Recent App Reviews
CNet is reporting today that the App Store has reached yet another milestone: 100,000 apps. That's just phenomenal. Well over 20,000 are games. By way of comparison, as of September, Nintendo DS had 3,500 titles and Sony PSP 600. The range of apps is astonishing. Every day I get press releases for apps for very specialized purposes. Just today they've included apps for insurance claim handling, high-risk obstetrics — and translating a baby's cries (Cry Translator).
IMP: Surf the Music from Koolhaus Games is a fun game, and in fact I wish I had gotten around to reviewing it sooner. The graphics aren't super sophisticated, and the goal is simple sliding around a curving track, hitting objects called, "bits o funk" in time to backing music, but the game features some catchy tracks and good beat mixes, and I had a hard time putting it down. Read the rest of my mini-review after the break, or go check it out here.
Easy Stitch 1.0 (iPhone, iPod) provides full-color, step-by-step instructions on how to get started in knitting, crocheting and embroidering.
If you've ever wanted to be a part of Deal Or No Deal you have three choices. First, try and get on the show. For most people, that probably won't happen. The second would be to play Deal Or No Deal: Around The World on your iPhone. The third would be to just sit in front of the TV and make comments while the show is playing, even though you know the people on the TV can't hear you (or at least I hope you know that). If your choice is between 2 and 3, I'd opt for choice number 3. You might be a little less disappointed.
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.