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Want to help with the Oil spill in the Gulf? There's an App for that

Oil ReporterA team of developers has created a free iPhone app that allows members of the public to report the presence of oil from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil Reporter (free; app2.me/2544) is an open data initiative developed by CrisisCommons, which also created tools to help with relief efforts following the Haiti earthquake. The app enables people to help with the cleanup effort by using real-time check-ins to report what they're seeing on the ground. Users can upload photos and videos, report oil sightings, harmed wildlife sightings, and much more. Oil Reporter uses an open API, which allows it to be integrated into almost any other program (go here for the API oilreporter.org/api). Response organizations can request a code so their communities can flag data for future comparison with public input. They can also customize the app to better suit their needs.

Oil Reporter will also host an Adopt-A-Beach initiative that will allow volunteers to adopt a span of beach along the Gulf Coast. Volunteers will be provided a specific location and training to map data elements of what they see such as perimeters of oil presence and injured wildlife in remote areas where physical assessment access is limited.

Apple TV to run iOS

It appears that Apple is now readying a complete overhaul of Apple TV, a digital media receiver made and sold by Apple. The next version is reported to be much smaller and will run the iPhone iOS. Reports also indicate that it will be less expensive ($99), which should make it much more compelling than before. Reportedly, the new device will be based on the design of the iPhone 4 and features an A4 CPU. It will also have 16GB of storage, which may not seem like enough memory for a device dedicated to video. However, it appears that Apple isn't intending for users to save much content on the device. Instead, it will use a cloud-based method of streaming content like Netflix's Watch Instantly. Since it's running the iPhone OS, we will probably see apps developed for it and offered to users via the App Store.

Apple Design Awards: 10 Best Apps

FTMobileDoodleJumpWhat are Apple's favorite apps of the year? At the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company announced the winners of the Apple Design Awards, revealing what Apple considers to be the best apps for iOS devices. The Apple Design Awards "recognize iOS applications that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation, and technology adoption." Here they are, in no particular order.

Doodle Jump ($0.99; app2.me/134) challenges you to guide Doodle the Doodler up a sheet of graph paper, picking up jet packs, avoiding black holes and blasting baddies.

FT Mobile (free; app2.me/2545) is a mobile version of the Financial Times publication. Full access requires a small subscription fee.

BrushesBrushes – iPhone Edition ($4.99; app2.me/334) is a great painting and photo editing app designed specifically for the iPhone.

Tab Toolkit ($9.99: app2.me/2546), an iPad-only app, is a powerful guitar tablature and music notation viewer with multi track playback. It's great for anyone who wants to learn to play music.

Articles ($2.99; app2.me/2547) lets you easily find and read Wikipedia articles on your iOS device.

FlightControl HDFlight Control HD ($4.99; app2.me/2548) is the iPad version of Flight control for the iPhone. It's a great game that does a good job of utilizing the unique qualities of the iPad.

20 Minute Meals – Jamie Oliver ($7.99; app2.me/2549) has great recipes with step-by-step preparation instructions.

Star Walk for iPad ($4.99; app2.me/2550) is your personal planetarium. If you like looking up at the night sky, this one will really blow you away.

Real racing for iPhone ($4.99; app2.me/105) is handheld racing like you've never seen before.

Pinball HD ($2.99; app2.me/2454) is a fantastic pinball simulator that almost feels like the real thing.