iPhone Apps

Google Duo. A Better Facetime? Perhaps.

I’m kind of surprised it’s taken Google this long to get it’s Facetime for iOS challenger up and running. If you are interested you can get it here for iOS and Android. I’ve installed the iOS version but haven’t really tried it out yet. The real killer component of this, and something Apple should have done with Facetime quite a while ago, is the fact that this app is cross platform. It works with any Android or iOS phone across carriers. In other words, everyone can use it to call anyone. The app is extremely simple and easy to use, which I like. It’ll be interesting to see how fast this takes off in the next month, and if it will force Apple to open up the Facetime walled garden.

 

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OLO, 3D printing From Your Phone for 99 bucks.

When the iPhone came out back in 2007, the idea of using it as part of a 3D printer would have probably been laughed at. Roll the clock forward 9 years and it’s pretty amazing just how far technology has come. I have had an email sitting in my in box for over a week for OLO, and had yet to open it. Today over lunch I decided to see what OLO was about and I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed. Apparently others are too, because these guys are way past their goal on Kickstarter. The video below shows how it works, so I’m not going to go into any deep details, but basically it uses the light from your phone and special polymers to print an object. The retail price is 99 bucks so it makes it a mass market item, and the fact that it works with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone makes it pretty universal. I could see myself using this on a regular basis, and I can see a huge market for prebuilt 3D models emerging specifically for this printer.

My iPhone was naked Until It Found Aegis.

My iPhone runs naked with no case at all. When I picked up my 5s last year I did buy a case that was probably the thinnest I had ever seen. The thing was about as thick as a fingernail, and because of this didn’t offer any real protection against dropping it. I got it because it was nearly invisible and didn’t take away from the design aesthetic of the phone itself. I stopped using it because it was so thin it tended to flex and allow dirt and other pocket funk to get between it and the phone. I would have probably picked up another case, but the problem is, most are either butt ugly or so big they make the phone hard to fit in a pocket. So my phone has been naked for the last 9 months.

Today when I was out on Kickstarter looking around I came across MRD and the iPhone case they are milling out of a solid block of aluminum and I thought, “this I could do”. The Aegis iPhone case and wallet are CNC machined and processed to the same exacting standards as Apple products with a measurement accuracy level of .0005 inches. Thats less than the diameter of a human hair.

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Designed by Michael Rahban, the sleek case and wallet are produced from a solid block of 6061 aluminum, glass bead blasted, and anodized in the very same process that Apple currently uses. This allows the case to be aesthetically pleasing, and extremely durable. The design mirrors the design integrity of the iPhone itself   down to the chamfered edges on the case. Inside there is a nanofoam suction pad securely holds the phone in place ensuring that your case and phone do not separate when an impact occurs.

The wallet has some unique features as well. The materials provide a blocking mechanism against having your credit cards scanned by nefarious criminal types. It looks as though it will hold quite a bit, and it can be combined with the phone case to create one complete package. To really get an idea of how it works, click through one of the links above and watch the video.

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“Monument Valley”

The game Monument Valley from ustwo was officially released today for the iPad and iPhone. It is a surreal exploration through MC Escher like architecture and geometry featuring a beautiful princess that you navigate silently through the space. As you wander through the minimalist 3D world you discover hidden paths, unfolding staircases, optical illusions, and mysterious crow people. The game, has a really nice look to it, with semi flat graphic design applied to an isometric space. Described as “art” Monument Valley is a game of moving experiences that in many ways moves beyond the traditional gaming experiences.  It is immersive in the sense that you can easily get lost in the visual space and experience of playing the game itself.

“Every screen of Monument Valley has been carefully considered as graphic design, so that each one could be printed and framed. Players can enter ‘Camera Mode’ to zoom in and compose their own take on the artwork, which they can then save or share with friends.”

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“We’ve focused our attention on the design of game alongside a lot of user testing, and we really hope Monument Valley is what people are looking for right now – a premium game of the highest artistic quality offering players a satisfying journey from start to end.” Neil McFarland, director of games at ustwogames 

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MIXIMAL

YATATOY is the brain child of animator and designer . The games for the iPad and iPhone are designed to be smart, safe teaching tools for children. The latest, MIXIMAL is an entertaining game based on traditional children’s flip books. Filled with fun illustrations, analog sounds, and handcrafted animations, MIXIMAL features more than 48 animations, and 1000 animal combinations to help kids learn syllables and phonetic pronunciation. The video below shows how the game works. It looks pretty fun, and definitely entertaining for kids.

I’m Addicted to “Dots”.

iconDots is a nice little gaming app that was developed by New York based, Betaworks One. The game is very simple; try and connect as many same-colored dots as you can using only vertical and horizontal lines in 60 seconds, in 30 moves, or you can play it in endless mode.

Dots interface is extremely clean and simple and has a social media connection allowing you to connect to your friends via Twitter or Facebook to see your friends high scores. Weekly score boards reset every Sunday, giving you a chance to make it to the top of the list and enhance the competition across your network.

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Since it’s release Dots has jumped to the number one mobile game in twenty countries, with good reason. The simple clean interface and engaging user experience makes Dots highly addictive.

BMW i3 “Become Electric” Immersive 360° Interactive Film.

When BMW announced the i Series cars a couple of years back I was all ears. As a former BMW owner, I can attest to the quality and design of their automobiles, so the i3 had me intrigued. Just last week I was on the phone to the local dealer asking if they would have a preview model anytime soon, since the car will be available in California early next year. Sadly they said no.

To support the launch of the i3 BMW has developed a very cool interactive campaign in the form of a fully immersive interactive film available for iOS and Android.

“Become Electric,” is  an interactive experience shot in fully immersive 360 degrees that leads you through a unique story that reveals the car over time. As you head through the streets of a foreign city in a race against time the participant picks up a mysterious stranger and engages in a thrilling mission. The goal is to outrun the sinister “Shadows” that are pursuing you and deliver “The Key” as you help the world “Become Electric.” The game is true immersive entertainment, while advertising and promoting the new i3. The promotion for the car and it’s features are cleverly disguised in an immersive game.

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Since BMW is launching the “i” series as a sub-brand I bet we see more of this kind of work from them in the future for the i3, and the i8 as well.