Recent App Reviews
Following up on my discussion of the Where To? app, I wanted to mention Urbanspoon, a free app for finding nearby restaurants that appears to be quite popular. It uses GPS to find a restaurant near you. And you can filter the results according to price, type of food, and neighborhood. You can also access reviews of these establishments from newspapers, bloggers, and other diners.
My wife likes to run early in the morning, but her running routine alternates ten minutes of running with a one-minute walk-break. If you're out there in the darkness of pre-dawn, how do you figure out when to go from one to the other?
With your iPhone, of course!
Nancy wasn't happy with the simple timer included as one of the base apps, though it's served me well as a one-time alarm. So she searched the App Store and found Routine Timer (Practiphone LLC, $2.99 limited time price they say).
With this app, she starts with a walk of five minutes, just to get the blood going. When it's time to run, she's got a metal gong sounding.
"August 10th 2009, VITO Technology is proud to present new Task2Gather 3.0 for iPhone. The new version supports Push notifications on iPhone and iPod with 3.0 OS. Get live alerts from work or your family to be always on top of everything. Besides this great piece of news we'd like to announce that Task2Gather project turns ONE year old since it was released for the public!"
Where To? is offering an introductory price of .99 until August 23, so this is a good opportunity for you to try this app. It uses the iPhone GPS to give you local information, such as the nearest steakhouse, bank, or movie theater. Version 2.0 was recently released and uses several of the new features available in iPhone 3.0, such as having a built-in map to display results right within the application. It has an appealing interface, as you can see from the image, that lets you quickly drill down to what you want without your having to do any typing.
Sometimes PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) seems a bit extreme. On the other hand, you really can't argue with the goal of this app. If you're shopping and you need to choose between a couple products, why not select the one that's cruelty-free? PETA's BNB app (Be Nice to Bunnies) is a cruelty-free guide that gives you instant access to a database of companies that do and companies that do no test their products on animals. Plus, 15 percent of every $1.99 download goes to further PETA's work in behalf of animals.
You've probably played the game before, though the protagonist is usually a helicopter or spaceship and more often than not you're confined to some subterranean tunnel system. Copter Kids definitely breaks the mold from the perspective of atmosphere, but there's not much else to set it apart from the pack. A silly back story, cute visuals and decent music are not fully utilized on what's mostly "just another clone".
TechCrunch and the folks at WorldMate recently sponsored a giveaway (sorry this is too late for our readers to get it on the action), and in the posted blog review, TC called it the "Swiss army knife" of travel apps. Anyhoo, I'll see if we can get a contest going here in the near future for the Gold version.
When I posted about the website 1448Apps.com, fellow blogger Elizabeth Christian commented and pointed me to PandoraBox, a free app that lets you do two things: 1) see all the new apps that have just been added — you don't need to go hunting through all 20 categoriesand 2) see all those apps that have just been reduced in price or made free. This is a great way to track those specials that vendors offer when they reduce the price of their app for one day.
The new MobileMe iDisk app is free, but of course it entails having a MobileMe account, which runs $99 per year. I like MobileMe, which automatically keeps my contacts in sync with my contacts on my computer. Add a new contact to my computer, and it's automatically there on my iPhone. I also recently began using MobileMe's iDisk, which lets you store files online, and combined with Apple's free Backup application, lets you automatically back up selected files and folders on your computer. Remote backup is crucial.
In the spring 2009 issue of iPhone Life, I wrote about how to "Lose Weight with the iPhone." The photo that illustrated the piece showed my 11-pound weight loss in two months. I was standing at 199 at the time - down from 210 at Christmas.
I also wrote that the Edibles app said that I'd have to get down to 170 before I could consider myself "healthy." Well, on August 3rd I tipped the same scale at 169.8 pounds! I followed my own advice and did what my iPhone told me I was allowed to do.