Apps: Baby Bundle, Breeze, Helpouts + iOOTP Baseball 2014
The recently released free Baby Bundle app from Nicab Inc claims to be “the first all-in-one parenting app developed by a pediatric expert.” The app offers a free daily activity monitor for sleeping, feeding, diaper changing, and pumping, a parenting guide, and an interactive forum for parents to offer questions and comments. In-app purchases include a photo journal, vaccination and check-up organizer, health reference feature, growth tracker, and a simple iOS-to-iOS device baby monitor. Data can be synchronized on up to four iOS devices.
Breeze (free) is a fitness tracking app from FitnessKeeper, best known for the RunKeeper app. The new app only works on the iPhone 5s, using the phone’s M7 motion coprocessor to automatically track steps throughout the day. As soon as Breeze is downloaded, it asks the user if it can access motion data — it then gives users the last seven days of data, the very first time the app is used. A few quick jaunts around the house with the 5s in pocket showed us Breeze was capable of tracking steps with solid accuracy as it ran in the background. Users can choose to get status updates on their progress throughout the day, and Breeze claims to not be a battery hog. For many users who want to get an idea of their daily activity levels without committing to a fitness tracking accessory, Breeze is a great option.
Google has released a Helpouts (free) app for iOS. The Helpouts service lets users get live video help from experts on a number of topics. While the service offers both paid and free advice, the iOS app only offers access to the free advice videos. The app also allows users to give their own free Helpout videos. Be aware that a Google+ account is required to use Helpouts.
Out of the Park Developments has released the newest edition of its popular baseball simulation franchise with iOOTP Baseball 2014 ($5). OOTP Baseball already has many loyal fans who will download the mobile version of its baseball game. But for the curious who aren’t yet part of the cult, iOOTP is a hardcore baseball management and simulation game. Players can decide lineups, make substitutions, create strategies, and make front office moves, including trading for players and promoting players from the minor leagues. The only thing you don’t get to do is actually play the game, as iOOTP 14 is strictly a simulation. It’s almost the exact opposite of R.B.I. Baseball 14, which we recently reviewed. Both games do have real players, however, though iOOTP has many more. If you don’t want to simulate a regular major league season, you can start your own fictional league, or play through three historical seasons — additional seasons are included as in-app purchases. Forget baseball simulation: there are few iOS games with as much depth as iOOTP Baseball 14, period. But if you’re thinking about dipping your toes in this water for $5, you shouldn’t just be a big fan of baseball games or management games — you have to be into both.
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