ViDICTO+ Mytrip: “Learn” a new language through pictures, voice, words, and phrases.

Available In: App Store       Price: $1.99  

ViDicto+ “Pronto? Buongiorno. Arrivederci!” This was a typical conversation between my wife and me during the weeks leading up to our honeymoon trip to Italy. Neither of us had any experience speaking Italian, so we downloaded a few podcasts and began practicing as much as we could. I also downloaded a free app that used Google’s translation dictionary to fill in during emergencies. What I really wish we had had was something more visual, something that could help us with pronunciation, and something that could be quicker and less cumbersome than a big dictionary. [Read more…]

Lexulous – Triple Word Score for Double Letter Price

Available In: App Store       Price: $3.99  

Lexulous I was late to the Facebook game, and although I do enjoy a good status update every now and then, I am definitely not a FB addict. One of the things I constantly hear from other friends who are self described addicts is how much time they spend playing games online. We’re not talking huge video games like Quake or Call of Duty, but rather simple ones like Boggle or Poker. One of the most popular games was Scrabulous, a Scrabble knockoff that got some interesting press a few months ago when Hasbro decided that they wanted to make some money on their game title. Well, the popular word game (now named Lexulous) has arrived to the iPhone in the form of a native app. [Read more…]

Sync in a Blink and Free your Exchange account from GoogleSync!

Available In: App Store       Price: $4.99  

Sync in a Blink I was on the bus to work when it occurred to me that I might be able to get my Exchange account back. You see, I have become very attached to Google calendar and more recently Google contacts. When GoogleSync was released, I was very excited to have the push capabilities of Calendar and Contacts. With ease, I set up and was able to push my calendar, along with my wife’s and our joint calendars. Although the initial sync of contacts was a bit frustrating (I relied on MS Outlook for a long time), I was pleased with the overall results. The one downside was the fact that GoogleSync used the Exchange Account, and the iPhone frustratingly only allows you to use one Exchange account. Thus, I was unable to link my work email to my iPhone and instead had to rely on a bookmark and a much more cumbersome web based interface. With the release of iPhone OS 3.0, CalDAV support was included, and after I read a bit more about this, the wheels started rolling. [Read more…]

CardSnap – Converts Photo to Contact Info

Available In: App Store       Price: $9.99  

CardSnap I’m not a huge business card user. In fact, I carry a few of them mostly so I can throw them into a fishbowl in order to win a free lunch at a restaurant. However, I can imagine how useful it would be to have an application that would take business cards and effortlessly import their information into your contacts list. CardSnap attempts to address this by using a proprietary method similar to OCR but not really (or so says the app’s description).

Upon opening (and waiting for) CardSnap, you are given the option to use the camera to snap a picture of the business card. You can also load photos from your camera roll or from your photo library. However, since the main selling point is to use this application in real time, I wanted to focus on the camera option. After taking a picture, you can move and scale your picture before deciding to upload to the servers at CardSnap. Once you’re satisfied with your business card’s readability (this may take some time with the iPhone’s pitiful camera), you submit the card, and wait for a response. Other options in the application include a menu to review your submitted cards, an info screen that offers a user’s guide, and a settings screen that allows you to use groups with your contacts. [Read more…]

SlideRules – Puzzle Game

Available In: App Store       Price: $1.99  

SlideRules Growing up, I used to love those little number puzzles that you’d get in “goody-bags” where you would try to position little plastic number pieces in the correct order on a plastic square. When I received the application SlideRules by AntHill Games, I initially thought that this game would be similar to those nostalgic games. After playing with the app, I learned that SlideRules actually offered more than just a one time opportunity to have fun. [Read more…]

Touch Ski 3D – A 3D Skiing Experience

Available In: App Store       Price: $0.99  

Touch Ski 3D One of the reasons I bought a Wii was so that I could run, jump, ski, and hula hoop all in the comforts of my home. The Wii and corresponding Wii Fit have revolutionized the gaming industry, and I suspect that Apple has taken some notes and plan to do the same with portable gaming. Honestly, I didn’t expect to experience anything close to the same with my iPhone, but the folks at Naquatic, the makers of Touch Ski 3D, attempt to prove me wrong with their newly updated game.

When I initially received this game, it was version 1.0 and only had a few levels. Since then, a completely updated version has been released and includes a variety of options and games. A wide selection of game modes now exist including ski school (training mode), race, freestyle park, distance jump, slalom, tight slalom, and freestyle jump. Other options include choosing your ski color, adjusting the volume of effects and music (which by the way happens to be the most chill music of all the games I’ve ever played), and checking in on high scores both personal and online. [Read more…]

Sway – Swing and Sway Your Way Through This Game

Available In: App Store       Price: $4.99  

Sway I’ll admit to not being much of an avid gamer, even less so on the iPhone. However, I do appreciate it when a game takes advantage of unique controls. I bought a Wii because it was different, and I enjoy learning new ways to become more interactive with games as opposed to those that increasingly use more buttons or different combination of keypad controls. On the iPhone, the use of the touch screen has opened up another genre of gaming, and Sway attempts to “tap” into this area.

Just looking at the opening screen, which resembles a page out a comic book, I knew that this game was going to be special. You have a choice of characters that you will add to as the game progresses. There is a nice instructional video embedded in the game (not the usual link to a website) that the tutorial walks you through the process of swaying in the game. Essentially, you use your two thumbs as the hands of your character. By moving your thumb side to side or in a circular motion, your character will spin and upon release of your thumb, your character will let go and grab onto something only if you press again with your thumb. Once you’re ready to start your game, you can choose from multiple levels, many of which are initially locked, but open up as you gain more experience and complete additional levels. Each level contains a number of stars that you’re supposed to collect, a time goal, and occasionally a “save friend” goal, which ultimately unlocks new characters for you to choose from. [Read more…]

SlingPlayer Mobile – Watch and Control Your Home TV and DVR

Available In: App Store       Price: $29.99  

SlingPlayer Mobile As a former SlingPlayer user on my Windows Mobile Samsung i730 and i760, I was anxiously awaiting the release of the live television streaming application for the iPhone. For nearly a year now, I have been without the live feed of my Slingbox (recently upgraded to a SB Solo due to a change in cable service) on my mobile phone. There have been a few wedding receptions, baby showers, and dull meetings where I could have benefited from catching some live sports coverage on my iPhone. After months of rumors leading up to the eventual release in the App Store this past Wednesday, the moment has finally arrived. Thanks to Brooke and the folks at Sling Media, I got a chance to play with the pricey app on my iPhone. Now, let’s get this out there right away: SlingPlayer only works on WiFi. No 3G, no EDGE, only WiFi. You can read about why and why people are mad about this, but I’m going to hold SlingMedia free from blame for this, and instead, I’m only going to judge the application on its performance under these conditions. [Read more…]

Air Sharing Pro – File Storage Solution and Document Viewer

Available In: App Store       Price: $4.99  

Air Sharing Pro Upon browsing the App Store one day, I remember stumbling upon Air Sharing, a file storage solution and document viewer for the iPhone. Since it was being offered for free as a promotion, I downloaded it, but didn’t really explore the program until a few weeks later. Since that time, I have reviewed two other similar programs for AppleiPhoneSchool: iDownload and ReaddleDocs. What follows below is a pre-release review of Air Sharing Pro, the major update to the original Air Sharing application. While the application has a plethora of options and features, I will choose to focus on ones that are included in the update and ones that appealed directly to me. [Read more…]

Numerus – Scientific Calculator

Available In: App Store       Price: $1.99  

Numerus As a math and science teacher, I do a fair share of tutoring to make some additional income. I often carry my trusty TI-83 Plus (special edition blue, baby!) with me, but there have been several times when all I had was my iPhone. I will admit that the included iPhone calculator makes for a pretty decent substitute, and I get my scientific calculator functions when I rotate to landscape mode. However, there remained some functionality that was to be desired, and having a one-line display seems to remind me of the difference between a TI-30 and its bigger cousin, TI-83.

When sitting side to side with my TI-83 Plus, Numerus clearly has fewer buttons and no graphing capabilities. However, the app does pack in a decent number of buttons and their corresponding math functions. Numerus offers a multi-line display so you can see previous calculations right above your current calculation. All of the regular calculator functions along with those normally found on a standard scientific calculator are displayed on the iPhone screen in portrait mode. Different modes (degrees, radians, grad), along with a catalog of math functions exist. A “2nd” button allows you to choose other functions that don’t have a dedicated button, similar to what you would see on any commercial scientific calculator. [Read more…]

Nam’s Remote – Allround Remote Control

Available In: App Store       Price: $2.99  

Nam's RemoteOne of the first apps I downloaded was Apple’s very own Remote app, and though I don’t use it very much, I was definitely impressed with its ease of use and functionality. It was cool to be able to control my iTunes library on my home computer with my phone. With the success of the Remote app, I wondered what else I could control with my iPhone: my T.V, my lights, or my thermostat? With Nam’s Remote, I don’t get to do any of these things, but I do get access to a few interesting features.

Nam’s Remote was pretty easy to set up. You will need to download a separate application for the computer that you intend to control. After adjusting the settings on this app, you then need to establish a connection to your iPhone/iPod. This involves knowing the IP address, but the program helps you find it with ease. Once connected, you then have access to a wide range of functions ranging from using your iPhone as a trackpad (my personal favorite) to using it as a keyboard or controlling other programs on your computer such as PowerPoint and Windows Media Player. [Read more…]

Buzzword Frenzy – Think Catch Phrase

Available In: App Store       Price: $2.99  

Buzzword Frenzy Two of my favorite party games have always been Taboo and Catch Phrase. With the electronic version of Catch Phrase, it was easy to take a portable version of this easy to learn game. Car games were no longer needed as hours of time were suddenly filled. I must admit that during my early thoughts of “I could be an iPhone Apps developer”, I considered making a Catch Phrase type game. Well, the folks behind Buzzword Frenzy beat me to the punch.

There are three game options available: Hot Potato, Sprint!, and Time Trials. Hot Potato is most similar to Catch Phrase where the last player holding the iPod/iPhone when the buzzer sounds loses. Sprint! mode calls for each team to guess as many words as possible in a certain amount of time, while the Time Trial mode gives each team a specific amount of words, and the fastest time wins. A wide range of categories and several thousand words/phrases are available as well as an option to download additional word lists is available under the Extras menu. Also included are tips and stats links, though these all require an Internet connection. [Read more…]

X’s and O’s Football

Available In: App Store Price: $1.99

X’s and O’s Football I don’t play video games much, but when I do, I often go straight to the sports simulation games. Madden Football, NBA Live, Earl Weaver Baseball (OK, I’m dating myself now…) Thus, I was excited to give X’s and O’s Football a test drive after seeing some decent reviews in the app store.

The game is quite simple with no real options other than the main game. You are in control of a 5-player team that consists of a quarterback, a lineman, and three wide receivers. You can choose from 8 plays that show your receivers’ routes and then touch the screen to pass to your receiver. Tilt the iPhone/Touch to move the receiver after the catch and score as many touchdowns as you can.
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Ballsy – Breakout Style Game

Available In: App Store       Price: $1.99  

Ballsy I was never really good at Arkanoid. For some reason, versions of this game often are quick to be reproduced and released on portable gaming platforms. I’m sure I have a free version of this game on my iPhone somewhere. Fortunately for me, Ballsy (let’s get over the name fast, since I’ll be using it several times in this review, shall we?) offers a different type of game from Arkanoid that makes it more easily playable and potentially more enjoyable.

Ballsy is a simple breakout type game with the additional feature of allowing you to control the horizontal movement of the ball. Your goal is to collide your ball with the blocks and you can only break blocks with the current matching color. Special blocks can change your current color, but skull and crossbone blocks will ultimately lead to your doom. Options include changing the speed which will give you higher bonuses, tracking local and worldwide high scores, and the ability to resume saved games. [Read more…]

ListOmni – Create and Edit Lists

Available In: App Store       Price: $6.99  

ListOmni If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ve come to know me as a person who’s very interested in being organized and a big believer in Getting Things Done. As mentioned in my recent review of Organizer, I’m a pretty Type A type of guy. Lots of usage with Outlook, GCal, Toodledo, etc. So, I was excited to give ListOmni a test run to see if it would be able to earn a coveted spot in my organization regimen.

Listomni is a detailed application that allows you to create and edit numerous lists. The built-in lists include a grocery list, a to do list, a gifts list, but the program has several other lists to keep track of books, movies, cards, and more. You can create lists of your own using a generic list template, and options include backing up lists, sorting through lists, and creating budgets for lists that would benefit from such an ability.
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