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iPhone/iPod Touch App Recommendations

January 4, 2010

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the thousands who received an iPhone or iPod touch for Christmas. Or maybe you’re one of those still on the fence, wondering what the fuss over the wave of smart phones, apps, and other goodies you can download from iTunes is all about. Hopefully, we’ll be able to steer you in the right direction with this, the first in a series of columns giving you the best and most interesting apps available for download.

Acrobots: “Bizarre” is the best way to describe this app. It plays like a ballet in outerspace, starting off with five three limbed balls whose first instinct is to press against a wall, kick off from a wall, or reach for each other. Eventually, the acrobots settle, some on the floor of your screen, others balanced on top of other acrobots or leaning against a wall. A shake of the device or a flick of your finger will sent them soaring, looking to find that balance again. Along with adding or subtracting acrobots, you can change the gravity setting for a floatier experience, change the sticky level to allow them to maintain a firmer or weaker grip, change the size or the speed they travel in. There’s no score or goal to achieve. It’s one of the more hypnotic, mesmerizing apps available.

Wordorama: Better than any of the hangman apps, Wordorama is one of the more addictive apps. Seven letters take up the bottom of your screen.  The idea is to reach the next level by forming as many words as possible, using the letters given, within a set time limit. Put together a set amount of words and you’re on to the next level. You have a limited amount of lifelines, giving you hints as to some of the words you’ll need to uncover. If there’s a downside, aside from the repetitive piano soundtrack that can be turned off, it’s that some of the words used are wildly hard, at times relying on the player to have some knowledge of old English (or at least find themselves lucky enough to hit the correct letter combination). Download this and watch time fly past you.

Where: The ultimate area information app, Where is your guide to the essentials of your location. Using the gps, Where will update you on everything going on. Where doesn’t miss a trick, giving you everything current. Gas price information, local weather, updated traffic alerts, local events, the location of the nearest Starbucks, local news, movies, you name it. The layout and interface are very simple with Where doing the leg work for you. Whether you’re planning your evening or a week in advance, or even new to an area and looking to see what’s going on, Where becomes one of the essential iPhone or iPod Touch apps.

Smash 2012: This app is the equivalent of watching an army of ants build a molehill and then crushing it with your foot. It’s playing god with the meek and helpless–in this case a group of worker stick figures constucting a city and town. The vector graphics used are simple, the effect, sadistic, as it becomes your job to rain meteors at will onto their buildings. Small and fast, monstrous and slow, watch those little stick figures run screaming from impending doom at your fingertip. Watch them rebuild their fair stick city, only to have you destroy it again. There’s no high score kept, only the satisfaction of causing the chaos and destruction of stick figures, names and faces left to your own imagination.

CBS Radio: Looking for an out of state news radio station to keep up with a specific breaking event? Miss the sports talk or rock station from your old home town? So long as it’s CBS owned, it’s here. Broken down into cities from east coast to west, as well as numerous genres (news/talk,sports, decades, styles, etc.), the CBS Radio app provides clear audio streams to some of your favorite radio stations. If you have last.fm, AOL Radio and Y! Music, they’re both incorporated here, saving you app and memory space. This is one of the few radio apps you’ll ever need.

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