Dangerously addictive but deceptively simple, Angry Birds lets you employ cartoonbirds as weaponized projectiles in an escalating war against a posse of egg-stealinggreen pigs. (Dont ask.) Revenge relies on vectors and basic principles of physics, but thegist is to use a slingshot to angle an angry bird at the smug little pigs. The realchallenge? Putting your phone down once youve started.
The thought of a zombie attack is enough to keep any sensible person up at night. Butyou know whats even scarier? Watching waves of zombies trampling your nicelymanicured lawn. That national (or at least gardeners) nightmare is realized in Plants vs.Zombies, a perennial best-seller. Game rules? The zombies advance, you bombard themwith any number of flora, including ears of corn and frozen watermelons. Thats justcommon sense, right?
Hasbros iPhone app version of Scrabble might be evenbetter than Grandpas board version. You can matchwits against the computer, against onlineopponents, or against your friends via Facebook.Scrabble pros can have up to 50 games going atonce, while newbies will appreciate the gameslearning tools, including a teacher mode and a cheateroption, which allows the computer to choose thehighest-score word for you.
Kayak, the popular meta-search website, hascreated an app that makes it easy to search forhotels, flights and car rentals even while youreaway from your desk. Budding road warriorswill appreciate the airport informationsection, price alerts and fee table, while beancounters will appreciate that the app comes ina free, regular version. High flyers wanting tobook first- or business-class tickets will needthe Pro version, however, priced at $1.99.
Stuck in a new city without a clue as to whereto eat? No worries. Just fire up your handy Yelpapp, which locates all the nearby eateries, thenbrowse by proximity, neighborhood, price, orwhats open now. You also get easy access toYelps burgeoning collection of customerreviews, so you can avoid any clunkers. Nothungry? The app lets you find a whole host ofother on-the-road necessities, such asbars, banks, drugstores, and gas stations.
Word Lens is a real-time translation app thatyou have to see to believe. The app usesaugmented-reality technology to translatereal-word objects in real-time. Menu inSpanish? No problem — point the app at it andwatch the words transform. The quality of thetranslations can sometimes be spotty, butWord Lens is an exciting look at technology tocome. The app is free; language packs arelimited currently and available for $9.99.
The perfect shopping companion, AmazonsiPhone app lets users connect to their Amazonaccount with the tap of a finger. Fill yourshopping cart or track the status of recentlyplaced orders, or search the full selection ofproducts available from Amazon.com. The appalso lets you scan any barcode to search forcomparison prices, or snap photos of a product(like those to-die-for shoes worn by the personnext to you) and quickly find it on the web.
Making a stop at the grocery store on your wayhome? Pull up Epicurious, type in theingredients you know you have at home, andthen let the app do the rest. A virtualcookbook, Epicurious helps you plan smallmeals or family dinners on the go. One of thebest features is the ability to see whatpercentage of people who made a recipewould do so again, so you can be sure thatyour chosen menu is worth the effort.
Time for a cocktail? Mixology lets you inputwhat alcohols and mixers you have onhand, and then offers up possible libations thatcan be created from them. Budding mixologistswill appreciate the glossary of terms, tips onhow to stock your bar, and — our favorite — asearch function to help you find the closestliquor store or bar (if you decide to leave thedrink-making to a pro).
Though the U.S. still cant partake in the magicthat is Spotify, Mog is a quite-capable imitator.With a free app and a $9.99/monthsubscription, Mog gives you access to amassive music library that exists in the cloud.Connect via WiFi or 3G to stream on the fly, ordownload tracks in advance to save for thosedays when youre off the grid. iPhone 4 usersalso get the benefit of backgroundstreaming, which keeps the tunes going whileyou fiddle around in other apps.
Pandora was a great service on yourcomputer, but its even better on your phone.Having the free app means that you candiscover new music on your morningcommute, at the gym, or wherever youhappen to be. If you already have anaccount, you can sign in and easily access anyof the channels you created on the web. Anddont worry if you created an awesomechannel on your phone — it will all transferback to your account so you can access it onyour computer.
If the iPhones standard camera is like a digitalpoint-and-shoot, the Camera+ app is like ahigh-quality SLR lens. Developed by aprofessional photographer, Camera+ includes aburst mode for action shots, an imagestabilizer and even a timer for self-portraits.But the real fun begins after you trip theshutter. The app lets you manipulate yourphotos with crops, borders, color tints andretro effects. For the iPhone user serious abouttaking beautiful photos, its $1.99 well spent.
The Netflix app for iPhone comes on the heelsof its iPad app, which was a monster hit.Subscribing to any of the monthly Netflixpackages, which start at $7.99, gives iPhoneusers access to Netflixs instant streamingqueue anywhere, even on a 3G connection(though a wi-fi connection provides a betterexperience). Its an ideal app for commuters orparents who want to keep their kidsentertained on the go. One gripe: Customerscant update their DVD-by-mail queue withinthe app, a surprising omission. Lets hope thatfeature is part of the next update.
The app takes the already-popular website and puts it in usable, fast-moving mobileform. Every film tidbit youd ever want to know is on IMDb, including cast lists, plotsummaries and critical reviews. Its a one-stop shop for film buffs and triviahounds, who can also search for showtimes nearby and even shop for DVDs throughAmazon. You can even watch trailers for upcoming or just-released films, should youtire of reading.
With an almost inexhaustible selection ofsports scores and leagues to follow in realtime, ESPNs free ScoreCenter app sweetensthe deal by throwing in breaking news updatesand letting you customize the app to featureyour favourite teams and sports. ESPNsvenerable news ticker scrolls across thebottom of the screen just for goodmeasure, too.
Really, do we need to explain Facebook to you?Just know that the companys iPhone appbrings all the things you love (or love to hate)about Facebook to your pocket, including thatconstantly updating list of your friendslinks, loves, lunches, locations and more.Chances are, your friends have already joinedthe 150 million Facebook users as of October2010 who used a smart phone to update theirstatus, so get with the program.
The big reveal about Twitter for the iPhone isthat tweeting pictures has never been simple.Just point, shoot and share your snapshot withyour entire flock of followers. As you mightexpect, all the other Twitter-ific things arepresent in the app, including the ability to DMpeople, @reply, post tweets, and followbreaking news.
Search is even more convenient with GooglesiPhone app, which puts the web (and all ofyour favorite Google products, likeGmail, Maps, Docs, and News) at yourfingertips. The app also employs voicerecognition, letting users simply announcewhat theyre searching for. Bonus item: one ofGoogles most interesting features, GoogleGoogles, has finally made it to theiPhone, allowing you to use pictures to searchthe web for landmarks, products and more.
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