Challenge Your Balancing Skills with A Balance the Ball

Not all games are created equal. Most games are very dynamic and involved – saving the planet, defeating incoming foe and defending your village, or just solving a puzzle. Sometimes, all you need is a simple game that helps you forget your day or just keeps you busy while you are waiting. Those types of games don’t appeal to most games, but if you are looking for something simple and fun, A Balance the Ball is your answer.

When you first download this game, your first impression may be: “This is going to be so easy!”

Think again. At first, you will easily be able to keep the ball on the platform just fine. But as you play more, the app will throw a few bumps and roadblocks your way to keep things lively. You will see a line on the beam that the ball cannot cross, otherwise you lose that round. When you play a round, you get three waves that comes and shift your beam back and forth, rolling the ball left to right or right to left. You counter that movement by moving your device to keep the ball steady and prevent it from falling off the beam and from rolling past any lines.

A Balance the Ball app

That is basically how you play the game. The only changes that pop up are the challenge levels, and what types of waves come your way, how fast they occur and how strong. What makes the game enjoyable and something you want to go back to is the background music. It is upbeat and it keeps you tuned into your challenge. Remember, the waves may come fast and you have to move even faster to anticipate where you need to move the ball.

As you make your balancing adjustments and keep the ball on the beam with each passing wave, you add fuel to the rocket icon that sits at the bottom of the screen. When the fuel tank fills up, you get blasted up to the next challenge level. Most of the scenes and backgrounds tend to reflect something about outer space, but it would be nice to see something different.

The game tries to change things up by making the beam size different at times, and of course the music in the background changes out every so often. I was not sure about what the blue blocks were all about, but apparently they are somewhat of a powerup giving you more time and assistance.

The nature of the game itself is so simple, I can see it becoming a bore after you’ve completed a few levels of difficulty. It would be neat to see the music and sounds reflect different scenarios, like being on a mountaintop and skiing down – the beam could represent the skis and the ball is the person.

For now, A Balance the Ball packs enough of a punch to keep you focused and challenged, which fits the bill when you are trying to pass the time.

Effortless Planning and Organizing with Informant 5

Staying organized in this day and age is no easy feat. We all have so much going on at work and in our personal lives that it can get really hairy managing it all just to stay sane. You have meetings to attend, parties to host, and events to plan. You have people to pick up, things to buy, and tasks to complete. This list grows and grows. Unless you are super organized in your head, you need an organizer that helps you manage it all and allow you to focus on making more critical decisions, rather than worry about what your next task of the day will be.

The key to great time management is letting tools do the work for you. That’s what they are for. If you are spending too much time on a tool, then that tool is not doing its job.

Informant 5 is a tool that lives up to its name. It keeps you informed and organized; and, it does its job.

Free to download, and filled with numerous subscription options that offer an extended array of app features, Informant 5 is an organizer app that you have to try, even if you love the app you currently have.

I personally have been an avid user of Errands.  But, after downloading Informant, I now know what I was missing.

The free version of Informant 5 gives you calendaring. You can enter events and such, along with reminders. What you really need is the upgraded version of Informant, because that is where the workhorse lives.

Informant 5

With a subscription purchase, you get access to your Informant app from both iPhones and iPads – this is essential because you want that accessibility to keep in sync and be able to plan and make changes from whatever device you have handy.

The app itself is like no other. Its coloring is quite simple, and some could say bland, but what you need with an organizer app is not the bells and whistles of graphics and such, but an easy to read display that renders your tasks, events and calendar items in such a way that makes it super easy for you to find what you are looking for and to quickly see what’s on tap for the day and prioritize if needed.

The calendar is white. The background is black. The items you place in the organizer will be on the black background in white letters, but what is most important is the color coding scheme the app offers so that can categorize tasks, notes and events in a way that works best for you. You can categorize by work, personal, entertainment. You could categorize by priority. It’s all up to you. But the point I wanted to make is that the color on black makes it so easy to get a quick status on how your day is stacking up so that you can reprioritize or pick your game.

What I would like to see in the app is the ability to outright purchase it instead of getting a subscription. I love it that much. Future updates should be included, with significant improvements to functionality then added as in-app purchases.

If you seek some stability in your day and need a tool to help get you there, download Informant 5 today. You will wonder how you functioned without it.

Seize Your Day with FileCalendar

Keeping organized and having information ready when you need it key to productivity. Oftentimes, we think we’ll remember where to find what we need, in the instant we need it; but, all too often, we blank out and wish we’d printed out that list or agenda.

I’ve been there too many times and now know how to manage those situations. FileCalendar makes using your calendar far more powerful. FileCalendar is an iOS app that builds off your iCalendar but adds features that support the ability to add files to events. It doesn’t stop there. Once you have uploaded files into FileCalendar, you can search for them after the fact, in case you cannot remember where you uploaded them.

The app is fully functional and so easy to use. Many folks may find the concept of uploading files into a calendar somewhat daunting, but believe me, you will not know how you survived up until now once you start using FileCalendar.

FileCalendar app

FileCalendar has uses on multiple levels:

  1. Work – create meeting and attach agendas. Once meeting complete, attach meeting notes and send out notifications to meeting attendees so they know to read the newly attached meeting notes
  2. Play – enter parties and social gatherings. Entice and excite invitees by attaching fun video clips and photos of the fun to come. Once the party is done, you can even upload thank you’s and photos of the event.
  3. Personal – put in all of your appointments: doctors, dentists, hair, nails, and kids. Then, upload all of those crazy forms you know you will have to fill out in the office. Now, you can set a reminder to fill them out a day or two in advance and be at the ready when you show up. No more digging for those forms!
  4. Shopping – never forget a shopping list ever again. Upload the file and you are good to go. If your event is recurring, then you can simply add to or delete items each week, as needed.

Upload are simple as is event creation. Events are entered just as you would iCalendar. The fields are all the same. You can also import events you have already entered in iCalendar into FileCalendar and start using it immediately.

File types that you can upload include basic Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, mp4 videos, and more. What I would like to see in the future is more cloud based connectivity, so I can upload files from any source, allowing me to create those documents at any time and then upload them to my FileCalendar when I have my iOS device at hand.

While simple by nature, FileCalendar is as powerful as you can make it. You can transform the app be what you need it to be, helping you take control of your day.

Solitaire Fun with Daily Challenges and Winnings

If you are looking for a game that does not require target practice or require you to be an outright genius, look no further. Spider Solitaire brings the classic card game that many of us used to play and placed it in the palms of our hands.

I remember playing solitaire during summer breaks when there was nothing else to do, and eventually, this transitioned over to playing on the computer when they introduced desktop versions. Mobile gaming versions have been available for many years, now. But, Spider Solitaire has a little something different that makes it fun to play and lures you back in to play more.

I really liked that it has many themes to choose from. You can set an underwater theme, with fun fish floating around. You can choose one of their newer themes, like Spring or Rainy Day. All of them are fun and change up the game just enough that you feel like you’ve got something new.

The creators of Spider Solitaire, MobilityWare, take care to keep things fresh by adding new themes and daily challenges. Yes, Daily Challenges are another feature of this app that take playing Solitaire to new levels. Each day, there is a new challenge. Meet the challenge and score a crown. All of your earned crowns can be seen on the handy dandy calendar that the app offers. Earn enough crowns and could be looking at a monumental trophy!

The game play is just as expected. In Spider Solitaire, they don’t throw you into the fire right away. You start off small, making a stack of just one suit. Once you master that, you move on to stacking two suits, and then three and finally four. There is no pressure, just fun. And this game is for players of all ages, nothing to hide or be worried about, for those protective parents out there.

Being a free game, you get an occasional ad or two, but hey, free is never really free.

What you do get that is really neat is sharp graphics and colorful displays. This keeps it upbeat and amusing. Here is what is really cool about the app – lefties rejoice – it has left hand and right hand play. It accommodates all players. In this day and age, not many apps or things do that.

For those who don’t want too much challenge and like a helping hand every so often, the app offers highlighting of cards, so you know what card to pick and move if you are not sure.

For those who have a creative side and really want to make the app there own, outside of a chosen theme, you can customize card backings.

There is not much lacking in this app except I did not easily find a way to shout out to my friends and say, “hey, look at the number of crowns I’ve got!” No matter, I am sure there will be connectivity to social media soon.

Download and enjoy this app today. You will fall for it, hook, line and sinker.

Two Numbers – Merge Tiles and Earn Points Before Time Runs Out

Tiled puzzle games are a memory from the past. Remember those plastic ones you used to get in those party bags at the end of a birthday party? I don’t know about you, but I always would force on out and fix tiles in such a way that I could easily get to the finish line fast.

Nowadays, with the digital versions of tiled puzzle games, you are on your own, with your brain, of course. There is no cheating. The games have also taken on new challenges. You are not tasked with putting tiles in numeric order or building an image. You are now tasked with merging tiles and getting to the highest power of 2 before you run out of tiles to merge.

Download the app and you will see exactly what I’m talking about. The app opens up conveniently with a tutorial and explains the different ways in which tiles can be merged, how to merge them, and it even shows you what happens after the merge.

After the merge, the existing tiles shift to fill the empty slots, and you get new tiles.

Swipe correctly, and you will move closer and closer to a higher number. Swipe incorrectly, and you may just create islands of tiles that cannot merge and grow in value, leaving you stuck to forfeit and either try again or start a new game.

Two Numbers Puzzle screenshot

Within the app, which is a free download, you can adjust settings – turn the music, sound and vibrations ON or OFF. You can also rate the game, which of course helps out the creators. You can even elect to make an in-app purchase to stop the ads from polluting your gaming experience.

I personally did not find the ads to be a nuisance, but everyone has their tolerance for such things.

Back to the game – I really liked the fact that in this game, merges did not have to fall exactly in a line. You could merge a tile that was adjacent to another tile, and that other tile was adjacent to a third tile, forming a “corner.” In this case, all three tiles would merge and end up in your final swipe spot. This was something I had not seen before.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you have only so many minutes to complete a game. After the time is up, and I have not figured out what that is, your game ends and you get your score.

I have not figured out another thing which seems to be an option, but I have yet to confirm it; the ability to join in a game with someone else or to even post your scores and see if you make it to the leaderboard.

What is nice is the ability to get support from within Two Numbers. From the Main menu, tap on Support, and it allows you to send an email to the customer support team for Doros. They will be more than happy to assist you.

Mevo – Lose Weight the Fun Way

Let’s face it…we’ve all been at that place where we just don’t like what we see, and I’m not talking about a bad movie. You’ve been binging on wings and gulping down pop like there’s no tomorrow, because you look and feel great and have an exercise routine in place that got you there.

Well, reality hits hard. Sometimes, that same old exercise routine has to grow with you, and that’s when you can use a helping hand. Sure, there are lots of apps out there that let you type in your goal weight, date and more, but Mevo – Weight Loss and Fitness app is different. Mevo is with you every step of the way, in different ways. It’s a trainer, coach, media outlet and more, so you get what you need on all fronts to stay on the path to healthy.

First off, Mevo connects you at several levels. It connects you with others who are in the same boat as you, so you gain the support you need to forge ahead and not stray. Thinking of heading over to the local yogurt place tonight? Not. Your friends on Mevo won’t let you make that mistake.

The second connect is to information. Recipes, nutritional educations, and more. In general, we all know what healthy looks like, but it can be daunting. Mevo offers up options that fit your lifestyle and palate.

The third connect is to your stats. Walk, run, bike, yoga, pilates – whatever you do, you log it. Every movement counts. Mevo makes it so easy to log each activity you engage in. Walks and runs count automatically, so you get bang for your buck.

Calories and intake you will have to enter, of course, but the app makes it so easy with a barcode scanner, so you can get an instant quote on the value of what you are about to eat.

Again, this all gets logged into your database and becomes a part of the information that Mevo will use to help guide you towards your goal.

The app is so easy to use. The download is free and the interface is intuitive. There are tons of recipes to choose from based on what you like, how much time you have, and dietary restrictions. This area of the app is extremely easy to navigate and updates every so often, so there is no chance of getting bored with the selections. You can even tag favorites so you can get to them fast. What I really liked about this app is that it made meal planning so easy, this became one less dreaded chore, and more of a fun activity.

Workouts and exercise routines are abundant and fit your schedule. You simply type in your goals and expectations, and the app becomes your personal coach, helping you determine when to workout, which workout to use and you are on your way.

The fun part is the area of the app that offers quizzes and games. This keeps things lighthearted and engaging, instead of once more goal you need to achieve.

I would like to see more connectivity to a variety of devices such as Jawbone Up. This will widen the scope of accessibility to many more users, making the community larger and connectivity stronger.

I have found myself sticking to a better exercise regimen and eating a little better after using Mevo. I hope that you find the same success, as well.

Keep it Together with Coosha Calendar

Let’s face it, we all have too much going on. We think we’ve got it all covered when we enter events and dates in our calendar, but all too often, those events get overridden with events from other parts of our lives. Work stuff happens at work, sure. But what if you forgot about the 8:00 conference call when you signed up to chaperone your kid’s field trip?

That’s where COOSHA CALENDAR comes into play. COOSHA is the all in one life organizer that helps you make sense out of madness. It’s not that our lives are maddening, but it can sure seem like it.

COOSHA is a calendar app that offers a level of flexibility and functionality that no other calendar app can match. It opens up collaboration at all levels, allowing you to hide certain items from certain users and more.

This functionality gives you the power to link what’s happening in your personal life to what’s happening in other areas, like work, family and school, so you never overbook and you can let others know your availability.

For instance, let’s say you will be on vacation for a week in July. You will definitely have this listed on your personal calendar, but instead of double dipping and entering it again on your work calendar, you can share this calendar with work colleagues so they are in the know. The privacy controls allow you to share calendars, but also define what others can and cannot see.

Another neat feature is the ability to add events that involve lots of participants and then being able to add who will be doing what, so you save time not having to email or text back and forth. You can make decisions from within COOSHA. It makes real time collaboration easy.

Each screen is well designed and easy to read, which means you can spend more time focusing on the items you need to tackle rather than on figuring out the app.

If you are worried about using a new app and having to start from scratch, fear not! COOSHA lets you import your calendars from a variety of existing app, such as Google, iOS and Windows.

The app is a great download for anyone who needs to schedule and coordinate with others in their lives, from all areas. The only downside is that the only collaboration you can have is with others who also have COOSHA CALENDAR. So, in that way, it has some of a disadvantage.

Barring that, once you get your family on board, you can guarantee that coordination of calendars and events will go much smoother and you will have fewer collisions than before, with less work on your part.

Piczle Lines DX – Strategically Place Segments to Connect the Dots and Solve Puzzles

Puzzle solvers rejoice!! If you love puzzles that stretch and exercise the mind but entertain as well, then you have got to download Piczle Lines. In a nutshell, you are creating a picture by solving a puzzle; hence, pic+zle, or piczle.

The puzzles are not like jigsaw puzzles. No, these are more sudoku-like in nature, forcing you to think about your next step before you make it. Lots of logic is involved, so be ready to flex your brain when you take this on.

The game itself is a very modular, so you can play for a while, and then start up again whenever you have time using the convenient Continue button. You’re not expected to finish anything in one go, but rather, you play a bit, then come back and play some more. Everytime you come back to your game, you will be giving your brain some time to absorb your last moves and see where you want to go next.

To play, you are basically drawing out lines and segments that eventually make a picture. As you make and complete these pictures, the images grow in complexity and challenge. Each line segment shows a number at the start and end points which define the number of segments each line should consist of. Players use this to concisely draw the colored lines.

Segments are created by linking two circles shown on the grid. Each circle has a number in it. The challenge is to draw a line that covers the number of squares represented in the circle. For instance, if you see two circles with a four in them, and there are four squares that connect them, then draw a line to connect them.

If you feel you’ve made a mistake, you can undo a drawn line or segment and start over, because the app keeps track of every line you draw.

The free to download app comes equipped with enough games to get you used to how to play and then learn the ins and outs. When you are ready for a tougher puzzle set, then you can make an in-app purchase to download them.

The only downside to the game is that it centers around one method to make the pictures: connect the dots, so to speak. Maybe adding another dimension to the game will keep things interesting.

Outside of that, this game is great for anyone of any age. There is no pressure and it makes you exercise your ability to lay out lines on a grid, without crossing over, giving it a somewhat strategic air about itself.

If you are looking for a different kind of game, then Piczle Lines DX is the one to get.

TooFar Media – Experience Words in a Whole New Way

Books baffle the mind and force us to think outside the box. They take us to new places. They allow us to see new things. Even though all we are looking at are words on a page.

Imagine if the book provided all of the elements your imagination conjures up when you read. The sounds that play in your head, and the pictures you paint in your mind would now leap off the pages of the book.

These things I describe are all too real in Rich Shapero’s TooFar Media: Immersive Story Experiences.

Download this app because you are not going to believe what you see. This app comes with a preloaded story and three others you can download, so be sure to have the bandwidth and the time.

Story selections include:

Too Far: An exhilarating and heart-breaking story of an end to innocence that follows two six-year olds as they take refuge from their turbulent homes by exploring the mysterious wooldland beyond.

Arms from the Sea: A young sculptor from the State of Salt swallows a poison pill that transports him to a watery heaven, whose monstrous, seductive creator reveals to him what it might mean to redeem a desolate world.

TooFar Media app

The Hope We Seek: Zachary Knox, “the Bull’s-Eye Telepath,” heads north in search of gold, arriving at a mining camp where arduous labor, sustained by belief in the cult of Hope, promises an unearthly reward.

Wild Animus: The quest for a “bliss beyond fear” drives a young idealist to the Alaskan wilderness where, alone with his dangerous ideas, he transforms himself into a wild creature, prey to a strangely familiar pack of wolves.

So, what makes this app different than other reading apps? This app contains stories that are more than just your typical printed word. Each story comes elaborately enhanced with artistic embellishments. By this, I mean an amazing collaboration of sights and sounds that pull you into the story and erase the world around you.

First off, you have songs that were carefully crafted to match each moment in the story, almost as if you were watching a movie. Next, there is art on each page that puts meaning into each word and helps you create the setting and emotion.

When you enter the app and after you download the books you are interested in, you can swipe left and right to get to each story. From there to enter the story and move further into it, you do a double swipe from the middle outward. To me, it was as if I was opening the door to the next room.

I have to say that the overall layout of the app and maneuverability within is easy to master, but initially, I was a bit lost, and later found it was easy to jump to chapters within each book, which made it extremely easy to get to where I wanted when I left off.

I have just finished one book and look forward to diving into the next. I have never seen such an experience before and I highly recommend TooFar Media to anyone who loves literature, music and visual art.