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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

iOS 5 Beta Released: Features Wireless Synching with iTunes and More!

The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system has been released, and while the OS is still in beta, the update is exciting both app developers and consumers with a host of new features. Do you have an Apple Developer’s Account? If so, you can download iOS 5 for free. We do, so we took the new iOS for a test drive:


iOS 5 includes much-requested bug fixes – and wireless synching to iTunes!

Wireless Synch
The first thing we noticed about the new OS were the updated Lockscreen notifications – the look is now less templated and more organic. Another major improvement? Wireless synching for the Mac. iTunes 10.5 beta 2 and OS X 10.6.8 or Lion are required but the option will come in very handy. To enable wireless synching, connect your iDevice to iTunes with the USB cable. (WARNING: If you’re a developer, we suggest you perform and initial synch using a cable after restoring the device.) There are still bugs to work out on this feature but in testing, for the most part, it worked great.

Getting to the Cloud
iCloud is a huge initiative for Apple and is integrated into iOS 5. iCloud works like other cloud services, allowing you to store and backup your data.


Apple, it seems, covered everything from Airplay to redeye correction. For more information on all the features and fixes, visit our friends at 9 to 5 mac, who cover all the updates and fixes.

Right about now we’re very glad we’re paying $99 a year for the developer’s account and have a chance to take a sneak peek at tomorrow’s iOS today. If you’re interested in developing for any iDevice – iPad, iPhone, iTouch, why not explore a career in app development? Apple’s iOS is awaiting you – learn how to program for it, get certification and get college credit for sumer camp. Who knows? You could soon be developing a blockbuster game on the iOS 5. Learn about it now with hands-on training from Digitial Media Academy.

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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

Summer Survival Tech Tips: Keeping Your iPad Dry & More

Summer is just around the corner and this means that, in addition to the sunscreen and shark floaties, you’ll no doubt be bringing your technology along with you to the beach or pool. You know, modern must-have accessories like your iPad, your MacBook Pro, your iPhone and iPod. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your electronics while enjoying summer fun:

Stream Your Music & Media Everywhere
You should already be using a free cloud storage service like Amazon or Dropbox offer, and if you’re not, you will be. Doing so offers a pain-free way to secure your computer’s data, while improving CPU performance. Cloud storage services are becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons, and you can start using one today – for free!


Stream your music, from the cloud…

But why risk bringing your one and only music player and your entire library of music on vacation when you don’t have to? Amazon offers 5GB of free storage while Dropbox offers 2GB. Buy an album on Amazon and you can get 20GB. Dropbox even has an app for iPhone and iPad that allows you to play your music on the run, although it doesn’t offer quite the functionality as something like…

BoxyTunes – Make any iPhone or iPad a Cloud Music Player
Google’s Android platform has multiple options for cloud music players; the iPhone, not so much. But if you have Dropbox, now there’s a solution so you can access your tunes on the go. BoxyTunes cost $2 and allows you to sync up your iPhone or iPad with your Dropbox account.


A new way to think outside the box when it comes to music: BoxyTunes.

The BoxyTunes app plays all the formats iOS supports and even offers such great features as quick rewind, background play and AirPlay support.  It certainly won’t replace your iPod but it does offer a great alternative to playing your music, especially if you’re storing your music on the cloud (or in this case, on Dropbox). Remember though, this app doesn’t stream music; it’s a music player for Dropbox.

Keeping Gadgets Dry & Sand-Free
Nothing could be worse than watching your iPad or Kindle slip from your fingers and take that slow dive to the bottom of the pool. But now you don’t have to worry if your new electronic buddy goes for a swim, thanks to the makers of Dry Case.


Dry Case – protecting your technology while you enjoy it.

The vacuum-sealed plastic pouch is completely waterproof and has earphone and mic jacks that provide an additional layer of protection. Sure, with a few gallon-sized Ziplock bags you can do pretty much the same thing, but at $59.95 it’s a small investment to properly protect your $500+ iPad.

Make Your Own Mobile App – at Summer Camp
What better way to really learn what that amazing mobile device can do than to build an app for it? And where better to do that than on the campus of a prestigious university like HarvardThe University of ChicagoDrexelUCLAUCSD or StanfordDigital Media Academy offers critically acclaimed app development summer camps, where you’ll learn app development skills from leading industry professionals.

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.

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posted by Vince Matthews in News Blog and have No Comments