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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SongMix

Song Mix is a song trivia game for the iPhone. When playing SongMix you choose a genre of music you like and the app plays you short snippets of popular songs from that genre. You need to recognize the song and choose the artist out of 4 options that the game shows you.
The faster you answer the more points you get.
When your time is up the app shows you your final score and a list of all the songs that were played (you can purchase them from there if you want).

SongMix is also integrated with Game Center so you can compare your scores with your friends, and you can link your Facebook and Twitter accounts to show off your scores and achievements (if you want).

The game is free and there is an in-app purchase of $0.99 which opens up the "pro" version. The pro version offers additional game modes and some more music genres to choose from.

The free version lets you play Time-Attack mode which gives you 3 minutes to try to guess as many songs as you can (Time-Attack was good enough for me). Unlocking pro gives you the Arcade mode and Song Attack (where you try to guess as many songs out of 20).





Here's a short video showing the game in action:

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Magisto

Magisto turns your iPhone into a smart video camera. What it does is take a bunch of videos that you shoot on your iphone, analyze them to "understand" their content, and then edit them down into one short video that looks like it was edited professionally.

Magisto is very easy to use and the results are surprisingly good. All you do is select what videos you want to include, choose a soundtrack (they offer a wide range of songs that you can use or choose any song from your iPod), and let Magisto do its magic.
After a few minutes of working in the background the app notifies you that your masterpiece is ready. That simple.

The results are quite good, the app detects when people are talking so it lowers the volume of the background music, in segments where the sound is irrelevant it plays the background music even louder, it adds video stabilization, filters, special effects, transitions etc...
It also has face recognition that detects the important people in your videos so you can tag them.

Once your movie is ready you can upload it to YouTube or share it on Facebook and Twitter.

Here's a short video that explains how Magisto works:

Oh yea, and it's free.






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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hundred PushUps

100 pushups is an iphone app that helps you train so that you can do 100 consecutive good-form pushups.
When using Hundred PushUps the app takes you through a 6 week program and tells you how to train until you reach the goal of doing 100 consecutive pushups.
Doing 100 pushups may sound like unreasonable goal but the program is actually not as hard as you may think. You train every other day, for about 10 minutes each time. The app reminds you to train, and when you launch it, it tells you how many pushup and intervals you need to do for that session.
During every training session the app tells you how many pushups to do in a set, when you complete a set the app tells you to rest for a certain amount of time, and then tells you how many pushups to do in the next set.
If you are having difficulty you can decrease the repetitions or rest more, the app tracks that and proceeds accordingly.

The app tracks your progress, gives you tips as you progress, and even lets you share how you are doing on social networks for some extra motivation from your friends.

I completed the program and managed to do over 100 consecutive pushups, using this app. I must admit that it took me a bit more than 6 weeks since I was having some difficulties during the 5th week, but managed to complete it a couple weeks after that.





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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Everyday

Everyday lets you create a timelapse video of yourself (or anything actually) by taking a photo everyday and then generating a movie out of all those pictures.

The concept of timelapse videos is not new, but this app makes it MUCH easier than before thanks to a couple cool features. If you've ever tried to create a daily photo time lapse video the two biggest problems are: how do you align the photo to be exactly the same as the day before, and remembering to do it every day.

Everyday solves both those problems. Whenever you take a picture for your video using Everyday, the app shows you an overlay of yesterday's picture so you can easily line up the shot to match exactly. Let's see you do that with a regular camera.
In addition, the app gives you daily reminders to shoot a photo so that you don't forget.

Once you've taken enough shots you can then generate a video and share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr.

The app is intended for taking a photo a day of yourself but you can use it for observing changes in lots of things, like a flower growing, a piece of fruit rotting, or anything else that changes in time.






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Friday, January 27, 2012

Shoebox

Shoebox is the fastest way to scan old photos (your remember, the kind we used to print on actual paper) and share them with friends and family.

The way Shoebox works is that you take a picture of the old photo using your iPhone's camera, the app then has a cropping tool that auto-detects the edges and can flatten crooked photos. You can then tag people, give the photo a caption, a date, and a location, and save your photo.

Your photos can then be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and on 1000memories.com, in addition to obviously being saved on your iPhone too.

In their latest version, that just came out, there is a cool new addition: Shoebox now integrates with Facebook Timeline and lets you add photos to the past.
So you can now easily add all those old photos you have laying around in shoeboxes (see what I did there?) to your Facebook Timeline and fill-up your past.

The app is relatively new so there still are some things I would like to see improved, but the basics work (and the app is free so you can't really complain).


The edge detection and crop feature:




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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Orbital

Orbital is a puzzle game for the iPhone.
It's one of those games that you can play a game or two whenever you have a few spare minutes and just see if you can break your record. It's very easy to pick up and is pretty addictive.

Orbital's gameplay is simple: you shoot orbs using a cannon. The orb flies through the sky and once it stops it expands as much as it can till it touches either a wall or another orb on the board. Each orb contains the number ‘3’, which decreases by one every time it is hit. After 3 hits they explode and you earn a point.

The one thing you aren't allowed to do is have an orb touch the "death line" at the bottom of the screen. If an orb you shoots crosses that line you're dead and the game is over. (If that sounds complicated it's totally not, just look at the game for 5 seconds and you get the hang of it)

The look and feel of Orbital is great, it really looks cool and the robotic sounds are great.
It also has a cool multiplayer mode where two players can play on the same iphone (both people shoot orbs at the same board) but I usually find myself playing it for a couple minutes at a time when I have some time to burn.





Check out my record here: :)

Here's a video of the game in action:


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Instant Heart Rate

Every once in a while I run across an app that totally surprises me. When I first heard of this app my first thought was: "no way, it must be a gag app".
But when I tried Instant Heart Rate by Azumio for the first time I was totally amazed that it actually worked, and it was pretty accurate.

It's the kind of app you want to have on your iPhone, even if just for showing off to your friends.

As you can tell by the name, what this app does is read your heart rate. In order to measure your heart rate with this app you need to put your finger over the iPhone's camera. Instant heart rate turns on the camera's flash and measures your pulse by measuring the light that gets through your fingertip. This technique is apparently used by medical pulse oximeters.

It's useful to have handy in case you want to measure your pulse and obviously as a fun application to show your friends.

Pretty cool use of the iPhone, you must admit.






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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Onavo

Limited data plans on your mobile phone suck but for some reason they are getting more and more popular. So what can you do (aside from paying more money to increase your dataplan)?
Onavo comes to the rescue to help anybody who has limited data on their phone and wants to get the most out of it.

The way Onavo works is quite genius actually: once you install the app you launch it once and click "Start Saving". From that moment on (until you decide you want to turn it off) Onavo routes all the traffic from your phone and compresses it, therefore saving your data plan's precious megabytes.

So, for example, lets say you want to view a photo that a friend emailed your (or uploaded to Facebook), instead of downloading the full high quality version of that photo to your phone, and gobbling up a large amount of data from your plan, Onavo compresses that photo and sends your phone a lower quality version of it.
The photo will still look pretty good (you can play around with the settings if you want the app to compress more or less, but the default settings are good enough).

What is happening is that all the information that is supposed to be downloaded to your phone first goes through Onavo's "magical shrinking machine". And the cool thing is that you continue to use your phone regularly, everything happens seamlessly in the background.
According to Onavo you can double and even triple your data plan just by having the app run in the background.

The app was originally intended for users who are travelling and have very limited access to a data plan but it can help anybody who doesn't have an unlimited plan.

Onavo is available for both Android and for iPhone/iPad and is currently free.




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Monday, January 23, 2012

Kinotopic

Kinotopic lets you create Kinos.
What are Kinos you ask? (I had no idea too)
Kinos, also known as cinemagraphs, are still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs.
So they are basically photos that are entirely still except they have one element in them that is animated and moves repeatedly.
If done right, Kinos can look really cool.

Kinotopic is probably the easiest way to create these cinemagraphs. All you do is shoot a short video, then choose one frame from that video that you want to use as your anchor image (the still image), and select an area from the video that you want to remain animated in the final result.

Here are a few Kinos that were created by users using Kinotopic:





These are relatively low quality images, the quality of the final results that you get when using the app is much better.


It does take a few tries till you get the hang of it and understand what works in order to get good results, but the process is very straightforward and simple.

The app also has a stream where you can see what other people are creating using the app and share your photos if you want. The stream is a good place to get ideas for what you can do with Kinos and then come up with your own.

After you've created your own cinemagraph you can either save it to your camera roll or share it on a bunch of social networks (Kinotopic supports sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr).


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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Klik

Ok, imagine this: you walk into a room, pull out your iPhone, point it at somebody, and the iPhone shows you an augmented reality overlay of that person's name and their Facebook profile. Pretty amazing, ah?

That may sound like it's straight out of Terminator (well, in Terminator he didn't have Facebook but he did walk into a bar and get onscreen information about the people there) but it's not. In fact it's already available in the app store. AND it's free.

KLIK by Face.com does exactly that. If you're not familiar with Face.com, they are experts in Face recognition. Their technology know how to "look" at a picture of somebody, even if it's a crappy picture (bad lighting, don't see the entire face etc...) and recognize who that person is.

Their new app, Klik, came out 2 days ago and is very simple: open the app, point the camera at friend, and watch as your friends' names instantly appear next to their faces. You can then automatically tag your friends in the photo and upload to Facebook if you want.

Think of it as the easiest way to tag people in photos.
And since you're already tagging people in photos, Klik also lets you checkin with that person to a location near you, and add cool filters to the photo you are uploading.

The funnest part about Klik is just pointing your iPhone at somebody and seeing their name float above their face, always really cool to see it actually work.






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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fish Fury

We've all seen birds that are angry, now it's time for fish to let out some rage.
In Fish Fury you are a mighty piranha fish who likes to eat birds.
Your simple goal in this game is to not let the birds get from the left side to the screen to the right. You stop them by jumping up in the air, biting the flying birds, and then when they fall shocked into the water, you need to gobble them up before they manage to escape and fly away.

If you manage to hold on long enough you earn "Fish Fury" which are different power ups that help you slay those poor birds. The fish fury is really fun to use as you soar through the air just slashing away at flying birds (the default fish fury is a samurai sword, you can upgrade to a chainsaw, a school of small piranha fish that help you, fire fury, or electric fury).

As you eat more birds you can earn more coins which can then be used to open up new worlds and to get upgrades to your fury.

The graphics and sound of Fish Fury are solid and the gameplay is fun and concise, a great fit for a mobile game.
Fish Fury is currently free and you can purchase additional coins in the game using in-app, in order to progress faster.


See the sword fury in action here:



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