View Full Version : iPad App Reviews - Wired, Tap Tap Radiation

1st June 2010, 11:25 PM
<h3>This week we begin looking at some of the most successful iPad apps on the App Store - Condé Nast's Wired magazine and Tapulous' Tap Tap Radiation.</h3>
<a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Wired-1.png"><img title="Wired 1" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Wired-1.png" alt="" width="460" height="371" /></a>

Magazines are a big deal on the iPad. Their potential to save the dying print industry is the reason why so many major publishers and distributers have launched apps either at release of the iPad or quickly after. But because they're rushed, they feel like nothing more than just a simple PDF stuffed inside a poorly designed app. <em>Wired</em> promised their app would change that. They worked with Adobe to create an app for the device as soon as it was announced, but a change in Apple's iPhone SDK Developer's Agreement (Section 3.1.3) essentially meant it had to be scratched. It took almost two months longer than other magazines to get here, but <em>Wired's</em> app is finally available on the App Store - and it looks and feels exactly like a magazine on the iPad should.

When you open Wired, you're taken straight to the front cover of the magazine. Since the download is included in the app, there's no 'library' or 'store' to get through first before you can start reading. In landscape, the cover adapts to fit the entire screen. Best of all, if there's a particular article headlined on the cover that you'd like to read, tapping on it will take you straight to that page. Scrolling through columns and sections of Wired is done by a horizontal pop-over menu, or a vertical view (shown left below) where every page relating to that particular section is displayed on screen. Each page fills the screen either in portrait or landscape once selected, so zoom functionality isn't included (or, for that matter, necessary). Even advertisements have been redesigned to take advantage of the iPad's abilities. Think back to the way Steve Jobs described Apple's iAd platform at the iPhone OS 4 event in April. His examples are comparable to what <em>Wired's</em> ads look like.


<a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Wired-2.png"><img title="Wired 2" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Wired-2.png" alt="" width="371" height="479" /></a>

<em>Wired</em> was designed by Adobe, and despite all of the sparks that fly between Apple and Adobe on a seemingly daily basis, remember that these arguments are over Flash, not Adobe's role on the iPad in general. As they've shown with the <em>Wired</em> app, Adobe and Apple <span style="text-decoration: underline;">can</span> be a match made in heaven. Typography is clean and crisp, scrolling is as fluid as scrolling could ever be and images are presented beautifully throughout. It is obvious that a lot of thought has gone into optimising each story for the iPad, particularly in the Toy Story 3 piece, which includes a video of the Pixar campus, and a report on how a single frame is developed for the film. At the end, you can zoom around the finished frame and even watch the scene that it appears in, which also happens to be an exclusive clip of the film.

My only disappointment with the <em>Wired</em> experience is that coming away from it, I'm left wondering why more magazine apps aren't anything like it. Other magazines (such as previously reviewed <a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/2010/05/18/iphone-app-reviews-delivery-status-touch-gq/">GQ</a>) created by the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">same</span> publisher pale in comparison to what Condé Nast and Adobe have achieved with <em>Wired </em>- and to top it all of, the magazine costs just $6 via the App Store. That's less than half the recommended retail price in newsagents, and in my opinion, the <em>Wired</em> app offers a far better experience to that of the dead tree edition.

<strong>Version reviewed:</strong> 1.0
<strong>Price:</strong> $5.99
<strong>Developer:</strong> Condé Nast Digital
<strong>Designed for:</strong> iPad
<strong>Compatibility:</strong> iPhone OS running 3.2 or later
<strong>Size:</strong> 527MB
<strong>Category:</strong> News
<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/wired-magazine/id373903654?mt=8"><strong>App Store</strong></a>
<h4>Tap Tap Radiation</h4>
<a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Tap-Tap-Radiation-1.png"><img title="Tap Tap Radiation 1" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Tap-Tap-Radiation-1.png" alt="" width="460" height="371" /></a>

Tap Tap Revenge may well be the reason why iPhones and iPod touches sell so well with teenagers and kids. Throughout its three iterations over the past two years, developer Tapulous has boasted a network of millions of players, growing from a small fry jailbreak-exclusive game to one of the biggest App Store success stories yet. Now, with major record labels pushing their artists' tracks through it and a catalogue of hundreds of songs, they've secured a prominent place in the iPad market with their first app for the tablet - <em>Tap Tap Radiation</em>.

Similar to the iPhone app by (almost) the same name, <em>Tap Tap Radiation</em> puts three big bubbles in the centre of the screen when the song begins. As it progresses, beats fly into the centre to be tapped as they hit the bubbles. The closer you get to the time they hit, the more points you score and so on and so forth. What makes the iPad game different to its iPhone counterpart is that the bubbles move around on the screen, placing themselves in different areas for different parts of the song to make the game more challenging. Essentially, if *you've played Tap Tap Revenge you'll have no trouble in picking up the concept of <em>Tap Tap Radiation</em>.

<a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Tap-Tap-Radiation-2.png"><img title="Tap Tap Radiation 2" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Tap-Tap-Radiation-2.png" alt="" width="371" height="479" /></a>

<em>Tap Tap Radiation</em> makes use of every pixel on the iPad's large 9.7" multi-touch screen, and as a result, it delivers a visually pleasing experience. Each of the five pre-loaded songs comes with the default game theme, while optional "track packs" (each contains six songs for $3.99) have their own artist-specific theme to go with it, as shown with the Lady GaGa song pack in the screenshot above. Outside of the game itself however, the menus and song selection displays are quite calming and almost zen-like. You can even track your finger along the screen to produce a simple sound, reminiscent of Brian Eno's iPhone app Bloom.

Overall, <em>Tap Tap Radiation</em> is an excellent app to show off how fun the iPad can be thanks to its huge App Store game library, and may even convince friends and family to buy an iPad of their own (or at least "borrow" yours more often than you'd like)!

<strong>Version reviewed:</strong> 1.0
<strong>Price:</strong> Free (plus in-app purchases)
<strong>Developer:</strong> Tapulous
<strong>Designed for:</strong> iPad
<strong>Compatibility:</strong> iPhone OS running 3.2 or later
<strong>Size:</strong> 20.2MB
<strong>Category:</strong> Games
<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/tap-tap-radiation/id364160328?mt=8"><strong>App Store</strong></a>

4th June 2010, 02:23 PM
The three stages of iPhone app-hating... First it crashes... so you smash it... then end up bashing it... *sigh*..

Anyhow... Tap Tap Radiation.? (y) Love it. The only problem I have with it though... is that it keeps crashing when I try to load a song..! ):

On a support site... (I can't remember what it was called), a Tapulous representative said to uninstall and reinstall Tap Tap... But I really think that it's just that I've downloaded all the available (free) songs and the game can't take it... I might be wrong... but I'm willing to bet that that's why Tap Tap Radiation keeps crashing for me.

I'm gonna go try Wired now.! :D