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Skype for iPad: Is it Better Than FaceTime?

It’s the Facebook of video conferencing. Skype has more than 25 million concurrent users and has been dominating PC platforms. It’s now set to dominate tablets (more specifically, the iPad), since a camera is required for Skype’s video chat.


Like desktop versions of Skype, Skype for iPad lets you make video calls to other Skype users (on other platforms) anywhere in the world. With FaceTime, you can only call Apple devices.

How does Skype stack up against FaceTime? Let’s take a look:

Video Quality & Settings
Skype’s video window is similar to FaceTime. However, you can’t move your own picture window around the screen; with Skype it’s locked in the corner. To switch the camera to front-facing, you have to take an extra step to call up the option, whereas FaceTime has the icon on the main screen. Video and audio quality are basically the same, although the video seemed smoother and less stuttery at times with FaceTime. (This was the case for both Wi-Fi and 3G.)
Advantage:  FaceTime

Skype Anyone on Any Device
Apple’s FaceTime is limited only to Apple devices with cameras (such as iPad’s, MacBooks, etc.). In other words, if you’re a Mac, while your friend is a PC, you can’t use FaceTime to talk to them. FaceTime also only works over Wi-Fi. Skype, on the other hand, works over multiple computer platforms and can be used with Wi-Fi and 3G.
Advantage:  Skype

Connecting with your Contacts!
If you’ve already used Skype for a while, you’ve most likely got a hefty contact list. Those contacts are instantly imported when you log onto your account using a tablet. You can also simultaneously instant message the person with whom you’re talking.
Advantage:  Skype

Free Calling & For Cents a Minute
Skype-to-Skype calls are free. So are FaceTime-to-FaceTime calls. However, like we mentioned, you can call Skype users on a PC or other platform. FaceTime, meanwhile, is limited to Apple devices. Skype also lets you call land lines or mobile phones for a few cents a minute. Plus, you can turn the iPad into a mobile phone by paying for an incoming number (which comes with voicemail and call forwarding).
Advantage:  Skype

The Winner
Skype, hands down. Overall it is a better free-video communication tool. Skype offers more options – even though some basic features like the camera swap button are buried a bit – and better functionality. This is a well-made app, and the developers really put to use the skills they acquired learning app development. Take a look for yourself by downloading the Skype app for iPad now.

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posted by Vince Matthews in News Blog,Web Development and have No Comments

iPhone Games & Apps By The Numbers

15 million. That’s how many apps have been downloaded to date from Apple’s App Store, in just three years. Like Apple’s iTunes, Apple’s App Store has completely changed the way digital media is distributed. “The App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a recent Apple App Store statement.


Games dominate apps as the most downloaded App Store item.

Let’s break down the numbers:

  • More than 425,000 apps are available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
  • There are more than 200 million iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users worldwide.
  • More than 100,000 apps are built specifically for iPad.
  • Apple takes 30 percent of all app sales; it paid developers more than $2.5 billion from app sales.
  • Mobile gamers average 7.8 hours of game time a month.
  • iPhone users game an average of 14.7 hours each month.
  • Android gamers play on their devices around 9.3 hours per month.

(Sources: Apple Inc., Nielsen Ratings 2011 App Download Report)

Who’s Winning?
Apple’s iPad is the top-selling tablet computer, making iOS the most popular tablet operating system. Google’s Android is the most popular operating system for smartphones. At Google’s I/O developer conference, Google claimed it had more than 200,000 apps in the Android Market – and more than 4.5 billion Google apps had been downloaded.

Get Your Game On
Games are by far the most popular mobile apps, followed by those for weather and then social networking, according to a recent mobile app study by Nielsen. If you’ve downloaded an app to your smartphone in the last month, you are in the 93 percentile of app users that are willing to pay for gaming apps. “Only 76 percent of app downloaders are willing to pay for news apps,” Nielsen said. Educational apps make up 11 percent of downloaded apps.  The least popular apps? With only 6 percent of the download share: household or personal care apps.

Now is the perfect time to become an app developer. Learning app development could give you the skills to create the next Angry Birds. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android development kits are available to anyone that wants to become an app developer. Not sure you can take on the SDK (Software Development Kit) yourself? Then get training through Apple Certified Training Centers or a digital media training center.

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posted by Vince Matthews in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

App of the Month: “Frisbee Forever” (Review)

Game: Frisbee Forever
Developer: Kiloo Games
Rating: 4 out 5 stars
Cost: Free

Summer is here and if you can’t get to your local park to toss the Frisbee around, you can still enjoy the sport from the comfort of your couch, thanks to Wham-O’s new game and app: “Frisbee Forever.” Developed by Kiloo Games, the colorful, arcade-style game plays a lot like a Wii game. The object is simple: Navigate a mini-golf-like obstacle course with a Frisbee for coins. Coins can then be used in a Frisbee shop to buy better flying discs or special upgrades.


“Frisbee Forever” runs on the iPhone and iPad and uses those iDevices’ accelerometer to control the Frisbee (players tilt the device left or right to guide the flying disc through the course).

A gameplay trailer of “Frisbee Forever.”

Frisbee Flicking Fun
It’s as easy as flicking your finger across the touchscreen to send the disc on its way. Gameplay is super-responsive and the graphics rival anything you’ve seen on the Wii. “Frisbee Forever” includes 10 different worlds, and each world (or area) features 10 levels…for a total of 100 challenges. The courses and environments are inventive and fun, and while, at times, some of the obstacles seem impossible, patience and a well-practiced tilting technique will get you through. Flying through hoops and triangle checkpoints on the course maintain the Frisbee’s momentum, and as you fly through each course, you’ll collect stars along the course. The medal you are eventually awarded is based on how many stars you collect.


Purchase “Frisbee Forever” through the Apple App Store.

As mentioned, as players advance through the game, they earn coins for clearing each level and receive a trophy rank of silver, bronze or gold. Be warned that patience is necessary, however, because even for the best player it will take a while to collect enough coins for the better discs. But you can also buy coins to purchase items through the App Store.

Overall, “Forever Frisbee” is an extremely well-made app and will provide you with hours of fun – all for free.

Make Your Own Mobile App – at Summer Camp
Want to make your app or game for the iPhone or iPad? You can, this summer at Digital Media Academy computer and digital arts summer camps. Spend an exciting week learning 3D Game Development for the iPhone or App Development for Apple iDevices. Before you know it, you’ ll be on your way to making your dream app a reality…and that’s how careers get started. Find out more about Digital Media Academy app development summer camps and how they can help you create the future. DMA – where video-game dreams get transformed into reality.

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posted by Vince Matthews in App Development,Featured,News Blog and have No Comments

Cool New App “Leaves” All Other Apps Behind

Apple’s list of apps keeps growing – and now there’s a free app for the iPhone that lets you identify trees by analyzing their leaves. The app is so downright cool, it might turn you into a nature lover without you even knowing it – even if the closest you usually get to greenery is the lettuce in your taco.


ID that tree…with LeafSnap!

Called LeafSnap, the app puts an entire botanical library on your iPhone. Here’s how it works: Imagine you’re out for a walk and you spot a tree. Is it a maple? An oak? Perhaps a Himalayan birch? You can find out, simply by snagging a leaf off the tree. Place that leaf against a white piece of paper and snap a photo of it with your iPhone camera. LeafSnap analyzes the shape and texture of the leaf by comparing it to a database of leaf images supplied by the Smithsonian Institution and Finding Species, a natural photography group.

The app also guides you through follow-up search efforts that may be necessary until you can figure out exactly what tree produced your leaf. After you’ve identified what you’ve found, you can even choose to add your discovery to the growing database of leaf data, just like a genuine botanist.

LeafSnap was developed by scientists at Columbia University and the University of Maryland and uses facial recognition technology to identify leaves. So far, only the trees of the New York City and Washington, D.C. areas have been covered in the database, but the app will eventually cover species of trees native to all of the U.S.


LeafSnap also keeps a map of your collection, so you can find that special maple tree you love napping under.

LeafSnap is free and available for download through Apple’s App Store. It’s also coming soon to the Google Android.

Creative and amazing apps, like LeafSnap, don’t just happen by accident. They’re only developed through the hard work of well trained, expert professionals. Do you want to be an app developer? You can get professional training from leading industry innovators by attending a Digital Media Academy App Development Summer Camp. DMA offers not only Game Development Summer Camps for Apps & Apple iDevices but also App Development Summer Camps for the Google Android platform. Learn how to bring your ideas to life on today’s hottest mobile platforms with DMA.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

What You Should Know If You Buy a White iPhone 4

Apple has unveiled a new iPhone. The white iPhone 4 finally answers Apple iPhone fans who have eagerly been asking, and waiting years for an iPhone available in any color besides black.


Q: Which color iPhone 4 would James Bond carry? A: Both. (White with dinner jacket. Black with wet suit.)

Thinking of buying a white iPhone 4? Here’s what you should know:

1. You’ll want to protect that new phone, so what kind of cover will you choose? Independent reports from web sites such as TiPb confirm that the new white iPhone 4 is slightly thicker (about 0.2 millimeters) than the conventional black model. The reason? The white paint slightly increases the thickness.

Another web site, Engadget, ran iPhone cover tests and found that some “rigid” covers still fit the white iPhone while others did not. (Check first with the manufacturer of the cover you’ve purchased or are considering buying, and you shouldn’t encounter any problems.)

2. Size has no bearing on the white iPhone 4 performance – and the thicker coating of paint not only protects but will help your iPhone keep working and looking great over time. Apple’s Senior VP Phil Schiller explains, “It’s not as simple as making something white. There’s a lot more that goes into both the material science of it – how it holds up over time…but also in how it all works with the sensors.”

3. The white iPhone 4 makes you look more attractive, appeals to a younger audience and women love it. According to Cult of Mac, the new white iPhone not only enhances your image, but naturally appeals to a younger demographic, and more specifically – women.

The fact that the popular iPhone has never before been available in the creamy white finish certainly adds to this model’s desirability. Like with a select few other products (such as red sports cars or green M&Ms), the color of the product seems to register with consumers on a deep psychological level. How deep? One industry analyst quoted in “The San Jose Mercury News” speculated that the extra mystique of the white model will directly translate into sales of approximately 1 million to 1.25 million phones per business quarter – until the anticipated September release of the iPhone 5, when Apple will unveil its latest model.


It’s the same iPhone 4 – there’s just 0.2mm more of it to love.

4. The iPhone 5 is on the way. Sure, it looks cool, but the iPhone 4 has been out for a while and now it’s time for Apple to refresh the hardware. Mac enthusiasts and those in-the-know have already stated the iPhone 5 could be available as early as June of this year.

The world’s ongoing infatuation with Apple products – such as the iPhone, iPad and iTunes is stronger than ever before. And the more that love affair grows, the more iPhone apps will need to be created to feed that demand.

Maybe you’re looking to develop an app for your new white iPhone 4? Digital Media Academy understands Apple iPhone app development and teaches people of all ages how to make apps. Take, for example, DMA’s summer camp for App Development and iDevices. DMA even offers a two-week Academy for Mobile Device Programming. To learn more or register for a summercamp, visit Digital Media Academy.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments