Beamr is one of those mouth-watering iPhone apps that wows not so much because of what it is, but because of what it could be.
The basic idea is very cool: Delve into your photo library, select a handful of photos and choose a cover shot. The app will then superimpose some text and graphics over the cover (you can change the cover text).
But the real magic happens when you share your little faux-magazine. Beamr uses “patent-pending JPEGmini optimization technology” to package and deliver the “magazine”; the result is very quick delivery, and the images can be saved by the recipient at full resolution (for example, 8MP if you shot the pictures with an iPhone 4S/5).
I yearn for more, though. The photos can’t be arranged in any way, and there’s only one style of cover. Also, the app is designed for the iPhone, not the iPad(s) on which it would really shine. Still, it’s a neat trick and worth checking out. And hopefully there’ll be updates that build it out in the near future.
Ah, the ’80s — back when a Tab was something to drink, not deride, and Members Only wasn’t exactly an exclusive club. Reliving (or living, for those born after 1979) those days is as easy as tracking down a six-pack of Tab on the Internet, or purchasing this purple number.
Those who’d rather not deal with their friends’ hysterical laughter or horribly wilted taste buds can simply download a faithful recreation of DONKEY.BAS, probably the best thing Bill Gates ever made, onto their iPad or iPhone.
I’ve seen some amazing photos shot with the increasingly advanced photo hardware (and software) packed into the iPhone, and now the iPad. And while swiping through the images is fun, sometimes you want physical prints. An update to the free Snapfish app lets you have those prints by letting you send images from your iPhone to the closest Walmart, Walgreens, or if you’re in New York, Duane Reade — and they’ll be printed in about an hour.
Just retooled for the iPhone 5, Vlock is a free app that displays a bold Android-ish clock, with date, on your iPhone. It’ll also let you play videos through the clock in a kind of video version of the iPad’s Picture Frame mode, complete with loop and transitions. Combine this with the app’s lockscreen feature, and you’ve got a faux animated Android-y lockscreen. All without a jailbreak.
As a gadget reviewer, I go through a lot of shipped packages. Which means I have to deal with a logistical nightmare second only to the Allied supply lines following the D-Day landings (except my packages tend to be, for the most part, somewhat less liable to explode or cause diarrhea). But that’s OK — I have a secret weapon to help keep everything straight.
Junecloud‘s Deliveries Status ($5) tracks shipments in a wonderfully simple, easy-to-read, straightforward manner; and like many of Apple’s own products, it just works.
My iTunes collection is a mess. Ripped CDs, music transferred through home sharing, obscure collections, and then there is the classical and opera that I enjoy. Gee I wish there was a way to fix all the “Track 1 by Unknown Artist” music that I have. And duplicates. Yeah I have some when I pulled in whole albums but already had a few singles. I’m not a huge cover art fan, but gray boxes are boring. I wish I could fix them…
You get three solid apps plus a ton of clip art (don’t think for a moment that you won’t need some clip art at some point) for $89. It’s a nice, and inexpensive, way to get a solid dev environment started.
I remember playing MechWarrior 2 in the mid 90s. Man, what thrill — I spent days piloting horribly destructive giant robots around a 3D battlefield, firing rockets, blasting anything that moved with terawatt lasers.
Of course, that was on my old 386 PC clone, back when I still followed the dark side of the force and hadn’t jumped onto a Mac yet. But the MechWarrior / BattleTech series of games has been around on Apple machines since day one — so I’m pretty jazzed to finally see the a MechWarrior game arrive for the iPad in the form of MechWarrior: Tactical Command.
I’ve never actually played Taboo (which is apparently massively popular; shows you just how much I get out); so when Clucks‘ PR guy referred to this new game as “video Taboo for iPhone,” my reaction was: Huh? So I looked up the game on Wikipedia (and finally realized that I had, indeed, heard of Taboo before), and it turns out that’s a perfect description for Clucks. But he might have called it “the next big social media craze on the iPhone,” because that might turn out to be an even better description.