Thursday, January 31, 2013

Heroes and Castles

I have been looking for a fun fantasy/RPG on my iPad with easy controls and fun aspect to it for quite a while. I think H&C may have wet that whistle. Recently I have been fully invested in Clash of Clans but that has started to become repetitive and uninteresting to me. Not that I quit playing CoC but I just wanted something different but similar to play on my iPad.

H&C launched in mid-January and is currently only $1.99 in the iOS App Store. H&C is a universal iOS game that will run on the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

H&C features some amazing graphics, iCloud sync support which allows you to install H&C on another iOS device but not lose any of your progress. You have several modes to choose from including: single player campaign mode, multiplayer mode which allows you to team up with a random ally, and a yet to be launched mode called "Siege" which I am not sure what that is at the moment as it is not available to play yet but is coming soon.

There are 31 levels total in the single player campaign mode with each level a tad more difficult than the previous level. You can also upgrade your castle and defenses to help you beat each level more easily. During game play you can collect gold from you gold mine to build archer towers, or purchase Giants, and more to help defend your castle from attack.

The controls are basic, the left side of the screen is the analog stick, the right side is the run button, attack button, and the "look around" area which allows you player to look up, left, right, down. I found the controls to easy to handle, while I am not a fan of onscreen controls I didn't have too much of a problem playing H&C. Looking around is kind of funky and if you get against a wall your player disappears sometimes making it hard to know where you are and which direction you are facing. There is also an option that allows you to connect an iPod Touch to the iPad and use the iPod as a controller while viewing the gameplay on an iPad. I am not a huge fan of that because I feel it makes it hard staring at 2 screens which is needed because virtual controls offer no feedback so you sometimes have to peek to see where your fingers are on the screen and make sure you are tapping the correct button.

If you have not done so yet check out the video demo above for a more in-depth view of the game and the options that are available for Heroes and Castles.

You can download Heroes and Castles from the App Store:

Heroes and Castles - Foursaken Media (iPad, iPad mini)

Heroes and Castles - Foursaken Media (iPhone, iPod Touch)

Developer Website

Power Monkey Extreme Solar iPad Tablet Charger Red

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to screencast with an iPad

A quick video showing you how I screencast my iPad and record it for videos.

Please note: Reflection (now called Reflector) is $14.99, not $9.99 as I say in the video.

Applications I use:


ScreenFlow by Telestream, Inc.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Opteka X-Grip

Just a quick unbox video, I bought both these items on Amazon last week to go with my Canon EOS 650D. I plan to do full reviews of both products in the next 2 weeks or so. Stay tuned.

Purchase on Amazon:

Opteka X-Grip ($19.95)

NEEWER® 160 LED CN-160 Dimmable Ultra High Power Panel Digital Camera / Camcorder Video Light ($40.83)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Theme Park for iOS

Theme Park is a universal iOS application for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Theme Park is free to download but the game does rely heavily on IAP (In-App Purchases).

Honestly I am not a huge fan of these types of games, I feel they are aimed at children with the only goal of getting them to spend real money for fake items in the game. I installed Theme Park for my daughter on her iPad mini and she enjoyed the game from the moment she started playing, but after about 10 minutes she was nagging me for my iTunes password so she could purchase roller coasters. I am sure this is what EA had in mind with this "freemium" style of game play with Theme Park.

Check out the video for the full review/demo:

Disable In-App Purchases:

Get ready for the biggest update yet! Populate your park with Entertainers (like The Strong Man) that your visitors (and you) will love. In addition, there are brand new attractions, Mystery Boxes (so you can score special prizes), a new level cap, and even more park expansion areas!

Download Theme Park in the iOS App Store:
Theme Park™ - Electronic Arts (iPad, iPad mini)

Theme Park™ - Electronic Arts (iPhone, iPod Touch)

Friday, January 25, 2013

BPMon for iPad

BPMon is a blood pressure monitor tool to help keep up with and record your blood pressure data on a daily basis, It is an app for recording, editing, exporting data, calculating and drawing statistics and reports. This is a very nice app, I highly recommend it if you are looking for an app on your iPad to keep up with your blood pressure on a daily basis. This is a great way to chart your blood pressure, it has easy export tools so you can email your data to your physician.

BPMon is a universal application that will work on both the iPhone/iPod and the iPad, it is a $1.99 in the App Store, you can download it here:
BPMon - Blood Pressure Monitor - Anatoly Butko
BPMon - Blood Pressure Monitor - Anatoly Butko

Shared Photo Stream

With iOS 6 Apple introduced a new feature that not only works well in OS X but also terrific in iOS for the iPad and iPhone. On the iPad side of things shared Photo Stream works great in the Photos app that comes preinstalled on the iPad. Shared Photo Stream is a great way to share your photos with a private album for your family and friends. If you don’t want a private album you can also create a web album for public sharing, just remember it is public and anybody with the link can view the photos if you set it up as public.

Setting up a shared Photo Stream on the iPad is very easy to do. Oddly though you can only use the Photos app to actually create a new Photo Stream album. For some odd reason Apple decided not to add the functionality to iPhoto on the iPad which leaves me totally baffled. I can use iPhoto on the iPad to view my albums, I can also edit the photos in the album but I cannot add anything to the album from the app nor can I create a new shared Photo Stream album. I am not sure why Apple would cripple their most powerful photo app on the iPad? To add insult to injury you can actually create albums to share to Facebook and Flickr which really leaves me more baffled. Not sure what Apple is aiming to accomplish here but it is a head scratcher.

To set up a new shared album to share you will need to do the following:

  • Open the Photos app
  • In Photos view, tap the edit button on the top right
  • Tap on each photo, you will see a blue checkmark appear on your photos
  • After selecting each photo, tap the Share button on the top left
  • Choose Photo stream
  • Choose New Photo Stream
  • Name your Photo Stream, Add email recipients, choose Public or not
  • Tap Next
  • Type a comment for your Photo Stream if you like, if not tap Post on the top right

That is it, you have now created a shared Photo Stream that is either available publicly or if private to those you have invited to view the photos. If you invite someone who is on iOS or OS X they will get a notification on their iPad, iPhone or Mac if they are using the latest versions of the OS (iOS 6 and Mountain Lion). Also others can leave comments or ‘Like’ the photo by tapping the smiley face icon.

Another cool aspect for OS X users is the fact that if you are using Photo Stream with either Aperture or iPhoto the updates to the albums shared by others happen seamlessly. You will get a nice notification in Mountain Lion that will open up either Aperture or iPhoto depending what you are using for Photo Stream. You can easily add new photos in the application to your own Photo Stream album.

A few downsides to Photo Stream are the fact you cannot add your own photos to a Photo Stream created by someone else. I am sure that feature will be added in the near future. As well as the ability to use iPhoto on the iPad and iPhone to create Photo Streams. Shared Photo Streams that are set to private can only be viewed in apps that have access to iCloud such as Photos app or iPhoto, private Photo Streams do not work on, they will also show up in Aperture or iPhoto on OS X depending which app you are using for Photo Stream.

This is probably my favorite feature of iOS 6 and I am glad to have something to finally replace my MobileMe Gallery. Check out my public Total iPad Photo Stream. Have you tried shared Photo Stream? Do you plan on using shared Photo Stream? If so please let me know via Twitter.

For more information about Photo Stream please visit

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Craigslist Pro+ for iPad

Craigslist Pro+ by Escargot Studios is an excellent native Craigslist application for the iPad. Recently Craigslist officially licensed this application. I have tried several other Craigslist applications on my iPad and this is by the best of the bunch.

Some of the features of the application include:
  • Post from multiple Craigslist accounts
  • Multi-City searches
  • Bulit-in Google Maps
  • Save your favorite listings
  • Post to Craigslist with Photos
  • GPS auto-location
  • Multiple views (image or text)
  • Email seller from the application
  • Sort by date, best match, location and price
  • Much more..
If you enjoy Craigslist either as someone who sells on Craigslist or someone who buys on there and you are using an iPad this the app you want. Craigslist PRO+ is an iPad only applicatoin, it is only a $1.99 in the App Store.

cPRO+ craigslist client with Notifications for iPad - Escargot Studios, LLC

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

iTunes 11 - Keyboard Shortcuts

Command + ,Preferences…
Command + HHide iTunes
CommandOption + HHide Others
Command + QQuit iTunes
Command + NPlaylist
Option + Command + NSmart Playlist…
Command + WClose Window
Command + OAdd to Library…
Command + UOpen Stream…
Command + PPrint…
Command + IGet Info
Shift + Command + RShow in Finder
Command + ZUndo
Shift + Command + ZRedo
Command + XCut
Command + CCopy
Command + VPaste
Command + ASelect All
Shift + Command + ASelect None
Fn + FnStart Dictation…
Option + Command + TSpecial Characters…
Command + JView Options…
Command + BShow Column Browser
Option + Command + UShow Up Next
Command + /Show Status Bar
Command + FSearch
Command + TShow Visualizer
Control + Command + FEnter Full Screen
Command + .Stop
Command + Next
Command + Previous
Command + LGo to Current Song
Control + Shift + CommandNext Chapter
Control + Shift + CommandPrevious Chapter
Command + Increase Volume
Command + Decrease Volume
Command + EEject Disc
Command + [Back
Command + ]Forward
Shift + Command + HHome
Command + RReload Page
Command + MMinimize
Option + Command + 1iTunes
Option + Command + 2Equalizer
Option + Command + 3MiniPlayer
Option + Command + MSwitch from/to MiniPlayer
EnterPlay the Currently Selected Song from the Beginning
Command + 1Open "Music"
Command + 2Open "Movies"
Command + 3Open "TV"
Command + 4Open "Shows"
Command + 5Open "Podcasts"
Command + 6Open "Books"
Command + 7Open "Apps"