TiPb Picks of the Week for December 3, 2011
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!
Where's My Water? – @chrisoldroyd
I don't play that many game on my iPhone but this little gem has me addicted. Where's My Water? is a physics type game where you have to guide water past loads of different obsticals. The idea is to fill Swampy the alligators bath by guiding the water through the pipes into his bathroom.
The game has literally hundreds of levels with many different challenges along the way. From algae, toxic ooze, triggers and traps. The graphics are crisp and designed for the retina display and the soundtrack isn't bad either. Where's My Water? is a universal binary and works great with the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
[$0.99 – App Store link]
Path - @iMuggle
I had never been a user of Path before it got its recent update. I'd actually never even heard about it. Boy am I hooked now. Path is an absolutely gorgeous social networking app. I think most of the reason for this is that it's only developed for mobile. There's no website to log in to from a computer, just download the app to your iPhone or Android and start creating your path.
The overall feel and interface of the app is what makes it so enjoyable to use. They also include filters for your pictures within the app with additional ones you can purchase. I like that I can edit and filter a picture without having to jump into another app. I'm also enjoying that I can share something on Path and it will automatically share it to Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare for me. I'll take any chance I can to get away from the disaster that is the Facebook for iPhone app.
And quite honestly, I'm really enjoying Path more than I've enjoyed any social networking site. So come on, everyone get on it so I don't have to check Facebook at all anymore.
[Free - App Store Link]
Notica - @sethclifford
We all know and love apps like Evernote that allow you to document almost everything in your world, and there's no shortage of productivity criteria that they strive to meet, but I think there's still a place for more refined app experiences with a different kind of style. Notica is one of those apps. Instead of trying to do everything, it does a few things nicely and in a concise way, opting for a different visual metaphor than you might be used to on the iPhone.
The basis of the app is notecards, which consist of a few pieces of information; a date/time stamp, location, picture or video, and some text. When you capture these pieces of info, the app creates a nice little card for you, which you can then file in different piles of your choosing. The main focus of the app experience is quickly capturing a small moment contextually that you'd like to remember for any reason. For instance, if you're an artist, you may have seen a color or texture that you want to revisit at a later time, or perhaps you just want to make a note about a restaurant you want to try. You could snap a picture, stamp a location, and just write "try this place". Notica creates a little card, you stick it in your "Places to Eat" pile, and you're done. Lovely. If (and I'm showing my age) you've ever taken a Polaroid instant picture and written on the bottom white piece of the photo, you get the idea. Of course, you can't geo-tag those, but it was a simpler time... so zip it.
Naturally, me being the kind of guy I am, I'm thinking about export and backup options. Currently for sharing, you can email and post to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. To save the note for yourself, you can save it out to your camera roll. With Photo Stream, this may be enough for most people, providing you open up iPhoto and make sure you're saving into an album there. You can also create a backup file within the app that can be synced through iTunes (and restored the same way), but let's be honest, that's not a terrific experience. I reached out earlier this week to ask the developers about sync possibilities in the future, and while they do not have any immediate plans for Dropbox integration (sad Seth) they are working on integrating iCloud in a future release and told me they will be posting about it shortly. So hopefully we'll have a nice, easy way to both backup and sync or share the notecards soon enough.
I realize that for a lot of people, this app may fall short because it doesn't do all the things something like Evernote can. But I think it's still a great app for a very focused task, and it's stylish to boot. With iCloud additions, it will definitely earn a place on my phone in the long term.
[$1.99 - iTunes link]
Naturespace - @andrewwray
Ever needed to clear your mind and just relax? Or maybe you're trying to get some work done and need some nice ambient sound to help you focus. Enter Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep. Naturespace provides ambient sounds and touts "Holographic Audio" to provide the listener with cyristal-clear 3D sound through your headphones or Apple earbuds.
I've been using Naturespace for a few weeks to help with a few different activities, namely meditation and writing. Whenever I feel like I'm not in an adequate mood or environment for writing my thoughts down in my journal or for TiPb, I just whip out Naturespace and within minutes I'm focused, honed and ready to go.
Naturespace utilizes Apple's In-App Purchases feature to offer up a number of additional sounds outside of the six default options for you to relax to. My personal favorite is the 'Summer Mountain Valley'. So whether you need a five-minute escape from the stresses of life, or just want to put on some background sound to ease the atmosphere, Naturespace is a great pick!
[Free -- App Store Link]
Tiny Tower - @JorjLim
I’m normally not a fan of freemium games. I don’t like playing one and then getting to a certain part of the game where you can’t continue without forking out lots of real money. Tiny Tower, is a freemium game, that sports classic 8bit graphics, and doesn’t require you to pay any real world money to progress, and above all, its extremely difficult to put down. The main objective of Tiny Tower is to build more floors and make lots of money. Simple objectives, but painfully addictive.
Each floor (creative, services, food, retail and recreation) can stock 3 types of items that take various amounts of real world time, from 2 minutes to many many hours! Each item, makes you money for sales, to help progress your tower. The last type of floor you can build is residential, which houses the staff for the other floors.
The freemium part of this game is through “Tower Bux” which you can buy with actual money, however, while you play the game you will find you’ll actually make more ‘tower bux’ than you expect. You get one everytime you build a new floor, occasionally for stocking a full shop, and for finding certain guests in your tower.
There are lots of real world references in the game as well, like certain guests who are dressed as red and green italian plumbers, and a retail store called “The Mapple Store”.
The game uses Apple’s GameCenter to connect you with your friends, who’s towers you can visit, and compete with. It also uses GameCenter to save your progress, and redownload it if you ever choose to delete the game.
Its an extremely fun and addictive game and because its free, you’ve really got nothing to lose, just give it ago. Tiny Tower is available for iPhone and iPad for free.
[Free - App Store link]
Flick Homerun - @skeetobite
Flick Homerun is your chance to participate in your own home run derby. Starting off in the minor leagues, using your finger as the bat, you simply try to hit the ball over the wall. As you progress can can increase your batting eye, contact ability, or power. You also unlock additional pitches type, including things like fast balls, balls that slow down, move up and down, and even things like ninja balls! You can also unlock other game modes - including the major leagues, game center or local multiplay, and moonshot mode. I have been addicted to this game for about two weeks now, and it doesn't show any signs of letting up! It's a great casual game that you can sit and play for 5 minutes or (in my case) an hour or so at a time.
[$0.99 - App Store link]
Best Buy - @jdipane
When looking to make a new purchase I tend to over research, I look at all the competition, and usually change my mind about 80 times. Doing this in the store can be a pain with sales people breathing down your neck, so I like to research from home, and only venture out once it is time to make the purchase. Recently the Best Buy app got a pretty large upgrade, and it made the application so much better. Now showcasing open box items from various stores, a much cleaner layout, the ability to set custom notifications and more, this is a must have application, especially going into the holiday season!
[Free - App Store link]
Infinity Blade II - @reneritchie
A predictable choice and a necessary one -- Infinity Blade II takes what was already the best looking game on iPhone and iPad and raises the bar. Considerably. Phenomenally. Yes, I wish they took some of that time and attention spent ray renders and leaf physics and spent a little of it on removing the rails. That restriction, that repetitiveness aside, Infinity Blade II is quite literally candy for your eyes.
Part II is much like the original, and how you feel about that will depend on how you felt about the original. If you loved it and wanted more of the same but better, you'll be extremely happy. Extremely. If you didn't like the original, you'll think this is even more sizzle, still not enough steak.
For me, Infinity Blade fantastic enough looking and easy enough playing that I can break it out, hack the slash out of a bad guy for a few minutes, and then go back about my business. And if anyone asks me about gaming on iOS, all I have to do is show them Infinity Blade -- the new one now -- and then wait for their jaw to close again.
Universal app, so you can buy once and play on both iPhone and iPad.
[$6.99 - App Store link]
Gift Plan - @llofte
Shopping for Christmas gifts is a huge and daunting task that I both love and hate doing each year. I love it because shopping is fun and buying things for loved ones is rewarding. I hate it because I always wait until the last minute, forgot who I'm buying gifts for, lose track of how much money I've spent, and walk into the mall with no plan of action. Not this year. This year, I've got Gift Plan in my pocket.
Gift Plan is a fantastic little iPhone app made by the UI geniuses over at Glasshouse Apps. It allows you to create a list of people you buy gifts for and create occasions for them like birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, or graduations. When the occasion is approaching, Gift Plan will send you a reminder notification so that you don't forget to buy them a gift.
For each person on your list, you can record their sizing information, their likes and dislikes, and create a list of gift ideas and the prices for said gifts. Purchase something off the list? Mark it off and Gift Plan will keep a running total of how much you've spent on that person.
This is a just small taste of what Gift Plan does and the best part part is that the UI is amazingly beautiful. Even if you're not one to keep explicit lists like these, Gift Plan will make you want to.
[$2.99 - App Store link]
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal - @jeremyeguzman (Reader's Choice)
My Fitness Pal, by MyFitnessPal LLC, is a Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker. In between the two biggest feasting holiday's of the year, is an excellent time to check out this intuitive app. The downfall of most of these apps is they are difficult to input your daily intake and don't offer enough flexibility to adapt to your life style. MFP does all of this and more, including cloud synchronization to their servers, weigh-in's with graph, social integration allowing you to friend and message those people that keep you motivated, and a diary that shows you a breakdown of your daily nutrition intake. Did I mention that you can also scan the barcode of your food for quick and easy input? But what's the best part? IT'S FREE! No ads, no trimmed down features requiring an upgrade... its just plain ole' free! Keep track of what you eat daily and be amazed at how quickly you'll lose weight or reach your fitness goals.
[Free - 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!