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Entries in App store (121)


Super Marble Roll ignites my Marble Madness youth

The year: 1986/87. The place: The Jamesway department store. The event: Marble Madness joins the pinball machine near the exit, and I fall in love. While I'm still waiting patiently for the official version of that game to come to the iPhone, Super Marble Roll gives you a taste of those glory days.

The objective: Move your marble from point A to point B without running out of time. Along the way, there are plenty of bonuses, moving platforms, and tricky jumps. Super Marble Roll uses several short levels, rather than the frustrating, long levels of Marble Madness. Of course the original was designed to eat quarters, and Super Marble Roll is free to focus on entertainment from your $1.99 cent app purchase. (There's also a lite version.)

For me, it brings back a classic gameplay style, while eliminating some of the frustration with the original.

Here's a look:

Super Marble Roll in the app store.


Five questions about the Mac App Store

There are some lingering questions from Steve Jobs' State of the Mac presentation, specifically the announcement of the Mac App Store coming in the next 90 days. A few things to ponder with the new store:

1. Is the future of mac software going to be all through the app store? In the short term, there's no indication that the Mac App Store will become the sole means to purchase software. Still, it's possible to imagine a world five years down the road, where that's the case. 

2. How many computers can legally share activated software in a home? Steve Jobs mentioned the apps from the store would be licensed for use on all of your personal Macs. In practice, what does this mean? Does it mean businesses can't legally buy software from the store? Does it mean if I am buying Final Cut Studio, I can then install it on five machines in my office, if the first purchase is for my office? Will there be a maximum number enforced, or a limitation on apps running on multiple computers simultaneously?

3. What about people who image machines? Many IT people spend their days "imaging" machines: creating carbon copy deployments of apps/hard drives for an entire organization. What if one of the apps the business uses is purchased from the App Store? Can that app be shared throughout the organization? (see #2) Will there be a way to image apps without going through an activation process? If so, it seems piracy would be a very real concern. If not, this could become a headache in specific IT situations.

4. Can you buy things like plug-ins for software not bought in the app store? There are thriving markets for PhotoShop and Final Cut plug-ins. One of the annoying things right now is the fragmented and confusing nature of buying plug-ins. The App Store holds the promise of making it simple to buy plug-ins, but will the infrastructure be there to seamlessly install a plug-in into an app that wasn't purchased through the App Store?

5. Will Apple rule with the same iron fist as they do with the iOS app store? For better, and sometimes for worse, Apple has the last word on what can and cannot be sold in today's iOS App Store. Will the same watchful policies apply to a Mac App Store? Could Apple decide on a whim to deny something like say, Oh I don't know... Adobe Flash? If anything, for now (see #1) Apple could more easily reject apps since unlike an iPhone/iPod/iPad, there are plenty of other ways to buy software. They could treat it more like the physical Apple Store, allowing only best-of-class software into the store, or it could become more like the large, unruly world of the existing App Store: Would any of us benefit from 400 fart apps for the Mac?

Some of these questions will be answered in the next 90 days, others may take much longer to iron out, but from home users to IT professionals, these are questions that will need to be answered.


DoubleTap Episode 12

Yikes, if Apple keeps up this pace of removing apps, we'll be out of apps to talk about each week! Ok, not very likely... This week we look at Auditorium, and Knife Toss (previously reviewed here) and of course discuss Apple's decision to remove thousands of apps. Let us know if there are any you're going to miss:



DoubleTap Episode 10

We're turning back the clock this week with a look at iPity, a Mr. T quote generator, and Wind OS, which "emulates" the good old days of Windows on your iPhone. Admittedly, the Wind desktop looks like Vista rather than 3.1, but the sound is pure 1980's computing.

And of course we've got a little bit of app store news in there as well:



App Developers To Help Haiti

As first reported on Mashable, several iPhone app developers (and Mac developers) are planning to donate all of their earnings (beyond processing fees) to help Haiti earthquake victims.

The effort is spearheaded by Mike Piatek-Jimenez, creator of the Seasonality Mac app, and participating developers will be listed on January 20th has been set as the date to make purchases count. We'll have to see the final list of on-board developers, but there's a very good chance this will be your chance to buy a fart app and to have the best chance you might ever have at justifying the purchase.