Weekly App Store Roundup: Nov. 22, 2008


Another fantabulous week at The Apple Blog draws to a close. In the week that was, we’ve investigated unlocking the iPhone 3G, elucidated upon the joys of Mobile Me and become a little exasperated by the approaching change of weather, as Blackberry’s new Storm arrives (it didn’t really blow us away). Plus, we’ve joined the masses on Twitter too.

In the meantime a torrent of nervous-looking new arrivals joined the App Store, so it’s time for me to line a few of them up and judge which are fit for action and which should be sent home on indefinite leave.

This week I’m looking at Wallpapers by Gelaskins, Star Trigon Lite and EuroTalk.

Wallpapers by Gelaskins (free) – Where does one find a raft of beautiful wallpapers, all designed by internationally acclaimed artists and proportioned perfectly for the iPhone? Step up Wallpapers by Gelaskins, packed to the very brim with seriously high-quality papers. The selection of artists on offer is nothing short of jaw-droppingly impressive, including, I’m pleased to note, Alien-artist H.R. Giger. The app is free and if you’re iPhone is in need of a makeover this should be your first stop.

Star Trigon Lite (free) – Japanese game shop Namco – you’ll know them from classics such as Soul Calibur, Tekken and Pac-Man – have brought their game-design skills over to the iPhone with Star Trigon. It’s simple one-click play: as the cutesy spaceman circles planets, tapping the screen catapults him round the galaxy catching Uchujin in the process. No, I don’t quite understand either, but the full game costs a few bucks and this free demo is quite strange but great fun.

EuroTalk (free) – Simple ideas, executed with flair and polish, can often be the most effective, especially on the iPhone. Created by EuroTalk, a company specializing in language learning, this app teaches you how to say hello in one hundred and fifteen different languages. For such a simple concept, it’s ultra-polished with an integrated map, search functionality and even a cute little greetings mini-game.

It seems that we’re all out of time for another week’s App Store perusing. But, as always, I’ve managed to spare a moment to tell you all about some interesting iPhone-related goings-on. Purchasing buggy apps from the App Store will never cease to be frustrating, so it’s gratifying to see that this week, one developer is doing something about it (either that or they got their wrists slapped by Apple).

Released a couple of week’s back, Gameloft’s Guitar Rock Tour was an ultra-polished pretender to Tap Tap Revenge’s iPhone rhythm-action throne. The game featured multiple instruments, a selection of (none too shabby) sound-alike hits – including Message in a Bottle and Rock You Like A Hurricane – and even a story-based tour mode complete with wacky awards.

Unfortunately, the game featured a show-stopping bug that meant songs became almost impossible to play as they disappointingly drifted out of time. As the reviews rolled in, most noting this awful bug, Gameloft kept schtum and didn’t comment. Despite the fact that they’ve released some pretty poor titles on the iPhone already, this was quite a let-down for such a large and well-respected publisher.

At some point over the past week, Guitar Rock Tour disappeared without a trace, leaving purchasers of the bug-ridden Rockband-wannabe somewhat in the lurch. Did Apple pull it from the store amidst a kerfuffle of complaints, or did Gameloft make an executive decision to reign the title back in and polish over that awful bug?

Before we could finish pondering this thought, the game returned to the store with the promise of, “Increased stability.” It seems Gameloft heard the masses and made some changes. And yet surely, with a little bit of testing and some more time in development, Gameloft could have avoided this whole mess. Never mind though, it’s the weekend, time to kick-back, chill and grab some new apps.

I’ll be back next Saturday with more apps and more recommendations, in the meantime, drop by the comments and let me know what apps you’ve tried this week (and your thoughts on the Guitar Rock Tour situation too).


Olly Farshi

@Colin – Thanks for the props, really glad you’re digging the roundups!

@Pierre – I’ll definitely go check your app out Pierre, well done getting in to the App Store.


I have to say Olly: I LOVE these posts. You manage to highlight at least one app that I get every week. Keep it up!

Pierre: I checked out your app and grabbed it for myself. It looks interesting and I’m definitely going to play around with it.

Pierre A

Hello ^^

I submited my App too and it’s now on the AppStore.
I’m very excited. I read your blog everyday and it would be pleasure for me to participate at your content. You can watch a video presentation of my app on my website :)
Keep this way.

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