There are tons of weather apps out there, and Apple even includes a weak one with the iPhone. I do use the Apple app when I need a quick weather summary, but it’s not enough data when I really need a weather report. For the more serious weather info you can try WeatherBug, but it’s too much info sometimes. The problem with both these apps, and most of the others available, is that they follow the standard today/tonight weather model. Most of the time that’s fine, but as I’ll explain, not always.
Today I have an iPhone / iPad photography app called TiltShift Generator from Art and Mobile. If you have never heard of Tilt-Shift photography, it refers to using a type of lens that allows itself to be tilted or shifted. This tilt, or shift, changes how the lens aligns to the camera sensor. Why? Perspective control. Have you ever photographed a tall building? The buildings seem to bend, but with a tilt-shift lens a photographer can correct that effect – required for an architecture magazine. But there is another use for this type of lens… Fake Miniatures. A quick flickr search shows lots of examples.
By allowing you to control saturation, and selective focus, this app lets you simulate a tilt-shift miniature effect. The photo above is an example (but not a very good one) of the TiltShift Gen app used on a photo taken from the balcony of Disneyland’s private Club 33. Here is the original:
Today I have another app available for both iOS and Android. HBO GO is the new streaming service from HBOÂ®. Yep, HBO in your pocket! It allows you to watch HBO original programming, movies, sports, & comedy etc. from your mobile device.
When I first downloaded the app I was not expecting the performance I got. Over 3G the movies are very watchable. It was definitely a 3G connection, but very usable. This is exactly what I think television providers are worried about. If I can subscribe directly to HBO, why pay the cable company? Right now you do need a participating television provider, but what would happen if HBO added in-app subscriptions?
Today it’s back to my photography hobby for a great iPhone or Android app. Pro HDR from eyeApps is by far the best HDR smart phone app yet. If you’re not familiar with HDR, it stands for High Dynamic Range (Wikipedia). It english that means the photo will properly expose the bright and dark areas of your image. With HDR you take multiple shots, with different exposures, and combine them to create a photo that includes everything. Have you ever taken a photo indoors where the inside stuff looks OK, but the windows are pure white? That’s where HDR comes in. Shoot one photo with the windows properly exposed – but the inside of the room is almost black, and a second shot of the room with the windows blown out. Combined you have a great shot.
Text Adventure games rock! This week’s app is Frotz, a Z-Machine interpreter for iOS that allows you to play all of those old 80′s text based games like the Zork Trilogy, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Trinity. My favorite has always been the Scott Adams games like The Count – shown in the screenshot above. The developers description text puts it great:
“*Warning* Playing Frotz involves reading, thinking, and typing. If you just want to blow stuff up, this is not the app for you.”
“Burned out on all the new-fangled graphics and dazzling eye candy on your shiny new iPhone or iPad? Nostalgic for a simpler time? Then take advantage of those crisp high-resolution fonts…”
You have to try this week’s app to believe it. My son told me about it and my reaction was [...]
Disneyland = lines. There, I said it. You know what I mean, you walk from Indian Jones to Space Mountain only to find it’s a 96 hour wait. (Ok, 96 may be an exaggeration, but it sure as hell feels like it.) I was invited to have lunch this past week at the private Club 33 at Disneyland. After lunch we wandered around finding long lines everywhere, and that’s when we realized there was an app for that. In fact, there are a few apps.
Find My iPhone is an app from Apple that allows you find your iOS device via GPS. Think – lost iPhone, lost iPad, or your kid is not home yet. Yep, you can use the GPS of your, or someone else’s, device to find it on a map. So if you are not sure if you left it at work or the restaurant, you simply log into the Find My iPhone (iPad) app and, after a short wait, it will display the location on a map. Super cool, super easy, and super free. That last one is an important note, but I’ll explain that later.
What do you do when you find it? You can display a message on the device like “I’m an idiot and left my phone here, please call me at …”. You can cause the device to emit a sound, which is great when you know the phone is in the house but have no idea where. And, if you think you may have issues getting the device returned to you, you can remotely lock or wipe the device.
I usually do iPhone apps, or apps that exist on both the iPhone and Android, but this week it’s an Android only app. I have not used it, since I’m an iPhone user, but I really hope some of the KCAL crew might try it and comment how they like it. This one sounds too cool.
Most people silent their phones for special events. You’re in a movie theater, at a concert, watching a play, you get the point. But then you are out of touch, even in an emergency. You head to a nice special event, a wedding let’s say, and you mute your phone. But then, your kids, or babysitter can’t easily reach you in an emergency. What we really need is a “Silent for everyone but…” switch. Well, today’s app does just that.
Are you a movie, TV, or celebrity fan? Watching a movie and can’t rememeber an actor’s name, or where you have seen them before? Then today’s app is perfect for you. IMDb, or the The Internet Movie Database, is considered to be the largest collection of movie, TV, and celebrity information. If you are planning on heading out to see a show, IMDb also displays current showtimes.
Not long ago I was trying to explain the movie Memento to someone and they wondered who was in it. IMDb to the rescue. IMDb is available online, but as an app, it has answered a question every time I’ve used it. Oh yeah, it’s freeeeeeee!
For Android users, IMDb is available in the Android Marketplace. It has a 4.5 star rating from 25, 863 votes.
iPhone, or iPad, users will find it in the AppStore. The iPhone version has 3.5 stars from 62,656 ratings.