More magazines go digital in iPad Apps of the Week

Sep 7, 2010
Tech

The iTunes App Store was full of good stuff this week for the iPad, including some great new magazines with awesome presentation designed specifically for the digital medium, a couple of fun games to help pass the time, and yet another Facebook app. Popular Photography+ ($2.99) Two magazines to hit the iTunes App Store this […]

The iTunes App Store was full of good stuff this week for the iPad, including some great new magazines with awesome presentation designed specifically for the digital medium, a couple of fun games to help pass the time, and yet another Facebook app.

Popular Photography+ ($2.99)

Two magazines to hit the iTunes App Store this week include Popular Photography + ($2.99) and Spectra Magazine HD ($13.99). Popular Photography + uses what seems to be a somewhat standard means of purchasing and downloading the latest issue from within the app, rather than making you purchase a new app for every issue. Downloading the September 2010 issue took a while, but the content presentation is beautiful and worth the wait, especially for photography enthusiasts. Stunning images lie in the background and text scrolls up with a swipe of a finger.

Spectra Magazine HD ($13.99)

Spectra Magazine contains sci-fi, horror and fantasy short fiction, as well as reviews and related news. Though the price might seem high, it includes six issues (September 2010 through February 2011), and new content is delivered automatically. Turning pages is like reading an iBook. This is where magazines heavy on word content (like books) and not so dependent on photographs and illustrations are headed. Nicely done.

MyFriends HD (Free)

Another week, another unofficial Facebook app. MyFriends HD (free) seems ported more from the Facebook iPhone app than trying to replicate the Facebook web experience. If you’ve used the iPhone app, you’ll recognize the Dashboard displayed on the left side (when in landscape—in portrait, it’s accessible with a tap on the Dashboard button) that gives you quick access to your Inbox, Profile, Friends, News Feed, Photos, Events and Notes. Tap what looks like a file drawer in the top right corner to see your Notifications, or tap “Notifications” at the bottom of the Dashboard.

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Build-A-Lot 2: Town of the Year ($7.99)

The real estate market might be in a slump in reality, but you can play Build-a-Lot 2: Town of the Year for iPad ($7.99) and play real estate magnate. In the game, you build and upgrade, buy and sell homes and property; you can also manage materials and workers, draft blueprints, and track your money and goals. And as always, don’t forget to add parks for the kids! You’re guided throughout the game by the mayors of the towns you’re improving, as well as by a couple of burly construction workers. This game is lots of fun, even if it doesn’t mirror the market in real life in the slightest. In just a few minutes, I had lifetime career earnings of more than $1.5 million.

Gunner HD ($4.99)

I love shooting stuff, and Gunner HD ($4.99), in which I am a funky chicken piloting a spacecraft and shooting asteroids, gives me great pleasure. True, your chicken is not so much piloting the craft as floating through space on it while shooting asteroids (your only concern here is to shoot the asteroids into oblivion before they damage your ship, collecting power-ups and avoiding power-downs as you go). You can earn crystals and use them to purchase more power-ups and improvements to your ship in the supplies store. Of course, you’re welcome to purchase (with real money) more crystals to buy more stuff. As you progress, you can create a squadron and add your Facebook or Twitter friends to it and compete together for a huge score.

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