Speedtest.net Mobile Speed Test is one of the simplest and best network speed testing tools around – and now it has a shiny new full iPad version. It was updated earlier this week (o Version 3.2.0) and is now a universal app for iPad and iPhone – with full landscape support on the iPad.
The app couldn’t be easier to use. Fire it up, hit ‘Begin Test’ and sit back and watch as it offers a speedometer style view of your results. You get 3 tests and results each time: ping time, download speed, and upload speed.
You can let the app auto-select a server to test on or choose one in its settings. You can also see your past tests history in the Results section.
BBC Sport app now has an iPad version. The app has been available on iOS for over a year, but as of last week it’s a universal app with a full version for the iPad.
This is great news if you’re a fan of great sports coverage, and especially of coverage that goes beyond just major US sports. Here’s a little of the App Store description of the app:
The official BBC Sport app is the sports fan’s guide to live sport news, stats, fixtures and results, curated by the BBC’s team of sport journalists. Users can also read articles and analysis, follow live scores and even customise and set quick links to favourite sports and football teams.
The app’s layout is fairly similar to the look of the BBC online Sports section. There’s a home page with top sports stories from around the world and a large number of dedicated sections for individual sports.
The iTunes Festival app for iPad has been updated, to Version 5.0. This latest version has a refreshed design and is updated for 2014 and in particular for the festival at SXSW this year.
The update did not come alongside an iOS update (to 7.1) as was rumored last week, but it’s still very welcome.
The iTunes festival is here in Austin this year and the lineup is impressive as always. Acts include Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, London Grammar, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, and Willie Nelson. And with this app you watch all of them live for free, Hard not to love that.
Here’s an App Store link for the iTunes Festival app; it’s a free app and a universal app designed to run on both iPad and iPhone.
This week I reviewed five educational apps that help children explore language, culture, friendship, numbers, and much more. The apps originate from many places around the world, including England, Croatia and Jamaica. Yet each app engages children in its own unique way.
1. Aiden and the Apple Tree, A Jamaican story from author Johnathon A. Kelly, creator of The JuiceMan
Set in the Jamaican town of Little Patch, the story begins as a young boy named James is caught trying to steal a mango from the town’s JuiceMan. Instead of getting angry at James, the JuiceMan retells the story of Aiden, a boy from the village of Chewmagna, who tried to steal from an apple tree that belongs to his teacher, Mrs. Applebee. James learns that honesty and hard work are rewarded, but sneakiness and stealing lead to trouble.
The story of Aiden and the Apple Tree is a bit more complex than most storybook apps which makes it appropriate for children who are independent readers or prefer longer, more complex reading. However, the narration option makes it easy for younger children to enjoy the story as well.
The app includes a fifteen question reading comprehension quiz for the older children and coloring pages for children of all ages.
Note: iTunes lists Michelle Anaya as the seller for this app. I verified that the actual creator is Johnathon A. Kelly and holds the copyright for this app.Aiden and the Apple Tree is available on iTunes for $1.99. Ages 4 to 10.
South by Southwest, or SXSW, just kicked off this weekend in my lovely hometown of Austin, Texas. It’s an annual festival covering music, film, and interactive arts.
And of course the very useful SXSW Go app for the iPad has been updated for this year’s festival.
SXSW® GO is the official mobile app for getting the most out of attending SXSW 2014. Browse our lineup and create your personal schedule, then login to sync it with your other devices. Find your friends and connections and see what they are up to, and network with thousands of other Attendees. You can also find your way around Austin, navigate the trade show, stay connected to the social world and more!
You can build your schedule online at schedule.sxsw.com or directly on your mobile device. With SXSW® GO, you also can sync your online schedule with your mobile device, so your info will always be up-to-date!
If you’re attending the festival this is the one companion app you need. Here’s an App Store link for SXSW Go; it’s a free app and a universal app designed for both iPad and iPhone.
This week a favorite iPad app of mine disappeared. Well, first it stopped working, then it pretty much vanished. I’ve enjoyed using the Analytics Tiles app for years to keep track of statistics for this site and others that I’ve been involved with. It was even one of the picks in our roundup of the Best iPad Apps of 2013 – and I said this about in that post:
Website stats have never looked so beautiful. This app’s unique and clever tiles-based UI makes it a genuine pleasure to keep tabs on your site stats. Each tile on its grid represents a single Google Analytics report. With just a few quick, simple swipe gestures and taps you can scroll the tiles, switch between sites, change the color scheme for each of your sites, and add, remove and change the position of tiles. A brilliant and handy app.
Earlier this week, the aop stopped showing me stats – it just said ‘Oops’ on all its tiles. When I tried to look further at what was wrong the app showed a Google authentication error. I tried a couple of things and then figured a removal and reinstall might help. So I deleted the app and went to the Purchased section of the App Store to download it again. And it wasn’t there. I searched for it in the App Store as well – no results.
It looks as if, at least for now, Analytics Tiles for iPad is just gone. I’m guessing that maybe it’s ‘broken’ due to some change that Google has made in their Google Analytics service – but I could easily be way off.
Here’s hoping that whatever went wrong can be fixed, and that we soon see the return of this great little app.
The 5 best-selling Dr. Seuss iPad storybook apps are on sale today for just 99 cents. The 5 are The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Dr. Seuss’s ABC, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go.
The 5 titles are all published by Oceanhouse Media. I’ve written about these Dr. Seuss storybook apps for the iPad many times here. They are wonderful, true to the original, renderings of these classics for the iPad. They use original imagery from the books and serve as a great way to keep these titles fresh and popular with the generations of kids who are growing up with both digital and physical books.
The sale is in honor of Dr’’. Seuss;s birthday, which is today. In addition to the 5 titles at 99 cents, Oceanhouse also has all 44 of their Dr. Seuss books on sale at at least $1 off. The sale goes on until Thursday March 6.
You can check out all of these great titles and take advantage of the sale prices right now by just searching for ‘Oceanhouse Media’ in the App Store.
Google’s Hangouts app for iPad and iOS was updated yesterday, to Version 2.0.0. With this update the app is optimized for iOS 7 and also ‘fully optimized’ for the iPad.
That fully optimized for iPad part suggests a major makeover – because this app has been an ugly mess on the iPad. It was comically bad when initially released, so just about anything would be an improvement. I’ve had a quick look at the app on the iPad this morning and it does look much better, though it’s still not going to win any UI awards.
It looks perfectly usable now though – which is a step up in this case. Here’s the full change list for this 2.0.0 update:
— Fully-optimized for the iPad, including picture-in-picture video calling
— Animated stickers that help you share exactly how you’re feeling
— Record and send video messages up to 10 seconds long
— Send a map of your current location
— Optimized for iOS 7
Hopefully Google will continue to improve this app on the iPad.
The NBA Game Time for iPad 2013-2014 app was updated again yesterday, adding a superb looking new section titled ‘Classic Games’.
The new section, as the name suggests, features videos from some classic NBA games from past decades. There are currently around 20 videos in the section, ranging from one from the 1960s (Celtics vs. Lakers) to a couple from the year 2001.
Just looking at some of the players and the moments featured in these is a great walk down NBA Memory Lane. Kareem when he was still Lew Alcindor; Oscar Robertson; an ABA dunk contest; an All-Star game where Magic has over 20 assists, playoff battles; a dominant performance by Charles Barkley, and more.
Unfortunately, access to the new section requires that you have an NBA League Pass. I was hopeful that the ‘Mobile’ level League Pass (priced at $27) might be enough to get the feature – but it turns out that will only get you access on an iPhone or Android phone. For the iPad, Android tablets, or a computer you need a ‘Broadband’ League Pass, starting at $65.
That seems quite a big premium for the step-up from phone to tablet viewing. Too steep for me, much as I love those old games.
Disney Movies Anywhere is a new iPad app that lets you buy and stream movies from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel on the iPad. It’s a companion app to Disney’s new online service and offers a large catalog of films from the three studios.
Here are some of the app’s notable features:
•Watch your Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies everywhere you go!
•Build your digital movie collection with a library of hundreds of videos to choose from… more coming soon!
•Get new movies directly through the app or redeem your Disney digital copies.
•Access exclusive Disney content for free – original programming, never-before-seen videos and much more…
•Watch movies while connected or download movies to your device for offline viewing.
•Earn Disney Movie Rewards points for every digital transaction.
The MLB.com At Bat iPad app has been updated this week, to Version 7.0.0. This is an update for the 2014 season as Spring Training activities start and the new season is only a little over a month away.
This update for 2014 also brings a major re-design for iOS 7. Here’s the short change list for the new version:
• Complete app re-design to optimize your At Bat experience for iOS 7 (iPhone and iPad)
• Redesigned to deliver inline video playback
• New league-wide scoreboard functionality for single-tap expansion
This was the first major US sports app that made a big impression in iOS and it remains one of the best official sports apps for the iPad.
Here’s an App Store link for MLB.com At Bat; it’s a free app with numerous In-App purchase options ranging from $2.99 to 129.99 to gain access to more live content and similar features.