Monday, February 28, 2011

Tiny Wings ousts Angry Birds from Top Paid App Chart

Tiny Wings has just ousted Angry Birds from top spot on the Top Paid App chart!

Released on Feb 18th (yes, just over a week ago) by hitherto unknown game developer Andreas Illiger, it has quickly gained popularity on the back of very little marketing effort. I was initially a little sceptical because the game icon wasn’t very slick. However, the game play possesses a high level of cuteness and simplicity that is definitely going to appeal to a broad audience.

The game is about trying to get this bird (why is it always about birds?) to fly as far as it can and clear water and other obstacles. By holding down your finger on the screen when the bird is sliding down a hill, then releasing the finger on the uphill climb will launch the bird. From timing the launches, you can build up momentum in a series of small launches, followed by a major flight leap necessary to clear the various levels and obstacles.

From what I know, the main and only marketing tool has been the official gameplay trailer that has been circulating on Youtube.

Check out the official gameplay video below:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gameloft announces surprise sale starting from Feb 24th: 30 apps for $0.99 each.

Gameloft has just blogged about their surprise app sales (grab them while you can!) starting yesterday (Feb 24th). Their blog post is over here.

Now, Gameloft has always produced high quality games and there’s a little rivalry going on between them and EA so this announcement is to be expected given that EA recently had a sale.

The list of Gameloft offers on sale for the iphone is pretty cool and I am sure there is something for everyone. Again, it is for ‘a limited period only’. There’s also quite a few apps for the Ipad that you might want to pick up. My top picks would be: Real Football 2011 (that’s soccer), Star Battalion, NOVA, NOVA 2 HD, Dungeon Hunter HD.

I’ll end this post here so that you can go over to the Itunes store now..:)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dual Sim Adapters for iPhone 4: Using a Normal 3G Sim Card and your microsim at the same time.

Let’s face it. For those of us early adopters of microsim cards because of iPhone 4, we know that microsim cards are not catching on in any other phone model and is likely to stay that way for a while. However, for about S$25-30 or about US$20, the Chinese have developed a dual simcard adaptor that allows you to slot in a normal-sized simcard with an external adaptor, while at the same time allowing you to keep your existing Iphone 4 microsim in the simcard tray – in layman terms, this means that the 2 simcards (Normal Sim + Microsim) are essentially paired up much like batteries connecting in series.

There is a nifty but tiny circuitry in the adaptor that works seamlessly with the iPhone 4 under Settings>Phone>Sim Applications that allows toggling between either simcard. If you are a traveller who believes in purchasing prepaid foreigh simcards for cheaper local call rates when you are in a foreign country, then this dual sim adaptor makes perfect sense. You can use your own micro simcard as default, and toggle to the local simcard whenever you need to make calls.

As you can see in my photo, one end of the flat ribbon cable has to be placed under the Iphone 4 microsim and positioned within the Iphone 4 microsim tray. As a result of the additional thickness, the simcard tray is a little stiff when pushed back into the Iphone. The other end of the flat ribbon cable then sticks out of the simcard tray and is connected to the external simcard adaptor. Most of us would then no longer need to fiddle with the microsim card and tray because we would only need to change simcards at the external adaptor end.

That is however not the end of it all because the dual sim adaptor comes with a special external casing that includes a pocket space to hold the dual sim adaptor in place. You can see manufacturer pictures of the external casing and the dual sim adaptor at the official QYG website over here.

Other than a 5-10 second lag (due to reacquisition of phone network by the simcard) when I toggled between the microsim and the external simcard, there was no noticeable issue. The manufacturer, QYG, also offers a tri-simcard adaptor for slightly more.

The only negative about using the dual sim adaptor is that the phone casing with the special pocket for the external sim adaptor only comes in limited designs. (Mine was a matte finish).

If you happen to be in Singapore, it is easily available at the major electronics malls. I am pretty sure that you can purchase this item from an online retailer or if you visit China and Hong Kong.

Monday, February 21, 2011

iPad 2 Review Video: Ipad Humour

This month's round-up of videos poking fun at Apple includes this hilarious (and fictitious) review of the iPad 2:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Challenging the Iphone’s dominance: Microsoft-Nokia, Sony-Google, but what about Nintendo?

Over a week where reports of Ipad 2G have been intensifying, it is also a stark reminder of Apple’s overwhelming dominance that news of an Iphone jailbreaking breakthrough (pun intended) of the iOS 4.2.1 has probably generated more forum interest than any of Nokia’s products in the past 6 months.

(picture taken from

As I have written before on my blogpost in Dec 2010:

“Typically it seems that during their developmental process, Apple usually identifies 1 feature that would be game-changing and implement it very well, thus differentiating itself from the other industry players. For example, it was the focus on the AppStore that made the iphone such an incredible success even though Androids and Symbian phones typically have more hardware features.”

Stephen Elop, former Microsoft employee and newly minted Nokia CEO probably explained it better when in an internal memo, he apparently dissected how Apple, with its assembly plants in China, has changed the game:

“At the lower-end price range, Chinese OEMs are cranking out a device much faster than, as one Nokia employee said only partially in jest, "the time that it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation." They are fast, they are cheap, and they are challenging us.

And the truly perplexing aspect is that we're not even fighting with the right weapons. We are still too often trying to approach each price range on a device-to-device basis.

The battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems, where ecosystems include not only the hardware and software of the device, but developers, applications, ecommerce, advertising, search, social applications, location-based services, unified communications and many other things. Our competitors aren't taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. This means we're going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem.”

(extract from supposed internal memo from Nokia on

We can see where all this is heading for Nokia because it has been reported that Nokia is in talks with Microsoft over a potential Nokia Windows 7 tie-up. Given that Sony has gone public with its Xperia Play (aka next-gen PSP phone) and its Android core, clearly the gaming and phone market landscape will be reshaping in a huge way over the next several months.

The Apple Appstore success has obviously fuelled a three-way industry realignment with Nokia and Microsoft potentially combining its developer base, with a strong gaming pedigree provided by Xbox combined with still-attractive Ovi store offerings like Nokia’s GPS mapping applications. While at one corner, we see Sony and its playstation gaming developer base going in with Google’s Android.

Well that will leave Apple and Nintendo free to co-operate with each other wouldn’t it? Now, that would be an awesome pair-up….