Thursday, May 23, 2013

99 Pennies for Your Thoughts?


This young man was diagnosed with bone cancer and died just this past Monday at the age of 18. Before he died, he recorded this song as a way to say goodbye to his family and friends. It's now number 1 on iTunes. If you buy this uplifting (tear-jerking) song, the proceeds go to cancer research.

Shed a tear, spend a buck, then maybe one day cancer won't suck.

Cover Art

Clouds - Single

Zach Sobiech Pop
  2167 Ratings

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Go Ahead, Pitch Me

Almost daily I receive emails from marketers and app developers asking me if I'll review or write something about their product or app on my blog. Almost daily I need to turn down these offers. While it is a good problem to have, it's no small challenge trying to keep up with the onslaught of requests (good, bad and downright ugly) in addition to caring for myself, my family and running my own small consulting business! Darn those priorities!

So many times I regret having to turn down opportunities for product and app reviews because despite the work and time they take, I sincerely do enjoy reviewing apps and products. It's only too bad that there just aren't enough hours in the day to fit it all in. Don't tell anyone, but I'm a bit of an appaholic. Ok, so that's not exactly a secret and being a mom with a blog makes me a bit of a target when it comes to marketers looking for free or next-to-nothing advertising. The even sadder truth is that I know I'm not alone. There are so many great content creators out there whose expertise really benefit fledgling companies. There is real gold to be mined out there. Promotion and endorsement is an art that ought not be taken for granted, so you really need to make your requests shine.

That is why I am recommending this book to anyone who has come to my blog or visited my growing social graph hoping to get a review or recommendation from me. I really do want to review your app or product, but please, do your homework and make it your duty to read this book and heed the advice. Make it worth our time — yours, mine, my readers' and your consumers'!

Pitch Perfect: The Art of Promoting Your App on the Webcontains fantastic advice from many of my smart friends on the subject and then some! If you read carefully, you'll even find a thing or two in there from me! (That's my way of disclosing to you that I made some minor contributions to this book.)

This book is available in the iBookstore, on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback as well as from Pearson.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tech Tuesday Hangout No. 5

Today I covered for Benjamin Roethig who normally hosts the Tech Tuesday Hangout live each week. (to be populated soon with video) It was a fun learning experience baptism-by-fire-style on how to host, broadcast, record, edit and publish a Google Hangout! I was joined in discussion by Patrice Brend'amour, Doc Rock and Steve Sande. We talked about a wide range of topics including but not limited to: iOS Game Center leader boards, gaming consoles, apps, Steve's revised book release, Doc's funded Kickstarter project, Patrice and Ben's new website as well along with several other topics that came up. You can even learn how to avoid being eaten by a shark with one simple tip! You don't want to miss it, so watch our discussion unfold and do come back and join us next Tuesday!

Show notes with links are on their way and I'll revise the post once I enter them all.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Damn. Even Siri Thinks I Talk Too Much

I can't win.

I asked Siri to:
"text my husband:

'Josh's graduation party is tonight. What time do you think you'll be home because I'd really like to crash for a few hours before we go. Is that a possibility?'

The screenshot above was Siri's response.

She quotes M*A*S*H characters now? How did she know I like M*A*S*H???

Hmmmm. Now I wonder if she can do Cheers?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Custom iPad App List for a New iPad Owner

I get frequent requests for app recommendations so I'm starting to make tailored app lists to share with friends and family. Here is an app list for new iPad owners.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

App Review: Max's Pirate Planet - A Board Game Adventure

This is our family review of the universal iOS app "Max's Pirate Planet - A Board Game Adventure." Whether playing together as a family of 4 or 1 on 1 or as a single player, this game has been fantastic fun for the whole family!

When we have visitors or play dates, this is the game the kids ask me to set up on the Apple TV to play and share with their friends.

We'd like to thank Slant Six Games for the loot, err, um, for gifting this app for a review!

Click here to get this game for your family, available on multiple platforms:

iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch devices, click here:

Android devices, click here:
Get it on Google Play

Kindle Fire devices, click here:

Here is a home movie (10 minute sample) of one of our first game sessions together. As you can see, there was much delight. Even Keagan, our 3-year-old likes to play with assistance. It's nice to play a multi-player game where he doesn't feel left out for a change.

The graphics are beautifully drawn with careful attentions to detail. I love how the characters sail in their ships when crossing water, but get out and walk on dry land. The voice artists are top-notch. Game play is very smooth and not too predictable.

Form Factors
We have played this game on both an iPhone 4S and a 4th-generation iPad on the local screen as well as streamed to our Apple TV. Both form factors worked great. Playing it on the iPad is nice for when there are 2 players whether it's a parent and child or 2 siblings because of what I like to call the "Hand-Held Device Cuddle Factor." Personally, as much as I love to see my boys play physically with each other like little puppies, I also love to watch them cuddle up on the couch with each other to play a game on our iPad. Max's Pirate Planet encourages taking turns and cheering each other on with a healthy dose of friendly competition. This is something my 6- and 3-year-olds really need right now during these formative years.

Playing this game on the iPhone is more comfortable for 4 players passing the device around while viewing it together on the Apple TV. It's kind of like hot potato. When it came time to do a duel on the iPhone I was initially concerned with two fingers swiping on that smaller scree, but it worked surprisingly well I'm sure it had nothing to do with my ability to kick my husband's butt in the sword fighting challenge

Come On, Girls!
If I had one criticism it would only be to add more girl pirate characters from which to choose. As a mom in a house full of boys, I'm the only girl pirate here, Yarr!

Piratey Pirates
Normally, as a parent, I'm a bit squeamish about the idea of "encouraging" pirate culture, but I have to say, this app has done it tastefully in a fun way that doesn't encourage or promote violence. It allows the player to role play pirate-esque adventures in a creative, challenging and safe way. Even Skully the Skeleton manages to skip creeping me out. He's my oldest son's favorite character and he rushes to choose him each time we play. My younger son is in to all things red, so he loves Rusty the fox.

Go Ahead, Duel Me In.
My favorite part is dueling! I especially like sword fighting. I'd like to see other types of duels beyond just the two currently available: sword fighting and cannons. The family and I discussed what types of duels we'd like to see and we were immediately faced with the challenge of trying to avoid something that might promote violent behavior if not carefully planned out. Lucian, our 6 -year-old, suggested a pistol gun fight duel. We as parents couldn't think of a way game developers could avoid becoming mired in the whole gun violence issue we're currently facing as a nation here in the U.S. so we decided that wasn't something we could get behind suggesting as a feature request.

More Monsters, Please!
We all agreed that we'd like to see new monsters to challenge in future app updates. The current monsters are great — so great that we think the app developers will have fun coming up with more monster characters to eat us — uh — I mean — for us to beat for a chance to win treasure!

I really hope you consider either getting this app for your family or gifting it to a friend. It's a real...treasure!

Check out more from Slant Six Games Inc.