I am enjoying the iOS game Dots. It’s incredibly simple, which made it incredibly frustrating when I couldn’t reliably get about 130 points. Then, I talked to Tien, who gave me one simple trick that seems obvious now, but eluded me.
If you make a square of like-colored dots, it clears that entire color from the board.
With this, a few more tactics, and some luck, I managed to get 384 points. This isn’t a walk-through, but here are a few more tips I’ve picked up:
Always keep a reserve of the Shrinkers. They’re cheap (10 for 500 dots) and useful when you are one dot away from a square. I sometimes use 2-3 per round since I can replenish them in just a few games.
If you can make a square, don’t waste time connecting other adjacent like-colored dots; they’re going to get cleared anyway.
If you can’t get a single square in the first ten seconds, just start a new game. Doing well requires a string of squares in a row.
When you are on a roll, use a Time Stop. It’ll add 5 additional seconds and they’re not terribly expensive.
When I upgrade to an iPhone 5 next month, I’m not going to get a case. I like showing off a beautiful piece of technology. Elasty, a new case concept from Yoori Koo, might change my mind. It looks painfully practical, even if I imagine it will stick to the inside of my pockets. It’s something I would use if I was going for a run or didn’t want to bring a wallet. [via Kenyatta]
This iOS app will translate Spanish to English (or vice versa) live in a video. It’s stupid how fast this works and I will buy this immediately. It’s going to be a lifesaver on vacations. You can buy it here. [via @marcoarment]
I am linking to this iPhone case for a few reasons.
It’s a really nice looking case, especially when you lay it against something that’s not denim.
The company that makes these does so because “we weren’t happy with the selection that was out there, so we made our own.” It may not always be the best business plan, but you typically end up with something interesting.
When it comes to phones, I prefer to go naked. There’s less stuff in my pocket and I like seeing how usage fades a product. On the other hand, this case is made of denim, so it’s guaranteed to wear and take on a life of its own. MS&Co. obviously thought about this, because they made their cases out of selvedge denim.
I’m not going to buy it, but I want to remember it. It’s beautiful, but not for me. If I kept my phone in a man purse, it might be a different story.
Austin Seraphin is blind and has a story that will guarantee every designer remembers how important it is to make their products accessible.
“Can he get text messages on this?” she asked. “Well, yes, but it doesn’t read the message.” the salesman said. Mom’s hopes sunk, but mine didn’t, since I understood the software enough. “Well, let’s see, try it.” I suggested. She pulled out her phone, and sent me a text message. Within seconds, my phone alerted me, and said her name. I simply swiped my finger and it read her message: Hi Austin. She almost cried. “Leave it to Apple.” I said.
That made me tear up a little, but this just blew my mind.
The other night, however, a very amazing thing happened. I downloaded an app called Color Identifier. It uses the iPhone’s camera, and speaks names of colors.
The next day, I went outside. I looked at the sky. I heard colors such as “Horizon,” “Outer Space,” and many shades of blue and gray. I used color cues to find my pumpkin plants, by looking for the green among the brown and stone. I spent ten minutes looking at my pumpkin plants, with their leaves of green and lemon-ginger. I then roamed my yard, and saw a blue flower. I then found the brown shed, and returned to the gray house. My mind felt blown. I watched the sun set, listening to the colors change as the sky darkened. The next night, I had a conversation with Mom about how the sky looked bluer tonight.
It’s no surprise I like this — it’s essentially Canabalt on skis with tricks. Also, I’m mostly posting this because the iOS app was having trouble tweeting my current high score of 8,341,511. Considering the world leader is over 3 billion, I’ve got a ways to go.
Update: Okay, it’s 5 minutes later and I just got 27.6 million. Maybe I’ll stop posting scores for a bit.
I want an app where you can hold your iPhone up and point it at a group of people, it will recognize the faces of those in your contacts list (iPhoto already has facial recognition) and show their names. You would also be able to go back and look at previously taken photos to see who is in them for a reminder. And maybe, in some future world where privacy concerns aren't an issue, I'd be able to see the names of friends of friends with links to some of their profiles on the web.
Writing this, I remembered I thought of something similar for DVDs. Then I found this Nokia video below (via Nick Bilton) that shows something pretty similar to the app I want. I do like Nokia, but it's funny they're calling this the technology of 2015 when we could probably do this today.
I am becoming obsessed with the iPhone game Canabalt. In the game, you run and jump for as long as you can before you die. Maybe not revolutionary, but it's damn fun.
My biggest problem with the game is that the only way to share your scores is to tweet them. You have a leaderboard on your phone, but it's not global. And since I'm so awesome at the game and Sippey asked nicely, I built a public leaderboard based on people's tweets.
For those who are technically minded, I have a script that hits the Twitter search API every few minutes and grabs people's scores. I went back as far as Twitter would allow to grab old data and I'm ignoring scores from people (cheaters) who posted from the web and not the API (which sucks for me as I've gotten 16k+, but didn't tweet it).
The iPhone app lets you track all of your rides and see if unlimited or pay-per-ride cards are more cost effective. There are other tools like it that are free, but actually tracking your rides makes this worth the $2.