Weekly App Store Roundup: Jan, 24. 2009


Unholster your iPhone and boot up iTunes because it’s that time of the week when we all gather round the App Store and have a look at some of the freshest picks from the last seven days.

While I’ve been wandering the boutiques and bars of Berlin this week, things have been busy for Apple (s aapl). First up was the Q1 conference call where Tim Cook — standing in for Steve Jobs — revealed that the $199 iPhone price point is working well. 

Less pleasing for those in Cupertino was a court ruling that, due to the fact that the first generation iPod Nano is overly susceptible to scratch damage, Apple is going to have to pay up to $25 to owners of the tiny damaged device.

Setting the serious stuff aside, let’s get down to business with this week’s App Store Roundup.

This week, I’ve been looking at iSniper, Slingshot Lite, Fantastic Contraption and Haruzou – Photo Uploader.

isniperiSniper ($1.99)
Back in my student days, I was an avid online gamer; favorites included Counter Strike, Team Fortress and Battlefield 1942. My class of choice was always sniper — you need to be cunning, patient and then quick on the draw when the time comes. While I’ve ditched the gaming PC for my luxurious but FPS-free Macbook Pro, my trigger-finger still itches for the thrill of shooting faces off. Imagine my joy therefore at discovering iSniper, a game which strips away all the running and jumping, leaving just the satsifying snipey bits.

slingshot liteSlingshot Lite (FREE)
Slingshot Lite brings applied physics to your iPhone, as you literally slingshot your missiles ’round planets in a bid to destroy your target. It’s a game of trial and error, constantly refining the variables until you achieve success. The best thing though is that, due to all the number balancing and variable tweaking, you feel exceedingly clever after completing each stage. It’s like an ego-boost in your pocket. And, if you dig the lite version, the full edition is available for a few bucks.

fantastic contraptionFantastic Contraption ($2.99)
First things first, let’s get this out the way: this game is an absolute must have. It should sit in your iPhone game collection alongside  that other essential title, Rolando. The idea is that you craft your own clever contraptions which move themselves — through the joys of phsyics — to the goal area. Chuck together a device using cogs, wood and other bits and bobs, then set your creation in to action. The game even features a built in level editor, extra levels and the ability to share your contraptions with the community. If you’re still not positive that you should immediately purchase this game, go try it out now, online.

haruzouHaruzou – Photo Uploader (free)
Even though I’ve just purchased an awesome new camera (Panasonic  DMC LX3, for those wondering), my iPhone (with the help of Polarize) is still getting some photo love. In the past I’ve recommended Klick for uploading to Flickr, it’s feature-rich, polished and free; however, some users may want a more bare-bones solution to getting their snaps on Flickr. Haruzou  uploads to both Flickr and Picasa, includes multiple-image uploading, re-size and rotate, plus it’s totally free.

Just One More Thing

Back in the Summer of ’08, Kentaro Kumagai released an app for touch and iPhone called iview. The description on the App Store was lacking, there was only one preview image and, despite being free, the app has only notched up one review on the store (albeit a four star rating).

General App Store fluff? No, it’s anything but, this is an entertaining toy for passing the time and, at best, a feature-rich re-blogging tool for users of Tumblr. The problem is that Kumagai just ain’t the world’s best copy-writer — he’s not so hot at marketing his wares — as such, this app got lost amidst the general onslaught of App Store releases.

The app allows you to view images from several image book-marking services such as FFFFound!, We Heart It and Vi.Sualize.Us — it’s a great way to wallow in weird imagery or browse for creative inspiration.

For users of Tumblr — a site that is somewhere in between Twitter’s micro-posts and traditional blogging — iview takes it to the next level, allowing users to reblog any image with a quick tap of a button. No forms to fill in, no multiple taps, no text entry. Just click the reblog button and it’s posted to your esoteric corner of the Internets.

For creatives on the look out for inspiration, Tumblr users looking for their next potential meme or iPhone owners with a penchant for visual stimulation, iview is a wonderful app in need of some serious championing. Grab it, use it and tell me if you dig it.

That’s all from the App Store this week, I’ll be back next Saturday with more of the latest releases. In the meantime, drop by the comments and let me know which apps you’ve been looking at.