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!
I've often felt that the native iOS calendar (particularly on the iPhone) isn't really very good, and I've longed for a good update to it with every new release of iOS. As such, I've tried many calendar replacement apps over the years, and while some are fantastic, I always find myself gravitating back to the simple look of the native calendar. Lately I've been using a new app though, and I'm feeling pretty good about it because of its exceedingly simple setup and use. It's called Easy Calendar.
Easy Calendar uses the default calendars you've set up already on your iPhone, so there's nothing to enter when you launch it; it just pulls all your data using the API introduced in iOS 4, which many apps use now. There's only one view (by week) so if you don't like it, well, tough tacos. I happen to love week views, because one day seems too limiting, and the month view in my opinion just doesn't work well in many of these apps on the smaller screen. To add an event, you just tap on the day you want and enter it in quickly. To move an existing event, tap and hold, and then select a new date when prompted. You can swipe left and right to move a week ahead or behind, and tap the title bar to jump by month. If you've got more events on a day than can display, tap the day title and a popup shows you everything, and you can quickly add a new event from here as well.
Aaaaaaannd... that's pretty much it. And I'm just fine with that. I've tried more complicated apps, and I end up not using the features. I've tried even more stripped down apps, and I find them just slightly lacking. I thought about the ways I use a calendar on my phone (quick entry and quick viewing), and it seems to be the right mix of function and simplicity. For now, this one fits my Goldilocks needs just right.
[$1.99 - App Store link]
FIFA 12 has just been released on most consoles and now it is also available on the iPhone and iPod touch as one app and unfortunately a separate "HD" version for the iPad. Right, now that moan is out of the way, let's get to the good stuff! FIFA 12 is an awesome game on the iPad, graphics are crisp, the AI is excellent, the game play is superb and you can even use your iPod touch or iPhone as a wireless controller.
It is an officially licensed game featuring over 22 leagues, 15,000 players and over 32 authentically recreated stadiums. There is even a management game thrown in for good measure; if you can't be bothered to run around the virtual pitch.
The game is a whopping 1GB plus download so you may have to dump your Take That music collection to shoe horn it onto your iPad. Don't worry though, it will definitely be worth it!
One of the things Apple left out of iOS was the ability to use your iPod music as an alarm. It's limiting, and frustrating. But there is finally an app that handles this brilliantly, and consistently - and you don't have to worry about leaving it as the active window before going to sleep at night. You can truly "set it and forget it." And if you're the kind who falls asleep on the couch and drags yourself to bed at 2 a.m. (don't deny it - you know who you are!), this is perfect.
ALmu Gold has all the options you want in a good alarm clock: - Set and save an alarm with a name - Set a repeat (weekdays, weekends, alternate days, etc.) - Set your snooze time - Choose from pre-set alarms like "Ships bell," "Frogs," "Sheep bell," "Car," and more; music from your collection on your iPod, or a personal voice recording
It even accounts for major US holidays! This will be great, because I frequently forget to turn my alarm OFF on holidays, and then get grumpy cause I didn't have to wake up.
ALmu Gold also has a sleep timer, so you can go to bed to your favorite music, and have it turn off after you nod off. This is a must have app, and the price is right!
[Free - App Store link]
My pick of the week is Where's My Water, by Walt Disney. In this game, you have to get Swampy, the sewer alligator, enough water to be able to take a shower. Working with gravity (along with various "tools" found in some levels) you need to dig a path through the dirt to eventually start the shower on Swampy. Along the way you can get bonus points by getting little rubber duckies, but you also need to look out for various obstacles - green sewer ooze, purple sewer toxic waste, bombs, and more. This is a great puzzle game that is well designed, and if both fun and easy to play. It looks great on both the iPhone and iPad, and easy for kids as well (my daughter loves it).
[$0.99 - App Store link]
I recently cut the cable cord. That's right -- blacked out the box. And as a result I've been looking at alternate ways to watch some of the new US fall programming, such as it is. Since I live in Canada, it's not as easy as just downloading what US network apps there are, and setting up VPNs and such to spoof US IP addresses is tedious, so I went looking for Canadian alternatives.
I've been using the Global TV app for iPhone and iPad for a while and it's okay. For some reason ads seem even more annoying on iPad than they do on television, probably because holding an iPad demands more attention than sitting across the room while a TV takes care of itself. Global currently offers A Gifted Man, American Dad, Big Brother, Cleveland Show, Combat Hospital, Days of our Lives, Family Guy, Glee, The Good Wife, Happily Divorced, Hawaii Five-0, House, How to be a Gentleman, Kitchen Nightmares, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Office, Parenthood, Prime Suspect, Ringer, Rookie Blue, Saturday Night Live, Survivor, Wipeout, and the Young and the Restless.
That's a great selection but it isn't everything and up until recently, the other large Canadian TV network, CTV, hadn't deigned to grace iPad with its presence.
We'll now it's recently. And... the CTV app fills the gap a tiny, little bit. The app itself is fine, though iPad only (and for some reason it insists on labeling itself CTV VOD on the home screen). Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of selection. Currently, CTV offers The Bold and the Beautiful, Charlie's Angels, the Colbert Report, the Daily Show, Flashpoint, Free Agents, Law and Order: SVU, Pan Am, Unforgettable, Up all Night, and Whitney.
Luckily, while looking for the CTV app, iTunes also offered me the Citytv app. Citytv is also iPad only and doesn't have any stations in my home province of Quebec, but one tap on Toronto as my faux residence and I was good to go. Citytv currently offers 30 Rock, America's Got Talent, Bachelor Pad, Body of Proof, Canada's Got Talent, Community, Conviction Kitchen, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Fringe, Glenn Martin DDS, Happy Endings, Hell's Kitchen, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, Murdoch Mysteries, Private Practice, Raising Hope, Revenge, Reviews on the Run, Suburgatory, Terra Nova, The Biggest Loser, The Middle, The Playboy Club, and 2 Broke Girls.
Unfortunately, of course, AirPlay is only offered for audio so I can't beam the shows to my Apple TV. I haven't tried video out over cable yet, but I won't get my hopes up. At any rate, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of shows available and outside a great digital antenna setup, which my current location precludes, it makes cutting the cable cord and blacking out the box more palatable than ever.
If you live in the US, just go straight to the networks
My family is planning a big move from Colorado to California in December which means my husband and I are swimming in job applications, resumes, and cover letters. Even though we are submitting them all electronically, we still think it's important to have an original signature on our documents - and that's where SignMyPad has become a major asset.
After exporting my applications and cover letters as PDFs, I email them to myself as an easy way of getting them on my iPad. Then I open the attachments in SignMyPad directly from the email on my iPad. From there, I insert my signature by signing my iPad with a Ten One Pogo Sketch stylus and place and size my signature just perfectly, save as a new PDF, and email it back to myself.
Even though jumping through emails is a bit annoying, this worked perfectly and I was able to submit application materials with original signatures to potential employers.
[$3.99 - App Store 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!