Every week a few of us from team iMore will bring you our current favorite, most fun and useful App Store apps, WebApps, jailbreak apps, even the occasional accessory, web site, or desktop app if the mood strikes us. As long as they’re iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch related, they’re fair game.
To see what we picked, and to tell us your pick, follow on after the break!
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I never found TOO much of a need for AirPlay at home (unless I was bored and wanted to play Angry Birds on a 50" TV). I've recently started doing iOS and other various types of workshops for PXLFIX and AirPlay has been great. Instead of just showing people slides (which we all know is beat your head into a desk boring) they can actually see "how" to do things. I have an AppleTV set up and I just mirror whatever I want to explain right to the TV from my iPad 2 or iPhone 4S. The best part is that they can follow along on their own devices.
I've gotten great feedback by doing this and plan on continuing to teach workshops this way as I find it a much more interactive way to teach. Before AirPlay, teaching certain topics took a lot of extra prep work if it was possible at all.
I think I can safely say that one of the most excellent things about iOS as a platform is the enormous availability of interesting software to try. I'm a self-avowed app nut, always trying a million things, studying different interface choices and observing design decisions, but keeping the best of the best on my phone. The AppShopper app is a great way to stay apprised of both new releases and sales on apps every day in the App Store.
Using data from the excellent AppShopper site, the app is a universal binary that has a nice clean interface and some cool ways to customize it for a more personal experience. The app is free, and for a buck you can remove ads. I'd recommend it heartily, both because it cleans up the screen and gives you a little more room to browse, and also because Arn is a great guy and you should totally support his efforts. In addition to that, a while back the site released a tool with which you can upload your app list from your computer directly to AppShopper, and then the site will keep track of updates to your own apps without you having to open up the App Store app a million times a day to check yourself. This is also really helpful if you have a notable update to an app that's not on your phone right now, so you can possibly give it another look and see what's changed.
Granted, you'll have to occasionally update the list on the site by re-running the app and re-uploading the app list to keep it current (as there's no way for the app to track your purchases in iTunes otherwise), but the whole process takes about 30 seconds in total, so it's not exactly a hardship. You can set up push notifications to alert you to sales or changes, create a wish list, and manage everything from a standard browser at home, syncing everything down to the app. If you're into apps as much as I think you might be, it's a nice addition to your devices that can snag you some great deals and keep you up on what's going on in the App Store.
Yup! I'm a sucker for meme apps but that's ok because they allow me to create such glorious images like the the one above of our fearless leader of Mobile Nations, Kevin Michaluk. For them, I use Meme Design. It's available free in the iTunes App Store and just in case you're not into making your own meme's directly, it also offers all your favorite ones as templates as well. Now you too, can share your memes across email, facebook and Twitter.
Uhh.. no one tell Kevin I posted this here.
I use location check-in apps for one thing and one thing only -- keeping a record of trips I've made. I don't care for the idea of people in general knowing where I am because privacy really does matter and anyone I want to meet knows where I'll be or knows how to find out. On a trip, however, whether it's a trade show like CES or conference like WWDC, I'm visiting a lot of places and need a quick and easy way to record them in case I'm ever there again and want to go back, or just want to quickly remember where I visited while I was away.
I used to use Gowalla for this, preferring their general look and take on the genre, but since Facebook will most likely suck their data dry and then dump them in a swamp, I've switched to Foursquare and it did the job well.
It's more utility for me than location-based check in gaming, and while that might make it less exciting it makes it far more useful.
Need to call customer service for something, but don't want to be put on hold for 10 minutes before actually speaking with a live person? I've been in that situation many of times, but not anymore. With FastCustomer, you can skip the wait and have the app call you when its reached a live representative.
They have over 2,000 companies in their database, it hasn't failed me yet when I've needed to call up customer service for whatever reason. Most customer service IVRs are long, annoying and not very fun. Never wait on hold or go through a lengthy customer service tree again -- just have FastCustomer give you a call once it has a live rep waiting for you!
By itself, this app of cute little interactive monster faces is just too adorable and make my daughter smile from ear to ear when they respond to her touch. But while at CES 2012, I had the chance to meet with Mugtuk and pick up one of their accessory cases that turn these monsters into actual stuffed animals! It's seriously one of the cutest things I've ever seen and I love how excited my daughter gets at every opportunity to play with it.
My pick of the week is MyFitnessPal. As a new years resolution to myself I decided to get healthy. A friend recommended myfitnesspal.com, and so I searched the app store and - badda bing badda boom!
This app has all the essentials for starting out your new work out regime. I entered in my age, sex, height, weight, activity level, and goal of weight loss and it gave me a net calorie target range. Then you can add in your workouts and activity and easily customize the duration and calories burned.
For food intake, you can manually search food items that seem to be organized by users inputting their own food items which as resulted in a large data base. Upon further testing, I found the bar code scanner which makes adding eaten food as easy as a scan of a bar code.
The app graphs your workouts and food intake and shows you how much work you need to do to reach your goals. The best part is that it shows you on your daily totals exactly how much of everything you have consumed, for example, your daily total of calories, carbs, proteins, fats, sodium vitamins and so on. It shows you what you have over consumed or what you have left to consume.
Overall - a great app for my New Year’s resolution!
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. We'll pick one of you and send you a shiny $10 iTunes gift certificate so you can start stocking up for future picks! Contest starts now and ends next Friday, January 20 at 12pm PT.
So what are you waiting for? Jump into the comments and let us know your pick of the week!