This app is perfect for letting your fingers do the walking. It offers you the option to search for businesses or events in your area by finding your location using the iPhone’s GPS. You can also find both in other areas by typing in a new city or state in the search box. Sort your results by distance or more popular by touching the tab at the top of the screen. There’s also a tab labeled “sponsored,” which I assume gives you the links that are subsidized by the companies listed.
Once you have the business or event you were looking for up on the screen, you can either save it to favorites or add it to an upcoming plans list by touching the plus sign on the bottom of the screen. Or, you can email it to yourself or a friend by touching the envelope icon.
My favorite thing about this app is the “my plans” section. It’s an easy way to figure out your schedule and save it so you can copy it to your datebook or PDA at a later time. The events listing are also pretty cool. It features sports, concerts, book signings, museum exhibits and even happenings at local health clubs. It’s a lot more convenient than searching randomly online and more portable than the local paper.
I would recommend this app to anyone who is searching for places to go or things to do in their local area. And it’s also good if you need to look for say a plumber or a Chinese restaurant.
Most anyone that has cable television has heard of the Weather Channel. It’s the go-to place to find out what’s going on up in the sky. Luckily, this app is no different, providing all the weather information you need to plan your week.
The app determines your location using the iPhone’s GPS and gives you the current weather, including the temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, UV index and visibility – well updated within the hour. Once you’ve got your forecast, you can email it to anyone in your contacts list using the share button. No more having to answer that “how’s the weather” question over and over.
In addition to the current forecast, you can get an extended one, either in hourly format or as 36 hour or 10-day. You can also view a weather map of your area or anywhere else and get live weather radar using Google Maps. Just scroll with your finger or use the pinch and spread functions to change the scale of the area.
Traveling? Check out the severe weather alerts for your home or destination by touching the severe button. If you like to get your weather TV-style, you can check out video feed of forecasts – for the U.S., U.K., France and Canada. (Be aware that the France video is in French but it is pretty easy to figure out.)
I liked how quickly it loaded and how easily it found out where I was. Though it wasn’t able to give me the forecast for my town, it did pick one up for a locale less than five minutes away, which is considerably better than for some of the other weather apps I’ve tried.
I would have to say that I was definitely not the ace at the Ace Tennis app. In fact, I found it to be excruciatingly difficult. The object of the game is to move your player across the screen with your finger and then tilt your phone to angle and add force to your tennis shots. The problem is it is very hard to multitask your moves and keep an eye on the opposing player at the same time. Plus, your thumbs do a pretty good job of blocking the screen.
If you get frustrated by playing the computer, as I quickly did, you can also play against a random online opponent, whom you can match up with by score. This is better than matching by skill level, since I couldn’t find a tangible difference between easy, medium and hard. You can also choose to play with friends, people in your same country or with girls – which I found a little strange. (I guess Ace Tennis doubles as a dating site?) Also, since there is a chat feature, you can choose to filter out offensive language.
When you’re getting ready to play online it will tell you the connection speed of the people you can play. Whatever you do, don’t pick someone with a speed labeled “slow.” You could be there all day. Even on games where the connection was listed as fast, there was still significant lag, making it difficult to play in real time.
The graphics are nothing to write home about, but the sound effects are pretty realistic. Another good point is the tutorial option, which you can use to learn the basic moves before you start playing matches. I wish all apps had such a feature. Now if only the game was easier to play.
When I first saw the name of this app, I thought it would take pictures in the pitch dark. What it actually does makes a lot more sense. As any photographer knows, if you take pictures at night it requires a longer shutter speed. Since you have to hold the camera still for a longer period of time than normal, which can be difficult to do, you often end up with shaky, blurred pictures.
What this app does is wait until the phone is completely still to snap your shot in the hopes that it will come out clear every time. Just launch the app, hold the phone still and it will take it automatically. (Don’t want to wait? You can also touch the camera button to snap your picture immediately, but that kind of defeats the purpose.) If you weren’t ready or you don’t like how it turns out, simply touch the retake photo button and try again. Happy? Touch use photo and get on with your day. The program will save it to your library for you.
It’s really an ingenious app if you think about it and it works pretty well. The photos I took with it came out with very minimal blurring. The only problem I had was the fact that it took a little too many pictures. I guess I have a pretty steady hand, because I ended up with about 20 pictures of my hand, the iPhone’s case, etc., before I had a chance to get that shot of the theater marquee. The app could also benefit from a “how to” or “help” section.
Even if you’re a master at the keyboard on your computer, your iPhone typing can be different story. In order to make the transition from fingers to thumbs easier, you can tutor yourself with Typing Genius.
Basic exercises train you to use the left and right side of the keyboard separately as well as together and even incorporate capital letters. Intermediate exercises introduce numbers and punctuation, while advanced exercises also incorporate symbols, like slashes and currency signs. Once you’ve mastered all three of these levels, you’re ready for Pro, which uses every character that the iPhone’s keyboard can handle.
Although the exercise section is a helpful tool, I think most people would best spend their time in the practical section. This includes training in the 100 of the most popular words, word phrases, complete sentences and even text message slang. For every tutorial you complete, the app tracks your statistics so that you can view your improvement and see where you tend to make mistakes. It even has a way to track friends’ stats so you can compete for bragging rights.
All exercises allow you to use either landscape or portrait mode, with separate statistics on each. That way you can get practice for whichever way you hold your phone. There’s also a helpful tips section that gives you advice on how to use basic features of the keyboard, such as one touch access to numbers, as well as more advanced actions, like how to turn on the hidden feature of caps lock.
Still an iPhone typing neophyte, I found this app to be extraordinarily helpful. Here’s hoping it can help me keep up a bit better with my emails and text messages.
I’m not much of a hunter, but I did find this app to be pretty fun. You can choose a rifle or a shotgun and then shoot either skeet, pheasants or deer. The skeet discs look fairly realistic but the animals look more like the cardboard cutouts you would see in an arcade shooting gallery. The deer also make weird mooing sounds when you hit them, which is a little strange.
Once you’ve decided what you want to shoot, you pick a difficulty level. They range from “easy” to “impossible.” Pretty much the differences are in the target speed and the number of targets you’re expected to hit in a certain amount of time. I tried the deer on impossible and they sure where hightailing it across the prairie. It was even funnier because their legs were hardly moving.
To shoot, you first choose the look option, which on the easier levels, gives you a very close up shot. Once you go harder, it’s still a bit of a distance away. Then you simply touch the fire button to take your shot, tilting the phone to move your sight up, down and to the side. If you miss on your first one, don’t worry. It appears you have an unlimited supply of bullets. Just make sure you don’t run out of time.
It tells you when you get a new record, but there’s no way to add your name to the high score list. This kind of kills your option to gain bragging rights. There’s also no kind of versus option, not even against the computer.
The Google Mobile App is just like having the well-known search engine in the palm of your hand. Actually, it tries to go one point better. If you don’t have hands available to type in your search terms, and instead have your phone resting on your shoulder, you can hit the voice search button and say it into the microphone.
However, it is touch and go whether the app will understand what you’re saying. For example I tried twice to search for “shoes” and ended up with “news” and “hughes.” I tried speaking faster to see if that worked better and ended up with “kids,” so apparently that is not the secret. However, it recognized “vegetarian” on the first try.
Once you’ve gotten some search terms in, whether they were correct or not, you can easily find them again in the app’s history list simply by touching the image of the magnifying glass at the bottom of the screen. If you want to get rid of it, there’s also an option to clear.
Touch the apps icon and you gain access to all the other facets of Google, such as Gmail and Google Maps. These aren’t exactly part of the app, since it simply connects you to their domains through the Google website, but it’s a very convenient way to get a direct link. This app is pretty intuitive and it loads a lot quicker than it the actual Google.com site, so it’s good for when you need to find an answer in a hurry.
This app is sweet, simple and to the point. It is a large selection of backgrounds that you can upload to your phone. All you have to do to get it to work is launch the app and click on “popular,” “recent” or “category.” Popular and recent are pretty self explanatory, giving you lists of the most uploaded or newest images. Category brings you to of backgrounds sorted into groups such as funny, patterns and nature.
What I like about this app is that when you sort through the different backgrounds, you are looking at the actual pictures, not some obscure names like “purity” or “blue boxes” that could describe any number of things. I also like how there are some really clever backgrounds that are specific to the iPhone, such as one that implores “don’t leave fingerprints.”
Some people may use this app and then get frustrated because their backgrounds don’t change. That’s because once you pick your background, by touching the image and then pushing save in the top right corner, you still have to go to your settings icon and choose to switch to the image. This is actually a good thing if you decide you like more than one option, since all will be there when you want to switch things up.
All in all this is a fun app. Some of the wallpaper choices are a little strange, such as a picture of a bed or floating Albert Einstein heads, but what better way is there to express your individuality? My boyfriend likes the pictures of a furry brown monster riding a bike.
My roommate is utterly and completely obsessed with this app. He tells me where his friends are and what they’re up to probably about every 15 minutes. Due to the genius of Loopt, all he has to do to connect with one of his friends is go to the list icon at the bottom of the screen. Then all of his friends who also have the app will come up. He touches a person’s name to get his or her most recent location and then chooses “ping” to send an alert of where he is via text message. His friend “pongs” him back and viola, everyone knows where everyone is.
If you want more specific information so you can actually find people, say to meet up for coffee, you can also find their exact locations on a map in Microsoft Virtual World and get directions to where they are. Additionally, you can view the most recent photo they’ve uploaded and any information they’ve posted on what they’re currently doing.
My roommate uses this app more for fun than for planning, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t get everyone in the office Loopt together to notify them of a meeting or use it to find your friend who got hopelessly lost on the way to your house. The only problem I’ve come across is that you can only find people who have Loopt on their phones and to sign up for it you have to register. This will turn off at least a few people and kill any chance of keeping tabs on your entire social circle.
This app is a lot easier to carry around than a Red Cross training manual. And in some ways, it is just as helpful. This is especially true of the overviews and procedures section, where you can get step by step directions on everything from how to properly stock a first aid kit to how to do the Heimlich Maneuver.
The rest of the app features symptoms, simple treatments and causes for common medical problems. The key word in this case is simple. You won’t find information on diagnosing the problem or on any kind of long term treatment. In other words, WebMD it is not, but it can be just the tool you need in an emergency.
Another reason to keep this app around is for the “my info” section. Just choose my info from the bottom of the screen on any page and you’ll reach a form where you can list your doctor’s name and phone number, information on any allergies you have and other pertinent facts you – or others – may need if you have a medical problem or accident. Now, the trick is getting others to look there if you’re unable to do it yourself.
This app is easy to use and straightforward with a very intuitive design. There’s no music or graphics that scream fun, but it’s unlikely you’d want to read medical information as a daily diversion anyway.
Keep it in your pocket but don’t throw out that Red Cross manual yet. It will come in handy if you need more in-depth advice than “pinch your nose” or “call 911.”