Weekly App Store Picks: November 21, 2009

Another week passing means another batch of fresh apps pop out of the Apple approval oven and land in the App Store. As ever, I’ve selected four of the best from this week’s releases for you to check out.

My top pick for this week is TimeTuner, an absolutely essential clock radio app for just about anyone who uses an alarm clock. Plus, I’ve also been looking at WorkSnug, Harbor 3D and AutoStitch.

TimeTuner ($1.99)

The iPhone Clock app does a valiant job of waking me up, but sometimes even Apple’s own apps need a bit of jazzing up. Enter TimeTuner, a gorgeous alarm clock app with a chic, ever-so-slightly ’80’s style. The app includes a glowing green LED clock, alongside a customizable radio tuner.

Even without the alarm clock functionality, the radio tuner alone is a powerful app, certainly worth more than a couple of bucks. Powered by Radio Time, the tuner portion of the app is much more than regular Internet radio. TimeTuner started by recommending a selection of local Helsinki-based stations, minutes later I’d even tracked down my favorite London station, Resonance FM, and even assigned Dublab FM as one of my presets.

The app is also more than a nice clock radio. It’s location aware, which means it adjusts the time and stations depending on which city you just arrived in. There’s a swish sleep timer that’s only a scroll away. It’s got a fail-safe back-up alarm, plus you can even use your own music library as wake up tunes too.

The app has already found a new home on my iPhone’s main page, it really is that good. If you wake up with an alarm every morning, TimeTuner is an essential app. It’ll temporarily transform your iPhone in to a stylish alarm clock that sounds gorgeous too.

WorkSnug (Free)

I’ve now got two augmented reality apps. One for finding restaurants, movies and other points of interest. The other for looking for local Wikipedia and Wikitude results. WorkSnug does away with hunting for yummy food and engaging film, instead it’s a tool that helps you track down a space to work in the city.

The folks behind the app have apparently visited, rated and reviewed every place that’s listed. You can find out about free Wi-Fi, coffee quality, power outlets and noise levels, among other things. Note that the app is 3GS only and that it only just launched in London. WorkSnug will be coming to San Francisco soon, so in the meantime, nomadic freelancers should grab it anyway, before the app costs a few bucks.

AutoStitch (Free $1.99)

After going all out with a vast selection of iPhone camera apps, I’ve now cut down to the bare essentials: QuadCamera, Flickr and PhotoForge. As great as these apps are though, they can’t make panoramas. AutoStitch, on the other hand, effortlessly jigsaws your snaps together to create excellent panoramic imagery.

The clue is in the name with AutoStitch. With this app, there’s no marking images, laying photos out, or manual labor of any kind. Simply take your photos using your favorite camera app, open Autostitch, choose the photos to be stuck together and the app does the rest.

AutoStitch does some very clever stuff in the background, unsurprising given that is was originally developed at the University of British Columbia, Setting aside the complicated stuff though, the app is essentially an intelligent panorama maker. It takes what is usually a laborious process and, in the spirit of Apple, it just works.

Harbor Havoc 3D ($1.99)

It wouldn’t be right to discuss line drawing games on the iPhone, without first mentioning Flight Control. Spawning an array of wannabe’ clones, Flight Control is a simple and oh-so-satisfying game that finds you guiding a variety of planes to their designated runways.

Harbor Havoc 3D takes the Flight Control concept a step further, cloning and then improving upon the gameplay. It’s your job to guide a variety of different boats to the correct port by drawing a line from the boat to the color-coded port. So far, so familiar.

After level one though, Harbor Havoc 3D mixes things up by throwing in helicopters and helipads. This means that you’ve got to calculate speed and distance on two different plains. It’s a devious yet compelling twist. While the game certainly isn’t 3D, it’s jolly good sea-faring and airborne fun. Much like Flight Control, it takes moments to learn and is just as moreish.

That’s all the picks for this week. What apps have you been using?


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