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on October 24, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This little steering wheel has made road trips so much easier for our family. The apps were all super cheap to download, and the games are lots of fun. The steering wheel includes buttons which softly press against the screen that serve as an accelerator, brake, and reverse. I find myself playing with it in the evening during commercials. The plastic is a strong heavy duty plastic, and doesn't feel cheap at all. If you have an iphone or ipod touch, you need to check out this toy. If your kids are into racing games at all this will be their new favorite toy for the car.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on November 25, 2012
After the AppBlaster and the AppFishing, here comes the AppDrive. Last year, when we reviewed the AppBlaster, my husband was quite impressed with the possibilities of the blaster and the games. Since then we have discovered new products from AppToys which are distributed through SpinMaster. I tried the AppDrive, while everyone else were busy with other things in the house on Sunday afternoon. I must admit that I always was challenged with driving games and I think I will always be challenged with them. Somehow, it looks as though I prefer the off the road trips... Nevertheless, I have a good understanding on how the game works and how the AppDrive will help the player to enjoy his ride.

Essentially, the AppDrive is a device that looks like a wheel and your challenge is to drive whatever vehicle the game you have selected will offer. You can insert an iPhone, iPod or an android device inside the wheel to play the game. Check the box to make sure that your device is supported with it.

Once you start the game,you are in for a ride! The game I tried was 2XL MX Offroad which is a game with a four-wheeler that you need to control. As I mentioned before, I am not gifted with this type of games on the iPod. However, I enjoyed the graphics and the fact that I could control the four-wheeler myself. You also have the possibility of choosing the vehicle and the driver. You can go backward or forward as well as control the direction of the vehicle. If you hit a tree your drive will be ejected and thrown in the air. Sometimes,my drive also got squished under the vehicle itself. But there was no blood whatsoever in the game which is great if you ask me. I would have no hesitation whatsoever to let my kids play with it.

Even though I am more challenge than my kids would be for this sort of game, I have enjoyed driving my four-wheeler and explore the surroundings. Did I made any jump? No as I quickly got lost in the woods... Did I hit some trees? You bet. But I am willing to persevere and become better - though I suspect that I am better an puzzle games and quest types of games...

Asphalt 7 and 2XL MX Offroad are free apps that can be downloaded anytime via iTunes. Other apps that will work with the AppDrive are 2XL Supercross HD, Ricky Carmichael's Motocross Matchup Pro, and the 2XL Trophylite Rally HD.

The AppDrive will provide tons of fun for anyone who love driving games. The fact that it simulates a wheel makes it even more interesting. It would be a great birthday or Christmas gift for someone who likes this sort of games and owns a device that is supported.
1 helpful vote
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VINE VOICEon October 18, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My 7-year-old is a huge fan of driving games, especially ones for the Wii that utilize the steering wheel accessory as they feel more realistic. I naturally thought the AppDrive would elicit the same excitement and initially it did. The unit is well built and sturdy and the iPod / iPhone cradles work just as intended. It was all very simple to get started right away without even looking at the directions as the cradle is imprinted with "iPod" or "iPhone" on either side so you know which one to use. Once the iPhone was in place, we went to start up the game and realized immediately that we should have started the game before putting the iPhone in the AppDrive. The thick frame of the AppDrive made it nearly impossible to select the game of choice as it happened to be on the very edge of the screen and mostly covered by the area of the frame where the buttons are housed. This was more than slightly annoying and more difficult than it should have been. Once we got the game started, it was mostly smooth sailing although the buttons didn't always respond and the upper part of the frame (again, where the buttons are housed) covered up vital information such as the mini map, race placement, time remaining, etc. In the case of Asphalt 7, you are pretty much driving blind, not knowing where the turns are, where the other cars are or even what place you're in. The buttons added a little bit of fun to the gameplay because they do usually work, but when they don't it's very frustrating. Timing is extremely important in racing games and if you miss that critical boost or drift, you may have just lost the race. An accessory like this should enhance gameplay, not hinder it. That said, the feel of the steering wheel was new and fun for a while but the annoyances quickly overrode any fun factor. Had they forgone the external buttons and just made a steering wheel that doesn't cover the screen and charged a little less for the unit, I could see it being more enjoyable. However, given the fact that the screen needs to be touched as a regular part of gameplay, the steering wheel would make this difficult if not impossible, therefore defeating the entire purpose of the steering wheel. It's a very cool idea that was unfortunately poorly executed. We will check back when/if they redesign the product.
1 helpful vote
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on November 28, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I tested the AppDrive on a 4th generation iPod Touch. There are two components to the AppDrive: a steering wheel controller and a racing game app that must be downloaded.

First, let's talk about the game app, 2XL MX Offroad. It's a driving and racing game that follows all the usual conventions of motocross and dirt track racing games. While it's not terribly original, it is fun and challenging enough for both kids and adults.

The steering controller, though, has design flaws that interfere with gameplay and limit the controller's use to games produced by Appfinity. The top of the iPod screen is obscured by the part of the controller that contains the mechanical "fingers" that convert presses of the shift, accelerate, and brake buttons to touch screen-inputs. On a screen that already is fairly small, this makes playing the game more difficult. In addition, the fingers are hard plastic and could potentially scratch or damage the screen over time or with a very hard press (Appfinity does recommend the use of a screen protector). Finally, the controller buttons will only work with games where the fingers match the area of the screen used for inputs. In effect, this restricts full use of the AppDrive to Appfinity games.

Bottom line: While both the 2XL MX Offroad app and the steering wheel controller worked on my iPod without any problems, the flawed design of the controller and the lock-in to Appfinity's ecosystem prevent me from giving the AppDrive a four or five star rating. Three stars.
1 helpful vote
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on December 27, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The "AppDrive" is basically a steering wheel to lock your iPhone/iTouch into and steer with. The interesting draw being that you could do more things with the buttons and have greater control over steering. A prerequisite would be that there are apps you can use this steering wheel with. Since you are paying for the wheel, you might expect the "free app" available to download to be pretty good. After all, you just got a piece of additional hardware specifically for this game. But alas, the game is rudimentary at best. There are apps for a cost ($4.99), but I will not be paying for a game based on the rest of my comments below...

Another knock is around the way the wheel works. Pressing one of the four buttons causes pads to drop onto the screen to effectively touch the screen for you while your hands remain on the wheel. This overlapping part of the wheel blocks the top 10-15% (I'm approximating!) of an already too small screen. It's hard to follow the on-screen action.

I was impressed with the quality of the wheel design and the secure lock in feature for your iTouch or iPhone (I tried both). There are extra thin foam cushions to ensure a snug fit. But this is all wasted since the screen size and gameplay are less than expected.

A good idea (having four buttons to use while driving), but not a very practical execution (screen blockage and lame game).
1 helpful vote
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on October 15, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The design of this controller is simply genius. Rather than having it plug into the headphone jack or the data port, this doesn't plug into anywhere. The result is no drivers of any kind to make it work. What it does is it has four levers that push on the screen, so when you press the lever to accelerate, the device presses the screen in the right place to make you accelerate. You tilt to steer, and so forth. The device fits an iPhone 4S, 4, or iPod Touch perfectly.

Unfortunately, this is also where there are some problems. It only works with a few apps. That is to be expected, but still disappointing. Second, it only works with certain versions of those apps. Search the "2XL" apps to see which ones it works with. If you use the AppDrive version, you have to have the APPDrive to play. Like most mobile gamers, I like to play whenever and wherever I happen to be. I always have my iPhone with me, but I don't have the AppDrive with me. If I could play the same game with or without the AppDrive, this would be OK, but you cannot. For comparison purposes, I tried 2XL motocross non-AppDrive version to see if the game was significantly enhanced by the AppDrive. Simply put, it wasn't. So, if you really like the five or so games supported, and you hate virtual controls, and you play at home most of the time, this is a really great peripheral. If not, you might give this one a pass.
1 helpful vote
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HALL OF FAMEon October 5, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There're several reasons why I rate this one star only. Foremost, however, is that this thing made me drop my iPod touch. With an iPod touch or iPhone, you're to put it in a plastic insert plate, and then put the plate with the iOS device into the slot on the wheel. But neither the insert plate nor the back bracket of the wheel holds your iOS device in place. I didn't know this so as I was fumbling with the difficult setup process, I accidentally dropped my iPod touch when I turned the wheel over to lock the back bracket. The enclosed instructions are very poorly written, too. Luckily, I was standing on my rug so it seems my iPod touch is ok. We'll have to see.

There are only 4 game apps that're compatible with this wheel -- and you can *ONLY* use those apps. One is free but is of the most basic and laughable quality in gameplay and graphics; it gets just 2 stars from its users. Another game costs 99 cents, while the remaining two cost $4.99 apiece (and have no reviews). I just played with the free game and like I said, it's so laughably simple and crude it's not even funny.

The back bracket, which locks in place to secure the iOS device (if you haven't dropped it yet), is also rather poorly made. I had some trouble closing it completely so I could lock it. I really did NOT have a good time using this product.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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VINE VOICEon April 19, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a clever add-on device to allow you to play games on your iphone or android. It is easy to download Appdrive and get started. Its easy to set up - you just place it face down and insert it from the back and fasten the plate; it feels pretty secure when its on. The rubberized grip makes it feel more game-y, and I find myself playing with driving games where I never would have before.

I felt the unit was too lightweight, and the back triggers felt a little cheap. I would have liked it to be more substantial in feeling. Its for a portable device so you could argue light is good, but its quite big in size so its not all that portable anyway.

I think its great for a kid to play, and opens up a ton of possibilities when you are killing time, but its not quite up to snuff with the feel and quality of a normal game controller and as a result takes a bit away from the experience.
1 helpful vote
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VINE VOICEon October 11, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The AppDrive gives you the feeling of playing racing games as if you were controlling a steering wheel. There are two buttons and two paddles that can be pressed/pulled, which I guess depending on the game would be of some use. You can download a free game on the Android market and it was fun for a while. But, I am not sure how many games can be used with the AppDrive.

In terms of installation, I used the AppDrive on a Motorola Atrix and putting on the AppDrive was easy and taking it off was also a snap.

I can see the appeal that the AppDrive has in terms of enhancing your gaming experience on a smartphone. At least the concept makes sense to me. However, I don't think I will be bringing something like this around when I go out, so I'm not going to be able to use it when I am outside. When I'm at home and want to play games, I'd rather play games on my PS3 or Wii. So, I'm not completely sure what the market for the AppDrive is.
1 helpful vote
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VINE VOICEon October 16, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'll admit that the AppFinity App Drive is a lot of fun. I was actually amazed since I figured that it was going to be a waste. However, I cannot recommend it to anyone. The thing is too expensive.

What you essentially get with the Appfinity is an iPhone game and a device that fits an iPhone4 or and iPhone4s. If you have an earlier model or an iPhone5, you're out of luck.

Beyond that, the plastic casing feels a tad junky. It works, but the cost of this item is not justified in anyway.

If you're really looking for more from your iPhone in terms of entertainment, seek out a less expensive or more entertaining product. There's just not enough here to explain why the thing is so expensive. This seems like an item that you would use once and then regret purchasing. Don't make the mistake.
1 helpful vote
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