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Apps: Goat Simulator MMO, Plum’s Creaturizer, Worms 4, Zen Brush 2 + more

New Apps

Goat Simulator MMO Simulator ($5) — Coffee Stain Studios takes their infamous Goat Simulator into a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game, allowing you to become a goat in a much larger world, interacting with other simulated goats. Five different character classes include Warrior, Rouge, Magician, Hunter and Microwave, and dozens of quests let you level up a hundred times, and you even get elves and dwarves thrown in for good measure.

Plum’s Creaturizer (free) — If your kids have been dreaming of building their very own creature creation, PBS Kids has them covered with this new app that lets you build wild creations and then take them outside to place them into outdoor scenes. The app is designed to encourage kids to interact with nature and have fun exploring. More than a billion unique creature combinations are available, with each creature’s head, body, legs, eyes, tail, wings, ears, horns, and skin fully customizable. Kids can complete missions in which they need to consider each creature’s needs, such as habitat, diet, and adaptations. It also encourages kids to think about how their creatures might live – how they hunt, eat, look for water, make homes, defend themselves, and raise their young.

Worms 4 ($5) — The fourth installment in the popular franchise is here with synchronous multiplayer matches that allow you to battle with opponents from around the world. There are also shorter and more explosive matches so you can play in less time, and enriched cartoon visuals designed for smaller screens. Of course, you also get an epic collection of new weapons, weapon upgrades, five beautiful hand-drawn regions in which to battle, and 80 single player missions to keep you busy. Worms 4 is also built with Apple’s new Metal technology, so newer devices get even more cool visual effects.

Zen Brush 2 ($3) — This new drawing app is focused on the feel of the East Asian ink brush, and incorporates a new drawing engine designed to provide a natural painting feeling, along with a simple and intuitive user interface that stays out of the way and lets you focus on performing Zen art. You’re ready to draw as soon as you open the app, and you can easily post your calligraphy and illustrations to social networks, optionally set against a large collection of background templates.

Gear: Satechi Aluminum Power Strip

Satechi’s new Aluminum Power Strip ($40) is worth a look as a charging base for both Mac and iOS users. As its name reveals, the power strip is made mostly of aluminum, which makes it a bit nicer to look at than most power strips. Four surge-protected AC power outlets are on top, while the side of the strip includes four 2.4A USB ports for charging. It’s worth noting that the total output is 6A, which means you’ll only be able to charge up to two iPads at full speed at once.

Review: Divoom AuraBox Bluetooth Speaker

Divoom's AuraBox ($70) is a Bluetooth 4.0 speaker, but that's just one of many functions performed by this little black square box. Its main selling point is its square 10x10 LED face, which can display drawings, messages, and animations — the AuraBox app also allows you to create your own. AuraBox also acts as a visual notification system, showing alerts for texts, incoming calls, Facebook and Twitter notifications, and more. One of the speaker's animations is an alarm clock that syncs to the time on your iOS device, and a built-in temperature sensor is another notable feature. AuraBox can also be used as a speakerphone.

Report: iPad Pro to be official name of large iPad, more details revealed

Days before Apple’s scheduled event on Sept. 9, 9to5Mac is reporting that the new larger-sized iPad will indeed be called the iPad Pro — a name we’ve used to refer to the device since reports of its rumored existence started years ago — while also providing some additional details on what the new device will look like. The report notes that the new models will feature a 2732 x 2048 display with a design similar to both the iPad mini and iPad Air, with a source saying that it “literally looks like a big iPad.” The iPad Pro will also feature the same camera configuration as other iPad models, with a FaceTime camera on the front and an iSight camera on the rear. Sources have also reportedly confirmed a Force Touch-based screen will also be coming to the iPad Pro, as well as a — for the first time — a stylus accessory for enhanced drawing and design apps. The stylus combined with Force Touch capabilities will allow for apps to take advantage of pressure sensitivity.

Although Apple is expected to introduce the iPad Pro during next week’s event, the company still does actually plan to ship the new iPad in November, when it will debut alongside iOS 9.1, with the new iOS version providing specific improvements for the larger display, including optimized Split-Screen app support, Picture-in-Picture video playback, and more. Apple is also expected to debut the usual gamut of accessories alongside the iPad Pro, including Smart Covers and Smart Cases in both polyurethane and leather versions, and expanded Bluetooth keyboard support is said to be present in the new iPad model as well, with rumors that Apple may be working on a new keyboard accessory of its own.

Mozilla begins rollout of Firefox for iOS preview

Mozilla has announced a limited release of its Firefox browser for iOS. Originally hinted at last December, Mozilla changed direction on earlier statements that its browser would only be made available on iOS if Apple were to loosen its restrictions and permit the company’s own web engine to be used. The first preview version of Firefox is being released exclusively in New Zealand so that the company can collect feedback from a limited user base in a single country. Highlighted features of this first release include Intelligent Search, which provides suggested search results and a choice of search providers, as well as Firefox Accounts, which allows users to sync browser history, passwords, and tabs between Firefox on the desktop and the iOS version. A Visual Tabs feature is also included to help users keep track of open tabs. Mozilla plans to release future previews in “a few more countries” prior to a full public launch of the browser scheduled for later this year.

Daily Deal: The Invisible iPhone 6 Case & Colossal Lightning Cable Bundle

Today in iLounge Deals we’re offering you The Invisible iPhone 6 Case & Extra Long 10-Ft Lightning Cable Bundle for only $24.99 – that’s over 60% off the regular price. This bundle includes The Invisible iPhone 6 Case & Screen Protector and an extra long 10-ft (3m) MFi-Certified Lightning Cable for one low price. The ultra-slim, hard-shell, clear case keeps your iPhone 6 safe while showing off its design, and includes a front screen protect to keep your iPhone crack and scratch free during your adventures, while the ten-foot Lightning cable gives you the convenience of charging and powering your device at a distance.

Get The Invisible iPhone 6 Case & Extra Long 10-Ft Lightning Cable Bundle now for only $24.99

Tip of the Day: See when messages were received on an Apple Watch

Due to the limited screen space, the Apple Watch adds timestamps to your messaging conversations far less frequently, so it may not be clear just by glancing when a given message was actually sent or received. Fortunately there’s an easy way to check this out, and it works the same way as it does on your iPhone.

When viewing the message list, pull any conversation bubble to the left and you’ll see the timestamps displayed beside each message indicating when it was sent from your Apple Watch or received by it. You can still scroll up and down through the conversation, and releasing your finger will pop back to the normal view.…

Mac: Eltima Software Commander One

Many Mac power users have long felt that the built-in Finder app in OS X doesn’t quite cut the mustard, despite Apple’s incremental improvements with each OS X update. This has spawned a number of alternatives over the years, and one of the latest entries into the group is Eltima Software’s Commander One (free/$30). The new dual-pane file manager for Mac is written entirely in Swift and designed specifically for OS X users, providing not only basic file management but a number of advanced features that power users will love — especially those who grew up in an era when dual-panel tools like this one were more the norm. You can view each panel in one of three view modes, and open unlimited tabs in each, make multiple selections and queue files up for various operations, automatically rename files during copy and move operations, and setup custom hotkeys for any action. Local and network drives are fully supported, and you can use Spotlight for basic searches or construct more advanced searches using regular expressions.

Review: Belkin WeMo + OSRAM Lightify White Tunable Starter Set

The third new WeMo + OSRAM product to come out of Belkin's recent Sylvania partnership is the new Lightify White Tunable Starter Set ($100), a new kit that's reminscent of last year's Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set, with the key difference being Sylvania's OSRAM Lightify Tunable White bulbs replacing Belkin's own smart LED bulbs in the starter kit. While the two prior WeMo + OSRAM products we've reviewed — the Flex RGBW and Gardenspot Mini RGB lights — were more specialized, this kit gets back to the basics, providing standard LED light bulbs that can be used in just about any fixture around the home.

Google releases Google Street View app for iOS

Google has announced a new Google Street View app that allows iOS users to explore a collection of immersive 360-degree “photo sphere” panoramic images associated with locations around the world. The new app is actually a major redesign based on the company’s earlier Photo Sphere Camera app, which was originally designed to allow users to collect their own 360-degree spherical photography shots and upload them to Google Maps. The new Google Street View app takes this one step further, adding the ability to now explore Street View collections and content from Google Maps and photo spheres contributed by other users. In addition to creating and contributing photo spheres from the iPhone camera, the new app also adds support for connecting to external spherical cameras.

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