David Appleyard, Joel Bankhead and I recently attended AppStorm’s first ever Macworld Expo (photos here). It was really great to not only meet some of our biggest long-time supporters but also make plenty of new connections with some incredibly talented people.
Today we’re going to take a look at a few of the products that stood out in the Macworld mobile showcase. There admittedly weren’t as many amazing apps as I would’ve like to have seen, but there were definitely a few that are worth mentioning. Let’s take a look.
Best of Show: Appetites for iPad
Our absolute favorite iOS app from Macworld was Appetites for iPad (coming to the App Store in February). Appetites is a beautifully designed recipe app much in the same vein as the excellent Jamie Oliver apps we’ve seen in the past.
However, Appetites takes the idea of a video-driven recipe app much further than Oliver’s apps. Each recipe has a step-by-step instructions from a popular food blogger. The neat part is that the videos are shot in first-person so that it really looks like you’re the one doing the cooking, which will supposedly aid in the learning process.
Instead of stopping at cooking video tutorials, the app takes the idea of rich media even further by incorporating friendly videos of each food blogger throughout the app. You start off by choosing one of six bloggers by tapping on their photo, after which you’ll be taken to a screen containing all of that chef’s recipes. After selecting a blogger’s photo, the image of the person comes alive in a similar fashion to photographs in a Harry Potter film. If you select a recipe, the blogger will tell you all about the recipe so you can decide whether or not to proceed onto the full tutorial.
The use of video content in this app is truly innovative and definitely sets a new standard for interactive content on the iPad. I fully expect this app to start a trend that changes the way we view and interact with videos in iOS.
When Appetites officially launches, we’ll have a review and some screenshots. In the mean time, head over to YouTube and check out a recording of the app from Notebooks.com.
City Maps 2Go is a universal iPhone/iPad app that allows you to download interactive Google-like maps onto your device for offline viewing. This is particularly great for iPads and iPod Touches where you are often left without an Internet connection when traveling.
City Maps 2Go has much of the same features you find in an online map application: bookmarks, GPS, points of interest and more. At Macworld, the developers were showing off a soon to be released update which replaces the current raster maps with vector maps. This will allow a much higher level of detail at a greatly reduced file size.
The app is a mere $0.99 and all of the 2,400 available city maps are free downloads. We took City Maps 2Go for a test-drive and found it to be much faster and cleaner than some of the rival apps in this category, which often suffer from ugly UI blemishes such as overlapping street names.
Remote Desktop apps tend to be on the high side of the App Store pricing scale. It’s not uncommon to see these apps at $20 or more, despite notoriously sluggish performance.
Enter Splashtop (available in both iPad and iPhone versions). At $1.99, not only is it about a tenth of the price of many competing apps, it also blows the competition away in speed and performance. The live demos we saw at Macworld showed Splashtop streaming video content (along with full audio) like a champ from a Mac to an iPad.
Splashtop works on both Macs and PCs, is easy to setup, contains lots of gestures and powerful input features, and allows you full control over your PC, just as if you were sitting in front of it.
The idea of creating a digital postcard on your iPhone has been around for years now. Unfortunately, most of the apps that sport this functionality are pretty ugly. Postage, on the other hand, contains attractive templates and a simple-to-use UI that makes it hard to go wrong with the design of your postcard.
After choosing one of the 75 available designs, you simply drop in your own images, customize the type and you’re ready to send the card out over email or Facebook.
The apps above represent those that I wasn’t particularly familiar with before the Expo. However, there were definitely plenty of developers present with apps that we’ve reviewed and loved right here on AppStorm.
Marketcircle was there showing off their amazing line of products, including Daylite for iPad and Billings Touch, Readdle had a booth with PDF Expert, ReaddleDocs and Calendars and Smile Software was there with Text Expander Touch.
There were also plenty of cool peripherals like the unbelievably tough FastMac Impact Shield and a whole line of batteries from HyperMac that extend the battery life of MacBooks, iPhones, iPads and iPods.
What Were Your Favorites?
Whether you went to Macworld 2011 or not, you’ve probably seen countless articles about it online. Was there anything there that you thought was interesting or innovative? Leave a comment below and let us know.