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Jacob Penderworth

Jacob is a freelance writer at his own blog and a few others across the Internet. In his free time, he listens to a lot of music, plays music, and takes photographs of amazing places. You can email him with inquiries, should you have any.

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Dictionaries used to be those large books you were too scared to carry with you for fear of embarrassment or being titled a “nerd.” They were very useful as a resource, but even pocket dictionaries looked ridiculous when you had them with you. Nowadays, things have gone digital. Books are available aplenty in your pocket at the size of a Game Boy Micro, and these, of course, include dictionaries.

Instead of using iBooks for reading a dictionary though, it’s better to use a standalone app like the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus. Recently updated to support the iPhone 5, this app has been the pinnacle of looking up words on an iPhone. Being a logophile myself, it’s a must-have. But with all those words in such a small app, is all as great as it sounds? (more…)

In the days of old — which, in this case, were the early 2000s — people would take their iPods along with them in their cars to listen to a wider selection of music. Now, up until the invention of the portable music player, everyone used CDs and cassettes; large, low-capacity bearers of high-quality audio. People then began buying FM transmitters and tape deck to 3.5mm adapters so they could listen to the same beautiful music, just more of it. The former was rubbish, but the latter worked well in most vehicles.

A new generation of iPods has come along in the form of Apple’s iPhone, an all-in-one device that eliminates the need to carry bags full of gear in the car. It has a GPS, makes phone calls, uses Siri to increase intelligence, and, of course, plays music. New cars have direct auxiliary-in connections to play back crystal clear audio; some even tout Bluetooth for hands-free conversations and audio streaming via AirPlay. Today, I’m going to show you Drive, an app that makes performing basic operations with your iPhone much easier in the car — and less dangerous. (more…)

Reading has become part of nearly every person’s life. Even if it’s just a quick glimpse at a sign when you’re walking through town or traveling about, you read things at least once a day. You were probably taught the alphabet and how to read a book when you were just a child, as most people were. Now, you’ve advanced to long novels like The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, among others. The only thing that’s changed about reading lately is the medium.

Before the release of e-readers and the iPad, people read tactile material, not PDFs or ePubs of their favorite books. Electronic books have become very popular lately, however. On an iOS device, there are a lot of ways to read books, but the two most popular are Amazon’s Kindle app and Apple’s iBooks. They both offer a good selection of the classics and New York Times bestsellers, but in all of iBooks’ existence, we at iPhone.AppStorm haven’t taken a deep look at the app. With its latest update, now is as good a time as ever. (more…)

It was a winter day in 2008 when I discovered tl;dr. At first, it seemed like a read-it-later client of sorts, or a disfigured emoticon. But no, it meant something much worse. This expression, which can be found throughout the comment sections of many blogs, meant that people had begun to undervalue reading. It meant that all the readers I thought I was getting were really just skimming the headline and moving on.

If you’ve been one of those too long — didn’t read people — a solution has recently been developed to help your daily rush. Download Circa News, a free new app from Circa 1605 Inc. I’ve been using it for almost a week now, and it has a lot of potential. But hey, this is a review, so meet me after the break for a deeper look at how this company is trying to revolutionize the way you read news. (more…)

There are many who enjoy using the phrase “back in the day of gaming” to describe Nintendo’s dominance of video games, from the NES and SNES to the GameBoy. The Japanese corporation did indeed know what it was doing with video games, and it helped start a revolution. Nowadays, the classics like Super Mario and Donkey Kong Country are available on the Wii, Nintendo’s modern-day console, and also in emulators. But since such tools aren’t officially available on the iPhone, alternatives are valuable.

One such game is Soosiz, a 2D platformer developed by Touch Foo. If you’ve never heard of them, you may know of Swordigo, their variant of Zelda. Soosiz came first though, and it delivers its share of fun. Shall we find out how thorough the adventure is? (more…)

The App Store has way too many translator apps to do a first-timer any good. There are good ones like Google Translate and iTranslate, but others are either uglier than these two or buggy. Ever since it released, and especially after the iPad version debuted, I’ve used Google Translate as my main app for trying to speak in another language. It’s simple, accurate most of the time, has audio pronunciation and a lot of languages, and I’ve not had any major issues with it. Yet there’s still something more to look for in a translator.

I was searching around the other day for a new app to fill the void and after a few hours of browsing on and off, I came across Mutant Milk’s Language. Now, if there’s ever a way to get an app that functions well and has a truly well-designed user interface, I’ll go for it. With Language, the case is such. You’re probably still wondering if it’s worth the money, so why don’t we take a deeper look? (more…)

Nearly everyone in the world watches television, whether it be for five minutes a day to catch the news or to indulge in a favorite show. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services have tried to do away with traditional TV so you can conveniently watch it whenever you wish. The first two services even have some exclusive shows, but they’re far from watchable if you have any sense of taste. To that end, people continue to watch traditional TV because shows air there first, with a few exceptions.

For the people who need to find something to watch this evening, look up when the next episode of Doctor Who airs or need to know when to schedule TiVo for so as not to miss anything special, there are many an app for that. One in particular that interests me, however, is TV Guide Mobile. I know, when you hear that you think of an ugly website filled with too many canards. The app is actually much better though, starting with the design. Surely there’s more than that, right? Let’s find out. (more…)

On September 21st, Apple released its latest generation iPhone to the public. Most customers and journalists gave much acclaim to the device, but there were some who saw the new 4-inch display as an issue. Developers and their designers, for example, must stretch or restructure elements of their apps for the extra 176 pixels the new display embraces. This can also affect the end user: apps that are not optimized for the new display have 88-pixel black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

Given time, all developers, both active and passive, will work with their designers to amend their apps. Right now, however, there are only a few well-developed apps available that make use of the new iPhone’s display. Scouring through various sources, I’ve assembled a roundup of 15 essential apps that take advantage of Apple’s latest iOS device. (more…)

IOS 6 removed YouTube from the operating system’s default apps. At first, people thought this would be a major problem. After all, Google isn’t the most reliable iOS developer out there. Fortunately for iPhone users, the developers created a nice alternative to the original YouTube app and released it just over a week before iOS 6 was released. But it’s limited and has ads, so what about something a bit less restricting?

Several individual developers have brought YouTube clients to the iPhone with most of them being poorly developed or only halfway there. However, there is a nice-looking alternative from developer Jason Morrissey, creator of Alien Blue, a Reddit client for the iPhone and iPad. He’s named it Jasmine, and it’s free, but exactly how good is it? (more…)

It’s Game Week here at iPhone.AppStorm, and all this week we’re going to have tons of reviews, giveaways and other good stuff, all centered around the gaming world!

There are games of many sorts available on the iPhone. Some go by names as outlandish as The Impossible Game, which is designed to be simply unbeatable. Others, however, tend to have more official titles, such as N.O.V.A. This sort of game is just Gameloft’s iOS iteration of Halo though, and there’s not much more to it than that.

Amazing graphics aside, iOS developer myp” decided to go minimal with his game. It’s fully universal and has been optimized for the Retina iPad — though there are elements that have a little pixelation, like the start screen. This game is not like anything you’ve ever seen before, and while originality is generally something I seek in what I’d deem a good game, The Simple Game still has its share of assets that make it an entertaining puzzle. I’ll take a more in-depth look at it after the break though, so why don’t you join me? (more…)

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