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iPhone App of the Week

Google Chrome for iPad and iPhone review

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Google Chrome for iPad

It’s been a long wait for a valid alternative to Safari on the iPad and iPhone, but one finally arrived this week, and it’s a big one: Google Chrome. Now, before you get too excited, Google hasn’t been able to bring the full Chrome experience to iOS, for reasons we’ll go into later, but much of what has made Chrome so popular on the desktop is in place. Google’s approach is to create a unified experience across all devices, from your PC right down to your iPhone. (more…)

Apple Podcasts app for iPhone review

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Apple Podcasts for iOS

You may have missed it earlier this week, but without fanfare Apple has pushed out a new Podcasts app. You can find at the top of the App Store, as well as in the Podcasts section of iTunes.

There’s no doubt that the cluttered, frustrating podcast interface of the existing iTunes app reflects a time when podcasts weren’t such a big industry as they are today. A redesign has long been needed, and rather than doing that within iTunes – where the same old podcast section remains in place – Apple has opted to produce a standalone podcast app for those who want it. (more…)

Smartr Contacts for iPhone review

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Smartr contacts We have mixed feelings about the Outlook plugin Xobni here at PC Pro Towers. On the one hand, we love the way it scrapes through your inbox, extracting useful contact details and other data that was previously buried under a thousand messages.

On the other, we despise how it makes Outlook feel as if it’s running on a virtual machine hosted on a Commodore 64, forcing most of the team to reluctantly uninstall it.

However, I’ve taken rather a shine to the company’s new iPhone app, Smartr Contacts. I should explain that the last time I actually saved someone’s contact details into Outlook was circa 1997. I’m appalling at maintaining a contacts book, normally relying on finding the relevant details by searching through my enormously bloated inbox.

(more…)

iPhone App of the Week: CM Legends 1980s

Friday, April 8th, 2011

CM Legends teamsAppalling crowd violence, pitches that would bog down a shire horse, and John Fashanu: there was a lot wrong with 1980s football. Yet, proper fans still look back at the era of terracing, Terry Gibson and tight shorts with little but fondness – and CM 1980s Legends delivers nostalgia by the physio’s bucketful.

The Championship Manager series has long been the poor relation of Sports Interactive’s Football Manager on the PC – but within the limited scope of the iPhone, CM still delivers an enjoyable commuter-sized romp. It wisely dispenses with the complexity of its PC brethren: there are no in-depth training routines, pan-European scouting missions, or pages of player stats to pore over. You largely pick your team (only two subs, remember), tweak your formation and do your best to persuade Newcastle to sell you a youthful Paul Gascoigne.

(more…)

iPhone App of the Week: Google Translate

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Photo Mar 11, 11 31 16The neck-saving qualities of Google Translate first became apparent to me on a recent holiday to Portugal. It was late at night, and my baby daughter had suddenly woken up with the kind of temperature that has parents reaching instinctively for the bottle of Calpol – the bottle that was carelessly left in our bathroom cabinet in Sussex. It soon became apparent that I was in for a tricky late-night conversation with a 24-hour Portuguese chemist.

My pidgin Portuguese extended little further than “please”, “thank you” and “go on then, one more pint”. Placing an order for a “suitable dosage of liquid paracetamol for a three-month-old baby” was, frankly, beyond me.

(more…)

iPhone App of the Week: myTtuner

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Photo Feb 08, 10 14 23When a duff song came on the radio in the halcyon days of analogue – a Status Quo number say, or anything mutliated by the vocal chords of the Scouse songstress Sonya – one was forced to twiddle an over-sized tuning dial and manually seek out audio salvation on an alternative station. As ever, the internet solves all, this time in the form of iPhone App of the Week, myTtuner (which we suspect is a play on the phrase “mighty tuner”).

MyTtuner scans hundreds of internet radio stations, detects which song is currently being played on each, and then offers up an enormous list of artists to take your pick from. At any one time, there are dozens to choose from, literally ranging from Abba to ZZ Top.

MyTtuner only lists songs that are about to be played or have just started, so although the song might be underway by the time you’ve made your selection from the alphabetically ordered jukebox, you’re still going to hear the vast majority of the song. The list of tracks on offer updates every minute to avoid the crushing disappointment of arriving for only the last few bars of Brothers In Arms.

(more…)

Word Lens review: the iPhone app that translates whatever you show it

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Only one word was uttered when we first saw the video (below) of the Word Lens app: wow.

But we’re cynical and wizened enough not to be taken in by a flashy demo video. Does this app actually manage on-the-fly, augmented reality translation? It only blooming does.

(more…)

iPhone App of the Week: CamScanner

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Photo Dec 10, 9 46 38Of all the iPhone’s ancillary functions – media player, games console, digital camera – few would readily turn to the device as a document scanner. Yet, that’s exactly what CamScanner turns Apple’s smartphone into, and a convincing job it does of it, too.

Let’s be clear right from the off: only the clinically insane would use their iPhone to scan in huge chunks of documents at a time. Instead, CamScanner is intended for making copies of the odd newspaper article for future reference, a passage or two from a book, a meeting room flip-chart or a business card.

The scanning function is rather cleverly implemented. Once you take a photo, four handlebars appear at the corner of your picture, allowing you to crop the image to the exact size of the article. It then boosts the contrast of the image to make the text easier to read, perhaps a little too harshly at times, although this can be corrected. (more…)

iPhone App of the Week: TuneIn Radio

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Photo Nov 23, 12 48 31As anyone who’s ever desperately tried to tune in to Radio Five for the football commentary will testify, the iPhone doesn’t do radio. Not only does it not have an FM tuner, but any attempts to tune in to live BBC streams via their respective websites pings you straight to the iPlayer: where’s there no live stream option.

Step forward TuneIn Radio, a simply magnificent little app that not only delivers the BBC channels over your 3G/Wi-Fi data connection, but pretty much any radio station on the planet (Padare Radio Zimbabwe, anyone?).

TuneIn Radio is far more than a digital tuner, although the fuss free manner in which it organises its list of channels should serve as a lesson to makers of internet radios everywhere. Not only does it list stations, but also the show and even the individual song that’s currently playing (providing the station coughs up the relevant data, which many of the big boys do).

(more…)

iPhone app of the week: Game Dev Story

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Yes, there are billions of Angry Birds lovers out there, and we’ve all wasted time on Cut The Rope. But what about a game for the less casual, um, casual gamer? What’s out there for the real geeks and gaming buffs of the iPhone world? Game Dev Story, that’s what.

Game Dev Story office

It’s as retro as they come. You’re the titular game developer, a fresh-blooded start-up at the perfect point in history: the birth of gaming on the personal computer. (more…)

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