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!
Holy wow! This is not just an app - this is the ultimate in note taking. Print, type, audio - you can even add .pdf documents.
Set up different binders, each containing different notebooks. Inside each notebook, keep handwritten notes, or even typed notes. You add what you want, how you want. Mix your media. Do you need to underscore the importance of something? Flag it! Just like you would with those great little sticky flags on paper - grab the colored flag that you want from the right, and drag it into your notebook. Position it where you want.
What's that? You aren't a wordsmith? You can illustrate what you want, but can't come up with the words to write? Speak the speech, I pray thee. Click the record button right there in your notebook, and embed it in the notebook with a flag for later recall.
You can change paper, too. I like graph paper in my binder. More features...Dropbox sync - who doesn't love Dropbox sync?! And export to pdf. And the devs say they have more coming in the next update. I can't wait!
[$4.99 - App Store link]
This week’s pick is an app that is a hidden gem. If you want to put shortcuts on your home screen for a settings toggle or specific contacts from your address book, this app can do it. Yes you read that right, to turn on Bluetooth normally you have to go to Settings, General, Bluetooth and then you can turn it on. With Icon Project, you can create an icon on your desktop which will take you directly to the Bluetooth toggle page in one click!
It doesn't stop there either, you can create all sorts of system services shortcuts as well as individual contacts from your address book. Make an icon of your wife's contact details and drop it on your home page, one click and you are calling or sending her a text message. Icon Project makes getting things done much quicker and is a very powerful app.
[$0.99 – App Store link]
This week the folks from Shortmail have released their iOS client to the masses. if you're not familiar with Shortmail it's basically an email system but the unique thing about it is that it limits you to how much you can actually send and receive. That may not sound all that compelling but if you're a person who often gets friends and family members complaining about the length of your emails then it's great. As the developers describe it:
Shortmail lets you communicate with anyone who has an email address — one-to-one or as a group. Messages are limited to 500 characters, which keeps them concise and conversational. Shortmail supports push notifications, to keep you on top of important messages. And you can also have "public" and "open" conversations, to share your discussions with the world!
With the services, you also get a free email account -- when using the app, it will be your Twitterhandle@shortmail.com. No attachments, no junk mail, no folder management. Just communication - with any email user, anywhere.
[Free - App Store link]
We use GTalk for IM at the office, and my entire contact list is essentially just the people at the company. It's pretty much a dedicated chat channel for work and little else, which is fine with me, since there's a million other ways I can communicate with people. But I still go back and forth between feeling like I need IM on my iPhone, and feeling like I don't want anyone to bother me once I leave work.
The end of the year is usually pretty busy at NF, and this year is no different. So since I have to be more available at least in the short-term, I decided to give IM on the phone a go (again). I'd purchased Verbs a long time ago when it first came out and thought it was a great app, but didn't really see myself using it all that much. The semi-recent (a few months is recent, right?) release of Verbs Pro as an in-app purchase made me revisit it as my needs had changed.
Ally's already given it a spin as a pick when Pro was released so I won't tread over the same ground. It's a good upgrade if you like the app, because it adds push notifications and allows you to stay available for up to 7 days. I noticed this week that it really works well even when iChat is running on the desktop, and that was great, because I've had issues with other iOS IM clients not working properly in the past if I was logged in somewhere else. But the thing that turned me around on having IM on my phone again was my car ride yesterday.
I had somewhere to be first thing in the morning, so I was headed into the office a little late, but because Verbs kept me logged in, people were asking me questions as I drove and I was able to get them and answer them in a timely fashion. Having Siri do the heavy lifting with the voice dictation so I didn't have to type, well, that pretty much clinched it for me right there. It's a great looking, solid app that feels right at home on the iPhone and iPad. Short of Apple bringing iChat proper over to iOS, this is the next best thing.
[$0.99 with $4.99 in-app purchase to go Pro - App Store link]
I've always believed a man could fly. That we were a great people, that we wished to be, that we only lacked the light to show us our way. Part of that is because Superman was the second movie I ever saw in theaters. Superman was the second poster I ever hung up in my room. Superman -- a giant sized reproduction of Action Comics #1 -- was one of the first comics I ever owned.
As the bright side of The World's Finest, counterpoint to the Batman's darkness, Superman is half of the modern American mythos. While Batman is intent of forcibly saving the world one person at a time, Superman wants to inspire us to save ourselves. While Bruce Wayne is the mask the Batman puts on to walk among normal people, Clark Kent is the true, very human face of Superman.
Opposites in almost every way but their desire for justice, they do share one very profound thing in common -- both have been put into a lot of very crappy video games.
Batman's recent Arkham series, and a handful of other titles over the years, have helped put the Dark Knight Detective on a better path. For the Man of Steel, however, most games remain as painful as a Kryptonite splinter.
Which brings us finally to Chillingo's Superman for iPhone and iPod touch, and Superman HD for iPad. If the name sounds familiar it's because they were or the publishers behind a lot of famous games, including Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and some 250+ other titles. That should help frame Superman for you -- it's a decidedly casual game, very, very different from the aforementioned Arkham series of Batman titles.
It's also beautifully done; an old school platformer vibe rendered and powered by thoroughly new school technology. You do what you'd expect to do -- what anyone who ever played a classic side scroller adventure game would expect to do -- and that's a good thing. Sure, there's room for an amazing 3D, Paul Dini-penned epic Superman game on consoles and mobiles alike, but there's also a place for this and more of these.
And I hope we get more of them.
Cue John Williams theme
Trying to figure out train times to get myself into NYC is not something I enjoy too much, and planning the return trip is usually even worse for me. Until recently I would plan my trip there, and then just hope for the best on the way back, until I stumbled upon Ride NJT, a great free app that allowed me to easily plan my trip on the go. The application is quite simple, launch it and select where I am departing and where I want to go, and it does the rest. It gives you the various train times, allows me to view the map of the path to know where I will be going, and even gives advisories about delays on any trains. Whether you travel often or occasionally this is a must have application for you.
[Free - App Store link]
That's right folks, I'm pregnant! I used BabyBump with my first pregnancy and loved keeping up with the weekly updates on Baby's progress. Since then, BabyBump has been updated to include daily updates, tips, and recommendations. This is fabulous! Now I have a reason to launch BabyBump every day, versus just once a week.
One of my other favorite features of BabyBump is that it displays an approximate weight and size of you baby and compares its size with a common item. For example, at 5 weeks, my baby is currently about the size of an appleseed. It also shows a countdown until your due date - only 243 more days to go!
Other features include a journal, kick counter, contractions tracker, a (non-graphic) video of birth, names search, forums, and a place to store photos. BabyBump truly is a full-featured pregnancy app. I just wish it was universal for the iPad.
[$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!