The New iPad Revealed – Dower’s Thoughts on the New iPad

So, the latest generation of the iPad has been officially revealed. Oddly enough, it doesn’t bear the name of “iPad HD” or even “iPad3”. Apple seems to be referring to it as the “New iPad“. I suppose it’s their way of removing the numeral that’s been attached to the device… Although I think that’s a bit silly, since most people will refer to it as the iPad3 anyway. Name asside, what’s important is what the big hubbub about this latest iteration is.  

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The Big Day has Arrived – The iPhone 4S Hits Stores Today!

It all comes down to this! Today is the big day, when all the Apple fan folk line up like cows for the slaughter at their favorite retailer to attempt a walk-in purchase of an iPhone 4S. Now, the likelihood of snapping up an iPhone like this, from my experience, has been slim to none, unless you were some of the folks with abundant disposable time to sit outside an Apple store for 10 days. Over at Macrumor’s is a blog post showing some of the lines that are forming from various places around the globe. From a business standpoint, it’s unreal how much insanity comes from an Apple product release, I don’t think any other company in the world can do this but Apple! Most companies get some mild traction, if it’s something interesting, but nothing on this level… But I digress… 

Now, I bet all you readers out there are wondering – What about me? I’m a Apple-Fan-Boy-Wanna-Be. Will I go and stand outside with the rest of these good fan folk? Heck No! This old man did the smart thing, I pre-ordered it from AT&T! It’s coming in the mail tomorrow – Sucka’s! I walked right into my local, standalone store (not the mall one), and spoke to a lovely woman names Shana, and said, “I’d like to pre-order an iPhone 4S”. that’s it, no lines, no camping and no asking people to hold my place while I rummage for a lavatory. So, when it arrives tomorrow, I’ll be sure to have some pretty photos and videos about it, so stay tuned. 

Before I go, I wanted to share this little link, which I think is pretty funny. It’s from PC Magazine’s web site. Samsung, which is currently embroiled in a pissing contest with Apple, can’t be outdone by all this attention, so they’ve decided to try and convert some folks to Android in Sydney. Samsung has setup some temporary Galaxy S stores by the lines outside the Apple store. It’s brilliant, and sad at the same time!

Lastly, CNN’s got an article showing Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, in line for an iPhone 4S! Steve’s been one of my childhood nerd hero’s and I think it’s pretty cool that he’s there!

Tomorrow’s news should be filled with more goodies like this, so stay tuned and I’ll report any interesting shenanigans I find here.

Feel free to share any interesting tidbits with me.

Apple Announces iPhone 4S, no iPhone 5

iPhone 4SToday was the big day, Tim Cook made his debut appearance without the esteemed Mr. Jobs, to announce all the new things that Apple has had up it sleeve. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the new iPhone has been a long overdue addition to Apple’s technology lineup. Unfortunately, this event wasn’t televised or streamed, so I had to rely on liveblogs from the Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) and Engadget to keep me informed this afternoon. The event was held at 10am PST, and the liveblogs began rolling around 1pm EST. I won’t go into gross detail about what happened at the presentation, if you want, Engadget had some great coverage with photos, so you should head over there if you want all the nitty gritty. But the big things were the announcements of the new iPod Nano, iPod Touch, IOS 5 features, and lastly, the new iPhone. The iPhone 4S is the new model for this year, and the only new model, no iPhone 5, as the internet rumor mill surmised. 

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My God it’s Full of Games! Humble Bundle and Final Fantasy Tactics

This week is quite a week for games. The folks over at the Humble Bundle are running their charity event again, Humble Bundle #3. If you don’t know what that is, its basically a charity event that raises money for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child’s Play, at the same time it offers exposure to independent game developers and a chance for them to make a few dollars too. This Humble Bundle includes the following games: Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, VVVVVV, Hammerfight, And Yet It Moves, and Steel Storm. You also get a promo to play Minecraft until August 14. As an additional bonus, anyone paying above a certain minimum (currently $5.20) can also get the games in the previous Humble Bundle, which includes, Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, and Revenge of the Titans. All told, that’s 11 game, not counting the time limited Minecraft promo, quite a deal indeed!

Today also marks Square Enix’s release of Final Fantasy Tactics for the iPhone, for $15.99. The price seems steep in comparison to other games on the Apple App Store, but this is a port of the latest Playstation Portable (PSP) version, and at half the price of the PSP version! For those unfamiliar with the series, Final Fantasy Tactics is a turn-based strategy game that’s been around since the Playstation One days and set the standard for just about all turn based strategy games that have come out since. Square-Enix has also made a very strong showing on the Apple platform, by making quality ports of their Final Fantasy games, and even a new game series called “Chaos Rings”. So Final Fantasy Tactics should be pretty darn good. My only reservation is Square-Enix has the habit of releasing separate iPhone and iPad versions, instead of a universal version, which means I will need to buy the iPad version separately when it comes out later this fall, and I don’t relish the idea of buy the game twice… Even with this in mind, I’ll probably still pick this up.

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS: THE WAR OF THE LIONS - SQUARE ENIX Co., LTD.

Review: Doctor Wunda’s Recyclatron for iPad

Matching Puzzle games are nothing new to Apple’s App Store, but Doctor Wunda’s Recyclatron by 3Squared adds a new twist to the equation. The best way I can describe the game is you are on an assembly line sorting out several objects into one of four alternately scrolling conveyor belts for Dr. Wunda; who appears to be a zany German scientist. The conveyors show shadows of the objects you are to match up, each conveyor also moves at a slightly different speed. As you successfully match shapes you increase your score, build up bonuses, and garner praise from the good doctor. Not all the objects that appear match something on the conveyor, so you need to make a choice to discard the objects and incur a point deduction. Once all shapes are matched up, you complete the level and move onto increasingly harder conveyors. Each set of levels are also grouped by material type, and each silhouette becomes more tricky to match. Throughout your sorting tasks is a whacky repetitive song that seems well suited for the game, but it does become a bit grating after a while. Mercifully, there’s an option to turn the music off; although doing so seems to diminish the game a bit.

The game could use some additions, like maybe a timer or clock to beat to add additional challenge to the game, but all in all, it’s a fun game for all ages, and 3Squared is planning on releasing additional levels sometime in the future.

Doctor Wunda’s Recyclatron - 3Squared Ltd.

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Mass Effect 2 Arrival DLC has Arrived!

If you don’t know what Mass Effect is, than you can’t call yourself a gamer! Go buy it now and play it! Bioware has released today their latest and last downloadable expansion for the Mass Effect 2 game. I’ve only done some light reading on the expansion, since I don’t want to spoil it for myself, but this expansion finds Commander Shepard (the main hero of the story) alone, without his squad, on a rescue mission. He must rescue a scientist who has information on an impeding invasion. The expansion is priced at around $7.00,which falls in line with the cost of the other 3 expansions. Needless to say I’m itching to dive into the expansion. Now I just need to find time to do so…

If you want to head over to Bioware’s DLC page, click here