iMore Picks of the Week for May 5, 2012
Every week the editors at iMore carefully select some of our favorite, most useful, most extraordinary apps, accessories, gadgets, and websites. This week's selections includes a way to monitor your electricity usage, an app that helps you learn some awesome blues licks on the guitar, a godsend for regular air travelers, an app and service for listening to your favorite music, and a beautiful way to read articles on the web.
To see what we picked, and to tell us your pick, follow on after the break!
Meter Readings - Chris Oldroyd
This week’s pick is a little utility that helps me monitor and manage my electricity usage. I have just received this quarters bill and as usual it was a shock to see how much I am paying for electricity. With this app I can now log my meter readings as often as I like and see what I am spending and how it changes during the year.
The app makes it easy to monitor your homes utility meters including water, electricity and gas; if you have it. Once you start logging your readings, you can view usage costs etc. in highly visible graphs. If you are in the UK like I am, an added feature is the comparison check. This allows you to see if you can get a better deal and what savings you can make by switching suppliers. You can even make the switch from the app!
$0.99 - Download Now
Blues Licks Lessons from Guitar Jamz - Gary Mazo
I’ve written before on iMore how I have used my iPad – pretty much exclusively – to teach myself how to play the guitar. This was a new hobby I started back in November, which has now turned into more than that.
I’m continually looking for ways to improve, things to learn and tips and tricks for my guitar.
There is a plethora of stuff in the App Store for guitar lovers; tuners, chord charts and apps, sheet music, simulators and more.
Guitar Jamz has been my go to site for watching the guitar guru – Marty Schwartz – teach me quickly and easily how to play some of my favorite songs. This week I was ready for more – I was ready to progress into the acoustic guitar blues.
Blues Licks is divided into five sections; Licks Lessons, Blues Chords, Blues Scales, Guitar Licks and a Blues Guitar Manual. I progressed through each of the lessons and slowly, I am getting the hang of the blues.
This app is great for learning those quick little licks that make you look like you really know how to play cool stuff on the guitar!
Free - Download Now
WorldMate - SimonSage
WorldMate launched for the iPad this week, and having spent my fair share of time in airports, I can safely say it will be a godsend to regular travelers. WorldMate can scan your incoming flight confirmation e-mails to automatically populate your travel itinerary. WorldMate includes a full suite of useful travel tools, including mobile hotel booking, a currency calculator, local weather forecasts, restaurant search. The app is optimized for the new iPad's Retina display, and can stay synced with your iPhone at the same time.
TripIt offers similar functionality, but there's something about the WorldMate style that I always preferred. The one downside to WorldMate is that most of the sidebar options pops open a window that's pretty much the iPhone app, rather than making use of the big display with full panes on the right. At least the trip itineraries are well-formatted.
The core app is free, but to celebrate the launch on iPad this week, they're slashing the price of the ad-less Gold version from $9.99 to $2.99. Definitely worth it.
Free - Download Now
Spotify for iPad - Ally
I've been using Spotify for about a month now and while I have found it to be a great service it left out iPad. Now that Spotify has released their iPad app I feel like it's the type of service I can actually use on a regular basis. The apps still need some work to compete with the likes of Slacker and Pandora but the Mac app is really what got me hooked.
The integrated social networking is a feature users will either love or hate. I personally don't mind it and have found it to be useful as I've found a lot of great music through my Facebook friends. The iPad app allows me to now stream to all my devices. I'd still like to see Spotify integrate some of their Mac and PC app features into the mobile apps but it's a good start. I think adding the ability to view stations and popular playlists would really complete the apps. But for my personal needs, I do fine creating playlists and starring tracks and listening to them on the go. If you haven't checked out Spotify, make sure you do and let us know what you think.
Free - Download Now
Pocket - Leanna Lofte
I am way late to the game when it comes to "read later" services and completely regret that. Since picking up Pocket (formerly Read It Later), I've become hooked. The app gorgeous and being able to save articles that I find anywhere, be it Twitter, Facebook, some random website, or my RSS feed. I'm even using Pocket as a way to bookmark my favorite articles that I think I'll want to revisit, like tutorials.
Here's another weird purpose I've found with Pocket. I have extremely sensitive eyes. I can't go out in daylight with sunglasses -- I get a headache and squint all day. Anyway, part of that sensitivity carries over to light-on-dark themes. I don't care how great the article is, if the background is dark and the text is white or very light in color, I won't read it. My eyes scream in pain and my brain starts to sting. But now I just send these articles to Pocket and read them there! It's awesome.
Free - Download Now
Tell us your pick!
Those were our picks, iMore Nation, so now it's your turn! Tell us your pick of the week below. Give us the name of your favorite app, site, or accessory, and tell us why it made your life more productive, more informed, more entertaining, or just plain more fun. Jump into the comments and let us know your pick of the week!