TiPb Picks of the Week for October 21, 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!
Instapaper - @sethclifford
This week's pick was an easy one. Instapaper has long been one of my favorite apps, and I've been using it for years. Developer Marco Arment has released an incredible update to the app this week, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) in the lifespan of the app. Instapaper 4.0 has so many new features, I'm not even going to list them here (plus, if my geek-Cylon intuition is right, a certain other TiPb editor is likely to be talking about them somewhere in this very post - if he doesn't though, you can read about them here in depth). I will, however, tell you that my favorite part of the new update to Instapaper is without a doubt its interface changes.
Marco has made subtle changes to the UI that improve both readability and function without sacrificing anything. I am completely smitten with the extra screen space at the top of saved articles now, as well as the clean, dark theme and the new icon on my home screen. And I haven't even touched on the incredible changes to the iPad version! (Again, I'm banking on that other editor to go into it.)
If you've never tried Instapaper, or perhaps tried it in the past and haven't seen it in a while, check out the update. It's substantial, and a great new take on an old favorite of mine. Plus, Marco is a super nice guy and I'm sure he'd appreciate it. Just don't email him…
[$4.99 - App Store link]
iTunes Movie Trailers - @chrisoldroyd
This weeks pick is iTunes Movie Trailers by Apple. By rights I shouldn't have this as its only available in the United States and I am in the UK; it is not available outside of the US for whatever reason the movie studios thought of at that particular time. Did I tell you how much I hate the movie studios and how they fail to apply any common sense to the decisions they make?
Anyway back to my pick, this app looks simple but it looks beautiful too. It's a grid of the latest movies, you click them and watch the trailer. That's it basically, the trailers look great on the iPad screen and whet your appetite for the full movie. You can also view trailers in a calendar view; which shows you when the movies will be released as well as a top 25 view of what is currently playing in theaters too. The theaters tab uses your location using GPS or you can manually input a ZIP Code. You can then go and purchase theater tickets which is obviously US only.
Trailers is a universal binary so works on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch!
[Free - App Store link]
box.net - @Alli_Flowers
Another online storage solution, box.net offers the same kind of features you get everywhere else. Unlike the others, box.net is currently giving away 50GB of storage absolutely free, just for installing and using the iOS box.net app.
Access all the files you have stored in your box.net account easily with the iOS app. Upload photos directly from the camera, of browse your library.
I see no reason to limit yourself to a single online storage solution, so I recommend grabbing this while you can get the 50GB. Who can't use an extra 50GB of storage?!
[Free - App Store link]
My Secret Folder - @andrewwray
My Secret Folder is a great way to make sure all your hidden photos and documents stay hidden. The app locks down any important or sensitive items with a passcode, preventing unauthorized users from accessing your important documents, photos and more. The great thing about My Secret Folder is when someone tries to get access but enters an incorrect passcode, the app will quietly snap a photo of the perpetrator with location information so you know who's tried to break in.
My Secret Folder also camouflages the app icon to look like a regular folder on the homescreen so nobody will even know it's an app. What's more is that My Secret Folder was recently updated to version 1.5, letting you add things like secrete notes, private contacts and bookmarks. There's even a porn mode browser for those other sites you like to visit, and you can snap photos from directly within the app to help save time. If you're looking for an effective way to lock down your sensitive documents and photos, this is the app you've been looking for.
[$0.99 - App Store Link]
The Early Edition 2 for iPad - @llofte
The Early Edition was the original newspaper that launched alongside the iPad and in my opinion, it was "meh". However, Glasshouse Apps did a fabulous job with The Early Edition 2 and I think it's great!
The Early Edition isn't your typical newspaper of popular news - it's of news that's important to you. Basically, it's an RSS reader that pulls all your feeds together and displays them in the format of a newspaper, but it does it so beautifully.
I've said this a million times on TiPb, but I'm a sucker for a good UI, and The Early Edition is some great eye candy. On the iPad 2, it runs butter smooth and it's all the little details that make it great. For example, if you turn the pages slowly enough, you can see the print on the back of each page. Little things like this make me smile.
Seriously, I'm loving this app.
[$4.99 - App Store link]
Siri - @reneritchie
I was originally going to pick Instapaper 4 or The Early Edition 2 and was having a really hard time choosing between them, but now that Seth and Leanna have removed that dilemma by neatly, preemptively picking both, I can move on to something lamer yet simultaneously even more genuine.
I haven't used anything on my iPhone 4S more this week than the built-in, artificially intelligent voice control system with the Pixar personality Apple wisely kept calling Siri.
If you've tried Dragon Dictate, if you've tried Vlingo, you've only tried 25% of Siri. It understands relationships. It understands context. It ties into location and the other built-in apps. It doesn't just listen, it converses.
It doesn't nail every word or action every time, but it's not much worse than human generated typos, damn-you-autocorrects, and wrong button/icon presses either. In fact, for most of what I do when I'm on the go Siri is not only fine, it's extra ordinary.
I use Siri to set location based reminders so I really will call my friend back when I get home (and Siri helpfully pops up the number, ready to call, to make it even more exceptionally convenient.) I use it to send emails and messages while I'm driving and couldn't safely or legally type them out. I use it to dictate Tweets and quick replies while I'm working on my Mac and don't want to interrupt the flow by jumping between apps.
The original Mac wasn't to GUI-based computing what OS X Lion is, and Siri probably isn't to whatever the mature natural voice interface ultimately ends up becoming, but like the original Mac, it's finally off to one hell of a mainstream start.
I even used Siri to dictate and mail this Pick of the Week...
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!