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    Published on 26th January 2010 by

    This week we look at Kapowie, an appropriately Australian sharp shooting iPhone game and Earthworm Jim, an iPhone remake of the original classic arcade game.


    Kapowie


    kapowie 1

    For a game to be successful on the iPhone platform, it needs to be easy to play (something that is usually determined by the game's interface and imagery) and quite addictive. There is so much choice on the App Store today, with games often dominating the charts, that it can be easy for even the best of the best iPhone games to get lost in the mind-blowingly huge range of apps available. Australian developers seem to have a particular skill in creating addictive iPhone games - the most notable example is Firemint's Flight Control, which became an international success within days. So, how does Bjango's first game - curiously titled Kapowie - stack up against the competition? Very nicely.

    Most players will first notice how remarkably simple the game is to navigate through and play. Hit the app's icon, tap play and the game begins. There are seven cleverly named levels (listed on the app's description page) in which objects such as spinning wheels or penguins in elevators have to be tapped to disappear, giving you points. Expectedly, the more you tap in a row within the limited and varying time limit, the more points you gain. You're given three lives to play with at the start of the game, and scattered throughout each of the levels are opportunities to lose or gain lives. If you complete all seven levels in round one, you proceed to the next, more challenging, round. The goal is to continue (and rack up as many points as you can along the way) playing until you're left without any lives left.

    kapowie 2

    There aren't any out-of-place control pads or awkwardly placed buttons (the pause icon in the top left corner can be accidentally hit from time to time, especially on the Merry Poppin' level) and each of the seven levels use the same intuitive method of play. Every time you complete a level, you're given a clearly presented summary of your points so far, which is useful for setting your own personal benchmarks. As an example, I try to aim for at least 350,000 points in round one before continuing. Once you're finished, your score is uploaded to Bjango's highscore servers (note: no account required) and with time and considerable practice, hopefully earn your way into the top one hundred worldwide players scoreboard.

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    Published on 26th January 2010 by



    Cheers to Ram City for sponsoring the MacTalk Podcast & Can Touch This - check them out if you need RAM!



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    Talking about apps this episode is Rob (robc), Dan (zillatron), Shawn (the gaffer guy), Andy (andytlr) and Anthony (decryption). These are the apps we talked about:

    $20 iTunes gift cards giveaways are back! Recommend us an app in this thread and each episode, we will pick one of those apps and PM you a $20 code for the iTunes ...

    Published on 26th January 2010 by

    crystal_ballEveryone loves predicting what an Apple event will have in store for us, so to make it a little more interesting, we've come up with a list of things most people seem to think will happen. Simply copy and paste the text below into a new comment/forum post and answer the questions.

    If you're the one who gets the most items correct, you'll win $100 of iTunes store credit! There will also be runner up prizes of $50 for who is the 2nd most accurate, and $20 for the 3rd most accurate.

    Tablet Predictions ...
    Published on 26th January 2010 by



    Happy Australia Day everyone and a very depressing 'Invasion Day' to all of our Aboriginal readers. Today we also celebrate Republic Day in India, Liberation Day in Uganda, Feast Day for Saints Timonthy, Titas, Paul and Alberic and it is also the Third Day of the Sementivae in honour of Ceres and Terra...if the Roman Empire still existed of course.

    Tablet...Apple may be releasing one at an event later this week. Here at MacTalk our spies not only already know what the tablet is going to look like but we also, exclusively, have the link to a public website that has a possible ad of the Tablet. So MacTalk community...real or fake....aaaand go!

    With the Tablet only days away nerds like me are practically having heart palpitations. So when we see a report like this with Steve Jobs saying "It will be the most important thing I've ever done" you can imagine that we're pretty excited to see it. Dude...you invented the friggin iPhone! ...
    Published on 25th January 2010 by

    <img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-4541" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/2004_dwalker_portrait.gi-300x200.jpg" alt="2004_dwalker_portrait.gi" width="300" height="200" />You may remember that Apple touted 3rd party accessories as a pretty huge feature. Now, on the eve of the iPhone OS 4.0 announcement (we think), Wired ask the question: <a href="http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/01/wither-the-dongleware">where are all those special-purpose iPhone accessories</a>? Indeed!

    The Apple tablet. Gizmodo throw all their eggs into one blog post and spew forth what could only be described as the most in-depth, if speculative, piece on <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5452501/the-apple-tablet-interface-must-be-like-this">what the Apple tablet will be like</a>. Magical!

    If you've got a large enough ego,  you too can have your own iPhone app - one which aggregates your own content, from various social feeds such as Twitter, Flickr, Posterous, Tumblr, and more. <a href="http://www.tuaw.com/2010/01/21/make-your-personal-iphone-app-in-just-10-minutes/">All for just $25</a>! Awesome!

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    Published on 22nd January 2010 by

    <a href="http://daringfireball.net/2010/01/apple_google_bing_search"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-4537" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/101205jobsfaces3_500x391-300x234.jpg" alt="101205jobsfaces3_500x391" width="300" height="234" />John Gruber weighs in</a> (quite heavily, I might add) on the whole Apple/Google/Microsoft search issue.

    Loving Chrome for Mac? Can't live without 1Password? You're in luck - 1Password now has <a href="http://www.switchersblog.com/2010/01/a-1password-alpha-for-chromium-is-here.html">very-alpha support</a> for filling in your login forms with the latest developer version of Chrome.

    <a href="http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2010/01/17/preparing-bar-exam-1000-yep-barmax-ca/">The BarMax CA app is very expensive</a>, but possibly very useful (if you're into that sort of thing, of course). If you've got an extra $1200 to spare, be my guest - hey, if you bought those iTunes vouchers from BigW, then you'll even get half price! How good is that! And if you call in the next 2 hours, we'll even throw in a free t-shirt!

    ...
    Published on 21st January 2010 by

    Today we're looking at the Tracks headphones by Denmark's own AIAIAI.  (The name might sound familiar since Anthony <a href="http://www.mactalk.com.au/2009/08/17/mactalk-reviews-danish-headphones/" target="_blank">reviewed</a> their earbuds last year.)  Read on to see if the Danes can add awesome headphones to their already formidable arsenal of Lego, strong beer and hardcore pornography.

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    Published on 21st January 2010 by



    Cheers to Ram City for sponsoring the MacTalk Podcast - check them out if you need RAM!


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    Lauren Watson (prerecorded), Alex Reid (Al Aero), Christopher Kahler (arkenstone) and Anthony Agius (decryption) invite you to drink some Red Balls whilst listening to this podcast.

    Download ...

    Published on 20th January 2010 by

    This week we look at two of the nation's most well known radio stations (ABC's Triple J and Austereo's Today Network) and their iPhone apps.


    Triple J Unearthed


    unearthed 1

    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is known for being well ahead of the free-to-air (and subscription television) competition when it comes to bringing their content to your iDevices, and their latest app (to join the all-encompassing ABC app and music video viewer rage mobile) doesn't let that statement down. Triple J Unearthed comes from the website of the same name and focuses on discovering independent Australian talent, with tools that allow artists and bands to upload their own music freely and easily - hoping for a shot at fame or just a chance to get their music heard publicly online. The idea is that Triple J may not have enough hours in the day to air your music, but with Unearthed, at least you can let people love it or hate it.

    The app performs largely the same functions as the website, but with a few extra features scattered throughout. Along the menu bar, "Shake" lets you play the latest and greatest Unearthed tracks in full, "Search" is fairly self-explanatory, "Playlist" gives you a convenient way to listen to your favourite songs while "Hand Picked" is a mixture of the Triple J staff's picks.

    While listening to music with the Unearthed app, not only can you stream it - you can download it for offline use too, a feature that's almost unheard of for music streaming apps. As the screenshot above shows, each track has two icons to the right beside it - the top lets you download it while the bottom lets you add it to your personal playlist, explained above. There's no hoop-jumping involved when it comes to downloading music in the app - just tap, download, done. While you're playing either streamed or downloaded tracks, you can expect mostly the same playback options as in the iPod app with some bonuses thrown in. Select a position of the song you want to play, control volume, select Bluetooth speakers to listen from and choose a star rating (uploaded to the Unearthed website) or find out more about the artist you're listening to - a particularly useful feature, especially with the kind of content that Unearthed houses.

    unearthed 2

    Unearthed is a very good music streaming (and downloading) app, bringing an iPhone-specific interface and a whole range of features to the popular Australian-indie website. Unfortunately, Apple still doesn't allow music streaming (or, for that matter, any background processes) to run while not actually displaying the app, so you won't be able to listen to Unearthed tracks while, say, playing a game or browsing the internet. This is my sole major disappointment with the app, and this time the developer isn't to blame. Background processes are a controversial issue for Apple and it's iPhone customers, and rumours constantly circulate that the feature will arrive in future OS updates (even today, sources suggest it might come before the end of the year). While it's certainly inconvenient, background processing will eventually come to the iPhone, and I imagine Unearthed's developers will be more than willing to introduce it into their app when it arrives.

    Version reviewed: 1.0
    Price: Free
    Developer: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    Size: 2.6MB
    Category: Music
    App Store

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    Published on 20th January 2010 by

    Click the image to open in full size. Promoted forum item, originally posted by user Rant


    It's a new year, a new decade and 24 hours after Apple unveils its "latest creation". Do you need more reasons to celebrate and perhaps consume the odd beverage? That's right, it's time for another Brisbane MacTalk Meet-up!

    Come join your forum buddies, put faces to names and enjoy a few beers and some good food. We don't bite, seriously!

    When: Friday 29th January, 6pm 'til late
    Where: Boardwalk Bar & Bistro Website

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