Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Appetite... Part 6

Screen 6...

... starts with another weblink which will be of little interest to anyone unless they are Under 8 and want beating by my son's football team ;)

Peggle, is a simple, fairly nice-looking game for passing an idle few minutes. You'll have gathered by now that whilst I like the idea of games, I rarely devote much time to playing them. Sorry about that.

Photofx, does what it says on the tin and is a handy addition to the photography apps I already have as it has pages of interesting filters grouped into different categories including Face, Fun, Wild, Classic, Lens, Portrait etc.

Photonasis is more limited and reminds me of the basic photo-editing software that you sometimes get on non-smart-phones, i.e. noddy UI and basic filters. Still, it's OK. I haven't ditched it yet.

Pixelpipe frustrates me to bits. It's meant to let you quickly and easily upload photos direct to blogs, social networks etc, but whenever I fire it up it seems to insist on scanning my entire photolibrary for me to select from which takes f o r e v e r ! Why it assumes that I might wish to upload my entire collection everytime I open it I have no idea, but I rarely get this app passed egg-timer (spinning-wheel?) mode. I've upgraded, reinstalled, you name it, but the early Twitter support I received from @pixelpipe went along the lines of 'no-one else seems to have a problem' and got me nowhere. Given that I have lots of alternative tools for uploading media from my iPhone, this app will be in the dumper soon. Thanks for coming.

Quadrum C - another time-passing game where you move brightly coloured bricks around until you get enough of them linked together in a chain for them to disappear, with the aim of clearing the board. Whilst I don't profess to playing this much, it is one of my most used game apps.

Radio Flare is a nice cartoonified 2D arcade game with a decent soundtrack. I should play this more than I do. Obviously.

Radio Times is a very well-put-together app which features all of the programme guide information from the Radio Times magazine. You can customize your channel listings based on your satellite, cable, terrestrial provider as well as slicing and dicing by category... Sport, Films etc. It's handy if you want to know more than just what is on and when (if that is all you need there are simpler faster-running apps). It's also integrated with Twitter and Facebook if you fancy sharing details of your programme choice, which you can star/favourite. Early on there was a suggestion that the app will tie up with Sky to enable you to set your Sky+ recorder directly from this app than from the standalone iPhone apps which offer this service. (more later) No sign of this yet, unless I've missed it.

Remote, lets you use your iPhone as a remote control for your PC or Mac based iTunes library via your home wifi network. Pretty easy to set up and effective too... on screen, the details of the entire library are presented to you in just the same way as if they were on your phone's internal player, cover-art and all.

Scrabble I hardly need to explain. It has more going on than many of the games on my phone. Plus, I'm a wordy sort, so I do kill time I haven't got with this app on occasion. You can play two-player by wifi.

Shazam I've used since it came out. In other words, well before the iPhone. In those days (as with now on ordinary phones) you dialled a quick number before your phone could hear the tune you were listening to. Now this is all handled in the app which captures the sound, tries to identify it (it usually succeeds) and enables you to link to to stream it or iTunes to buy it. The obligatory Twitter integration is there too. They've this week brought out a premium version, but with very few bells and whistles over and above what you get here, there's not much to recommend it yet. For now though, the basic Shazam app is essential.

ShoZu is, for me, more successful than Pixelpipe in enabling quick photo-uploads to a wide range of sites, including all the main blogging and social networking platforms as well as a raft of media brands inc BBC, CNN, ITV, all keen for you to send them your scoop 'from the scene' pictures of the latest happening. That said, I tend to use Flickr's own app (reviewed later) but keep this on stand-by in case I happen to see Britney slipping out of a limo in Huddersfield.

Signal Fire is another on of those geo-location non-apps. It doesn't seem to do anything other than capture your location, and enable you to mail a map reference to someone. It does fire up Brightkite if you want it to, but Brightkite does all this itself, so I'm not sure quite what it's USP is and will probably ditch it soon.

SimpleMindx is a basic mind-mapping to for creating brainstorm-like spidergrams on the fly (SPIDERGRAMS... ON THE FLY!!!). It's alright, but can be a bit like reading a newspaper through a keyhole.

Sirens is a daft application which plays a range of siren sounds from the US and Europe including police, fire and ambulance. Sounds stupid but it's ideal for encouraging toddlers to eat their lunch by suggesting that the Restaurant Police are pulling up outside. Invaluable. There's nothing like a fear culture to instill good old-fashioned family values.

iPadio is similar to AudioBoo but is gunning for a more corporate market. Being so used to AudioBoo I find the iPadio interface a bit baffling, along with its weird insistance on making an actual telephone-call. For me this is where AudioBoo wins hands down, in that they're not reliant on telephone-call audio quality. Yes you can use iPadio on any phone, but with the introduction of PhoneBoo, you can now do the same with AudioBoo. In fairness, I must do more with this to give it a real test.

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