Weekly App Store Picks: June 20, 2009


A hand-picked selection of the latest releases for iPhone? Plus, a handy summary of Apple news from the past seven days? We’ve got it all, you lucky person, you.

Despite the deluge of announcements at last week’s WWDC, we’ve had no time to rest this week, either. Indeed, the news hasn’t stopped rolling in, so before we get to the iPhone picks, let’s look at this week’s Apple news.

First up, put on your dancing shoes and shimmy around the room, for it’s time to celebrate: iPhone OS 3.0 has been released. Head on over to iTunes pronto to download and upgrade. Notable new features include copy/paste, Spotlight and shake to undo. For a full feature list, check out this post.

My iPhone Twitter client of choice, Tweetie, met some unexpected competition this week when TweetDeck’s official iPhone app was launched at the App Store. The new app rolls in many of the features from TweetDeck’s big brother on OS X, plus it squeezes in a natty card-swishing interface reminiscent of the Palm Pre (s palm).

Our own Tom Reetsman has been playing rebel fanboy this week: In a bid to secure himself an iPhone 3G S on release day, he ordered not one, but two of Apple’s new devices. But before you go placing multiple pre-orders, check out Charles Jade’s excellent piece on selling your old iPhone. He covers all the details to ensure you quickly sell off your stodgy old iPhone 3G.

Before most folk could even get their iPhone 3G S out of the gorgeous recycled eco-friendly packaging and breath in the sweet scent of freshly unboxed Apple hardware, news has already rolled in about the next iPhone to be released. Rumor has it that the device will have a super zippy dual-core processor, meaning that, by the time it gets released, the S on iPhone 3G S will probably stand for slow.

And finally, Apple fired a major warning shot at the Palm Pre, a device that I feel is the iPhone’s most viable competitor. A new technical note was released this week, implying that Apple will soon disable syncing between iTunes and the Palm Pre. For me, the Pre’s tight integration and communication with iTunes was a major advantage for the device; it’ll be interesting to see how Palm responds when Apple pulls the plug.

Moving on to the picks, this week I’ve been looking at Whole Foods Market Recipes, WikiHow, Speed Racer 1, and Bomberman Touch 2.

appicon_whole_foodsWhole Foods Market Recipes (Free)
Besides frequently napping and tweeting on my iPhone, eating is one of my favorite ever pursuits. It’s nourishing and fun, plus, if I make the meal myself, it’s oh so satisfying. Which brings me on to cooking, a pursuit which is almost as fun as eating. Back at the start of this year, living in London, I did my weekly shopping over at Whole Foods (s wfmi). Their new app rolls in a Google (s goog) Maps-powered store finder with an extensive recipe book. And best of all, you can enter in the ingredients you have and it’ll find you something yummy to make. It’s even got options for those on special diets, such as vegan and gluten-free. Budding chefs should definitely download this new release.

appicon_wikiHowwikiHow (Free)
It may have been released back in March, but this app is just so interesting, I had to recommend it to you. Traditional how-to manuals can feel somewhat outdated, so some clever folks have created a massive wiki (√† la Wikipedia) containing a guide for how to do just about anything. In the past few minutes I’ve learned how to play Zombie Tag, how to crochet my own leg warmers, and how to make a shelter in the wilderness — all of which, I realize, are essential skills come the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Setting the undead aside for just a moment, if all this DIY stuff sounds like your bag, the iPhone version of wikiHow contains all the how-to goodness of the web site in one free app.

appicon_speed_racer_1Speed Racer 1 ($1.99)
A few weeks back, I recommended Go! Manga, an app that contained a veritable treasure trove of classic comics, all for free. One thing I did wonder about was the legality of the app and, sure enough, only a few days ago Go! Manga was shut down due to copyright claims. I’m always suspicious of seeing big-name content — videos or comics — available cheap or free on the App Store. However, potential purchasers of this app will be pleased to note that Zoo Vision, the folks behind Speed Racer 1, seem to be doing anim√© the legit way. The app lets you view a classic episode of Speed Racer — the original 1967 series — although two bucks does seem a little pricey for a single episode.

appicon_bomberman_2Bomberman Touch 2 ($2.99)
It’s somewhat strange that, while ngmoco, a relative newcomer to game publishing, has managed to release a steady stream of excellent games, creating new characters and brands in the process, a seriously experienced company such as Hudson Soft has been slow to exploit its classics on the iPhone. Finally, an entire year after the release of the original Bomberman Touch for iPhone, Hudson has squeezed out the sequel. This game includes Bluetooth-enabled multiplayer battle mode, alongside tons of new maps and features. Due to the slightly dodgy controls, this release will be best-suited to fans of the original.

That’s all the picks for this week. I’ll be back in another seven days with more news from the week and picks from the App Store.

In the meantime, what apps have you been using this week?