The Seattle Seahawks are in position to battle the Denver Broncos today, Super Bowl Sunday. In celebration, Fox has taken down its paywall, offering a live-stream of the game to all through their Fox Sports Go iOS app. The stream starts at 10 a.m. ET with the Fox Super Bowl Kickoff show and continues into the game at 6 p.m.
Coverage of course to include all the infamous Super Bowl commercials, but I used our featured mobile app of the week to watch some of the 2014 ads in advance, as well as browse the best commercials of our yesteryears (see McDonald's ad from 1993 featuring Bird vs. Jordan).
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch & Android
Should you get it: Touchdown!
Whether you live for the sport, or you’re in it for the beer-infused chili, everyone gathers around the watercooler come Monday to discuss the Super Bowl commercials (and the Puppy Bowl).
Since I fall into the ‘eats’ category, I’ve decided to pregame with Super Ads, an app that displays over 200 Super Bowl ads, including a few NEW 2014 commercials and trailers.
While all of these videos are hosted, played, and therefore available on YouTube, Super Ads did a great job of gathering together the Super Bowl commercials from 2006-2013, as well as highlight the most popular ads from over the last four decades.
Given the amount of content, Super Ads is well-organized, allowing users to search for a specific showstopper, browse fan favorites by year, or scroll through designated sections based on company and brand names.
Users can also share ads via email, Facebook or Twitter. My professional share? Apple capturing stories with the new iPad Air. My 'not so professional' share? Doritos “Finger Cleaner.” I won’t ruin it for you...
Now to your Most Downloaded iPhone and iPad Apps of the Week.
By Kristi Palma
Reviewing: Kids Trucks: Puzzles - An animated truck puzzle game for toddlers, preschoolers, and young children
By: Scott Adelman
Available on: Android
Should you get it? Yes
My 3-year-old daughter loves puzzles.
She will sit on the floor and do the same puzzle over and over again - putting it together, breaking it apart, putting it together, breaking it apart.
So you can imagine her delight over this animated puzzle app we recently downloaded on my Kindle Fire.
She doesn't even care that this app features trucks instead of princesses. What she cares about is the variety of puzzles offered all in one place (she loves to scroll through and choose them as much as she loves to do them) and the bonus of seeing the puzzle come to life after she's moved the last piece into place. Not only that, but little paint bubbles erupt when she finishes one, which she can pop with her finger. Her old-school cardboard puzzles certainly can't offer that!
The app features 13 different puzzles in the form of trucks, shapes, and numbers. The trucks and numbers have little eyeballs, to which my daughter Paige likes to say: "They're looking at their friends!"
This is a very simple app. Children drag a shape from the left side of the screen and fit it into the scene on the right side of the screen.
"See, mom?" said Paige after completing a puzzle. "It's easy!"
And it's easy to choose the puzzle you want to do or navigate back or forward through the puzzles if you change your mind.
But while my 3-year-old may delight in easy, her 6-year-old older brother gets bored. This game is geared for kids age 1 to 6 and may lose the interest of kids on the upper end of that range.
By Kristi Palma
Reviewing: Fruit Ninja Free
By: Halfbrick Studios Pty Ltd
Available on: Android
Should you get it? Yes
My kids love fruit. And they love ninjas. So I figured a game called "Fruit Ninja Free" would be right up their alley. And I was right.
I downloaded it for free on my Kindle Fire. It's not new, but it's new to us. The point of the game is to slash fruit with your finger as it flies across the screen. You can choose from three different modes: arcade (fast-paced), classic (no timer), and zen (no bombs = "peaceful and relaxing" ninja action). My kids love the fast-moving arcade mode because of the power-up bananas. They love bananas. And these special glowing bananas do things like double your points and send eruptions of more fruit.
When I read the reviews for this app, the biggest complaint was all the ads on the free version. But I haven't found the ads to be too intrusive. Sure, an ad pops up now and again. But my little gamers know how to hit "skip" quickly and make them go away.
At 3 years old, my daughter takes joy in the simpler aspects of this game. The graphics are pretty good. She loves the splatter action and giggles when the juicy-sounding fruit - watermelons, coconuts, strawberries, and more - splatter on the wall after she cuts them. I mean, c'mon, kids love making a mess with food (even a virtual mess!).
Now my son, who is almost 6, pays attention to the points. He has this technique where he scribbles on the screen with his pointer finger to slice multiple fruit at the same time, which scores combos and earns bonus points. But he has to watch out for the bombs mixed in! If he hits those, they will subtract 10 points.
There are more levels to this game that my young kids haven't used and that adults and older kids probably enjoy. Fruit Ninja Free offers OpenFeint support, which lets you post your scores online. You can go into the dojo and unlock swag with enough points. There are fun facts about fruit. You can find your friends by importing them from Facebook.
But my kids simply love slashing fruit.
And that works for me when I'm stuck waiting at the doctor's office and need something to keep them happy and still.
By Damon Kiesow
Reviewing: It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Company: Peanuts Worldwide LLC
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Tested on: iPhone 4G, iPad 2
Should you get it? Yes, but...
If you are of a certain age, Charlie Brown animated holiday specials probably rank up there with Schoolhouse Rock as fun childhood TV memories. If so, you probably want to download the latest of the Peanuts series to make its way to the iPad and iPhone.
The apps are similar and target young or pre-readers with a very book-like presentation - with scenes taken from the TV specials - and enhanced by audio narration and some selected games and interactives.
The apps are fenjoyable even for slightly older kids, but the younger ones will have a lot of fun swiping through the pages and having the story read to them, and watching some of the simple animations.
However, there are some not-so-great features as well. The price, $4.99 is not bad for an eBook but it is more than the $0.99 parents expect to pay for an app.
More of an issue - to participate in some of the interactives and games, the reader is required to create an account, or sign-in via Facebook. Not likely for a 5-year-old, so parents will need to do this if their child wants to "join the gang" to create a costume and go trick-or-treating.
The good news: kids can carve a digital pumpkin in the app for free.
By Kristi Palma
Reviewing: 123 Color HD: Talking Coloring Book
Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: 99 cents
Should you get it? Yes!
What's better than a musical coloring book? How about a musical coloring book complete with virtual stickers? It's certainly a winning combination in my household this summer as my kids ask over and over, "Can I color on the iPad?"
My 3-year-old daughter Paige is obsessed with this app. And her brother Jack, 5, likes it, too. It's a color-by-number (or letter) book, complete with music, sound effects, stickers, and more. Her picture of choice this summer? A gingerbread house set to "Jingle Bells."FULL ENTRY
By Sophie Bodor
Do you know those crazy animals that have human-like figures and weird hair?
Well, if you don't, then you should download and play Toca Boca Hair Salon. When you get on the app, you press play and then choose a character. Then you do their hair any way you want. My sister and brother both love this app. So do I.
I found out about this app from my friend Sophia. I was at her house for a birthday party sleepover and she was playing it. Then I went home and downloaded the app. I told my friend Tiernan about it and now every time she uses my iPod she plays it. We love making the hair bright and crazy with the colors, scissors, blow dryer, razors, comb, and hair-grow feature.
Here's how it works:FULL ENTRY
By Kristi Palma
Reviewing: Draw Something
Available on: Phone, iPad, iPod, Android
Price: Free version with limited drawing colors. Paid version is $2.99 with more drawing colors. Buy more coins for $1.99 to $24.99.
Should you get it? Absolutely!
Draw Something by OMGPOP is a social drawing and guessing game app that keeps people coming back for more.
That's because after they draw a word, they send it to a friend to guess. That friend, in turn, sends a drawing back to be guessed. And so on.FULL ENTRY