Category: april fools day Gods Not Dead Medal Count
Yesterday T-Mobile introduced a new Simple Starter plan that could get you in the cellular door at $40/month, and today they're shaking things up again by reducing the price of the iPad + cellular to match that of their Wi-Fi-only siblings. Additionally, T-Mobile customers that activate a new iPad will get 1.2GB of free LTE data through the end of 2014.
Following General Motors
Even if the mention of trigonometry, calculus, or algebra gets your heart racing and your palms sweating, you still might appreciate this watch that demonstrates the first proposition in book one of Euclid's Elements. Because even if you don't know what that means, you can still look like you do, while still easily telling the time.
AirPrint is a great feature that lets the iPhone or iPad print to any compatible printer right over Wi-Fi, no awkward cables or frustrating drivers required. Unfortunately, not every printer is AirPlay compatible, especially older printers. So what can you do? Easy, just get a copy of Ecamm's Printopia and start using any printer as an AirPrint printer!
There are two versions of Printopia for you to choose from. One is for personal home use while the other is geared more towards corporations and schools. Make your choice and then purchase one or the other. Start with the one week free trial if you aren't sure which one suits your needs best.
Not only can you print directly to any printer from Printopia, you can also share anything you print to Dropbox, Evernote, and many other services. If you want things stored to a specific folder on your Mac you can do that too. For Printopia to work, just be sure your printer is connected to your Mac and that it's selected to be shared in the Preferences pane of your Mac, like pictured above. You can connect your printer either via a hard wired connection or through WiFi. Printopia should recognize either.
Once you've got Printopia installed and running on your Mac, there's nothing to install on iOS. It works the same way AirPrint would. Just choose a print option inside almost any app that supports printing. Not only should you see official AirPrint enabled printers, you should also see any printers shared within Printopia as well as options to send to your Dropbox, a folder on your Mac, and any other options you've configured.
Essentially the options for Dropbox, Evernote, and folders on your Mac are just a super convenient way to transfer documents back and forth using the native Print dialog that's already built into iOS. As long as you're on the same WiFi network and Printopia is running on your Mac, you're good to go!
If you've given Printopia a try, let me know in the comments how you use it. Has it removed the burden of having to find AirPrint compatible printers?
Understudy for iPad lets you not only learn a book but gain invaluable insight from someone who's already read and understood the material. If that sounds like mentoring, it is. But it's been reimagined for the iPad age. With the tap of a button you can join a FaceTime-like call where you can not only see each other and learn and communicate one-to-one, you can also share a whiteboard that updates in real time, allowing you to fully describe and comprehend the problems and solutions being discussed.
There are two books available at launch, MIT's famed Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. One science, one art. Once you pick your book you enter your email address and Understudy will let you know when there's someone further along than you are to talk to. Read a section of the book on your own during the week then present it to your mentor at the end of the week and use the face-to-face time and whiteboard to really hash it out. When you've progressed about a fifth of the way through you become eligible to mentor someone else.
While I haven't taught in academia, I have led workshops and I've learned and taught martial arts for decades. That involved a tremendous amount of master/apprentice style instruction where you learn material, get guided through it, and then attain an even greater understanding by learning how to teach it to others. It's something that's sorely lacking in most modern educational systems. Tutoring is its last refuge and it should come as no surprise how much a tutor and tutee can both teach and learn from each other.
You can use Understudy for free for up to two hours of talking a month. Anything more than that is just $5 a month. If you refer a friend, you both get a month for free. Understudy understands they'll need a network and some momentum to make this work and they're willing to offer some incentives to achieve it.
The brain-child of former Apple engineers Ken Ferry and Bridger Maxwell, there's a real sense here of wanting not only to make a great product but of wanting to make a real difference in education. The design, which includes a terrific ghost (invisible ink) button by Dave Wiskus and rainbow background, among many other things, by Neale van Fleet is clean and clear, marrying the blur effects of iOS 7 with the aforementioned whimsy all its own.
All of that said, all of that potential aside, Understudy is a version 1 product right now. The books are extremely limited and the network will take time and effort to build. The app itself will likely continue to evolve as well. I say that not to discourage anyone from trying it, but to do the exact opposite. This is the type of app that needs and deserves at least a look from as many people as possible. When it's on version 2 or 3 and there are dozens of books and thousands of mentors, Understudy could be truly transformative. But it'll take a community of help to get there.
If you have any interest in learning the basics of programming or to develop artistic talent you might never have know you had, but need a little bit of help to get there, give Understudy a shot.
March was an amazing month for iPhone and iPad gaming. Not only did GDC 2014 give us a sneak peek at what's coming next, but we got some really great games in our hands as well. March was fairly action-heavy to be sure, but there was some strategy tossed into the mix too. So, without further ado...
First Strike is a military strategy game where players vie for global nuclear superiority. The game starts as players control a major super power nestled in its respective corner of the globe. Slowly, players expand into neighboring countries and begin researching recon, efficiency, missile, and national military technologies. Then the stockpiling begins. Every country can store a handful of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and faster, short-range cruise missiles for defensive purposes. Research continues in the background, but it doesn’t take long before one player or another pushes the red button to launch the first nuke. As bleak as the premise may be, some proceeds of sales go towards nuclear disarmament campaigns.
Smash Hit has become a runaway, uh, hit. The premise is simple: tap the screen to toss a marble and shatter glass obstacles that are on your inalienable path. If you don’t and get hit, you lose marbles. Lose all your marbles, and it’s game over. You have to start from the beginning again with the free version, or you can cough up $1.99 to start from a set waypoint. Every section is littered with powerups and fresh batches of marbles to keep you going. If you manage to keep hitting the marble refill crystals without missing, you can fire off two, three, or five marbles at once. Smash Hit is very simply an on-rails shooter, but highly-polished physics of the marbles and the glass make for a massively accessible and compelling experience.
Wave Wave is an insanely difficult abstract one-touch runner game. Players are guiding a line through a gauntlet of triangular obstructions by tapping and holding the screen to climb, while when released, the line dives. Constant flickering and warping effects pose a significant challenge, and the intense 8-bit soundtrack won’t be soothing your nerves. Despite its obvious influence from Super Hexagon, Wave Wave stands very much on its own thanks to a more fleshed-out progression structure, varied disorientation effects, and a two-player mode. If you’re a sucker for punishment, play Wave Wave.
Surgeon Simulator is a morbidly hilarious game where players have to perform life-saving operations with all the ineptitude that touch input has to offer. Would-be doctors hold their tools with one finger, then tap at the target location with the other. At first it might just seem like there’s a lot of random flailing and blood everywhere, but every procedure has a process which you can review in your retro iZap PDA. There’s an unhealthy array of surgical tools to learn and master over the course of a lengthy single-player campaign, or you can try your luck at competitive multiplayer. All in all, Surgeon Simulator is a bloody good time.
Tank of Tanks is an adorable, fun, and simple local multiplayer game. Up to four players can claim a corner button. Their tank starts by rotating on the spot. By holding down the button, trundling forwards, and shooting brainlessly ahead. Once released, the tank rotates again in the opposite direction as originally, which provides for just enough difficulty for the game to be fun. Rounds are short and sweet, the levels dynamic, and the chunky 8-bit-style graphics are downright charming. Tank of Tanks is bound to be a fun, casual game among friends.
Mines of Mars, World Cruise Story, Clarc, Bonza, and oO are also worth checking out. Feel free to leave a comment here with your favorite releases over the last month, and hit me up on Twitter if you’ve got suggestions for apps or games to check out over April.
Faast for both iPhone and iPad is a new subscription based app that lets you combine your social accounts and news feeds into one easy to access stream. Aside from one unified place to view all things news and social, Faast has some great sharing and discussion features that adds another layer of social networking.
You can either add individual news feeds inside Faast or import existing ones from Dropbox, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, Feedbin, or OPML import. As for social, Faast currently supports importing Facebook and Twitter streams. The developer is also working on bringing Facebook Connect in the near future for easier login options.
There are several things that make Faast stand out over other traditional RSS and news apps. First are the sharing features that come bundled that allow you to easily share and discuss articles with other Faast users as well as sharing to social networks or individual contacts. Read it later support is also built in with the usual suspects including Instapaper and Pocket.
Since Faast is a subscription based service, you can choose to subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis inside the app. Faast is free to try and lets you share and receive items with your friends at no cost. To add sources, that's where the subscription tiers come into play. If you happen to try Faast out, let us know your thoughts in the comments!