Snap That App: Tiny Tower

My favourite game of the moment has to be Tiny Tower from developers NimbleBit, who are well know for creating high quality ‘freemium’ games, with their last big release Pocket Frogs proving to be a huge success. Their latest offering, Tiny Tower for iOS devices, is a fun and highly addictive pixelated game that will no doubt have users hooked on its retro styled charm and simple yet engaging gameplay.

The main goal in Tiny Tower is to make as much money as you can through building new floors, opening new services and expanding your tower empire! The game begins with a quick tutorial of how to get started, which takes you through building your first residential floor and production floor, moving a Bitizen in and finding them a job. The game is really simple to play and the cute graphics and groovy music really help to keep the game fun and addictive.

Each production floor can offer a variety of shops or services, such as laundromats, coffee houses, clothes shops and so forth. You can employ a maximum of three Bitizens to work on each floor to serve the visitors that come to your tower, and with the money earned you can then restock your items that are running low to create further income. Like other games of this nature, time management is a key element with restocking usually taking anything from 10 minutes to an hour to complete. Whilst waiting for the items to restock there are other tasks to keep you occupied, such as working the elevator to take Bitizens to their desired floors, or locating particular Bitizens in return for cash. While these tasks are fun at first, they can become a little repetitive and I’m hoping that we’ll see more variety in future updates to the game (which is only on version 1.1 at the moment so I’ll cut them some slack!)

The game is integrated with Game Center with a good list of achievements to keep you busy, and you can even visit your friends towers to see how they’re doing (and compare!) One of my favourite (and slightly random!) features of the game is the inclusion of the Bitbook which, as you can probably guess, is the Bitizen’s version of Facebook! It doesn’t really aid your gameplay in any way, but it’s amusing to see what your Bitizens are getting up to! Each Bitizen has their own unique personality which can be viewed by selecting the Bitizens option in the menu (see image above). From here you can find out all sorts of information about that particular Bitizen (for example what their dream job is and how happy they currently are) along with other actions such as changing their outfit or assigning them a job.

Overall, I absolutely love Tiny Tower. I think it’s clear to see that a lot of thought and effort has been put into developing the game and I love the attention to detail that has been included (such as the Bitbook) which adds to Tiny Tower’s charm. If you’re after a new game this weekend for your iOS device then I would definitely recommend checking it out, you won’t be disappointed!

Here’s my video review for Tiny Tower:

And finally NimbleBit’s official video for the game:

iOS 4.3.3 is Live, Fixing Those Location Bug Issues

Apple has just released iOS 4.3.3 through iTunes, an update for all iOS devices which fixes a number of problems relating to the iPhone location tracking fiasco. As promised by Apple, the update will change the iOS location database file in regards to how location data is stored and backed up. As stated in the release notes above, iOS 4.3.3 reduces the size of the cache, stops backing up the cache to iTunes and completely deletes the cache when Location Services is turned off (something that previously didn’t happen).

Apple came into the firing line recently when it was revealed that iOS 4 contained an unencrypted location tracking log file, that made it incredibly easy for any Tom, Dick or Harry to spy on your whereabouts either by jailbreaking your iPhone or accessing the file from your iOS back up in iTunes. This unencrypted file was logging your every move even after turning off Location Services with no obvious way to remove the file from either your iPhone or your computer. This of course caused a huge outcry and Apple responded quickly assuring users they were not tracking their locations and promised an update in the coming weeks. Well, the wait is over my friends so plug in your iPhones, iPads and iPods to rectify this problem quickly. Has Apple done everything to ease your worries about location tracking, or has this doubted your trust in the big A?

Source: Engadget, TheAppleBlog, Ars Technica

The Little Black Book – Now with hidden iPhone!

If you love dusty, old moleskine books filled with notes and memories of a time gone by, and you also happen to own an iPhone, then you are going to love this! I was trawling through the internet earlier hoping to find something inspiring when I stumbled upon this little beauty on TUAW. It’s a case for the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 from Pad & Quill, which is “hand-crafted” from wood and cradles your iPhone in a protective frame, pretty swish!

There’s now an even slimmer version just for the iPhone 4 featuring a ‘camera portal’ on the back s0 you can take pictures without having to remove your phone from it’s case. I don’t know how practical these cases will be for day-to-day use, but you’ve gotta give these guys points for originality and creative flair!

Source: TUAW and Pad & Quill

Apple To Hold iPhone 4 Press Conference Tomorrow

Apple is to hold a special iPhone 4 press conference this Friday 16th July at 10AM PT (6PM GMT). The company is inviting select media representatives such as Engadget to the event, but no other details have been released as to what the conference will be about, only that it will focus on iPhone 4. Unless you’ve been down a hole in the ground lately, you will know about the huge problems Apple have been having with their latest iPhone release, namely the antenna issue. This is where if you hold the phone in a certain way (known as ‘the death grip’) it cuts out all of your signal, resulting in dropped calls and loss of data. Apple’s response was simple, don’t hold it that way, which clearly hasn’t worked and so Apple has now been forced to deal with the issue properly. The rumours doing the rounds are that Apple could recall every single iPhone which would cost the company billions of dollars, they could release a software update to fix the issue, or they could give every iPhone 4 owner a free Bumper case which apparently solves the problem.

Well whatever they do, let’s hope we finally get to the bottom of this! Stay tuned for more details coming your way, and don’t forget to hold your iPhone correctly :)

Source: Engadget and TUAW

iPhone 4 To Be Released On O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile And Now Three!

Unlike the Americans who only have one carrier choice when buying the new iPhone 4, us lucky Brits now have five, yes five Networks to choose from when we all rush out and buy the sacred phone on June 24.
Three has just revealed that they too will be carrying the iPhone 4 when it is released on June 24. Three is also the first UK carrier to announce their pre-order date, which is June 15, the same time as our American friends across the pond.
Three now joins O2, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile as the UK networks who are all carrying the iPhone 4.
Which network will you choose?

Source: Engadget