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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
Atomic
Solar System
Stars
Milky Way
Galaxies
Universe

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. 
Conclusion
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. 
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I am surprised at how much I like BlueTags’ Planner Pro. The first time I opened it, I expected to despise it. It looked too messy. It didn’t look clean enough. I love Calendar’s simplicity, and this did not look like it would suit what I needed at all.
But the more I used it, the more I saw it becoming an affordable and easy way for people who need an all-in-one app to manage their day-to-day lives. It combines the event planning of Calendar with the task management of sophisticated apps such as Things for iPad. It doesn’t replace apps like iStudiez Pro for studen
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ts, but for people who run their own businesses, Planner Pro will be a godsend.
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Let’s Talk About Design
Planner Pro is what many people call skeuomorphic. For those of you who are not in the know, skeuomorphism occurs when one product imitates another older, but similar product by design. This emulation is usually considered unnecessary, because it doesn’t abandon traditional appearances in the name of process. Many of Apple’s recent user interfaces have been both lambasted and praised for their use of skeuomorphism. It’s not a good or a bad thing, but it’s subject to personal taste.
Skeuomorphism at its finest.
Planner Pro is extremely skeuomorphic. It heavily borrows from design elements of planners we used years ago, long before we started storing our to-do lists in our phones and tablets and other electronic devices. In fact, I’m certain that my family has owned planners that look just like this. I never liked them before, but I always understood their purpose.
Planner Pro, when held in landscape view, looks just like one of those open planners. It appears to be a book with several tabs to indicate what month or day you are looking at in the planner. It has a section for notes and tasks. My first thought was that Planner Pro was a really ugly Calendar skin, but exploring through the app taught me differently.
A Task Manager and a Calendar
Importing calendars from the standard Calendar app into Planner Pro is a breeze (although it apparently does not offer Exchange support — I don’t use Exchange so I couldn’t test that to be sure). That being said, this app goes so far beyond that. There is a daily tasks list that is simply phenomenal. Planner Pro can only remind you of your daily task list once a day, not unlike Things, so you can’t set reminders to go off throughout the day like you can with Apple’s stock Reminders app. It’s the only downside I could find to Planner Pro’s otherwise in-depth task management system.
Adding tasks and projects is really easy.
Making lists is really straightforward. You just hit the plus symbol in the Tasks area of the app and choose what kind of list you want to create. It’s easy to sort either individual items or project lists, which means that you can store a grocery list in the app but keep it separate from your other to-do’s for the day, for example. The app also allows you to sort your tasks by priority, which is great when you have multiple projects happening at once.
The app icon generates a numeric badge for any due or overdue tasks, so you always know if you have something that needs to get done. And if you want to see a list of all your current and upcoming tasks, there is a separate tab in the app that allows you take a look at just your to-do list. In short, you have what feels like a ceaseless amount of ways to organize your life.
You can view all your upcoming and completed tasks without any extra clutter.
And Make a Note of This
Planner Pro also supports note-taking — a feature I’ve never personally used in my agendas, but could see certain people finding useful. It’s easy to generate a note as well, and very similar to generating a to-do list of Tasks. The app lets you write multiple notes a day and organizes them in an easy to see manner. There is no way to view your notes separate from the daily planner like you can with your tasks, but I don’t know many people who would want a feature like that. This is not a note taking app, but a note making app; it’s designed to let you take notes on your daily activities and what you did without getting as in depth as a diary.
Compared to the rest of the app, this user interface is pretty plain.
Who Is This Meant For?
At this point, you may be reading this review and wondering straight-up whether or not this app is for you. Maybe you don’t like the skeuomorphic design, but you do like the daily inspirational quotes. Maybe you like the note-making function, but don’t need to have yet another app for your to-do lists.
I understand. In that case, this app isn’t likely for you, it’s for somebody like my parents. Both of them ran their own businesses (one of them still does) and were very attached to their planners. They like design that references the past while being placed firmly in the future of technology. It makes sense to them because it’s still traditional enough that they can make full use of it, and that’s great.
This is the be-all end-all of daily planners. If you’ve ever found yourself wishing that the Calendar app was more fully-featured, or if you like apps that evoke familiar designs, Planner Pro is for you.
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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.
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Do you remember the awesome dungeon battle game from Epic that was first debuted at Apple’s March event to show off what newest iPad can do? That was Infinity Blade Dungeons, a game that Infinity Blade fans have been waiting patiently for all year.
Unfortunately, it looks like we may not be seeing the coveted game until it’s time for Apple’s fourth generation iPad. Infinity Blade Dungeons has been delayed, and it won’t be released until 2013.
While some speculated that we might see a release alongside of the iPad mini, it’s not going to happen. Epic Game
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s has let AllThingsD know that Infinity Blade Dungeons won’t be hitting the App Store in 2012.
“Ever since the talented team at Impossible Studios got their hands on Infinity Blade: Dungeons, they’ve been busy adding their great ideas to the game,” said spokesman Wes Phillips.
“There was also the matter of getting the Impossible Studios team up and running with desks, chairs, staplers and computers. The logistics of a new studio and implementing all these great ideas required a little extra time, so Infinity Blade: Dungeons will hit iOS in 2013.”
Bummer. It’s been a long eight months waiting for Infinity Blade Dungeons to be released after getting a taste of it at Apple’s event, but I bet it will look and play even better on the iPad 4.

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Infinity Blade Creators to Release ‘Vote!!!’ – An Obama vs. Romney iPad Game to Determine Who will be the Next President
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According to a new research study by ABI Research, the average size of iOS apps have increased by 16 percent between March and September 2012. The study also showed that the size of iOS game apps have increased even faster, growing 42 percent in the same time period.
With this increase, the average app size is now 23 MB, and the average game app is now up to 60MB. This increase in size is assumed to be partly due to the iPad’s new Retina display, as well as the increase in over-the-air App Store download limit that moved from 20MB to 50MB in March.
Such increases in app size ha
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ve huge effects on iOS devices with storage capacities of 8 GB or 16 GB. iOS device owners with these lower capacities have to manage more carefully which apps they put onto their devices, as well as deleting older apps to install the new ones. According to ABI Research:
“The flipside of the increasing file-sizes is that the internal storage of smartphones and tablets is becoming a scarcer resource, as the device capabilities struggle to keep up with the requirements of apps and mobile content. Markkanen predicts, ‘Especially the consumers with 16GB devices are likely to become more conscious about what apps to keep and what to uninstall, so the developers’ bar to impress will be getting even higher than it is now. This could also speed up the adoption of the mobile cloud as a storage remedy quite significantly.’”
People may start tending towards getting the bigger storage capacity iPads. Even the iPhone has seen a trend towards larger capacities as Apple added a 64 GB option for the iPhone 4S and the only free iPhone 4 is the 8GB option. The new iPod nano is only offered in a 16 GB capacity, dropping the 8 GB version available in the previous iPod nano generation.
Image Credit: Anteater Technology