Tag Archives: ios

Favorite iPhone and iPad Apps 2011

Since today is the last day of 2011, I figured I’d write up a post about what iPhone and iPad applications I enjoyed using over the past year. These apps don’t necessarily have to be the “best” or most useful iPhone or iPad applications of the past year, but rather, they are applications that I may have used or heard of and thought they were nice, enjoyable, or useful applications.

Also, just a note that this list is not in any particular order, so the first app listed isn’t necessarily better than the last one listed.

1. TweetBot (iPhone)

TweetBot, by TapBots, is a Twitter client, which allows users to access their Twitter feeds, read and post Tweets, view people’s profiles on the service, as well as other things. TweetBot also features a great looking user interface, which includes sounds and animation and makes viewing and writing tweets fun. Also included in the application is multi-touch gesture support, so users can view, create, and read tweets in a more interesting and interactive way.

In addition, TweetBot supports the ability for users to have multiple timelines within the application, so that, if they have more than one Twitter account, users can view them both within the same application. Users can simply tap on the “Timeline” button, which looks like two figures of people, and is located in the top left of the app, to view their timelines and select which one they would like to use. Also from this menu, users can choose to go to the “Accounts and Settings” page of the app.

2. Saver (iPhone)

Saver, by Alex Solonsky, is an app that allows users to track and view their expenses and features things, such as graphs and lists, where users can see how much money they’ve spent and where it’s going. When a user wants to add an expense to Saver, all they need to do is click on the “+” icon, located at the bottom of the app, which then brings up a screen where users can enter in an amount of money, as well as select, or “tag”, what this money was spent on.

There are a variety of categories that users can pick from, in order to tag their expenses, including “General”, “Kids”, “House”, “Amusement”, “Wardrobe”, “Groceries”, “Auto”, “Food”, “Payments”, “Vacation”, and more! Additionally, each category also has sub-categories, which users can use to further narrow down what they spent their money on. For example, some of the subcategories in the “Food” tag, include “Cafe”, “Fastfood”, “Bar”, and “Restaurant”.

Once a user has added their expenses, they can view them in a pie-chart, which is color coded according to the category of expense. Users can then tap on that part of the chart, which will bring up a list of the user’s expenses. Also, users can select to view their expenses by either the week, month, or year, which is useful if you want to track your expenses only for a certain amount of time.

3. Instagram (iPhone)

Instagram, by Burbn, Inc. is on the list for the second year in a row, as it’s a great application which allows users to share photos, not only on the Instagram app itself, but also on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, Instagram allows users to “edit” their photos by applying filters, which change the overall look and feel of the photo. Users can also select whether or not they want a “frame” around the photo, as well as some other features. \

Once a user has selected a filter for their photo (though, users are free to post a picture without having a filter or any editing at all), they can add and edit a caption for their photo, select whether or not they’d like to share it on Facebook or Twitter, as well as configure some other options for the photo. After that, all one needs to is post the photo and it’s available for everyone who’s following you to see! (However, you can choose not to announce a photo on Facebook or Twitter, if you’d rather not.)

One of the great features of Instagram is that it’s a social app, where users can follow other users and see what pictures they’ve been posting. Additionally, users can “like” or comment on others’ photos, which adds to the social aspect of this application.

4. Oink (iPhone)

Oink, by Milk, Inc., is a social “rating” application that just came out in 2011, and allows users to rate the things in the world around them, rather than just rating the places they have been to. For example, rather than rating a particular restaurant as having good food or being a great place to eat, Oink allows users to rate specific things at the restaurant, such as a specific dish or place to sit, or even the lighting!

Other users can then see what one has posted to Oink and what their thoughts were on the particular thing they rated, and can also add their own ratings and comments to the post. Users are also able to “Like”, “Love”, “Dislike”, etc. the variety of things that are rated, and additionally, users can choose to add something to their “To-Do” list, if they are interested in trying what they saw someone else post about.

Users can also choose to share their ratings and posting on both Facebook and Twitter, should they want to share their experiences with their friends who many not be using Oink or may not have an iPhone.

5. Tiny Tower (iPhone and iPad)

Tiny Tower, by Nimblebit, LLC., is a fun game, where users are in charge of building and running a tower filled with a variety of residences and businesses, as well as managing the citizens who happen to move into the tower and live in the residences.

Gameplay consists of ensuring that the various business and stores in the tower are stocked with the items or services that they carry or sell, as well as helping to move the tower’s guests or residents, called Bitizens, to the various businesses by use of an elevator, which the user can move up or down, to get the person to the correct floor, which is specified by the Bitizen in the elevator.

When a user accrues a certain amount of money, they are able to purchase more floors for their tower, building it higher, and adding to the number of residences or businesses that are available for Bitizens to use. However, after a new floor is added to the tower, the next floor’s price will increase, so a user has to save up more money to build it.

Additionally, stocking and restocking the businesses in a tower requires that a user use their coins to do so. Though, users can opt to purchase (with actual money) TowerBucks, which can be spent on much of the same things that regular coins can be, but, similar to FarmVille or CityVille, allow things to be completed or done faster than if a user were to strictly use coins.

TinyTower is a fun game with a 8-bit style user interface and doesn’t require that users play it for hours at a time. Because of the nature of TinyTower, with running businesses and such, users can choose to restock a product, etc., and come back later when it has run out, without having to sit around and watch the game run to do so.

6. Zombieville USA 2 (iPhone and iPad)

Zombieville USA 2, by Mika Mobile, Inc., is a fun game, where the user’s main task is to infiltrate a zombie infested city or town, and take out the zombies. In order to do this, the user is given a choice of a variety of weapons, including clubs, knives, guns, and grenades, though some weapons are only available after the user earns enough money in the game to purchase them.

Additionally, users are only allowed to carry three weapons at a time when they are fending off the zombies, which is a good thing, as occasionally, one or two of the weapons being carried can run out of ammo, causing the user to have to switch to their third weapon, whether it be another gun, a grenade, or a baseball bat (which doesn’t require ammo and doesn’t “run out”, like the other weapons do.)

The gameplay is pretty simple, with users using a “joystick” style control and three buttons, each in control of switching to and firing or using one of the three weapons that is being carried by the user’s character. Also, thoughout the level, users can find and shoot or hit boxes and other things (including mailboxes, signs, etc.), which may house money or extra ammunition, which can then be used to help the user purchase new weapons or to reload their current weapons.

Once the user has reached the end of the level, a helicopter comes down, thereby rescuing the user once they jump onto the ladder that is hanging from it. Then, a user will be notified of how much money they have made during the level, how many zombies they managed to kill, what their accuracy was, as well as some other information.

7. Powers of Minus Ten (iPhone and iPad)

Powers of Minus Ten, by Green-Eye Visualization, is an application that enables users to zoom into the human hand, in order to learn about biology and to see what goes on in the human body at the cellular and molecular level. Also, according to the app’s description on the iTunes App Store, the 3D content in the app is scientifically accurate, so users are able to get a real feel for what goes on in the human body.

Additionally, Powers of Minus Ten also features a “game” aspect, where users earn points and such for finding and identifying certain structures within the human body, including proteins, organelles, and more! There are also games that users can play, such as a matching game, in order to help them learn about processes, like Mitosis.

One great aspect of Powers of Minus Ten is that the graphics are great and can help students, or anyone interested in the human body or biology, view what perhaps microscopic structures and cells look like within the human body in an interactive way.

When viewing a particular section (or magnification level) of the hand, users are able to pan around and view where things are positionally, as well as what else may be going on or is located in that particular area.

Overall, Powers of Minus Ten is a great application, with some fun games included, which can help users view the human body in a way that perhaps they haven’t seen before, especially when it comes to the microscopic level.

8. Where’s My Water  (iPhone and iPad)

Where’s My Water, by Disney, is a great puzzle game, where the object of the game is channel water from one area of the screen, to another, where an alligator named Swampy is waiting for the water to take a bath.

Where’s My Water starts off pretty simply, with users having to dig a path for the water to reach Swampy, but as the gameplay progresses, getting the water to Swampy’s bathtub begins to get more and more challenging, as different challenges are added.

For example, once the user reaches a certain level, switches are added to the puzzle, causing the user to have to channel water to a switch, in order to operate it and get water to Swampy’s bathtub. In some levels, there may even be more than one switch that has to be activated, in order to beat the level. However, some levels include a water spout, which allows users to turn on and add more water as they need it, so they don’t have to worry about wasting the water they may have started the puzzle with.

Where’s My Water is a fun puzzle application, which I personally liken to another iPhone application, Enigmo, involving getting water from one area to another, using a variety of different tools. If you’re interested in puzzles or challenges, perhaps you should check out Where’s My Water, by Disney. Additionally, this application is good for children, as well, as it features colorful graphics, and the fun of trying to get the water to Swampy so he can take this bath!

Which apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad did you enjoy using throughout 2011?

Thank you for reading this blog post, as well as the TechnicalCafe blog throughout the year! I hope everyone had a great 2011 and that everyone has a happy, healthy, fun, and safe 2012!


Favorite Apps 2010

With only about an hour and 20 minutes left of 2010, I figured I’d write a post about my favorite iPhone and iPod Touch applications that I have used or heard about in 2010.

While not all of these applications came out in 2010, I still think they are worth mentioning, so here are my favorite iPhone applications of 2010: (in no particular order)

1. FaceBook

The FaceBook application for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad has made it easier to see what my friends and family are up to, as well as keep in touch with them on the go. Also, the FaceBook mobile application has made it easier to share photos on the go, as there is no need to upload any pictures to a computer first, as they can be uploaded on the fly.

2. Twitter

The Twitter application is on my list because it makes it easier to view and create Twitter status messages on the go. In addition, the application makes it easy to search for and follow other Twitter users, without having to go on a computer to do so. The Twitter mobile application, formally Tweetie, which used to cost $2.99, was acquired by Twitter in April of 2010 and released for free soon after.

3. FourSquare

FourSquare is a geolocation application that enables users to see the different places and venues that people, such as friends, family, and co-workers are checking into. Each time a user checks into a location, they are awarded a certain number of points. Also, users can earn different badges by doing and accomplishing different things, such as checking into 25 different venues.

The FourSquare user who checks in at a certain location the most is called the “mayor” of the location and in some instances, the mayor of a location can be offered deals by the venue. While not many of my friends and family use FourSquare, I still find it interesting to see where they are checking into, as well as fun to check in myself.

4. Shazam

Shazam is on the list because I find it to be really useful when you’re trying to find out the name of a song or perhaps the artist who created it. All you need to do is take out your phone, launch Shazam, and press the “Shazam” button, and the application listens to the song, sends the information, and then returns the name of the song, artist, as well as other information. There is also an option to purchase the song from iTunes, which is nice if you enjoy a particular song. All of the songs that you “tag” are available in a list, as well, which is also a nice feature.

There is a free version of Shazam, as well as two paid versions, Shazam Encore and (Shazam)RED, which donates money to help fight AIDS in Africa. Both Shazam Encore and (Shazam)RED can be downloaded for $4.99.

5. Instagram

Instagram is a relatively new service, which enables users to share photos that they have taken with or have on their iPhone or iPod Touch. However, unlike other photosharing applications, Instagram allows users to apply filters to their photos, changing the way they look. Like other social networking applications, users can follow each other, as well as comment and like the photos that their friends, family members, and co-workers have taken. People can also geotag their photos, as well as post links to them on websites, such as Twitter and FaceBook.

6. DailyBooth

The recently updated DailyBooth application makes it easy to view and post pictures to the DailyBooth website, which is a social networking website that enables users to post pictures of themselves. The second version of the DailyBooth iPhone application also allows users to comment on and like people’s photos, as well as view users’ profiles, in addition to other features.

6. Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies is a tower-defense style game where users have to place various plants around a backyard, in order to prevent a variety of different zombies from getting to a house.

However, zombies are able to eat the plants that are placed, so users have to be careful to prevent the zombies from getting to their house. As the levels progress, more plants become available for use, but more and different types of zombies also show up, so users have to keep on their toes to defeat the zombies and protect their house!

7. geoDefense

geoDefense is another tower-defense game, where users have to prevent a variety of different "creeps”, or creatures, from getting to the end of a specific track. In order to do this, users are provided with different types of towers, such as blasters and lasers, which damage and destroy the “creeps” that are trying to get through. Like Plants vs. Zombies, as the levels progress, the “creeps” get more and more difficult to defeat, so it creates a fun challenge to create a good defense.

8. The Sims 3

The Sims 3 is a fun game in the Sims series, in which you have to control a character that you create, performing everyday functions, such as cooking, going to work, and even going to the bathroom. Characters are able to obtain jobs, as well as play mini-games, some of which award money, which can be used to purchase new items and upgrades for the character’s house.

9. Tetris

The Tetris application, by EA, enables users to play the classic game of Tetris on their iPhones and iPod Touches. Users can move the tiles and blocks around, as well as rotate them and more, simply by tapping, dragging, and swiping their iPhone or iPod Touch’s screen. There are also two different game modes that users can play, which are “Marathon” and “Magic”. “Marathon” mode enables users to play a familiar game of Tetris and “Magic” mode adds some new things, such as power-ups, the ability to draw your own brick, as well as other things, to the game.

10. Camera+

Camera+ is a camera application, similar to the iPhone’s native camera application, but with some additional features, such as a grid to line up your photos, image stabilization, burst mode, and the ability to edit your photos. Once you’re done taking and editing your photos, you can upload them to a website, such as Twitter or FaceBook, or export them to your iPhone’s camera roll.

What iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad applications do you enjoy using? Please feel free to post them in the comments below!

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!

NinJump iPhone App

If you’re looking for a fun game to play on your iPhone or iPod Touch, perhaps you should try playing NinJump by Backflip Studios. NinJump is a game in which you have to run up one of two walls, trying to avoid obstacles, as well as getting various power-ups.

The purpose of the NinJump is to try to climb the wall to the highest distance that you can, without getting hit by or running into an obstacle. The higher your character goes, the more obstacles you will have to avoid.

When you first launch NinJump, you should see a loading screen, but after that you should see the game’s main menu. From the menu, you have the options to play the game, view and change the game’s options, as well as view more games.

NinJump’s game play is fairly simple, as the only thing you have to do is tap on the screen, enabling your character to jump to and from one of the two walls. When your character jumps, he also swings his sword, allowing him to defeat obstacles, as well as catch power-ups.

Some examples of obstacles that you may encounter while playing NinJump are other ninjas, who may throw stars, birds, as well as foxes, which you can either attack or avoid. Attacking one of the obstacles will enable you to gain a “point” towards a power-up.

Once you have attacked three of the same type of obstacles, you will receive a power-up, which enables your character to move up the course faster, as well as with the ability to hit obstacles without falling.

In addition to power-ups, there is also a shield that you can get by simply running into it. The shield protects you if you were to run into or be hit by an obstacle. However, the shield can only be used once, as it goes away after you’ve been hit.

If you do not have a shield and run into or are hit by an obstacle, your character will fall off of the wall and the game will be over.

After your character has fallen, you will see a menu, showing you how high your character was able to climb, as well as what your best score was. Also, you can choose to post your score to OpenFeint, FaceBook, Twitter, or send it in an e-mail. There are also options to play NinJump again or return to the main menu.

If you would like to try playing NinJump, you can download it for free from the iTunes App Store.