It’s here, finally the moment that some fanboys have been waiting for and for the apple haters to take a step back. Yes flash has arrived on the iPad…sort of..
The folks over at Adobe have just released Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5. It’s server side based so you are at the mercy of your flash based website to update their software but at last iPad owners can get in on the flash video action.
As we keep saying “sort of’ you wont be playing flash games any time soon or watching animations but it will allow you to watch streaming video through Apple’s format, HTTP Live Streaming.
A definite step in the right direction.
Update – 15th September
So has anybody noticed any of their usual sites now suddenly working in Flash? Is anyone wondering how long the uptake will be before we see some of the more popular sites of updating their software.
Fiplab are at it again with their handy programming skills making our mac lives just that little bit easier.
This time they introduce Flash Block a menu bar app for easily toggling the flash browser plug-in on and off.
Available from the App Store, there are 2 default options for blocking the battery and CPU sucking entity that is flash on our Mac laptops.
1. Auto Kill Flash (always detects and disables Flash)
2. Kill Active Flash (only disables currently loaded Flash plug-ins – they will reappear if you refresh the page)
Getting down to testing
At the time of writing I’m using flash 11,0,1,98 installed as I run my mac book pro in 64 bit mode whenever possible. Installation is the standard seamless affair that we come to expect from the Apple store. The app itself is 69p from the apple store that I didn’t realise in my rush to complete this review and then realising that there is a Flash Block extension readily from the Mozilla developers
Getting down to the brass tacks of it all we enabled flash auto kill and first tried to goto some of sites that are a little flash heavy, starting out with Justin.TV which is nothing but flash. Behold the famous error that plagues many a mac user.
Realising this might might be a browser restart issue, I fired up a copy of Chrome and went to the same URL to see what would happen. Going over to Justin.TV again resulted in a warning about pages becoming unresponsive. No matter what combination of clicks and websites we were stonewalled with unresponsive pages error messages. Time for a browser restart.
Lo and behold there was a FireFox 6.01 update waiting in the wings, after an install we are back up and running.
How Does It Feel?
Quite honestly, even though it looks like at times that the Flash plugin has crashed… Amazing. The whole swiping and gestures mechanism of the mac actually feels fluid and taking up the 2.24 ghz of my cpu rather than what I would class as sluggish performance.
It does indeed block flash but I can’t tell at the moment how effective it is due to apparent warnings of flash crashing. Still that aside it has made the system feel more responsive.
Is it worth the 69p investment? Well that remains to be seen if they can keep up with the releases and bug fixes also keeping in tune with whatever Adobe presents us in the future.
As a first we aren’t going to give this a rating YET. Check back soon as we will be testing this for a week and reviewing this review again. Also a copy of the review has been sent to FipLab to see if they can help us out with our issues.
The good people at FipLab got in touch with us about our issues (which we admit we wouldn’t be at all surprsied if this was a one time issue due to this mac having NEVER been formatted and re installed. We are talking upgrades all the way from Lion)
“We’ve tested on three macs running Lion and haven’t had any of those ‘crashing’ messages. When Flash Block is enabled, there should just be a blank white space where the flash would have been loaded.
We aren’t using the beta version of Flash, so we will try testing again after upgrading to see if Adobe have changed anything that causes a conflict with our app.”
Thanks for the reply FipLab and let us know if we can help!
Ok lets get this bit out of the way. Crimson Steam Pirates is a turn based game… but wait before you click away thinking this is another slow paced Civilization or majorly deep football management game, stop. This turn based game can almost be classed as fast paced.
Coming from the house of Bungie you take on the role of Thomas Blood in this episodic, turn based, steam punk pirates based affair. Yup that’s a big description for a game like this but the most apt.
Starting off in Chapter 1 you get a total of 8 missions and further chapters and content is available to download at 1.99 a chapter.
The game itself is as beautiful to play as the graphics are to feast upon. Starting with the basics of learning how a ship works. Moving a ship involves dragging the ships outline to where you want the course to go, click play and that’s your first move done.
See the steering wheel at the front? As you go along in the game that becomes a sub menu where, with a tap, you can select all manner of features. Do you repair your ship in the heat of battle or flog your crew to make them fire faster? Other options let you board other ship’s perform sniper actions and activate the full steam ahead.
Speaking of combat you can see where your armouries firing range and the line of site. As you progress throughout the game different weaponry becomes available and this shows as different highlighted segments much like a pie chart.
Weapons aren’t the only thing that get upgraded. Some missions require you to rescue (or pillage) for your crew. Mission 1 see’s you rescuing an engineer who in turn will make your ship go faster. Other attributes are quicker repairs and so on, all adding to the thinking element of the game.
Couple that with then having to manage more than 1 ship with different attributes the game play fleshes out nicely. Do you send the smaller but faster ship out ahead to recon or keep the group together for safety in numbers. Later missions involve flying Zeppelins and future upgrades promise even more vehicles.
Music wise you’d swear you were listening to the theme music from Pirates Of The Caribbean and adds to the feeling of a highly polished and produced game.
The Graphical Touches
Trust me on this. Zoom in on the ships and targets else you are missing out. Rockets point and aim at their targets, on ship cannons recoil and turn to face their combatants and show up as out of action when damaged. Wheels turn on the boats powered by paddlers.The graphics, well simply put, are outstanding. Things scale up and down nicely and everything fits in with the game just fine looking like it should be there.
It’s hard to really pick fault with the game but there are a few. During the boarding process the ships wheel can be obscured from view by a fort of ship from time to time leaving you stuck and having to exit out of the game as you can’t move or board.
The first missions were all easy to say the least and that’s coming from a guy who’s on-line name is fodder as I seem to die the moment I spawn in any FPS.
Overall this gets 5 stars as it’s a highly polished, well produced, great sounding, great looking cracking game that I hope more than 2 more episodes (8 chapters in each) come along.
A new version of the ever popular chat client Adium has been relased today via an automatic update and it looks like it’s bug fixing time.
Mentioned in the list of bugs to be fixed is the poor MSN file transfer and the facebook chat issue.
Fixes contained are…
Fixed a security vulnerability related to file transfers.
Fixed a crash when remote users have certain characters in their nicknames. (Discovered by Djego Ibanez) (#p14341)
MSN: Fixed direct file transfers, user icons, and receiving custom emoticons, while disabling multiple points of presence (MPOP). We determined that this was the better trade-off based on user feedback. (reverted to MSNP15 support from MSNP16) (#15256)
MSN: Fixed an issue involving the “Friendly name changes too often” error.(#15364)
GoogleTalk: Worked around an issue where messages contained XML code. (#15419)
Facebook will now connect via the officially-sanctioned mechanism. You no longer have to provide Adium with your username and password; you will be prompted to authenticate via a facebook.com window when you first log in. Existing accounts are automatically upgraded.
AIM/ICQ: Fixed connecting while using a proxy server
Twitter: Fixed loading the Following list. (#15239)
Fixed a fairly common crash related to user lists. (#14294)
Activated overlay scrollers on Mac OS X Lion. (#15394)
Fixed an issue where Adium was constantly writing with the computer screen off for a long time. (#15147)
Fixed the “Add Link” function, which was broken in 1.4.2. (#15259)
Fixed instances where contacts weren’t being highlighted despite having been set to. (#14493).
Message View: Inserted emoticon will replace the selected text (if any).
Updated localisations: British English, Chinese (Traditional), Danish (#15431), Dutch (#15421), French (#15402), German (#15374), Greek (#15330), Italian (#15395), Norwegian (Bokmål) (#15365), Portuguese (Portugal) (#15371), Swedish (#15384).
Fixed a case of unfavourable wording in the German localisation. (#15393)
As always we are testing this and looking forward to seeing if MSN file transfers will work in Adium again.
First the iPhone got it’s own tv tuner and now the iPad is getting the love as well with this dandy little box from Elgato.
The EyeTV Mobile hooks up to the dock connector and grabs the TV signal from it’s ever so bendy antenna. It’s freeview so you are reliant with the signal in your area (see our Elgato Tizi review for issues with this) and once again you can’t hook it up to a roof top aerial.
The software supports the over the air EPG that’s broadcast and the ability to record shows in their native format to your iPad
Sometimes the best things are the most simple and the Magstand from MacAlly is just that. An incredibly simple iPad 2 magnetic stand. There aren’t that many stands that would hold your iPad upside down whilst having a shake down.
Check the video for more information.
Oh and did we mention, we are getting a review sample from MacAlly this month 😀
Another day, moment, week and something apple is being rumored. So we’ve rounded up this weeks iPhone and Apple rumors in the best of the rumors.
Friday 26th August : iPhone 4s Leaked Pictures
So it;s not actually the iPhone 4s but alleged pictures of the case for the 4s. The pictures speak for themselves showing a lack of a home button and moving of the antenna.
Wednesday : An All New Mac
What a way to start the week with sites announcing that a source from Japanese news and rumors website release the news that Apple will release a new product. All that’s been said is that it will be distinctly different. Well thanks for that, a weight lifted from my mind and a new product from Apple will be released. Next we can all rest easy after Ford announce they will make a new car.
Tuesday : The Cheap iPhone4
Rumors abound now about a cheap iPhone 4 coming with 8gb storage. This seems semi plausible as having a handset priced in the Android pricing sector would certainly stir things up
Monday : iPhone 5 Release Date For October
The October date has been chucked around more than once by AT&T and other “sources” and this one makes sense. A traditional product announcement in the month of September and then release in October
Netflix is a popular DVD streaming site in the USA but has a downside of needing some sort of verification that you are from the good old USA. It all starts with a pre paid credit card or you can use a UK one as I found out recently.
Coffee shops and mac users. The 2 go together hand in hand and Starbucks lead the way with their partnership with apple. Now this loving bond has been extended further with a free iOS app with your drink.
Those of you who opt for the Venti sized drinks will also get a card with a code allowing you to download an iOS app for free. It’s not any old application but a set app per week.
This week it’s the turn of Shazam Encore which would set you back $5.99 in the states.
According to sources this officially starts on the 23rd August but we aren’t sure if this will apply to the UK. If you are in the uk please let us know your findings.
Magsafe has saved my laptop many a time and so I was overjoyed to come across the news that Apple has successfully applied for a patent to bring its Mac-saving MagSave power cable technology to iOS devices.
Magsafe was introducted way back in 2006 and I’m surprised that other vendors haven’t tried to come up with their own solution thus far.
Instead of dragging the device to the ground when you trip over the cable, the MagSafe connector just pops right out, leaving you with just a slight tinge of embarrassment rather than a large repair bill.
Now Apple has trademarked the tech with the US Patent Office in order to transfer MagSafe and bring piece of mind to iPad and iPhone owners.
The filing, revealed by the PatentlyApple website, says: “In one particular embodiment, the connector may be a power connector such as the MagSafe.”
So there you have it, the days of self-inflicted, gadget-smashing mis-steps could be over.
It probably won’t be in time for the next generation iPhone, but soon you’ll be able to trip and fall as merrily as you like without taking your precious smartphone with you.
Anyone else think this might be pointing to a rounded iPhone 5?
I do love the small Bluetooth apple keyboard but I’m not keen on batteries or the fact it doesn’t’ have a number pad.
The Logitech K750 steps up to the plate with the added feature of being solar powered. This isn’t the first solar powered keyboard as, many years ago, I owned a Cherry keyboard that gave me many years of service till an unfortunate accident with a cup of tea.
It really does look that good btw even with the logitech logo emblazoned on top to let you know it’s not actually an Apple device.
Like the genuine Apple boards it’s packed to the rafters with the usual array of keys for brightness, volume, expose and mission control.
To allay battery anxiety, the logitech K750 comes with a free app to tell you how much juice is left and to let you know that it’s too dark for charging (i.e stop the late night browsing sessions). The one downside is that this isn’t a bluetooth device so it will be taking up a USB slot for it’s wifi receiver for the keyboard.
The Logitech K750 Solar Powered Wireless Keyboard is available now from all good stockists (and the bad ones as well 😀 )
If there was ever a case of one up man-ship in the world of iPhone, iPad, iOS, Mac and general charging shenanigans then Energizer would definitely win.
Not only does it features a dock for your iPod or iPhone to be charged the thing rotates 180 degrees and has a night light. And that’s not to mention USB ports with 2.1 Amp output for charging your iPad or other USB chargeable devices. Just in case you want more it’s got 3 AC outlets with surge protection to charge pretty much everything.
It’s definitely one way to tell the like of Belkin how to create a decent charger.
Availability wise, October is being indicated with a retail price of $60 (uk price tbc)
Now… if only my socket’s weren’t on the floor..
If there was ever a “my dad is harder than your dad” competion in the world of chargers the iSurge Charging Station from Energizer would definitely reign supreme. Let’s hope Energizer send us a sample 😀