Today whilst browsing Vimeo, I came across a promo video for an iPad and iPhone game called ‘Ready Steady Bang’. Released just over 6 months ago, the official website describes the app as ‘A beautifully addictive quick-fire dueling game.
The aim of the game is simple. You find your character in a western style stand-off, and wait for the commentator to say “ready, steady, BANG”, at which point you frantically tap the screen as quick as possible, in order to beat the enemy to the trigger.
Here is how the game is described on the official website.
Play face-to-face with a friend on a single screen in 2 player mode or pit your trigger finger against 10 of the fastest outlaws and collect a hoard of achievements along the way.
Progress through the game to unlock 31 unique cowboy deaths, then show them off in your Kill Gallery.
Game Center integration allows you to compete against a world of cowboys and girls.
Are you fast enough?
As fun as the game is, many people might just enjoy the screams of pain that the little pixelated character lets out as he falls to the ground. The deaths are always comedic, with over 30 death animations. The style of the game reminds me of the ‘suicidal bunnies’ franchise.
The developers behind the game have made an extremely minimal but enjoyable game, which can be bought for 69p on the App Store.
Note: When I requested the LiveView, I had an Xperia Arc. However a fault in that phone meant I had to switch to the Desire S before I had a chance to try the it with the Arc. The LiveView works with just about any Android phone, however is optimized for Xperia phones. This review is based on my experience with the Desire S.
The Original Little Black Book is a smart and tidy way of keeping your iPhone 4 or 4S away from bumps and scrapes.
Designed in the style of a small notepad, the black book has a hand-crafted wooden frame with a leather binding. Despite doubling as a stand for the iPhone, it doesn’t add much bulk at all – a very nice change from other dock cases we have seen!
The Original Little Black Book is a prime example of how good a case can look. Larger companies should be aware that there is a big market for old fashioned vintage style cases like this, not just shiny metallic ones.
Part of what makes or breaks an operating system is the font. When Google revealed Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), they also showed off a new default font.
Roboto has had it’s fair share of criticism, put has it’s fans as well. I personally really like it, it very simple but looks good in almost any environment. I’m currently running an ICS ROM, and the font really makes texting and browsing the contacts a much more pleasurable experience.
Google have made Roboto available for download via the Android Design Guidelines page. It’s for use in developing Android applications, but you can probably use it for personal use also.
Nokia have just revealed the Nokia 808 PureView, dubbed ‘The Next Breakthrough in Photography’.
The camera has a whopping 41 mega-pixel sensor, with a Carl Zeiss lens we come to expect from Nokia smartphones. The phone also uses an over-sampling technology, which means zooming in on images after it has been taken loses almost no clarity.
“Pixel oversampling combines many pixels to create a single (super) pixel. When this happens, you keep virtually all the detail, but filter away visual noise from the image. The speckled, grainy look you tend to get in low-lighting conditions is greatly reduced. And in good light, visual noise is virtually non-existent. Which means the images you can take are more natural and beautiful than ever. They are purer, perhaps a more accurate representation of the original subject than has ever been achieved before.
Even digital SLR images have a certain softness. With oversampling, however, images can be noise free, yet incredibly detailed and defined. Zoom into the 5Mpix images at 100% magnification on your PC screen, and you’ll see. There’s something beautifully pure about the detail — not enhanced in anyway. Look closely at some grass… it’s amazing.” – Nokia
The 808 also records in 1080p HD video quality, as well as high definition audio.
Just when it looks like Nokia have released one of the most revolutionary phones of all time, they ruin it. The Nokia 808 will not run Windows Phone 7, instead using the doomed Symbian we thought was on its way out.
Size: 123.9 x 60.2 x 13.9 mm (17.95 mm at camera) Weight (with battery): 169 gVolume: 95.5 cc
16 GB internal user memory Support for up to 48 GB with an external microSD memory card Use as USB mass memory device for storing photos, documents and more
When I bought my Razr, part of my reasoning was the styling. I wasn’t a big fan of the copycat ipod look the Samsung Galaxy SII has, and the bulkier, more rounded HTCs didn’t do it for me either. As a result I chose the Motorola Razr.
In the autumn of 2004, there was a phone revolution. In bringing the Razr V3 to the market, Motorola set the standard for a mobile phone. At a mere 14mm thick, the phone was razor-like, and with its altogether sleek design, the Razr was a hit, remaining in production for over three years, and selling over 130 million units, becoming the best-selling phone of all time in the process.
Rather than produce a series of good, solid phones following on from the Razr, Motorola instead chose to attempt to again revolutionise the way we look at mobile technology, tending to choose style over substance. As a result, they failed recapture the success of the Razr, and have arguably struggled in the phone market, falling well behind the likes of Samsung, Sony Ericsson and HTC.
Recently though, it appears that Motorola may have started getting their act together, releasing phones that showed genuine promise in 2011, such as the Defy and the Atrix.
On the 18th October, Motorola announced their latest attempt at re-kindling past glories- the Motorola Droid Razr. Yup, it has pretty much the same name as its daddy, but with 7 years since the first Razr, the name is about as far as the similarities go. The problem is, in the days of 2004, mobile phone technology was still relatively in its infancy, and the market was less difficult to crack. This time, the Droid Razr has to square up to some smart-phone behemoths such as the Samsung Galaxy SII and the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Nexus. So how does it fair?
Well, not badly in truth. Styling has always been something that Motorola have prided themselves on, and with this beauty, it’s not hard to see why. At just 7.1mm thin, the Razr name has never been so apt.
The rear of the phone is covered in Kevlar fibre- that’s what they make bullet proof vests out of! I wouldn’t advise exposing it to gunfire, but at least you can be safe in the knowledge that your mobile will take plenty of punishment.
Something that has helped keep the device so thin is the lack of rear cover. This means that the battery is sealed in, leaving only a side hatch to access memory card and micro sim card slots. The battery itself boasts rather hefty 1780mAh, meaning you should have no trouble getting through the day with medium to heavy usage.
The front of the device is covered with a 4.3 inch screen, boasting Super AMOLED technology. It’s not quite as good as the Samsung screens, but you will be hard pushed to find anything else that comes close. Some have mentioned that the Pentile Matrix pixel layout leads to jagged edges. If it does, I can’t see them, and unless you’re extremely picky, or use your phone from 3 millimetres from your face, I would say that you won’t be able to either.
Coming with an 8mp shooter, the Razr sits in line with its competitors, rather than ahead of them. 8 mega pixels seem to have been the choice of phone companies for the last 2 or 3 years now, and whilst the Razr takes pretty decent pictures, if you want a camera, buy a camera rather than a phone. For point and shoot pictures, the Razr performs quite well, particularly in natural light. Indoors and in low light however, it does seem to struggle, with many pictures seemingly quite grainy.
The Razr shoots video at 1080p that is crisp and more than good enough for the average person, who only wants to take a few videos of friends etc. Again, if you want a decent camcorder, buy one, as phones still have some way to go before they can compete.
On the front of the phone is a 1.3mp camera that also shoots video in 720p, perfect for video conferencing.
The one major disappointment that most seem to be talking about is the lack of Ice Cream Sandwich, with the handset only coming with the Gingerbread version of Google’s android pre-loaded. Motorola have promised that ICS will be available for the Razr, although when has yet to be disclosed. To me it’s not a major problem. At the moment only one phone does come with ICS- the Galaxy Nexus- so if you want the very latest android has to offer, then that’s the phone for you. If you’re like me and aren’t that bothered, then it won’t be a major problem.
On top of the stock Android 2.3.5, Motorola have used their own interface. It’s come a long way in the past few years, but many may feel it still lags behind the likes of HTC’s sense and Samsung’s Touchwiz. Personally, I love it because it isn’t either of those. I’ve played with both the Samsung Galaxy SII and the HTC Sensation XE, and although Motorola’s effort perhaps isn’t as slick, it’s a refreshing change from having the same UI on nearly every phone. The good thing about android is that personalisation is literally limitless, with 1000’s of wallpapers, widgets; unlock screens and themes all available to download from the Android market.
With a 1.2GHz dual core processor and 1 GB of RAM, the Droid Razr has more power than most computers did at the time of the original Razor’s release. It is more than enough to allow the phone to run smoothly, even with multiple apps running, and will play even the most demanding of games without a hitch. The device comes with 8 or 16GB of internal storage space, with a micro SD card slot for additional room, should you need it.
The Motorola Razr is connected in all the ways you would expect a new smartphone should be. With HSDPA at speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps, web browsing is a smooth experience. 3G and Wi-Fi mean you will rarely find you are unable to access the internet, whilst the phone boasts Bluetooth 4.0, something only a handful of devices currently have. One issue I did have when testing the Wi-Fi was that sometimes when signal strength was weak, the handset struggled to connect, whilst other handsets tested alongside connected without too much difficulty. When signal strength was increased however, the Razr was fine.
Two of the main features on the new Razr are Moto cast and Smart actions. We’ll deal with them one at a time. Moto cast, once downloaded onto your PC, allows you to wirelessly stream documents, music and video on your Laptop or computer to your phone, Provided your laptop is on and both devices are connected to Wi-Fi. It works pretty well provide you have decent internet speeds and means that you can effectively take your laptop with you in your pocket.
Smart Actions is another great idea from Motorola. Effectively, it lets you control your phone’s settings based on external factors. Say for example, when you get to work, you wanted your phone to automatically go to vibrate. Well, you can set up a smart action to do it. There are literally 1000’s of combinations that range from saving your battery at night, to sending an automatic text when you reach a specific location. In testing it worked pretty impressively and often gave us helpful new suggestions that made the overall user experience of the Razr much better.
The phone is also compatible with Motorola’s webtop app system.
After using the phone now for a few weeks, I cannot particularly find a fault. The specification is more than a match for any other device around at the moment, and whilst it isn’t yet running Ice Cream Sandwich, it should be just around the corner. With Samsung having sold over 20 million of their Galaxy SII, it seems unlikely that the Razr will ever be recognised as the top dog, but if you’re prepared to stand out and step away from the likes of HTC and Samsung, then the Motorola Razr may just be the phone for you.
If you’re like me and only have a novice understanding of Photoshop, then adding cool effects to your photos can be a huge frustration, which usually leads to disappointment with the final product. Luckily, last night I stumbled across an extremely easy to use website called TiltShiftMaker, which adds a tilt-shift and bokeh effect to any image you upload.
I find it very difficult to explain what the tilt-shift effect is, so I advise you watch the video below. A YouTube user was imaginative enough to re-create a view of Battlefield 3, with a tilt-shift effect.
As you can see, it makes some things in the shot clearer, and blurs the rest which creates a sort of ‘miniature’ effect.
Below I re-created a wallpaper of a racing track, adding the tilt-shift effect along with some bokeh.
The photo above was the first image I edited with TiltShiftMaker, and I’d say the results were pretty good. The website can also be accessed from an app for Google Chrome. Below is a few more images created using the website. (Click images for photographer’s Flickr)
EA have kicked off their new Christmas Sale on iOS applications, offering amazing discounts on the most popular of games.
The games, which usually cost from £2.99 to £5.99, now cost 69p/$0.99 each.
Below is a list of the applications on sale.
Battlefield: Bad Company Battleship Boggle Bop It! Command & Conquer: Red Alert Dead Space FIFA 11 Madden NFL 12 Mirror’s Edge Monopoly/Monopoly Here & Now NBA Jam Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Pictureka! RISK SimCity Deluxe Tetris The Game of Life Transformers: Dark of the Moon HD Trivial Pursuit Master Edition Ultimate Mortal Kombat Yahtzee
Battlefield: Bad Company Battleship Boggle Bop It! Cluedo Command & Conquer Connect 4 Dead Space Deal or No Deal FIFA 10 Fight Night Champion Madden NFL 12 MMA Monopoly Here & Now NBA Jam Need for Speed Undercover Pictureka! RISK SimCity Deluxe The Simpsons Arcade The Sims Ambitions The Sims 3 World Adventures Skate It Spore Creatures Tetris The Game of Life Transformers: Dark of the Moon Trenches II Ultimate Mortal Kombat Yahtzee Adventures