View Full Version : iPhone App Reviews - Upgrades Edition

13th October 2009, 06:55 PM
<h3>This week saw the release of a few high profile app updates on the App Store. In this week's iPhone App Reviews, we're going to look at Tweetie 2, Tap Tap Revenge 3 and Minigore - Episode 2.</h3>
<h4>Tweetie 2</h4>
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3424" title="tweetie 1" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/tweetie-1.PNG" alt="tweetie 1" width="230" height="346" />

<strong>What's new
<span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 13px;">As the developer promised, <em>Tweetie 2</em> is really a complete rewrite of the original. The best for me is the full persistence of the UI (remembering exactly where you left off when you last quit the app), but there's a heap of other cool new stuff too: a full offline mode, configurable landscape, Tweet draft manager, even neater user interface, more service support like the awesome <a href="http://followcost.com/">Fo</a><a href="http://followcost.com/">llow Cost</a>, <a href="http://tweetblocker.com/">Tweet Blocker</a> and <a href="http://favstar.fm/">Favstar.fm</a> and a rewritten Nearby Tweet search that can be placed just about anywhere in the world (using the in-built Google Maps API). Then you've got the new Tweet publisher with URL shortening that can be customised according to your favourite shortener, photo adding and geotagging all on the same screen, in addition to a recent list of hashtags and built-in username finder. Like I said, a <strong>heap </strong>of new features have been added.</span></strong>

<strong>The good, the bad and the ugly
<span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 13px;">Just like good ol' original Tweetie, everything feels smooth, quick and efficient. There are rarely any connection issues (and mostly it's a Twitter server issue, anyway) and not once has the app crashed since I downloaded it last week. Even the built-in browser is faster, more stable and handles big pages a little better too.</span></strong>

<strong>Worth the price of admission?
<span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 13px;">Tweetie user or not, you've probably heard about the decision to make <em>Tweetie 2</em> an entirely separate app (rather than a free update) at $3.99 again. While this is certainly somewhat unconventional on the App Store, John Gruber wrote upon release that <a href="http://daringfireball.net/linked/2009/10/09/tweetie-2">the bar has been raised</a> - and it's true. Four dollars is a small price to pay (relative to the cost of your iPhone or iPod touch) for what is, at least in my opinion, the best Twitter client out there. If you're a serious Twitter user with an iPhone and you've held off before, I can reassure you now - it's time to get <em>Tweetie 2</em>.</span></strong>

<strong>Developer: </strong><strong><span style="font-weight: normal;">atebits</span>
<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=333903271&amp;mt=8"> App Store</a></strong>

<h4>Tap Tap Revenge 3</h4>
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3431" title="tap tap 1" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/tap-tap-1.PNG" alt="tap tap 1" width="230" height="346" />

<strong>What's new
<span style="font-weight: normal;">Tapulous' latest effort in the Tap Tap series brings another entirely new user interface for selecting, downloading and playing songs for the game. The main menu is much cleaner and the app shows that quite a bit of work has gone into developing this new UI. There's also some seriously enhanced online play including chat, selectable avatars, profiles, Tap Tap coins and achievements. <em>Tap Tap 3</em> is a social beast too - you can send messages and meet other players online inside the game. My favourite feature is also the simplest - quick play mode starts a game as soon as you open the app, saving you the hassle of navigating through menus and getting distracted by new song downloads.</span></strong>

<strong>The good, the bad and the ugly<span style="font-weight: normal;">
Addicts (and there are many out there) will really love this upgrade, and rightfully so. With all the new online features and updated UI, there </span><span style="font-weight: normal;">is</span><span style="font-weight: normal;"> a lot to love in <em>Tap Tap Revenge 3</em>. However, as an admittedly casual player, I felt that the addition of many of the new features may leave some players confused. Super casual players <em>could</em> stick with Tap Tap 2 without missing out on much, if you're just in it for the basic gameplay and a selection of tracks. The real benefit of <em>Tap Tap 3</em> (at least for music lovers) are the in-app purchases that are really great for fans of a particular artist, and it's great that Tapulous has managed to get so many artists to participate. The selection is just starting now but will grow constantly, without any update necessary (Tapulous can add them directly from iTunes Connect).</span>

<strong>Worth the price of admission?</strong>
Like Tweetie 2, <em>Tap Tap 3</em> is also an entirely separate app. The developers justify this by saying that it must be paid so they can include in-app purchases, a policy Apple implemented at the iPhone OS 3.0 preview back in February. That's fair enough, and generally speaking, the calibre of music has improved (depending on your musical taste, of course). As a $1.19 app, <em>Tap Tap 3</em> is a really awesome game, and fans agree - it's spent the last few days at number one on the Store. Unless you've never really found the game to be exciting (which is arguably borderline crazy), <em>Tap Tap 3</em> might just keep you addicted forever all over again.

<strong> Developer:</strong><strong><span style="font-weight: normal;"> Tapulous</span>
<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=326916014&amp;mt=8"> App Store</a></strong>
<h4>Minigore - Episode 2</h4>
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3433" title="minigore 1" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/minigore-1.PNG" alt="minigore 1" width="346" height="230" />

<strong>What's new
<span style="font-weight: normal;">Episode 2 brings an (optional) radar of surrounding furries so you can see who's around you even if they're not on screen. The biggest new feature is the addition of a third "headband" life, bringing it in life with most other survival games. An unlockable (after gaining more than 6000 points in one game) insane mode makes gameplay much more quick and exciting for more seasoned players - a very worthy addition. Plus, game state is saved upon quitting of the app now, and the shotgun accuracy and speed is said to improved too.</span></strong><strong></strong>

<strong>The good, the bad and the ugly
<span style="font-weight: normal;">I have to admit, I'm hooked on <em>Minigore</em> - so I had been looking forward to this update for months. Literally, months. After Episode 2 was initially submitted to the App Store it was rejected almost a month afterwards for frequently crashing upon launch - and after a resubmission (by then, a few more features were thrown in too) it was rejected <em>again</em> due to a corrupt binary. Finally, after roughly two months of submission woes, <em>Minigore</em> was finally approved for sale - but Apple shouldn't have accepted the final release either. There's still a bug that affects users who choose to flip the screen during gameplay, leaving the menus and controls unresponsive, and it will be at least another fortnight before it's approved again (if previous rejections are anything to go by). Right now, the only solution is to reinstall the app, deleting previous un-synced high scores and data.

<strong><span style="font-weight: normal;"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3434" title="minigore 2" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/minigore-2.PNG" alt="minigore 2" width="346" height="230" /> </span></strong>

<strong>Worth the price of admission?
<span style="font-weight: normal;">At the very low price of free, I can safely say that <em>Minigore</em> 1.1 is worth updating (unless you're <em>really</em> into flipped screens). As a new game, I'd still recommend it to folks looking for a fast, fun and addictive survival game (after all, episode four brings a cameo from Enviro-Bear and as I've said before, that alone is worth the $1.19). Having said that, the developers behind <em>Minigore</em> need to <em>debug, debug, debug</em> before they submit their next big update - their fans are relying on them!</span></strong>

<strong> Developer:</strong><strong><span style="font-weight: normal;"> Chillingo Ltd</span>
<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=324016249&amp;mt=8"> App Store</a></strong>