TiPb Picks of the Week for September 17, 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!
Amazon Mobile - @sethclifford
I love Amazon. I visit the site multiple times a day, whether to order things for my home or the office, or just to browse and do some product research. I'm also an Amazon Prime member, which only fuels my compulsion even more, allowing for free 2-day shipping of almost anything. As a fully-grown child with instant gratification issues when it comes to purchases, Prime can't be beat. But mostly, I like being able to buy most of what I need easily, from the same place, and I also enjoy having a detailed history and actions for my purchases after they've arrived.
It's far from new, but an app I can't live without is Amazon Mobile. It's a universal app, and as a customer, it's got everything you need. You can browse the massive Amazon library of products from any of your devices, adding items to your cart quickly, and completing the order exactly when you think of something during the day, and not have to remember to do so when you get back to your computer. Once you've placed an order, you can track it and see your historical purchases, as well as check out the daily deals and manage your wish lists.
One of the great things about it is that you can snap pictures of items and scan barcodes while you're at a physical store to compare prices. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a store with my wife, killing time, when I come across something I'd like to pick up, quickly do a barcode scan and put it right back on the shelf, because I can save a ton of money and have it shipped for free - fast!
Amazon actually has a few different apps in the App Store, including a more visually oriented shopping app called Windowshop which is pretty cool too, but I always find I preferred the original. It's always worked exceptionally well for me, and I find myself using it - constantly.
[Free - App Store link]
Calorific - @andrewwray
If you've recently set a goal to drop a few pounds and need an effective calorie-counting companion app to help you along the way then look no further than Calorific for iPhone. This calorie-counting app is very simple and straightforward in design and does away with complicated food categories and menus in order to help you quickly add meals to your daily calorie intake.
Instead of presenting you with a myriad of options for different foods, meals and snacks, Calorific breaks down your intake into 'Great', 'OK' and 'Bad' food types with different serving sizes. This makes keeping up with your calorie log a fast and streamlined experience with very little effort! Just jump into the app and tap on which meal you're having for the day, then select the food score and the approximate amount of calories you think the meal contains. That's it! You can even mix and match food types and serving sizes if you're having a mixed meal, or drill down into specific foods and meals within the app itself if you aren't sure how many calories your meal contains.
Calorific will also keep a running history of the calories you've taken in on a daily basis and spits out a general score of how healthy you've been eating, along with a nice profile feature that will help tackle your weight loss goals. This app has made it easier than ever for me to keep track of my food and calorie intake on-the-fly without any hassle thanks to its unique approach to counting calories -- go ahead and give it a try!
[Free - App Store link]
Wikipanion - @JorjLim
Wikipanion is a free wikipedia app for both the iPhone and iPad. It acts as a fairly standard wikipedia app that displays articles, pretty much identical to the website.
It splits the different titles and subtitles into a really easy to navigate contents panel, to save you time, from having to scroll up and down to find a specific piece of information.
If there is word you don’t understand, you can also look it up in wiktionary (with pronunciations) from the options menu, which will also let you change the font size, or even change the font to “serif” to make it easier to read.
It has a location based search option, so you can search for articles that are relevant to things around you, which is perfect for holidays when you want to know more about your surroundings.
One of my favourite features in Wikipanion, is the ability to add custom ‘topic-specific’ wikis (Wikiquote, Apple Wiki etc.) and view them in the exact same format as regular wikipedia. If a custom wiki that you use, isn’t in their database, you can request it to be added.
There is a pro version for £2.99, which lets you save articles for offline reading, and have article queues, to load multiple articles in the background, however most casual wikipedia readers will be perfectly happy with the free version.
Magic Painter - @Alli_Flowers
I paid $2.99 for Magic Painter last week, and now it's free. I don't know if it's going to stay free, but go grab it while you can. This app is awesome! I used to have something similar on Palm that I loved, so when I saw this, I knew I had to have it.
Unlike apps like Brushes or Art Rage, Magic Painter is for those of us with no artistic talent whatsoever. I've already made wallpaper for both my iPhone and my Mac that really pop. You start with a blank canvas, and you can not only choose any colour you want, but you can also choose from a variety of textures, or a photo from your photo album. From here, you simply choose a brush that paints a design on your background, like stars, vines, or swirls. Of course, you get a fairly wide variety of colours from which to choose as well.
I've had a ton of fun with it, and I think you will, too.
[Free - iTunes link]
Hanging with Friends - @skeetobite
My pick of the week this week is Hanging with Friends. This game is by the developers of Words with Friends, but is a Hangman style game between two players. There are many aspects that are carried over from Words with Friends - points for using letters, having a tile region that gives you limited letters to spell words, and many elements of the game visually look like Words with Friends. But this is hangman, where you challenge each other to guess words, and whomever loses enough times has their avatar fall into a pit of lava! Throw in lifelines (along with a method of earning coins to use more lifelines), random triple word/double word/triple letter/double letter bonus tiles, and you have a great guessing game! I found this to be more addicting than Words with Friends. If you are Words with Friends fan, you should give this game a shot - and go ahead an challenge me, I am not too hard to beat.
[$1.99 - App Store link]
Sherlock - @reneritchie
I had to spend last weekend coding and wanted to have something on the TV to generate some noise. I fired up Netflix, checkout out the new arrivals section, and after flirting with some childhood glee in the form of War Games, Starman, and Blue Thunder, I quickly settled on the new British series, Sherlock.
A modern re-imagining of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, it has all the traditional elements smashed to bits and brilliantly cobbled back together into a smart, taught series of 3 90 minute episode. The first one is great. The second one is okay. The third one is fantastic. (Though there's this final misdirect in the third episode that I really wish they'd had the courage to just go with -- would have made for a fantastic second series.)
And, of course, an iPhone plays a pivotal part in the series. So grab some popcorn and spicy drink and queue this gorgeous show up on your iPad or Apple TV. The game is most certainly afoot.
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!