Apps: Reeder 2 2.2, Table Tennis Touch, UltraVisual + Watch_Dogs Companion
Silvio Rizzi’s Reeder 2 ($5), an RSS, Feedbin, and Feedly client, has undergone a number of changes in version 2.2, including the ability to handle feed links from external apps. The app now features optional background refresh capabilities, and a loading progress indicator within the in-app browser. Smart streams can now also be grouped by feed or date, and a few navigation tweaks have also been made. There are also many bug fixes.
There’s no shortage of ping pong games already in the App Store, but Yakuto’s Table Tennis Touch ($4) stands out thanks to its combination of realistic, Retina-quality artwork and intuitive gameplay. Beyond offering the standard “quick play” and “career mode” table tennis experiences one might expect — use a paddle to bat a light plastic ball back and forth with a series of AI-controlled opponents — Table Tennis Touch includes an unlockable arcade mode with six additional fun activities, each with two difficulty levels. Once you’ve mastered playing on a regulation-sized table in one of multiple photorealistic rooms, the arcade levels let you hit bowling pins, skee-ball-styled numbered point targets, or significantly smaller table surfaces as challenges. The swipe- and tap-based controls are fairly precise and very easy to learn, and while the breezy music and cheesy fonts could use some enhancements, the graphics and gameplay are hard to fault. Ideally, we’d love to see the opponents look like people rather than just floating paddles, and the difficulty level could start out a little easier for new players. Still, we look forward to seeing what Yakuto does next, as this is an impressive rendition of a fun table game.
Originally released late last year, Ultravisual’s photo-sharing app Ultravisual (free) recently was upgraded to version 2.1, and we’re loving the service. After creating an account, you can easily add photos or videos to a self-curated collection — including easy to use filters and audio recording — or just browse through media submitted by other users. As the name suggests, Ultravisual is a highly and almost exclusively visual service, presenting images and videos as scrollable streams of beautiful content, enabling you to click on individual items and lightly interact with other users. Between the exceptional use of typography and streamlined user interface, we really like what’s been accomplished here; it’s the latest project from the talented Neil Voss of Radballs (iOS) and Tetrisphere (N64) fame.
One of the summer’s most anticipated console games, Watch_Dogs, was released today for game consoles and PCs. In conjunction with that launch, Ubisoft has released Watch_Dogs Companion: ctOS Mobile (free), a companion app that lets iOS users connect to play with any player logged onto the console or PC versions of the game. Players can control the Chicago Police within the game, allowing them to control helicopters, traffic lights, road blockers and more. You can also dispatch and upgrade Chicago police units as you square off against the console/PC player in Race or Free Ride mode. Users don’t need a copy of the console/PC game to play along, but they must be connected to the Internet and must log in with a PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, or Uplay account.
Additional reporting by Jeremy Horwitz.
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