Strange Rain is pretty hard to describe without actually playing with it, but we'll give it a shot. The primary function of the app is to give you a break from your hectic life by displaying a mesmerizing scene of rain falling from the sky. The iPhone screen acts as a skylight, so you're looking straight up as rain drops fall and hit the screen. You can slightly affect the raindrops as they fall by touching the screen and moving your iPhone, and tinkly music from a haunting melody plays amid soothing storm sounds, every time you touch … Read more
According to a recent study by IDC, the iPad has definitively dominated the tablet market, accounting for almost 90 percent of tablets shipped worldwide in the third quarter of 2010. It stands to reason that fourth-quarter results will probably be even higher after the big holiday season. Now that many of the early naysayers have come around to the larger iOS device, I have to think the launch of the iPad 2 in April will be leaps and bounds more successful right out of the gate.
I got the first-generation iPad when it came out for obvious reasons, and probably won't be buying the new iPad personally at launch time (though we will certainly have them here at CNET for testing). But what about you? Are you one of those who decided to wait for the second-generation iPad?
As usual, Apple is not telling us much about its shiny new device, but there have been plenty of rumors regarding a higher-resolution screen, front- and rear-facing cameras, and much more at the various rumor sites.
I'm interested to see who is planning to pull the trigger on the new iPad in April. Let us know your plans in the comments.
This week's apps include a strange interactive storytelling app and a shooting game that cleverly uses the iPhone 4's gyroscope technology.… Read more
Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded:The FCC is set to vote on new Net neutrality rules today
An app that gives users access to WikiLeaks documents gets yanked from Apple's App Store
Google extends free Gmail calling through the end of 2011
Amazon is issuing a refund for the non-lighted Kindle cover for users who have problems with it. The refund number is 877-453-4512.
Google Earth and Google Maps will track Santa's sleigh on Christmas EveMicrosoft is none too amused by the 3D sex simulation use of Kinect by a company called ThriXXX
Links from Thursday's episode of Loaded:
Facebook will soon release auto-photo tagging software
MetroPCS is rolling out 4G networks like gang busters
Google's newest Chrome browser is apparently ready for business use
Google is in trouble in France for findings of anti-competitive practices
A new plug-in electric tricycle will make you super cool on your urban commute
The PlayStation 3 doesn't have many marquee exclusive games this fall, but one its most-anticipated and delayed games has finally arrived on store shelves: Gran Turismo 5. The PS3 update to Sony's long-running hyperreal car franchise has endless vehicles and unparalleled physics, but can it compete with the faster, more action-packed racing games that have flooded the market since?
Scott: As racing games have evolved over the years, physics has gotten more impressive, controls tighter, speeds faster, and presentation positively hyperkinetic. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is the perfect example of the adrenaline-rush racer, a drift-crazy takedown-fueled game filled with rage and competitive social leaderboards. It's three shots of espresso mainlined in your eyeballs, and a heck of a lot of fun.
Gran Turismo, once the proud owner of the best-racing-gaming-ever title, is a different sort of car game altogether. If Sony's new Gran Turismo 5 were a war shooter, it would be The Thin Red Line of video games. Realism, patience, focus--and education. It's a meditation on automotive technology. No running from one event to another--instead, smooth jazz and a series of menus that look like they were taken from a car dealer's wall calendar. Is it uncool? Compared to games like Need for Speed, yes, but is that the point? GT5, a game that Polyphony has been developing for as long as the PlayStation 3 has been released, is a living car catalog, and as its name broadcasts, a "driving simulator."
To that end, it's also the only game of this generation brave enough to have you race a Honda Civic at 55 miles an hour. This game's not afraid to go slow, if slow means realistic. Speeds vary greatly--in bonus NASCAR races, the hyper pace feels shocking. Switch to a kart-racing mode, and the experience shifts again. Racing old Volkswagen minivans around the Top Gear test track is completely absurd, yet faithful to the experience. Braking is clumsy but necessary, just like driving a real car. … Read more
The latest effort in driver and passenger safety for Lexus is to eliminate accidents. To do this, Lexus technicians employ the largest and most advanced driving simulator ever built.
The driving simulator, in Higashifuji, Japan, uses a high-definition imaging system to provide a full 360-degree environment of roads around the vehicle. The driver sits in a pod that is about 15 feet high and 56 feet in diameter. Inside the dome is an actual Lexus, mounted to a turntable. The pod itself runs along a set of interlocking full-motion tracks in a football-field-size room. It can tip forward or backward … Read more
Glass Tower 2 is a physics-based arcade puzzler with some similarities to falling-block video games and the tabletop classic Jenga.
You start each level with a precarious tower of glass blocks--blue ones, which you need to break, interspersed with red ones, which you need to drop safely to the bottom of the screen. You get points for every blue block you break, and you lose points and a life (out of 10 lives to start) for every red block that falls over the side. The challenge comes in choosing which blue blocks to break, and how quickly, as you try … Read more
Turns out the Web is dead. Nope, sorry, Chris Anderson from Wired said so, and that's just the way it is. Nevertheless, we discuss. Also, the Chrome OS is about to hit the tablet world like a meteor, you're only getting half the broadband you're paying for, and Microsoft Flight Simulator is back! Darren and Rafe are so excited! Molly and Jason are also here!Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
One of the casualties of last year's layoffs at Microsoft was the Aces game studio responsible for the company's long-running Flight Simulator game.
At the time, Microsoft promised that the flight simulation franchise would continue in one form or another. This week, Redmond confirmed that it is indeed following through with a new title: Microsoft Flight.
The game is in its early development stages, with an alpha version nearly ready for internal testing, according to Kevin Unangst, a senior director in Microsoft's game unit.
The company is offering few details on Flight, but Unangst said that it … Read more