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148Apps 2014 Holiday Shopping Guide for Creative Types

Posted by Rob Rich on December 10th, 2014

Welcome, one and all, to another 148Apps holiday shopping guide! Are you having trouble figuring out what to get for a distant relative, new neighbor, or estranged second cousin? Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you’re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we’ve got you covered.

Other 148Apps Holiday Gift Guides: for [Health Nuts] [Socializers] [Gamers] [Power Users]

Today’s guide is for those creative types in your life. These are the people who like to draw, compose music, sculpt, or otherwise make things with their iOS devices. So long as they enjoy creating, and you’re in need of some gift ideas, you should check out our list below.

148Apps 2014 Holiday Shopping Guide for Socializers

Posted by Rob Rich on December 9th, 2014

Welcome, one and all, to another 148Apps holiday shopping guide! Are you having trouble figuring out what to get for a distant relative, new neighbor, or estranged second cousin? Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you’re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we’ve got you covered.

Other 148Apps Holiday Gift Guides: for [Health Nuts] [Creative Types] [Gamers] [Power Users]

Today’s guide centers around highly social iOS users. I’m talking about the people who practically live on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and all that. It can be tough to come up with something for such diehard (virtual) social butterflies, and even more tricky to surprise them, but we’re certainly going to give it a shot! Check out our list below for some hopefully useful ideas.

Group Chat and More Comes to Soundwave in Latest Update

Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 17th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Soundwave, the music discovery app that tracks the music you listen to on a variety of platforms (YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, etc...), is getting a major update today. The app is receiving a fresh, new design and includes a Music Messenger feature allowing users to connect with their friends. Users can search for songs on the app and share them, private group chat, make group playlists with friends, and connect with other users that have a common music interests.

You can check out Soundwave for free on the app store.

App Store Fifth Anniversary: Ten Fantastic, Landmark Apps for iOS

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on July 8th, 2013

The App Store turns five this week, and we'll be taking a long look back at this disruptive force in the way we use our mobile devices. Back in 2008, when the App Store launched, we had no idea how far it would come in such a short time, but hindsight is a good thing.

During that time, there have been a ton of apps that changed and improved the state of the art. Here, then, are ten that we think really matter, apps that had an effect on our lives, even now. Apps that changed the landscape of what we expected from a mobile device, and gave us new ways of interacting, sharing, and understanding our world.

Instagram


The grandaddy of social image sharing, Instagram created, with an ease of use and pretty image filters, a whole new social network based on images. In an era of Facebook (who eventually bought the service) and Twitter, that was no small feat.

Snapchat


While derided as a possible porn-chat app, Snapchat took a single idea and refined it to a razor's edge: take a picture, caption it, and share with your friends. Then, zen-like, that picture disappears. The hidden potential in this app caught on with young and old alike, changing the way we communicated with pictures. Without an archive, Snapchat lets users freely share what they might not otherwise.

Whatsapp


Here's an app that allows anyone on any platform to exchange messages with anyone else on any other platform. In a world where you're just as likely to have friends using Android or Blackberry as iOS, this was a revelation. Many other apps tried something similar, but Whatsapp has the userbase and an easy to use, intuitive app that brought it to the forefront. Now we can stay in touch with all our friends and family, regardless of platform, for free.

Camera+


The photographer's photography app, Camera+ fairly invented iPhoneography, letting iPhone users capture and edit better photos than the built in app with ease. Since its launch, the app has kept pace with upgrades in technology and the camera lenses in each iteration of iPhone, empowering real photographers and talented amateurs alike. Heck, they even pioneered using the volume button as a shutter release, until Apple shut that down, only to use it in the built-in Camera app.

Dropbox


Before Google Drive, before iCloud, there was Dropbox, a service that mirrors your documents across computers with a simple, unified login. The Dropbox app on the iPhone took the same, intuitive simplicity and allowed us all to access and edit the same documents on the go as easily as doing so on our Macs and PCs.

Evernote



Take notes, save pictures, record audio, bookmark websites. Do this on any device you own: Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android. Evernote has become the de facto standard for network-connected note taking, and much more. You can use this app to write a shopping list on your computer, and then pull it up on your iPhone while at the store. You can collaborate with others on documents, sharing notes and notebooks with ease.

Shazam


Ever been in the car when a song comes up on the radio and you just can't remember the artist that performed it? Hold your iPhone up, launch Shazam, and let the app magically recognize the music, returning the artist name, album, and easy-purchase buttons for the iTunes store. Newer features include movie preview recognition with links to more information, and television ads that, when recognized, provide links to vendor websites. It's magical technology at its best.

InstaPaper


Marco Arment created Instapaper as a basic web app, single handedly creating the "read it later" market that many other apps now compete for. Arment started the service in 2008, built the iPhone app himself, and saw the service grow far beyond his initial vision. He's subsequently sold the app to another company, who promise to maintain and improve it as we continue forward.

Waze


Waze was one of the first social mapping and traffic app, allowing users to share road conditions with each other while on the go. It may be one of the most unappreciated apps on this list, but it continues to serve a loyal and vocal user base, providing real-time help from users to help us all plan the best route possible.

Foursquare


The check-in craze started here, with Foursquare. Becoming the mayor of a location, along with various gamification features, provided a stickiness not seen before the apps release. Even with privacy concerns dogging its every step, Foursquare has managed to remain in the public imagination as the way to let our friends know where we are at any given time.

Flipboard


RSS is great, as are Twitter and Facebook feeds. But what we really want is a place to see all of those things at once, published in a slick, easy to use layout. Enter Flipboard, still the best darn social news reader around. It makes the various web sites and social feeds we all rely on much prettier and interesting to look at, letting us keep up to date without having to dip into several different apps to do so.

Pandora


Founded as a streaming internet radio service on the web, Pandora made the transition to iOS brilliantly, becoming a force to reckon with in the competitive streaming music market, as well as a household name known by one and all. While other services continue to chip away at the venerable service, offering on-demand music access, Pandora continues to be the music access app of choice on iOS devices everywhere.

Urbanspoon


Can't decide where to eat? Shake your iPhone and Urbanspoon will randomly choose a restaurant nearby that matches your criteria of price, cuisine, and distance. Released in August of 2008, Urbanspoon was the first app on the App Store to combine GPS location data with a database of local dining and drinking establishments, creating a loyal community that reviewed meals, restaurants, and service for other users.

WahWah.FM Lets Users Broadcast Personal Radio Stations

Posted by Kevin Stout on May 17th, 2012

What happens when a location-based service like Foursquare and a radio streaming services like Pandora are mashed together? We end up with something like WahWah.FM. WahWah.FM, a German-based start-up, is a music service that lets users create their own radio stations by picking music on their own iPhones and simultaneously listening and streaming those songs to anyone else who'd like to listen.

Unlike Pandora and other services that may use algorithms and recommendations to pick songs for stations, every user is their own DJ and can choose which songs they will listen to and broadcast to their listeners. Users can tune into to other users all over to world to check out what they're listening to. Stations can be posted to Facebook to let friends know that music is being broadcasted. And there are even ways to interact with the listens to the stations each user has created.

WahWah.FM is a free service and is now available on the App Store. Check it out and start streaming.

Ten Apps To Take Advantage of the New iPad Retina Display

Posted by Carter Dotson on March 19th, 2012

With the launch of the new iPad and its Retina Display, it may take some time for apps to catch up with the new high-resolution art requirements. Not for these ten apps, which have all been updated to support the new iPad's high-resolution screen.

ABC Player: Want to catch up on ABC shows, but don't want to lose out on resolution? Well, the ABC app now supports the new iPad Retina Display, which should make high-resolution video available from the app shine. It would even be possible, if ABC supports it, to stream 1080p, which is even higher resolution than what local ABC stations display at.

Pandora: How would a music app benefit from a higher-resolution display? Well, it might not, but choosing and discovering new artists and songs to play will look better than ever. As well, the LTE in the new iPad means higher-quality audio is easier to stream while on the go.

Pulse: This news aggregator recently added support for local content, but it got a second update this week adding support for the new iPad. Image previews for articles come through clearer than ever, and reading articles is even easier now with sharper text.

Evernote: The popular service for sharing notes, audio recordings, and pictures to the cloud supports the new iPad with its latest update. Now, all that shared content can be pulled down and viewed more crisply than ever. Well, besides the audio, the Retina Display won't change the sound. Apple can only do so much.

Readability: Don't lose any viewability when viewing the web through this app's easier reading experience. The 1.0.3 update introduces Retina Display support, making the title of the app continue to ring true.

iA Writer – One of the finer writing apps available for iPad, this crisp and clear writing app loses none of its visual fidelity on the new iPad. As a bonus, it now is universal for the iPhone and iPod touch, and still supports iCloud for syncing between devices as well as the Mac version of the software.

Tweetbot: Arguably the best third-party Twitter app available, Tapbots has updated the assets to make the iPad version of their client shine. The new update also brings live streaming of new tweets, but only over wifi, so no need to worry about wasting that LTE data plan.

Kindle: Still not giving in to the Apple ecosystem entirely? Well, good news: at least one third-party ebook service is supporting the new iPad, so Kindle books will read clearer than ever. Well, the text will be. The actual content may still be confusing.

BeoClock: Normal alarm clocks are just too low resolution to be any good any more. Wake up to a beautfiul alarm clock displayed by the iPad's Retina Display, and possibly everything in the world will be more beautiful. Or everything will pale in comparison to this alarm clock's beauty. Either way, it'll probably look really nice.

CalcBot: Tapbots' calculator app may just be the most beautiful calculator on earth, and with its new update, the new iPad can display it in full Retina Display glory. It makes the TI-89 look even more pathetic by comparison. Plus, the iPad doesn't have a built-in calculator app, so this really comes in handy!

Penny Arcade's Decide-o-tron Offers Game Recommendations

Posted by Jennifer Allen on August 29th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Popular web comic Penny Arcade has been around for as long as I can remember. With its sharp sense of humor, it's kept gamers laughing with glee. Now with its new iOS app, Penny Arcade's Decide-o-tron sets out to solve the gamer's biggest dilemma: what game to play next.

We've all been there. A spare hour to game and it's impossible to decide what to play. I tend to find myself staring at that pile of games and before I know it, my spare time is gone and I hardly had a chance to actually play anything. The Decide-o-tron 8000, to give it its full title, will hopefully solve that dilemma by deciding for me.

Arriving on the App store in the next few weeks, the app requires the bare minimum of effort. Users just have to input their gaming preferences and then the app's predictive technology figures out from a list of more than 10,000 games what games should be recommended. Recommendations cover most major consoles such as PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Network, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live Marketplace, Wii, Nintendo DS, DSI and 3DS, WiiWare/Virtual Console, GameCube, GameBoy Advance and PC games. Users can always manually add items to the catalogue too, either by scanning in the barcode or entering a search keyword.

Besides recommendations, wishlist functionality is included with the ability to share it with friends or family. As well as all that, play lists are included from online and gaming personalities starting with Penny Arcade's Mike “Gabe” Krahulik and Jerry “Tycho” Holkins. Other famous people are promised to be included in the future.

Ultimately though, the great advantage here is to have the decisions of what game to play next made a heck of a lot easier, kind of like a gaming equivalent to music recommendation service Pandora Radio.

It's all a pretty cool idea and potentially very useful. Penny Arcade's Decide-o-tron 8000 is now available for free, check it out. Check out the screenshots below.

[itmsapp: 456494777]

Sonos Releases New, Smaller Play3, Still Awesome

Posted by Jeff Scott on July 20th, 2011

It's not everyday that we write about hardware on 148Apps. So when we do, you know it's about something awesome.

Today, Sonos, one our favorite iOS friendly audio hardware makers have released a new, smaller device, the Play3. It's the little brother to the fantastic S5, now called the Play5 that we reviewed last year. This smaller version has 3 speakers instead of the 5 found in the Play5. It still maintains the features of the Play5 in that it connects with your home network to stream music from iTunes and a huge variety of online services like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, etc.

I had a chance to test out the new Play3 for a few minutes earlier this week. And I'm impressed. It does a great job, in a smaller package, of still sounding great. You can use this in addition to a Play5, on it's own, or create a stereo pair between two like devices. The Play5 is a great machine that I've grown to love. The Play3 will be a great first device for new Sonos users considering it's retail price of $299. It will also make a good second device to extend your Sonos range into another room.

We hope to be able to bring you a full review of the Play3 in the next couple weeks.

[itmsapp: 293523031]

Apple Lists 2010 Top Apps

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on December 9th, 2010

As the year winds down and we look ahead to the next decade it's time for all those wonderful end-of-year lists we all get so excited about. Today we have some exciting news, as Apple has detailed all the top paid and free apps for the iPhone and iPad, as well as the top grossing apps on each platform. Here's the full rundown, for your edification.

Top 10 Paid iPhone Apps

1. Angry Birds
2. Doodle Jump
3. Skee-Ball
4. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz
5. Fruit Ninja
6. Cut the Rope
7. ALL-IN-1 GAMEBOX
8. The Moron Test
9. Plants vs. Zombies
10. Pocket God

Top 10 Free iPhone Apps

1. Facebook
2. Angry Birds Lite
3. Words With Friends Free
4. Skype
5. Tap Tap Revenge 3
6. The Weather Channel®
7. Paper Toss
8. Bing
9. ROCK BAND FREE
10. Talking Tom Cat

Top 10 Grossing iPhone Apps

1. MLB.com At Bat 2010
2. Angry Birds
3. Call of Duty: Zombies
4. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz
5. FriendCaller 3 Pro
6. Zombie Farm
7. TomTom U.S.A.
8. TETRIS®
9. Plants vs. Zombies
10. Doodle Jump

REad even MORE lists after the jump.

iTunes Streaming Not On The Cards Just Yet

Posted by Ben Harvell on May 5th, 2010

After Apple acquired music streaming service Lala Media at the end of 2009, many believed it would be bringing this cloud-based technology to its iTunes service very soon. While Lala will shut down on May 31st it appears that it may still be a while before a streaming version of the iTunes Store for both desktop computers as well as iPhones and iPads will be launched.

Lala offers a catalog of over 7 million songs that stream directly to users over the internet. In order for listeners to listen to a specific song at any time and as many times as they wish they are required to pay a $.10 fee. Songs are also available to download at prices similar to the iTunes Music Store. Apple acquired the company in December 2009 for an undisclosed fee thought to be around $17 million.

However, after initial excitement at the Lala Media shutdown announcement, it appears not to denote an imminent launch of Apple's own streaming product.

Apple is said to be talking to record labels regarding a streaming service but these discussions have been pegged as "preliminary at best" according Peter Kafka writing for MediaMemo at All Things D.

The success of streaming music and video applications like Spotify and Pandora for the iPhone and the new ABC Player for iPad have added weight to the rumours that Apple will begin to deliver music and movies in the same way via iTunes but it appears this move could still be a way off.

Apple is well aware of the demand for streaming music services after showing Pandora's application streaming music while making use of the new multitasking feature found in the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0.

One of the key factors in such a service is the method in which payment would be made by consumers. While Apple has strong ties with the major record labels it took a long time to thrash out a mutually beneficial deal. Changing the landscape for music delivery may introduce further issues. Streaming music a user already owns on iTunes is one possible outcome however a subscription model may also be made available which would tie in to an iPhone and iPad application.

With Apple's World Wide Developer Conference only a month away, those hoping for an announcement on the topic will likely be disappointed, with many sources claiming the launch of a streaming iTunes service won't happen before the third quarter of this year.


[via MediaMemo ]