Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is a brand new iPhone app from Facebook that lets you send and receive text messages to and from your friends on Facebook. Using push notifications you can use the the new Facebook Messenger app as a pseudo replacement for SMS Text Messaging, and save a few dollars especially when traveling abroad. The app is quite simple in nature yet boasts interesting features that make it powerful & useful.
Unlike the chat pane on the Facebook website, with Facebook Messenger pretty much all your friends who have the app installed are online and avaialble at all times. No need to check for a green dot. Thanks to push notifications, just check for a mobile iPhone icon next to their name. If you and your friends all have the new app, you will save on text messaging costs.
If you don’t wanna be bothered with instant notifications, the Messenger app lets you switch your alerts from instant to “off for 1 hour” or “off until 8:00am” for a digest style notification.
Facebook Messenger
Before sending a message you can enable your location in the message. Just check the little envelope triangle to turn it to the blue color. That means now everyone will get the message with your GPS location attached. When your receive a message in the Facebook Messenger app that contains a little pin icon, it means that person has disclosed their location to you. Tap the message and a map opens up to show the exact address. Tap the View Full Map link for a full sized map where you can pan around. The blue location arrow in the message field is very small as well and close to the send button, making it a somewhat prone to mistakes, if you have larger fingers. Overall this GPS location information can be great for finding your peeps around town while you chat with them.
You can also attach a photo to your messages in the app. Pick from either Take Photo or Choose Photo and you will be able to add an attachment to you messages. Videos are not supported right now. Send messages to multiple friends to start a group chat.
Facebook Messenger
Finally, all the messages, attachments and location info you have in the Facebook Messenger iPhone app all show up on the Facebook website as well, so you can see them in real time.
There is no Facebook Messenger app for the iPad, as there is yet no Facebook app for the iPad, although it is rumored to be on the way. Having a standalone messaging app for Facebook may seem a bit redundant, and I really wish this feature was just added to the existing Facebook iPhone app. But overall this is a very good app and works fast. So, grab the new Facebook Messenger iPhone app and make yourself more accessible to the world.
Sidenote: A previous iPhone app by the same name of Facebook Messenger, has now been renamed to fone pro in the App Store, probably due to some legal issues.
View the developer website here
Download Facebook Messenger at iTunes App Store
Price: Free
Seller: Facebook, Inc.
Version: 1.0
Size: 5.84 MB


The Google+ iPhone app is out in the App Store. With the new Google+ for iOS you now have the ability to take your new Google+ profile with you and access your stream, photos, circles, huddles, and profile with you anywhere you have your iPhone. The Google+ app is not available for the iPad and won’t show up in the iPad App Store, so you’ll have to use the web version on the iPad for now. You’re not able to find the Google+ app in the App Store if you search for the phrase “Google+” which returns only other Google apps. Kyle suggested that you can search for “Google huddle” which does in fact return the Google+ app. You can also just click on the download button below to jump to the App Store page for the app.
The main screen shows 5 icons, for your Stream, Huddle, Photos, Profile and Circles. Stream has 3 views (Incoming, Circles, and Nearby) which you can swipe left and right to get to on the iPhone.
Google+ iPhone app
Use the Checkin feature from the Stream menu, and Google+ lists local GPS located business for you to checkin to. You can pull down to refresh the list of places or type and search for places by name.
Posting a new update allows you to include your location or not, as well as the list of circles who will see your post. You can post photos from your Camera Roll or take new ones and post via the Camera app. The app allows for you to view your profile page although you can’t edit it from the iPhone app as of now. You can post comments on any post and +1 it from the top menu bar.
Photos in Google+ show up from people in your Circles, Your Albums, From your iPhone and Photos of you. Browse the photos using a nice Polaroid style layout, read and post comments and find tagged people. Photos from your iPhone can be seen by the Google+ app, and you can select the ones you want to share on your profile. Browsing photos from your Circles is a nice feature although the photos take a while to load. Speaking of which, the app overall behaves and feels like it might be a web based app that runs in an iOS shell.
The huddle feature on the iPhone lets you text chat with 1 or more people at the same time. There is no video chat support on the Google+ iPhone app yet however. You can type in the name or email address of anyone from your Contacts and start a huddle with them.
Google+ iOS app
The Circles section lets you see all your people and circle connections, and the app also show suggested people you should add to your circles. And yes, Mark Zuckerberg is seemingly suggested to everyone.
Google+ gives you list of notifications on the bottom that shows when new people have added you and other updates, and you can also enable push notifications for these alerts.
Huddle lets you send super-fast messages to the people you care about most. And no matter where you are, the stream lets you stay in the loop about what your friends are sharing and where they’re checking in.

Installing the Google+ app on iPad

Here’s the trick for adding Google+ to your iPad: (as discovered by a user over at Redmond Pie)
  1. Download the program “iPhone Configuration Utility” for Windows or Mac from Apple.
  2. Install the program on your machine.
  3. Run iTunes and download the Google+ app
  4. Connect your iPad using the USB cable
  5. Run iPhone Configuration Utility
  6. Pick your iPad from the left
  7. On the right choose Applications
  8. Click on Add and find the Google+ .ipa file on your machine
  9. Now click on Install next to the Google+ app on the list
  10. Google+ will show up on your iPad and you can run it in 2x mode
  11. Enjoy
Here’s also a video from iDownloadBlog that also explains the above steps on how to do the iPad hack for Google+

View the developer website here
Download Google+ at iTunes App Store

Price: Free
Seller: Google
Size: 5.31 MB

Skype for iPad

The wait is over! The free Skype app for iPad is finally here. You can now use your iPad as a full fledged VoIP phone with the newly released official Skye iPad app which features full screen video calling and instant messaging. Using the large iPad screen you now have a beautifully designed interface with large contact photos and dual send/receive picture-in-picture style video feeds. Finally with the iPad app you can now be on a video Skype call and text simultaneously. The app is not universal, so you have a separate download for the iPad version and another app for iPhone and iPod touch users.
With a little more money spent on Skype Credits you can even call regular iPhones and landlines straight from your iPad. If you sign up for a personal Skype number, you can even receive phone calls directly on your iPad. You can use the iPad app to call over 3G as well as a Wi-Fi connection. The iPad app keeps a history of your Skype calls with easy flipping navigation.
Skype for iPad
The iPad app pulls in your existing Skype contacts and you can also add new ones there. Pick any Skype user and start a video call in a few seconds. If you have an iPad 2, you can also flip the video output to either the front or back camera while on a Skype call. On the first gen iPad you can only receive video, while on the iPad 2 you can both send and receive Skype video and text chat simultaneously. You can still Skype out to other Skype users on their iPhone, Mac, or PC as you would expect.
Although the contacts list is beautifully rendered using pictures, there is not enough options to sort, and filter your contacts, which might be an issue if you have a ton of people on your list. Also there is no way to start a group call on the iPad, which with the amount of real estate could be a possibility.
Skype for iPad
The Skype iPad interface is amazing and beautiful and the talk, text, watch meshing gives you a whole new reason to love your iPad 2 and Skype subscription. While FaceTime does sort of the same thing for iOS users, with Skype you have a bit more power to call regular phone lines. The full screen video is already breathtaking, and when the iPad 3 comes out with improved front and rear cameras, this video calling thing will look even sharper.
Here is a video demo of the Skype app on the iPad

View the developer website here
Download Skype for iPad at iTunes App Store
Price: Free
Seller: Skype Software S.a.r.l
Version: 1.0.1273
Size: 16.28 MB

Facebook iPad app

Facebook iPad app
It’s about time! There will soon an official Facebook iPad app in the App Store. The story first broke by New York Times blogger Nick Bilton today who has confirmed a free iPad application that has been designed to take full advantage of the large tablet screen. The iPad app has reportedly been in testing and production cycles for the past 12 months and should be ready in the coming weeks.
New features in the Facebook iPad app are first and foremost photo and video uploading capabilities, a full resolution interactive media viewing experience, as well as a fully optimized chat experience for the iPad which you haven’t seen anywhere yet.
Those 3rd party iPad apps for Facebook that have been trying to provide Facebook users some sanity (My Pad, iFace, Friendly) will be facing some stiff competition.
Finally, the Facebook web portal is also going to be getting a facelift when viewing it from your Safari browser on the iPad. It will be interesting to see how much HTML 5 goodness gets pimped out there.
It was only a few months ago in November of 2010 when Zuckerberg was asked about the Faceook iPad app, to which he replied “the iPad’s not mobile, it’s a computer.” That was then, and this is now 8 months later, with Facebook about to unleash their official iPad experience.
In related news TechCrunch today revealed screenshots of the photo sharing additions coming to the Facebook iPhone app which might be duplicated on the iPad side.
View the developer website here
Download Facebook iPad app Coming Soon
Price: Free

Agenda - A Better Calendar with Today’s Date

Do you feel annoyed in small spaces? Now you don’t have to. Agenda is a replacement app for the iPhone or iPod touch developed by App Savvy which sells for $1.99 in the App Store. If you’re a regular user of the default Calendar app on the iPhone, you’ll be amazed at how much more useful, and yes in fact “better” Agenda is at giving you the information you need about your appointments. Agenda uses a plain white background layout and utilizes simple swipe gestures to get you from and to the places you need instantly. You also get contextual information in the various set of screens without all the unnecessary junk. Agenda is simple, logical, usable, and most importantly a joy to use. Agenda goes to show that you can in fact do a lot with the small iPhone screen, if you think differently.
Minimal design enthusiasts are going to automatically love the Agenda app. Now although its design is scaled and stripped down purposefully, the functionality in Agenda is actually the same as you get in Calendar. The only missing piece is that you will get today’s date in the form of a badge prompt over the icon instead of the native number the Calendar app has over its icon. I’m not sure why only Apple gets to do the native icon mods and 3rd party developers are stuck with the badge, but I for one don’t like seeing that badge, so I’ve turned that feature off in Agenda. Note that unlike what the app’s icon shows in the App Store, the red date circle sticks out of the app’s icon like any other notification message badge on the iPhone. Nevertheless I’m still sold on this app and have replaced it on my Home Screen. Calendar now sits in a utility folder deep inside the 3rd page on my iPhone.
Agenda - A Better Calendar with Today’s Date
When you open Agenda, you get the scrolling month view which lists the days of the month along with your appointments for each day neatly. Swiping is where Agenda lives. Swipe left from here to see the full month view, with simple 1-31 numbering and color coded dots for your events. Each day is active so you can tap it to jump to it. Swipe left again to go to the year view, where you can see 6 months at a time and can scroll up or down to see the other 6 months of the year.
Now swiping right from the month list view, gets you to Today’s calendar. You get a nice month snapshot on the top left, today’s date on the top right, and your events all listed underneath in a large legible white page. No more being stuck scrolling in that tiny little iframe looking window in the Calendar app. Swipe right again and you get a blow up look at individual events, and by default the app is smart enough to take you to your next upcoming event. This sort of pre-thinking smarts are also what makes Agenda so useful.
In most of the screens you can also swipe up or down and the app takes you to the previous or next set of events, days, months, or years.
In all the screen yo can tap the + button to create a new event. This screen is pretty much identical to what the Calendar app gives you. There are left and right buttons on the bottom as well if you’re not easy with swiping. Finally a setting button exists which takes you to the options page. You can choose which of your iPhone calendars you want to view, and either enable or disable the badge icon date.
Agenda - A Better Calendar with Today’s Date
Now for some ideas for improvements. Please make the navigation bar icons disappear when the user is not touching the screen. The app is so clean and fresh, but those icons are a bit annoying to see all the time. Give us the option of using a white on black theme. As much as I love the white look, also maybe having a simple color chooser would be a nice theming addition. Finally, as much as I love this app, its icon could be a lot prettier. Especially since it now sits on the top right of my Home Screen, I wish it was a bit more snazzy. Finally, please, make an iPad version of Agenda, if it isn’t already in the works that is.
Overall, I would recommend the Agenda app to anyone who wants to be more productive on their iPhone. Spend the $2 and get yourself Agenda. You’ll be happy you did. Now I just hope that someone at Apple is looking at Agenda and thinking about how they can bring some of the ideas into their native Calendar app.
Here is a video demo of the Agenda - A Better Calendar with Today’s Date app on the iPhone

View the developer website here
Download Agenda - A Better Calendar with Today’s Date at iTunes App Store
Price: $1.99
Seller: App Savvy
Version: 1.0
Size: 0.47 MB


Change your glob of paint’s color, assimilate other blobs and take over the board! Globs is a puzzle app featuring color matching and a untimed, limited moves system. Released by Elevate Entertainment and Crawl Space, Globs is available as a universal app on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and sells for $0.99 in the App Store. This review is performed on the iPhone 3GS.
Color matching games and I have never had a great relationship. My colorblindness has always gotten in the way of my full enjoyment since games like these always remind me of how unable I really am. Green and Orange, Red and Orange, Purple and Blue… It’s just a challenging mess of colors. Globs does fall into this category for me since there are no color-blind options and the colors run really close together in my eyes. This however, is minor and I won’t let it distract me from how good this game really is.
Originating from the internet, Globs the app is clearly refined, fun, and well done. You start with a single starting point. Where you have to then change the starting blob’s color to match the colors next to it. Doing this fuses the two circles together and your blob grows in size. Repeat this with as few moves as possible to fuse together the entire field or play it in timed mode where you have a limited time to make each move.
Short and simple, Globs is an excellent iOS game. Challenging in Timed or Classic mode, OpenFeint and Game Center compatibility, Facebook leaderboards, and one of the most unique puzzle designs available, Globs is definitely well worth the try and is a great experience.
Globs on the iPad
I might be able to enjoy the game for more than a few minutes without suffering over-stressed eyes and a headache, but even I have to admit that this is a great game app.
Note: You can also find and play a Flash version of the same game of Globs online.

View the developer website here
Download Globs at iTunes App Store
Price: $0.99
Seller: Elevate Entertainment
Version: 1.0
Size: 18.06 MB

Harry Potter Film Wizardry

With the new iPad app Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Insight Editions Harry Potter fans can explore the Harry Potter films deeper than ever before. Other iOS apps about Harry Potter such as Harry Potter: Spells (iTunes $2.99) allow you to practice casting spells and duel with other iPhone owners. Film Wizardry is the first app dedicated to all of the movies as well as the inner workings of the films. This iPad app features an excellent interface allowing users to feel a part of the magic. It offers numerous articles interviewing actors, directors as well as other people involved in the books and movies. The app also features articles describing how the movies were made including the props, sets and makeup for the actors.
Harry Potter Film Wizardry
Each movie has around four to five articles discussing topics ranging from costumes to how to decide what parts of the books to include in the movies. Following the articles about the individual movies are more articles breaking down individual scenes. These articles range from describing the Chamber of Secrets to the Lovegood’s home. There are also articles about the actors and actresses as well, describing their growth through the movies and their individual experiences.
Film Wizardry is loaded with pictures and trailers from each movie with links to purchase the movie and books as well as a store to buy other Harry Potter items.
Harry Potter Film Wizardry
The app does not lack any attention to detail. Just like the Harry Potter movies, each section of the Film Wizardry app uses unique designs and features. The interface allows you to scroll down and read the rest of any article, while you can optionally scroll sideways to move from one to the other.
There is also an extras section in the app that has exact copies of various objects in the movies, ranging from Harry’s Hogwarts Acceptance letter to an invitation to the Yule Ball.
Harry Potter Film Wizardry
Understandably, the Harry Potter Film Wizardry app does not yet offer a gallery for the last installment of the series, but hopefully a future update will provide one. A downside to the application is that it takes up a large amount of space on your device. It is suggested that you have at least 2GB of free space available on your iPad before downloading as well as a high-speed WiFi connection. Only due to the large amount of space it consumes, I’m giving this app a 4.5 rating. At $12.99 it’s not cheap, but I would recommend it for any avid Harry Potter fan that wants to experience more of the magic.

View the developer website here
Download Harry Potter Film Wizardry at iTunes App Store
Price: $12.99
Seller: Insight Editions
Version: 1.1
Size: 992.05 MB


MAX GO is a new iPad, iPhone, iPod touch app and web service from Cinemax that gives subscribers access to on demand movies and Cinemax series on your iPad. Home Box Office has already released the HBO GO iOS app, and now Cinemax users get the same fabulous treatment. The app asks you to log into your current cable television or satellite company to verify you are paying for the Cinemax package, and then loads the programs page where you can tap to start watching right away. Right now MAX GO supports U-Verse, Verizon, Charter, Cox, DIRECTV, Dish, RCN, Sudden Link, and xfinity. Unfortunately Comcast and Time Warner customers are left out in the cold as of right now.
The layout of the MAX GO app is very clean and easy to navigate on both the iPhone and iPad, although things are much more fluid on the iPad screen. Pick from either Movies & Series, or Max Aftr Dark to begin. Movies have a featured section where you can flip through a cover flow style gallery of the top hollywood flicks. Choose A to Z and you can run through all the movies Cinemax on Demand has to offer for your iOS device. For more specifics you can drill into movies by genre.
The MAX GO app has a Watchlist feature where you can keep a shopping cart style list f movies you want to watch later by tapping the “add to watchlist” link. You can access your watch list online as well at the maxgo.com website to quickly create a list of stuff you want to watch later on your iOS device. Your watch list movies are always available using a film strip style drop down on the top of the page. You can easily edit your wishlist and remove stuff you’ve already watched.
Movies and shows each also have their own full informational page where you can get stats like runtime, release year, rating, plus cast & crew, director, producer, and soundtrack details. From here you can also Facebook share and tweet about the show if you like.
Besides movies and Max original Series, you also get access to Max After Dark shows via the app. You have to option of setting up Parental Controls in the app by entering a PIN to secure access to sexual content.
If you were planning on using MAX GO to watch shows while abroad, note that the MAX GO app and service are restricted to US and certain US territories, and don’t work abroad. The app works over both a 3G connection or WiFi and the quality of the stream is adjusted in the app based on your speed.
The app also talks about an assignable Series Pass which will send new episodes of the new Cinemax original series Strike Back to your Watchlist, although it is not at all clear how you would go about signing up for the Season Pass option in the app.
If you like to watch movies, the MAX GO app is a wonderful addition to your iPhone or iPad. Right now the app is featuring movies like Get him to the greek, Edge of darkness, and Half baked. Overall there are more than 400 movies and shows available at launch day for MAX GO and new content is going to be added each month going forward.

Cut the Rope: Experiments

Take one of the most popular games all time on iOS, add 75 new levels, some new mechanics, and keep one of the cutest monsters to ever star in a video game and what do you have? Cut the Rope: Experiments, of course. Cut the Rope: Experiments by ZeptoLab UK Limited is the sequel to the extremely popular Cut the Rope game and is available for iPhone, and an HD version ($1.99) is also available for iPad.
If for some reason you missed the original Cut the Rope, the premise of the game is simple. There is a little monster, Om Nom, who absolutely loves eating candy. Coincidentally, you have a piece of candy, generally attached to one or more ropes. Your goal is to guide the candy to Om Nom by cutting the ropes that the candy is attached to, and having the candy fall across the three stars on the level to earn a perfect score for each challenge. Of course you’re not just cutting ropes, you’re also popping gravity defying bubbles, blowing the candy across the map and sliding sliders to help feed Om Nom. When you successfully get the candy to Om Nom, he gobbles it up with a cute sense of satisfaction — when you miss, he’s quite sad and lets you know by pouting. It was such a great game that I was nervous a sequel might not do the original justice.
Cut the Rope: Experiments
I could not have been more wrong in my fears. Not only does Cut the Rope: Experiments deliver identically addicting gameplay as the first, it goes beyond by adding new challenges and a deeper back-story, all while maintaining the same feel and fun as the first. The first thing you’ll notice in Experiments is that on some levels, stars now move. Now the timing of your actions will not only impact whether or not your candy will reach Om Nom, but whether you’ll earn any stars in the process. Another interesting addition to Experiments are shoot-able ropes which will latch on to the candy the moment at which you shoot. The length of the rope you shoot will depend on how far away the candy is at the moment the rope is released. It’s an incredibly smart addition to the game that adds a really interesting wrinkle to your strategy. Also added to Experiments are trampolines that bounce the candy around the level and make you think about the best way to use them. Finally, ropes connected to movable suction cups create new levels that are never the same twice. These new gameplay tweaks keep the feel of the original Cut the Rope, while adding new ways to frustrate even the most seasoned of rope cutters.
Cut the Rope: Experiments for iPhone
Cut the Rope: Experiments is a cute casual game that packs a great deal of strategy and fun into a tiny package. In addition to the new changes in gameplay, we get to learn more about where Om Nom comes from, which is a lot of fun. If you love the original Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, or any of the hit casual iOS games, this is definitely one to add to your collection. The iPhone version is available for $0.99 and the iPad version is available for $1.99, both on the App Store.