Have Some Competitive Fun with Family Christmas Quiz Pack This Holiday Season

Price: $2.99     Score: 8/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm Have Some Competitive Fun with Family Christmas Quiz Pack This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time to gather with family and friends, open presents beneath the tree and circle around the table for a feast to remember.  But once everyone has gotten the gifts they’ve longed for, and you all settle into your food comas, there leaves little time to bond with those who matter most.  However, Family Christmas Quiz Pack by GokGames was designed to bring people together at Christmas, combining Christmas trivia with the excitement of a quiz game battle.

Based on his personal childhood experiences, designer and producer, Kevin Hassall, took his cues from the newspaper quizzes he and his family used to spice up their holiday get-togethers.  With the ease of using an electronic device, Hassall aims to bring families together in a new, innovative way.

“The quiz is set up to be played in two teams. The idea is that each team discusses the question. What we then do after the teams have chosen their answers, is to give an explanation of the answer, often with a bit of trivia,” said Hassall. “…A huge advantage of using an App for a quiz is how people interact with each other. If you’re writing down your answers individually then you’re focused on a piece of paper; if the answers are handled by a little piece of technology while you discuss them as a team, you end up looking at your family.”

Families will divide into two teams, Green and Red, for which they suggest you mix up the age groups so as to not give one team an unfair advantage.  Select Family Quiz mode to choose one of the ten quizzes, each featuring a different theme.  Choose from Nativity Stories, Christmas Songs, Around the World and so much more.  Each quiz contains 25 questions.  For each of these questions, the teams will choose their answer from the four choices, with the Green team tapping the given circle on their side of the screen, and the Red team tapping a red circle on their side of the screen.  You may change your answer, if necessary, by simply tapping another circle.  Tap OK once both teams are satisfied to reveal the answer and a bit of trivia to go along with the topic.  Click OK again to see how the scores compare, and tap again to move on to the next question.  Once you reach the end of the quiz, the sound will alert you, at which time you can then compare scores and determine the winning team.

For those who want a fun, personal challenge, try out the Quick Quiz, which brings together questions from all the themes to test you on your knowledge of all things Christmas.  The questions continue until you get one wrong, greeting you with a different sequence every time you begin again.  Think of this as a wonderful way to study for the big day, when you can help your team come together and win!

Now, if only there could be a Jewish equivalent that provides users with eight fun-filled quizzes, one for every night of Hanukkah!

Family Christmas Quiz Pack [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.1 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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MeetU Puts All Your Meeting Planning Tools in One Spot

Price: $2.99     Score: 6/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm MeetU Puts All Your Meeting Planning Tools in One Spot

Because life can become quite hectic, we can no longer depend on just our memories to ensure that we’ll be in the right place at the right time.  With dozens of meetings, events, appointments and family gatherings, your head may just start spinning without some form of organization.  MeetU by Hello Neo Apps hopes to help users collect their commitments in one place, providing a place to track one’s meetings and plan other aspects that may factor into your travels.

Upon startup, you will find the Meetings tab, where you need only tap New Meeting at the top to start entering your information.  Give the meeting a title, after which you will be moved to a new page that will allow you to enter the time and date, a reminder alarm, any necessary contacts, the location, and notes.

The Calendar tab allows users to scroll through by date to find out exactly when they have meetings.  When you land on a date featuring a meeting for that given day, you will find said meeting’s listing.  However, when I went to tap on my meeting’s listing to browse the specifics, the application did indeed freeze.  Personally, this layout seems a bit unbalanced, for you can only look at one day’s itinerary at a time.  Having various calendar views, such as examining your entire week or month’s schedule in a single view may help when trying to plan out one’s time efficiently.

With the Map tab, users may allow the GPS capabilities to detect their location, pinpointing them on a map so they may then plot out the most convenient route to their appointment.  The Bookings tab helps users find a hotel, book a flight, or rent a car all from this single page.

While MeetU certainly brings simplicity to your planning endeavors, I am still left to wonder why I would choose to pay $4.99 for an application that does everything that already comes standard on an Apple device.  With the standard Calendar application, I can quickly and easily enter any pertinent meeting dates, times and notes, as well as set a timer and view my entire schedule in Day, Week or Month view.  With the standard Maps application, I can chart my course for getting from one location to another.  And with basic Safari, I can find a way to book hotels, flights or rental cars if necessary.  I do not want to render MeetU useless, for it provides a key service, and gathering each convenience in a single place removes hassle, but the price is a bit steep for something I can already do using my device the way it was right out of the package.

**Update 12/04/10 – Price reduced to $2.99**

MeetU [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 4.2 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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The Conversation Manager – a Marketing Guide for the Internet Age

Price: $11.99     Score: 9/10    By S. Campbellbadge appstore sm The Conversation Manager   a Marketing Guide for the Internet Age

Published by Lannoo Publishers and authored by Steven Van Belleghem, The Conversation Manager for iPad is an English translation of a recent Dutch best-seller on the subject of business marketing.

The Conversation Manager is an innovative, well-written book that encourages a new and modern way of thinking in marketing – a call-to-arms for direct consumer communication. The rise of the internet in the past decade has seen a distinct change in the way consumers interact with brands, as well as the emergence of a strong social current underpinning consumers online lives.

This change necessitates a change in thinking – a new paradigm that focuses on creating a dialogue with the consumer.  The author, Steven Van Bellegham highlights the fact, stating that “we all agree that word of mouth is key, but hardly any company is integrating word of mouth into their acting or thinking”.

The Conversation Manager is more than just a simple eBook – it’s punctuated with interactive multimedia, including movies and case examples that enrich the user experience. At 215 pages, The Conversation Manager is a comprehensive look at the end of traditional advertising and the rise of the power of the modern consumer.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnsWokH_OAI

The Conversation Manager is broken down into three parts:

  • Part 1: Examines the gulf between today’s consumers and the advertising practices of the past
  • Part 2: Outlines strategies to connect with consumers in the 21st Century and build meaningful conversations
  • Part 3: Features a number of tips and online tools to help with the process of transitioning from traditional advertiser to Conversation Manager

A logical and well-executed rethink of modern marketing, Steven Van Belleghem’s The Conversation Manager is a must-read for savvy brand marketeers.

The Conversation Manager [iTunes Link] is compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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Discover the Most-Talked About Books in America with CoverCake Books

Price: Free    Score: 9/10    By S. Campbellbadge appstore sm Discover the Most Talked About Books in America with CoverCake Books

CoverCake Books is an innovative new app for iPad which allows avid ebook readers to keep up to date with the latest and most-talked about releases in America.

Developed by Node51 LLC, CoverCake Books is akin to a kind of viral video chart for eBooks. The app digs through mentions of books featured on leading TV Shows, radio and blogs to create a “Most Featured” list of books that lets you easily see what’s hot right now.

Tapping on any of the books in the list takes you to a page with a brief synopsis, author info and a list of places that particular title was featured at. Along the top of the app is a bar with a number of options for purchasing the book, in either hardcopy or digital, via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books or your local library.

If you enjoy watching a particular TV show such as the Daily Show, Colbert Report or Oprah – and commonly enjoy their recommendations – CoverCake Books provides you with a list of recently featured books from that show so you don’t have to worry about remembering an authors name or title while watching the show, and gives you quick access to the latest books if you miss an episode.

There are 7 TV Shows tracked in CoverCake Books (Charlie Rose Show, Colbert Report, Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Oprah Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, Tavis Smiley Show, The View), 18 different radio stations, 4 prizes (including Pulitzer and Man Booker Awards), the NY Times Best Sellers fiction list and two blogs (Huffington Post and Daily Kos Books) – so you’ll never be short of quality recommendations to choose from. CoverCake Books also features a search function so you can hunt down a book if you know the title or author name.

If you enjoy reading on your iPad and want to keep up to date with the latest in featured books then CoverCake Books is a must-have.

CoverCake Books [iTunes Link] is compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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Show Off Your Superior Survival Skills, Save the Girl with Parachute Xtreme

Price: $.99*    Score: 9/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm Show Off Your Superior Survival Skills, Save the Girl with Parachute Xtreme

In a world where so many things are the same, finding something different can be as difficult as it is exciting.  With Parachute Xtreme by Spiel Studios, we not only find a new concept, but also a fun back story as well.

You see, Parachute Xtreme tells the story of Nick and Jenny, two talented skydivers simply enjoying a ride one day.  However, Drek and his bad guy goons hate seeing this happy couple together, setting out to kidnap Jenny and take her away from Nick forever.  Luckily, just as Jenny has been snatched, Zapper comes along to save Nick and recruit him in order to teach Drek a lesson he’ll never forget.  As the best skydiver around, you must take Parachute Xtreme to the next level and destroy Drek’s minions with your talent in this “survival comedy” game.

To begin, you must first create a player profile by entering your name.  Once you reach the main screen, take a moment to explore the buttons at the bottom of the screen.  The Help button plots out the basics of the game, explaining its base jump nature.  Users will explore eight worlds, each with eight levels (64 levels total) that unlock as you proceed and succeed while facing six different opponents throughout.  The more levels you beat, the more freedom you will have when it comes to choosing the world and level you wish to play.

The Score button allows users to view their achievements, connect to Game Center and more games by the developer, while the About button presents the credits.  Users may even post their score to Facebook and Twitter.  The Shop button, however, shall certainly prove to be useful as you move forward in the game, for you may buy power-ups here.  As you progress, the power-ups will automatically unlock, allowing you to redeem your game score for these helpful upgrades that allow you to buy extra health packs, accelerate your speed, shoot your opponents down, reduce your landing impact and other such handy improvements.

When you start an actual game, you will be greeted with a lovely tutorial that will help guide you through the first level of the first world (as all the others are still locked at this point).  Learn about the score and health meter, as well as the altimeter, which will help you judge the height of any jump.  The basic maneuvers are really quite simple, as all you must do is tap the screen once to jump from your platform, then again when you wish to deploy your parachute.  The last to land on the ground will then be eliminated in a crushing manner.  (Literally, the loser gets crushed.)  The trick is to perfect your sense of timing.  As suggested, you will most likely succeed if you release your parachute last, after your opponent.  So once you have jumped after the “Get Set GO!” prompt, wait until your opponent(s) deploy their chutes, then release yours before hitting the ground to ensure your win.  In fact, once you master your tendency for timing, beating your opponents to the bottom can become quite addictive, so don’t be surprised if you plow right through these worlds at super speed.

*Price shown reflects Launch Sale price and is subject to change.

Parachute Xtreme [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 4.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch.

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Fit for Rhythm Unlocked Provides Easy and Efficient Exercise Routines

Price: $2.99     Score: 8/10     By A. Papachristosbadge appstore sm Fit for Rhythm Unlocked Provides Easy and Efficient Exercise Routines

With the holiday season in full swing, we find ourselves gathering around the table with friends and family, eating much more than our waistlines prefer.  And while this time of year always proves to be quite busy, we tend to neglect the exercise regimen we promise we’ll stick to after the New Year begins.  But, with Fit for Rhythm Unlocked by Prodigy Co., Ltd, users can quickly and easily maintain a simple exercise routine with the help of the four virtual instructors.  Guiding you through 80 different exercises, these instructors are much cheaper than a real trainer and fit in the palm of your hand, allowing you to take your workout with you anywhere.

When you begin, you will be greeted by a warning that explains that Fit for Rhythm Unlocked was intended to assist with simple fitness exercises in the area of Stretch, Balance, Aerobic and Muscular workouts.  Each of these categories then comes with four levels of intensity, of which the first level is free.  They also make sure to highlight the fact that results are not guaranteed, nor do they claim any responsibility for accidents, injuries or other physical disorders one may experience or acquire while using this application.

Once you move past this daunting (yet necessary) disclaimer, you will find the main screen, with numerous icons to lead you anywhere you want to go.  The notebook icon, for instance, takes you to the Records.  Here, simply choose a date on the provided calendar, tap Total and see the number of workouts completed and calories burnt that day.  The gear icon brings you to a page where you must enter your personal information, such as height, weight, age and gender.  (This button will also lead you to a page that allows you to connect with you Facebook and Twitter accounts.)  The question mark icon explains the basic actions of the application, while the ‘i’ icon displays the credits.

The Start button, however, is where it all truly begins.  Initially, Fit for Rhythm Unlocked begins by explaining that five exercises count as a set and that you must hold your iPhone or iPod Touch tightly as you move.  Once you arrive at the main exercise menu, choose from Stretch, Balance, Aerobics, and Muscle or simply tap Recommend for five suggested exercises.  Choose your category, choose what level you wish to pursue, and then pick an exercise.  Just follow your virtual instructor’s motions and directions and press start to begin you repetition.  If you’re unsure of how to proceed despite the visual demonstration, tap the question mark under the Start button for a written explanation of the moves.  However, with such basic exercises, users shouldn’t have any issues with their instructors.  In fact, Fit for Rhythm Unlocked seems easy enough that maintaining you exercise regimen will no longer seem all that discouraging.

Fit for Rhythm Unlocked [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.1.3 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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