Worms 3, the iOS-specific iteration on the 20-years-old-somehow-oh-god-I-feel-old Worms franchise, is currently free right now for some reason! It’s usually somewhere between $5 and $3, so this is a pretty good deal.
I don’t love the iOS iterations of Worms. They’re nowhere near the quality of the computer and console versions, being saddled with 30fps frame limits and awkward controls. The MFi controller support is thorough and good, but this is one of those instances where touch controls SHOULD be better, if the developers thought things through. But come on, we’re talking about a free app; I’m really not going to spend any more time complaining here. It’s Worms, it’s a classic, just download it already.
The title is a bit of a troll, but this article does a great job at summing up some of the ways the current web standards people are going in the wrong direction.
Regular readers should know that I’m a big proponent of good, clean, standards-compliant web design. Until a few years ago, that’s what being a good citizen on the internet meant. Unfortunately, things changed. The current web standards proponents are more interested in building web sites that mimic the look and feel of native apps than they are in building websites that actually feel like websites.
It should come as no surprise that I side with Apple here. Sometimes the most important thing you can do is say no to a feature, even if that feature has been labeled a standard. Apple has said no to allowing websites to install plugins that run in the background of your device, constantly using battery life and processor power, even though standards bodies are in favor of this.
If it were up to me, I’d say Apple should pull some of the things they already implemented. There is no reason webpage should be allowed to hijack your scrolling behavior, for example.
It really doesn’t get much more classic than Pac Man. The original retro Pac-Man has been available on iOS for a long time, but for those of us looking for something a little more modern, Namco Bandai has us covered with their new DX Championship Edition of the arcade classic.
Truth be told, the Championship Edition of Pac-Man has been available on iOS for some time. The only problem is, it hasn’t been updated since 2012. That’s before modern niceties like widescreen, game controller support, and high resolution became the norm.
So in a way, this DX edition can be thought of as a paid upgrade. Considering the original arcade version of Pac-Man was entirely based around micro-transactions and consumable lives, the $4.99 premium price Namco Bandai is asking for isn’t bad at all, and arcade game fans would be crazy not to jump on it.
I'll have a full review up very soon, once I get my hands on the finalized hardware. But for now, let me say this: I've been using various incarnations of the Gamevice since CES, and I can say with all honesty that it is by far the best MFi controller ever. It's not even close - if you have an iPad Mini, and if you have any interest whatsoever in owning an MFi controller, this is the one to get.
I know there are going to be a lot of questions about this controller; to answer some of the most common ones, I conducted an interview with Gamevice CEO Fraser Townley. If there's anything you want to know that isn't covered here, head over to the forums and let me know.
Kevin MacLeod: It's finally here - the Gamevice for iPad Mini officially launched on Apple's online store tonight! I speak from experience when I say a LOT of people have been excited about this for a long time. It was supposed to be coming in March - can you give us some insight into why it took so much longer than anticipated?
Fraser Townley: We pushed back the launch date for various reasons. The main one is that we underestimated the time it would take to receive all of the approvals we needed to get to market. Gamevice is a new and unique product; labs around the world had no standard testing procedures, therefore time got lost in the certification process.
The Gamevice is a very unique controller, you're right about that - I haven't seen anything quite like it from any other manufacturer, MFi or otherwise! What were some of the challenges with building a controller of this design?
We actually conceived the idea in 2012 and quickly received the utility patent for two halves of a controller attached to two sides of a smart device via an adjustable bridge but, as they say, 5% of the work is the idea and 95% execution. Having the idea and being granted the patent is only the beginning of the journey. We actually needed to create new manufacturing processes and invent new ways of doing things in order to achieve the final product we will deliver very soon.
There are a lot of bright and dedicated people that have been involved in the project, and I would like to thank them all for their contribution.
So the Gamevice has spent a few extra months in development from what was originally planned. I know that during that time, you've continue to develop and polish the Gamevice. What has changed in that time from the version that wouldhave gone on sale in March?
Tiny mods really, but the kind that make higher production yields and a better feel. It also gave us time to develop our companion app, Gamevice Live. We always planned to create the app for the Christmas season, but now we can launch in parallel with the hardware.
With over 700 games already supporting MFi controllers like the Gamevice, there are a lot of different game styles and control schemes to work with. Are there any games in particular you've been testing the Gamevice for?
We test all available games so that we can create a game map within the Gamevice Live app to help guide the gamer. Obviously we focus on the extended game play titles, and we are also in direct contact with key developers to help spread the word: "the world needs more controller compatible games"!
There has been some confusion about device compatibility with the Gamevice. Can you set the record straight - which iPads can it be used with? And is it a one-size-fits-all design, or will prospective buyers need to pick a specific Gamevice for their iPad?
We will have two separate iPad models. One for the iPad Mini (1,2 & 3) and one for the iPad Air (1 & 2). As we are Lightning connected we cannot support earlier iPad versions.
Only the iPad Mini version is available right now. How long will iPad Air gamers need to wait to get their hands on a Gamevice, and can you shed some light onto why this version is being delayed?
The iPad Air is a bigger and heavier puppy than the smaller mini. The Air II is also much thinner than the Air creating challenges that do not exist in the mini. When we first designed Gamevice we imagined that the mini was the optimum size and therefore the foundation for our ultimate gaming experience. Once we got prototypes into the hands of people like yourselves we realized that there would be considerably more demand for the Air variant than we envisioned but, we have to be sure that the quality and the experience is right before we place that on the market. It will be here soon enough.
What about other devices? There has been some mention on your website about versions for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple is rumored to be working on a 12-inch iPad model. Not to mention the possibility we might finally have a game-playing Apple TV in the near future. Are there any plans for products addressing these devices?
Well, I cannot possibly comment on what Apple is planning as it would be pure speculation. We have been considering a one size fits all iPhone 6 Gamevice which we are studying very hard. We think we have come up with the solution, but the designers have to thoroughly test the theory whilst we focus what is in production – the iPad variants.
What would you say to someone still on the fence about the Gamevice? $99 is a lot to ask for a controller, especially considering the questionable quality of some of the earlier controllers that retailed for that price. What makes the Gamevice better?
We work with the finest manufacturers in the world and have chosen the highest quality components and materials. I cannot comment on what others have done in the past other than to say that our controller has so many more features than anything that came before and is specific to the iPad’s. It is everything you would expect from a premium quality product. I think once people get one in their hands, they'll be able to judge for themselves.
Thanks a lot for your time! Where should people go to find out more about the Gamevice?
I've tried to cover some of the most important information about the controller here. One more time, if you have any questions at all about the Gamevice, be sure to swing by the forums and post them, and I'll do my best to get answers.
There must be something in the air. I'm not sure why so many games are on sale right now, but SNK, a publisher of classic arcade games, just joined the party. They're running a massive $0.99 sale right now on all of their games.
There are lots of classics here. The King of Fighters series are great old-school arcade fighting games, and all feature full MFi controller support. The Metal Slug games are some of the best shoot-em-ups ever.
You really can't go wrong with any of these games, especially if you're a fan of arcade action games. Personally, the Metal Slug games are old favorites of mine, and I highly recommend them.
Good editorial from Federico Viticci at MacStories regarding an unfortunate side effect of Apple's public beta program: people leaving negative reviews of apps that don't work properly with iOS and Mac OS betas.
If you're one of these people, please stop. Developers are not allowed to submit iOS 9 updates to their apps yet. Even if they wanted to take advantage of every new feature, Apple doesn't permit iOS 9 updates until about a week before the system is finalized.
If one of your apps doesn't work with iOS 9, let the developer know via email or Twitter. Test it with each new iOS beta. But for the love of god, don't ruin their App Store rating!
Frédéric Filloux over at Monday Note dives into some of the ways major news sites are completely out-of-touch with what readers actually want: fast, clean pages.
Today, a news site web page of a consists of a pile of scripts, of requests to multiple hosts in which relevant content only makes up an insignificant proportion of the freight. (On the same subject, see this post by John Gruber, and Dean Murphy’s account of An hour with Safari Content Blocker in iOS9)
Consider the following observations: When I click on a New York Times article page, it takes about 4 minutes to download 2 megabytes of data through… 192 requests, some to Times’ hosts, most to a flurry of others servers hosting scores of scripts. Granted: the most useful part — 1700 words / 10,300 characters article + pictures — will load in less that five seconds.
But when I go to Wikipedia, a 1900 words story will load in 983 milliseconds, requiring only 168 kilobytes of data through 28 requests.
Ridiculous. There is no excuse for a news site to take this long. Gigabyte apps can download from the App Store in under 4 minutes.
I stopped visiting most web pages a long time ago. I use an RSS reader and Instapaper to save the articles I want to read while simultaneously stripping out all the crap.
I try my best to make AfterPad a clean, fast, easy-to-read site. I think I'm beating the New York Tomes in that regard. And that's pathetic.