iSteam App is a Lot of Hot Air

Written iPhone Novelty App Review

Price: $0.99   Score: 4/10iSteam - Hot and Steamy Entertainment By Shaun Campbell

iSteam is quite possibly the most pointless app for the iPhone.

Actually, let me re-phrase that. The most pointless popular app for the iPhone. At the time of downloading, iSteam was sitting conspicuously atop the most downloaded list in the App Store. And by my count, it was there for more than a week. But it’s not free anymore – it’s 0.99c. And in my opinion, that’s 99 cents too many. Yes, I’ll admit there are a lot of pointless apps out there, but at least iFart does something.

Developed by Konstantinos Eleftheriou, iSteam basically simulates a foggy glass window on your iPhone screen. You can draw on the ‘window’ with your finger, leaving a trace in the condensation. It’s kind of like making a smiley face in the mirror after a shower. The “window” unfortunately has a big black iSteam logo behind it, which kind of ruins the effect somewhat. You can change the background image to one of your own, however.

Despite it’s lack of utility, iSteam does show off some pretty cool tech. Blowing into the microphone steams up the screen, while tilting the device alters the path of the little water droplets that form in the wake of your finger. It’s just that it’s not quite cool enough to justify paying for.

N.B you can’t actually steam up the home screen as shown in the video below:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_EIY3-_HOY

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Squiggles – More Than Just a Simple Paint App

Written iPhone Paint App Review

Price: $4.99    Rating: 7/10    By Shaun CampbellSquiggles

Squiggles is a native paint and image manipulation app for the iPhone & iPod Touch developed by Scott Squires of Squires Studios.

Squiggles has a lot of features, from simple paintbrushes to stamps, overlays, image filters and layer manipulation – even PhotoBooth style image distortion. You can select a few pre-loaded portrait or landscape backgrounds to work with, or you can even import one of your own iPhone photos. Adding funny overlays like hats, glasses, speech boxes and text to photos of your friends & family is probably one of the most immediately gratifying features in Squiggles. You can save your completed works of art straight to your Photos folder.

The Squiggles UI is also intuitive and easy to use. Tool selection, color selection & brush selection are all unobtrusively located along the bottom of the screen, along with the most important tool of all – Undo. Although frustratingly, you can only go back one move. You can sketch or doodle with 7 different hard brush sizes plus 3 additional soft brushes.

Squiggles also comes with the other following tools:

  • Erase
  • Clone
  • Stamps
  • Overlays
  • Text.

My only complaint about Squiggles is that it is very hard to draw with any precision. Not that the blame for this can be placed with the developer, its more a product of the iPhone touch interface and the ungainly size of human fingers.

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Call for Writers

Written iPhone App Review

If you have a flair for writing and are interested in joining the team at The iPhone App Review, send an email to webmaster@50.6.163.136 for more information.

You’ll get apps for free that everyone else has to pay for, and the opportunity to get your name out there!

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iFart Mobile – Success Never Smelled Like This Before

Written iPhone Novelty App Review

Price: $0.99    Score: 7/10    By Shaun Campbell iFart Mobile - #1 Fart Machine - Now With Fart Buddies!

The brainchild of New York Times best-selling Author Joel Comm, iFart Mobile exploded onto the App Store top-selling list over the holiday period with 38,927 downloads on Christmas Day alone. At 0.99c a pop, minus Apple’s cut, that’s $27,249 net. Who knew toilet humor could be so profitable?

Still holding on to the App Store pole position at the time of writing, iFart Mobile has shown just how lucrative iPhone software development can be. Since it’s release on the 12/12, iFart Mobile has netted Joel Comm a very tidy six figure sum. However, only a month ago Joel’s enormous success would never have been possible. Apple recently loosened its App Store content restrictions (some would say standards) and developers responded with a veritable flood of flatulence-inspired applications. MG Siegler of Venture Beat reported that 14 new iPhone fart apps were approved in one day alone (17/12).

The app itself is best described as a digital Whoopie Cushion. Open up iFart Mobile and you’re presented with a list of 20 sound-effects to choose from. Of course, they’re all just variations on the same “theme” – but some are better than others. There’s “Jack the Ripper”, “The Wipe Out” & “Squeezer” – just to name a few.

iFart Mobile also features two distinct options in addition to the instant gratification of “Fart Now”. There’s “Sneak Attack”, which allows you to set a timer to achieve that all-important element of surprise, and “Security Fart” which triggers a burst of flatulence the next time someone moves your phone. They’re novelty features, but then again, this is a novelty app.

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PapiJump

Written iPhone Game App Review

Price: Free    Score: 7/10    By Shaun CampbellPapiJump

PapiJump is not a complicated game. Mr. Papi is a little red ball, and he likes to jump…and jump, and jump.

Developed by Sunflat, PapiJump is an extremely simple, yet strangely addictive game. You use tilt control to steer Mr. Papi between platforms, accumulating points the higher you go. The game never really ‘ends’ – you just keep bouncing higher and higher until you miss a platform. You can submit your best scores to an online ladder, but strangely, scores are not stored locally.

It won’t likely keep you entertained for hours, but 5 minutes of amusement is a safe bet.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mWsDMuHkMw

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Aurora Feint: The Beginning

Written iPhone Game App Review

Price: $1.99    Score: 8/10    By Shaun Campbell Aurora Feint II: The Beginning

Aurora Feint: The Beginning was released to the App Store back in July and has proven to be so successful that there are now three follow-up titles: Aurora Feint II: Tower Puzzles & The Arena. Developed by Danielle Cassley & Jason Citron, the first Aurora Feint in the series; The Beginning, remains one of the most popular downloads for the iPhone and iPod Touch. With compelling game-play and unusually high production values for a free title, Aurora Feint is a must-have game.

The Beginning takes Bejeweled swap-and-pop puzzle play and combines it with the character-building elements of a role playing game. It’s a unique mix, but it works. In true RPG fashion, The Beginning is all about leveling up your character, completing challenges and unlocking rewards. You mine “essences” (earth, wind, fire, water & shadow blocks) in classic puzzle play by arranging them into rows & columns, and then use those accumulated resources to purchase special abilities and tools.

Your abilities or “skills” are split into two categories, and there are different requirements for upgrading each. You can choose to specialize in Tool Mastery or Essence Mastery, or dabble in both. Tool Mastery includes skills like “Time Stopper” or “The Strategist” (a wild-card block) – while Essence Mastery is focused mainly on resource multipliers. In order to level up either skill-tree you have to pass additional challenges and puzzles. Tool Mastery challenges require you to “build” the tool by collecting a certain amount of a particular resource in a race against the clock, while Essence Mastery challenges are unlimited-time puzzles that must be solved in a limited amount of moves. Although there isn’t a whole lot of documentation that comes with The Beginning, it’s not hard to pick it up as you go.

Graphically speaking, Aurora Feint is very slick. The Beginning is played exclusively in 2D, but the visuals are crisp and detailed. The Aurora Feint world draws obvious inspiration from Lord of the Rings, but it’s a fitting mold for a game of this type. The audio is just as polished, with appropriate sound effects and stirring mood music. The control system is intuitive and makes full use of both multi-touch and the tilt functions of the accelerometer.

In short, Aurora Feint is what iPhone gaming should be.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP7r9AhiqfQ

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