Monday 23 December 2013

Steve Paris' iOS Games Christmas Extravaganza

When Apple released iPhone in 2007, it wasn't designed with third party apps in mind. In fact, Steve Jobs spent a long time telling developers that web apps - programs that make use of technologies available through a browser - were the way to go if they wanted a presence on Apple's new revolutionary device.

But developers would have none of it, and because iPhone was touted as running OS X (albeit a stripped down version of it), they knew how to program for it and demanded the opportunity to do so. After all, it was no secret web apps couldn't match the responsiveness and data access speeds of native programs.

Apple relented, the App Store was introduced, and the rest is history.

Friday 20 December 2013

Oceanhorn - Interview with Cornfox & Bros

Creating a game is no easy task; Forge Reply for instance, had a team of fifteen working on the excellent Joe Dever's Lone Wolf, so it's pretty remarkable that three people set about creating and designing a vast, ambitious game of adventure and exploration for iOS called "Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas".

Thursday 19 December 2013

MacLife Review - Journeys of Invention

Ever wanted to visit the amazing Science Museum in London but either didn't have the time or lived in the wrong part of the planet? Well now you can explore and manipulate 81 objects that are either on display there or in its repository, thanks to Journeys of Invention, a new iPad app from TouchPress. Read more about it by reading my review in MacLife.

Friday 13 December 2013

Little Baby Jesus

A different interpretation...
Christmas is coming, the decorations are going up, tinsel and lights adorn the high street in an attempt to make up for the darkness that just comes way too soon this time of year (unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere of course, in which case it's time to grab your togs and jandals, slip, slap, slop, and head down to the beach!)

As you walk down the streets of any Western country, it's highly likely that you'll bump into a church or even a shop, which will have a nativity scene on display in some form or other, with little baby Jesus in a manger, overlooked by his loving mother Mary, Joseph, a few animals, some shepherds, an angel or two for good measure, and of course, the three wise men.

It's such a part of the festivities in predominantly Christian countries that we most likely take it for granted, and in fact, my 9-year old daughter was asked to create a two-page project on the birth of Jesus for a school report.

Thursday 12 December 2013

MacWorld - Get Started in iMovie for Mac

iMovie isn't solely available on iOS; it's been on the Mac for a lot longer and here is the first of an ongoing series of tutorials I'm writing for MacWorld UK. Check it out...

Wednesday 11 December 2013

MacWorld - How to use Video in iMovie for iOS

Here's my first tutorial for MacWorld UK covering iMovie for iOS. Part of a new ongoing series. Enjoy...

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Gravity Makes Me Sick

I've always had a problem watching those early 3D movies, those that necessitated wearing special glasses fitted with a separate red and blue filter. Something about them didn't feel right at all. I got nauseous and disorientated watching them, but Angel and I were keen to see Gravity, and in my neck of the woods, you couldn't get to watch it in 2D unless you were open to missing work or the school run, or both.

Monday 2 December 2013

MacWorld - 10 Tips for iMovie 10

Are you new to video editing? Wondering if the new version of iMovie is worth it? I wrote 10 tips about this latest update for MacWorld UK. Check it out...

MacLife Review - Elements in Action

There's a new education app in town called Elements in Action, which you can use either on its own or as a companion to the excellent The Elements: A Visual Exploration. I've reviewed it for MacLife.

Friday 29 November 2013

Joe Dever's Lone Wolf - Interview

Back in the early 80s, personal computing was still in its infancy, games were amazing for the time, yet primitive by today's standards and couldn't hope to match what we could imagine in our own heads. Perhaps because of this, a type of book became incredibly popular, one where you could choose how he story developed by making decisions for the protagonist as you read. Those decisions led you to read certain paragraphs and not others, making the story unfold differently, depending on those choices. Many series were created, but one of the most successful was based on the character of Lone Wolf, with its riveting ongoing narrative that linked all the books together, while the character developed and progressed throughout the saga. You played Lone Wolf, last of the Kai - warrior monks sworn to protect their homeland, Sommerlund, against the armies of the Dark Lords.

Sunday 24 November 2013

Clumsy Ninja - Review

I don't generally go for this sort of game because it is, for all intents and purposes, a freemium game which means that it's free to play but the deeper you get into it, the more likely you'll have to pay - and pay a lot - in order to achieve a new level or purchase a new item.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Going Round in Circles: God Versus Evolution

More often than not, when I go on Twitter, I see on my timeline arguments between religious folk and atheists. I don’t follow most of these people - their responses just appears there in the form of retweets. Inevitably, that argument trickles down to evolution. Theists argue that if we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys and that evolution is like saying something came out of nothing (and a magic man clicking his fingers to make life appear fully formed isn’t making something out of nothing?); atheists then spend time pointing out the inaccuracies that litter the sacred texts so revered by religion folk.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Solar Flux Pocket - Review

In addition to infinite runner and jumper games, another firm favourite among mobile games are physics-based puzzles, like the insanely popular Angry Birds or Cut the Rope franchises. One of the latest addition to this lineup is Solar Flux Pocket, a game which you'll be able to play on your iPhone and iPod touch. iPad owner will have to cope with scaled up graphics or buy the dedicated iPad app, Solar Flux HD, which is actually a different game, offering different levels.

The objective of Solar Flux is to save the galaxy: its suns are dying, and you must collect and deliver the needed plasma to revive each one.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Ooga Jump - Review

Back in January 2009, a two-man team released a game on the App Store. Calling it a game was actually beyond generous - there was nothing you could really do with the six little pygmies on a tropical island. But promises of regular updates were made and before long, new features were added, mini games were included and Pocket God became a mobile game phenomenon. After 47 updates, it's still one of the most original and highly imaginative games for iOS, even though its graphics have never been updated for the Retina Displays.

Friday 1 November 2013

MacWorld UK Review - iMovie 2 for iOS

iMovie for iOS was updated and I was there, reviewing it for MacWorld UK. Was it good? A worthy upgrade? Something to avoid? Find out by reading my review on their site...

Thursday 31 October 2013

MacWorld Review - iMovie 10 for Mac

I've reviewed the latest version of iMovie for MacWorld UK. See what I thought of it by visiting their site...

Saturday 12 October 2013

Swansea Commits to the UNCRC - ANM News Flash

While Tories in England lobby to repeal the Human Rights Act, the City and County of Swansea relaunched itself as the Human Rights capital of the UK on Friday, by becoming the first local authority to adopt wholesale the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Friday 27 September 2013

The Tip of the Iceberg - ANM News Flash

Despite official rhetoric concerning the necessity of protection for whistleblowers, it was a plastic crate at Speaker's Corner for this small group, protesting against the real destruction of human lives cause by official corruption.

I asked Jan Hansen of Cure the NHS Lincolnshire whether the small number of people there reflected the size of the problem.

Thursday 26 September 2013

MacLife Review - Screens 3

Screens 3 is an add designed to allow you to connect to your computer and control it from your iOS device. See if this latest version is worth upgrading for by reading my review on MacLife's site...

Thursday 19 September 2013

iOS7: First Thoughts

The new lock screen
Swipe from anywhere to unlock

I upgraded to iOS7 on my iPhone 4S overnight and was greeted with a brand new phone when I woke up. Here are some thoughts I’ve had about this update having used it full time since then:

The first thing I noticed was how big the icons look. In fact they’re ever so slightly bigger: iOS6 icons were 114x114 while iOS7‘s are 120x120. This 5% difference, along with icons that are now (or will be when developers update their apps) clearer, make the apps stand out more. And that’s the thing: those new icons look so much better “in the flesh” as it were than in any of the promotional photos I’ve seen. This really is an OS you need to hold and use to fully appreciate the work that’s gone into it. Photos don’t do it justice.

Thursday 12 September 2013

MacLife Review - Flavours

Fancy customising the look of your Mac, then check out if Flavours is up to the task in my review on MacLife's site...

Friday 30 August 2013

Equality At the Panthéon - ANM News Flash

A group of some 150 womens rights activists staged a protest outside the Pantheon in Paris on Monday to send a message to Francois Hollande that it's time to even up the representation of women in this prestigious institution.

Monday 15 July 2013

ANM Interviews Oi! Conference 2013

This year's Oi! Conference at the Cardiff Marriott Hotel, had a special flavour about it. Not only did it feature the awesome speakers Mark Schaefer, Philippa Davies, Ian Cleary, a hefty panel and a very enthusiastic audience, but it was also firmly weighted towards inclusivity and the social element of the social web. Roll on 2014.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Interview

Arthur C Clarke once said, "two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying". In fact, that very quote appears during the introduction to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a game that explores the terrifying prospect that we are under attack from forces we do not understand nor hope to defeat, at least with our current level of technology.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

MacLife Review - Pagico

Check out what I thought of the professional organiser Pagico.

It's all in my review on MacLife's site...

Friday 17 May 2013

Karateka Classic for iOS - Review

I was introduced to computers in 1984, when my father bought an Apple IIe. With the help of this wondrous new machine, I got to grips with programming, word processing, and unsurprisingly, games. One of these was Karateka, a simple, yet highly impressive action side scroller; you fought your way through many henchmen, avoiding traps along the way, hoping to rescue the lovely princess. What set this game apart was not only its animation, great fight sequences, satisfying musical score, and a simple, yet compulsive storyline, but the fact that you couldn't rely on extra lives to complete your quest. Just like in real life, if you died, that was it. Unlike real life of course, you could go back to the very beginning and try again. Many hours were spent attempting to rescue the girl.

Saturday 4 May 2013

Star Command for iOS - Review

This game made the news back in 2011, when it became famous for successfully funding its development thanks to crowdsourcing through Kickstarter.

It's taken a lot longer than anticipated to release Star Command, but it's finally here and we can now explore space, have diplomatic relations with aliens, organise away missions and shoot hostile space crafts on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad... Well, not quite.

Monday 29 April 2013

MacLife Review - CloudClipboard for Mac

I reviewed the iOS version of the excellent app, so how does it work on the Mac, and how easy can it be used to sync data between all your Apple devices?

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Mac Life Review - Blux Camera Pro

There are so many camera apps for your iPhone, each hoping that they'll offer sufficient features to make them worth you replacing the default yet basic Camera app with. How does Blux Camera Pro fare?

Friday 15 March 2013

ANM interviews Bruce Robertson

As a student, Bruce Robertson had a problem understanding philosophy, so he spent the following decades refining his knowledge and recently published a book which is the culmination of his work: "The Pattern Paradign: the Science of Philosophy"

Thursday 7 March 2013

Live on Prime Time TV

It's not every day you appear live on prime time television, on New Zealand's biggest channel, TV1.

Front Page News

It's not every day you make the front page of the country's only national newspaper!

This story covers what happened to my family when we had the misfortune of putting our kids in the local, and oh so beautiful on the outside, Titirangi Rudolf Steiner school.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork Map - Review

The Discworld, a flat, circular world, held by four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle, which came out of Terry Pratchett's incredibly fertile imagination, and spawned dozens of novels with unforgettable characters, exciting stories, and a unique blend of humour, is brought to life digitally on an iPad. More specifically, it's the city we come back to most often in those novels that you can now explore freely without fear of getting lost, mugged, killed, or getting food poisoning: Ankh-Morpork, a huge sprawling medieval metropolis, home of the most colourful characters you'll most likely ever meet.

Saturday 2 March 2013

Beehave - Episode 15

The latest episode of Beehave is now online, featuring our own version of John Key, NZ's prime minister and Anne Tolley, the minister for corrections. It also features a new musical sensation: MP's Got Talent!

What's all this about? It's only our satirical online show!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday 26 February 2013

MacLife Review: Easy Studio Animate with Shapes!

My latest review is online and if you or your kids are into stop motion animation, you may well have lots of fun with Easy Studio Animate with Shapes!

Monday 25 February 2013

Broken Promises

New Zealand's dirty secret is that it's rife with bullying and that the statistics for child suicides is one of the worst in the world. Not quite the "better place for the kids" they keep advertising themselves as, eh?

Wednesday 20 February 2013

MacLife Review: ProCut X

I've reviewed ProCutX, an iPad app designed to communicate with Final Cut Pro X on the Mac. What did I think of it? Check MacLife's website to find out. :)

Monday 18 February 2013

Interviewing Harry Fear

Harry Fear is a young independent journalist whose recent claim to fame are his reports from Gaza, including his experience of the recent war.

He's touring the world at the moment, helping to spread awareness of the situation, and Angel and I caught up with him before his talk.

Saturday 9 February 2013

Beehave - Episode 14

My wife and I have produced an online satirical show for a while. It started as an attempt to bring attention to the fact that there was no welfare protection for children in private schools in New Zealand. None. The school could expel you from one day to the next without ever giving you a reason or offering you a right of appeal. This dangerous and damaging loophole was recognised by the Law Commission and they proposed a review.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

MacWorld Article - iOS 6.1 Glitches

What do you do when an upgrade doesn't go as planned? If you've lost control of your iPhone's speaker after upgrading to iOS 6.1, read my latest article on MacWorld's site.

Monday 4 February 2013

MacLife Review: CloudClipboard for iOS

You can read my review of the very interesting and highly useful CouldClipboard for iOS on MacLife's website.

Cut and paste between different iOS devices is now a breeze! Find out why by clicking here.

Saturday 19 January 2013

MacLife Review: ScreenFlow 4

My review of the excellent screen capture tool ScreenFlow is available on MacLife's site. If your profession depends on making screencasts regularly on your Mac, this is the app you need. Read my review here.

Friday 4 January 2013