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Get Ready for the New iPhone 5S/5C, Trade In Your Old iPhone

  • Author: Mr Sandeman
  • Filed under: iPhone
  • Date: Sep 20,2013

iphone5s

What’s not to like about the new iPhone 5S? A fingerprint reader that even reads your cat’s paws, a new A7 chip that makes the gorgeous iOS 7 run faster than the old versions on your old iPhone and an even slicker design. And how about that iPhone 5C with its vibrant colors and neat cases that come with it?

Of course you want to upgrade to one of these, and nowadays you luckily don’t have to worry too much about losing much money on your “old” iPhone. The value of used iPhones is always subject to the prevailing market supply/demand conditions – so to get right ahead of the pack, you needed to sell yesterday, or even before. This means you now need to shop around for the best value deals. There are a number of iPhone trade-in programs, each wit hits pros and cons. Let’s take a look at a few of the best ones.

1. Gazelle.com

Gazelle.com lets you sell any of your Apple devices and other electronics for cash in hands. The site first asks for on-screen confirmation of your iPhone model details. Next you grade your phone as good, flawless or broken, before receiving an instant offer to purchase. Gazelle offer a new price lock-in for iPhones if the sale is agreed before October 31st. This would allow you time to take delivery of your new phone before then sending off the old one to Gazelle for a check/PayPal settlement. Read the rest of this entry »


Up In the mix: PlayStation and mobile gaming

Mobile gaming is one of the hottest ways to play video games these days. Almost everyone has cell phone or other type of mobile device that allows gaming on the go. These devices range from tablets, cell phones and handheld gaming systems. Traditionally, these games were available via Android and iOS markets, respectively.  However, Sony announced earlier this year that along with the PSP and the PlayStation Vita, they will be entering the mix of mobile gaming in the same sense that Android and iOS already have. That’s right. The team behind PlayStation has created PlayStation Mobile, a brand-new ecosystem that looks to move beyond gaming on traditional consoles and mobile gaming devices. The announcement about PlayStation Mobile has left many asking questions about the future of mobile gaming.

What’s the difference?

After the announcement of PlayStation Mobile, many critics and gamers alike were skeptical of Sony’s new game plan. It would seem lans haven’t been completely thought out. For instance, PlayStation Mobile games are only available on certain devices.  It took a while for Sony to actually reveal which devices their new gaming lineup would be available on. The fact that the list is so small certainly limits the number of gamers they can expect to reach.

Many critics of Sony’s new plan are expecting a slightly new look for mobile gaming, but the same games. The screenshots of games that have been released certainly look cool, but for the most part they look exactly like games already available via Android and iOS. Gamers want to know what PlayStation is going to do to stand out. Most are still waiting for Sony to actually release PlayStation Mobile to answer that question.

What does this mean for developers?

The PlayStation Mobile release means learning a new system and knowing which system works best with a particular device. Having a new system could potentially open up doors to more games, more options and new technologies. Mobile gaming application development may just continue to skyrocket to new heights. If PlayStation Mobile takes off the way Sony hopes it does, developers need to prepare themselves.

What does this mean for gamers?

For gamers, PlayStation Mobile means more new games. It also means more downloads and the use of more mobile storage space. However, if Sony’s attempt performs like the company says it will, be prepared to play the same games with the same save files across a variety of different devices, which is a huge step forward for mobile gaming.

It’s still unclear whether Sony has made a sound investment in PlayStation Mobile. Many are still waiting to see what all the fuss is about. For the most part, Sony hasn’t done much to show that games will provide users with an experience they can’t already get with Android and iOS games. One thing is for certain: mobile gaming popularity is on the rise and technological developments will continue to roll out.


Gaming, Social Media and the Cloud

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: Game Center
  • Date: Jul 31,2012

Gaming Through Social Media

Social gaming has always been around, whether it was sitting around a Nintendo console or playing CounterStrike with friends online. But in recent years, gaming through social media platforms has become much more visible as a mainstream phenomenon. Of course, we can’t discuss this topic without mentioning Facebook games, which are now easy to play through smartphone and tablet apps as well. Words with Friends is a now-classic example of a multiplayer game that integrates seamlessly with social media, and FarmVille brings memories of tending sunflowers individually, but stopping by friends’ farms to help out, too.

More serious social media gaming is hitting the scene as well, as we see in Plyfe and Kiip, which combine social media, real life and games in just the right way. They allow users to earn real-life rewards, like merchandise, snacks and vacations, by playing games and interacting with others through the platform. These sorts of companies will expand their reach even farther as they tap into established social media networks.

Cloud Gaming Takes Off

The days of simple web games are long gone, thanks to the sudden surge in cloud computing. Now it’s possible to play huge, graphically detailed games, all without downloading anything to a computer. This transition from gaming on connected devices to gaming on the cloud is an important one because it makes it easier for people to connect with one another, given that they’re all tapping into a game run from the same set of servers.

The two leaders in cloud gaming are OnLive and Gaikai, which both allow users to play games on the cloud and connect with others at the same time. For instance, Gaikai has methods in place for people to chat with other gamers and even look in on what they’re doing, all in real time and without having to download anything. This social aspect is appealing, as is the ability to pick up the game from any device, which is important for people who aren’t tied down to a single desktop or laptop computer anymore.

The Future of Gaming: Bringing it All Together

Companies are looking to draw together these converging factors to create new gaming experiences. For example, take GFace, a new social network focused on gaming. The network is cloud-based and seeks to bring gamers console-quality play within the convenience and connections of a social network. By taking a hobby and designing a social network and gaming system around it, companies like GFace are likely to take off as people get drawn into the connectivity and ease of use.

Technology is increasingly shaping the way we spend our time, and it’s largely doing so in a way that connects us with one another. Social media’s role in the gaming world is an increasingly important one, given that technology is allowing people to play high-quality games through Internet connections alone. The connectivity has big implications for the future of gaming as people can more easily connect and collaborate on games in the cloud. With cloud hosting companies like Rackspace–a founder of the open source cloud platform OpenStack–offering high availability in their data centers, it’s only a matter of time before we see more cloud gaming choices pop up and experience a spike in cloud gaming adoption.


Top 5 iPhone Puzzle Games

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: iPhone
  • Date: Apr 2,2012

Puzzles are among the most popular games that people download on their mobile devices: searches for favorite puzzle games occur as often as searches for any other type of downloadable game. Puzzles are fun and arguably addictive, and can also be useful for testing a person’s problem solving skills. They are also recommended for people for logic (reasoning) strengthening, pattern recognition, sequence solving, strategy and word completion.

The iPhone is one of the most popular mobile devices on the market. The iTunes store makes it easy for iPhone owners to download puzzles as well as thousands of other games. Below are five popular puzzles, each of which challenges players in different ways.

Bejeweled Blitz

Cost: Free

This is the same game that people find so addictive on the Internet. Although Bejeweled Blitz is largely a game of luck, it also tests your focus. The object is to match as many gems as you can in one minute. The iPhone app connects to a browser version of the game with Facebook, allowing you to compete against your friends and view scores on a cross-platform leader board.

Scribblenauts Remix

Cost: $0.99

Scribblenauts Remix is a puzzle game that challenges your creativity. Players write any word that they want, modify it with an adjective, and bring that object to life in order to solve puzzles.  Although this is an action-packed game, it’s a thinking person’s game as well. Scribble Speak, which simplifies the game by allowing players to say the words rather than type them, is exclusive to iPhone 4S.

Sudoku

Cost: Free

Sudoku is the same Japanese puzzle game that is available in puzzle books and newspapers. The object is to put the numbers 1-9 into a grid of cells; no row or column can have the same number more than once, which makes this game very challenging. This app has four different skill levels, multiple color schemes and approximately 700 puzzles. Additionally, there are different puzzle styles, including standard, symmetrical and patterned.

W.E.L.D.E.R. Words

Cost: $0.99

W.E.L.D.E.R. Words received the iPhone Game of the Week Award, and it was also designated the top iPad Game of 2011. This word game challenges you to create words and gain points by using gems and gold tiles. The rules are simple: the more words you create, the more rewards you earn. Special reverse, jump swaps and group make it possible for players to clear broken tiles and create more words. With multiplier tiles, you earn even more points. Phones that use the iOS 5 operating system have a built-in dictionary, which you can consult for help.

Unblock Me

Cost: Free

Unblock Me is a free puzzle game that challenges you to slide blocks out of the way so you can get the red block off of the board. It comes as a 400-puzzle pack in the beginner level; however, there are 200 more unique puzzles as part of the intermediate and advanced levels.

People are always drawn to video games. The games that are available as apps for cell phones offer challenges to users that range from sheer luck to creativity, logic and the ability to come up with words. Some are also interactive in that they are entwined with social media networks, as is the case with Bejeweled. If you are a puzzle lover, then these five top iPhone games are definitely worth investigating. Have fun!


Shining, Shimmering, Splendid: iPad 3′s Retina Display Dazzles

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: iPhone
  • Date: Mar 26,2012

Chances are you have heard about the new Apple tablet affectionately named “iPad 3.” If you’re wondering what the big deal is with the buzz surrounding Apple’s latest tablet, then you really haven’t been paying attention. Perhaps the most talked about, and hyped aspect of the new iPad is the retina display. While the retina display is not new to Apple — the iPhone 4 saw the introduction of the retina display in mid-2010 — but the flashy new display is a key piece of what makes the new iPad great for gamers. There are already some games that push the limits of the iPad’s new display and many argue that the iPad retina display outshines every other tablet on the market in the video quality category. Still, others wonder if the new retina display is enough to drive hardcore gamers to the iPad.

Some Amazing Graphics Features

  • Retina Display – In case you were wondering whether or not the new retina display was awesome, we’ll bang that drum one more time — the new iPad retina display is awesome. It boasts four times the video resolution of the iPad 2. What does this mean in numbers? For the true gadget nerds out there, this means a resolution of 2048-by-1536, 44 percent more color saturation and upwards of 3.1 million pixels on the screen. That’s over 3 million pixels on a 9.7-inch screen.
  • Quad-Core Graphics Processing –There is some controversy surrounding the iPad’s A5X quad core graphics processing claim. Without getting too technical, the argument is that Apple misrepresented the GPU capabilities, or that the new iPad is not truly capable of quad-core graphics processing. Wherever you land on this issue, it’s undeniable that the graphics processing capabilities on the new iPad are superior to most tablets on the market. Tested against other tablets, the new iPad performs complicated graphics processing tasks much quicker, and with minimal to zero latency.
  • Up to 1080p HD — While not a graphics-specific feature, this is a neat tool for anyone interested in tech gadgets of the future. That is, the new iPad can shoot HD video up 1080p, which is a significant upgrade from the iPad 2 that shot digital video up to 720p.

So, Will Gamers Migrate to the iPad HD? Probably.

It would surprise no one to find that Apple’s recent foray into mobile gaming was no coincidence — especially with the release of the new iPad. The key to attracting the most hardcore gamers has to do with mobile graphics processing. Without a powerful graphics processor, mobile gaming is pointless. But this is where things have gotten a little fuzzy in the race for the fastest graphics in the tablet world. Many tablets that claim to have the best graphics are often making that claim while running a dual core graphics processor. But considering that Apple upgraded the iPad HD’s video processor to quad-core processing with the new A5X processor, that claim can no longer hold up. This is where the graphics race expects to get heated. More and more hardware manufacturers are beginning to develop quad core graphics processors, which will bring mobile gaming to the next level.

 


The Line Between Games and Reality Further Blurred

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: Reviews
  • Date: Mar 26,2012

As time goes on, technology gets more and more sophisticated and video games are becoming increasingly more realistic. Today’s games have stunning graphics, imaginative story lines, improved game interactions and controls, and online player connectivity. Video games are becoming increasingly more advanced, yet today’s entrepreneurs often still gain inspiration from the classic video games of yesteryear.

Many of today’s young entrepreneurs have fond memories of playing video games like Super Mario Brothers on the old Nintendo Entertainment Systems and that has given them ideas to create new and inventive products that are reminiscent of the older classic video games. In that sense, older games are becoming even more real than modern games.

Consider the following:

Mario Coins For Real

Bryan Duxbury and Adam Ellsworth have brought the iconic mystery box to reality in a true feat of creativity over day jobs.

The two have created an interesting and innovative lamp based on Super Mario Bros., the old Nintendo game. One can turn the light off and on by punching the lamp, which then makes a sound of coins after it is tapped. After every eight hits, the lamp rewards the owner with the 1-Up sound. Duxbury had this idea for quite some time, but it wasn’t until he met Ellsworth did the project get off the ground. Ellsworth works in 3D printing, so he used a three dimensional printer to create a rapid prototype of the lamp within a week after he received it from Duxbury.

Rapid prototypes allow for the creation of three dimensional scale models or even working prototypes with the assistance of computer aided design. This means that simple to intricate objects can be manufactured with computer aided design without the need to have manufacturing facilities at home or even at work. One can submit an interesting design to a rapid prototyping company, and they can create a 3D product. This can revolutionize the way at-home entrepreneurs can get his or her ideas to the marketplace and beyond.

While the initial 8BitLit prototype was far from perfect, it gave the two hope that they were onto a great product. Future tweaking led to the great product that they have today. The lamp is proving to be so popular that the two are contemplating expanding their online store to include more lamp accessories and even more lamps.

Modern technology is improving rapidly by leaps and bounds. Ideas and concepts such as rapid prototyping are giving an almost immediate 3D product out of a mere idea. If we are able to create an almost instantaneous reality out of an idea, the future is boundless and unlimited. If rapid prototypes can create an invention out of a concept within a week, then the prospects for innovation and creativity are almost infinite. The future is bright and the limitless possibility for invention and advancement are within our grasp.

Just don’t tell the cosplayers.

 


The Death and Rebirth of Mobile Gaming(Or, Give Me Buttons or Give Me Death!)

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: Games
  • Date: Mar 22,2012

Remember the Lynx? How about the N-Gage? Yeah, most people don’t because they were out and out flops upon their release. However, if you’re of a certain age you probably remember the Gameboy. Ever since the late 1980s Nintendo had the portable gaming market cornered, but with the less-than-stellar initial sales figures for the 3DS, bloggers and gaming gurus alike have forecast the end of portal gaming as we know it. “Oh no! Smartphones are taking over the gaming market! Whatever will Nintendo do?”

The narrative about the demise of portable gaming has persisted since before the iPhone’s release and continues with last month’s release of Sony’s PlayStation Vita. Industry analysts cited the lower cost and high popularity of the iPhone as a death knell for portable gaming with its dedicated devices and $40 games. The truth is, mobile gaming and portable gaming are really two different markets and cross-pollinate more than people like to think.

iOS and Android games have exploded into their own market. Angry Birds is a genre defining cultural phenomenon. How many Words With Friends games do you have open right now? The market for free/chap, easy-to-play, casual experiences is booming and there is no better place to play those games than on a smartphone or tablet. But that’s slowly changing.

The mobile gaming development community designs games for rapid consumption on mobile devices. Sony has had trouble in the past with regurgitations of console experiences on handhelds, which doesn’t work well all the time; only a small segment of society want to play a 40 hour RPG on their bus rides. As a result, mobile developers oftentimes cut their teeth in the iOS/Android market and then use their mobile acumen to design games for the 3DS or Vita that are more robust but distinctly portable experiences.

The sales figures on the PS Vita – 1.2 million worldwide as of Feb. 2012 – are impressive by portable standards, though not as staggering as smartphone sales. Comparing the PS Vita to the 3DS makes sense, while comparing either device to a smartphone doesn’t. They’re essentially different platforms with different abilities and different properties.

Mobile gaming hits a different market of consumers than portable gaming. Sure, the two overlap to a point, but the people who buy an iPhone or an Android do so to have a phone and a mobile device first. How many consumers rush out and purchase an iPhone 4S for an Angry Birds update? The games on these platforms are just an added bonus and not the reason to purchase the device in the first place.

The market for portable consoles is controlled by other desires. Buyers want the newest launch titles and the depth of gameplay that most mobile games lack, according to Brendan Sinclair from GameSpot. They want buttons for their games, not inaccurate touchscreens! They buy the platform that supports the titles they want to play — exclusive titles in many cases. If players want the newest Mario game they need to buy a 3DS and many are more than willing to shell out the cash. Of course it’s not the same number of people who will spend 99 cents on an iPhone game they might play once and never look at again. The mindsets behind the purchases are totally different.

The numbers behind the failure of the handheld gaming consoles don’t stack up either. The original DS beat the Gameboy as the highest selling portable console in U.S. history (51 million sold). In the first year of its life the 3DS sold 4.5 million units in the U.S. alone. There’s little doubt it won’t beat the original DS in terms of sales in the long run, but it’s unrealistic to think it could. Not to mention, the ‘failure’ is more of a moderate success. It doesn’t mean the end of portable gaming but rather a shift, according to Eric Caolli of Tiny Cartridge.

The mobile market is already cornering the casual crowd, while the market for systems like the PS Vita and 3DS is moving to a smaller base, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for dedicated gamers. It means Nintendo might stop mucking up their systems with third-party stinkers and get back to some solid titles for once. If portable gaming has to ‘die’ for that to happen, I hope the zombie corpse that comes back has some cool games on it.

 


Mobile Linebacker puts you in the defense line of football as a linebacker. The developer guys at VIVA! Vision Inc. and VODA digital LLC probably figured that kids nowadays are woosies and should learn to catch some hits. After all, offense is just a matter of having guts; defense is all about being a real man and fighting ’til the end!

The game includes about 20 new plays, and was developed in collaboration with some kings of defense such as Joe Tafoya of the Arizone Cardinals, Chike Okeafor of the San Francisco 49ers and Running Back Kerry Carter of the Seattle Seahawks amongst others.

Today, a new update for the game was released, a reason for us to finally write about this game as it’s unique in the field of sports games for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Read the rest of this entry »


Van Buren – An Introduction

  • Author: Van Buren
  • Filed under: Site Updates
  • Date: Feb 4,2012

Triple Entendre iPhone appsI would like to take this opportunity to allow myself to introduce… myself. I’m a new writer here at iPwnGames (and in the blogosphere in general), and I’m looking forward to sharing my views and insights with you, the readers. First, a little bit of background. I’m an attorney, or at least I used to be. I’m currently working as an app developer for the Van Buren Boys – a development company started by myself and another attorney. I taught myself objective C, and started programming for the iPhone in 2011. Since then, the Van Buren Boys have released numerous apps in the iTunes app store, under the Triple Entendre brand. We have had some success and some failure. Certainly I have learned a lot about the processess of coding, submitting, and marketing in the mobile gaming space. Read the rest of this entry »


Gaming Veteran Robin Burrowes Moving to Help Develop App Store for Apple

  • Author: Justin Taylor
  • Filed under: App Store
  • Date: Feb 2,2012

Robin Burrowes AppleApple has brought on another veteran gaming expert to help develop their App Store. Robin Burrowes, a former marketing manager over at Microsoft and Xbox will be a major addition to the App Store and gaming focus for Apple. In Burrowes’ his time at Xbox he was in charge of Xbox live for the UK, playing a major role in the dashboard update last year as he attended several conferences all over the globe. His seven years of experience working for Xbox and Xbox Live should be a big addition to the gaming aspect of the App Store.

His previous time working on Xbox materials are likely to phase into new ideas involved with the App Store in general and with its games. This comes at a time when the App Store and Apple’s products are hitting a new height in popularity. Their new products have been successful for years, but the dropping prices in refurbished iPhone- and iPad-models have brought the older versions of their products into even more homes. Read the rest of this entry »