Every week a few of us from team TiPb 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!
Summer's my favorite time of the year, and I love to surf. I've been a beach kid since birth, and being in the ocean is about the greatest thing I can imagine. I'm busier now than I was when I was younger, and I can't just hang out at the beach all day, every day, and hop in the water when it looks good. I've got to plan my surf sessions to maximize the time I can spend in the water, and I use the Surfline app to do it. In addition to tons of information on thousands of surf spots around the world, I like that I can customize it to my home break and get all my local data quickly, like tides and charts, wind speed and direction, and even live surf cam footage. It's packed with stuff, and even if you don't surf, you may find a use for it. For instance, I sent the link for the app to my sister just yesterday, because she wanted an accurate way to know when to take my nephew to the beach to swim when it wouldn't be too deep or dangerous for him (he's only three).
It's a cool app, and every time I use it I miss the beach more, but I know that when I get there, I'll get some great surfing in, because I've planned it out like a Metal Gear op.
[Free - iTunes link]
I know, I know - Plants vs Zombies is anything but new. That still doesn't mean it isn't one of the all time best games made for iPhone and iPad. No matter how many times I play through the game, it's still just as fun as the first time. Whether I'm bored on a flight or bored at home, I sometimes find myself picking up my iPad or iPhone and playing for a bit. Each time you play through the game, you can do things differently. You can also attempt to unlock achievements or play through the mini games.
I'm not a huge gamer but I do enjoy strategy and arcade games on my iPhone and iPad. Plants vs Zombies fits perfectly into both genres. It's easy to play and one of those games you can just kind of do you own thing with. PopCap is by far one of my favorite game makers with classic titles such as Bejeweled and Peggle. They may not have ridiculous graphics but they're the games I always seem to end up tapping into when taking a break or relieving myself from boredom.
If you haven't checked out Plants vs Zombies, make sure you do. I'm convinced you won't be disappointed!
Foreca.st is the latest addition to the social networking scene. It ties in to your 4Square account, but in addition to being able to tell your friends where you are, it will tell them where you're going.
Only a week ago I got a text from a 4Square friend while I was standing in line at the checkout at WalMart. "Hey, are you still at WalMart? I see you checked in there on 4Square." All I could think was...if only I'd known he were going to be there, we could have coordinated the visit - maybe even carpooled! Foreca.st lets you do just that.
One of the great features of Foreca.st that I've always wished was native to 4Square is the ability to queue up your forcasted check-ins so that when you arrived, you can just tick it off, rather than locating and checking in from scratch.
Another feature that I REALLY like, is the ability to select those contacts for whom you want to receive check-in notifications. After all, for the most part, does it matter where your friends are going if they live 1,000 miles away? No, your interest lies with your local contacts. (Unless, of course, you're using 4Square for stalking purposes, but that's another matter altogether.)
Definitely worth checking out, and you can't beat the price!
[Free - iTunes link]
Ok I know I am late to the jailbreak party, but as they say, better late than never right? Anyway I am now 100% #teamjailbreak!
Ok, on with this week’s pick, its Lockinfo. How have I managed to get through life without this amazing app? It’s a miracle to be honest, Lockinfo makes my iOS life complete, it makes it easy and it makes it a joy. I have it on my iPhone, I have it on my iPad.
I can see all the important information right on my lock screen. More importantly I can see all the unimportant information on my lock screen too. Like that spam email that usually involves a sound notification, a slide to unlock, firing up the mail app then the disappointment. Not anymore, I can see the heading and who it’s from in an instant with Lockinfo.
I haven’t even mentioned all the other amazing things it offers like calendar integration, twitter integration, weather plugins, missed calls notifications, SMS and of course all the other notifications you can think of. It also has a lovely Infoshade that you can pull down when you’re using your device. It is a fantastic app.
Look, stop reading this now and go jailbreak and install it - it’s that good!
[$7.99 – LockInfo]
FreeTime is a simple, beautiful, yet powerful calendar tool.
When you launch Freetime, you’re asked to set an average day, your weekly working hours, and, to select which calendars will effect your free-time. The app then works out your total ‘time available’ for the day, which you can then view at a glance. New events can then be added directly within the app, to fill any “freetime”.
There is a built-in filter, to easily find out exactly when you are free for any length of time. for example: Find when I have [1 hour] free between [12:00pm - 3:00pm].
You can collaborate with colleagues or friends, either by email, SMS, or by using “bump” to reveal when you are both free, which is great for collaborative projects or organising a casual day out with friends.
The functionality of this app is only equalled by its beauty.
The app has already made me start inputing more events into my calendars. FreeTime is an absolute ‘no-brainer’, if you need an app to help organise your time.
[Free - iTunes link]
My pick of the week is Power Inventory. This is a useful app that allows you to identify and record everything you own. Yes, everything. With the start of hurricane season here in Texas, it is recommended that you have a detailed inventory (including pictures) of all your possessions for insurance purposes. Power Inventory lets you enter items, including pictures of items. It also allows you to record data include purchase date, purchase price, repairs, warranty information, condition, and even it you have loaned something out to someone! Of course, it can be time consuming to do this for everything you own, but Power Inventory at least takes some of the difficulty out. Of course, I just started this earlier this week, so I still have a long way to go. If you are a collector, or someone who deals in large purchases, Power Inventory can also help you out there.
[$0.99 - iTunes link]
I write almost everything in John Gruber's Markdown syntax. It's quick, it's clean, and in-so-far-as bits on a screen can ever be, it's human. Everything I write TiPb and a lot of what I write for myself starts in Markdown and stops when some plugin or script converts it for display on the web. (Now I'm thinking I need to write InDesign docs in Markdown as well... hmmm...) So when I saw Marked in the Mac App Store, I jumped on it.
Yeah, it's a Mac app, not an iOS app, so shoot me. Or better yet, use it on your Mac because there are some great Markdown tools on iOS already and being able to roundtrip thanks to Dropbox (and maybe iCloud eventually) means I don't really have to worry about platform or place any more.
Back to Marked. It's clever. It opens files written in Markdown and previews them with processed formatting. But that's not all. It waits. It watches. And any time an open document is changed in any editor, it updates the preview.
Do you understand what I'm saying? It's a social network for Markdown. No, wait, sorry. It's a live preview for Markdown, which can save you a lot of cursing and correcting when you're writing blind now and processing in a rush later.
Simple. Like most brilliant things.
[$2.99 - iTunes link]
Perhaps you've heard of Ticket to Ride, the best selling board game? Well, it's also available on the iPad and it's awesome! I won't get into the rules of the game, but know that it is easy to learn and even playable by children. As a physical game, Ticket to Ride would take up a lot of table space and be easily messed up by small children or pets. I love playing on the iPad because I can kick back and relax on the couch to play. I have it installed on both of my iPads and my husband and I lean back on opposite ends of the couch and play against each other.
There is also a pass-and-play option for households with only one iPad and you can play against your friends on Game Center or anyone else who's logged into the game at the time.
The game comes with the US version of the game with the Europe and Switzerland maps available as in app purchases.
If you like board games, I highly recommend picking this one up!
[$6.99 - iTunes link]
Truth be told I am not one who is much for gaming on their device, typically because I like to use my battery for more important things, like work calls, emails, etc but when I came across Flick Golf I knew I had to try it. Immediately upon launching the application I knew I was going to love it, the graphics look simply amazing on the retina display, and the colors were amazing. After running through the tutorial, I launched into the game and next thing I knew, it was two hours later, and I was still going strong. Each flick of the golf ball sends it flying towards the hole, then you flick which direction it needs to go, hoping to get a hole in one, but settling for anything that gets you points. There are three different game modes: QuickShot, WorldTour, and QuickShot Pro, each offering different amounts of fun for different users. For only 99 cents, I would have to say this is probably the best purchase I have made on my iPhone to date.
[$0.99 - iTunes link]
You’re part of the team as well, so we will be choosing one reader to make a submission each week! Just look for the announcement on twitter or our Facebook page each weekend for a chance to be picked! In the meantime, jump into the comments and let us know your pick of the week!