Recent App Reviews
Our blogger Todd Bernhard has a number of ringtone-creation apps that are pretty neat and that let you do some creative things to make customized ringtones for individual callers. His new app, AutoRingtone PRO TEXT to SPEECH RINGTONES, lets you use speech synthesis to have your iPhone announce your caller by name — or some sort of clever nickname. For example, I created a ringtone for my tennis partner, Bruce. I selected a chime from the 100 introductory sound effects, and then selected a British male synthesized voice.
I have about 90 apps on my iPhone 3GS, some of which I use every day, some of them occasionally, and some never. There are some I thought I'd use a lot, just to find that they're not as useful as I'd anticipated, and there are others that I thought were just novelties and I find myself using them all the time. Red Laser, the app that lets you scan any barcode and the iPhone then quickly pulls up pricing available on the Internet for the item, is one of the latter.
There’s something innately addictive about the type of game where your character is constantly in motion and you have to keep them safe from whatever traps their surroundings hold. These games tend to work pretty well on the iPhone, but like any other genre that trick is to come up with something that’s different than everything else the user has played. Fluttr does a pretty good job of that. Instead of a running creature you must protect a butterfly. More importantly, though, is that instead of directly controlling the character you control the environment.
The Christmas Card App by Equinux is a fun app, but very limited creatively. You are able to choose your picture to place in a ready made frame. The picture can be adjusted and zoomed. Text can be changed, however the note area at the bottom is very small and can't be centered. The card comes through fine on email - but when attempting to copy or save image the greeting line is not saved. Forwarding the email results in gibberish and HTML code splashed all over the place. Any text written at the bottom of your email bleeds into the card.
I'm not a real movie buff, but if I were I think I'd plunk down $0.99 for Scene It? Movies, a movie trivia game from Screenlife Games. The game contains clips as well as movie trivia questions covering movies from the last 30 years. You can play in single- or multiplayer mode. The app also includes puzzles and mini-games. You can upload your scores to Facebook and challenge your friends.
At last I think I've found my killer ap for the iPhone. It is "Dragon Dictation" from Nuance Software (http://www.nuance.com). Based on their "Dragon Naturally Speaking" for the PC software, they have ported a significant portion of the functionality to the iPhone platform. I found the speed and accuracy of this ap to be extraordinary... especially given that it is FREE (at the moment). Search for "Dragon Dictation" at the iTunes Application store to locate this ap.
Now with the latest release you can edit your itinerary details, get local info on restaurants and nightlife (via Yelp.com), and book a limo from your iPhone. Get WorldMate Gold service for $4.99 and turn your iPhone into a mobile travel assistant. Go here for links and more info...
Oceanhouse Media is going all out on the Grinch stuff this Christmas, and now you can get an e-book of this children's classic for your iPhone/iPod as well. You can check out all their Grinchy offerings here.
I suppose apps like this have been around for a while, but I hadn't heard of them. And I think it's a really neat idea. The free SportyPal app uses your iPhone's GPS to track your workout — running, cycling, roller-blading, walking, or whatever. The app logs your position, shows it on a map, and logs your movement, distance, speed, and calories burned while working out. You can view your workout in a map view, which shows where you went. And you can view the stats as charts or in summary fashion. Plus, it offers real-time information while you're working out, such as speed/pace, distance covered, and maximum speed.
Gritty, etherial and industrial sounding, are words which come to mind when I listen to the University of Michigan's recent iPhone performance. I love the sound and show (see video below, there are others from previous recitals and practice) which is reminiscent of early Kraftwerk, remember at the time (early 1970's) Kraftwerk's sound was considered abrasive and undisciplined.