TiPb.com 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!

Google Voice - @Alli_Flowers

When the apps started flowing for Google Voice, we couldn't get enough of them. But the fervor died down, and we haven't heard anything about them in a while, so I thought I'd revisit my most used of the Google Voice apps.

I'm a huge GV user, and use it primarily for my students. They can use my GV number as a homework help line, to answer bonus questions, or to call in speaking assignments. It's been a life saver. On days like this when half the student body is involved in testing, and the other half is either home waiting for it to end, or being held in a classroom or the gym, it's equally useful. All morning, my former students (who have passed the test already) text me to find out if testing is over so that they can come to school when classes actually start.

With the Google Voice app, I get push notifications of the text messages or calls and can quickly reply that no...we're still holding and there's still another hour left of testing. I love my Google Voice, and the Google Voice app makes it easy to use.

[Free - App Store link]

Noise Entertainment System - @sethclifford

If you grew up as a child of the 80s, you most likely have a soft spot in your heart for the classic video game systems of that time. And even if you didn't play a lot of games, chances are you can hum some of the more famous video game music of the era, just from having been around brothers, sisters and friends who were obsessed. I was one of those kids - the obsessed ones - and as such, those chiptunes are indelibly etched in my psyche, providing warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgic childhood joy when I hear them.

I've had game music file players on my Macs for years, but on iOS there's just one you need to concern yourself with, and that's Shaun Inman's magnificent Noise Entertainment System. Shaun is an exceptional designer and developer with a penchant for classic 8-bit gaming, and has released some incredible games for iOS, most recently The Last Rocket. He knows the style so well that there isn't a single pixel out of place in his apps, and his games feature original chiptune music, adding even more legitimacy to the classic feel.

NoiseES is an app for playing GBS, NSF and NSFe files, which are the music files (GameBoy, NES) extracted from the game ROMs themselves. The files load just like an mp3 playlist and tracks behave much like you would expect. You'll have to do some poking around online to find the files, but they're readily available, and a lot of fun once you get into it. Shaun even has a few links on his site page for NoiseES that can get you started! I've been listening to classic game music for well over a decade, and this app is one of the best ways to do it. Even better is that there are updates coming that will add some much-desired new functionality to the app that I am super excited about.

If you're a fan of chiptune music and want to take it to go, you must get this app. For more information on game music, you can check this NSF Wikipedia Page, and this general page on game music as well.

[$1.99 - App Store link]

Official Rugby World Cup 2011 – @chrisoldroyd

You can't avoid the Rugby Worlds Cup that is going on in New Zealand for the next few weeks. Unfortunately, well depending on where you live anyway, the kick off times are a little strange. Don't worry, if you get the Official Rugby World Cup 2011 app for iPhone and iPad you will not miss a thing.

You can access the Match Center for live matches complete with live commentary, match statistics and even video highlights. The app also provides all the latest tournament news and a Rugby World Cup Daily video.

If you are lucky enough to be in New Zealand for the competition, the app will also give you information on the stadiums, locations and even seating plans and facilities. You can also find out what is going on around the area you're in when the game is over.

This really is a very well put together app for the Rugby World Cup and it is even a universal binary!

[Free - App Store link]

GoodReader - @reneritchie

We're working on a new, super-secret project here at TiPb HQ and so I've been receiving clandestine ZIP files via email containing [REDACTED] for us to plot and scheme over. Trouble is, iOS doesn't open ZIP files (why, Apple? WHY?!) nor does the Dropbox iOS app (why, Dropbox? WHY?!). Luckily, GoodReader does (Yay!). So here's what I've been doing.

  1. Start playing MIssion Impossible theme
  2. Launch Mail, find the ZIP attachment
  3. Open the ZIP attachment in GoodReader
  4. Scan through the [REDACTED].
  5. If I want any in Dropbox, I just hit the Action button and tap Open In...
  6. Fade music and walk off into the sunset

Sure it's a bit convoluted and involved, and it would be nice if Apple or Dropbox just built this in, but GoodReader is a powerhouse in its own right and ZIP extraction is just the icing on the power cake. (Though sadly, it's not a universal binary so you'll have to buy it twice if you want it for both iPhone and iPad.)

Now excuse me while I get back to the super secret drawing board...

[$4.99 - iPhone App Store link - iPad App Store link]

UNO - @JBaby_9783

This week I can not stop playing UNO. I've played it off an on since it debuted on the App Store but a recent update has sucked me back in. The new improvements to the Online Multiplayer are fantastic! I'm finding myself logging in everyday so I can get my 10 free coins. The coins are used to purchase bonus and luck. You can get more coins by winning games and via in-app purchase in addition to the daily 10 coins Gameloft gives you. Being able to buy a chance of drawing Draw 2/4 cards or buying a chance to peak at another players hand just adds a little punch to an already fun game! The only criticism I have is Gameloft hasn't updated UNO HD to this new Online Multiplayer mode.

If you love Uno give the latest update a try! And when you do, add me as friend so we can play together. I'm JBaby9783.

[$0.99, in-app purchases - App Store link]

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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