iMore Picks of the Week for April 7, 2012
Every week the editors at iMore carefully select some of our favorite, most useful, most extraordinary apps, accessories, gadgets, and websites. This weeks selections includes a music app, a couple baseball apps, a photo app, an app for DIY-ers, an app for Canadian hockey followers, and more.
To see what we picked, and to tell us your pick, follow on after the break!
TuneIn Radio Pro - Seth Clifford
I'm a big fan of internet radio, and have been for a long time. I've tried so many different radio streaming apps throughout my tenure as a smartphone user, going all the way back to my Windows Mobile days. I first got into it with my Treo 700wx (ah, memories) and have been hooked ever since. There are a wide variety of apps in the App Store that let you stream seemingly innumerable radio stations from around the world, but the best one I've found is TuneIn Radio, specifically the Pro version. It's an App Store favorite that I've been aware of for a while, but only now am I rediscovering how great it is.
First off, it's a universal app - big win there. Second, it allows you to not only stream internet stations, but can use your location to provide access to local radio as well. Lastly (and most importantly for me), you can create a TuneIn account, save your favorites and sync them between the web and your devices. I can't tell you how great this is, because one of the biggest headaches I faced when trying different radio apps was always searching for and re-adding all the stations I like to listen to over and over again. This makes things so easy, it's beautiful.
The app is nicely designed, with tons of options. You can browse stations (over 50,000) based on location, genre, language, and a few other criteria, or you can just search on an artist or song that you like and get results more tailored to what you're looking for. It's a cool feature that I have yet to fully enjoy as I've just been listening to my handful of stations that I usually do. The nice thing about the Pro version of the app is that you can also record stations and set timed recordings for yourself, which is helpful if you always want to make sure you've got what you want, when you want it. I use recordings as a kind of audio bookmark, to follow up and research artists later if I hear something I like. Finally, one of the coolest features of the app is Car Mode, in which the app interface changes to large, easy-to-hit button targets. So simple, and what a nice touch.
If you're not sure if the app is your cup of tea, grab the free version and give it a spin. If you're anything like me, you've read this far and it hasn't even crossed your mind. The Pro version is a buck, and well worth every cent.
$0.99 - Download Now
NFL '11 - Alli Flowers
It's not exactly football season, but that doesn't mean football is not on the minds of true football fans. And just because the app's name is NFL 11, doesn't mean it ended in 2011. It is keeping us up to date on all things NFL right into the 2012 season, with all the news and gossip that you'd want. (Not that my poor heart can bear any more news or gossip.)
A recent update gave us a tab titled Free Agency. Here, you can track who's available, who's interested, and who's likely going somewhere. It even includes a great glossary of the types of free agency. I must confess, I had no idea there were more than two. I'm ashamed of myself! You can click on many of the players listed, and get all their stats.
Another feature available now is the Combine news. Lists of players, their schools, and their stats. This is a great lead up to the draft. We may have a while until the season starts, but NFL 11 is right there with us!
Free - Download Now]
PicFrame - Chris Oldroyd
This week’s pic has been inspired by the amazing Leanna Lofte series on iPhone photography. If you haven’t read any of these fantastic articles yet, get onto it now! They are awesome!
Anyway, back to my pic, PicFrame is a very simple yet powerful universal app that provides you with a huge selection of picture frames. You simple insert your pictures from your camera roll into the frames and you can show off your photos in style. The app has over sixty different frames to choose from and it is so easy to use.
Once you have created your masterpiece, you can save it in your camera roll, print it, share to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr or simply email it to friends or family. A lovely app and one that I am using all the time!
$0.99 - Download Now
MLB.com At Bat - Gary Mazo
Yesterday I did a feature on all the ways baseball fans can use their iPhone/iPad to follow America’s pastime – Major League Baseball.
This was opening week for MLB, which meant that I started using one app more than just about any other– MLB.com At Bat. Each year at this time, I pay for my subscription and enjoy following each and every game of the season (at least those in which the Red Sox are playing!)
MLB.com At Bat is free for the “Lite” version – but if you are a real baseball fan, pay the $14.99 for the full season pass.
The options in this app are amazing. I can follow every pitch of every game. I get this very cool visual of the batter and can see the pitches (in real time) wiz by his head. I can look at the plays of the game or the box score at the same time on the right hand side of the screen and follow the scores from other games at the top of the screen.
I can find out the stats of every player - seeing their baseball card with last season’s info and how they are doing this year.
When you pay the subscription fee, you can follow pitch by pitch, see in game video highlights and post game videos. You can also listen to every game live via the radio broadcasts from each of the teams playing. So, while I usually listen to the local Boston station, if the Red Sox are playing the Yankees and one of our guys hits a grand slam, I like to turn to the NY station and listen to them cry.
As the season progresses, and the playoffs get close, I like having the ability to follow other division rivals and even catch their games on Red Sox travel days.
All in all, this is one of my absolute favorite apps for my iPad and iPhone. This year it is a universal app – which is amazing. Last year I paid the $14.95 for each device – this year I just pay once and log in and restore my purchases on my other iOS devices.
Do you use the MLB.com At Bat app or do you have another favorite app for following you team? – Just jump to this forum thread to share your thoughts.
Free - Download Now
CBC Hockey Night In Canada - Bla1ze
With the Stanley Cup playoffs soon-to-be underway it's time to start loading up on apps that help you keep track of all the games happening. Even if you're not a hockey fan you can still follow along with the CBC Hockey Night in Canada app, fan or not it's a basic app that will help you keep up-to-date on scores and schedules plus, it has news and video features built-in. Yes, there is much more feature rich applications available in the iTunes App Store but this one will certainly fill basic needs for free.
Free - Download Now
Sid Meier’s Pirates! – Chris Vitek
Sid Meier’s Pirates game is one that has been out for a while, and is based on a PC game of the same name. I was just looking through some old game lists, however, and I decided to give it a shot. It turns out to be a fun, RPG style game that took up much more time than I anticipated. Basically…you are a pirate. Between attacking other ships, forging alliances, plundering, and trying to woo the women (as any pirate scoundrel may want to do) you try to build up you gold, crew, and collection of ships to become the terror of the sea! It makes good use of the iPad controls, using motion controls (for things like dancing and fighting), and piloting your ship around through tapping the screen. You can complete quests and tasks, attack enemies, or just engage in barter and sale to try to build your gold hoard. While the graphics are a little dates, it is an engaging game that I sat and played for about 2 hours before I realized how long I was playing.
$4.99 – Download Now
Snapguide for iPhone - iMuggle
I recently reviewed Snapguide for iPhone and I have to say I've been addicted to it ever since. While I haven't had time to upload any guides yet, I've enjoyed weeding through other user's guides and I've found a lot of cool projects that I'd like to try myself. Not only tech projects but home projects and recipes that I probably never would have found out about without the help of Snapguide.
I'm really surprised an application like this hadn't been thought of before now. It really is ingenious. While it reminds me somewhat of the idea behind Pinterest, it seems to take it one step further and provides us with an outlet to express creativity in a whole new way and share it with the world. Every type of project from creating your own iPod dock to making Easter Egg pops, to how to fix other home gadgets can be found on Snapguide. I can see it becoming one of my most used apps as I've always had a strong interest for DIY projects and finding new ways to occupy my free time.
If you haven't checked it out already, make sure you do.
Free - Download Now
Official iMore for iPhone app - llofte
In case you missed the news, the official iMore app has hit the App Store! It's gorgeous and the perfect way to keep up with iMore news on your iPhone. So make sure to pick it up if you haven't already! Trust me -- it's way cool.
Free - Download now
Marvel - Rene Ritchie
The Marvel Comics app for iPhone and iPad -- made my comiXology who also make the awesome multi-publisher Comics as well as the DC, Image, and other apps -- has once again been updated and now offers sharing via Twitter, Facebook, and email, but more interestingly -- Infinite Comics.
Up until now the Marvel app has featured fairly straight forward ports of the traditional print comics, though an optional, guided, panel view took some advantage of the digital medium. Infinite Comics attempts to be an even more authentically digital experience. It's not animation and it's not motion comics. There are transitions but not actions, staged dialog but no spoken words.
I'm not sure if Infinite Comics are the next step in the evolution of sequential art or just an experiment, but I like that Marvel is experimenting and trying to evolve. It took them a while to turn their big ship towards the mobile technology, but now that ship seems to have engines on full.
If you want to try it out, grab the Marvel app and buy the $3.99 Avengers vs. X-Men debut issue. (Yeah, pricing is still an issue they're trying hard not to address, but this is about the format, not the business model.)
Free with in-app purchases - 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!