TiPb Picks of the Week

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!

SlingPlayer for iPad – @chrisoldroyd

Sling released its iPad app earlier this year and if I said it was a disgrace I wouldn't be exaggerating one bit. I paid quite a lot for it and it just did not deliver any sort of good experience for watching your SlingBox on the iPad. It was jerky and unwatchable.

For the past few months, I have been using the SlingPlayer for iPhone app on my iPad in 2X mode and that delivered a way superior viewing experience for me in comparison. Thankfully though Sling has seen fit to update its iPad offering and this time they have got it right. It works, its very sharp, its smooth, I love it. Its only taken them about six months which is a little long to have to wait but at least its working now. I watched a full soccer match on it last night and it didn't drop a frame, perfect!

Skitch for iPad - @Alli_Flowers

The only thing missing from Evernote was the ability to add in drawings. And while it would be better if this were simply a tab inside the Evernote app, Skitch is a great start.

Skitch reminds me a little of early versions of Corel Draw. It gives you free-style drawing, basic shapes, text, and the ability to move what you've done. Not much editing, but I'm willing to let it go since this is a first release.

You can create a "skitch" from scratch, or you can notate on top of a photo from your album, a new photo taken directly from your camera, a web page, or a map from Google maps.

Using your Evernote account allows you to save your Skitch note right to your account. Or you can tweet your creation, email it, or just save it to your camera role. The possibilities are endless.

Die Hard (and other holiday classics) - @reneritchie

If there's one thing the holidays are for, beyond time with family and friends, beyond turkey and latkas and gelt and eggnog, beyond presents and general debauched merriment, it's movies. No, not the sanitized, commercial cut, pre-programmed network fare traditional TV foists on us, but the originals, in as good a quality as possible, presented on demand, where we want them and when.

With the iPhone or iPod touch, that can be on the go, in interstitial moments. With iPad, that can be curled up in almost any corner. With Apple TV, that can be in your living room or bedroom, up on the big screen. Whether it's courtesy of iTunes or Netflix or Air Video any of a handful of other apps, if escapist action, if seasonal romance, if holiday fable, if festive laughs, if decades of stories well told are what you're looking for, grab your iOS device of choice and tap play -- you've hit the Santa-sacked gold mine.

I started last night with Elf. Next up is my favorite Christmas classic of all -- Die Hard.

"Now I have a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho."

Launch Center - @sethclifford

Since my original pick this week was unceremoniously pulled from the App Store (as I expected, but I had hoped to at least get the pick out beforehand), my follow-up pick has been moved up by a week. Launch Center is the latest in a series of very useful little apps by App Cubby, makers of Tweet Speaker and Gas Cubby among others. Its premise is pretty simple. Hit the icon, see a list of quick actions you can perform and jump right to them.

With the addition of Siri to the iPhone 4S, a lot of these kinds of things are taken care of, however I still believe that apps like this are very useful, simply because I can't always talk to Siri when I would need to do something. You can configure a few useful shortcuts like email, speed dial, message, tweet, post to Facebook and launch URL, and there's a few other tools thrown in (activate flashlight and google clipboard contents).

Naturally, as with all App Cubby apps, the design is clean and lovely, and it's easy to configure and use. Despite rumors of Apple removing the ability to configure URL schemes to launch apps in the next OS update, this is still a nice little addition to your home screen, and it'd be cool to see shortcuts added in the future if functions become available.

RadioAlarm - @andrewwray

Need to find a good app for helping you wake up at a decent hour on Christmas morning? Maybe you want to get up so early that you might get lucky enough get to catch Santa in the act? I've recently set a goal of waking up a couple of hours earlier than normal each morning to help get more things done before the day actually begins, and RadioAlarm is truly a godsend in that respect.

With RadioAlarm you have the options of waking up to the sound of your favorite songs from the iPod music library, soothing or motivational music from a long list of online radio stations and even ambient nature sounds for a more natural escalation to consciousness from a deep sleep. In addition, the app comes with a unique feature called "Shake to Wake Up", so you'll be wide awake in no-time from having to shake your iPhone before the alarm shuts off.

A sleep timer also helps for those who have trouble getting to sleep but also enjoy listening to music in bed before they fall into a deep slumber, and the sleep timer helps make it so you won't wake up in the middle of the night if a harder or louder song happens to be next in line on your favorite online radio station.

It's a really great tool at a really great price, and I highly recommend it to anyone who hates waking up to jarring alarm sounds like the ones used by the built-in Clock app in iOS. Trust me, you'll never wake up grumpy again with RadioAlarm!

Find My Friends - @llofte

My family and I just spent the last few days moving from Denver, CO to the central coast of CA. Well, what I actually mean is that my daughter and I hopped on a plane while my husband and brother-in-law drove halfway across the country.

I always get nervous when someone I love is driving long distances. I get even more nervous when there are winter weather advisories for all the areas that said loved ones will be driving through. Find My Friends helped put my mind at ease.

It was so awesome to be able to check my husband's location whenever I wanted - which was every couple of hours. It was also awesome for when he was almost home, because I was able to get some beers chilled for the boys in time for their arrival.

Not to mention, if I didn't have Find My Friends, I would've been calling my husband every few hours, instead: "where are you?" It was a win-win solution for both of us.

Your pick?

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!

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