tic tac phOto – A Fun and Entertaining Way to Fill Up Some Time

tic tac phOto by tictacphOto LLC is a new game, for young and old alike.  Remember drawing those familiar lines to create a grid of nine squares, filling them with either an X or an O, to see who filled a row first?  It’s probably been quite some time since you’ve played tic-tac-toe, but this app sheds a completely new light on a game that has existed forever.

In this version of tic-tac-toe, you play with photos instead of X’s and O’s.  Sound strange?  Well, think of how interesting a game board you will make after you have filled the squares with imagery you find around you.  This is not mere slashes of X’s or bubbles of O’s that fill paper; this is gaming on the move, finding and capturing art while taking control of the board.  Ok, so it’s not like you are playing chess or something as strategic as that.  You are simply making your move by filling a space with a photo.  This photo can be an on-the-spot shot, it can come from your device’s photo library, or it can come from a previous submission for a completed game.   Choose your photo, edit it if you like, and submit to claim your square.  tic tac phOto notifies your opponent that you’re done and the ball is in their court.

tic tac phOto

How do you find an opponent?  Use Facebook, invite someone through email, or search through existing in-app players.  To find players in the app, peruse the Gallery of past games, click on a user to see their username and invite them to be your ‘friend’.  Once someone is your friend, you can choose to start a game with them.  Then, the fun begins.

You and your opponent take turns selecting a square and filling it with a photo.  There are no time limits on each person’s move, so games may last minutes or days.  When you complete that game, you will be astonished with what you have created. Neither one of you will care about who won, because, let’s face it…most games end in a draw.  What you’ll care about is what the game board looks like.  Just think of the possibilities of photos you can use to fill up the grid.  You can choose a category and let your creative juices flow.

tic tac phOto

tic tac phOto itself is fairly simple; however, with some out-of-the-box thinking, you can make this game far more challenging than it appears to be.  Since games could last days and you might lose interest, why not spice things up a bit by challenging your opponent with time limits on moves.  There are no built-in options for this, so players will not be forced to make a move or forfeit.  But, you can play on good faith.  When the next move is made and its timestamp is outside the agreed-upon limit, you can close shop or just play on.

Overall, I found this app to be a fun and entertaining way to fill up some time and end up with a neat collage of photos I might otherwise have not taken.  If you are an aspiring photographer and you want to pair up photo taking practice with a game, tic tac phOto is your ticket.  Just looking at the gallery of games, I could see some cool pics of things, people, faces and just about anything that, when juxtaposed in a 3×3 grid, make for a quilt of imagery.

Photozeen – A Photo Gaming Tutorial

Photozeen by Wazzup Lab is a free iOS app that offers a game-like tutorial teaching better photography on your phone.  What is a game-like tutorial, you ask?  This app is a game and a networking outlet all in one, setting you up with photo-taking ideas, challenges, examples and commentaries to help you take better pictures.  We all get advice from our friends on what photos to take and how to take them; but sometimes, you just need a fellow photographer, who knows how you think, to give you the feedback you need.

Photozeen is an app that opens up a new world of photography in the palm of your hand.  When you set up an account, you will gain access to all sorts of photos taken from fellow members, giving you inspiration and ideas on what to take and how to take it.  Looking for ideas on subjects to sharpen your skills?  The Quests, offer just that.  Delve into the list of quests to pick up a subject, take a photo on it, and submit. It’s as easy as that.  You can also view the gallery of photos offered by others in Inspiration and Rate them. This gives you points, or coins, in your bank account, giving you a better rating as a member of this community.  Higher ratings give you more exposure and more feedback, bettering your photo-learning experience.

Photozeen

As you submit more photos, you will receive feedback.  Hopefully, this will be in the form of some text and not just a happy face.  Everyone on Photozeen is looking to learn, so they are there for you, to help out, inspire and support.  The instant feedback you get helps shape your approach to taking different kinds of photos and may offer ideas to capture more creative content.

There are lots of apps out there that let you upload and share photos you’ve taken on your phone.  Photozeen gives you place to go that gives you a path to follow on your quest to take a better picture and learn from others.  Improvement comes from setting increasing harder goals and milestones, and this app allows you to choose your own pace, select those goals and work towards them.  It puts you on a path towards superior snapshots, not random uploads.

Photozeen

I was not really convinced as to the purpose of the coins and the bank account. I guess it’s a way to measure your involvement in the app, rewarding you for more participation.  However, it is slightly flawed in that users can randomly collect coins by simply rating photos with mere clicks of icons, with no constructive criticism.

This app provides a pretty interesting way to learn better photo taking skills.  It’s a bit scary when you read the description of what the contents may contains, as there is no censorship.  So, if you’re kids maybe participating alongside with you on your account, be aware that you may come across some questionable content.  However, for the most part, most submitted photos are harmless, pleasing to the eye and inspirational.

Zoom In with Over 40 Magnifier App

You’re rushing out the door, late for a meeting with clients, or with friends, and you’re not quite sure what you look like.   Maybe you’ve got something in your eye and you’re nowhere near a mirror to see what it is.  Can your iPhone help?  Sure can.  There’s a neat little app called Over 40 Magnifier and Flashlight that turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a little mirror with a light!  OK, so it’s not just for checking yourself out. It is actually a magnifying tool with light that lets you zoom in on whatever you want to see better.

TLA Investments LLC has created a neat app for iOS that lets you hone in on things that are hard to see with the naked eye.  It could be a receipt that is faded, a menu with tiny print, or the fine print in an instruction manual.  Over 40 lets anyone, of any age, see things in a better light, literally.  It takes an image and enlarges it and you can even opt to turn on the built in flashlight.

Over 40

The app gives you three different windows from which to view.  Two make it seem like you are actually looking through a magnifying glass, while the third makes the entire screen show the enlarged image.   You can view in normal daylight or indoor lighting; and, for those times when external lighting is insufficient, you can turn on the flashlight.   You can even just use the flashlight on its own when you need it!  The flashlight uses up battery power, so this handy app  automatically shuts it off, and its timer can be set by you under Settings (see the upper left icon from the main screen).

Over 40

When are you looking at something of interest that you want to share, you can Tweet it or post in on Facebook.  Mighty handy if you looking at some small detail in a flower or artwork that you need to share; but I would refrain from sharing that new smile line you just detected on your face.  You can even take a picture of the image and save it to your device.

Over 40 allows you to view through what looks like a magnifying glass, probably to give you the full effect.  So, you end up looking through a circle that is about half your iPhone screen.  Personally, that is an option I would do without.  It seems better to just have the full screen option so you can see more of what the app has enlarged.  Otherwise, you are moving around the item trying to see it all.

This app is definitely worth it if you need a quick and easy way to zoom in on something that is hard to see.  Even if you wear glasses, there are just some prints and items that you want to enhance so you can make out the fine details.  It certainly comes in handy when you are in the dark, maybe in your car at night and need to find something – only as a passenger!

Dead Defence – New, in Tower Defense

Tower defense games are all the rage these days.  Add to that the popular zombie and you have something that may not be unique, but is certainly something that will catch the attention of gamers looking for a new playground.  PlayFlock has created a game called Dead Defence, which by the way is free, that is not necessarily cutting edge or anything exclusive.  It does, however, give those gamers, who love defending mother earth and wiping out evil that has infiltrated a new playing field in which to do so.

There is no magic or anything new in how to play Dead Defence.  Like all other games of this genre, you are commissioned with the task of destroying the zombies that once were human inhabitants of this world.  The setting is such:  a virus has spread like wildfire creating zombies galore in its wake.  As part of the defense team, you must travel from base to base, defending each one from the walking souls that wish to penetrate them and infect any surviving humans.  The world will be conquered by them, and humanity, or what’s left of it, will be erased from Earth.

Dead Defence

You start with two basic tower types.  There are many others that you can either earn from points you gather through game play successes; or, through a purchase of $10.99, which unlocks all towers to you at once.  As you play and progress through game levels, the challenge, as expected, increases along with the rewards you reap.  As you collect rewards, you are able to spend them on either enhancing existing towers or buying and installing new ones. Each advanced tower gives you power to defend against and destroy all sorts of ornery creatures that may come your way; but, they will cost you.  Each base you advance to will have something different to defend against, so be quick with wits and strategic with the towers you choose to defeat the enemies.  Every defeat earns you points, opening the door to more arms for you.Dead Defence

With interesting graphics, a new venue and a bit of a new storyline, this game gives tower defense gamers a new place to go to break from the all too familiar.  Maybe even provide some practice in this type of gaming, so you can go back to other games with newfound strategies?  The scenes could be better and maybe the option to unlock a few towers at a lower price would make for more monetary sales.  Not many can or will slap down ten to unlock a bunch of towers, but maybe they would be ready to spend some cold cash for just three or five towers?

Ok, so Dead Defence is not so new in the land of gaming, especially within the world of tower defense; but, if you are bored of what you’ve been playing so far and want a break, this game gives you a quick and free route to that destination.  Get it now for free, and who knows…it may just surprise you as updates come your way!

CaptureAudio – A Convenient Notetaker App

You’ve got an important business meeting coming up, where you need to take in-depth notes, but you’ve realized you’re not a good note-taker? Check out G8R Software’s new app, CaptureAudio, which costs only $0.99 and gives you a plethora of features for fantastic in-depth notetaking. The app works wonderfully on an iPad, and pretty well on an iPhone too. The app records audio, marks conversations, and allows you to take text notes. CaptureAudio screenshot

CaptureAudio works pretty easily, once users get the hang of it. Opening the app, users see a list of recordings to peruse. At the bottom of this list is a big blue button, which you can use to start recording. After beginning recording, some EQ bars come up, next to a time recorder. Below this is blue ‘FLAG’ button, surrounded with eight different, customizable flags. Each flag can bookmark the conversation with one of the eight different settings. There are two sets in there, one for education and the other for business, including sets like urgent, listen, or research. As well, users can change the list of flags to suit their application, including the title and the icons. When something that needs to be bookmarked is recorded, users hit the flag button, and it adds the flag to the recording, and will be saved. 

CaptureAudio screenshot 2

Users can listen to their previously recordings, skipping ahead to different bookmarks, and reading over the notes they’d taken over the course of the recording. Users can also add more bookmarks during playback, in case there was a spot that they didn’t have a bookmark but needed one. In addition, users can listen to their notes in 1.5x or 2.0x, so they can speed up a slow talking orator in order to get to the point quicker. In addition, users can back up their recordings onto either iTunes or Dropbox, while also sharing recordings through each of the applications that are set up for sharing in the iPad or iPhone. Users can also tag their recordings with any number of customizable tags, further organizing their recording list for easier perusal, if users decide to use the app for school and work, or any other combination of applications. 

CaptureAudio works great for anyone in need of a notetaker without the need to buy a tape or USB recorder, or mess with audio files, as they’re all conveniently archived in one place. The iPhone version works a little differently, as the screen doesn’t have enough room for all of the recording features and the note taking function. Instead, users have to hit a button on the recording screen to bring up the note taking screen, which allows for input. Presumably, using the app this way would be a hindrance to note taking, unless users were particularly skilled at using the iPhone keyboard and were interested in long term note taking through the app. Overall though, this is a problem with the iPhone and not the app, because it doesn’t seem like there is any type of fix that G8R Software, the developers of CaptureAudio, would be able to implement to solve this issue. 

CaptureAudio works really well, and is a feature rich note taking app that would allow users to create a large collection of notes, easily indexable and discoverable.