Category Archives: Review
Rating:Official Site: INTOCIRCUIT
There is no doubt in my mind that everyone needs to travel with a battery pack, but finding the right one for your needs can be a challenging task. I was able to review the “Intocircuit 11200mAh Dual USB Portable External Battery Charger” as a candidate to replace some of my aging chargers. This battery pack is particularly unique due to its LCD display, showing you how much battery you have left. Many battery packs expect you to interpret some combination of solid and flashing leds on the case, for you to determine how much charge you have left. I’ve certainly been in situations where I had less bettery left than I needed, because of misinterpretation. With the Intocircuit 11200mAh pack, you know exactly how much of the batter is left AND how much is needed to charge when you are charging it back up. I also liked this battery pack due to the automatic enabling of the USB ports for charging. Most of my other battery packs require you to connect the cables and then press a button to initiate or force stop the charging. Having the charging automatically start helps ensure things happen quickly, and you don’t forget to press the button. I was able to charge a completely dead iPhone 5S in ~3hrs, and it utilized 16% of the battery while using the 2.1A port. I was quite pleased with this performance and usage. Overall, I’m excited to now use this as my main battery pack for my upcoming travels, and would recommend it as a great option for your future needs!
NOTE : A review item was provided, to facilitate this review. We stand behind our reviews and only provide them when we are allowed complete freedom in our content.
Rating:Price: FREE (in-app purchases)
Official Site: Star Wars or Disney
The Star Wars: Commander game has been around awhile already, but I finally gave into the temptation and gave it a try. I had seen a fair amount of advertisements and promotions for it, and I’m sure others have as well. I was a little leery of how interesting the app would be, but it seemed to be popular and worth a visit.
You will end up seeing the following screen VERY often. Each time you go to the app, even if it had already been launched, it will bounce back to this screen and reload.
Most of Disney’s (and really most developers) applications and games now utilize in-app purchases to make their money on these apps. You can play the app without paying any money, but it will be much slower and require a lot of patience. I personally do my best to resist the urge of paying any money for these kinds of apps, mostly to ensure that it is even possible to take that path.
Next you’ll see the intro that you’d hope and want at the beginning of a Star Wars adventure.
I somehow have lost the screen captures, but around this time you choose if you’re going to be a Rebel or join the Empire. I chose to move forward as part of the Rebel Alliance. Your choice influences the storyline, resources built, and army trained.
When you complete a task, battle, or defense of your base, you earn stars for how successful you were. If you get all the stars in a chapter of the story, you get a bonus. Unlike some games where you eventually have to go back to get all the stars before moving forward, Star Wars: Commander doesn’t seem to make you do that. I haven’t run into a roadblock like that so far.
Overall it is a fun and engaging game. It is a pretty common game-play that is offered with different themes in other apps. Having it also be Star Wars themed allows it to be particularly fun and interesting. I suspect that this will have some staying power, and will be expanded into many editions.
If you have tips and tricks for Star Wars Commander, please leave them in the comments below!
Charge into battle on distant planets, and lead your troops to victory in this action-packed, combat strategy game! Build a base, recruit an unstoppable force, and challenge players across the Star Wars universe in Star Wars™: Commander!
During a time of Galactic Civil War, competing forces need allies for their cause. The Rebellion rallies for justice and freedom, while the Empire seeks control of the galaxy. Where does your allegiance lie? Will you side with the Empire’s strength and relentlessness, or the Rebellion’s heroism and resourcefulness? The choice is yours!
Rise through the ranks as a powerful battlefield commander in this exciting game of strategy and competitive galactic combat!
• Choose your side: Will you command AT-ATs and TIE Fighters as the Empire? Or call on iconic heroes like Han Solo and Princess Leia as the Rebellion?
• Build and defend your base: Train unique troops specific to each faction, and fortify your base with deflector shields, turrets, heavy artillery, and other defenses!
• Lead epic battles: Strategically deploy powerful armies, units, and vehicles against enemies and players around the galaxy!
• Form the ultimate Squad: Build strong alliances with friends and other players!
• Travel to multiple planets and complete special missions: Play an all-new story as a valiant leader on the front lines of the Galactic Civil War.
• Upgrade your strike team and its defenses: Strengthen your forces with multiple levels of upgrades for each unit!
• Download now and play in your choice of English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish!
Invade enemy territory and establish an impenetrable base as you join the battle for dominance!
For the best experience, we recommend playing this game on an iPhone 4S, iPhone 5/5s/5c, and iPads running iOS7 and above. Playing on an iPhone 4 may result in longer load times and slower performance.
Before you download this experience, please consider that this app contains social media links to connect with others, in-app purchases that cost real money, push notifications to let you know when we have exciting updates like new content, as well as advertising for The Walt Disney Family of Companies and some third parties. We respect your wishes regarding your Privacy. You can exercise control and choice by resetting your Advertising Identifier in your device’s Privacy Settings.
Official Site: Disney
Disney has been hitting the market hard with mobile games these days. One of the recent releases is called “Toy Story: Smash It!”. The game takes us to Andy’s room from the beloved Toy Story movies, where you are trying to mostly knock over blocks with the least amount of actions possible.
The game consists of several sections (“episodes”) of levels (60 total). The different sections are:
- Zurg’s Return
- Most Wanted
- Fairy Toy Tale
- Time Travelers
- Coming Soon…
The “Coming Soon” seems to hint at more sections will be coming! The $0.99 investment might continue to provide entertainment for awhile.
As you attempt a level, you can earn up to 3 stars. If you earn enough stars in a section, it will unlock the next section.
Another aspect of the game is an effort to complete “achievements”, many of which are easy to gather without even trying.
Starting into the levels, you’ll see you have to complete one before you get to go onto the next. You hold down your finger/thumb, sliding around the screen, to place the target where desired. When you remove your finger, you’ll fire the weapon (ball, balloon, surprise present, etc…).
Overall, it is a very fun game, with a Angry Birds feel to it. The 3 stars and earning them to unlock episodes is VERY familiar. I do think that Disney has added their own spin to their game, by providing a slightly different game play. It is certainly worth the $0.99!
The Toys are back! Join Buzz, Woody, and the rest of the Disney Pixar “Toy Story” gang on their latest adventure!
“Toy Story: Smash it!” is an all-new, 3D physics-based puzzle game featuring your favorite “Toy Story” characters! Embark on new adventures with the Toys through hilarious encounters in outer space, alien chases in the Wild West, and more! With 60 levels of nonstop puzzle play, this game will provide hours of explosive and thrilling fun!
★ Block-breaking puzzle play
Throw unique bouncing-balls with special power-ups to knock down aliens and break through their defenses!
★ Play as Buzz Lightyear
Team up with Buzz, and work on perfecting the angles and aim needed to beat every level. Encounter your favorite “Toy Story” characters along the way!
★ 4 imaginative episodes
Take a fun-filled journey “To Infinity… and Beyond!” Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime as you stop the evil Zurg, catch alien bandits, and more!
★ 60 challenging levels
Encounter new challenges in every level. Find creative ways to smash through bricks, glass, trains, and more to get the highest score possible!
★ Hours of replay value
Replay each episode to get 3-stars on every level and earn impressive achievements!
Official Site: Disney
Disney has started to ramp up the promotion of “Oz the Great and Powerful”, their new movie being released this week. They have partnered with Imangi Studios to make an Oz rendition of Temple Run.
If you have played Temple Run, you will find this game to (obviously) feel very familiar. The game play is the same, but the challenges have changed. You have to jump over obstacles that pop-up in your path at the last moment. You can also jump on to a rope that takes you up in a hot-air balloon. When you are in the balloon, you can collect coins while avoiding the green crystals.
Overall, I think it is a great addition to the Temple Run series of games. The graphics are great, although my iPhone 4 does struggle sometimes with all of it. I am sure the iPhone 4 is on the bottom of their list of targeted phones, so this is understandable. I think they did an impressive job of adding the movie elements into the game play. Even if you haven’t played the Temple Run games in the past, this is worth the $0.99 to give the game a try!
Official Description :
THE MOST THRILLING RUNNING EXPERIENCE NOW COMES TO THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD!
Disney and Imangi Studios present Temple Run: Oz – a brand-new endless runner inspired by Temple Run 2 and the film Oz the Great and Powerful. Play as Oz and outrun the shrieking flying baboons as you turn, jump and slide your way across the land. Begin your exhilarating adventure now and see how far you can run!
• Stunning environments inspired by the film – explore them all.
• Fly in a hot air balloon – earn even more coins.
• Explore different locations in Oz – follow sign posts!
• The environment changes as you run – test your reflexes.
• Compete in weekly challenges – beat your friends!
BONUS! Get 1500 coins for FREE when you download Temple Run: Oz today – that’s $.99 USD worth of coins to buy power-ups and more!
***For best results, play Temple Run: Oz on iOS 6.***
Don’t forget to see Oz the Great and Powerful in theaters – check local listings for showtimes!
Rating:Official Site: New Trent
When touring the Disney Parks, I am constantly tweeting pictures and videos of things I see and experience. Needless to say, my phone battery would drain quickly as it struggles to get the 3G connection to actually allow the media to get posted. There are often times it takes several retries to get a successful post or connection. I had a tendency to try to make sure to pace my usage so I wouldn’t run out of power before my next opportunity to plug-in and charge.
I started meeting more and more people who had battery packs that they would carry around in the parks, which allowed them to use their devices as much as they wanted! I met 5 different people using the same brand of battery pack, and it was New Trent. Everyone had great things to say about their experiences with the device, and highly recommended that I get one. It seemed obvious that I needed to give this a try.
I purchased the New Trent iCarrier battery pack, which at least two of my new friends owned. The pack has 2 USB ports, comprising of one at 1A and the other at 2A. The 2A port is what you will need for the typical tablet device. Either port will work great with the typical smartphone. Both ports can be used at the same time, so that you can keep the devices full of power. The 12000mAh capacity is described as having the ability to
- Charge a “new iPad” (iPad3) : to 80%
- Charge an iPad2 : 1.2-times
- Charge an iPhone5 : 6-times
- Charge an Android Galaxy S2 : 6-times
I now carry this battery pack with me whenever I am traveling, whether I am in the Parks or on a plane. I just use my phones and Kindle Fire as much as I want, knowing I can charge-up and keep having fun.
Official Site: Disney
This weekend, Disney released their new animated feature “Wreck-It Ralph”. This film has been highly anticipated, and so far has had great reviews and reception from the general public. They are already talking about the possibility of a sequel! Since the film is based on the video-game world, it is only logical that they have released real-world video games to go along with it!
The new iPhone and iPad app, has tried to capture the feel of the games seen in the film. Launching the app for the first time, you have to add a name for it to reference in the game play and scoreboards.
You will find there are three different games : Fix-It Felix Jr., Sweet Climber, and Hero’s duty. There seems to be a “TurboTime” game “coming soon”, but that might be unlocked if you beat all the games. Time will tell!
Starting with Fix-It Felix Jr., you’ll find it has the feel of a classic 8-bit game. The blue button on the bottom left is your joystick, directing which way Fix-It Felix Jr is supposed to go, and the right button is the fix-it hammer. Your goal is to try to fix all the windows with the hammer, while avoiding the bricks Ralph is dropping from above. All of this will be expected and make sense if you have seen the movie. I personally found the “joystick” button to be a little tricky to get used to, but finally figured it out.
If you are successful in fixing the windows, you will eventually beat Ralph. As in the movie, Ralph will be thrown over the top of the building and you will progress to the next level.
Of course, if you use up the 3 lives of Felix Jr, the game is over and you will see the scoreboard. The red button on the bottom right will allow you to try again. The blue button on the bottom left will take you back to the game central station to try a different game.
Moving onto the next game called “Sugar Rush – Sweet Climber”. You’ll immediately notice a much more modern feel to the graphics.
Here Ralph is jumping on the candy branches, collecting candies. Ralph automatically is bouncing, and you need to tilt the phone side-to-side to help him reach a higher branch. You also have a soda boost that you can use, but don’t use it too soon!
The third game is “Hero’s Duty”. Once again, this is a much different game-play, and requires some getting used-to.
The goal here is to try to kill all the bugs, before they get you! Moving and shooting at the same time was difficult, when I was used to having a little more tactile controller for this type of game. You may burn a few lives, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it.
There is a fourth game which is “coming soon”. What do you think it will be?
Overall, it is a great value for the app. You are essentially getting 3 games for the price of one. I think you’ll have a huge appreciation for the games, once you’ve seen the movie. I’m curious to see what the fourth game will be, but I am expecting it to be something of a go-kart type of experience. I am highly recommending that you give this app a try!
WELCOME TO GAME CENTRAL STATION!
Hit the arcade and game-hop between 3 CHALLENGING arcade games based on the movie!
Fix-it Felix Jr. –
– Ralph wrecked it, now you get a chance to fix it!
– Awesome 8-bit graphics that pay homage to the classic arcade era.
– Climb, dodge and magic hammer your way to a high score!
Hero’s Duty –
– Suit up and play as Sergeant Calhoun and teach those cy-bugs a lesson they’ll never forget!
– Blast cy-bugs in level after level of bug clearing action.
– Grab different weapons and make your momma proud!
Sweet Climber –
– It’s Ralph’s time to shine in an endless climbing game!
– Use tilt controls and fizzy jet packs to climb as high as possible.
– Jump from candy stalk to candy stalk, but watch out for weak branches!
Also compete against your friends – and the world – for high scores in each game! Get to Game Central Station and start playing today!
Also, don’t forget to check out Wreck-It Ralph in a theater near you – check your local listings for showtimes!
Official Site: Disney FilmPulse
I recently changed jobs and was assigned a Android phone! I’ll be able to provide some more perspective from an Android perspective, going forward.
One of the first things I did was to start searching for Disney apps in the Google Play Store. One of the first apps to catch my eye was the Disney FilmPulse app. This app is also available on the iPhone, but hey I want to play with the Android. After installing, you have to hop through a few screens, and eventually shows us the current film that Disney has released : Frankenweenie.
The unfortunate reality is that the app is only useful if you are going to see a film at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA. The idea is that if you check-in at the theater, you will be able to access games, exclusive content, and likely be awarded a free drink or popcorn at the concession stand. It would seem that they are currently testing it at El Capitan, but are at least considering having it expand to some movie theater chains as well.
Overall, I like the idea of providing added content for a theater going experience. I would hope that a person would use this while they are waiting for a movie to start, but be polite enough to not use it during the actual movie performance. Maybe they could have it somehow detect the audio of the film to disable the app?
Here are some of the official screenshots of the iPhone version, with what the app would have looked like during the Brave viewing.
Official Description :
Enhance your in-theater experience with Disney FilmPulse, an all-new app for your iPhone. Just “check-in” to the theater and showtime for the Disney movie you’re about to see, and begin the FilmPulse experience. Unlock surprises and enjoy interactive games and bonus content before the movie, then take advantage of special offers after the credits roll.
The FilmPulse app is currently only available for use at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA. There may be films that run at the El Capitan that are not supported with a FilmPulse experience. You will only be able to check-in at the El Capitan when watching a supported movie.
Official Site: Disney Parks
This app has been out for awhile, and I have been intentionally holding-off reviewing it. I wanted to take time to reflect on it and try not to sound too positive about it. Admittedly time did get away from me a little bit, but… on with the show!
Launching the Disney Mobile Magic app on your iPhone, you’ll be asked if the app can access your location (GPS) information. If you want to fully utilize the app, you really should consider enabling this, as it will provide more information and functionality… especially when in the Disney Parks.
I was not in the Parks while I was making these screen shots, so I’ll show you what can be expected in that condition.
The app will next ask whether you want to explore Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Being the Disneyland fan that I am, we’ll jump to the Disneyland Resort, and look for some Disney Magic!
Here you’ll see that you can choose the specific park within the Disneyland Resort and the warning that being in the park will provide more details. You’ll also see the evidence of when I first started reviewing this app and gathering my thoughts! The app provides a list of times for different shows and events, helping you plan your day in the park.
If there were any particular events you wanted to make sure you attended, you can ask the app to give you a reminder. Selecting the event, you can also look at a more detailed description of what the event is all about.
We are now greeted with a map of the park, and a menu to select an attraction. Selecting an attraction will allow you to check on the time it opens, if you are in the parks you’ll see wait time and FastPass details.
If you are wanting to learn more about different Disney characters, you can find lots of info within the app. Here we navigate to learn more about our favorite mouse, Mickey! If you are using this app, you are likely already familiar with all of the characters, but it might be useful for entertaining your younger touring buddies while waiting in line.
If you are in need of information about the dining options at the Disneyland Resort, you can find a wealth of information to meet your needs. You can use the search criteria to help you find a dining option. You can learn about the price range, hours, and menu items. If it is a place that allows for reservations, it will even give you the number to to call Disney.
The Disney Mobile Magic app also has a variety of other information, including current weather and forecast. The app also provides information about guest services and transportation.
One interesting thing they threw into the app is a trivia game. This is another fun thing to pass the time while you are in line, ore to help with anticipation of an upcoming trip.
Assuming you have an upcoming trip, you can add the details in the app as well. However, it seems like a tedious process that is likely to be done by too many people. I suppose different people have different excitement levels that may make it interesting.
You are able to navigate around the main map discovering attractions and the park. It is a fun way to explore the parks we love so much!
Disney seems to have thought of everything, including their on-property hotels!
Note in the official description:
Verizon customers will have access to additional, premium features like more video and extra games within the app
Overall, it feels as if Disney put a lot of thought and effort into this application. In some ways, it seems like they put too much into it and made it bigger than it needed to be. There are enough features that it should have something for everyone, as different people tour the parks in different ways. Reportedly, there will be a new NextGen app being released by Disney that will obsolete this one. I think they have a lot of expectations to live up to between this app and the hype about NextGen. Let’s see what the future magic holds!
Disney Parks and Verizon present Disney Mobile Magic – a fun and simple way to get the most out of your Disney Vacation. Use GPS-enabled maps to get around the Parks, locate some of your favorite characters for a special greeting and even make dining reservations.
When you are in the Parks you can check official attraction wait times and Disney’s FASTPASS® return times for the Park you’re in. You can also play trivia and plan your upcoming visit with the Favorites feature.
And Verizon customers will have access to additional, premium features like more video and extra games within the app*.
Disney Mobile Magic, powered by Verizon, encompasses all of the Walt Disney World® Resort and Disneyland® Resort:
Seven Walt Disney World Resort Guides:
– Magic Kingdom® Park
– Disney’s Hollywood Studios®
– Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Park
– Disney’s Blizzard Beach
– Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
– Downtown Disney® Area
– Plus information on Dining and Disney Resort Hotels
Three Disneyland Resort Guides:
– Disneyland® Park
– Disney California Adventure® Park
– Downtown Disney® District
– Plus information on Dining and Disney Resort Hotels
Official Park & Attraction Information:
– Upon arrival into our Parks you will gain access to official wait times and FASTPASS® return times for the Park that you are in
– Review detailed information on attractions: photos, descriptions, locations, height requirements and more
Interactive GPS-Enabled Guide Maps:
– View each Park and it’s attractions, dining, character greetings and more with our interactive GPS-enabled Park guide maps
– Once you are in the Parks, view wait times at a glance on interactive guide maps
– Search for some of your favorite characters, find out where they are located, when you can meet them, and more
Dining Guide and Reservations:
– Explore our vast dining options by filtering your search by mealtime, location, cuisine type and more
– Check out restaurant menus and hours
– And best of all, make reservations right from your mobile phone
– Create a personalized tip board with all your must dos
– Plan your dream vacation by selecting favorite attractions, characters, and dining options
– Get in the Disney mood right away with the interactive Disney Trivia game — you can even challenge other Park guests with your Disney Trivia knowledge.
Verizon Premium Features*:
– Access to premium video content with over 100 behind the scenes, seasonal, sneak peak videos and more!
– Experience Pirates games that test your knowledge of the famous attraction and help determine your very own pirate name
– Beat the Disney Character Puzzle and see if you have what it takes to guess who the character is before the timer expires
– Take the Disney Character Quiz and find out which character is most like you
* Message and data rates may apply. Availability subject to handset limitations and features may differ by handset. Coverage not available everywhere. If you’re under 18, get your parents’ permission first.
Official Site: Oscars
Sunday, February 26th, marks the 84th Academy Awards®, also known as the Oscars. Disney and ABC Television have released an Oscars App to expand the viewers experience of this annual event.
Launching the app, I found it was interesting that the app forced a landscape mode. I hadn’t expected the landscape mode for the app, but the graphics looked great.
The first menu allows you to slide from side-to-side with different categories to learn about the 2012 Oscars. You’ll find tweets about the Oscar’s, information about the nominee’s, and movie trailers.
The second menu item is going to allow you a “Backstage Pass” to the Oscars while you are watching it live on your TV.
On February 26 at 7|4p we’ll take you behind the scenes for the ultimate insider’s view of Hollywood’s biggest night with more than a dozen live streams. Watch your favorite stars as they walk the red carpet, follow the winners backstage, and get an insider’s look as Hollywood’s elite mingle at the Governors Ball.
The third menu item provides the opportunity for you to create your own Academy Award ballot and share it with friends on Facebook.
The last menu item is for general information, feedback, and help with the Oscars App.
I’m pretty surprised that they have put so much effort into an app that is really intended for a very limited amount of time. I feel as if they made it unique and made sure to have very high quality graphics. Most of the content seems to be loaded remotely, but that is understandable with all of the video content and wanting to make sure it is all fresh. I think they did a great job with the app, and I’m curious to see how the “Backstage Pass” ends up turning out.
et the ultimate insider’s view of Hollywood’s biggest night with the official Oscars® app. Tune in into ABC on Oscar Sunday, February 26th and use the Backstage Pass feature to get exclusive access to live streams from 24 cameras placed throughout the Red Carpet, Backstage and at the Governors Ball so you can watch more live Oscar action as it’s taking place. Only available in the US. Please be aware that the Oscars app does not stream the TV broadcast.
The Oscars® app has more cameras than anywhere else following all the action on the Red Carpet, in the Kodak Theatre and even at the ultra A-list after party, the Governor’s ball. This is the perfect companion app to have when watching the show on TV.
Once you download the app, you’ll be a virtual member of The Academy with insider information on all the Oscar buzz, a first person view of the Red Carpet and exclusive backstage access to Hollywood’s biggest night. Use the app In WATCH mode and sit back, grab the popcorn and enjoy our live hosted experience on the Red Carpet and Backstage. For those aspiring directors, switch to DIRECT mode and pick any of our six camera vantage points and zoom in to whatever action you want to see. With Oscars® you get more access, more glamour, more of everything you love!
The app is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
The “My Picks” game allows you to predict who you think will win and share your predictions with friends. A Facebook account is required to use My Picks.
For complete coverage on The Oscars®, visit www.oscar.com.
Oscar Sunday on ABC begins 7et|4pt
February 26, 2012
Oscars® requires an Internet connection from a United States or US territory based ISP and iOS 4.2+.
ABC Digital Web SiteOscars Support
What’s New in Version 2.1
– Improvements to the Backstage Pass behind the scenes experience
– Bug fixes
– Links in the Twitter modules are now tappable
You must be located in the United States or its territories to use this app.
Rating:Official Site: Live365
When I am feeling down and need something to cheer me up, sometimes I wish I could be at one fo the Disney Parks. As a consolation, I can instead listen to Disney music from the Disney Parks. There are several different radio stations hosted on Live365, that play only Disney soundtracks and Disney Parks music. Thankfully, Live365 has released an app for the Kindle Fire.
Launching the app takes you to the Search and Genre selection. If you go to the More menu item, you can login or change general settings.
The Top Stations menu has an expected selection of popular stations that are available. The final menu item available is the My Presets selection. You will want to login to your Live365 account if you already have one, or sign-up for a new account.
Here we can see that I’ve logged in and it is display several Disney themed stations that I enjoy. Some of my favorite stations are the ones done by Mouse World Radio. Selecting one of the stations starts the stream buffering. You’ll notice the usual controls for an audio player, as well as info regarding the current track being played.
The app is not terribly complicated, and has a very usable interface. I’ve always enjoyed the Live365 service, and this is no exception. They have done a great job of making sure their apps work well on many platforms. It feels as if the proportions could be slightly improved for the Kindle Fire, but otherwise this is a great app for your Kindle Fire.