Posted on April 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm by james
Don’t you just hate it when your bloke spends all weekend transfixed to his laptop? When lad-mates would rather stay in and collect flags and ray guns rather than socialise in a public place? The worst is when you’re trying to have a serious conversation but some silly app he’s just bought is obviously far more interesting. If you think that’s bad imagine how he feels, because apparently, we girls are spending more time, and money, with the latest Apple gadget, downloading more games, and spending more time surfing the web than our male counterparts. Really!?
A really pretty info graphic by aytm.com makes it perfectly clear: 88% of games and entertainment apps are bought by females, compared to 82% by men. And women are dedicating as much time to work as they do to their iPad’s. This statistic becomes a little less shocking when you consider the amount of stay-at-home Mums, compared to stay-at-home Dads, but it still is quite a monster discovery that after all the moaning about wires and noise, non-comprehending of technological advances and a complete apathy when it comes to megapixels, gigabytes and motherboards, we were actually clogging up the app store just itching to get the latest apps, updates and Apple technology.
The blokes only surpass in what I will deem as, no offence, ‘useful apps’, such as services, news, productivity, reference and business, whilst we’re too busy crawling the AppStore for leisure, fitness, lifestyle and horoscopes, the last one was a guess, but it’s a fairly confident assumption. It seems the latest touch screen technology has really turned the world on its head, and not in the post-aliens, robot-as-standard vision we deemed of future sci-fi style technology. The present landscape seems a lot more casual, with touch screen mobile phones, laser keyboards, and palm sized all singing, all dancing, all downloading computers as standard. What must be the biggest advancement in user-friendly technology for a really long time, didn’t scare us, worry us, or even surprise us. We adapted our lives to compensate it, like taking home an injured cat, sort of. We opened up our homes to super-technology, we all fell for Apple, and we never looked back. It’s hard to imagine what you did before music, news, internet, games and books were all at your fingertips. It’s hard to imagine what you did whilst commuting into work, and how did we waste time before the internet was available wherever we wanted? I, for one, dread to think, mainly because it wasn’t that long ago, and I can only really remember reading the free newspaper, or taking in the scenery.
Now, there is an App for everything, and most probably an App for comparing Apps. Our daily existence is simpler and better connected than ever before. When you think of it like that, it’s hardly a surprise women are in the lead for downloads and browsing time. We saw a useful tool and made it work to our advantage, we utilised what was available on the market, seen potential, and enhanced our daily lives with HD. Well, something like that, either way, we should probably stop nagging the other half to get his head off the keyboard, and we should accept that a generation of geek is now incorporating geekette’s too.
Posted on April 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm by james
Over the last few years smartphones and tablet computers have become commonplace in most people’s everyday lives. In 2010 it was revealed that Apple alone had sold over 50 million iPhones and 35 million iPod touches and has since launched two new smartphones. Add this to the 55 million iPads sold, and with the expectation that there will be 70 million iPad sales in 2012 you can see where I’m coming from.
It isn’t just Apple selling smartphones and tablets either, with the rise of Android and the announcement that Microsoft will be releasing a new tablet this year with full Windows 8 operating system it is expected that the sales of tablets alone will hit 122 million units annually by 2016 – a significant improvement on the 20 million in 2010.
But with all this new technology at everyone’s fingertips, no matter where you are or what device you’re using, it has made me wonder whether the advertising world is due to storm in at any given moment and capitalise on unsuspecting customers.
Since the launch of the Apple App Store everyone has become addicted to hand held games and applications that apparently make your life so much better. The app store recently hit 25 billion downloads, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Since recordable television and on demand services such as TiVo and BBC iPlayer made their way into the home it has become easy for anyone to skip an advert due to the vast amount of channels now available and the fast forward option. Therefore advertising revenue is taking a hit. The same applies to advertising in newspapers, according to research there will be a 52 per cent decline in regional advertising revenue between 2007 and 2013, which represents a 1.3 billion pound a year loss in advertising revenue. Due to this it is also expected that 1,300 regional titles will disappear.
So where will the advertisers go?
You could suggest the internet or social media, but these are very easy to avoid. But on the other hand there’s the mobile phone application that the whole world is succumbing to, as people access these while walking, during train and bus rides, at school and work, nearly everywhere you go someone is using a mobile phone app.
Factor in the ability to access the internet and social networking on them and with over 850 million people on facebook, who no doubt own a Smartphone to get a quick news feed fix, and the advertising industry has the whole world at its finger tips.
It hasn’t really begun yet with only a few companies using things such as iAds to target consumers, but watch this space because somewhere, there is most probably an advertising executive watching the growth of the market very closely just waiting to strike.
Posted on April 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm by james
With the announcement of their latest product, the iPad HD, it’s had me wondering whether the once revolutionary technology giant Apple is losing its edge over its competitors.
Let’s look at it shall we, a decade ago Apple unveiled one of the most revolutionary products ever in the iPod, which completely changed the music world as we know it. No longer would consumers have to lug portable CD players around with them and a selection of their favourite music, it was all in one little trusty handheld device. It even changed the way the music charts around the world work as digital downloads now sell more copies than physical CDs.
The creation of the iPod even won Steve Jobs a posthumous Grammy Award. Need I say any more?
The iPhone did exactly the same, it completely changed the mobile phone category and you can’t go anywhere these days without seeing at least one iPhone. They became a must have with their ability to access the internet and email quickly and more efficiently. With a built in iPod and with countless apps being created to use it has become the number one must have accessory for almost everyone.
Finally there was the iPad, a type of go between the iPhone and the traditional laptop or desktop computer. The iPad has been bought by the bucket load since it was first launched in 2010 and it won’t be long until they are a staple in nearly every home around the world.
But whereas these products were both revolutionary and evolutionary, their latest improvements of the products just aren’t on par.
Starting with the launch of the iPhone 4s last year many people were expecting the launch of a brand new iPhone 5 with amazing new features and technology, but what they got was an iPhone 4 with a few minor improvements, most notably Siri, which by all counts isn’t quite as good as it first appeared.
Fast forward a few months and once again Apple launched a ‘new’ product, which was rumoured to be the iPad 3, but once again the public didn’t quite get what they were expecting. They got the iPad HD, which is basically a slightly thicker iPad 2 with a better screen.
Where Apple once kept people guessing what their new technological revolution would be, the public are now wising up to them and most of the new features on the iPad HD had been floating around the rumour mill for months and guess what, they were mostly true.
Maybe since the tragic loss of the visionary Steve Jobs the people at Apple just don’t know what to do. But what they need to do is come up with something as new and revolutionary as the iPod/iPhone/iPad was when they first came out or run the risk of losing valuable market share to their nearest competitors who cannot wait for Apple to slip up, and we all know how important market share is to Apple.
It looks as though only time will tell when it comes to the question about whether Apple is losing its touch.
Posted on April 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm by james
This week at AppStart we appear to be loving something pretty similar to two of our previous posts (which you can read here and here). Yes that’s right this week once again we are loving an app from the Angry Birds franchise. But this time it’s the new Angry Birds in Space.
I know it looks like we may be bigging up the guys over at Rovio, but when they release so many updates at once we can’t help but let you know about them.
Angry Birds in Space is the game’s latest venture and as you probably already know the setting is in space, that’s a no brainer. This new game is a complete departure from the previous games such as Angry Birds Rio, as it incorporates a whole new range of birds, which do slightly resemble the old ones but in space they do slightly different things.
For example there’s the ice bird that you throw at your desired target and when it hits it, the target is then turned to ice so you can take it out with the next bird.
The way you play this version of the game is also much trickier than the previous games. Before you could throw your birds aimlessly with the hope that you would hit something and take out the pigs, but in space you have to be a bit more tactile.
This is due to the zero gravity in space, which could see you birds fly away into the darkness never to be seen again, and we would want that now would we?
The way the game looks is great, it’s got a much sharper image much like the previous update for the original Angry Birds game, which we assuming is due to the release of the iPad HD.
Over all the game is a great addition to the already popular franchise, and with it being a little bit more difficult than the previous games you should be trying to perfect each of your levels right up until the first update, whenever that may be.
Posted on March 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm by james
Sit on a bus or a train and have a look around you for people playing on their phones. Chances are they have a smartphone and are willingly enthralled in a simple yet purely addictive game. Take games like Angry Birds, Splat 2D, Snake and Tetris that have taken in many gamers for hours on end due to their simple gameplay and easy-to-use features. These are the types of games that appeal to the masses and not only get them playing, but get them talking about it as well.
So with this in mind, we have come up with the top five games that are just too addictive, but are too good to put down.
- Draw Something
The game is classic Pictionary. A player is given a choice of words to draw – a mashup of bog standard vocabulary and pop culture icons – and doodles one for a friend. The latest app sensation was recently sold to Zynga in a deal worth more than $180 million (£113 million).
- Rhino Ball
Straight from Walt Disney Pictures animated comedy BOLT, Rhino the hamster is on a roll and trying to get to his favourite TV super dog as fast as he can. Tilt your iPhone forwards, backwards, left and right to guide Rhino through the city streets, avoiding cars and other obstacles on your way to the finish line.
From the makers of iBowl, one of the most popular games ever released for the iPhone and iPod touch, iBasketball lets you polish your game on the go. Perfect your swish, get on the court with other online players and play head-to-head in a timed shootout or with a game of Horse.
- Touch Hockey
If you enjoy a game of air hockey, you will love this simple yet effective game. You can play against your friends over Bluetooth and WiFi. Touch Hockey outclasses every air hockey game available on the iPhone and iPod touch with the fastest animations possible and it’s free to download.
Nominated as one of the top free apps and top free games on the bestappever 2008 award, the aim of the game is to defend the Gates of Heaven from the enemies of Hell with an incredibly fun mobile tower defence game on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
Posted on March 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm by james
After our two-week obsession with Angry Birds and all its latest updates (which you can read here and here), we’re bringing you something a little different in this weeks what we’re loving.
You’ve probably already heard of it, and if you haven’t you’ve definitely been living under a rock for some time, but this week we’re loving Draw Something.
The break out game of 2012 so far is a simple but addictive piece of mobile phone gaming that will have you staring at your screen for hours, I know that’s what we’ve been doing.
The aim of the game is simple, you challenge you Facebook friends or other players to a ‘picture duel’ where you each doodle an image of a word for on another and attempt to guess it. Basically it’s Pictionary but for the Smartphone age.
All this is done in order to win coins, which you can then spend on extra colours to make you images as fancy as you like.
We know we’ve jumped on the bandwagon but this game just had to get a mention. WE LOVE IT!
Posted on March 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm by james
Last week in our new What We are Loving section we told you all about our love for the new level of Angry Birds Seasons.
Well this week Rovio has done it again and launched some more updates for their ever-brilliant franchise. So this week we aren’t technically loving an app as such, but instead we are loving the updates of two of our favorite apps that just happen to come from the same franchise.
The updates presented to us was an extra level on the original version of the game titled Surf and Turf, which sees the birds attacking those pesky pigs on an almost relaxing beach setting.
The level looks much more crisp and almost HD compared to previous levels, which is something I’m sure they’ve done to accommodate the launch of the iPad HD.
The second update was for the Angry Birds Rio version. The update wasn’t as good as the ones for the original Angry Birds or Angry Birds Seasons, as it was mainly just a few bonus levels that you unlock if you’ve completed all the other levels. However they were great fun to play.
Over all the updates were great fun and it’s reminded us of the reason we fell in love with Angry Birds in the first place.
Bring on Angry Birds in Space we say!!!
Posted on March 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm by james
Here we are with our new weekly blog post where we will be telling you exactly what we’re loving in the world of iPad and iPhone applications.
This week we’ve jumped on the bandwagon a little bit because we’re loving the new Angry Birds Seasons update. Yes that’s right they’ve done it again at Rovio. They have created another highly addictive level of the smash hit game that you just can’t put down.
The latest update entitled Cherry Blossom is the new Japanese/Hanami themed episode that hit the App Store on March 7 and has already become a huge hit with fans around the world, and AppStart is definitely one of them.
Although there isn’t much of a difference to previous episodes released, they all have the same format and the idea is the same, destroy the pigs and save the bird’s eggs. The one thing that I have noticed however is that Rovio appear to be making the levels slightly harder to complete. Where you could once throw a bird and kill all the pigs in one go you now have to work hard for your three star rewards. But in all fairness this just adds to the fun of the game because now it takes that little longer to complete – keeping you entertained for much, much longer.
Let’s just hope the difficulty will keep us playing away at this one until they release another new level, which usually takes some time. So have fun and free those eggs!
Posted on at 2:30 pm by james
On March 7 technology giant Apple unveiled its latest creation that will no doubt send technology fans into an absolute frenzy, the iPad HD.
The iPad HD appears to be more of a re-evolution than a revolutionary new product, which the iPad was on its initial launch a few years ago. But with Microsoft set to launch their latest tablet, complete with full Windows 8 operating system, Apple had to come up with something to get their diehard fans back in store to buy their products.
Rumours surrounding Apple’s latest venture have been circulating for months and last night we discovered that the majority of them were in fact true.
The new product features a new screen resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels, a new A5X chip with improved graphics performance, 5-megapixel camera sensor and the capability to run on 4G LTE networks once the service is available. The device can also be used as a wi-fi hotspot, much like the iPhone, if the user chooses to allow the function.
The HD device has the same estimated 10-hour battery life like the previous model, but this will drop by an hour if 4G is being used.
Certain rumours however fell flat on their face, such as the introduction of Siri, haptic touch feedback technology and the introduction of 128 gig storage, which was a little disappointing.
Overall the product does appear to be similar to the iPad 2 albeit slightly larger as it is now 9.4mm thick whereas the iPad 2 was only 8.8mm. This doesn’t appear to be too much of a difference though considering the improvements the company have made to its latest tablet.
iPad HD is set to go on sale on March 16th in the US, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Singapore, France, Germany and Switzerland.
It will be interesting to see how well the latest device sells considering the frenzy previous iPad launches have created. It has already lead to Apple’s share prices on Wall Street rising by 0.08% to $530.69 per share, so it looks like we will have to wait and see what happens.