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Price: $0.99     Score: 8/10     Category: GamesWhether you’re a massive fan of Lego blocks or Minecraft, you’ve gotta check out Block Earth for iPad, developed by ChooFun Games.Block Earth is a massive world that allows you to create blocks, build unique structures, and generally be the master of your domain. With easy to use controls and a vast array of building materials, these little cubes are sure to become your next addiction.While it is compatible with small-screen devices like the iPhone, Block Earth was meant to be played on the iPad’s large screen. On the iPad, digg
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ing and building to create your unique world is super simple.Using your jet pack, you are able to fly above your creations and get a bird’s eye view, or jump up on a tower of blocks that you have constructed to get a new perspective on your creation. The only downside is that you need to let your jet pack recharge between flights: no unlimited flying here.Another cool feature? You can demolish stuff in the coolest way possible. A rocket launcher lets you blow up your creations once they’ve started to bore you.However, I personally wish that there weren’t so many in-app purchases. I’d rather pay a slightly higher rate up front and get all the cool extras included. Going through an extra step to unlock extra worlds and bonus features somehow limits my enthusiasm.While the steering controls have recently been tweaked to be more responsive, I still felt limited in my ability to survey my domain. Block Earth for iPad is a good approximation of what makes people like Minecraft. If you want a chance to literally play God, check out the Block Earth app.Block Earth is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this iPhone game review.For suggestions about future updates or just to post a screenshot of what you built; head over to ChooFun’s Facebook page!The post Block Earth for iPad: Minecraft Meets Lego appeared first on Tapscape.
If you’ve been looking for a sound system that can be used both indoors and out, you might want to check out Etón’s new Rukus Solar, which is the first portable Bluetooth sound system that wirelessly streams music without running out of power, thanks to a built-in solar panel.
With the Rukus Solar’s monocrystal solar panel and E-Ink display, you can play your music all day long, making this the perfect system to take to the park, the beach, outdoor parties, and more, because you don’t have to hassle with cords and power outlets.
The Rukus Solar is able to stream music from any Blueto
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oth-enabled device, including iPhones, iPads, and other smartphones. Your music sounds great with two full-range speaker drivers for booming lows and crystal clear highs, and as a bonus, it will keep your devices fully charged with its 40 square-inch high-efficiency solar panel and USB port.
The sound system itself is able to recharge in direct sunlight over six hours, but it is also able to be recharged using an included AC adapter.

A gorgeous E-Ink display provides easy-to-read information on Bluetooth connectivity, solar charge, and battery strength. E-Ink is far more readable than traditional LCD screens, and it draws far less power from the battery.
For those of you in need of a great sound system without the solar power, Etón is also offering the Rukus, a regular sound system with a lower price tag.
The Rukus Solar, and the Rukus, which will retail for $150 and $100, respectively, will soon be available at and Etón’s online store, along with several brick and mortar locations.
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Casually walking down the street, sipping an iced coffee, even friends of the Apple co-founder and design visionary could be forgiven for doing a double take (image after the break). That is the image being presented, but the ever media savvy Two and a Half Men star has been known to go to great lengths to attract attention and who would be surprised if he had tipped off the photographer before hand?
TMZ is credited with capturing the apparently impromptu moment. In well worn blue jeans, black turtleneck and New Balance running shoes, Ashton Kutcher is almost a dead ringer for Steve Jobs
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and has been cast in role of the tech genius in Joshua Michael Stern-directed biopic simply titled, Jobs: Get Inspired.

Jobs pal and company co-founder Steve Wozniak has even weighed in saying, “I feel that his selection was done in the most professional manner. And I’m glad that he’s onboard. I think he’ll put a lot into it and that he cares about this particular subject.”
However, Woz did add a note of caution, “It’s almost too bad that Steve Jobs is gone. His opinions and guidance, as to the story and film crew and cast would have been invaluable.”

Having just renewed with CBS’ Two and a Half Men, Kutcher is clearly on role. Nevertheless, in order to pull off the role of Steve Jobs, one of the most iconic individuals of the last century that’s regularly compared to Thomas Edison and Walt Disney, he will need more than just a black turtleneck and scruffy beard.
Do you think Kutcher’s up to this clearly daunting challenge? He will have to deliver a performance of a lifetime…

As has been the case for several months, a veritable raging swirl of rumors have been engaged with the concept of the 7 inch iPad. Now, adding to that swirl is a source with a little more gravitas than those making the previous claims. The site iMore is claiming that they have an unnamed source who has knowledge of the 7 inch iPad and that, in fact, Apple is planning on launching the new device alongside the next generation iPhone in October of this year. The site is also claiming that the new 7 inch iPad will launch with a price between $200 and $250.
According to the report,
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the 7 inch iPad will have a screen resolution of 2048 x 1546 pixels which is identical to the resolution found in the current 9.7 inch iPad, but that resolution would be packed into a 7 inch screen. This would mean a 326 ppi pixel density which is same as the iPhone 4 and 4S.

This has been a rumor that has, in the past, resulted in a lot of animated discussion by many people and, as such, it’s hard to pinpoint the accuracy of this particular source. However, if Apple were to launch this device and, in the process obliterate the majority of the competition in the tablet arena, they would be hard pressed to keep it around the price point stated. A teardown of the new iPad revealed that the display and touchscreen components were nearly $130 in themselves and that a 16GB Wi-Fi version total component cost was around $316.
It’s therefore hard to see Apple launching a slightly smaller device with similar screen and similar specifications for the sub $250 price point stated in the article and therefore we’d estimate a $300 price if the new 7 inch iPad should come to fruition.
…and that’s a big ‘if’.
If You…
Following on from the success of the popular BBC television series of the same name, Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe sees the popular scientist, lecturer, and former pop star present an app which makes use of both his typical style of breaking down complex scientific matters into simple stories and beautiful, immersive graphics which really shine on the last two versions of iPad (the app is not compatible with first gen iPads, unfortunately).
Wonders of the Universe contains over two hundred interactive articles and some two and a half hours of video taken from Cox’s two p
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opular BBC TV series, Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe. With no further ado, let’s take a look at how this promising app stacks up! 

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Stunning Visuals
Wonders of the Universe sports stunning visuals.
The first thing that one notices when launching Wonders of the Universe are the app’s stunning visuals, which can’t fully translate to the computer screen via the use of screenshots. Frankly, I felt that Wonders of the Universe does indeed approach that much-hyped ‘magic’ user experience which was promised on the iPad’s launch.
After a few moments gazing at a galaxy, the unobtrusive user interface which Wonders makes use of encouraged me to explore and I thus got introduced to the app by zipping around at Solar System, Galaxy and Universe levels of space before ultimately reading the instructions and getting stuck in to the app itself.
Seven Levels of Scale
Wonders of the Universe comes with a novel form of separating the content on offer by making use of seven layers of scale. In order of size from small to large, the seven are as follows:

Sub Atomic
Solar System
Milky Way

Choosing one of those seven categories causes the camera’s perspective to shift accordingly and the user is treated to a series of beautiful animations which will zoom-in or pan out accordingly. Once within the chosen level of scale, there is a wealth of information in the form of short video excerpts and articles with excellent images too. 
Wonders of the Universe abounds with compelling images and text.
Above is a screenshot taken from the first article in the Sub Atomic section and this is complemented by several videos of Cox detailing whichever particular scientific principle he is attempting to explain at that time.
This variation of media format makes for a much more intuitive, fluid learning experience than could be offered from text alone and ensures that even taking in all the principles, facts and statistics never feels like an effort.
One small annoyance is that the videos are streamed and thus dependent on a strong internet connection – this is presumably in order to cut down on the Wonders of the Universe’s overall size, or perhaps due to BBC licensing requirements. Whatever the cause, it would certainly be preferable to have the option to download and save all videos locally at once, thus enabling the app to be used on a long flight or drive as the perfect scientific companion. 
For Newcomers and Enthusiasts Alike
The great strength of Wonders of the Universe is its accessibility.
Whether you’re an enthusiastic fan of all things related to science and space, like myself, or a more casual user with just a passing interest on the topics in general, Wonders provides a compelling and easily understood narrative to ensure that one is imparted with some really important and interesting knowledge. For example, most readers will have some idea of how the universe was created and be familiar with The Big Bang, but Wonders lays it out in a fashion which gives a deeper knowledge of the fundamentals and from this foundation, we can then confidently go looking elsewhere for more detailed and advanced information. 
The lion’s share of credit for this easily understood narrative must go to Dr Brian Cox himself, but the award winning scientist and researcher is given the tools to deliver his understated and engaging style of teaching with the aid of a robust and useful app, and this makes all the difference – rather than feeling like a mere framework tacked-on in order to allow easy navigation of Cox’s work, Wonders of the Universe gives the impression of an app carefully designed from the beginning as something unique. 
Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe could have been such a letdown and indeed, before trying out the app I did wonder whether it could possibly live up to the brilliance of the original TV series. But, thanks to Cox’s own skill as a narrator and teacher, the hard work put into making such beautiful graphics and perhaps even the very form of the iPad itself, Wonders more than lives up to its bigger screened cousin. 
Sold at an introductory price of $6.99, Wonders of the Universe cannot be called an either an overly cheap or expensive app, but one which offers good value considering how much time and work went into its creation. A couple of minor issues such as the inability to watch videos offline and the very good but occasionally confusing UI may slightly mar the overall experience, but these cannot detract from the fact that Wonders of the Universe is a truly outstanding app and makes full use of the iPad’s form to both dazzle and educate. 
Online news outlets can be happy about one thing. With the advent of tablets and smartphones, consumption of their content is set to explode soon, if it hasn’t happened already. News reader apps make the experience of reading and discovering content a breeze. Currents from Google is a new entrant in the already crowded news reader space.
I can’t see a major source of revenue anytime soon for a company the size of Google from this vertical, but here they are competing head to head with tiny startups. Is it awesome enough to dethrone Flipboard, Pulse and the like? Time to find o
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User Interface
Sign In Screen
Unlike most other competing apps, Google has made signing in a mandatory requirement. The sign in page is a web page wrapped by native elements for some reason, like the iPad Gmail app. Thankfully, at first glance you will see that the Google Currents app isn’t a major disaster like the Gmail app.
Help Wizard
The help wizard that shows at launch is actually helpful, briefing the functionality of the app in a few slides. If you get past that, a rather minimalistic two columned user interface is unveiled. The left column is meant for featured news items from a variety of sources and they are constantly rotated. You can swipe across to go through the listings quickly.
User Interface
To the right, is where your content library has to be built. When you start it will be empty (duh!). The quickest way to start reading content is by tapping on the featured content from the left pane or by accessing the trending section at the top.
Trending Topics
Featured Trending Topics
Google Currents prioritizes both the user-built library and the trending topics library. The trending section isn’t empty and by default, top 5 topics that are hot right now are displayed. Where the app really excels is in the level of flexibility it offers the user to customize the trending content library. You don’t have to consume what the app feeds you.
Selecting Trending Topics
Instead, you have the option to choose trending topics from a bunch of categories. Five items per category is neither insufficient nor is it too much.
Customized Trending Topics
Items from trending topics are neatly stacked one after another and each topic is accompanied by a relevant thumbnail too. At times, I found the thumbnails weren’t particularly relevant to the topics, but it isn’t a deal breaker or anything.
Google Currents does a dynamite job in making the content work for you. The content is divided into three major categories – Stories, User generated and About.
Articles about the topic in question are listed in the Stories section of the app. Sources of these articles were mostly popular and I found a major push of content from the country you are from. I guess this is done based on the IP address and is a bit intriguing why an app that’s locked to most of the world would do this.
User Generated Content
Don’t have the time to read through articles? Head over to the User generated section to check out videos related to the topic.
About Section
The about section is an interesting and thoughtful addition. For those not familiar with a trending topic or want to learn more about it, the About section will be of great help. Links to content from online knowledge archives like Wikipedia, etc. can be found here.
Building a Custom Library
Creating a Content Library
Building a library of content from sources of your choice is as simple as a clicking on the plus icon. A comprehensive list of categories are available for you to peruse and each category comes loaded with top notch news sources. Just tap Add and you will have a new addition to your library.
Curated Content
Another fun way to discover content is by following and subscribing to the library of curators. Geeks and subject matter experts of repute form the curators pool, so you won’t be disappointed by their selection.
Not being able to add your own sources is a bummer. But, you can circumvent this shortcoming by using the Google Reader integration.
Final Thoughts
As of now, Google Currents is not available for iPad users outside the US. This is a major irritant because unlike video and audio, I don’t see any major bandwidth burn from unprofitable territories. Besides, it isn’t like the content is restricted geographically by the publishers, as almost all of the news outlets are available for free on the websites and blogs.
In most cases, competitors to Google Currents offer almost the same sources and those apps can be downloaded by iPad users from anywhere in the world.
Now that I have offloaded my disappointment, it’s time for a couple of accolades. First, Google Currents is a fantastic news reader, which is simple to use and easy on the eyes. Emphasis is on the content and not the eyecandy wrapper, which many startups in the arena generally focus on.
And secondly, discovery is done right. Both established news houses and blogs that serve a niche audience are made available for you to find and read. There are no intrusive ads or suggestions, yet. Forget all the news reader apps I have reviewed and recommended over the last few months, Google Currents is the go to app of mine to consume news. It’s such a delight to use!

By snooping around a bit, the folks at Your Daily Mac have found some evidence that March 9th might be the planned launch for iOS 5.1.
We today discovered that Apple published eleven new profiles for various iPhone-operators. These files are compatible with iOS 5.1 and are set for release on March 9. This could indicate that iOS 5.1 will be released around that date[…] The profiles that have been found by us are intended for operators in Japan, France, Greece, Finland, and Sweden. By updating the profile on the iPhone, it will make sure that the network connection will work correctl
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y after Apple releases iOS 5.1.
While this is far from definitive, iOS 5.1 has been in development for quite some time, so a March 9th target isn’t exactly controversial or hard to believe. However, the proposed timing of this release coincides with the assumed iPad 3 launch in early March. It isn’t proof, but the facts fit the theory. Keep in mind, all of this is just conjecture. For all we know, the iPad 3 won’t come until later in the year, and iOS 5.1 will be delayed. This is worth keeping an eye on, but we won’t be placing any bets.
What do you think? Are we going to see iOS 5.1 right along side the next iPad? Are we going to see any surprises in the OS that isn’t in the beta similar to Siri in iOS 5? Sound off in the comment section with your thoughts and theories. Better yet, hit us up on twitter. Our username is @macgasm. We’re open to alternate timelines, so don’t hesitate to provide some new evidence.
Source: Your Daily Mac
Macgasm - Apple Tips, Apple News, Apple Everything.

For today’s Daily Deal we’ve found 17 great apps to add to your iPad collection.  We have 6 productivity / entertainment apps and 11 game apps in today’s bundle.
We used our PadGadget Apps Tracker to find these great deals and we’ll continue to look for the best app deals as they pop-up. Some of these apps are up to 80% off, several are even free, so be sure to check them out because they are on sale for a limited time.
Game Apps

A Witch’s Curse: Princess Isabella HD (Full) – Now on sale for $2.99 instead of $6.99.
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– Now available for Free instead of $0.99.
Car Crusher – Now available for Free instead of $0.99.
Companions – Now on sale for $0.99 instead of $4.99.
HOMERUN BATTLE 2 – Now on sale for $0.99 instead of $4.99.
MONOPOLY for iPad – Now on sale for $0.99 instead of $9.99.
Monster Zombie 2: Undead Hunter – Now on sale for $0.99 instead of $1.99.
Shape It HD * Connect & Make – Now available for Free instead of $0.99.
Squids – Now available for Free instead of $1.99.
Super Stickman Golf – Now available for Free instead of $2.99.
THE GAME OF LIFE for iPad – Now on sale for $4.99 instead of $6.99.

Productivity and Entertainment Apps

FileApp Pro – Now on sale for $0.99 instead of $4.99.
JumpStart Preschool Magic of Learning – Now on sale for $0.99 instead of $2.99.
Math Blaster HyperBlast – Now on sale for $0.99 instead of $2.99.
Photo Soft Box Pro HD – Now on sale for $0.99 instead of $2.99.
SketchBook Pro for iPad – Now on sale for $1.99 instead of $4.99.
Word Wizard – Talking Movable Alphabet & Spelling Tests – Now on sale for $2.99 instead of $4.99.

Also be sure to check out yesterday’s Daily Deal to find more great savings.

You can also check out TapCentral’s Daily Deal to discover some great deals on iPhone and iPod Touch apps.

We use our PadGadget Apps Tracker to constantly monitor the App Store to find the biggest price changes on iPad apps. Our editorial team goes through the data, picks the best deals on the most interesting apps and then brings them to you on a regular basis. All app prices are checked at the time of posting but prices are subject to change without notice. When developers put their apps on sale it’s usually for a very limited time, often 24 hours or less, so be sure to check pricing on iTunes before making a purchase.

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PadGadget Daily App Deal – 6 iPad Apps on Sale
DIRECTV has updated its iPad app so that you can now stream live television to your tablet no matter where you are.
When the iPhone and iPad application first launched, users had to be connected to a local WiFi network while streaming. With version 1.5 that is no longer the case.
DIRECTV says that the updated app can now be used “anywhere,” which gives subscribers full access to 49 channels on the go. The update also brings multiple minor changes, including the ability to resume recently viewed shows and a new social module that lets you see what’s popular with othe
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r users.

Miso users can now “check in” and let people know what they’re watching without closing the DIRECTV app.