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Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category

QuikReview: Puzzlequest for iPhone

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If you like jewel-matching puzzle games(like Bejeweled) and you like fantasy RPG quest games, then Puzzlequest is the game for you.

Pick a character class, choose your skills, then travel around the world map picking up quests to complete and level-up. Battles are fought through jewel-matching puzzles that generate mana you can use to cast spells.

Quests follow a fairly engaging storyline that’s light enough to pick up whenever you feel like it, with a large array of side-quests to keep you going for a while.

And the game gets deeper still with levels of skill specialisation and citadel-building (which unlocks new spells) that you can delve into if you want.

All in all, a deep and engaging game with long gameplay potential, good for a long-term campaign as well as the time-killing puzzle battle now and then.

Plus, you never really die in the game – you just have to retry the battle again, which guarantees addiction for sure.


Written by tokyotribe

June 27, 2010 at 5:37 am

Posted in Games, iPhone, QuikReview

QuikReview: World Cup iPhone apps

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Tried a bunch of them to stay up to date with the 2010 World Cup and finally settled on two that were stable, rich and had sensible user experiences.

Very rich app, that tells you what you want to know – live scores, match timetables (for your timezone), scores for each stage and latest news. Live scores are up to the minute, so you won’t miss a goal if you’re not in front of your TV.

The added bonus is that beyond the World Cup, also serves live scores, results, fixtures and news for other leagues like the Champions League, EPL, Serie A and Bundesliga. Handy all-in-one for football fans.

International Football

Straightforward app for the latest World Cup live scores, results and fixtures. The UI is fancier than’s and to some extent works well in focusing attention on latest scores and results.

The offering feels a little more limited, although they have plans to serve other leagues in future. In the meantime, it’s a good app if all you need is the your latest World Cup fix in a quick prominent display.

The choice between the two probably comes down to UI preference.

Written by tokyotribe

June 27, 2010 at 2:48 am

Posted in iPhone, QuikReview

QuikReview: Song Summoner Encore Lite for iPhone

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Fun little turn-based RPG ditty from Square Enix. The hook is that the characters in your party are generated using tracks you select from your music library. Yes, that’s a little gimmicky, but fun, nonetheless, to find out who you’ll get next. So far I’ve landed myself a C-rated archer and a B-rated monk.

Final Fantasy tactics fans will find the character classes and battle mechanics familiar, and you can generally count on Square Enix for a fun storyline.

Not sure yet how deep the free lite version goes, but the high $9.99 price of the full version is keeping me from upgrading right away.

Verdict: Worth a go on the lite version for free and waiting for the $9.99 full version to go in the bargain bin.

Written by tokyotribe

June 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Games, iPhone, QuikReview

QuikReview: Command & Conquer Red Alert for iPhone

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Good RTS fun on the iPhone with EA’s Command & Conquer Red Alert.

Lots of fast-paced action, kitschy graphics, great sound effects and an apt, if sometimes monotonous soundtrack. And you even get your own hot Russian military babe commander to guide you through the game.

Touch controls are playable for an RTS, but you might find it a tad frantic swiping through the map, selecting units with your finger and reinforcing groups if you’re more used to swift mouse selection and keyboard controls.

On the downside is the short single-player campaign for each faction – only 5 missions of about 20 minutes of playtime each – which means most gamers will get through a faction’s campaign in about 2 hours. That isn’t much gameplay for the $6.99 list price, but OK for the current $2.99 sale price.

Verdict: Pick it up while it’s still on sale and play through it like a rabid war dog. Then do whatever you can to get that blasted tune out of your head.

Written by tokyotribe

June 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

Posted in Games, iPhone, QuikReview

Evernote vs Simplenote

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I spent some time trying out Simplenote (SN) for iPhone coupled with Notational Velocity (NV) for Mac today to see how it stands up to Evernote, which I’m currently using.

What intrigued me about Simplenote was its simplicity and search-centric workflow. The process of creating a note on SN and NV seems quicker and a lot more intuitive than Evernote and I can see myself churning out searingly quick notes this way.

While Evernote has a much richer feature set, including voice notes and photo notes, I don’t find myself using anything other than text notes on it, so for my usage, SN makes sense.

Evernote’s bugginess has also been bothering me lately and I’m yearning for a more stable app that doesn’t chew up line breaks or puzzlingly convert notes to uneditable HTML when copying and pasting note text in and out of the app.

But the SN web app feels a lot slower and clunkier than Evernote on the web, especially when searching for notes. And the biggest downside for me is the lack of folders on SN, which makes my library of 100+ (and growing) notes on Evernote unmanageable without an equivalent to Evernote’s multiple notebooks feature.

I’m not about to give up on SN yet, because I still find it’s simplicity attractive, but I think I’ll be sticking to Evernote for now as my main note-taking (and organising) app. I’ll just keep SN around on the iPhone for when they hopefully implement folders in an update.

Give both a try and see which you prefer.

Written by tokyotribe

June 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Posted in iPhone

My quivver of apps

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I’ve settled into a cosy relationship with a bunch of apps that make my life easier. They span my Mac and iPhone and some also sync across both. (Bonus!)


iCal for Mac, Calendar for iPhone and Google Calendar (in Safari) skinned with Helvetical for shared calendars

Address Book for Mac and Contacts for iPhone

Backpack (in Safari) and Satchel (a Backpack client) for iPhone for to-do lists, notes, and the little things in life


Apple Mail for Mac and iPhone set up with various Gmail accounts, and, occasionally, Gmail (in Safari) skinned with Helvetimail

Instant messenger and VOIP

Adium for Mac, eBuddy for iPhone and Skype for Mac and iPhone


Google Reader (in Safari) skinned with Helvetireader and NetNewsWire for iPhone synced with my Google Reader account


Tweetie for Mac and iPhone

Notes and plans for taking over the world

Evernote for Mac, iPhone and, occasionally, in Safari

Project management

Basecamp (in Safari) and Groundwork (a Basecamp client) for iPhone


Textmate, Terminal, Sequel Pro (for MySQL) and Transmit (for FTP) for Mac

PDF reading

Preview for Mac and Goodreader for iPhone

Temporary notes, reminders, links etc.

ShoveBox for Mac

Writing and blogging

WriteRoom for Mac for writing drafts, and Marsedit for Mac and WordPress for iPhone for publishing

Photos and photo sharing

iPhoto for Mac, Flickr (in Safari), Flickr Uploadr for Mac and Flickit and Flickr for iPhone

Videos and video sharing

Youtube (in Safari) and Qik for iPhone

Music and podcasts

iTunes for Mac and iPod for iPhone

Online backup

Dropbox for Mac and iPhone

It seems like I have a reasonably sized online footprint using web apps, with a similar number of native Mac and iPhone apps for core, everyday tasks.

Written by tokyotribe

November 20, 2009 at 7:48 am

Posted in iPhone, Tech

iPhone likes and gripes

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About a month out of the box, here is my honest, non-fanboy list of likes and gripes about the iPhone.


1. Horizontal typing on qwerty is fast (but needs two hands)
2. Auto correct is smart
3. Many useful apps
4. Some very fun games
5. Voice control is very cool
6. Great for checking email and tweeting on the go
7. Blogging is convenient with the WordPress app
8. Evernote is very productive
9. Ebuddy makes IM on the go very convenient
10. Greatly expands the idea of what you can do on the go on your phone


1. Vertical one-handed typing on qwerty takes getting used to if you’re a big t9 user
2. Keyboard takes up too much of screen when horizontal
3. Cursor control is a bit twitchy
4. Battery life if using apps heavily is very short (less than 24 hours)
5. Big n heavy
6. Can’t customise easily
7. Oganising apps on iPhone pages can be really troublesome
8. Can’t use music as ringtones easily
9. Can’t use music as alarms easily
10. Good apps can be hard to find and buried in the app store
11. Many free games are hamstrung (“lite” version = first level only)
12. Not easy to transfer files across out of the box (you need Documents 2, Good reader, Air sharing or similar document management app)
13. Syncing takes a long time
14. Syncing can get a bit flakey at times
15. Wi-fi and 3G can get a bit flakey at times

Written by tokyotribe

August 9, 2009 at 9:27 am

Posted in iPhone