App Review – Dragon’s Den

Today’s App Review is Dragon’s Den by 2waytraffic. I have been trying out Apps based on TV shows and while some like The Crystal Maze have been great others like The Cube have been total disasters.

Dragon’s Den is a lot of fun. You get to be the Dragon of your choice and entrepreneurs come in a pitch their ideas. You have to decide whether the idea is for you and if so you have to decide what money to offer them and for what %. You also have to compete against fellow Dragons because your investment has to be the most appealing or else you are pretty much out. If you don’t want to invest you can sit it out. Of course I sat a few goldmines out trying to see how it worked and typically my first investment was a total flop and put my bank account in the red. There is also the challenge that after pitching you may be challenged to make a better offer so just when you think you have it you may not.

The pitches are fun and the competitions is fun. I can see it getting a little boring down the road but for now I am having a lot of fun making and losing money with the security that it is all virtual so unlike the real Dragons I have no fear of losing real money.

There is multiplayer mode so if you have friends with devices you can all battle it out.

To get the App you can download it from HERE

App Review – 4 Pics 1 Word

Today’s App Review is 4 Pics 1 Word by LOTUM. I have seen this App appear on the walls of many of my friends social media pages mostly because they are asking for help. This did turn me off playing the App because it did look really difficult to play.

However, the other day I gave in and absolutely love it. The App presents you with four different pictures and you have to decide what word describes them all. Sure it is challenging but the App has the right balance in there. Instead of starting off easy and reaching the point of it being impossible to play resulting in my giving up it gradually gets difficult. The good thing though is that if you get a hard word it is usually followed by a few easy ones so that you regain your confidence and forget about the frustration. The words are also universally accessible in that they are mostly simple words like cold, run, jump, climb etc. With similar games I have also encountered issues with a lot of US words being used which is a drawback for international users.

There is an option to use points to reveal certain letters but what I have found is that the words often come to you long before you need to do this. If you need help you can also post the picture on Facebook for all your friends to see. This is kind of like an ask the audience option.

The one issue that really annoys me are the ads which appear far too frequently. I would gladly pay to remove them but this doesn’t appear to be an option.

The game is free and a lot of fun to try out if you want to give it a go you can download it from HERE.

App Review – Facetune

Today’s App Review is Facetune by Zeev Farbman. There are plenty of photo Apps out there that crop, rotate and color edit photos but not very many for touch ups. Factune is an App that does just this. Using the various tools you can get rid of piercings, blemishes, stray hairs and more. You can even banish those wrinkles and gray hairs. You can also remove red eye or change eye color.

All you need is a photo and the opportunities are endless. The effects are very realistic and don’t end up looking like you painted all over someones face.

My favorite feature  is how you can defocus an background so that it is blurry behind a clear face. You can also add filters and effects to the background.

Once complete you can share your images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr or by email.

The App is definitely got for retouching images and like I said very few Apps can do this realistically. Because of this I was still using Photoshop but this App is faster and produces the same quality results.

To get the App you can download it from HERE.

 

App Review – Word Wit.

Today’s App Review is Word Wit by Ballpoint Inc. English is quite often difficult to to understand especially if it is not your first language but even if it is there are always words like their, there, they’re and affect and effect that confuse people time and time again.

Word wit is a fun App that illustrates the difference spin the colorful wheel and you are presented with two similar sounding but different words. Once the words pop up you can then click on them to get a full explanation of both words and the difference as well as an example of a sentence the words are used in. You can then choose to ‘master’ a word. When you choose this the App gives you a sentence and you are challenged to choose the correct word. After you get a certain amount of correct answers you then master the word.

If you do have difficulties with telling the difference between these words and more this is a great App that will teach you through the fun games and quizzes and even if you think you know it all you can try it out and see if you are good enough to master these words.

You can share your progress via Facebook, LinkedIn, Email and Twitter.

The App can be downloaded from HERE

App Review – Sphero Apps

Today’s I am going to review something a little different I am going to review Sphero iOS accessory and the associated Apps. Searching the App store for Apps to review I stumbled across Sphero Apps and at the time was disappointed that they required you to purchase a $100 accessory in order to use them.

I was lucky enough to get a present of a Sphero recently and was very excited to download the Apps. Sphero is a round ball which vibrates, changes color, floats in water and rolls around the floor when instructed by an App. It is very interactive and a user has full control over it. There are over 20 different Apps available and they vary from game Apps, music Apps, augmented reality Apps and an App for pets. The augmented reality and pets Apps appealed to me right away and were among the initial Apps I downloaded. The App for animals makes the ball vibrate and roll across the floor. My cat found it a lot of fun especially the boosts which make it move crazily across the floor and the function to change colors. The App did have her amused but this didn’t capture her attention as long as an 80cent feather toy from the pet store.

Sharky the Beaver is an augmented reality App and it was also a lot of fun and once you had your little character placed where you wanted you could throw donuts and cakes around the room. This worked very like string augmented reality Apps and was a lot of fun.

My favorite of the Apps is Sphero Exile which works pretty much like space invaders and you use the Sphero as a control for it.

You can also use your inbuilt device camera to record Sphero which is especially handy if your pet is playing with Sphero. For android users you can download Sphero cam App for iOS users the function is built into the Sphero App and can be activated in the bottom right corner options of the App

All in all Sphero is a lot of fun and I am glad I have given it a try. I do think it is overpriced and that $50 would have been more than enough to pay for it.

There are a few things that I do not like and this is mainly to do with the Apps. The website is very deceiving and says that there are over 20 free Apps. This does not mean there are 20 free Apps for iOS devices in fact there are actually  7 paid iOS Apps costing from 89cent there are also there are many Apps that are only available on the Google Play store and in reverse many not available for Google Play users. For iOS users there is a total of 18 available Apps 7 of which are free so the claim of over 20 free Apps should really be rephrased.

Another thing is the search function in the iTunes store. If you type in Sphero you will not get the full selection of Apps for example Sharky the Beaver is not shown. To get these Apps you then need to search further or look up their names.

All that being said if you have the spare cash I would recommend getting one. They are tons of fun for people (and animals!) of all ages.

To buy a Sphero check it out HERE

You can find available Apps HERE

What is Sphero? from Sphero on Vimeo.

App Review – The File Converter.

Today’s App Review is The File Converter by Ghost Mobile. There have been many times where I have landed myself in a situation where I have landed something in my Dropbox and left my Macbook at home without realising later that I will have to use a PC which many not be able to open a specific file created on my Mac. The most common issue I have is forgetting to export Pages documents to Word or PDF. My usual solution to this would be to open on my iOS device in Pages and export again. While this is a great and tried and tested solution I do need the Pages App. Another mistake would be forgetting to export something like a Photoshop .psd file which cannot be opened without the software itself.

The File Converter is great in situations like this and will takes files from your email or iOS device. Below are the options available.

  • Video Converter: Convert to 3GP, 3G2, AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, MPEG-2, OGG, WEBM, and WMV
  • Document Converter: Convert to PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT, ODT, FLASH and HTML
  • Audio Converter: Convert to MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC, M4A, and MMF
  • E-book Converter: Convert to EPUB, MOBI, PDF, LRF, FB2, LIT, PDB, TCR
  • Archive Converter: Convert any file to ZIP, BZ2, 7Z, GZ

The App may not be one I would use all the time but definitely one that I can see saving me in emergency situations like the one described above. I can definitely see the e-book and documente conversion options being very useful.

The App costs €2.69 and can be downloaded  from HERE.

App Review – Posing App

Today’s App Review is Posing App by Sia Mendo. I have trained and had experience as a photographer so understand how important it is to having poses in mind when going on a photoshoot. Several situations arise when your mind would go blank and you cannot figure out what to do next. The most common issue I had was that a model was in a mood where she just did not want to be there so it was a major struggle getting good photos. Now as a photography teacher I see my students facing the same problems and this App is fantastic to have for those awkward moments or even just to look at beforehand for ideas.

The App contains sets of black and white line photos showing different suggestions for poses for all groups of people including children, women, men, couples, groups, wedding and glamour. Each set contains at least 20 different examples so there are plenty to choose from. You can add any ones you like to a favorites folder to access easily later.

As an added bonus the App also includes tips and tricks where it advises on different aspects of a shoot from the basics of using lighting to making your model feel a ease. There is also advice on photographing eyes, legs, body, head and hands as well as suggestions on composition and what equipment to use and avoid in certain situations. For examples it tells you the right aperture range to use for portrait shots.

The App is definitely an asset to any photographer whether you have been at it for years or just starting out.

The App can be downloaded from HERE.

App Review – Fluency Finder.

Today’s App Review is Fluency Finder by Lantz, Glass and Gaskins, LLC. As an ESOL (English as a Second Language) Teacher I never really know what stage my students are in their learning when they start. Students are usually varied between those that can read, write and speak English but not accurately. Some students can speak but not read and others can read and write but not speak. This App is a great help during the initial screening process and can be used after too.

Fluency finder tracks a students progress and means all records are right there on your device which cuts down on mass amounts of paper work.
To begin all you have to do is add students to the App and select an appropriate passage for them to read. This can be read from a device or you can print a copy. As the student begins to read the App times them and you can mark any mistakes they make on your device. By tapping + you indicate a student makes a mistake and – indicates that the student corrected their own mistake. After tapping finish you automatically see the results. There are different fluency levels and you can measure readings from 60-175 words per minute so it is easy to find a speed that would suit an individual student.

I have found this App to be a massive asset to my class and really enjoyed seeing the comparisons between the initial recorded results and the results in the classes final week.

The App does cost $6.99 but is great for what you get and it can be downloaded from HERE.

App Review – Sign language Apps

Today I am going to be generous and give two Apps instead of one. As many who have used or even heard of iOS devices know accessibility is a major feature in them and especially functions like Siri that make communicating easier. I recently stumbled across two Apps which are similar and translate text/ voice to American Sign Language.

The first App is Speech2Sign by Parkland School District. I was really excited about this App but it doesn’t seem to work. I believe it is new and the App claims that it can convert your voice into sign. What it did for me was that it converted what I said into pictures of the letters of the alphabet in sign. So I could learn the letters that would allow me to sign those words. I thought the App would be more interactive than just getting pictures which were inaccurate during each trial I gave it. I also found that there is no obvious back button or menu so if I want to try another phrase I have to quit out of the App and restart. The App is a wonderful idea and I wanted so badly for it to work but unfortunately it doesn’t on either  of the devices I tested it on (an iPhone 5 and an iPad mini) Hopefully the developers are working on this and will update the features soon so when they do you will be able to download it from HERE

The second App as mentioned above has a similar theme and translates text to American Sign Language. Marlee Signs by MEDL Mobile features deaf actress Marlee Matlin and all and guides you through various every day phrases and if you want to spell out a word in sign you have to do is type in a phrase and the App will magically translate your phrase into ASL. Unlike Speech2Sign the App produces videos of Marlees translations so you do not have to rely on having to decipher pictures.  The App is initially free and offers a free pack of videos featuring Marlee these videos cover the alphabet, numbers, everyday words, questions and conversations. It is also free to translate a word you type into sign language. As optional add-ons for €1.79 these include around you, home, around town, around the world, and baby signs.

Trying to free features I was more than a little impressed and found it so much easier to learn from videos than pictures which is the only option that many sign language Apps offer.

I would definitely recommend people trying out the App since it is free to try and then you can decide if you want the add-ons. The App can be downloaded from HERE

App Review – Cookie Calls

Today’s App Review is Cookie Calls by Sesame Street.

A few years ago on Skype a friend’s user name was Cookie Monster. Obviously she is a big Cookie Monster fan and as a result of her name during one call with another friend she freaked the friends kid out when he saw Cookie Monster calling on Skype and thought it was the real Cookie Monster. Well with this App the Cookie Monster can call you for real. All you have to do is select from a number of different call options. You can see the Cookie Monster eating cookies, talk about healthy eating, travel to Paris and more. Even though I am not a massive fan of the Cookie Monster I found this App really fun. The App works a bit like Facetime so when the Cookie Calls a video of you appears in the bottom left so it looks like you are in a real life call.

The basic App costs 89 cent and this gives you a few video options. Extra videos can be unlocked through in-app purchases for 89cent each €2.69 for all of them. I must admit I did end up downloading the whole lot and have not had this much fun with a talking App since I discovered the original Talking Tom App.

The App can be fun for grown-ups but also for kids and the calls include healthy eating and parents helper which covers daily chores so how better to get a kid to go to bed than have the Cookie Monster tell them. I also discovered that my cat is absolutely fascinated by the App and sits silently staring with big wide eyes at the App and listening very attentively. Now if only it could teach her not to wake me at 5am in the morning.

So if your looking for some entertainment the App  can be downloaded from HERE.