The iPhone gave us the ability to have our music and our phone in one convenient location: our pocket. No longer did we have to juggle a cell phone and an iPod, it was all in one unit. But what about that Music app, huh? Not so great. It’s one of the weak links in the iOS ecosystem, if only because it’s just so clunky and awkward to use. If only there was a cool app that could take Music’s place. If only …
Let me introduce you to Beat Music Player. First off, it’s just a buck, so it’s not pricey. Second, it’s beautiful — and I don’t say that lightly. The app not only has a great collection of clean and simple fonts, but every song plays against a spectacular etherial background. Oh, and there’s the cool touch interface, too.
But let me back up a minute so I can give Beat its due. Let’s say that you want to listen to an album on your iPhone, but you’re driving so you don’t want to have to check it all the time to switch tracks. Open up Beat Music Player, start the album and let the car ride begin. When you want to skip tracks, albums, playlists or any number of different tasks, just swipe the phone with your thumb to navigate through the various elements. And if you have your iPhone propped up on the dash, you can pick between a number of pretty backgrounds that won’t distract you like album art might, but still provide a nice look. It’s safer, better looking and easier to use than the stock Music app. That’s good enough for me.
Get It Now!
We do a lot of weekly sponsorships here, but there’s something you should probably know. We don’t just do these reviews for everyone who wants one; we hand pick every one to make sure it fits our standards. That’s why you should know that we picked Beat Music Player because it serves a function: play music on your iPhone, but do it better, cleaner and prettier than the stock app. Not only does it do it well, but so much so that it became my new primary music app.
If there’s higher praise than that, I can’t think of what it could be. There’s no better way for you to spend a buck.
Somewhere along the iOS path, Apple introduced its panorama feature, whereby you could use your iPhone’s camera to take panoramic images just by holding it steady and sliding it to the right. Neat, right? So why would you need another app that does the same thing and even has the name Panorama? Well it turns out that Apple doesn’t have everything figured out with the panorama situation, and the team at Wondershare has a few ideas to improve on the stale premise.
You start off with an open shutter and a camera view, just like you’d have with your regular camera app. But this time, you start by picking out a filter to use for your photo, just like you would on Instagram or similar apps. Next, you take your pic. Now you think that’d be it, but you can also add a second filter on top of the first, giving you even more options to choose from.
Soak that in for a sec. That means that you’ve got dozens of options for your shots. No two panoramic images will look the same. How cool is that?
Plus, there are other great features as well. Edit photos, send them wirelessly to friends or just share them with your friends to any of the dozen or so social networks you can connect to the app. Not too shabby, right?
Go Get It!
Panorama is available right now for just $0.99, a price that’s well worth it. If you’re looking for other camera apps, the Wondershare team also has a ton of other cool options, including PowerCam which has tons of live effects including color splash, tilt-shift and more. They also have PowerSketch, an easy-to-use sketching application. But don’t just take our word for it, go out and get it now!
Ever played Super Mario Galaxy before? There’s this one level where you have to blow up this giant rock-like thing and to do so, you have to use these ghosts that also act as bombs. To catch the ghosts, you spin the controller to whirl them into a sling, and then you swing the ghost into the rock thing. Do it enough times and you win the level.
I bring that up because our Weekly Sponsor, Robi: Cosmic Savior, uses a similar mechanic. You play as Robi, a little guy whose planet is in trouble. See, there was this big brouhaha out in space that caused all of the meteors to go our of whack. Next thing Robi knew, they’re flying towards his planet, and he’s the only one with a way to stop them.
To do that, Robi has a little assistant robot deal that he can control. With each meteor that comes onto the screen, he can send off that assistant to mine the meteor for minerals, spin it into orbit (to protect the planet from other meteors) or just fling it off away from you. And that’s how this all relates to the aforementioned Super Mario Galaxy.
This is another one of those simple and fun games that I love to play. It’s free, it utilizes the touch mechanic in a simple and clear way, plus it’s easy to pick up and put down. To me, that’s pretty much everything that a game needs to be, and Robi: Cosmic Savior has all that and more.
Go Get It!
So here’s the pitch: Robi: Cosmic Savior is a fun, frenetic game that uses the iPhone (and iPad, this is a Universal App) to its core strengths. The question becomes, should you get it? For me, the answer is pretty clear. Why wouldn’t you?
It seems like games on iOS are a dime a dozen these days. It’s hard to find anything different that stands out in the category, particularly when we’re flooded by Angry Birds clones and anything else that will make a cheap buck. But what we don’t have a ton of are multiplayer games set in a sci-fi universe, complete with real-time strategy components. And that brings me to this week’s sponsor, Space Settlers.
The premise isn’t simple. It has to do with man’s fascination with the “God Particle,” Hawking and time travel. But that’s OK, you’ll figure it out as you go. The basic gist is similar to other battlefield games, in that you play with a semi top-down view of the playing field, and you have to navigate your troops to their appropriate positions. Your soldiers are various mecha and other vehicles, and there are lots of different options with more than 100 accessories to choose from. Basically, there’s no way you’re going to run out of ways to play this game, because there’s a ton to do, and it’s all right there on your iPhone (or iPad, naturally).
Go Get It!
Space Settlers is free, and it’s a pretty addicting game, so get ready to settle in for a few long afternoons of fun. If you want to advance the game faster, there are in-app purchases of Dark Energy that you can buy, but it’s purely optional so don’t let that turn you off in any way. This is one of the good games that breaks the cookie cutter mold and sets out to create its mark on the genre. Support it today!
Our weekly sponsor this week is MovieShare, the easiest way to share movies between your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.
Ever shoot a movie on your iPhone and then want to send it to your iPad? Maybe your Mac? You’d think that there was some way to do it with Photo Stream or iCloud, but there isn’t. The only way you can move your movies from one device to another is to either send it via email, iMessage or just put it up to YouTube, and none of those options are really that awesome. What if there was an easier way?
You know there is,that’s why we’re here to talk about MovieShare, right? So here’s the skinny. Take any video on your iPhone, then put it into MovieShare, which is as easy as tapping the screen a few times. Download and install MovieShare on your Mac or iPad, and you can then send your flicks to whatever machine you like, the only requirement is that you need to have all of the devices on the same Wi-Fi network. Move from your Mac to iPhone, then to the iPad, then to and iPod touch — it doesn’t matter what iOS device it is, the process is just a few taps away.
I personally tried this out on my iPad, Mac and iPhone, using a few home movies that I had taken of my son. Of course, sending them back and forth between each machine was really quick and easy to do. The entire process took just a few minutes, and now my movies are on my Mac where I want them, no muss, no fuss.
Go Get It!
Want to make transferring movies between your devices super easy? Go get MovieShare right now — it’s free, so you’ve got no excuse not to. Unless you want to make moving your movies a difficult process, and who wants that, right?
Our featured sponsor this week is Mighty Deals, an awesome site that offers amazing and exclusive deals for web professionals!
Mighty Deals is a great place for any, and every, web professional to frequent – offering a wide range of deals perfectly suited to designers and developers! The deals range from Apps, to WordPress Themes, to Vector Icons, to eBooks – head over to the site to check them out.
Grab a 15% discount off any deal using the coupon: envato
Here are three current deals to whet your appetite…
- The Mac Photo Bundle – 3 Apps for only $20! – Take advantage of this Photo-Packed Mighty Deal Bundle consisting of three fantastic photo applications for the Mac: Snapheal, FX Photo Studio Pro, and ColorStrokes.
- The Web Designer’s eBook Bundle – only $6! – You’ve heard the buzz words: Responsive design; HTML5; social media. They’re all hot industry terms, but it’s tough to keep up with the technology they’re tied to. You can bounce around the Internet, reading an article here or a blog post there, or you can read some truly helpful eBooks and keep your coding cutting edge. This Mighty Deal eBook bundle features three helpful books for young web designers and developers: Responsive Web Design, Learn HTML 5, and Web Design Trends.
- Ultimate Web Designer’s Bundle – only $39! (reg. $202) – Resources are a web designer’s best friend. From icons to wireframes to UI sets, having pre-built pieces of a website can truly save time and effort. With this Ultimate Web Designer Bundle from Vandelay Premier, you’ll get everything you need to create the coolest-looking website around! The bundle is packed with UI sets, icons and wireframe elements.
Our featured sponsor this week is Stitcher Smart Radio, an awesome way to hear your favourite shows on the go!
Listen to your favorite news, comedy, sports, talk and storytelling radio shows from within a single app. Get the latest shows from NPR, CNN, Fox, BBC, Carolla, SModcast, Joe Rogan, Maddow, Rush, Fresh Air, Freakonomics, Radiolab, The Moth, and more. You can even choose from more than 5,000 on demand podcasts and listen to live local AM/FM stations.
The key feature of Stitcher is the ability to “Stitch” together your favorite shows to create your own customized stations in My Stations. Although Stitcher can also automatically create a station for you based on a show you like. It’s a great way to discover new shows that are right up your street, listen on demand, stream live radio, and stay up-to-date with the breaking news. Stitcher also makes it effortlessly easy to share what you’re listening to with friends via Facebook, Twitter or email.
Go Grab It!
Stitcher Smart Radio is available now in the App Store for absolutely nothing! If you’re smart you’d at least go and have a look, it might be the best decision you make today…