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4Bugs is a Gorgeous Photo Hunt for Experienced Players

Photo hunts are one of those “no instructions necessary” kind of games that can be played alone or with friends. As such, they’re hugely popular both online and off. If you’re familiar with any of the variety of PC games or touchscreen bar games, then you’ll know what just what to do when you pick up 4Bugs from Root9 Medialab.
Although it’s wrapped in a cutesy bug theme, 4 Bugs is mostly a photo hunt game like any other. The player (that’s you) is presented with a pair of photos and must find the differences between the two — a different shadow, an extra petal on a flower. Find all four anomalies and with a tap of the finger, you win.
If only real life was so simple. 4 Bugs is the hardest photo hunt game I’ve played. Out of the 20 or so pictures I tried, I found all the differences in less than half the photos. Now, to be fair 4 Bugs includes 500 images, so it’s possible there are a few easier ones hiding among the pack.
Seasoned photo hunt players will probably enjoy the challenge, however it would be nice if the app included a difficulty setting for the rest of us. Prior to playing you can discard a photo if it looks too hard, but you are limited to 3 discards and it’s difficult to tell whether how hard an image will actually be to solve until you are faced with the pair side by side.
4 Bugs includes a two-player mode so you can compete against a friend by passing your device back and forth. The app lets you input your names and features some cute animated characters that express excitement and defeat between rounds. You don’t have the option to skip an image when using two-player mode, what you see is what you get. The game will calculate your score based on how quickly you solve the puzzle.
Players with the skills to complete the game will appreciate this deluxe photo hunt. And, if you’re so good that even 4 Bugs becomes easy? Well, you can show off and play against the clock by decreasing the timer.

4 Ingredients is a Recipe Book Turned iPhone App

4 Ingredients, a best-selling cookbook in Australia, with both an Australian and a UK version in print, is now available as an app for iPhone and iPod touch.
4 Ingredients is a compilation of recipes that can be made with four ingredients or fewer — really. We’re not talking about just four main ingredients with a few staples thrown in, but the actual ingredients for all recipes do not total more than four.
To be clearer, there are some recipes that call for pre-packaged ingredients, such as apple pie filling, which when added in would actually bring the total ingredient count up, but the point of 4 Ingredients is to deliver uncomplicated recipes.screen-shot-2013-06-03-at-9-23-23-pm-724x512
As an individual who does not in any way shape or form enjoy cooking, I would be capable of appreciating uncomplicated recipes — and the faster the prep and cook time, the better. The recipes provided in 4 Ingredients are pretty varied in terms of food category, but how many are actually contained within the app I don’t know for sure. Inyer Pocket Software says over 400.
There are a few things about 4 Ingredients that make it good and a few things that may make it less appealing to stateside users than elsewhere. For the most part, it’s cheaper to download 4 Ingredients than buy the book, but then you are left with needing your device handy to follow the recipes. A few points I like about 4 Ingredients for the iPhone is the ability to browse the recipes without Wi-Fi connection. This means if you are at the grocery store and want some ideas, you can easily browse the recipes using an iPod touch, or even if your iPhone loses network connection in some small quadrant of the frozen food isle.
The recipes in 4 Ingredients are categorized and can be viewed by scrolling through the ingredients lists, which ranges from Almonds to Zucchini, or you can view by food category like breakfasts, dips, or fish. The 4 Ingredients app lets you add a recipe to a “My Favs” folder with a quick tap for easier viewing later. While the visual organization of the main menu and individual recipes is decent, your viewing options are a bit convoluted. Instead of taking advantage of the iPhone’s ability to automatically detect viewing preference, the main menu and navigation is in landscape mode while the recipes are in portrait mode. It does become a bit annoying to constantly be flipping your device from side to side and top to bottom while browsing. Plus, I do wish there were pictures of the completed recipe rather than just an ingredient pictorial.
The other aspect of 4 Ingredients that may perplex some users in the states is the food terms used. Terms like “Bickie base,” which is listed as an ingredient in basic cheesecake but the recipe later mentions “gelatine,” or the “mince” called for in Stuffed Capsicum, which are peppers, might throw some novice American cooks off track. Granted, a culinary foodie might not need a cooking dictionary, but for those of us who only know basic foods by their American name, we may have trouble deciphering a few recipes.
Terms and user interface aside, 4 Ingredients does supply a nice collection of easily accessible recipes that appear fairly simple to prepare. Plus, learning to cook with minimal ingredients can mean fewer trips to the grocery or lower bills at the checkout. I didn’t find 4 Ingredients to be entirely worth its asking price and while my preference for recipe apps remains All Recipes Dinner Spinner and there are other good ones like Epicurious Recipes and Shopping List, 4 Ingredients does provide many different types of recipes with very simple ingredients.
So, if simple is your thing, then check out the 4 Ingredient website and request a sample recipe to see what you think.

Creative Ideas for Custom iPhone Cases

What do you see when you look around? If you think everyone and their mother already has an iPhone, just wait. With Cricket and other no-contract carriers joining the party, the party is about to get a whole lot more crowded. If you want to stand out, you’re going to have to customize. Sure, you could Pimp Your Screen but what you really need is a way to make your device recognizable from across the room. And there’s no better way to say “I think different” than with a custom iPhone case. From instagram images to 3D graphics, these custom cases offer a unique way to express your personality. Casetagram

Creative Ideas for Custom iPhone Cases
Casetagram allows any Instagram member to take their favorite images and combine them in a personalized collage. Simple to make and competitively priced, Casetagram is a quick way to express yourself and show off your iPhoneography with a case that’s uniquely you. Design your Casetagram.Kees 3D iPhone Cases
KEES claims “if you can think it, they can make it.” With colors like Penelope Pink, Gorgeous Grey and Bombastic Blue, they use 3D printing technology to build the perfect case. The cases are made from a sturdy nylon material, with your choice of either a smooth or velvety finish. For now, these cool custom cases are only available for iPhone 4 or 4S, but KEES says they hope to add more sizes soon. See KEES.The Vibe Soundwave Case
Another take on the 3D iPhone case, Shapeways.com takes personal to a whole ‘nother level. This site takes your favorite noise, sound or song, and turns it into a visual readout of the sound waves. Imagine looking at your phone and seeing the sound of your child’s first word or the peace of the Caribbean ocean drifts across your case. Check out The Vibe.Zazzle Custom Cases by You
Zazzle provides a wide variety of reasonably priced cases from Speck or Case-Mate. These durable, light-weight cases are an excellent way to show off what is interesting, important, or fashionable to any iPhone user. Without obstructing any of the iPhone’s many features, zazzle.com can help create a personalized case with monograms, personal pictures, or works of art. Since you can start with a blank canvas or choose one of the many designs in the marketplace to customize, you really can say there is something for everyone.  Visit Zazzle.

How do you express your style? Do you have a custom iPhone case?