Version: v.3.2

Compatibility: iOS 3.0

Price: Free

Thanks to touchscreens and e-ink displays, reading on the go has never been more accessible. If you're a smartphone addict like I am, your iPhone or Touch is probably never far away at any given moment. For the love of reading, e-readers are cheap and light, but an app is lighter, cheaper and even more convenient. The big dogs of the e-reader world (Kindle, Nook, Kobo) are available but aren't the best option for those of us who like to manually sync our own ebook and pdf libraries. When iBooks started getting sluggish, I gave Stanza a shot.

Since manga makes up a significant percentage of my digital library, Stanza was highly recommended as a one stop for everything literature including the popular cbz/cbr file format most digital comics are saved in. Stanza is favoured by publications such as Time Magazine, New York Times, Wired, PC Magazine and Forbes for being the best app to fit entire bookshelves into the palm of your hand. I love how it doesn't fill up the screen clumsily with buttons and menus. Books can also be downloaded from several partner stores as well as offering 50,000 free classics to choose from.

My one problem with the app is the look of it. There are many options to choose from for font, background, colours and all that jazz, but presets are virtually non existent. I dont want to choose from 30 or so background images which are really distracting or dozens of fonts that make it hard to read. Black text on white is hard to deal with as well thats why I choose sepia in iBooks. But choosing something takes awhile and when you're reading you want to go back into settings and looks for a better one. And thats not what I want from a reading app.

Compared next to iBooks, I prefer iBooks a short margin for the look but the lag in load makes Stanza a little better. Pick your poison.



Version: v.1.0.0

Compatibility: iPhone 3GS/4/4S, iPad iOS 5.0

Price: Free

When it comes to work I require a few things that I like since I'm technically homeless atm. Ambiance, wifi and coffee. Not a whole lot to ask for don't you reckon? Since I reside in a small Uni town, there really should be more choices and I had no idea how many choices I actually had after I got Work+. This was the app that made me jump onto the FourSquare bandwagon and encouraged me to offer my experiences to help my wandering brethren in search of a place to work.

What Work+ does is offer up suggestions on public places to work like Starbucks and such alternatives. Using data provided by Foursquare users you can figure out which cafes have good ambiance, wifi, outdoor patios or can accomodate large groups for meetings. Enter in what it is you're looking for and it will help you find a suitable cafe.

On top of that you can input notes or time your work for your own reference later. So if you were disatisfied somehow by one such place, you will know later that that place is balls and to neve go back because of all the screaming kids, shitty internet connection or overpriced scones. Admittedly I started using this app recently and have logged three or so entries but I go to cafes very frequently (everytime I write here or for Apartment Therapy.) The worst thing I hate to do is spend an afternoon in a crappy cafe only to waste my time, energy because of a crummy locale, Work+ lets me mix things up and try new things.

Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror Remastered

Broken Sword II
Version: v.1.3
Compatibility: iOS 3.1.3
Price: $6

A lot of the games I seem to be playing lately are the older variety of games. Even though I have a PS3, I've been playing PSOne games. The same goes for my Wii and indeed now my iPad seeing as the old wit of George Stobbart has made its way to my tablet. The point and click genre appears to be made for the touch screen revolution with Telltale games storming the app store with their new Jurassic Park series, Back to the Future and Sam and Max. So how does Broken Sword stack up?

The first feature I commend it on is its Dropbox support. Although I didn't use it very often, I carried over my save from iPad to iPhone and back when starting to play. It worked extremely well though the game doesn't work too well on the iPhone since clicking is very finicky. That's right, the controls are very wonky for a point and click. Howso you ask? The problem is that the original game required two types of clicking, left and right. Left interacts while right observes. This iOS variety works by clicking on a point of interest once and it presents the option afterwards. Clicking on the icon is hit or miss and you can not hit it right at first which cancels the transaction. Then attempting to hit that sweet spot again to bring up the option will miss and your character will end up walking away or worse, going to a new screen.

At some points in the game precision in movement and timing plays a factor. They are far and infrequent but when they happen, prepare for frustration.

My other gripe is a small one. They added new images during conversations of character avatars. They feel out of place but are not a huge deterrent. The proper voice acting and dialogue is still here however and that alone is well worth the money. George Stobbart is one of the characters that came before Drake (but after Indiana Jones) that fall under the adventurer with sharp wit. The core experience that the game stems from is here in its entirety and despite the frustrating controls is easy to lose yourself in. The beautiful visuals and incredible soundtrack (put on the headphones, it's one of those games) makes for an interactive movie experience that uses the best parts of the iOSs hardware to recreate a classic game.