Recent App Reviews
Oceanhouse Media was kind enough to send me a few complimentary apps to review (and my apologies Karen for the tardiness of this review). If you are not familiar with Oceanhouse Media they are "dedicated to building high-quality products that educate, uplift, enlighten and heal the planet." The company was founded by Michel Kripalani.
I think augmented reality is so cool, with so many potential applications. Imagine pointing your camera at a tree and having text appear atop the image giving you information about what type it is. Or traveling in an unfamiliar city and as you point your camera at historical sites, text appears on the screen giving you background information. So Mosquitoes ($0.99) is a new augmented reality game — which must be one of the first. As you point the camera at your environment, you see mosquitoes in the picture.
Yesterday I posted about a new app, Babelshot, that lets you take a photo of text in a foreign language and then translates it. Today I learned of another: PicTranslator. It has 16 languages, compared to Babelshot's 33. It's cheaper at $0.99, but that only includes one language. You can buy additional languages via in-app purchasing at $0.99 each, or you can buy all languages for $1.99. Five of the languages include audio translation, which is helpful. Again, I think this is a pretty cool use of the built-in camera.
Free Halloween Sounds (free) is just plain fun, what it is is fifteen free spooky sound effects (bats, ghosts, chainsaws, creaky floors, etc) and a spooky soundtrack you can play in the background. To kick it up a notch just get a mini jack to 1/4" stereo jack and plug it into your sound system for Halloween and really give the kids a fright! I've been playing with this thing so much even my son is getting tired of it, and he's 7!
I'm amazed by all the creative uses developers are finding for the iPhone camera. One of the latest is the just-released Babelshot. If you're in a situation where you have a bit of text in a foreign language that you need to translate, such as a restaurant menu, you can simply take a photo of the item, select the portion of the text you want to translate, and Babelshot does the rest. It supports automatic translation between 32 languages. You don't need to do any typing or anything. Babelshot only works for small amounts of text. You can also optionally enter in text manually. The app is $1.99.
Better yet, how to make traveling fun for yourself! I found Travel Games Ultimate Edition very fun, and I’m over 18 (just a little).
The app features five games: Rock, Paper, Scissors; Slug Bug; License Plates; Find it! Pictures; and Scavenger Hunt.
Sorry but I haven’t posted lately as I’ve been preparing my materials for tenure review here at West Chester University of PA.
But, after attending a recent conference hosted by the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (atmionline.org) I have some great new apps to share with you. I’ll roll them out over the next few weeks. Here’s the first.
I’m not really quite sure who the target audience for this game is. With the whole “three little pigs” motif you’d almost think it was a kid’s game, but the atmosphere seems a bit violent. When you shoot the wolves with an arrow they bleed, and in the intro cartoon the pig comes off as kind of a gruff, mean protector. Not to mention the fact that this game gets tough rather quickly. That being said, it is a somewhat amusing game that will definitely keep you challenged. Did I mention it was tough?
Want to thank everyone for the great support and comments in our recent giveaway of AT&T Navigator software. Want to especially thank Telenav for sponsoring it. The winners are listed below along with instructions on claiming complimentary subscription services. I wish everyone could have won, but if you didn't this time, remember to please tune into our blogs regularly for more great contests in the future.
We all want voice recognition. What could make things simpler? You just ask your iPhone to call one of your hundreds of contacts, and it does so. No searching, no flipping through the list. That's the promise. The reality is, of course, a bit short of that. Still, there are a number of applications that are trying to make this a reality. Vocalia is among them, and it claims to be the only 100% hands-free speech recognition app for the iPhone that enables speech access to your address book, iTunes library, and Safari bookmarks. Some users, seemingly the more savvy ones, find that it works really well.