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Five For Friday: Week of January 5

Posted by Jennifer Allen on January 6th, 2012

It's been a somewhat lean week for new releases to the App Store thanks to the remnants of Christmas and New Year. I know my brain's still fuzzy from such merriment. Despite such eventful times, we've managed to round up five of the best apps and games to be released over the past 7 days.

Legendary Heroes
Previously mentioned last month, Legendary Heroes is a compelling mix of castle defense gaming alongside hero class strategizing similar to the likes of League of Legends. All the better, it's free to play with the promise of quick and intense matches being ideal for the handheld nature of the iOS platform. Players control 3 heroes in the same match, each with their own unique special abilities and a levelling system to boot.

Battleland: Honor of Arena
Tower Defense Strategy games aren't uncommon on the App Store but that's no reason not to give Battleland: Honor of Arena a try. Offering over 100 levels divided into 12 different stages, Battleland: Honor of Arena offers plenty of value for money at the mere price of $0.99. There's even an online multiplayer mode in there that's sure to keep people keen.

Anyone who's used apps regularly has that sneaky feeling that they could design a better user interface. AppSketcher gives the user that chance with the ability to create mockups of what makes a great looking app. While it won't do the coding behind such attractive imagery, it does mean that AppSketcher is ideal for those working alongside others as part of a dev team. Numerous sharing options helps things move forward.

Pocket League Story
Terrifying news for anyone's productivity levels but fantastic news for the management gamer, Kairosoft has released another title! Pocket League Story mixes soccer management with the typical gameplay we've all come to expect and love from the Japanese developers. Does anything else really need to be said? Of course not, it's bound to be a fantastic way of wasting countless man hours throughout the next few weeks.

Mentioned here twice in one week because that's just how cool it is, InstaFlow is an intuitive and attractive way of exploring Instagram photos, easily and effectively. The Instagram community holds countless fascinating sights, snapped by people from around the world. Being able to search by tags and keywords just makes the experience all the more satisfying.

Five For Friday: Week Of December 23

Posted by Jennifer Allen on December 23rd, 2011

Christmas is mere moments away so it's easy to lose track of all the latest releases to hit the App Store in the past week. Never fear, for we have a roundup of five of the best apps and games just in time for the festive weekend.

Boy Loves Girl
A reminder that the course of true love never runs smoothly is that of Boy Loves Girl, a platforming adventure spanning more than 50 levels. Players take the role of a young boy as he braves the elements and explores uncharted territory all in the name of love.

Over the festive season, many photos and videos will no doubt be taken by revellers as they spend time with loved ones and want to retain visual memories. Cartoonatic+ lets users do exactly that but while also adding one of 14 cartoon filters, each created by professional cartoon artists. Effects can be switched around in real time and music, plus videos speeded up for a fun twist.

Law & Order: Legacies
Telltale Games has quite a following for its titles and understandably so. Transferring the point and click adventure style to so many famous franchises such as Back To The Future and Jurassic Park has been extremely successful. Next up is Law & Order: Legacies with crimes to be solved by all the Law & Order team.

Action Movie FX
Adding cutesy effects to videos is fine but how about some explosions? That's what Action Movie FX offers! From Bad Robot Interactive, the app side of the movie production company of the same name, Action Movie FX lets users add Hollywood style effects to their videos. Included in the free version is a missile attack and a car crash style effect.

The Eatery
It's the time for great indulgence but for those looking to keep track of what they eat, The Eatery is a different way of approaching the subject. Rather than just counting calories, users take a photo of their meal or snack then rate how healthy they think it is, thus getting them to think about their decisions. There's even social functionality for those looking for a second opinion on their meal choices.

Five for Friday: Week of November 11

Posted by Lisa Caplan on November 11th, 2011

A slew of games hit the App Store this week, and we'll bring most of them to you in review form. but there were also a lot of apps that were overshadowed by the gaming bonanza. We look at five we think you'll want to check out.

Meanwhile for iOS

A truly interactive comic book experience, Meanwhile for iOS takes users right into a comic by Jason Shinga where they control how the story unfolds, Jimmy, the protagonist finds a mad scientist with, what else, but a doomsday device and readers young and old can help determine the outcome of the adventure.

VocaLive for iPad

Ok we admit to some cynicism about this one, especially at the price, but if it does work a new world of Rebecca Blacks will be thrilled. VocalLive claims to work like auto-tune letting ever the most tone-deaf have their singing modulated to match the music's pitch. If anyone tries it we'd love to hear what you think of the results.

Doodlecast for Kids

Kids not only draw with this app, it captures them in action during the whole creative process. Kids and parents can watch it back and even use it as an educational tool to help with writing letters and numbers. The app comes with 20 drawing prompts or kids can start fresh with their own ideas.

Photogene2 for iPhone

One of the best photo-editing apps, Photogene, which offers near desktop results has a new version. It supports the iPhone 4s and includes more robust editing tools, especially in the fine-tuning as well as extended export options.

Coach’s Eye

Use the iPhone video camera in a new way – to record athletes in action for analysis later. We suggest you use a sturdy case if you use it behind the batter, but it takes a video and slows it own with a flywheel to find precise moments and allows coaches and personal trainers to mark up the video to help show what they are doing wrong, rather than just telling.

Five for Friday: Week of October 27

Posted by Lisa Caplan on October 28th, 2011

Holy game bonanza bat geeks! So many titles were launched "just in time for Halloween" it's hard to keep up. Most of them have been getting a lot of press, but a few are so new you may not have seen them yet. And, hiding in all that gaming goodness were a few very cool app releases as well. This week we look at five you may have missed. If we didn't catch your new favorite please leave us a note in the comments below.

Zombieville USA 2

This simple sequel will have gamers shooting hoards of zombies to bits with all new weapons and enhanced graphics along with Game Center integration and even a wireless multiplayer mode. The casual undead fun is a perfect for halloween weekend.


Create games and sims or bring to life your own app ideas on the iPad. Codify lets users code and includes a visual editor with a vector graphics tool, built-in game sound effects, complete in-line reference and even gets the accelerometer and multitouch screen into the show with this app that lets anyone try their hand at developing.


From MTV Networks comes more eery fun. Oscura is a 2d platformer with a 3D feel, AirPlay support and a seriously goth tone. Keep the Dark Creatures at bay this All Hallow's Eve.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App

Mo Willems brings the Pigeon to iPad. Create unique Pigeon-staring stories with Mo at your side. Mo really voices the Pigeon, but the app allows users to record their voices too - part book, part creative toy, kids and creative types should have a lot of fun with this new digital publication from Disney.

Songineer™ - Instant Composer

For those who want to make music, but lack the advanced training, enter Songineer - Instant Composer. It lets users instantly create great sounding tracks to share with friends on social media. Don't expect auto-tune results, the app is packed with quality features including 20 unique instrument and drum kits galore to give any creation a unique feel and lots and lots of beat.

Five for Friday: Week of October 21

Posted by Lisa Caplan on October 21st, 2011

The was a great week for appaholics. With the release of iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S, developers are scrambling to update existing apps and bring out new ones that take advantage of the new capabilities. We look at 5 you may have missed that came out this past week. If we missed your favorite, be sure to leave a note in the comments.


Silverwiz is a simple but feature-packed financial management app It helps manage savings and cheqing accounts credit and debit cards with support for recurring payments and budgeting.

Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots

The long awaited sequel to Halfbrick smash game Fruit Ninja hit the App Stopre this week. While it’s a tie-in to a Dreamworks movie, the new Bandito mode provides plenty of fresh challenges for the avid slasher.

The Early Edition 2

The orignal Early Edition has been revamped for iOS 5. The app takes Google Reader feeds and puts them into an easy-to-read newspaper format for more information and less clutter.

Big Lens

Turn the iPhone camera into a SLR quality camera with Big Lens. It uses the same premise and the iPhone 4S camera, which is that more light is good light. The controls are simple to use and if you aren’t making the iPhone upgrade it’s an easy way to get your snaps looking like you did.

Adboe Reader

There isn’t much to say about this one. We all know Adobe’s Reader. the free PDF reader from THE source. Now it's available for iOS for free and as easy to use on the touch screen as on the computer.

Five for Friday: Week of October 7

Posted by Lisa Caplan on October 7th, 2011

There were fewer new games released this week than we've seen, with the usual suspects putting out few if any new titles. There were some apps released worth noting that you don't want to miss. Many are free, and there's something for every age. If we missed your favorite from the past week, let us know in the comments below.

NHL Game Center 2011-2012

Put out by the NHL in time for the first frosts in the North East, and featured by Apple as App of the Week. NHL Game Center allows hockey fans to access scores, stats, game photos, schedules, news, standings and a “3D Ice Tracker” on any iOS device. Users can upgrade in-app to a Premium service for $19.99 which adds in-game video highlights, live radio and other perks and for a full $159.99 die-hard puck-a-holics can subscribe to NHL Game Center Live (or use an existing account) and never miss a moment of the action. The premium version can also be purchased separately.

AMEX for iPad

This optimized-for-iPad app from the credit card giant lets cardholders manage all their account activity from scheduling payments to checking out membership rewards program points. The app supports most of the most popular AMEX card products. Check the app description to see the complete list.

Tweet Speaker - Listen to Twitter

Since Twitter and Apple are getting cosy in soon-to-be-released iOS 5, this app might well be renamed tweetPod even if neither giant is behind it. Tweet Speaker is Twitter out loud, ideal for times when not only hands, but eyes, are occupied. The app reads feeds, has Tweet Marker support, Airplay and a really nice interface reminiscent of an older dial radio.

Toca Store

Turn an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into a virtual playset with the newest Toca Boca digital toy for children. Kids learn basic cooperation skills along with a little math and even resource management playing with 28 saleable objects. Kids set the prices and the rules – it’s a free play creative app that’s extremely imagination friendly. It's also universal and on iPad lends itself well to device sharing.

AT&T Upgrader

The name says it all. AT&T rushed out an app to make sure its customers could pre-order their sparkly new iPhone 4S right from their likely still sparkly iPhone 4 - or any other model of course. Account holders can check if they are due for an upgrade, and find out which version and plan will fit their budget.

Five For Friday: Week of August 26

Posted by Lisa Caplan on August 26th, 2011

This week saw a mixed bag of new apps. As back-to-school and real life settles in around us, more general use, connectivity and educational titles have been popping up. Here's our look at five hot releases from the past week that you may have missed. If we skipped one you love, be sure to let us know.

SB Nation – Sports News

SB Nation aggregates one thing only – sport news. It culls from over 300 sport-dedicated blogs with in-depth stories, fan perspectives and real-time news. The newsfeed has scores from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Soccer, Nascar, MMA, Tennis, Golf and college ball – both round and bouncy and the type they have bowl games for. Users can follow their favortie stories, personalize the app to focus on home teams or specific sports, and it even has a community to share opinion, comments and other sports info with the similarly obsessed.


WordWit is edutainment for big kids. Word lovers and those struggling with vocabulary alike can profit from this app. It is not a traditional dictionary - rather each word’s entry is written specifically for WordWit to reveal “nuances of meaning and use.” The entertainment part of the equation is mixed with rich graphics and challenges like separating misused words from their “evil twins” – all it takes is a spin on the colorful spiral to reveal random pairings of words and a myriad of ways to explore them both.

Infinity Field

Infinity Field HD has been a long time iPad hit. This dual stick shooter won many best-in-class awards last year and now it has finally been released for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game looks as good as the original, just designed with support for retina display and smaller controls - which reports say are as good as ever.

Post-it PopNotes

It had to happen – in an app store full of knock off’s, 3M has finally brought the real Post-it’s to iOS and they’ve done it for free. This is not just a sticky note app – PopNotes can be shared selectively, set to pop at specific times, supports both typing and handwriting and even incorporates maps and GPS.

CoolApp for Google+

Google+ has its own iPhone only app, which has a lot of users very frustrated. Well, CoolApp for Google+ brings the popular new social networking site to iOS for all devices. Aside from the iPad and iPod touch support, it offers a free invite – easier and easier to come by these days, but still needed to join – with purchase. The app supports up to three accounts with ease.

Five For Friday: Week of August 12

Posted by Lisa Caplan on August 14th, 2011

As always a flood of apps were launched in the past week, including the usual hot games. Summer must be drawing to a close because we are also seeing a lot of productivity and content consumption apps, too. This week some of the most interesting apps are iPad only. If we missed your favorite please let us know.

Perfect RSS Reader

There is a new sleek Google Reader for the iPad that may give perennial favorite Reeder a run for it's money. Perfect RSS Reader mixes a wide variety of features and several different viewing modes, has lots of sharing and support for multiple accounts, as one would expect. Perfect RSS Reader also has graphic interface so users can sort through their feeds in a number of intuitive familiar ways, including a sort of magazine format. It's fast and looks fantastic.

Boxee for iPad

Create video and share it everywhere with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and see theirs too with this one simple app. Boxee for iPad makes sure to catch all uploads from friends on those networks. The app allows for playlist creation from almost any video streaming site from YouTube to TED talks - and upload to Boxee’s web site to watch any video on a real TV.

123D Sculpt

Were this clay modelling app offered by someone other than Autodesk we’d be dubious. But since the developer is one of the top names in professional design apps, we are excited to give it a try. Users mold basic shapes like clay to give them a unique 3d look. Users just pinch, pull and then paint their creations and to be shared on Flickr, Facebook, Dropbox or YouTube.The app has Air Print, saves images as transparent PNGs for editing further with Sketchbook Pro or any other painting app or desktop program. HD QuickTime renderings can be imported into iMovie as well.

Macworld Express

This free Apple news aggregator looks slick. It seems serving content up magazine-style is becoming a trend. Macworld Express is definitively a fanboy app, or a hater’s dream if leaving snarky blog comments is your thing. But it looks good and serves up the news we care about most.

Save Yammi HD

There is no getting around the fact that Save Yammi HD and its iPhone counterpart take more than a little inspiration from Cut the Rope. Despite it’s similar appearance, Save Yammi is not about rope cutting. Gamers have a set amount of rope with which to catch stars and must use their noodles to create a path for  a cookie to take. Tey can then shake the device to remove the rope and draw another or time it so the cookie drops into Yammi’s mouth. Derivative or not, it’s fun.

Five For Friday: Week Of August 5

Posted by Lisa Caplan on August 6th, 2011

This week saw lots of free apps with a heavy emphasis on consumerism and one we've been waiting for for a long time. We collected our favorite five freebies from the past week for our readers here.

Skype for iPad

The most anticipated free app that was released this week was Skype for iPad. The video chat service, that doubles as a VOIP long distance carrier for some, has had an iPhone app for a while, but now Skype is iPad native and the contacts area is redesigned. The app looks sweet and the video calls look great on iPad 2

Domino’s Pizza LLC

Like we said, it was a consumer’s bonanza week of apps, and leading the pack in popularity is Domino’s Pizza free iPhone app. We don’t really have to tell you what do right? Find the nearest location using GPS or a zip code, place an order - or get a Google map to lead the pizza-starved to the nearest store for takeout.

eBay Instant Sale

eBay, the famous online auction site, has a streamlined service for both buyers and sellers called in Instant Sale and now that service has an app. It’s a simple and easy way to sell items via eBay’s vast network or pick up a bargain, right from your device – without waiting for an auction to end or last minute snipers to outbid you.

Editions by AOL

In part we want to cry shenanigans, in part we want to settle in for a read. While it’s painfully obvious that AOL took not just it’s inspiration, but parts of its GUI from ZITE, this personalized news and lifestyle magazine for iPad is stylish and allows readers to customize everything from the magazine cover's color to the contents inside. Don’t be put off by the small selection of categories, many popular sources can be added once you get into the section settings. The magazine looks sharp and is easy to read and has lots of social media sharing built in.

Ikea Catalog

Shoppers and folks like us who just like to see what the Swedish design company has to offer, will enjoy having the 2012 Ikeaccatalog not just on IPhone, but finally in crisp display on iPad as well. There have been previous iOS Ikea catalogues, but this update has a store finders that unlike most of the free choices on this list, while the new iPad version is US only, the iPhone app works all over the world.

Five For Friday: Week Of July 29

Posted by Lisa Caplan on July 29th, 2011

The Economist World in Figures 2011 Edition.

This iPhone reference app pubslihed by The Economist Magazine has facts and stats about over 190 countries around the globe. Whether looking for trivia or doing market research The World in Figures has tons of data and the ability to let users compare countries side-by-side.

Futurama Head in a Jar

From the sublime to the silly, but fun. MTV released Futurama Head in a Jar on the tail of Comic-Con - where it was previewed - as a free iPhone entertainment app this week. As the name implies, users get to create their own Groening-style heads with customizable hair, eyes, and even species. The decapitated go right into the Head Museum where head-collections can live on prominently displayed on shelves of their own.

NASA Visualization Explorer

The space shuttle's missions have been grounded permanently now, but that doesn’t mean reaseach done in space is dead. There is the International Space Station, of course, but NASA also has a fleet of research spacecraft in use as well. Nasa Viz allows iPad users to access the most advanced research findings from those vehicles along with videos on space-related topics. The app contains stunning photographs, lots of text information and both mini documentaries and animated simulations. NASA promises one fresh story a week.


There’s been a veritable flood of hot new games released in the last week from almost every major gamehouse. Konami’s entry, Gesundheit! is the one we most want to just stop and look at. It’s an arcade puzzler with solid gameplay, but the hand-drawn art elements both in the cut-scenes and within the game itself are nothing short of breath taking. The soundtrack is almost as pleasing to the ears as the graphics are to the eyes. We can’t wait to start playing.


TableTop is a portable expandable recording studio for iPad. Users are presented with a variety of devices: samplers, mixers and sequencers, and many more modular devices for IAP to be arranged and used as the project demands. The GUI is clean and while it seems intended for serious musicians, users with little experience are reporting they are able to make some great-sound tracks too.

Five For Friday: Week Of July 22

Posted by Lisa Caplan on July 22nd, 2011

Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access

This app is Star Wars fanware and shameless self-promotion from Fox, but if you're waiting with baited breathe as many good geeks are, especially us, for a peek at all the special features and bonus goodies that will be packaged with the huge Blu-Ray slated for release on September 16, here's a chance for a free sneak peek. The app is iPad only and you won't see anything they don't want you to, but it really looks gorgeous - a geek's GUI for sure - and any sneak peek while the event is still months off is very welcome.

Stickman BMX

There were not all that many new apps released this week, but it was a great week for gamers. Our favorite casual title is Stickman BMX and its HD counterpart. It's a super simple game- a sequel to the hugely popular Stickman Skater, but in this side scroller players use intuitive and simple controls to take Stickman on on a BMX ride full of jumps and tricks and good old fashioned doodlesque styling mixed with a richer animated look. The graphics are super and fans of the original will be happy to know Stickman can ride a skateboard too with a one-time $.99 IAP.

Dragon Go!

With Go! the award-winning speech recognition technology they has long made Dragon famous provides hands-free voice-commands for everyday use. Users just have to ask for what they want to find, i.e. "Harry Potter near here" and it will search Fandango and serve up local listing and trailers to the final chapter. It works with Pandora and Last FM too - ask for an artist or song and start listening. Wiki, Google, Amazon, YouTube, eBay, Twitter, its a'll available not at a tap, but with a word. The app is only on the US App Store and some services like Fandango and Pandora are US only, but we tested the command 'find chinese restaurants with takeout" in Canada along with "get directions to closest mall" and got instant accurate results. We're amazed at how well the app understood every question and automatically searched in the right place to supply the most accurate and relevant results. Users can share Dragon Go! results by email, text messages, Facebook and Twitter. Perfect hands free information on the go.

Gif Shop

Ever wondered how people make GIFs - those little animated web graphics? Gif Shop unveils the wizard behind the gif-creating curtain and with a tap users can instantly capture sequential snaps with the device's camera - up to a suggest maximum of 100 - and let the app take care of turning the pictures into an animated loop. Users need a free Gif Shop account to share their results on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, with shortlink included to paste and share with friends via email of MMS. It's really cool and borderline idiot proof.


Google+ is Google's new foray into the social media world. The network which is free, but for now, by invite only, certainly has a lot of buzz and a lot of early sign-ups, but analysts and pundits are dubious as to whether the Big G can compete with- much less unseat - giants Facebook and Twitter and even Tumblr and Flickr all of whose services Google+ has integrated in one way or another, into their new venture. If you have a an account, and find the mobile web app lacking, there is now a free iPhone client on the App Store. Is it good? Well it's hard to separate opinions about the service from the app itself, but we've heard it can handle most of the feature that are central to Google + like Circles and Huddles, and has it's own notification system built-in, but it's not as robust as many would like lacking central features like video chat and of course it's not universal so iPad owners are feeling left out. It is free, and there's nothing third-party to compete with it, so if the service appeals get the app.

Five for Friday: Week of June 17, 2011

Posted by John Bardinelli on June 17th, 2011

Cool. Hip. In-shape. These words accurately describe iPhone users. And if anyone disagrees, they're just jealous! To maintain their carefully-crafted physical appearances, iPhone users now have access to a massive library of 3D images of the human body, specifically focusing on the muscular system. iMuscle is a workout and learning aid that allows users to identify, zoom, and rotate views of any muscle in the body, complete with accurate anatomical labels and descriptions. Useful as a reference tool, learning aid, or, thanks to iMuscle's 450 animated stretches and exercises, the best workout buddy a health-conscious person could have!

Absolute Instant:
A shooter designed for the iPhone from the ground up? Yes, please! After the slow death of the arcade machine, shooting games ("shmups") took a backseat to games that were less... failure-oriented. Now, though, with portable gaming big and remarkably accessible, shooters are slowly coming back, using the iPhone's accelerometer and touch controls to really up the immersion. Tap and drag the control circle to move, blasting everything that dares enter the ship's path. Shake the device to drop a bomb, and tap the screen to teleport out of harm's way. Good level of challenge, great HD visuals, and enough shmupping action to keep anyone's eyes glued to their iPhone for hours.

Latin Grammar:
This probably isn't the most entertaining iPhone app in the world, and in fact, it might make many people shudder with fear. But for the select masses that can't get enough Latin, this is a one-stop resource for all things grammar geeky. Test skills in determining second-person plural imperfect subjunctive passive cases with simple multiple choice (or other style) quiz questions, then move on to forming tenses out of root words. Pick and choose which cases are part of the quizzes, how long the test will last, and fiddle with a few other options, all designed to make Cicero look like a grammar n00b.

Sleep Tracker:
A good night's sleep is a luxury many can't afford in the modern, busy world. Sleep Tracker is here to help. Chart, analyze, record and graph sleeping patterns automatically or with manual entries, then calculate averages to arrive at an estimated sleep debt. Set goals and have a timer alert when it's time for snoozing. Everyone spends so much time focusing on jobs, meetings, and tax returns, why not put some attention on something that really matters?

All News:
What's going on in the world? Why not find out? All News is a simple headlines app that allows users to to browse top news stories by map location, keyword cloud, or publication time. It's an excellent way to stay informed without having to resort to reading one of those ancient news devices made out of paper, and the ability to browse keywords is a surprisingly smart inclusion.

Five for Friday: Week of June 3, 2011

Posted by John Bardinelli on June 3rd, 2011

Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting:
Got a bit of Monster Hunter on your brain? The immensely popular open world RPG/action game has finally made its way to the iTunes App Store, focusing on two things gamers love most: combat, and loot from combat. Take on gigantic beasts from the Monster Hunter universe in one-on-one battles, swiping and touching your way to victory. Grab the goods when the fight is over and use it to craft new items and armor, strengthening yourself for the battles to come. It's definitely one of those "just one more battle" sort of games, even if you haven't been bitten by the Monster Hunter bug yet!

Why focus on meetings, appointments, and other time-eating activities when you can focus on what matters most: your free time? This slick-looking app is sort of the inverse of a calendar program, where instead of tracking actual events, it tracks and displays the time between them, pulling data from your local scheduling app to bring it all together. Enter your usual work day, factoring in meals, sleep, and average waking and going to bed times, then share your free times with friends. Surprisingly great for productivity, especially for those who consider free time more important than non-free time!

This V That:
Visually explore two seemingly unrelated things in a smart, stylish app that's all about comparing data for different parts of the world. For example: is there a relationship between coffee consumption and homicide rates? How about Olympic medalists versus number of Facebook users in different countries? There's an app for that, and it's This V That. Great for trivia enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys apps that raise as many questions as they ask.

Ever wanted to learn to play the guitar? Piano? How2Play is a universal app that contains a number of lessons, courses, background tracks and sheet music available to help you accomplish your musical goals. The download features a number of starter lessons, complete with instructional videos, and allows you to easily grab lessons from How2Play's website (around $6 per lesson) so you can hone your skills and learn to play specific songs.

The enemy of writing is the distraction, and with devices like portable gaming consoles and iPads floating around, an awesome game is never more than a few taps away. OmmWriter aims to help free your mind of the clutter by streamlining your writing experience with a simple layout and a keyboard designed for improved usability. Soothing sounds are available, or you can opt for silence, but the user-centric keyboard design is where the real strength lays.

Five for Friday: Week of May 27, 2011

Posted by John Bardinelli on May 27th, 2011

They are the ARC. You are the pilot. Current flows through the ARC, and it's your job to keep it moving to fend off the Hexog. This stylish puzzle game is a lot like Puzzle Bobble if it took place in the Tron universe, featuring hip visuals, a fast soundtrack, and some seriously cranial moves across its 56 levels. Enemy AI kicks in after a few levels, turning this puzzle game into a mobile strategy fest.

Arno the Hunter:
It's archery time! Starring the armadillo-like protagonist Arno, roll back and forth in a series of lushly-drawn world, each filled with bugs and other enemies just waiting to get a piece of your health bar. Tap the screen to fire your weapon, and nab power-ups to earn temporary special abilities of the "bigger, badder, more deadly guns" type. A great arcade game that looks as good as it plays.

House of Mice:
Mice love one thing: cheese. Mice hate one thing: cats. This game's got both, and its blend of puzzle and action elements makes it too fun to pass up. Roll each mouse by swiping on the screen, aiming to collect all of the cheese pieces scattered about the level. Grab what you can, deal with obstacles in the way, and crash into the cat to move on. Just one question: since when were mice explosive?

Comics Creator:
Sick of not being a famous comic book creator? This handy little app lets you turn your photos into a full-length comic book! Simply choose the photos you want to use and place them on the template of your choice. Add speech bubbles, write your prose, and like magic, you've got a comic!

Opera Mini Web Browser:
Opera Mini is back and it's gone universal, adding support for iPad devices in addition to the already-supported iPhone and iPod Touch platforms. Opera boasts data compression that can cut your bandwidth usage up to 90%, perfect for anyone with a capped data plan, and the speed of the browser is well-known to anyone who has tried an Opera product before. Lots of user-friendly features make browsing the internet even easier than before!

Five for Friday: Week of May 13, 2011

Posted by Chris Nitz on May 13th, 2011

Castle Defense HD:
Castle Defense HD takes players back to ancient Chinese times when kingdoms battled for supremacy and rule. The game changes things up a bit by providing not only real historic battles, but also by giving players plenty to do with four different modes of play. With beautiful visuals and a familiar game play mechanic, this is one to tide gamers over until Popcap finally gets around to releasing a Plants vs. Zombies 2!

MetalStorm: Online:
Take to the skies with a thousand pounds of thrust at your six. MetalStorm will put flying aces against each other in an online battle to prove who is a true top gun. Dozens of unique aircraft, full 360-degree fighting, and enough action to keep players coming back for more. Forget all that work required for earning a pilot license, this is simple and can be played right in the bathroom.

Stop the Knights:
Dracula is under attack and it is up to the player to help him defend his castle against a bounty of pesky knights. Dracula is not on his own as players will be able to summon classic horror minions and brutal Skeleton Warriors to fight by his side. Why doesn't anyone just kill Dracula while he sleeps?

iEditor - All in One:
Code monkeys rejoice, running code while on the go just got a bit easier. Choose from over 50 programming languages to write, debug, and test that next million dollar app. This will let coding gurus slap in multiple inputs, receive several outputs, and enjoy a great error and compiler information screen. Coding while at the beach….heck yeah!

Adobe Nav for Photoshop:
Adobe is putting the electronics that lay dormant on desks to work with some great Photoshop companions. One of these great apps comes by the name of Nav for Photoshop. This program allows PS addicts to gain access an abundance of tools right from the iPad screen. Open documents, select brush tools, zoom, paint, and so much more, all right on the beautiful iPad screen. Who needs a Wacom Tablet now?