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Favorite Fifty: 148Apps Best Apps of 2011: 16 - 25

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on December 27th, 2011

In what was another fantastic year in the world of iOS apps & games, we are here to bring you the fifty titles that we, the staff of 148Apps, thought were the best of the year. Here are the app titles 16 - 25 in our Best Apps of 2011:

iMovie- Video editing on the iPhone is revolutionary enough, but the extra screen space on the iPad makes this activity truly useful. Making movies is fun again, thanks in no small part to Apple's attention to detail in this flagship app.

Facebook - The wait was long for the iPad version but between its iconic look and intuitive menus systems, the official Facebook Universal app renders the competition obsolete. It's fantastic to have this in both flavors, for checking on the go or on the couch.

FX Photo Studio HD - Offering a plethora (194 at last count) of different photo effects without forgetting the bare essentials like crop and rotate, FX Photo Studio is a one stop shop for everything anyone might need in a photo editing app.

Dolphin Browser - With gesture based controls and a speed dial system of visiting regularly used sites, Dolphin has made my browsing experience so much faster this year. Safari continues to dominate as the default browser, but Dolphin Browser does so much more so much better.

Daedalus Touch - When we're writing complex, thoughtful pieces of journalism, we like to be undistracted by the cruft of modern computing, like Facebook, or ads. Daedalus Touch makes this possible but doesn't forget to include useful features like iCloud and Dropbox support.

GroupMe - We use this app all the darn time to chat amongst ourselves, even when we have nothing much to say. For private team meetings, SMS integration, and just plain great usability, GroupMe is our go to app. It's also accessible via the web, so no matter where we are, we can join in the conversation.

Stitcher - We love podcasts, and we love Universal apps. Stitcher has both! Using iTunes to download and listen to podcasts is so last year; Stitcher allows us to grab our favorites while on the go, and even provides curated lists for those of us craving that something new we haven't heard before.

Free Time - What can we say? Time-management is very important to us and this app makes it much easier than it used to be. Instead of the standard question of "where do we need to be," Free Time answers the much more subtle - yet equally important, "when do we not need to be anywhere?" This allows us to take that downtime when we can find it, or at least know we're not double booking ourselves. What? Like you've never done that.

Voice Actions - It's not exactly something that we NEED to get through our day, but we're still impressed by just how comprehensive this app is. It also allows us to satisfy our Siri envy until we all get a 4S phone to use. Use Voice Actions to call, text, search the internet, and even bring up favorite apps all with your voice, on any iOS device.

7Notes Premium HD - Need a note taking app with just a bit more to it? 7Notes Premium is a fantastic blend of handwriting recognition, note taking facility, and Evernote compatibility that makes something greater than the sum of its parts. While we'd love a Universal app, there is a version for both the iPad and the smaller devices, so most folks can use this one.

Call, Text and More, Virtually Hands-Free, With Voice Actions

Posted by Rob Rich on August 29th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Voice-commands for a mobile phone seem like a silly idea, all things considered. I mean, everything is already kind of just there: a GPS, internet browser, email, texting and so on. There are certainly some situations that it would be handy in, though. Driving and walking down the street (no more inadvertently walking into traffic while typing, yay!) come to mind. Voice Actions is intended to be some kind of all-encompassing voice-command app that does all that and more.

Want to call the parents? Just tell the phone. Need to know where that restaurant is? Ask. The software recognizes a shocking amount of spoken dialog accurately. It can translate words and phrases into several different languages, find locations on the GPS, search the device's library for requested songs and more.

A good many of the questions users might ask will be answered in-app via a computerized Australian woman's voice, while anything that isn't readily-available calls up a search in the web browser. It can also access other apps such as the GPS I keep talking about, contacts, YouTube and more. It can certainly be useful in a situation that requires one's eyes to be somewhere other than the screen, but it can also be a faster way to find information depending on the situation.

For example, it's possible to open up the weather app, mess around with some menus and figure out what the weather is like in West Haven, Connecticut. Or there's the option to simply ask Voice Actions and have it tell me. The same goes for finding locations on a map or videos. Then, of course, there's the translation. The app seems to be able to accurately translate a whole heck of a lot into a whole heck of a lot of different languages, and it provides computerized pronunciations.

Voice Actions is available in the App Store right now for $9.99.