Monday, October 5, 2009

Apps I Got Over My Vacation

I'm back from my vacation to the mainland. Over that time, I got a bunch of new apps that were handy when traveling.

  • Snapture [iTunes link] - Very handy on my trip. The feature I used the most is the multishot which allows you to take 3 rapid-fire shots in a row. The developer says it is $1.99 for a limited time, which is 75% off the eventual price.
  • SketchBook Mobile [iTunes link] - An interesting app even for those with no artistic ability, although it is hard to draw with your finger. I hope there will be a feature to zoom in and do intricate work. Has many Photoshop features like layers. $2.99
  • CNN Mobile [iTunes link] - This could be the model for future paid news apps. It is $1.99 and most people might not want to pay that price. However, I feel it is a quality app. Video plays smoothly over 3G. In the mornings, you can also watch "live" CNN. It is NOT, however, the exact feed of CNN you get on cable. It is a secondary tier of live news. Sometimes it is a mishmash of clips. You can set the app to send you a push notification when there is live breaking news and you can go to see the live report. Many on iTunes are complaining about the ads but so far it has not bothered me. With that said, I'm usually the one to get the free ad-supported app rather than pay for the app with no ads. You can also use the app to send over an iReport picture.
  • Backbreaker Football [iTunes link] - This is NOT really a competitor to Madden 10. It's like "Run The Gauntlet" football. You're basically running the ball through a bunch of defenders on the field. You spin and sidestep their tackles to hopefully get a touchdown. That's it. But it is a fun game. Because the gameplay is so simple, the focus is on the great animation and controls. You can also have it connect to Facebook so your friends know when you get a high score. It's $.99 for a limited time which is 50% off regular price.
  • Blades Of Fury [iTunes link] - Finally a REAL fighting game for the iPhone/iPod Touch! I have been waiting for a long time for a game like this and Gameloft has really outdone itself. A Tekken-style fighter game which has many great elements. Although there is a swipe control, nothing beats the D-pad style of playing. I've been unlocking a lot of characters and costumes over my vacation. I haven't tried multiplayer yet but that looks wicked over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. $6.99 and well worth it. Namco better port over Tekken and Capcom better do Street Fighter while there is very little competition in this genre.
  • TripIt [iTunes link] and TripCase [iTunes link] - I don't travel enough to warrant a $9.99+ app. So, I decided to try some free traveling apps. TripIt is as basic as it gets. You basically input your flight information so you have all of that right in your iPhone. TripIt is a popular website so many premium apps have TripIt support. I liked TripCase better though. It has a few more features that are useful. It sent e-mails to friends I chose to receive when my plane has arrived at its destination. If you're looking for a free travel app, feel free to try both and then you can make an informed decision.
  • RedLaser [iTunes link] - This is the only app I know of that can scan barcodes on the iPhone 3G. Previously, it couldn't because it lacked autofocus. But somehow this software can decode barcodes even when they are blurry. Amazing! It doesn't do food very well. It's mostly used for dry goods. $1.99.
  • Zipcar [iTunes link] - If you have Zipcars in your city, you can use this to reserve a Zipcar and unlock the Zipcar! Amazing! I'm thinking of using a Zipcar on my next trip instead of a rental car. FREE.
  • Dropbox [iTunes link] - There are many file viewing apps in the App Store, but this is the first one I have seen that allows you to upload photos straight from your iPhone. You have to register for a free 2GB Dropbox account first. The app is also FREE.

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