All Posts By Ben Harvell

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Ben Harvell

with the 148Apps Network since April 29, 2010

I'm a freelance journalist with over six years experience in print and online publishing. Formerly the editor of iCreate magazine, I write for a wide range of technology blogs and magazines. I love my iPhone and iPad and am very excited to be contributing to 148Apps.

Ben is not currently writing for the 148Apps Network.
Personal site :: http://www.benharvell.com

Did you know there was an app that looked and acted just like iBooks when Apple’s reader was still a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ spectacled eye? If not, you should definitely check out Classics by Andrew Kaz and Phill Ryu and also see our review. Once you’re done you’ll be interested to know that one of the app’s developers, Mr Kaz, has launched a new app for iPad… but don’t get too excited just yet.

Ruler is, by the developer’s own admission, not to be considered a follow-up to Classics but merely an app that fills a gap on the iPad – quite literally.

Offering the same dedication to presentation as Classics, Ruler is said to offer the highest quality “digital wood” and allows users to measure in inches or centimeters with their iPad screen. Measurements larger than the iPad screen are still possible with a scrolling display and marker combination and you can even copy the current measurement so it can be pasted into an email or note.

For $0.99 it looks like it could be a useful tool if you’re short of measuring equipment but have your iPad with you. Ruler isn’t going to change the world but it could well come in handy.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-06-03 :: Category: Utilities

We enjoyed Moe’s Notes for iPhone which offers some unique features for taking rich multimedia notes that include audio, video, images and GPS coordinates and it’s now available for iPad.

Moe’s Notepad makes the most of the iPad’s larger screen by using splitter bars to show different sections of the app that used to be spread across multiple screens. The updated UI allows users to customize the app’s display as they wish while retaining the same functionality.

Without a camera in the iPad (although the team behind Moe’s Notes believe one is coming) images are taken from the iPad’s Photo’s App with a number of editing options available within the app itself. Audio editing is also impressive with recording and trimming of audio as well as volume and speed settings available.

All media can be combined into an email and sent as attachments with more streamlined options coming in a future update that could include popular formats such as Evernote or GoogleDocs among others.

Users of Moe’s Notes for iPhone should certainly invest in this iPad reworking and those that need a decent note taking tool will be hard pressed to find a more feature-packed alternative.

Moe’s Notes is available now for $9.99

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-06-02 :: Category: Productivity

Beyond the unusual name, Mongoliad is an exciting new project that could play a part in changing the landscape for modern-day literature and the way it’s published. While everybody is busy talking about how the iPad could revolutionize the magazine market, this new serial novel collaboration is breaking new ground for both writers and consumers of traditional books.

Looking beyond the simple eBook reader mentality, Mongoliad harnesses the writing skills of Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and others who will all contribute to the developing narrative. While a traditional story exists, Mongoliad’s aim is to create a world of interactivity between writers, readers and other non-literary members who can contribute to and enhance the story.
Mongoliad is due for launch this year and will be available on the iPhone and iPad.

Demoing just a few of Mongoliad’s promised features, Jeremy Bornstein of Subutai told us: “We think that devices like this really change publishing in a pretty fundamental way. Not just moving books into eBooks but really allowing for a lot more creative possibilities for engaging audiences”.

Set in around 1241 with the Mongol hoards threatening to destroy Europe, the novel will pull from a number of sources to ensure authenticity and from what we’ve heard so far, this includes experts in sword fighting to provide a healthy dose of swashbuckling knowledge.

The ins and outs of Mongoliad are still sketchy right now but we’re excited to see how the project progresses and, with such big names on board, how many others attempt to produce their own “novel within an app within an online service”. Most will likely be waiting to see the kind of buzz Mongoliad generates before taking the plunge but, from what we’ve seen so far, it’ll only be a matter of time.

[ as seen at the SF App Show ]

It’s the age-old developer story. Guy makes game, guy sells rights to game licenses game, guy gets game back again and remakes it for the iPhone. Okay, we’ve never heard that story either but it is the story behind retro game Qwak that’s heading to an iPhone near you.

This cute, old school adventure game was originally made for the BBC (that’s a computer not a UK TV network) 22 years ago and was then re-launched on the Amiga by Team 17, the guys who made Worms, in 1993. Qwak has lain dormant for several years until its original creator, Jamie Woodhouse, decide to bring it back to life via the iPhone. Learning the iPhone SDK as he went, Jamie has now completed the iPhone version, which he hopes will be available on the App Store very soon.

Check out the video below and you’ll see how this labor of love could quickly become the next addictive iPhone smash.

Qwak … coming soon to your iPhone from Jamie Woodhouse on Vimeo.

Update: Jamie has contacted us to point out that Qwak was licensed to Team 17, not sold.

Okay, so David Hasselhoff‘s airtime these days is a mixture of him singing rock songs in German and eating burgers off the floor in a drunken stupor, but we all remember his heyday, don’t we? No, not Baywatch, the cult classic that was Knight Rider. In a nutshell, the show followed the crime fighting escapades of Michael Knight and his kick-ass futuristic car with a voice that sounded like that old guy from Boy Meets World. Sadly, the last we heard from KITT (the car) and Michael Knight was way back in 1986 when the series ended – until now.

For those who loved the quality soundtrack, cheesy dialogue and completely impractical stunts, Knight Rider has returned as an iPhone game, available now on the App Store. In a nice touch, the developer hasn’t tried to bring the game into the same technical field as the iPhone (which is probably more advanced than any gadget found in the show) opting instead for the retro pixel art feel of 80s coin-op titles. Most of the game is spent driving the car in a top down view and there are plenty of powerups available that hark back to the TV series, clips of which can also be unlocked as you play.

If you enjoyed Knight Rider growing up or simply love the glory days of kids TV you’ll likely get the same goose bumps we did as the intro sequence and title music plays when you launch this app.

$6.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-05-23 :: Category: Games

If you enjoyed the chilled out fun of having a virtual pond on your iPhone screen, just imagine what it’ll be like on the iPad. The app developers with possibly the best company name on the App Store, The Blimp Pilots, have brought their award winning Koi Pond app to the iPad as Koi Pond HD.

Designed to take advantage of the iPad’s larger display and faster processor, Koi Pond HD now includes higher resolution graphics, custom koi and improved sounds. A great new feature adds the ability to customize your pond with the Pond Editor and save multiple themes to switch between as you wish. The Blimp Pilots are currently running a contest where users can submit their pond designs for the chance to see them featured on the App Store (more details here).

We’re glad to see this popular app make a move to the big(ger) screen and look forward to chilling out with the HD version.

$1.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-05-21 :: Category: Entertainment

We hit the SF App Show earlier this week and, after enjoying our cocktails and appetizers, checked out a bunch of new and upcoming apps for the iPhone and iPad. Of particular note (pun intended) was PatternMusic which offers an interesting take on music creation by comparison to existing tools on the iPad.

PatternMusic’s unique control system allows multiple screens to be dragged into view from the sides of the display in order to control instrument parts that can be built up in layers to produce a song. The main screen allows you to fine tune your overall arrangement by positioning each instrument in the mix based on location (up and down sets the volume level and left and right determines pan). The app offers a variety of instrument voices as well as a range of effects settings and is designed to inspire creativity and experimentation so beginner users can develop their musical knowledge.

We were given a demo of the app that showed how easy it is to get started with PatternMusic as well as the possibilities to use advanced techniques to expand and enhance your songs. Collaboration isn’t currently an option with PatternMusic aimed more as a “solo activity” at present.

“PatternMusic is designed to allow people to create their own original music on an iPhone or iPad” said developer, Richard Lawler “What we wanted to do was to create an environment that was appropriate for a mobile context.”

The app is available on the App Store for free on the iPad and $1.99 on the iPhone and is proving popular already. PatternMusic is currently installed on 1% of iPads and an update is expected soon that will allow for exporting of tracks as WAV files for computer use. This, of course, opens opportunities for music makers to create songs and melody ideas on the go and then add the tracks to their professional software later.

PatternMusic is a fun and intuitive way to create songs and from our time with it, it was clear to see that it’s much more powerful than its simple interface belies.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-10 :: Category: Music

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-10 :: Category: Music

It seemed like the much talked up Wired Magazine for iPad, made in collaboration with Adobe, had hit a major problem when Apple banned Flash-based apps from the App Store, but now it has arrived and with Adobe’s help.

Rumor has it that Wired and Adobe had to rewrite the app to comply with Apple’s Objective C requirements after Apple blocked the use of 3rd party creation tools, namely Adobe’s new Flash tools in CS5. Today, the app has gone live on the App Store and, it seems, all the blood sweat and tears were worth it. Wired Magazine for iPad looks to have set a benchmark among other publishers who have rushed out digital versions of their apps and uses interactive features as well as traditional page viewing techniques to show off the magazine’s content in an exciting new way.

The app does weigh in at a hefty 500Mb so you’re not going to be able to keep too many copies on your iPad at one time, however, if all magazines follow this model and perform this well, it looks like the digital publishing revolution, hailed when the iPad was still just a rumor, may have well and truly begun.

The video below is Wired’s official video for its app that, ironically, requires Flash.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-05-26 :: Category: News

Now here’s a clever idea. Forget about meeting people on Twitter who you think might be cool to get to know, find them based on their musical taste by comparison to yours.

MeetMySong is a new social networking service and app that matches your iPhone music library with other users of the app and even lets you see them and their sonic selections in real time using augmented reality. The app scans your iPhone’s music library in order to create your Music Personality and then creates feeds based around the songs you play. Not only does MeetMySong show you what music your friends are currently listening to, it also lets you know what’s being played locally, based on your GPS location.

The existing social networks aren’t ignored either with the ability to post your currently playing track to Facebook and Twitter as well as import your friends from both services. Ideal for this kind of app is the integration with your iPhone’s iPod app, which means you don’t have to leave the application to control your music, which is monitored by MeetMySong to further develop your profile.

What’s instantly enjoyable about MeetMySong by comparison to other social networks out there is that you don’t need to type a word, just listen to the music that you feel like listening to in order to interact with the community. Of course, there is a messaging option built in, but your audio picks are what are important here. Another huge benefit is the exposure to new music that you’re probably going to like. With friends based on your preferences, their tastes should throw up a selection of new bands for you to sample and you can even preview and buy songs from within the application. Sadly, if you use Pandora or Spotify on your iPhone for music, there’s little integration to be had with MeetMySong and, until iPhone OS 4.0 this will likely be impossible. However, with some clever coding and the addition of multitasking to the next iPhone OS, it might not just be iTunes music the app pins your tastes on.

More so than Twitter, we can also see this app bringing people together through a mutual love of music, especially given the apps location aware nature and, as the network grows in numbers another interesting element, likely to pique the interest of record labels, will appear. The Top Artist feature that creates a sort of unofficial top 20 chart that could help track artist performance on a play-by-play basis or pick out musical trends in real time.

We’ve only just started using MeetMySong and so far have found it an interesting, interactive alternative to simply playing music from your iPhone. Judging by the “on air” activity within the app it seems like others are enjoying MeetMySong in a number of locations worldwide too. MeetMySong is free to download from iTunes and requires a quick account creation process in order to get it up and running. Once you are done, new songs and friends await you.

If you love your music, this app is certainly worth a go although we’re a little worried that our closest MeetMySong match is currently only 41% compatible. Then again, perhaps that’s just down to our taste in music…

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-02-18 :: Category: Social Networking

If you’re currently running Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and MySpace apps on your iPhone, why not update them all from one spot? Say hello to Seesmic.

Seesmic has been available on a number of mobile and desktop platforms for a while now and has, at last, made its way to the iPhone. For those who don’t know, Seesmic allows users to update multiple social networks from one place and by default offers Twitter, Facebook and Ping.fm. Ping.fm is a service bought by Seesmic this year and covers the rest of the social networks that include MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr and more.

Seesmic offers a clean, dashboard-like interface with spaces for each network, and customization options allow users to add a space for particular social networking feeds such as trending topics and searches. Updates made from Seesmic can be sent to all of your networks and also across multiple accounts as well, so you don’t have to log in to each one separately anymore. Another cool feature is the ability to save messages and updates to Evernote for future reference. Unlike many Twitter apps for iPhone, Seesmic’s flexibility and customization options make it a very useful tool and one that will benefit those of a social networking persuasion.

If you have more social network accounts than friends and time saving time is important to you, this looks to be the application to keep you in the loop and your contacts up-to-date.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-05-20 :: Category: Social Networking

Do you ever wish you could squeeze a little more space out of your desktop screen? Say, ten inches or so? Avatron Software can help you do just that. Avatron has made a name for itself by producing excellent productivity software, namely Air Sharing for iPhone and Air Sharing HD for iPad, and looks set to continue this trend with its new Air Display app for iPad.

Just launched on the App Store, Air Display allows users to connect an iPad to their computer via Wi-Fi and extend its screen real estate by dragging windows onto the iPad screen. This seemingly magical technique frees your main screen from clutter and allows you to keep your Mail client, calendar or any other application in view while you work. Just like attaching an additional monitor, Air Display effectively extends your workspace by the 9.7 inches the iPad provides.

“We’re really thrilled to see how well Air Display is being received. But we’re just getting started!” Says Dave Howell, CEO of Avatron. “The foundation of frameworks we’ve built for Air Sharing and Air Display is a platform for some really exciting new products in our pipeline.”

Air Display has many uses beyond a home for your utilities as well. Musicians can use the extra space as a control surface and Photoshop users can store their palletes on the iPad screen, the possibilities are almost endless. At present Air Display only works with Macs but a Windows version is on the way and interested users can visit the Avatron site to sign up for notification of its launch.

For you lucky Mac users, $9.99 is all that’s standing between you and a bigger desktop area.

$9.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-05-24 :: Category: Utilities

Some apps need to be seen to be believed and CaPix is certainly one of them. This image retouching tool for iPhone has just gone live on the App Store and makes light work of any elements you don’t want included in your pictures. Simply drag your finger over the area you want removed and CaPix will extract it as if it were never there. Whether it’s a random stranger in the background of your family photo, unwanted lens flare or, as in the picture above, a can getting in the way of your lovely shot of… well, grass, CaPix can cut it out. It’s as if the app understands your pictures.

This kind of cloning tool and the algorithms behind it are not far from the powerful features found in Adobe’s Photoshop software, except Photoshop will set you back several hundred dollars. For $1.99, CaPix offers incredible results that could save an image or perfect one of your favorites.

If you don’t believe us, check out the video below.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-05-22 :: Category: Photography

Everybody loves the opportunity to send messages from their phone for free and PingChat! has been providing that opportunity to iPhone users since October last year. As long as your recipient has PingChat! on their device, you can send instant messages that appear like regular SMS notifications on the iPhone homescreen. PingChat! developer Gary Fung has now joined Enflick Inc where development of the app has continued with a larger team that includes John Lerner and Derek Ting, known for TextNow and Mail Notifier. These extra resources and the backing of Enflick have lead to the imminent release of PingChat! 2.0 with an impressive feature set.

Expected in a matter of days, PingChat! 2.0 will add the following:

-Multi-platform communication (Adds Blackberry and Android)
-Media messaging (pictures and video)
-Group messaging
-Voice Notes
-New User interface
-Location messaging (send locations via Google Maps)
-New servers and infrastructure to improve reliability

While we wait for this exciting update, here’s a video of the new app in action.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-09-24 :: Category: Social Networking

Newtoy Inc has been picking up some great press of late for its brilliant Words With Friends game, including our four star review. The popular multiplayer app is reminiscent of a word-based board game you may know (that rhymes with dabble) and is now available for the iPad as Words With Friends HD.

The biggest print title in Dallas, Texas, D Magazine, recently featured Words With Friends and its creators, fellow Texans Paul and David Bettner, as its cover feature and is now launching its own Words With Friends celebrity tournament. With 64 places available, the tournament is open to all and will include D Magazine staff, the Bettner brothers and even Dallas Cowboys’ Martellus Bennet among the players. According to Newtoy, Words With Friends is popular with members of both the Cowboys and Texas Rangers.

For your chance to play, click here and sign up before June 1.

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-07-19 :: Category: Games
$9.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-04-01 :: Category: Games

Mac Rumors has received unofficial word that Sprint may become a carrier of the iPhone as early as this summer. The site points to skeptical claims made by a Sprint employee who has been reliable in the past and to a TechUpdate post covering information from a BestBuy employee who has similar information.

We reported recently that AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity may be under threat from other carriers and that it narrowly avoided losing sole rights to iPhone tariffs by offering a very competitive data plan for the 3G iPad. Verizon is the most hotly tipped network to take on the iPhone but, should AT&T’s exclusivity come to an end, Apple may well consider multiple iPhone carriers as it has done in Europe. As Mac Rumors points out, multiple contracts would also see a boost in iPhone uptake as has been seen with Android-based handsets. TechUpdate’s unnamed BestBuy employee feels that AT&T’s exclusivity has already been lost with the blow softened by exclusive iPad tariffs in the meantime.

Steve Jobs is set to host a Keynote at the start of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference on June 7 so perhaps we will find out more then.

[ via Mac Rumors ]

We’re getting excited about an upcoming racing game for iPhone called Cubed Rally Racer. Jared Bailey, creator of DuckNCover for iPhone, has submitted his latest app which, from the look of the trailer below, could be an addictive slice of fun for your iPhone. The app is described as a 3D isometric rally car racing game and Jared says “Think Dirt meets RC Pro-Am meets Canabalt”. If this turns out to be true we can see ourselves getting hooked!

Cubed Rally Racer features randomly generated levels and sees the user play for best times while picking up gas cans scattered across each track. The game has a nice retro 8-bit look with exciting curves and jumps and will also offer OpenFeint connectivity as well as Facebook and Twitter integration.

Cubed Rally Racer has been submitted to the App Store and will cost $1.99 so check out the video below and keep tabs on www.nocanwin.com for news of the game’s launch.

By now you’ll have heard about the fatal explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oilrig in the Gulf Of Mexio that is now leaking oil into the Gulf at an alarming rate. While efforts are made to prevent further leaked oil from the wellhead, a new app is helping members of the public as well as professionals report discoveries of oil on beaches and wildlife affected by oil.

App developer Intridea built Oil Reporter for Crisis Commons, an international volunteer network of tech and business professionals that provides tools and resources for crisis and disaster responders. Created in a few days using the Appcelerator Titanium platform, which converts web code into native iPhone apps, Oil Reporter enables members of the public as well as professionals to report oil on beaches and animals harmed by the spill. From within the free app, those wishing to help the recovery effort can upload pictures and videos, tag them with a GPS location and share them via social networks. The app also includes access to the Oil Reporter Twitter feed for live updates on the crisis and its recovery. For those wishing to sign up as a volunteer, the Oil Reporter app includes links and contact details for volunteer programs in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.

The app’s simple Report screen makes posting a report easy, with a text field to explain what you see, the option to add an image of your find and sliders to explain the level of oil and its effect on the wetlands. A drop down menu allows you to update on the effect the oil is having on the local wildlife. An additional Adopt-A-Beach option is coming soon which will offer training to those who wish to monitor a section of beach and provide updates via the web. No experience is required and you can sign up from the oilreporter.org website.

The Oil Reporter app has been built for iPhone and Android so far and interested organizations can use the existing Application Programming Interface (API) to create their own service or monitor their own recovery efforts.

Those wishing to help the recovery are asked not to touch anything they observe on beaches affected by the oil spill but simply to report it using the app or by calling (866) 448-5816. The app also needs GPS positioning in order to locate your observation and therefore requires you to turn on Location Services from your iPhone’s settings so that your report can be pinpointed on the Oil Reporter Reports page. All reports will be posted on the Oil Reporter RSS feed, found here, to avoid overlaps and help recovery teams reach affected areas. Intridea is also keen to point out that all data sent via the app will be kept private.

If you live near to an affected or likely to be affected area, downloading this application and using it if needed will play a key role in the cleanup of the oil spill which is currently leaking at least 5,000 barrels per day and poses a great risk to wildlife and local fishing industries.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-05-21 :: Category: News

Adva-Soft has announced a new photo editing app for the iPhone that allows users to remove blemishes and other unwanted elements from photos. Aimed at users who wish to remove unwanted spots, wrinkles and other imperfections from their images, the app is expected to launch at the end of May.

TouchRetouch uses intelligent algorithms that avoid compromising any other elements of the photo outside of the problem area. Using a simple swipe, users can select the area of a photo they wish to fix and hit the Go button to perform the edit which preserves the surrounding area. The app will be compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and also offers features such as in-app video tutorials, unlimited undo and smart image background recovery. If TouchRetouch lives up to its billing and provides the features promised it should be an interesting prospect for its small $0.99 price point. Adva-Soft president, Davydov Maksim said of the launch “Word got out that we have developed this piece of software and there seems to be a bit of buzz going around about it. We’re figuring on quite a bit of activity the date of release.” TouchRetouch is planned for launch on May 25th subject to App Store approval.

If you’re using Apple’s Keynote app for iPad you’ll be exited to hear that new template options now exist outside of the default themes that come with the presentation app. iPresentee has announced the launch of its Keynote Themes for iPad pack that includes 33 themes designed specifically for the iPad. Priced at $25, users need to have a Mac and a copy of iWork ’09 in order to use the theme pack which can be purchased from the iPresentee website.

All of the themes included in the pack are available in both 1024×768 and 800×600 pixel dimensions and can be used on the iPad as well as the desktop version of Keynote. If you’re already making use of your iPad as a presentation device, this great set of templates is definitely worth considering. We’ve included a gallery showing off some of these exciting new themes below.

If you’re planning a vacation this summer or you’ve already booked, make sure you have a copy of Packing Pro installed on your iPhone to ensure perfect planning. Packing Pro, available on the App Store for $2.99, has been sitting pretty in the upper echelons of the App Store travel section for a year or so now and picked up a four and a half star rating in our review earlier this year.

As summer approaches, the app has been updated with some exciting new features to enhance the way you plan your packing. First up, the Master Catalog, that includes all of the items you are planning to pack, has been expanded by a whopping 60% and now includes over 800 items. If you can’t find something on this list, you’re probably not meant to be packing it! All of your items can now be found quicker within the app by using the new Smart Search tool and users can also now use the app in landscape mode to take advantage of the larger keyboard.

If you want to be sure of having everything in your suitcase when you reach your getaway destination this year, make sure you’re using Packing Pro.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-04-17 :: Category: Travel

Are you one of those people who prefers to type everything rather than write it? Is that because your handwriting looks like you’re writing with a pencil between your toes? Fear not, we’ve all got our problems (this left handed writer is technically ambidextrous given the atrocious output from both hands) and there are people who can help. One such group is Texas-based Deep Pocket Series, creator of Better Letters, a personal handwriting trainer. The app was released at the end of last year and has seen recognition in GQ among others for the unique way it helps users fix their substandard script. Of course, the app isn’t limited to adults, it also serves as a great trainer for kids. The app, available for iPhone and iPod touch, is currently being optimized for the iPad and in celebration of the international launch of Apple’s tablet, the company has announced a sale of Better Letters. Starting on May 30th and ending on May 31st, Better Letters will be available for $0.99, down from its full $2.99, so make sure you leave yourself a note on your calendar… or your iPhone calendar if you hope to read it.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-10 :: Category: Medical

Following our report that international iPad App Stores began switching on yesterday, international iBookstores are also now available. Apple initially claimed that iBooks would be a US-only service, likely due to ongoing discussions with international book publishers, but has since announced international launches in countries that begin selling the iPad on May 28th. At present, only free books are available to download on international iBookstores however this is likely to change over the next few days. So far, live iBookstores have been reported in Germany, Italy and the UK with the remaining supported countries likely to follow.

At the time of writing there are 10,023 free books available on the UK iBookstore with new additions apparently stopped for the time being after almost minute-by-minute changes earlier.

We’ll keep you updated as things progress.

Back in the early nineties, nobody would have understood the meaning of “Googling” something, but Google is now one of the most powerful companies on the web. The team at INYFX, Inc hopes that Whoodl will follow the same path. While not a search engine, this app does return fast results – the names of people you’ve forgotten. You know the scenario, someone spots you across the room, waves and begins making their way over to you. You smile back, attempting to stay calm as the icy realization that you’ve forgotten their name hits. So what do you do? Hope that a simple “Hello, how are you?” suffices? Maybe, but what if you have to introduce them to someone else who joins you? The first thing you need to do is to PAY ATTENTION next time you meet someone. If that doesn’t work, download Whoodl.

Whoodl is a very simple app that allows you to quickly tap in a name along with certain keywords and save them for quick access later. Dave you met at the golf course goes in as Dave Shore with the tag “golf”. Next time you see him out of context at the supermarket and struggle for his name, type golf into Whoodl and you’ll have your name in a matter of seconds. The company claims the app is far faster than the iPhone’s address book and that it’s designed for those names you wouldn’t necessarily add to your Contacts anyway.

We do worry that adding multiple names to a single tag could lead you to calling someone by the wrong name entirely, but this is nevertheless an interesting app that could help you out of some very sticky social situations.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-03-20 :: Category: Social Networking

It’s a phrase you’ve only ever heard in the movies or on TV, but now “this message will self destruct in 30 seconds” has become a reality on the iPhone. MEDL Mobile, Inc has released a new app that allows iPhone users to send and receive messages with a preset destruction timer that keeps the contents of your message safe. A message can be set with timer of between five and sixty seconds before its contents are destroyed. Even more covert than simple self-destruction, you can also codename your contacts within the app so their true identity is never revealed when sending or receiving information. The app caters for images, audio and video and also provides a Push notification feature to inform you that a message has arrived.

We’re not exactly sure who needs this level of secrecy on their iPhone and find the passcoded homescreen lock provides adequate security for us. However, if you really want to keep your conversations under wraps and have $2.99 to spare, the app is available to download right now. But we didn’t tell you that, right?

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-04-27 :: Category: Social Networking

If you’ve used HippoRemote Pro before you’ll know how effective it is at controlling your computer, either Mac or PC, over Wi-Fi. The app allows users to control their computer as well as a host of popular applications using its multi-touch trackpad and built-in keyboard. HippoRemote also offers a web browser and Twitter client. If all these features weren’t enough, however, the latest update to HippoRemote turns your iPhone into an advanced games controller too.

With many Mac and PC games requiring control via the mouse and keyboard, controllers like those found on consoles aren’t compatible and therefore tie the user to their desk in order to play games. HippoRemote 2.2 offers freedom from this traditional setup by replicating mouse and keyboard control from your iPhone. Whether you’re playing a full on RPG, an intense shoot ‘em up or just a simple Flash game on the web, HippoRemote allows you to customize the control layout and use only the keyboard buttons you need for a particular game. Controls can be set for different games with either a trackpad or a button pad and game-specific profiles can also be downloaded from the HippoRemote website. At present, HippoRemote is compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch but we’re excited by the possibilities introduced by the iPad and look forward to a compatible version in the future. If you love your PC games but want that console feel, you might well have already bought the best controller, you just need HippoRemote to take advantage of it.

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-07-16 :: Category: Productivity

You probably know that drinking water is good for you, but do you know how much you are taking in each day and how much you should be? Do you know which foods hydrate you and those that dehydrate? Absorb Water is a simple iPhone app that can tell you how much hydration you are getting from anything you eat or drink that has a water content over 65%. Whether you’re eating fruit or drinking beer, you can add your intake to the app and then chart your progress. Cleverly, the app isn’t all about the foods that are giving you water but those that take it away too, with one of the less pleasant but ultimately important parts of the app being the Mellow Yellow chart that lets you calculate your urine color and determine your hydration level. Come on, you know you’ve always wondered!

The ultimate aim of Absorb Water is to help you drink the equivalent of 12 glasses of water every day but doesn’t force you into heading to the faucet every five minutes. By using foods as well as drinks and monitoring them within the app, you have a much better idea of how much you are ingesting and how much more you need. As apps go, this is a healthy and fun tool that will be frequently updated by developer Syndicated Puzzles as more feedback is gained from users.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-04-23 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness

One of the many guilty pleasures of Facebook is browsing through the photos your friends have posted. Whether you’re laughing at shots from a drunken night out or enjoying how fat your ex has gotten, it can become an addictive pastime. While there are some Facebook tools available for the iPad, there is yet to be an official Facebook app launched. Fortunately, developers appreciate the fact that iPad users need to stay in touch with their social networks and have created some excellent offerings such as FlickPad.

Thanks to this unique app from Shacked Software you can now feed your Facebook photo addiction with a beautiful, native iPad app. Users are presented with the latest Facebook photos when they open the app and can select favorites as well as share the images they find. The interface makes browsing images fun and offers some great multi-touch features including double and triple taps to access different options and views. One of our favourite features is the ability to hide all of the photos from a particular person although, if you do that, maybe you should question why you are friends with them in the first place.

$0.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-04-03 :: Category: Photography

We’re still a week away from the official launch of iPads in select countries outside the US but it seems that international iPad App Stores are beginning to switch on already. It is likely that Apple is adding iPad downloads to international App Stores so that all potential issues are ironed out in time for the launch of the iPad in these countries. App Stores in countries like the UK, Germany and Canada don’t currently have the iPad and iPhone buttons on the App Store front page like in the US, so users can’t yet split browsing between the two devices. App Store search results are split into iPad and iPhone categories, however. International users with US-bought iPads have, until now, been unable to access their local App Stores via the device but today should have full access despite some noted teething trouble on some stores.

Having an iPhone on you is always handy when you want to snapshot something you need to remember, whether it’s a for sale sign, promotional poster or an advertisement. One of the drawbacks of this process is that once you’ve taken the photo you’ll need to fish it out of your Camera Roll where it’s taking up valuable space among your actual photos and there’s also a good chance that you’ll forget about it altogether.

QuickShot! aims to put an end to these issues by combining your iPhone’s Camera and Mail apps into one slick process. Once the app is setup you can simply launch it, take your photo and push a button to send yourself an email. The process is simple enough that it can take as little as three taps to complete.By default the image isn’t saved to your Camera Roll either so you won’t have to worry about clutter anymore. When sending the email, you can customize it as you wish and also scale the picture before you send. This strikes us as one of those apps you think you wont need until, of course, you actually do and is certainly worth a look. QuickShot! is available on the App Store for $0.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-05-06 :: Category: Productivity

UPDATE: The official Twitter app has now appeared in the App Store and is available here.

New features include:

Reorganized search
Search all tweets and find local users as well as view Top Tweets and Browse Suggested users.

No account needed
You can now browse Twitter without an account using this app. You will still need to sign up in order to actually tweet.

In-app sign-up
If you’re not a Twitter user already you can sign-up for an account within the application.

Multiple accounts
Second accounts can be added using the Accounts and Settings button under the More tab.

Popular actions
Retweet and other popular actions have been given more prominence

Refined GUI
Tweets now look more like Twitter.com

We’re playing with this app right now and will have more details for you soon.

Original Post
After Twitter acquired Atebits, the developer of Tweetie for iPhone, in April this year, many were expecting an official Twitter app to be launched soon after. It appears that day has now come with the disappearance of Tweetie from the App Store and a number of rumors across the web of the official app popping up and then vanishing on iTunes. Most expect the app to be simply called “Twitter” and be offered for free rather than the $2.99 of Tweetie 2.

Twitter launched its official Android app at the start of this month, so it makes sense that an iPhone offering should follow. No details as to the design of the app have been released however, given the short time between acquisition and launch, we would expect the new app to retain many of the features found in Tweetie.

We’ll be scouring the App Store and, of course, Twitter for any news and will bring it to you as soon as we have it. We did and we have.

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