Apple Bytes: New iPads! And Reviewing ‘The Cave’

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Apple Announces iPad Air, a Thinner, Lighter & More Powerful iPad, and the new iPad mini features the Retina Display & 64-bit Apple-designed A7 Chip… plus a review of The Cave.

So, this week Apple announced their new iPad Air, cashing in on two strong brand names, featuring a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display in a new thinner & lighter design. Weighing in at just one pound, with a 43% narrower bezel that borders the screen, the iPad Air is 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the 4th generation iPad. The boys at Cupertino also announced the iPad mini with Retina display, bringing all the pixels from the 9.7-inch iPad to its 7.9-inch screen. Both new iPads feature the powerful and power-efficient Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit desktop-class performance, fast wireless with built-in Wi-Fi and LTE cellular connectivity, and the controversial new-design iOS 7. But it’s that all important new power-efficient A7 chip which allows the battery to be even smaller, that helps reduce the overall volume by just shy of a quarter from the previous version whilst doubling the performance but maintaining its up to 10-hour battery life, that makes all the difference.

In addition to standardising the Retina screen across all its models: 326 pixels per inch which makes the iPad Mini the only small tablet to deliver full 1080p HD-resolution, other features include the M7 motion coprocessor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload work from the A7, two antennae to support Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology Wi-Fi, expanded LTE coverage to handle more LTE networks worldwide, next generation FaceTime HD camera with improved backside illumination sensors, the main iSight camera with a 5MP sensor and advanced optics, all combined with new iOS 7. All in all, Apple continue to command a higher price and give the competition something to aim for!

A while back we were happy to inform you that SEGA® of Europe Ltd., in a partnership with Double Fine Productions, had announced that The Cave, the spelunking puzzle adventure created by legendary game designer Ron Gilbert, was now on the App Store. Available for the iPhone®, iPad and iPod® touch, the game is priced at £2.99, but we at GS were lucky to get a copy to review.

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Well, rather than playing the game myself, and giving you the rantings of a 46-year old has been, I entrusted my precious iPad to a bunch of pre-teenagers at my son’s 12th birthday. The feedback was interesting…

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All-in-all, the game was very positively received; the graphics are A+ above and beyond, made all the better by the iPad’s immersive screen; the multi-character quest, which involves you having to use almost all the available characters to navigate our way through the cave because of their individual powers or abilities was viewed better than I expected; and they all really loved the voice-over narrative! The controls are very simple to use, although they did hit some dead ends, e.g. it’s clear that you need to use a rope & tackle to negotiate hooks in the wall, but the single tap was a bit hit & miss. But the biggest criticism was that the game didn’t come with an objective – they knew that they were exploring The Cave, but they didn’t know to what end…

GS Rating: 3.5/5

GS Reporter: SilverFox

Source: iTunes

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