Now children as old as 4 years old can experience the joys of weaponry with the new NRA: Practice Shooting app, now available for all. This app includes gun safety tips, different state gun laws, and various “educational materials.” The app itself is free with an option to “upgrade” your various weapon for $0.99. And really, the only part of this that makes this a game is just a point-and-shoot gun range. This really isn’t a political statement of any sort but age 4… 4?!
In fairness, most media outlets are focusing on the fact that the age range for the app is quite low, and not much else. I’ve heard the argument be made that this was not an intentional choice made by the NRA to have that age on the app store, but rather a function of the content in the game itself when submitting to the store. It isn’t a “violent” app in the sense that you are not shooting live targets, and there is no horror content or bad language. Which, if that is the case, then (at least) it exposes a flaw in the submission process to Apple. Many stories have risen stating a lot of folks learned to shoot quite young, usually depending on which state you were born in. And while I would think gun safety education would be of the utmost importance if you had firearms in the house, children or not, this app probably isn’t the way to do it.
In a dramatic turn of events we decided to do an AppSlappy show. And, to go even further, we have three of your hosts for all of AppSlappy ear-hole needs. Eileen is enjoying her new occupation at the Youtube and even decided to use an app to help her with video production. Scott travels to Las Vegas to exact revenge on the land of gambling, and then decides to compare Google Maps to the normal Apple Maps. Mr. Eric Van Skyhawk still has an iPad one, like the original iPad. Also, Eric and Scott start the great photo sharing app debate that everyone has already had between Flickr and Instagram.
Here’s the headline, “Apple Working On a Less Expensive iPhone.” at least according to the Wall Street Journal this afternoon, and then Bloomberg shortly after that. Citing sources “familiar” with the idea, we should expect it by the end of 2013. Bloomberg went even further, claiming that the phone would be between $99 and $149. So far I would put this in the “rumor” column of your life until we get something a little more definitive, also keep in mind that rumors about an affordable iPhone have been around since early 2011. Giving a statement like that is much like someone saying that Apple is making a new iPhone. To my response, well yeah, at least in some form or another. There. I have just provided you with the relevant information here and I didn’t need 1000 words to do it. Promotions all around.
In other news, apparently Walmart is feeling the need to provide you with iPhones that aren’t under a data contract through a pre-paid provider called Straight Talk. And the actual plans that they are advertising are much lower than any typical iPhone plan among the major carriers:
Pricing for the Straight Talk no-contract plans include:
$45 – No Contract Monthly Plan with Unlimited Nationwide Talk, Text, and Data.
$60 – No Contract Monthly Plan with Unlimited Nationwide Talk, Text, and Data PLUS Unlimited International Calling to more than 1,000 destinations in Mexico, Canada, India, and in other countries.
The only financial catch is that the actual phone is much more expensive.
iPhone 5 will be available in black and white for $649 for the 16GB model only
iPhone 4 will be available in black and white for $449 for the 8GB model only
In the long run this will save people money, and I have no love my carrier (Sprint), so any opportunity to dump them would be quite welcome. My hangup here is I had never heard of Straight Talk before, though they’ve been around since last year, and I’m not sure of what to think about their coverage. I did find a review of Straight Talk on the iPhone via 9to5mac and it seems competent enough. Feeling brave enough to try it? Let me know.
You could call Zynga’s story a meteoric rise to prominence, especially with their net revenue in 2011 being about 1.14 billion dollars. And in the same breathe that I say that, you could also say that Zynga meteor is now plummeting. For those unaware, Zynga rose in the ranks mostly because of FarmVille, and most of that was driven through Facebook. Seldom is the person who hasn’t seen the Facebook spam… my God the spam. At some points, Zynga was responsible for as much as 10% of Facebook’s revenue. In 2011 Zynga filed to be a publicly traded company, original offering was at $10 a share. Today, you can trade shares of Zynga stock for $2.39. Now, as a way to save money via cost-cutting, Zynga is dropping support for elevenof their games. For those of you still invested in any of these, I’m sorry to say that your time investment in virtual goods and virtual currency is now meaningless. As you may expect, there are a few “villes” on this list:
This also comes in the wake of mass layoffs and office closures. While I don’t think Zynga will be going away tomorrow, the issues that they have been facing seem to be indicative of problems with their general business model in the longer term. If nothing else, I truly hope the employee’s who bet on Zynga remaining a top apps contender find gainful employment soon. This isn’t mean to sound inflammatory, but does anyone in our community still play these titles anymore? Or ever?
Chillingo, the developer responsible for games like Cut the Rope and something called Angry Birds (couldn’t find much on that one), has just released a new game entitled Potshot Pirates. The title alone peaked my curiosity and I may pick this one up soon. From the preview alone, it looks as though it’s a 3D version of a hybrid Angry Birds/Implode game with pirates. There isn’t much of star-rating consensus as of yet, but so far the reviews are strong. Currently it costs $0.99 on the app store and will most likely deliver more than $0.99 worth of fun.
I may do a preview of this one soon, be on the look out!
Another fantastic AppSlappy episode has been delivered to your ear-holes. Scott has been on the brink of death with the pox and Mr. Van Skyhawk has been hard at work getting floor seats to Knick’s games. Nevertheless, our wonderful team (sans the now Googling Eileen) is here delivering your iOS fix for the cocaine-like addiction of mobile apps. In the stupid scientific study of the day, 100% of researchers found that all Scott Johnson’s are helpless when buying Apple products. The most recent manifestation of this scientific law has been iPad Mini-buying event. Also, Siri knows who Scott Johnson is, seriously. All of this and iOS apps are reviewed via our new/old arbitrary system.
Scott’s Reviews Writer Rumble - $1.99 Universal on iPhone and iPad – (Swick’s interpretation of Scottspeak) MiniGore 2 - $0.99 Universal on iPhone and iPad - - 2 Cheese-eating surrender monkeys from France.
Eric’s Reviews Can Knockout 2 - $0.99 Universal on iPhone and iPad – - 4 Stinky Cheeses. Which is at least a Frenchman and a dog, with Jerry Lewis thrown in. Mirrogram - Free on iPhone and iPad - - 3 Stinky Cheeses with a lost monkey in an IKEA parking lot in a sheep-skin coat.
Also, Scott goes into depth on his new favorite, and recently updated, email app known as something called Gmail. In even further Google news, they have released their own Maps App and it continues to shine on iOS, even more-so than on Android.
Let’s roll back the clock a bit, shall we? The year is 1998, The Big Lebowski has just hit theaters, Sonny Bono lost a fight with the business end of a tree (too soon?), Google is officially founded, and Baldur’s Gate has arrived on the PC. Gamespot gave it a rating of 9.2, calling it “easily the best computer adaptation of AD&D ever, it also convincingly returns role-playing games to the forefront of computer gaming.” Today Baldur’s Gate is well-known as a classic, seminal moment in gaming history. Most video cards at that time went up to 4MB, 8MB if you were exceedingly lucky and had a lot of money to spend. We find better capability on a portable device that people regularly break and easily replace. I’m not going linger on the subject of how crazy technology has gotten, but crap, it’s crazy how technology has gotten!
We can now find Baldur’s Gate on sale in the Apple App Store for $9.99, compatible with the original iPad or greater (so the App Store says). However, it should be noted that it looks like you need iOS 6 in order to run the game. Meaning that the original iPad can’t run iOS 6, meaning that the original iPad can’t run Baldur’s Gate. So take that for what it’s worth, I guess. That being said, people seem to indicate that this rendition of Baldur’s Gate is worth the higher price tag (for iOS apps) and remains a quality game for all, currently holding a four and a half star rating across 370 users.
Nintendo and Apple have had their issues in the past, namely Nintendo refuses to acknowledge the popularity and market share of the Apple App Store. However, the armor that is Nintendo may be cracking. On November 16th Nintendo released it’s first paid-for iOS app available only in Japan, Pokedex. Which, incidentally, is exactly what it sounds like. The saddest part is that if Nintendo ever were to release any one of their IPs onto the store then they would essentially be guaranteed to make a killing. But alas, Satoru Iwata has been quite emphatic in the past that they will only ever make games for their own hardware. The Pokedex, however, is not a game at all. It’s simply an encyclopedia that covers the latest generation of Pokemon. The cost of the app is surprising low by Nintendo’s standards, about 170 yen, or just over $2 USD. Having said that, there are four other packs available for download at 500 yen each. Meaning that if you wanted the entire pack it would run you over $28, so nevermind.
One could even draw some correlation to the release of this app to the launch of the WiiU. But I’d imagine the only driver here is that Nintendo has their name out a bit more than usual and intends to capitalize on the buzz, though even that’s a stretch. It should also be noted that this is not the first free app to hit the app store, though incidentally, that was also a Pokemon game. Which is now gone. So I suppose the moral of the Nintendo story here is don’t get your hopes up.
Welcome to another AppSlappy show, the throat-clearing addition featuring Eric Van Skyhawk! This week Scott continues to struggle with his Mini-buying tendencies. Also, this we shake the very foundation of all reviewed items ever. Scott Johnson has decided to reach out to the community to try and resolve how to rate each of the apps reviewed on the show. Thoughts? You should let us know. Until then I would expect rating systems of about the same caliber as the ones listed below, so be sure to enjoy that.
Scott’s Reviews Hill Climb Racer - Free Universal on iPhone and iPad – Gear Jack- $0.99 Universal on iPhone and iPad - - Sweaty, dirty, terrorist nipple. Aka – Baboon red butt. Aka Gorilla monkey jock.
Eric’s Reviews Extreme Road Trip 2 - Free Universal on iPhone and iPad – - Golden Nipple Award Dream of Pixel - $2.99 Universal on iPhone and iPad - - Greasy gorilla nipple.
One user asks for a journal recommendation, Scott delivers My Daily Journal. And also, there are too many 100 push-ups apps now.