Apple Watch, WatchKit, and false expectations

There’s a blog post making the rounds, likely because it allows Tesla and Apple Watch to both be crammed into a lede, about how useless the watch is without an iPhone, how pessimistic its future is for developers, and how Apple hasn’t delivered on what they “promised” at the event last September. In other words, it represents rage against a fantasy world very unlike the real one in which Apple very carefully set expectations at the event, on the product preview pages, and in the developer resources that followed. From the rant:

Although the opportunities seem pretty huge with Apple Watch, unfortunately, the current capabilities of the emulator-only development don’t match the expectations set after the keynote. We can now confidently say that creating anything really necessary and fully functional for Apple Watch with the current SDK version is very, very difficult, and many of the things promised at launch that were perfect for some business ideas are not at all available yet. The only thing left for the developers is to wait for spring 2015 when a new version of WatchKit will be released and Apple Watch will finally start selling.

The Apple Watch has no cellular radio and no GPS. It relies completely on its connection to an iPhone to exchange and update data. Apple made that crystal clear from the start. First generation Apple Watch extensions require an iPhone the way first generation iPod touch web apps required a Wi-Fi router.

And extensions are all Apple “promised” for the first version of the Software Developers Kit (SDK) — interactive notifications (short and long looks), widgets (glances), and remote views (WatchKit “apps”).

So, yeah, sorry you can’t yet build a native Tesla app with full, unfettered access to the hardware. Or, you know, a native game or native video player or… native anything. Because Apple only “promised” native apps for later this year.

It’s okay to want more faster. It’s human nature. But misrepresenting reality to spread FUD about a product and its development potential isn’t okay. It’s negative attention-seeking and, frankly, it’s bullshit.

You can Google for the article if you absolutely have to give it your page view. I’d recommend against it, though. David Smith‘s excellent, in-depth WatchKit series is far, far more deserving.



Posted Saturday January 31 2015 10:20 in News | Comments (0)

How to Stream the Super Bowl to Your iPhone or iPad, and Play the Best iOS Football Games

It’s Super Bowl time! It’s your last chance to watch real football for the next seven months. As such, we have compiled a number of football games for you to check out on iOS, and have helpfully found ways for you to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday on your iOS device.

There are plenty of ways to watch the Super Bowl. You can watch it on TV (and if you don’t have cable, pick up an antenna, all TVs in the past decade can pick up digital over-the-air signals in HD), you can watch it online on your computer from NBC Live Online. That should take care of most use cases. Here’s some alternatives, in decreasing order of plausibility.


NBC Sports Live Extra


NBC Sports Live Extra, Free
Thankfully, NBC this year is making the Super Bowl available to watch through their NBC Sports Live Extra without needing any kind of cable authentication at all. However, you’ll have to watch it through an iPad, as they don’t have rights to stream on a phone. Blame Verizon – they have the exclusive rights to NFL Mobile on phones. But just fire up the app, and you can watch the pregame coverage and the game through the app. The commercials won’t be airing through the app – there’s royalty issues involved – but you can catch those online, on that venerable football hotspot, Tumblr.

superbowlliveextra


NFL Mobile


NFL Mobile, Free
If you have Verizon, then the NFL Mobile app is your friend if you need to watch on an iPhone. It’s included with certain plans, otherwise you’ll need to purchase NFL Mobile Premium for your account. You will be able to watch the Super Bowl through the NFL Mobile app on your phone with that Premium subscription. You’ll also get NFL Network, so you can catch the post-game coverage on their channel.

NFL Game Pass (Non-US link): The options I’ve mentioned have been for the US. If you’re outside the US or Mexico, you can get the NFL Game Pass for $9.99 to watch the Super Bowl on your phone. If you are in the US, you may be able to find a way to get around it for your computer, but good luck on your iPhone.

The nutty, external hardware solutions: You can buy a device like an HD Home Run, which can pick up over-the-air signals and beam them to a DLNA-compatible video feed, which you can pick up through third-party apps like InstaTV Pro [Free]. Or you could rig up a solution with a Slingbox. At worst, you could pick up a cheap Windows or Android tablet and tether it to your iPhone and watch the game that way, to get around the NFL restrictions, if you really need to watch on the go and don’t have an iPad.

HD Home Run

Cut the bad influences from your life that require you to try and watch the biggest football game of the year from your freaking phone. Look, if you’re in a situation where the only way to watch the Super Bowl is on your iPhone, you need to evaluate your life. How did you get here? Why are there people who are putting you in this situation? If you’re working a job where you’re stuck watching the game clandestinely from your portable device of choice, then I absolutely understand, we all have bills to pay. And if you’re at a restaurant or bar, then hey – you’re providing a valuable service. Hopefully your workplace has a TV with the game on. But otherwise? Remove these bad influences from your life. The Super Bowl is the only truly communal event in America that we have left. If someone doesn’t care enough about you to let you watch the Super Bowl like a human being, on the biggest darn screen you got, then you don’t need them in your life. Spouse wants to do something else? Marriage is temporary, divorce is forever. Family keeping you back? Blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. Find a sports bar, a restaurant, wherever. When the clock hits 0:00 and all the confetti has fallen from the rafters, and hopefully Marshawn Lynch has won the Super Bowl MVP just for the most awkward moment in sports history (no offense, Patriots fans), you can worry about the choices you have made.

If you’re looking to get some football action on before the “big game,” or if the game’s a blowout and you need something to do to pass the time before the end of the game, here’s five options to enjoy some pigskin on your touchscreen.


Madden NFL Mobile


Madden NFL Mobile, Free
This is the most realistic NFL experience you can get. I say that not just because it’s EA and the Madden franchise, the longest-running NFL series on the market. They know football video games. I say that because much like the real NFL, they are not shy about taking your money, because it’s the NFL and it’s an EA free-to-play game. Much like FIFA 15 Ultimate Team [Free], you can assemble a team based on real-life players, take on friends online, and compete in a number of challenges.


Football Heroes: Pro Edition


Football Heroes: Pro Edition, Free
The original Football Heroes [Free] was a fun Tecmo Bowl tribute, but was entirely fantasy-based. This edition adds in a number of NFL players to play with, thanks to the NFL Players Association license. There aren’t NFL teams, but there are a number of thinly-veiled NFL team pastiches, like the Baton Rouge Sinners! This is also about collecting star players and building the best team possible, but the indie pedigree, touch-friendliness, and over-the-top action may make this one more palatable than the Madden game.


NFL Kicker 15


NFL Kicker 15, $0.99
Full Fat is well-known for their Flick games, and they have two American football variations. Take your pick between Kicker and NFL Quarterback 2015 [$0.99]. The QB game is probably more fun for the average NFL fan, because QBs are the stars, but the Kicker game is fun because you get to see buff kickers with cocky attitudes, and that’s just fun for the novelty of it. But Full Fat’s mastery of fun flick-based controls is undeniable in either case.


Touchdown Hero


Touchdown Hero, Free
Just released this week, this game gets marks for being one of the better flaplike takes on football. Also, it’s absurdly difficult. Like, anything past your first touchdown is an achievement thanks to the players coming at you. Thus, this is actually a really good kickoff return simulator.


American Football: Guns & Balls


American Football: Guns & Balls, Free
This deserves mention, if only because a game where one person kicks field goals while the other person tries to shoot them down is the most American thing ever. It has online play, too, because shooting footballs out of the air is only more fun when it’s another persons’ footblals. It’s a ridiculous, ridiculous concept for a game, and I dig it for the absurdity.

Posted Saturday January 31 2015 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Lamp and Vamp’

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Lamp and Vamp

Lamp and Vamp [$1.99] is definitely the underdog release of the week, but one that’s more than worth your time checking out if you’re into highly-strategic games. At first glance it might just look like a Vampire-themed version of Hoplite [$1.99], one of our all-time favorite games, and to be honest the two titles do have a lot in common. However, the more time you spend with Lamp and Vamp, the more you realize it’s very much its own thing while still holding onto many of the core concepts that made Hoplite so great.

lampandvamp lampandvamp1

The premise in Lamp and Vamp is that you’re a vampire who has just purchased a new castle to call home. To get to the castle you’ll need to make quite the trek through various villages, with each level being one section of a village. Much like Hoplite the levels are laid out on a hex grid and the action is turn-based, meaning you’ll make a move and then every enemy will make their move next. Also like Hoplite, this game is very strategic and quite difficult. You’ll need to really plan your moves out carefully and take advantage of your abilities in order to not be seen by the many angry villagers roaming about, who I should add are all very anti-vampire.

Your abilities consist of turning into a bat, which allows you to cross over a hex with an impediment on it, and a mist form which allows you to both move through objects and enemies. Both abilities require using your health to enable, and Lamp and Vamp is very well-balanced so that you can’t simply abuse your powers and brute force your way through the game. One of the very cool aspects to Lamp and Vamp and a big differentiator to Hoplite is the game’s use of stealth. Anywhere that’s out of the line of vision of an enemy is considered shadows that you can hide in, and if you plan accordingly you can even attack enemies who are right next to you and regain some health, providing they haven’t spotted you already.

Overall, the various elements in Lamp and Vamp come together beautifully, making for a very balanced, thoughtful and strategic roguelike game. If you enjoyed Hoplite chances are pretty good that you’ll enjoy this, as the two games are quite similar. At the same time, the two games differ enough that they can both happily live together and complement each other. As I said before this was another killer week for big-time releases, but if you’re a fan of this type of game then you won’t want to let Lamp and Vamp slip by.

Posted Saturday January 31 2015 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

The TouchArcade Show – 191 – Majora’s Conspiracy Theory

LogoSince we missed last week, we’re making up for it this week with an extra long episode of The TouchArcade Show. Jared and I start the show by talking about all the ridiculousness that’s happened in the world of the 3DS since we last recorded, then move on to the hottest games and news of the week before wrapping up the show with some requisite wrestling chat.

Don’t forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read ‘em all, even if they don’t make it into the podcast. As always, you can listen to us with the links below… And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Zune Marketplace: TouchArcade.com Podcasts
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-191.mp3, 84.6MB

Games

  • Radiation Island [$2.99]
  • Active Soccer 2 [$3.99]
  • Particle Mace [$2.99]
  • Pro Pinball [Free]
  • Touchdown Hero [Free]
  • Endless Balance [Free]

News

Posted Saturday January 31 2015 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

Best iPhone and iPad Games of the Week: 1/30/15 – ‘Particle Mace’ and ‘Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered’

This week’s top rated published game reviews represent a great spread of iOS gaming. On one hand we have the perfect iOS one-handed portrait mode game you can play on the toilet or while riding the subway… And on the other we have a great port of a fantastic “full” game experience. You can’t go wrong picking up both.


Particle Mace


Particle Mace, $2.99
[Review] – As a rule, I try not to buy early access games unless I absolutely feel the need to. Particle Mace on desktop was one of those games I stayed away from, but always had in my mind: the concept seemed intriguing, plus it was iOS bound sometime down the road. As such, when I found out that the game was leaving early access and releasing for iOS, I was extremely excited. One, I like seeing games actually leaving early access and becoming finished products, because early access trades on respecting your customer, and delivering on the promise that you’re finishing what you started as a developer. Early access can be a really great thing for developers and for players, but when developers use it as an excuse to just make money off of unfinished games, it’s saddening. Two, I was excited to actually play the game without compromising my principles. I’m willing to bend them when I feel like it, so I’m perhaps not the person to listen to, but I stick to it more often than not. Well, Particle Mace was well worth the wait. And the developer, Andy Makes Games, was smart in tweaking the game to fit iOS.


Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered


Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered, $9.99
[Review] – Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Quantic Dream’s Indigo Prophecy was recently rereleased on PC. Luckily, the developers also saw fit to port it over to iOS under the full title Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered as part of its decennial celebration. As a narrative-heavy action-adventure, Indigo Prophecy was excellent for its time and mostly makes a successful transition to Apple’s portable devices.

Additionally, we reviewed a few other games this week. As always, you can dig into all of our reviews by clicking here. Alternatively, you can hit up specific scores by using these links:

Posted Saturday January 31 2015 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

The ‘Puzzle and Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition’ Commercial Confirms It’s Still Just the Oddest Phenomenon

We find ourselves kind of fascinated by Puzzle and Dragons [Free] and its 3DS exploits. I mean, the game is a huge deal in Japan, and it’s kind of surreal seeing that the franchise is so big that it’s able to cross over with the Mario franchise. This TV commercial for the upcoming 3DS Puzzle and Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition started running in Japan, and while it’s just a 15-second glimpse at what to expect for the upcoming title, it’s still kind odd to watch this in motion:

Seriously, it’s just weird. This is a franchise that got huge on mobile, and now it’s jumping back to 3DS and using Nintendo’s own characters in a game. It’s like leaving your hometown, moving somewhere better, then opening a branch of your favorite restaurant in your hometown, reminding everyone: “things are better elsewhere.” All before you deliver the inevitable wrecking ball to the town. That metaphor may be a bit odd, but Mario’s starring in a version of a popular free-to-play franchise that could someday kill the platform Mario lives on. It’s just bizarre. This one is expected to release in the US in May.

Posted Saturday January 31 2015 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

Apple Won’t Approve the ‘Gunslugs 2′ Daily Challenge Update Because of a "Violent" Screenshot They Already Approved [UPDATE: Apple Just Approved the Update]

Orangepixel swiftly added in a daily challenge mode to Gunslugs 2 [$2.99] on other platforms, where he could update the games after only a short while. Well, there’s just one problem: the iOS version hasn’t gotten updated yet. And it’s because the app update has been rejected by Apple. Why? Because of a screenshot that “show[s] violence against a human being.” Well, let’s take a look at the gory, bloody screenshot in question:

Gunslugs 2 Rejected

So violent, so awful, I’m sorry you had to see that. Mind you, that screenshot was approved as one of the game’s screenshots in the launch version, so this is Apple figuratively saying “That screenshot is inappropriate. Except we’re leaving it up because it was approved earlier.” It’s quite possible this was a mistake from an App Store moderator who just went off the reservation a bit in not realizing that the game with the screenshot was approved already. But, considering that Apple’s job is to be the moderator of this sort of stuff, you’d hope they’d be paying a attention to this sort of thing.

Hopefully it gets worked out. And if you ever wonder why App Store screenshots don’t show much of the actual game, this may just be part of why: Apple might be willing to sell you the game but not show you the screen!

Update: Looks like at someone at Apple realized the silliness of what was going on here a couple hours after it all unfolded, and the update for the game has been approved and should be propagating through the App Store. It adds the aforementioned Daily Challenge mode, and a few other tweaks to the game.

Posted Saturday January 31 2015 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

‘And Yet It Moves’ Arrives on iOS from DeNA, Without the ‘And’

Continuing their string of premium releases on mobile that are adaptations of indie PC games, DeNA has just released And Yet It Moves on iOS as Yet It Moves [$2.99]. Broken Rules’ physics-based puzzle-platformer has you constantly rotating a world in order to help navigate it, watching as objects and obstacles move around, while also running and jumping to help navigate the levels. The game uses a paper theme for the hero and the world, and things like fire will slowly burn you to death. Ouch.

The mobile adaptation comes with the whole original game, along with a Daily Run mode that takes place in one of the game’s levels, with Everyplay support for video sharing. The controls use taps to run and jump, with swiping used to rotate the world around, a system that takes some practice to get used to, but hey, at least it’s not a virtual d-pad and button scheme. This was a pretty well-regarded indie game from 2009, and the world rotation is a fun system to play with, so you may want to check this out if you never did on Wii or PC.

Posted Saturday January 31 2015 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

The Long-Awaited ‘Midnight Star’ Releases Worldwide on February 5th

Been waiting for Midnight Star, the upcoming first-person shooter from Industrial Toys, founded by Bungie co-founder Alex Seropian? Well, good news: it releases worldwide next Thursday, February 5th. The game has been kicking around in soft launch since last summer back in the World Cup times, remember when we all cared about soccer for a few weeks? Well, the game has gotten its testing in, and now it’s ready for the world to see the latest attempt at making a high-profile touch-friendly FPS.

The game boasts an impressive creative pedigree, not just from former Halo creators. Sci-fi author John Scalzi worked on the game’s story. Serj Tankian, known as the lead singer of System of a Down, does the music for the game. If you can’t wait for the worldwide launch version and want to dive into the game’s universe right now, the Midnight Rises [Free] interactive graphic novel taking place in the Midnight Star universe is available now. Will this game take off, or will it fail like the last much-hyped attempt at making a touch-friendly FPS, The Drowning [Free]?

Posted Saturday January 31 2015 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

‘Space Marshals’ Gets First Sale Ahead of Upcoming Update

Did you catch wind of the Space Marshals [$2.99] Chapter 2 update coming soon, and realize that you haven’t yet checked the game out? Well, good news for you, as the game has just gone on its first sale, dropping down to $2.99 from its original $4.99 price. The second episode of the game will be a free update, so you’ll be getting more of the game without paying more for it.

Space Marhsals is a tactical dual-stick shooter, where you must use stealth and smart play to fight off hordes of enemies anda complete missions, trying to avoid getting into wild firefights. You can earn loot for performing well on the dozen-plus missions available in the first chapter of the game available now. There’s iCloud support if you’re the type that has an iPhone and an iPad and want to carry your progress across devices. It’s also quite the looker of a game. You can read our review here, and if you’re interested, be sure to pick this one up at the discounted price while it lasts.

Posted Saturday January 31 2015 06:40 in Applications | Comments (0)

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