Linden's iPod App Reviews

Brief iPhone/iPod Touch App reviews from an iPod Touch (2G) user, mostly made using the Tumblrette app. Here's my quick bio; if you'd like to get to know me better, check out my main blog's About Me page.
Tue Jan 13

YearView and Date Calc Free

YearView

Cost: Free
Internet connection required? No

Date Calc Free

Cost: Free (Date Calc is available for $1)
Internet connection required? No

YearView is as simple as its name: A pocket year-at-a-glance calendar with no settings and no way to quickly scroll through the years. It does magnify using the pinch function, and you can view it in landscape mode, but that’s it. I might not deleted this app if I could use a scroll wheel to view other years, but progressing one year at a time? Really?!

I’d just as soon use Date Calc Free instead. It has more than one function (always a plus in my book), and does provide a scroll wheel for quickly jumping to a date 50 years in the past. Plus, Date Calc Free also tells you how many days and how many business days are between any two days. How long until your birthday? How many days until Christmas? How many business days between now and your project’s due date? Date Calc quickly figures all these things for you, and the controls are easy to figure out.

If you don’t like one-purpose apps, don’t get this YearView.

YearView: Thumbs down.

Date Calc Free: Thumbs up!

BigStopWatch

Cost: Free
Internet connection required? No

It’s no more than a stopwatch, but I love the design: Good font choice (is it Trebuchet MS? One of my favorites!) and nice layout (I love the off-centered design).

If you need the pressure of a ticking clock to help you work (like me) or just like watching time pass, BigStopWatch is for you.

Sun Jan 11

Free Metronome Apps

Metronome
Metronome - reloaded
Metronome-iTick

Even though all three of these apps are free and require no internet connection, there is a clear front-runner in my book: iTick.

According to both of the other apps’ info pages, they took an Apple-made demo metronome app, modified it slightly, and released it as an app. They keep time and look similar to a traditional metronome. They are simple, one-use apps, and they are simple to use. Enough said.

iTick, on the other hand, offers more time signatures and several different sounds to choose from. It also assigns the first beat a different tone so that it stands out, and you can adjust the volume (mute to full) while always getting a visual signal of the beat. Again, nothing more than a metronome, but more features at the same price point as the other apps.

While iTick meets my metronome needs for the time, I will definitely buy the $2 Metronome (by A Small Orange), which also boasts a tuner and various beats (quarter note, sixteenth note), when it fits in my budget.

Sat Jan 10

Just Discovered: Web Apps

While trying to figure out what to do about a dead pixel, the Google let me to a forum thread on that topic, on which a user posted a link to a web app that promised to fix the problem (it didn’t for me). What did work for me was the idea of Apple-sponsored Web Apps.

From what I can tell, all the web apps are free and and it seems that there are many that overlap with paid apps in the App Store. Simply bookmark it on your iPod or create a Web Clip and whenever you have Internet access, you have access to the Web App. Nice find!

WordBook is on sale!

After reading Ben Boychuk’s review of WordBook (I had bookmarked it before I got my iPod and just remembered it today), I decided to look WordBook English Dictionary & Thesaurus up in the App Store. Since it is an $8 app, I figured I would have to wait a while before it was in my exceedingly small app budge, but to my surprise I found it on sale: only $2! I quickly bought it, and I thought you all might like to know as well.

I’ll let you know if I agree with Boychuk or not in a couple weeks.

Dots

Cost: Free (Dots Premium available for $1)
Internet connection required? No

I tried both Dots and Carrie’s Dots and I definitely prefer Dots. The design is better and Dots displays the score at the bottom of the screen. There are three play options: you versus the computer, you versus a human, and computer versus computer (the app store info claims this is for when you’re really bored). Plus, you can choose to turn on sound, allow an extra move after completing a box (“move again”), and the size of the grid you play on.

No more waiting for half the sermon for Dad to draw the dot grid so we can play!

Fri Jan 9

ShapeWriter Free

Cost: Free (ShapeWriter Pro available for $10)
Internet connection required? No

This is a must-have. WritingPad provides a completely new method of iPhone text entry: Instead of typing letters, you slide your fingers over the keyboard, touching the letters in the word you are trying to type. ShapeWriter recognizes the word you want, but also displays several alternatives to tap if it didn’t choose the right word originally.

I already like it enough that I wish all text input was via the finger-sliding method.

Thu Jan 8

About the Author

LindenHi, my name is Linden A. Mueller. I’m currently teaching English language courses at a German university, but on the side I’m a blogger, amateur photographer, and technology-lover.

I had to wait longer than I wanted to get my hands on my own iPod Touch (really wanted an iPhone!), so now that I’ve got one, I’m really enjoying figuring out all that it can do. This blog is a place for all my musings and thoughts about the iPod and the apps.