Since I can claim to have owned an iPod Touch since August of this year, there’s been plenty of time to obsess over applications that are purporting to change your life. Here’s a rundown of my favorite applications; everything from games to social networking (in no particular order!):
1. NETNEWSWIRE; Despite some bad reviews in the iTunes store, I’ve found this program to have improved dramatically since its first version debuted soon after the App Store launched. The main attraction for this portable RSS feed-reader is the purported syncing with parent site NewsGator, where (free) account members can subscribe to feeds and sync read items across the mobile and desktop versions of the software. I’m finding that not all of my 250+ feeds will make it to my iPod on every launch, but it sure is close. My gut tells me they’ll continue to improve this application and work any kinks out over time.
2. SIMPLIFY MEDIA; For those who are concerned about the smaller capacity sizes of iPods and iPhones and not being able to carry around the amount of media you’d like, this application is for you. Simplify Media allows users to stream music from home computers to the mobile device as long as both are connected to the internet. If you’ve got a 50GB iTunes library and own an 8GB iPhone, no need to pick and choose which songs go with you! Stream away! The application also allows users to share music libraries with up to 30 other users. I’m currently working in a new desktop computer and my library isn’t up to what it once was, so I’m not feeling a dramatic difference at this moment. This will come in handy as my library grows. If you are a user of this application and would like to share libraries, please get in touch!
3. SPACE MONKEY; I haven’t owned a mobile gaming device for a long time (if ever, besides a cellphone?), and I have found that having games at a moment’s notice are a welcome rest for my brain when overload is imminent. Space Monkey was launched at first for free, which is an excellent way to get anyone to at least try your wares. This game is fairly basic, but it takes advantage of the iPod/Phone platform well, utilizing the touch screen and shake accelerometer as a part of game play. I finally made my way through all the levels, and am currently working on the “bonus galaxy” that was included with the version 1.3 (free) update. Watch out for those killer toasters!
4. WURDLE; Similar to Boggle, Wurdle takes the touchscreen interface to a new level by integrating it as the only way to “find” words in the game. One must trace correct words with a finger in a variety of different configurable board set-ups. This is classic good-for-the-mind relaxation.
5. REMOTE; There is nothing more excellent than being able to control the music selection being piped through AirTunes via AirPort Express with the Remote application. OK, maybe a SONOS system would be more excellent, but for those who are just beginning to explore the benefits of wireless streaming technologies, this is a great way to start without breaking the bank.
6. BEJEWELED 2; Most people have played Bejeweled at some point in their lives, but perhaps not the second installment that adds a few fun twists to the jewel swap-and-cascade classic. This version works well with the platform, utilizing the tap and swipe gestures to their fullest capabilities. I’m stuck on playing the “ACTION” version where there’s a countdown bar constantly prodding me to cascade away! Win! Win!
7. FACEBOOK; I want to love this application as much as I love Facebook – The Site, but alas, there’s just something missing. Although it is open just as much as my iPod is on, it is also crashing or needing a re-boot an equal amount of time. Looks like it’s about time for an update, ahem, but until then I will continue to enjoy what does work and feed the addiction to my News Feed.
8. iCONVERT; I was a big fan of “UNITS” for on-the-fly conversion of nearly any unit imaginable. Unfortunately, I can’t even get the application to stay open for more than a hot second, so iConvert is the new way to go, offering some more fun with the scrolling wheel selector that is built-in to the iPod/Phone platform. How many Kroner in a Dollar?
9. SCRABBLE; OK, OK, I fawned over Scrabble for my previous iPod. The version for the Touch platform is excellent, allowing players to place their letters with a single finger. I’ve been using this as a learning tool, selecting the “BEST WORD” feature in order to see what move the computer would choose in some tricky situations. Good stuff so far…
10. TWITTERRIFFIC; I must admit I have not tried any other Twitter application for this platform. Word is Twinkle is pretty excellent, but as soon as I heard one needs to also sign up for a Tapulous account to make it work, I ran for the hills of my basic little Twitterriffic. Sure I have to ignore a few ads here and there, but it lets me reply, lets me scroll, and most importantly, lets me Twitter. Like I am wont to do.