Inside Racing Tyres Space – More to the Game Than Meets the Eye

Most of the non-tool apps on our iPhones are designed to pass away the time. Say what you will about timewaster games, but we think they’re pretty interesting. Some are even more challenging than they first appear. That’s the pleasant surprise we experienced we decided to check out Racing Tyres Space. It’s an app straight from the mind of creative French developer Oliver Parra, and it has a lot of interesting features to check out.

The music is very fast paced in this game, and you’ll find it a constant companion as you work through the levels. The developer put an incredible amount of thought into making everything exist in harmony with everything else. Not only do you have two planets to choose from in the paid version of the game (the Lite version gives you one track on one planet instead of the full twenty tracks), but you have a physics engine that has a strong effect on your performance. As you go through the game, you’ll unlock three wheels in three different colors. There is a blue one, a yellow-brown one, and a red one, and they all have different characteristics. Did we mention that weight is indeed a factor, along with gravity? You have resistance to deal with as you try to clear loops and make drops perfectly to get from one track to the next.

Currently in the game there are two planets unlocked: Onyx and Sappheiros. The end of Sappheiros has a pretty tough level, and it’s currently impossible to beat. The reason for this is that the end of Sappheiros is actually a gateway to the third planet that is currently locked. When will it open? There’s only one way to find out: playing the game. You start with the first planet and the first track, and then work your way up. Be prepared to spend some time getting the hang of it, because nothing is exactly what it seems in this game. Some of it will be obvious, but other things will become clearer after you’ve actually played the game. `

If you purchase the game at 99 cents, the new levels will be automatically available to you. This is a good thing that will keep you playing for many weeks and even months to come. Check out Racing Tyres Space today!

Create A Pro-Standard Film Trailer In iMovie

Now you can produce teasers to the films you create on your iPad in iMovie. Here’s how to make them…

iMovie for iPad might well allow you to produce some incredibly professional mobile movies, but if you really want to go the extra mile and give them a true hollywood polish, why not create a trailer too? Along with the new iPad, iMovie was updated to include the new trailers feature, allowing you to easily produce a professional-looking trailer for your film in a matter of minutes. The beauty of this new feature is how much can be done in just a few simple steps.

Once you’ve selected a theme for your trailer (based on the genre of your film) it’s a simple case of filling in some details about it and finding footage to suit the scenes and shot Types that iMovie suggests for you. Once you’ve done this, iMovie takes The reins, editing it all together and even including a full cinematic score to back it.

The results are pretty outstanding and all thats required of you is the raw footage and a little time. If you’ve got some great shots, simply follow our guide below to create your amazing movie trailer. It could well take your mobile movie from being a box-office flop to blockbuster status – all without leaving the comfort of your iPad.

iMovie for iPad

Step by Step: Create A Pro-Standard Film Trailer In iMovie

1. TAP TO START

Open up iMovie and tap the plus icon in the bottom-left of the screen then New Trailer to get started – or double-tap on any existing trailer.

2. FIND A THEME

iMovie’s trailers are based around a set of nine templates, all spanning different genres with their own scores and transition types.

3. TRY IT OUT

Tap the play icon on the big screen to preview what the trailer types will look like with some of Apple’s stock footage in place of your own.

4. GET CASTING

Once you’ve chosen a trailer template, tap it and beingentering details such as the film title and cast into the Outline section of the notepad.

5. ADD YOUR CLIPS

Tap the Storyboard tab and then on a scene from the notepad on the left. Find the section of footage you want, then tap again to add it.

6. PERFECT THE EDIT

Once you’ve added footage to every scene, it’s time to fine-tune with the precision editor.

7. CHANGE THE LOGO

Every great studio has a logo. You can choose from five different styles by tapping the Logo Style text and selecting one to preview it.

8. A SNEAK PREVIEW

Before you save your project, hit the play button on the left, underneath the preview pane, to run your trailer in its current state in fullscreen mode.

9. FINISHING UP

Once you’re happy with how your trailer looks, head back into the projects menu and tap the sharing icon to export your work.

Edit Your Images With iPhoto’s Effects Brushes

Enhance your photography with just a finger-swipe using the intuitive selection of editing brushes offered in iPhoto

iPhoto for iOS provides a whole toolbox for editing and enhancing your favourite photos on your iPad. Some of these are one-click wonders that apply themselves to the whole image, some attempt to pick out elements automatically with varying degrees of success and some allow you full control over how your image is edited and the end-result.

The latter description applies to the selection of editing brushes the app has to offer. These can do anything from darkening or sharpening to saturating and unsaturating your image, and it’s all controlled by the movement of your finger. When you select a brush, dragging your finger across the photo you’re working on will apply an effect to the area you’ve just dragged over.

While this may seem like risky business and slightly clumsy, particularly if elements of your photo are fairly intricate, it’s actually a lot more intuitive and much easier than you’d think. If you’re the kind of person who could never colour within the lines as a kid (there are more of us than you might think), the Detect Edges button will help you when you’re trying to desaturate a background but not a subject (as we are here), for example. There’s also a handy eraser to remove any mistakes with the same level of precision.

iPhoto for iOS

With that in mind, grab your iPad and follow our guide to get started with iPhotos range of effects brushes.

STEP By STEP: Edit Your Images With iPhoto’s Effects Brushes

1. STARTING OFF

Fire up the iPhoto app, select an image from your library that you want to edit then tap the Edit button in the top-right comer of the screen to bring up the editing tools.

2. BRING UP BRUSHES

From the row of icons in the bottom-left, tap on the brushes (second from the right), wait for them to load up. then pick the Desaturate brush from the selection that appears at the bottom.

3. APPLY THE EFFECT

To apply the effect to your image, simply drag your finger over the area you want to work on. Remember to tap the Detect Edges option in the bottom-right if you need a little help.

4. MADE A MISTAKE?

Tap the eraser in the bottom-right corner of the screen if your brush strokes aren’t quite doing the trick and you want to undo your last process. It works just like a real rubber.

5. BRUSH SETTINGS

Tapping on the cog icon in the bottom-right corner calls the Brushes settings including quick-fix effects, intensity settings and an all-over erase. You can also show your brush strokes.

6. CHECK THE CHANGES

If you want to see how your edits look compared to the original image, tap on the icon next to the Edit button in the top-right of the screen to call up the unedited photo.

Designing iPhone Games – A Chat With Kevin Glass of Coke And Code

Today we’re lucky enough to have Kevin Glass of Coke and Code (@cokeandcode). Kevin describes himself as an “obsessive hobbiest game developer” and has been designing games for, well let’s just say he’s well deserving of this interview. This interview should appeal to the techies. It’s about designing games for the iPhone (and other devices) and about mixing passion with a day job.

You’ve been writing games from the age of 7 I believe. That’s quite an impressive CV. Can you give a little bit more background as to how someone ends up becoming a games designer?

I’m not sure I’d call the things I was writing back then games, but I was lucky enough to be brought up in a household full of electronics and early computers. The first one I got to play with was the NASCOM. My dad was really into computers and encouraged me (and my 2 brothers) to get involved. So we had the NASCOM, ZX81, Spectrums, Commodore 64, Atari ST and then finally a PC all stuck infront of us. I started out copying code from magazines at the time into the Spectrum and moved slowly onto making games on all the rest. It’s just always been there for me.

Designing iPhone Games

I studied Computer Science at University, mostly because I thought it’d be an easy ride. Got my degree and headed out into the workplace. I’ve been doing corporate/telecoms/defence software development for 13 years now. However, all the way through my spare time was filled up with writing games, libraries and demos and pushing them on to the web.

It’s only relatively recently I’ve decided to really try and push it. I’m not sure I’d really call myself a games designer, I just put things together and see what people think. I believe the most important thing in games development is feedback, which is why I got on about release early, release often so much. Game designers have a habit of designing games they “think” will be good rather than listening to the players. That’s where I’m at, get the game out there, see what people think and base development of their opinions. It seems to work ok.

Now you design for both the iPhone and for Android. Do you have a preference for either? Don’t worry we won’t be offended if you say Android. Or will we?

I think they both have their place. Technology for Android is better. It’s that simple, it’s a better piece of software and in most cases hardware. Ease of use and polish is still better on the iPhone. I use an Android as my main device but thats mostly because it lets me as a techy do the things I want. However, I have to work with both everyday and the only clear thing to me where games are concerned is Blackberry devices suck.

You’ve recently made the decision to start charging for games (and it’s going well I take it). Obviously it’s easy to get stuck in the ‘free only’ model but you seem to have got passed that without too much teething. Any tips for fellow developers? How long should you wait before charging and do you have any tips for moving over to a ‘paid for’ model?

It’s going “ok” ™, in my case I needed to start charging simply because the backend server costs were about to go up (Google App Engine). As to when to start charging, I think thats the one thing Legends of Yore taught me. If you’re going to charge, charge up front. Make sure your players know they’re going to be charged eventually. It was unfortunate in my case that I hadn’t originally intended to charge for the desktop version and then had to start. I know I lost some players over that and that really bugs me. [Read more...]

A Chat With Kim Maes, Creator of Cook It Allergy Free

Today we’re very excited to chat with Kim Maes, the brains behind Cook IT Allergy Free, a really fantastic and well-designed iPhone app that offers ‘allergy free recipes’. I caught up with Kim to ask her a little bit about what work went into developing the app, her mistakes and learnings and where things are going in the future. If you haven’t already please do take a look and her website and if you know anybody who has food allergies (and an iPhone), do pass this article on to them. You can also catch up with Kim on Twitter and Facebook, along with her party of other allergy free cookizealots.

First off, I know from reading your website the whole inspiration for learning to cook ‘allergy free food’ came from your son. Did you ever imagine when you were doing your research that you would one day be running a website and iPhone app?

Once I discovered that both my son (and then also my husband), had Celiac Disease and food allergies over 6 years ago, I knew I had to make sure that I was doing everything that I could to feel them in the healthiest way possible. I went back and got a Master’s in Nutrition and then from there spent hours in the kitchen coming up with recipes that would not only be safe for them, but that would also be extremely healthy and taste exactly like the foods they had been used to in the past.

As both my recipe collection and my confidence in allergy-friendly cooking experimenting grew, I just knew I wanted to do something to help other families going through the same experiences and struggles. I just never dreamed it would evolve into what it has. Because I was doing something that I was so passionate about, each new step was just exciting and obvious to me. The idea for my website – Cook IT Allergy Free – and the iPhone App came as I was playing with my new iPhone one day. I was looking through some different recipe apps and realized there were no apps for families that were dealing with food allergies. It was like that lightbulb moment and I just knew that that was what I was going to do.

Cook It Allergy Free app

Getting an app developed is no easy feat. What advice can you give to developers/website owners who want to get an app made? Can anyone do it? Is there anything you would do differently if you were to do it again?

I will be honest in saying that the adventure of developing an app was more involved than I initially imagined. It was a process that, before I began work on this project, knew very little about. I definitely made some mistakes along the way, but the developers that I worked with were very patient.

My biggest advice is to have a very detailed flowchart and screenshots of EXACTLY what you want your app to do and how you want it to flow. And then once you have initial versions of it you need to: test, test, test, and then test it again. Have friends test it. Have strangers test it. Get honest feedback. At first I was afraid to do that. I was embarrassed to ask for advice and I was fearful of any criticism that I might hear. But those very ideas and suggestions that others gave me, made for some of the best features of the app.

I do believe that if you have the confidence (and the patience), then anyone can do it. The process can be quite laborious and it did take a little longer than I imagined it would, but if you go into it with that open mind and with the idea that it will be a major learning curve as you go, then I do really believe that anyone can create an app. I did not do the actual coding of the app myself. I worked closely with my developers. I would design each and every screenshot and what I needed everything to do and how it needed to flow between screens. They would code it, then I would test it. If it was not right, or if was not how I imagined…then back to the drawing board we went.

The most difficult process of the entire project was making the substitution process within each recipe work. Because the main premise of the app is that it will customize any of the recipes to many food allergies, there had to be an entire formula to allow the user to trade out their allergen for a safe ingredient and then have the app correctly calculate the measurements of the new ingredient back into that particular recipe. There were many nights I felt like banging my head against the wall while we were figuring this out. There was a big celebration the day that it finally worked!

Social media has played a big role in getting your app out there. You’ve got a big Facebook following and users can share recipes on Twitter and to their friends on Facebook. Did you actively try to build up a social media following or did that come from the other PR the app picked up.

I honestly feel that my Social Media presence has played the biggest role in marketing the App. I will be honest in saying that the social media has been as much work as creating the app has been. The biggest suggestion I can make is to find a tribe of people that are in the field that would be your App’s target market. Start following their blogs. Start leaving comments. Start following them on Facebook and Twitter. Make connections with people. The more connections you can make, the more they will start to share what you are offering with their own readers and followers. If they have a product they are offering, share their information with your readers. Do reviews of other people’s apps or products. This will inspire them to hopefully do the same for you. [Read more...]

Chatting With Matthew Cawley, Senior Developer at Tecmark

Today we’re very lucky to have a guest interview from Matthew Cawley, Senior Developer at Tecmark, a digital marketing agency and mobile app development specialist company based in Manchester and London. Matthew has worked on some very creative and challenging projects and has been kind enough to share a little of what it’s like to work as a developer full-time.

Apps are ‘the thing’ these days and more and more companies are rushing to get one developed. What advice would you give to someone at Uni who’s thinking about a career in app development?

App development is more than just the standard code learning curve that a lot of developers may be used too and more emphasis should be put on the fundamentals of development as opposed to the natural coding style. Understanding what makes an application run well with limited resources and working within the guidelines set out by companies like Apple that put standards in place that have to be analysed before development can even be considered.

Tecmark

Are there any books/websites/other resources that have become invaluable to you as a developer?

The biggest resources that I have found helpful are Stack Overflow, which usually provides answers to the most common queries, Google and the development documentation such as the ones found at developer.apple.com. Books are great as a baseline for learning a platform but can become out-dated in a matter of months so when looking into purchasing books, look at more generic books on development as opposed to a book on ‘Developing for IOS 4’

What are some of the key challenges that exist in app development that maybe aren’t such an issue in web development?

App development throws in a lot of challenges compared to web development mainly due to the types of projects that are being developed. With applications we are hitting a market that wasn’t previously used and that is the portable market. Current companies are trying to find new and innovative ways of reaching their customers and this usually results in new ideas that no one has ever thought of or pushes technology to a level that doesn’t normally happen. As a result of this developers are constantly being put in a position where what they are developing could be completely new to them, even if they have been in the industry for several years.

With mobile development greater attention needs to be put on how the code is written as performance is vital for the mobile market. An app that performs badly or crashes due to memory issue will gain bad rating very quickly (even if the app is potentially the best in the world for what it can do). Where as websites are powered by high end hardware, mobile devices are limited in terms of graphics power, processing power and memory. When branching out to the Android market there are over 700+ Android devices, each with different hardware specifications, so ensuring your app is compatible with all these devices is a very challenging task.

Now you’ve worked on quite a few very exciting projects that I’m sure you’re keen to discuss. There’s a good combination of useful (Diabetic Friend & Keep Your Licence) and fun (Pic n Mix). Is there a particular type of project you most enjoy working on?

The projects I enjoy working on most are the ones that bring something new to the market. Apps that push the devices to a new level or do something no one else have thought of become great projects to work on and you get a greater feeling of pride when you know it was your team that helped do it. App development is a constant learning curve with no limits to what can be learnt, and new project ideas are a great way of expanding your knowledge and skills in the industry. [Read more...]

How To Create And Share A Guide With Snapguide

Websites such as eHow and wikiHow have until now held a monopoly on how-to information, but their limitations and complications have been exposed by Snapguide. While both of the aforementioned sites provide plenty of content, the former can be seen to be too corporate and impersonal, while the latter lacks the quick and easy approach Snapguide offers.

In this tutorial we’ll show you why Snapguide is a cut above, and explain how in mere minutes you can upload a definitive guide to pretty much any topic of your choosing. Whether you want to explain how to tie a tie or share your great cheese on toast recipe, there’s not much you won’t be able to explain with Snapguide’s easy and intuitive photo and text tools.

Once you’ve created your guide we’ll show you how to share it with your friends and other users, and from there you’ll be able to browse the huge array of content already available on Snapguide.

Snapguide

Snapguide: Make And Share Guides

1. SIGN IN

The first thing you’ll need to do is sign in. You can do this either with one of your preferred social networks or an email address. Using a social network sign-in will allow you to share your guides with people who are outside of the Snapguide user community later on.

2. CREATE

Getting started on your first how-to guide is easy as pie. All you need to do is press the Create button on the bottom bar. If you need some inspiration, have a look at the Snapguide community and try exploring some creations from other users before getting started.

3. EDITOR

After picking a title, you’ll find the Editor. It is here that you’ll see all your steps laid out in order. This is where you’ll be able to edit your steps, and ensure that the guide flows well, includes all the necessary information, and looks and sounds exactly how you want it to.

4. SUMMARY

Before you start your guide you’ll want to add a summary in the first page. This is just a short précis of what the guide will help you to achieve. Then, swipe to the right to add a useful list of supplies that people are going to need to complete the guide.

5. STEP-BY-STEP

From the editor you can upload photos, video and text from your iPhone’s Camera Roll with the Add Step button. This is to help instruct users who are reading your guide. Be warned though, only one photo or video can be used per step, so make sure it says everything you need to say.

6. PUBLISHING

When you’re finished, hit Next in the editor to go to the publishing page. This is where you can change the cover image before your guide is uploaded to the Snapguide community, and if relevant, your chosen social networks.

How to Edit Videos Like A Professional With Avid App For iPad

The emergence of iMovie and other video editing software in the mainstream has not been surprising given the improvements in mobile technology in recent years like the ability of devices to allow users to capture events no matter where they are. Being able to take these clips home and then edit them in desktop suites was the first step, but now the iPad has allowed developers to make even those suites remote.

Avid Studio is one of if not the best to work with, given its very well thought out dashboard that places all the tools you’ll need at your fingertips, including your device’s entire media library, and the effects to turn a collection of clips into something much more polished.

Avid allows you to add transitions between frames for a smoother viewing experience, in addition to pre-designed montages into which you can drop your clips. The whole app is designed around a drag and drop functionality, meaning you car Dick up and drop clips and effects as you wish. The inclusion of a Storyboard above the traditional timeline is also an interesting feature, as it’s a handy quick drop point for effects and clips.

Avid App For iPad

Take at look at some of the cool things you can do to your movie projects with Avid below.

Step by Step: How to Edit Videos Like A Professional With Avid App For iPad

1. YOUR STORYBOARD

As well as your timeline, you have a Storyboard that provides content breakdown at a glance. if you want to change the shot order, you can drag and drop a clip to a new location, taking any set effects with it.

2. TRANSITIONS

To add smoothness to your movies you can place transitions between your clips. Avid recently added some new options, so it now has 16 to pick from such as fades and slides. Drag and drop your preference onto the storyboard. [Read more...]

How To Make Your Files Totally Mobile

Ever since the pen drive, memory stick or USB key (call it what you will) replaced the floppy disk, most of us have kept one near at all times. Now we have smartphones and tablets that work with our desktops and cloud servers, so where does this leave the USB device? Well, thanks to AirStash it seems it still has plenty to offer.

This memory drive comes with an 8GB memory card and a built-in Wi-Fi network for serious storage space and quick access. Once the AirStash has been charged you treat it as you would any USB stick – plug it in, then drag and drop the files you want to put on it from your desktop or laptop.

But this is where things start to change, as should you suddenly be struck by the need to access your files, all you have to do is turn on the stick’s Wi-Fi, join the network on your device and then use the free app – downloadable via the App Store – to access the memory card. Seeing as this is your own Wi-Fi network you can do this anywhere, and up to eight devices at once can join the network with seamless file sharing. While more than one person or device is accessing AirStash files vie the app, you can refresh the page to keep yourself up to date with any new files added by others

AirStash

Step by Step: How To Make Your Files Totally Mobile

1. SETUP

Plug the device into your computer’s USE port and drag and drop all the files you need on to the stick. Once you’re done, eject and hold the power button until the green light flashes. Then head over to the App Store to get AirStash+.

2. Wi-Fi

Upon opening that app you’ll get e message telling you to join your AirStash’s Wi-Fi network. So go to Settings>Wi-Fi Networks and select the AirStash. Once the connection is confirmed you’re ready to return to the app. [Read more...]

How to Create And Share Your Favourite Playlists With Rdio On iPhone and iPad

Rdio is an excellent service for finding, collecting and carrying as much music as you can with you, but it can be so much more. The Playlist functionality is integral to the way the service works, and on an Android smartphone it is even more important.

Building new playlists is an incredibly easy process, and once you know the process, you will be creating new lists in no time at all. They let you organise your music more efficiently and also show others the type of music you enjoy.

The social aspects of the service mean that you can effectively create a digital mix tape and share it with anyone you like, and it only takes seconds to do. The process for sharing playlists is semi-automated, and all of the work to get in touch with friends is done elsewhere. Follow those people whose music tastes you understand and get some people following you and you are done. When you create playlists, they will be shown in your timeline and can be listened to by anyone simply by tapping them,

Some of the tasks are not completely intuitive, but this simple guide will show you the most effective way to create and share playlists directly on your Android device. Warning: once you start building playlists, you may find it extremely difficult to stop.

Rdio On iPhone

RDIO: Dealing With Rdio Playlists

1. USE THE BUTTON

The best way to create your first playlist is to find a song within Rdio and then to tap the’+’ button. A pop-up menu will appear and you should choose Add to Playlist.

2. YOUR FIRST PLAYLIST

You will see a blank page pop up with New Playlist at the top. Tap this and then give it a name in the next box that pops up. The song you chose will now be in the playlist.

3. BUILD IT UP

You can now search for any songs you like and use the’+’ button to add them to your playlist. Try not to make each playlist too long and, if possible, keep them organised by genre. [Read more...]