Epic Win – It’s Epic and it Pretty Much Wins

For those of you with an iPhone you MUST get this app.  It is called ‘Epic Win’ and it is basically a To-Do list in the form of an RPG.  You pick a character (I am the warrior princess, Jildo) and start writing down all those shit things you don’t want to do. 

My list currently consists of: Do washing, go jogging, worm Logan, get new passport, go on Turd Patrol (Billy keeps calling me the Turd Dodger so I have set aside an hour next week to patrol the back garden in search of stray cables the dog has laid when I haven’t been looking………….I know you want my life but you can’t have it).  You then assign each task to a trait, e.g. Strength, stamina, social, intellect or spirit. 

As you complete the tasks you gain experience points, your character levels up – I am now the Wench of Undesirable Tasks – and you pick up loot as you travel further throughout the land.  It’s fucking amazing!!  It makes me want to do stuff!!  It’s worth noting that I don’t think anything actually happens in the game; there’s no boss, no end, pretty much no storyline but it does enough to trick me into getting excited when the washing basket fills up.  As a result, this is getting a massive 4 fists from me.

(As you can see, I have developed a new, highly complex scoring system – The Fist List – the better the product, the more it will get fisted by me).

Here’s the Epic Win launch trailer:

A Reply from iTunes!

Well, after posting my complaint letter on this page last week I decided it would be a waste not to email it to iTunes……4 times.  I sent it to their UK, US and Guatemalan customer service departments as well as their general customer feedback department.  Admittedly the Guatemalan one was an accidental, over-excited click on my part but I’m sure reading my letter would have made a refreshing change from bumming Llamas or whatever it is that Guatemalans do.

To my surprise I actually received a reply from the UK iTunes customer service department and this is what they said.*

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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Dear Jillian,

Baroness Gladys McGinty III from the iTunes store here.  I’m sorry for any inconvenience you have experienced.  I would like to provide further assistance but I was unable to determine the nature of your inquiry based on the information you have provided, please reply to this email with more information about the issue you are experiencing as well as the text of any error messages you may be receiving.

I also encourage you to use the iTunes Feedback page to submit your comments.  Your efforts to share your feedback are very much appreciated.

If there is anything I can help you with Jillian, please do not hesitate to reply.  Have a great day!

Sincerely,

Baroness Gladys McGinty III

iTunes Store Customer Support

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She said have a great day.  She said it sarcastically.  I like her.

Dear iTunes……

Dear iTunes,

What the fuck is your problem?  Were you abused as a child?  Was your uncle some sort of salivating paedo?  I only ask because I want an explanation for why you feel the need to behave like a total cock every minute of every day.  I am writing to let you know that it is no longer acceptable and it ends here.

I will start by addressing the endless ‘ping-pong’-ing noise you make every 10 seconds when my iPhone is connected to you.  It’s like the electronic equivalent of open-mouth breathing right next to my ear when I am trying to watch TV.  From now on you will ‘ping pong’ once and once only and this will function as a signal to me that I have successfully connected my device to you.  I appreciate how amusing it must be to watch me spend all afternoon going  “Oh good it’s connected………oh wait, no it’s not……..it is now……….okay now it’s not”  but when I am half way through transferring a movie you are in danger of causing me to self harm – and not in an atmospheric, Twilighty way, I mean like I want to ram blunt cutlery into my eyeballs.

Next thing we are going to deal with is your worrying inability to stop yourself from syncing.  It’s as if you can’t even control yourself, like you’re some sort of syncing junkie.  Just calm the fuck down!  I will sync when I am ready, it is not up to you and it’s not a fucking race.  It wouldn’t be so bad if good things happened when you sync but good things never happen.  The other week I spent two entire days transferring various entertainments onto you, only for you to sync like an absolute gypsy and decide that, in fact, two-thirds of these files needed to be taken off.  I am also pretty sure that you regularly wait until I’m asleep before syncing like a horny teenager.  You disgust me.

Also, for something whose main purpose in life is to transfer music, you make it Krypton-Factor impossible.  I am not a software designer but if someone asked me to design a package that transferred music from one device to another, call me retarded but I would probably put a ‘transfer’ button somewhere pretty obvious.  I had to google how to transfer music and even then it became clear that no one in this universe has a fucking clue how to do it.  In reverse order, here are the top 5 suggestions that your users are offering me:

5. Click ‘manually manage music’ then drag and drop – Rarely works

4. Tick the boxes next to the songs then go to the drop down menu and click ‘export’ – Never works

3. Go on a journey of self-discovery, learn a martial art, consult the Dalai Lama – Can’t be arsed

2. Genocide – Go on, I’m listening……

1. You cannot transfer music using iTunes – High five

Okay, I will admit that I am slightly exaggerating and that there have been occasions when the exact songs I wanted have transferred over without removing things I didn’t want removed.  I have to stress though that in 18 months this has happened twice and both times I don’t know what I did.  What normally happens is I will click ‘manually manage music’, drag and drop one song (because, believe it or not, sometimes I only want to add one song) and you say “Yeah, that’s totally fine, just give me a minute while I delete the entire music library from your phone first and then I will put it on for you”.  You’re an arsehole!!

Oh yeah, I am on to you iTunes.  I’ve seen your type a hundred times.  Bullied as a child for having a misshapen head and badly fitting jeans.  You’re bitter and vindictive and you need help.  I suggest investing in some counselling and we will take it from there.  We can start slowly, nothing major, maybe try something simple like taking less than 6 FUCKING MONTHS to back up my iPad.  In the meantime, I hate you.  Goodbye.

 

Love and warmest wishes,

Jillian xxx

iPad Apps – Get in About Them

At the time of writing there were 34,936 apps for the iPad.  I have used about 30 of these.  If you are looking for an informative, exhaustive review of the apps currently available for the iPad, this is going to be the biggest disappointment since Raoul Moat’s killing “spree”.  If however you are looking for an uninformative, limited review of my own personal favourite apps…………you’re a fucking weirdo, get off my lawn.

Let’s begin!

VLC – If you don’t have this app, this is what will happen to you:

Whilst trying to transfer a very, very legal download of South Park series 13 onto your iPad, iTunes will basically tell you to go and fist yourself.  You will try for days to bypass iTunes and its all encompassing power to destroy your life.  You will fail.  After admitting defeat you will spend three more days converting your files to a format deemed acceptable by iTunes by means of a ‘free’ software package.  Finally, and with a huge sigh of relief, you will click ‘transfer’.  You will receive the following message: “Thank you for choosing our software to convert your video files.  In order to transfer the files onto your device you will need to upgrade to our full version which will cost £1,000,000.  It’s okay though, we use Paypal so it will be convenient and hassle free!”.  Hours later you will be spotted skipping naked down the high street wearing a sock puppet on one hand and flinging shit at passing old ladies with the other, occasionally stopping to eat your own hair whilst poking yourself in the eye with your toe.

For the love of God, get this app.  No one likes sock puppets.

TV CATCHUP – This app basically turns the iPad into a TV by means of witchcraft.  Very handy if you like a moan at your boyfriend for watching Babestation when Snog, Marry, Avoid is on.  It shows most of the decent channels including Dave (most important) but the picture quality can be pretty poor at times and because it is shown live, you can’t rewind anything if you’ve missed the beginning.  All in all though the good out-weighs the bad and anything that can magically turn something into a TV gets 5 stars from me.  Now if they could only apply this TV magic to the back of my head, Billy would die a happy man.

DISCOVER – This is a Wikipedia app presented in the form of a magazine.  It has a photo of the day, an article of the day and all the encyclopaedia articles you could ever want.  It’s also in HD which makes me feel warm inside.  There isn’t much use for it on a daily basis but I think it would be good to have on a train or the Megabus.  Although, I wouldn’t recommend waving an iPad around on a Megabus, that would be like waving around a quarterpounder with cheese in a Malawian orphanage.

 iPERIOD - This is an app that keeps track of your periods.  I have found to my surprise that this app is more popular with men.  One of my guy friends whipped it out the other day when trying to organise a golfing trip with his brother saying “Well, the wife will be shedding the tears of a disappointed uterus next weekend so it would be nice to get out of the house for a couple of days”.

GAMES – As you can probably guess there are no real epics for the iPad so don’t expect to devote more than a couple of hours of your life in order to complete a game.  There are still a few that are worth a look though, my three favourites are:

SPARKLE HD:  One of those blow-up-a-chain-of-coloured-balls type games favoured the world over by lonely housewives with bingo addictions.  This one is actually very good, the music sounds like it’s from Beetlejuice and the HD graphics are immense.

HARBOUR MASTER HD:  Pretty simple but highly addictive.  You have to move boats about so they don’t crash into each other.  I wish I had more to add but that is literally it.

VIRTUAL VILLAGERS 3:  I am fully aware that this is a shitty sim game but there is something kind of 90′s about it that makes me happy.  You land on a deserted island and have to make sure your villagers survive by building stuff, finding food, making babies, etc.  Completely pointless, but there was a time when all computer games were pointless and, well, sometimes I just miss those days.

While I am on the subject of games, I’m not really a fan of Angry Birds.  Am I the only person in the universe who feels this way?…………….Besides you, Tumbleweed.

PHOTO SLIDESHOW - Not technically an app, just something the iPad can do.  You can use your iPad as a kind of picture frame that changes photo every few seconds via an unfolding origami-type display.  It’s pretty cool to watch and a nice idea I suppose but I can’t help wonder when we are expected to use it.  Can you imagine taking it into your office and setting it up next to your monitor, leaving it to show random photos of your family on their last skiing trip?  Seriously, imagine how much of a dick you would look.  I tried it out in the privacy of my own home and it didn’t really work out.  These are the first four photos that came up:  A photo of a naked doll that I found on the side of a mountain in Skye that looked like a dead baby, a picture of my dog trying to hump another dog’s face, a picture of Hitler with a speech bubble saying “I blame the parents” and a photo of a dead bird in a ziplock bag stuck to a wall by a magnet.  If I worked in an office I would be eating my lunch alone.

So there you go, a few of the apps that have earned a place on my homescreen.  I could honestly keep going, I have another ten apps that I use but for those of you who don’t have an iPad this blog entry is hardly a page-turner so I will spare you the torture of reading about amazing things that you will never have.  I feel like the parent of a high-achieving child; so much to say but no one really gives a fuck.  I think I’m going to start going to coffee mornings with other iPad owners.  Call me.

My New iPad – Not Just a Lover but a Best Friend

Two months ago I turned 30.  The night before the big day I went to sleep disliking Sheryl Crow but woke up the next morning thinking she was a truly exciting and valid artist.  It really does happen that fast.  I got up and was relieved to see that there was a substantial amount of presents in the corner of the living room.  This was good, I needed something to distract me from the sudden realisation that I was going to have to start thinking of a valid reason for being unmarried with no kids.  ‘I can’t be arsed’ and ‘I’d rather spend the money on beer’ was now going to make me sound more like an alcoholic lesbian than a care-free youth.

I was genuinely surprised (and slightly teary) to discover that my first present was an iPad.  People have suggested to me that this ‘oversized iphone’ is an unnecessary, almost gimmicky bit of gadgetry.  To them I say: “Fuck you!” and then I say “You need to re-evaluate the shambles that is your life and take responsibility for the fact that you just air-quoted the phrase ‘oversized iphone’, now be gone!” and then I say “Damnit, that would have sounded amazing if I had thought of it before they got in their car and drove away…………three weeks ago”.  Reluctantly, however, I am going to have to agree with these gimps.  No one needs an iPad, not even disabled people, and they need everything. It doesn’t really do anything that other products can’t already do, but if we all thought like that we would never have been blessed with such gems as: The Jesus-shaped toast stencil, the plastic banana protection case, the Slanket, the George Foreman Grill or literally anything sold by JML in all good Poundstretcher shops.

In other words, I am in love with my iPad.  Completely and utterly, head over heels, madly in love with my iPad.  We sleep together, we shower together, we cook together, we drink together, we sing the timeless Foreigner classic ‘Feels Like The First Time’ together………it’s our song.  The main reason I love the iPad is motivated by complete laziness.  It’s not so much what you can do with it, it’s where you can do it.  I can personalize it to the last detail so that it only contains things that I want to read about/watch/listen to and then take it with me to work, on a plane or, more importantly, to the bathroom. No more having to turn on the TV if I want to watch TV, no more having to buy a newspaper if I want to read a newspaper and best of all, no more having to boot up my piece of shit laptop to check my emails.  In comparison my laptop is like a giant, bumbling, club-footed beast, offensive to the point of Lady Gaga’s face.

Despite all this love, it pains me to say that there are two slight flaws with my new possession.  The first one is the bed sores that I have been gradually developing over the past couple of months.  The iPad makes it almost impossible to get out of bed.  This is my morning routine:  Wake up, pick up iPad, open facebook, try to scratch my eyeballs out to stop myself from having to read the immense pile of shit that some people feel the need to share with the world, close facebook, open Twitter, see if it is possible for Kanye West to be any more mental, close Twitter, open BBC News, read about Chilean Miners, close BBC News, open ITV Showbiz News, stare at Cheryl Cole’s amazing face, close ITV Showbiz News, open this blog, see if anyone has left me a comment (that would be a no), close this blog.  By the time I have done all this it’s like 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I have bed sores, but holy shit I am INFORMED!

The second flaw is the necessity to sacrifice one arm in order to carry the iPad around the house with me everywhere.  I’m basically an amputee.  I’m eligible for the 2012 Paralympic shotput event and I’m learning how to play the piano with my feet. If I’m honest it’s not ideal, but do not panic because I have a plan.  I watched this programme last week on Bravo called ‘We Find Your Medical Misfortune Fucking Hilarious’ and it featured this giant fat woman who had misplaced her TV remote.  Turns out it had made its way between two of her fat rolls and had been sitting there for like 18 months.  In that time the skin had engulfed the remote and kind of merged with it so that the remote had actually become part of the fat woman.  I thought this would be a great way to enable me to keep both hands free while still having the iPad at my fingertips.  It’s been a couple of days and so far it hasn’t even latched on but I’ll keep you updated on any progress.

Now that I have covered the pros and inconsequential cons of the iPad I am going to retire, re-group and eventually return to write a completely useless guide to the apps that I think deserve a place on my home screen.  In the meantime I suggest that you sell your children to Somalian pirates and go buy one immediately. Just sit back and let Steve Jobs put that snooker ball in your mouth, I promise it hurts good.

It would have been 5/5 fists but I’m retracting one because iTunes does my tits in: 

Have a listen: Foreigner – Feels Like the First Time