App Reviews

All reviews of Apps available for the PlayStation Vita.

This review was requested by and is dedicated to TK.

PlayStation Mobile has been bringing apps to the Vita for quite a long time, and many of them seem very simplistic in nature.  Granted, there are few big developers that work on that service, other than Sony, themselves.  PlayStation Mobile development teams are more similar to teams around Indie Games.  They are very small teams, and some of them are even just a single person making games and applications for that platform.  It’s a tall order and that is likely why many PS Mobile apps are simplistic in nature.

Regardless, there are a lot of apps that come to the Vita, thanks to PlayStation Mobile.  Not even two weeks ago, one of those small development teams brought a Tumblr app to the Vita, which was a big step forward.  Apart from this, there are simple apps, like calendars, timers, weather, calculators, and more.  Most apps are only a single feature, though.  Many apps are only a calculator or only a timer or only a calendar.

That is quickly changing.  There are some apps that are more extensive than that.  As well as developers like ZHANG BO do on apps, there are some apps that release that are much more in-depth.  One such application is what we are going to talk about today.  Here is our official review of the PlayStation Mobile App, KI Scientific Toolbox.

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This review was requested by and is dedicated to Phil.

The Cloud is something that is very important to technology, these days.  Google Drive.  Sky Drive.  One Drive.  iCloud.  There are so many different names for different servers that implement “The Cloud” of technology throughout the world of the Internet.  People want to store their files online so they don’t have to be on a specific device to be able to view it.  Write a document on their PC and upload it to the Cloud and then pull out their phone and pull it up when they’re on the move.  This is going further and further.

The Cloud has also affected the PlayStation Vita.  If you have a PlayStation Plus subscription, you can store save data on the Cloud to be able to access after removing a game from your Memory Card.  There are also some apps out there that are implementing the Cloud in a more document-type sense.  While there currently are no Vita-specific apps that do this, there are some coming into the world of PlayStation Mobile.  One such app is called Sola Disk, by the very-dedicated PS Mobile developer, ZHANG BO.  Here is our official review of Sola Disk.

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There are a lot of things you can do with a PlayStation Vita, or a handheld device in general.  People can do a lot with them, specifically, with applications, or apps.  Weather.  Netflix.  Timer.  Alarm Clock.  YouTube.  The range seems absolutely limitless for what, exactly, they can make apps for.  While the PlayStation Vita has a fairly limited library of apps, it is slowly growing and there are some really interesting apps out there that you can download.

One thing to note is Alarm Clocks.  This is something every person sorely needs.  No one wants to oversleep and be late for school, work, or anything else they need to be at a certain place for.  Because of that, people have alarm clocks.  Thanks to the digital age, there are a lot of apps available on various devices to enable Alarm Clocks.  Phones, for example, have become alarm clocks for some people.

Let’s say, though, that you don’t want your phone on all night long, every night.  You don’t want it getting hot and overheating while you’re fast asleep.  For that, there are apps for other devices that can act as Alarm Clocks for you.  On the PlayStation Vita, there is an app specifically designed to be your own alarm clock, as well as interacting with others with their own sleep patterns and alarms.  Here is our official review of the PlayStation Vita app, Wake Up Club.

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When you think about Apps and the PlayStation Vita, you will realize there just isn’t a huge library of apps out there.  Even today, when I was trying to find an app to review, I had to look through my Download List because I have already reviewed all of the apps I use on a regular basis, from the Vita and PlayStation Mobile.  That goes to show that the library of apps available on the system is relatively small, despite growing steadily from the PlayStation Mobile side.

On the PlayStation Mobile side, however, is where most of the apps reside.  The Vita has some great apps but it needs many more to be side-by-side with PlayStation Mobile.  That service gets new apps in nearly every update, and that’s a pretty big deal for those of us that want more apps on the Vita.  One developer in particular is ZHANG BO, whom has contributed a lot of apps to the Vita, two of which we have reviewed.

Among the various services and features that ZHANG BO has given us through PlayStation Mobile, there is one that we are going to take a look at today that is two features in one.  What I mean by that is that it is one app, but it does two different things.  Keeping time is important and very handy to be able to do with the aid of an app.  Here is our official review of the PlayStation Mobile app, Sola Timer

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Out of all of the streaming services that are available on the PlayStation Vita, only two of them have been on the system for a long time.  Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant, Crunchy Roll, and many others only came to the system a few months ago.  Before that, the system did not have a whole lot as far as streaming services goes.  It had Netflix, which works fairly well on the system.  But other than it and one other app, video-streaming was pretty much limited to its Web Browser.

However, as I stated above, there was another video service on the system, though I’m not sure it is something that I would normally associate with other video services, like Hulu and Netflix.  While it allowed you to watch videos, it wasn’t and still isn’t a subscription-based service.  Available on almost everything now, the other video service available on the PS Vita back then was the video-streaming giant, YouTube.

YouTube has been around for a long time and has allowed people to upload their own videos, watch videos, and like or comment on videos.  It’s also seen some integration with Google Plus, which many people were not very happy about.  But all of that is past now, and we have YouTube to use and enjoy videos with.  So, how is the PS Vita app?  Let’s find out.  Here is our official review of the YouTube app.

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This review is dedicated to and was requested by @JH_BOOS of Twitter.

PlayStation Mobile has added a good bit of options for the Vita.  While it does offer mobile games on the system like Chaos Rings, Trolly Bird, Gun Commando, and others, it also adds the ability to run specific types of apps.  The important part of this is that some of the apps available on PlayStation Mobile, whether provided by Sony or otherwise, are different kinds of apps than the normal Vita apps that can be run by the system normally.  That list is slowly growing, though there aren’t too many different developers doing this.

One of the top contributors of these apps is a developer called ZHANG BO.  If you were following us back when we first implemented app reviews, as well as game reviews, you may realize that ZHANG BO is the first developer whose app we reviewed.  Sola Weather, one of their first apps, was the first PlayStation Mobile app we had the privilege of using and reviewing.  Since then, ZHANG BO has made a lot of different types of apps.  Weather, Calendar, Timer, Files, etc.  ZHANG BO did a nice job at bringing a lot of apps to the system in the “Sola / Solar” series of apps.

One of their more recent apps is something that the Vita doesn’t have a main app for, though does have certain capabilities of, otherwise.  This is for Chat Rooms.  There are a lot of different types of chat rooms that you can access.  Facebook has chat rooms.  The IRC services have many chat rooms.  There are also other methods of doing it.  ZHANG BO has created an app that they wish to serve as a primary Chat Room service for fans of the Vita and PlayStation Mobile.   Here is our official review of Sola Chatroom.

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The library of apps available on the PlayStation Vita is slowly growing.  Not even a few months ago, apps in the form of streaming services really kicked off.  While the Vita had access to the Netflix service more than year before then, developers finally brought many of the other services to the system.  This included a lot of major hitters, most notably Hulu Plus, Crackle, Crunchy Roll, and Redbox Instant.  This brought the Vita up to the same speed as the PlayStation 3, as far as these services go.

Last week, we brought you our official coverage of the Netflix app, which overall was a pretty good app.  While this has been out for awhile, we definitely need to check out the other services.  Every service has its own fanbase.  The hardcore anime fans go to Crunchy Roll.  Movie-goers head straight to Netfllix and Redbox Instant.  Where do people go when they want to watch TV Shows?  Those people go straight to Hulu Plus.

Hulu Plus is the streaming service, bringing new TV to all who want to fight them.  With the same cost as Netflix, it is a highly-watched service.  So, how does the service stack up on the PS Vita?  Let’s find out.  Here is our official review of the Hulu Plus app.

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The PlayStation Vita’s list of apps is slowly growing.  Alongside, the equally-growing list of apps available through PlayStation Mobile, the Vita has access to default apps like Mail and Calendar, to many other apps via the PlayStation Store, like Flickr, Facebook, LiveTweet, Hulu Plus, and more.  The app library is slowly growing, and there are a lot of popular services now available on the system.  From social media to media streaming services, there is a lot of non-gaming ways to enjoy a PlayStation Vita.

One area of applications that we have no gone in-depth to review yet is a notable one: media streaming.  There are many different services around that allow you to stream music and movies.  If you recall, we had made a review for the Crunchy Roll, an anime-specific streaming service, which did pretty well on the Vita.  However, there are many others out there, and many are much more popular.  Red Box Instant.  Hulu Plus.  Netflix.

If we had to choose one that had to be the most popular and had the most content, Netflix would be our choice.  Netflix doesn’t have incredibly recent material (though it does have movies as recent as Insidious: Chapter 2), but it has an immense amount of content you can enjoy.  So, how does Netflix stack up on the PS Vita?  Here is our official review of the Netflix app for the PlayStation Vita.

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There are a lot of Apps for the PlayStation Vita, and a lot of them are useful, outside of just PlayStation-branded apps.  You have apps like Email to manage your email accounts, LiveTweet to handle your Twitter, or Netflix to handle your movie-streaming needs.  However, there are many integral applications for devices like this, using a Touch Screen and Multi-Device interface, and the Vita doesn’t have much of some of them.

Two big ones I think of are Notepad and Calendar.  Note-taking apps are essential for Mobile when you want to take some quick notes.  The PlayStation Vita does have access to this kind of app, but it is not native.  There are a few notepad applications through PlayStation Mobile, and none of them are really up to snuff.  They’re decent, but nowhere near great.  The Calendar, however, has had some development.  In the last set of software updates for the system, it got a dedicated Calendar app.

Calendars are important because you can set up notifications, events, and more.  You can keep track of things like when it’s time to come back from Break at work, or even what days that we have set for certain reviews.  It’s quite an interesting and useful feature.  So how does the PlayStation Vita’s Calendar App stack up?  Let’s find out.  Here is our official review of the Calendar app for the PlayStation Vita.

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This review was requested by and is dedicated to @Luisjavier2896 from Twitter

Let’s talk about Streaming Video.  If you think about these kinds of services that allow you to stream video for Television Shows, Movies, Anime, and other media forms, you’ll think of a few right away.  There’s Netflix, Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant, and more.  Well, there are a lot of others as well, and some of them are more media-specific.  There are even services that are surrounded around media like Anime and Japanese Drama Shows.

The PlayStation Vita is about to get a lot of these services.  It already has Netflix and has had that for awhile.  It’s also about to get Hulu Plus and Redbox Instant.  Not even a week ago, though, it got a few new ones.  One of the lesser-known services, called Crunchy Roll.  This is a service that is specifically centered on Anime, Japanese Drama, and even Manga.  Vita users can now access this database from their system.  Here is our review of Crunchy Roll for the PlayStation Vita.

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