What more can one say about Tetris? The megapopular classic '80s action puzzle game from Russian programmer Alexey Pajitnov is now available for the iPhone, featuring everything you loved about the original, and some added bonuses to keep the game interesting. The game is crystal-clear with Retina Display support and the simple interface requires only swipes and taps on the screen to move, rotate, and drop pieces on the board. Sometimes the tap-to-rotate and swipe-to-move method can be a little frustrating (it's easy to make mistakes), but we were mostly able to enjoy the classic game on our iPhone … Read more
Shape Shift is a free, ad-supported puzzler, a classic color-matching game played on a grid, but with a couple of twists that make this app stand out.
The setup should look familiar to fans of the genre: you play on a 9-by-7 grid of colored blocks, and the goal is to match up--and take out--adjacent groups of four or more of the same color. In addition to being red, yellow, orange, green, or blue, each block also has a triangle, square, or circle on it, and you can swap any two blocks that share the same shape. The scoring and … Read more
The CEA had its yearly line show earlier this week and we spent a little time in the Philips booth checking out several new audio products the company intends to release this year, including a handful of AirPlay-enabled speakers.
In case you don't know what AirPlay is, it's a wireless-streaming feature found on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or any Mac or Windows PC running iTunes (see "10 things you need to know about AirPlay" for more info). Right now you can only stream video to your TV using Apple TV but lots of AirPlay-enabled speakers … Read more
Microsoft could be looking to give touch screens more of a tactile feel.
A patent filed by the software giant in 2009 and published last week details a light-induced shape-memory polymer display screen. In a nutshell, that means a touch screen that has a real texture and tactile feedback to it, making people feel as if they're touching an actual object.
Invented by Erez Kikin-Gil, the screen would be coated with polymers that could change or hold their shape when different wavelengths of ultraviolet light hit the pixels from underneath, according to an article in New Scientist.
The screen … Read more
Want giant biceps in all those home videos you're posting to YouTube? Forget hassling with barbells and simply adjust the muscularity control slider in MovieReshape, an image alteration program developed at the Max Planck Institut Informatik in Germany. The system allows for "quick and easy manipulation of the body shape and proportions of a human actor in arbitrary video footage"--without frame-by-frame manipulation.
The approach is based on a morphable 3D model of human shapes and poses derived from laser scans of more than 100 men and women of various shapes and sizes. The program--which is currently … Read more
Charging issues experienced by owners of older MacBook and MacBook Pro models when using the new L-shaped MagSafe power adapters have been solved via a firmware update from Apple. … Read more
Microsoft Outlook is a very popular way to keep up with e-mail, calendars, to-do lists, and contact information. Unfortunately, it's not very portable; the information on one computer isn't accessible on another computer without some maneuvering. EssentialPIM Portable is an alternative to Outlook that makes it easy to keep e-mail, schedules, and contacts handy wherever you go.
EssentialPIM Portable's portability doesn't come just from its small size. This attractive personal information manager can actually only be run on U3 smart drives. Its interface reminds us a lot of Outlook, and anyone with Outlook experience should find … Read more
Hopping onto several instant-messaging networks at once is often best done with the help of IM software, but in recent years Web-based chat tools have gotten to the point where software is not as much of a necessity. Shape Services, the maker of several mobile software applications, has put together just such a tool called IM+ for Web that does well to fit into that category.
Like the popular Meebo, IM+ for Web lets you connect to multiple IM networks at once and juggle several chats in one browser window. All the while it provides notifications when new messages arrive, … Read more
Label Spirit Professional offers to help design custom labels for any purpose. With a simple layout and a fantastic level of control, this is a great program to meet shipping needs.
We were struck by how much this program's interface looked like a boring graphic design program with its menus of design options, but immediately felt at home while working through its helpful wizard. We surfed through the program's list of labels and were pleased to find practically every brand and style imaginable. The word-processing tool to input addresses was nothing outstanding, but very functional. The program really … Read more
Typing on the iPhone/iPod Touch's keyboard can be arduous. This is never more evident than when trying to bang out messages in several instant-messaging conversations at once. Shape Services, the makers of the popular IM+ instant-messaging app ($9.99 App Store link), have realized this, and are soon rolling out a new version of the app that includes speech-to-text, albeit at a price.
Taking advantage of Apple's recently released in-app payment system, 99 cents a month gets you the feature, meaning that the annual cost of continuing to use it is about $12 a year. Not bad … Read more