on the skies, we often observe the moon, our natural satellite, for we are eternally curious about what might exist elsewhere.  Now, with DeluxeMoon by Lifeware Solutions, moon enthusiasts and beginners alike can monitor and learn about the moon’s phase and zodiac calendars all within one exceptionally comprehensive application.

When you begin, you will see a screen so filled with information, you might not know where to start.  Starting from the top and progressively moving downward, lets explore the vast resources that DeluxeMoon has to offer.

At the top of the screen, users will find the current date with the days of the week marked underneath.  Users may use the left and right arrows on either side of the date to navigate through the different days and observe the moon’s statistics.  As you move downward on the page, users will then find the current moon phase’s name and their precise longitude and latitude for DeluxeMoon has an automatic GPS system that detects your current location.

Users will then find the current time flanked by two buttons: the stars, which links to your moon forecast for the day, including moon day, symbols, characteristics, recommendations and a separate zodiac forecast; and the question mark, which links to the Help section, featuring a slew of definitions for the average novice.

In the center, users will see an image of the moon as it appears in the sky at its current stage.  To its left, the figure indicates the percentage of surface seen, while the image to the right indicates the current zodiac phase.  Move down a bit lower and you will find the time passed since moonrise, the moon’s age (how far along it is in its current cycle), and the time since moonset.  Even lower, users will find the precise time for moonrise, its zenith and moonset.  The Options and About buttons, which line the bottom of the screen, allow users to learn more about the application, as well as adjust settings, such as time and location. For a detailed guide on how to operate DeluxeMoon, click here.

DeluxeMoon’s most creative feature focuses right in on the moon itself, allowing users to touch-n-turn the moon graphic to change the date and observe the changing moon phases.  With the moon phase calendar, users can mark days with colors and analyze the data for each based on phase or zodiac sign.  This way, users might begin to link and learn about the relationship between the moon and plants, human emotions and relationships, finances and even health.

For a video demonstration of what DeluxeMoon has to offer, click here.

DeluxeMoon [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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LiquidPlanner Mobile Dashboard Allows Workspace Access On-the-Go

Price: Free     Score: 8/10     By A. PapachristosLiquidPlanner Mobile Dashboard - LiquidPlanner, Inc.

For business professionals, collaboration is key.  Working together to successfully achieve a mutual goal makes all the difference in a fast-paced world.  However, when you and your partners’ busy schedules don’t quite mesh, progress can quickly become derailed.  However, LiquidPlanner Mobile Dashboard by LiquidPlanner, Inc provides an online project management system that simplifies scheduling and collaboration for teams of all sizes.

With LiquidPlanner, users gain mobile access to this paid service that allows them to share files, project plans and comments with their entire team in a safe, secure environment.  This service, which you may also access and work with via computer, facilitates fewer meetings and emails, and more realistic schedules.

Upon download, users must first have a LiquidPlanner account to login to the application.  For those just signing up, visit http:///www.liquidplanner.com to create an account and access your 30-day free trial.  Simply visit the website and enter your typical contact information.  Once you’ve received the confirmation email, just click on the provided link to activate your account and complete the registration.  After you’re done, feel free to begin exploring your mobile workspace, which provides three tabs: Comments, Task List and Recently Edited Items.  Easily participate in team conversations, review your prioritized task list in detail, and view edited items recently posted by each of your project’s members.

What’s best about LiquidPlanner is that not every member of your team must possess an Apple device and the mobile dashboard application in order to connect.  While the mobile dashboard comes in handy for those with such compatible devices, as it caters to your busy lifestyle, any member who has access to a computer can join the workspace environment.

After your 30-day free trial comes to an end, those who would like to continue using this service will have to pay.  If you pre-pay for a single month, it will cost $35 per user per month.  If you pre-pay for an entire year’s subscription, users will only pay $25 per user per month.  Unfortunately, I’m not a businessperson in any sense of the word, so I cannot quite decipher whether these fees are within reason or not for such a service, but I can imagine that bettering your working environment is invaluable, especially when it results in success.  So if the first 30 days show positive results, perhaps the service will inevitably pay for itself.

LiquidPlanner [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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Latest iPhone Apps and Games

Apple’s iPhone is the best mobile gaming platform available with new games coming out almost every day to take advantage of the powerful graphics and processing and large, high resolution screens. This month sees the release of some great games including Dead Space, a new Tomb Raider, Sumo Fighter and the elegant Maseus.

The Dead Space app launched this month to tie in with the release of Dead Space 2 on the XBox and PC and offers a graphically impressive side story, intended to set the stage for what follows in Dead Space 2. You play this survival horror title from the first person viewpoint using an intuitive swipe-and-tap interface to fight enemies aboard an abandoned space station. This game is a lot of fun with incredible graphics and sound for a mobile game and many jumps and scares, it has decent voice acting and benefits from being played with headphones to get the most out of the atmosphere.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is not a revamp of an old Tomb Raider title, it’s an all-new isometric view co-op action/adventure game designed for dual sticks and includes the sort of exploration, discovery, platforming and puzzle solving you would expect from a Tomb Raider title. It includes character progression and interesting elements of cooperation and competition with other players.

For kids’ gaming Kooapps have just release their new game Sumo Fighter, this free game is very simple and well presented as you create a Sumo fighter of your own and compete with other fighters on your way to becoming the champion. It also offers automatic integration with Facebook and Twitter letting you boast about your progress to all your friends.

Finally Mazeus, also a free game, is a new three dimensional maze solving app, much like the old steel ball in a maze games that come in Christmas crackers, this takes the idea to a whole new level offering incredibly complicated mazes for you to lead the ball through by tilting the phone.

The most exciting recent non-gaming app is Word Lens. This uses your phone`s video camera to translate printed words from one language to another while on vacation or business trips and displays the image from the video camera with the translated text in place of the original. At present it only offers Spanish to English and visa versa but more languages are on the way and it does not require network access to function.

Instagram is a new photo editing and sharing app that turns your photos into social media. Your location data can be used to automatically tag your images and the app has built-in integration with the websites Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Posterous and Facebook.

For children Grimm’s Rapunzel is a 3D interactive pop-up book, taking the story of the Grimm Brother`s Rapunzel and updating it with interactive pop-up scenes, high-quality music, narration and humorous sound effects. Children progress through the story by solving simple puzzles and completing tasks or the story can be set to autoplay to keep them entertained. The app supports English, German and French and is fantastic for children.

Watch this space for the latest iphone app reviews for gaming, social media and productivity reviews.

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Determine Your Man’s Stereotype with ‘What Kind of Guy is He?’

Price: $.99     Score: 5/10     By A. PapachristosWhat Kind of Guy is He? - Practical Enhancements Pty Ltd

Every woman goes into a relationship with high hopes, believing that their man could truly be “the one” for them.  However, after some time, most women reach that point where they start to contemplate their future and whether or not they see their current relationship continuing until death do they part.  For those who’ve hit a wall, What Kind of Guy is He? by Practical Enhancements Pty Ltd helps women figure out what type of man they’re dating and whether he’s worth the time and effort.

What Kind of Guy Is He? focuses on eight different types of guys: the Good Guy, the Player, Peter Pan, the Mama’s Boy, the Abuser, Scrooge, the Narcissist and the Wounded Beast.  When you startup the application, you will see these eight categories written on the back of a male doll, while the bottom menu provides links to an overview, the quiz and each category’s profile.

The overview provides users with so-called advice, though no studies are cited so one can only assume that such suggestions come from the personal experience of someone who has not had the best luck with men.  This section suggests the types of guys to avoid, explains how a number of categories tend to overlap, and claims that the quiz will help guide your inner wisdom.  Of course, the overview’s author recommends going with your gut because no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to change your man.

The profile section summarizes each individual guy, while the quiz questions help you narrow down which type your guy most closely resembles.  Unfortunately, each of the 21 questions features answers that blatantly exemplify one type or another.  In other words, if you have any knowledge of each type’s description, you’ll be able to pick out the answers catered to each, enabling you to tweak your quiz results.  We all know it’s hard to admit when something is wrong, so if we can convince ourselves all is well by rigging the quiz results in our favor, perhaps we can delay the inevitable just a bit longer.

At the end of the quiz, if you’ve answered honestly and truthfully throughout, you will hopefully get an accurate reading of the type of guy your man seems to be.  Each category will have points underneath indicating how closely your man resembles that particular stereotype.  Because no one guy solely falls under one category, that which is labeled with the most points represents his main characteristics and so forth.

Unfortunately, I cannot see anyone using this application more than once or twice, if at all, unless you happen to be the type who gets into short, frequent relationships (A LOT).  But then again, if that were the case, I suppose that’d mean your gut just keeps telling to end things sooner rather than later, meaning you don’t need the quiz to tell you how to react, right?

What Kind of Guy is He? [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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Challenge Your Language Skills With Jourist Vocabulary Builder

Price: $9.99     Score: 10/10     By A. PapachristosJourist Vocabulary Builder. Western Europe - Jourist Verlags GmbH

A straight ahead, no-frills app calls for a straight ahead, no-frills review.

Jourist Vocabulary Builder (Western Europe) is a language learning flashcard app designed by Jourist Verlags GmbH, offering flashcards with 10,000 words on varying levels of difficulty in six different languages:

  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Dutch

The very simple, clean appearance of the app is deceiving; for $9.99, I expected flash (no pun intended). But there’s no need for that – what you’re paying for is an enormous number of flashcards and several ways to test yourself in a very easy to follow format.

Once you choose a language, you’ll be able to choose the cards by level (called “learning groups”) and sets. The first learning group focuses on the most frequently used words, and they get progressively more obscure from there. Each set has 200 words, but you can exit at any time and the app will save your progress.

Select a set and the words are divided into sections by whether you’ve learned them and the level at which you’ve mastered them – adequate, satisfactory, good or very good. At first I wondered how the app could judge at which level you’ve mastered a word, because as you’re moving through the flashcards it’s a simple matter of whether or not you choose the right answer, but then I realized it depends on how many exercises you’ve completed.

Because there’s more to it than just flipping through the flashcards and listening to the audio recordings of each word. Once you select a set and tap “Begin to Learn,” you can choose from four exercises that have your translating from the language, into the language, typing the word as it’s dictated, and playing a short “guessing” word game that helps with translation and spelling. Only by completing each set of 200 cards with all four exercises will you achieve “very good” status – and considering that means you’ll have gone through 800 flashcards, I have to say I agree.

Jourist Vocabulary Builder gives a monumental supply of flashcards; one that, in paper, would cost significantly more than ten bucks. For quizzing yourself and keeping those vocab skills strong, I highly recommend this one.

Jourist Vocabulary Builder [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.


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Chinese Puzzle Path Challenges the Mind, Soothes the Soul

Price: $.99     Score: 8/10     By A. PapachristosChinese Puzzle Path - Matt Dunham

When someone mentions puzzles, my mind automatically imagines a thousand tiny jigsaw pieces scattered about the floor, all designed to fit together to create a fantastic picture of some sort.  But in the case of Chinese Puzzle Path by Matt Dunham, these puzzles are all about strategically dismantling the carefully laid out tiles on the screen.

With 50 unique puzzles and 30 bonus classic levels promised in the App Store description, Chinese Puzzle Path requires forethought.  Users must start a chain reaction that eliminates every tile from the screen in order to successfully solve the puzzle and proceed to the next level.  Each puzzle becomes increasingly difficult, unlockable only by solving the one before.

The main menu features the Play Challenge, More Games and Play Classic buttons (though Play Classic has been blacked out for some unknown reason).  In the bottom right corner, users will find music controls, allowing them to pause play and fast-forward through the array of original music created by Kevin MacLeod.  Challenge 1 ends up being your only starting option, for you must unlock the various challenges by completing all five levels within one challenge with fewer than four failed attempts before proceeding to the next.

What’s interesting about Chinese Puzzle Path, however, is that the player must figure out where to begin and in which direction they should travel.   To solve each puzzle, users must eliminate all the tiles on the screen.  The entire first challenge comes easily, for users are guided by the built-in tutorial that teaches them all the intricacies of the game.  Users will learn that they must press and hold their starting tile, dragging it in the direction they wish to move.  The move will travel in the selected direction, moving only up, down, left and right, never diagonally.

If you have effectively solved the puzzle, users need only tap continue to move to the next puzzle.  However, if tiles remain at the end of your move, the tiles will reset and the failed attempt indicator will light up.  While some puzzles do indeed have more than one possible solution, the tiles are set to react with a default nature if they come upon obstacles.  If the tiles can no longer travel in their current direction, they will automatically turn right before ever heading left, and up before down.

The puzzles themselves are thought provoking, fun and entertaining, but the game’s true allure may just stem from its soundtrack.  Chinese Puzzle Path’s smooth, Asian vibe calms and soothes, making it much easier to think, thereby causing the player to relax and think more clearly.  Honestly, I found myself pausing just to listen to the music and allow my mind to drift away.  Very rarely does a game’s soundtrack actually contribute to you game play success, but Chinese Puzzle Path’s repertoire certainly sends gamers in the right direction.

Chinese Puzzle Path [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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