Monday, April 5

Some iPad Software Reviews: ESPN, Marvel, Civ Rev, NYT Crosswords

I've been playing with my new shiny (spoiler alert: it's shiny) and trying to "give back" to the "community" with some "user generated content" in the form of reviews on iTunes of some of the iPad launch apps.

In the interests of obeying Robb's Law, testing out how Blogger works on the thing, and writing something, anything for this blog, I've copied the reviews in below. For fun, I'm composing this whole post on the tablet using Blogger's post editor, to see what it's like, so forgive the lack of direct links to the iTunes store.

ESPN ScoreCenter XL: It doesn't load (1 star)

Tried yesterday and today. Nothing loads except for the ticker at the bottom.

Don't waste your money until they get the servers sorted out.

Marvel: Great presentation, small selection, high prices (3 stars)

This is an excellent app, but it's hampered by a store that's far too small and a bit too expensive.

The app's letterbox reading mode is possibly the nicest, most dramatic way of reading comics. It's better than holding paper in your hands.

The store's selection is too small, though. For example, they have only the first 12 issues of The Runaways, which doesn't even complete the first story arc. And, at $2 each, it's cheaper to buy the first hardcover collection from Amazon, which gives you the first 18 issues for less money.

Marvel should have a much larger selection (there are no comics from 2010 even!) and either price at 99c or offer discounts for buying an entire series or story arc.

Civilization Revolution: Almost perfect (4 stars)

Civilization Revolution on iPad is probably the best Civ experience there has ever been. What could fit the theme of the game more than to have the fate of the world literally in your hands?

It is almost as if the iPad was made for this game, and the rest is secondary.

I'm only giving this four out of five stars because there are some polish issues. Zooming out the map leads to polygon issues, and some flows (like choosing a new tech) could be streamlined given the larger screen size.

NYTimes Crosswords: Great puzzles, awkward interface (3 stars)

You obviously can't beat the puzzles, coming from the New York Times, but on the iPad the interface ends up being somewhat awkward. I found myself having to change hand positions all too often, as there's no easy way to skip past clues without manually tapping on different ones. The app could definitely use next/prev buttons of some kind.

Also, needs a way to turn off the music on the home screen.

What apps have you been using on iPad? Give me some recommendations.