Weekly App Store Picks: Feb. 21, 2009


The weekend seems to have rolled up super-fast, so welcome one and all to the Weekly App Store Picks.

Before we jump in to this week’s apps, let’s take a gander at recent happenings in the world of Apple.

First up, as a frequent tweeter, I was pleased to learn about desktop tweeting without a client app earlier this week. Check out the article for a helpful how-to guide.

Mid-week it all kicked off iPhone-style! Countering Apple’s recent anti-jailbreak actions, the Electronic Frontier Foundation submitted a 15-page exemption request to the U.S. Copyright Office. Hit up our post for the low down.

With timing that implied that their next-action was some kind of nonsensical retort, Apple clenched their fists, stomped their feet and promptly rejected the latest South Park game from the App Store.

Moving on to the apps, this week I’ve been looking at FrostyPlace, geoDefense, GooSync, Bowman, technoBox and Shooter.

fristyplaceFrostyPlace (free)
By installing this app, Apple’s ultra-cool Japanese emoticon set — Emoji — are activated on your iPhone. Simply download the app, open it once, close it and then go to Settings, General, International, Keyboards, Japanese and switch Emoji on. Now try sending an SMS, click the globe icon, you’ll have access to a cavalcade of Emoji. Absolutely awesome, essential, legal and free!

geoDefensegeoDefense (99 cents)
There is an overwhelming array of tower defense games available at the App Store. Some are downright awful and a minority are good fun. This app, geoDefense, is a clever twist on a confusingly saturated genre. The game plays out like a puzzle: as the vectorised baddies follow a set path through each stage, you have to work out the optimal tower configuration to defeat each enemy wave. It’s cheaper than many of the other apps, wonderfully stylised and a serious challenge too.

goosync+GooSync+  ($14.99)
GooSync+ syncs your Google Calendars, contacts and ToDo lists and is a seriously pricey app, especially for what it is, given the other options available. The problem is that Google’s iPhone and touch web-app support is pretty good — Gmail works perfectly (and is apparently going to feature offline mail in a future update), tasks is now available for iPhone too and users wishing to sync their actual iPhone Calendar with their Google Calendar can do so for free already.

BowmanBowman (99 cents)
My current online game of the moment is Globulos — my user-name is Olly for any readers looking to challenge me — unfortunately, it’s not on iPhone as yet. However Bowman, an online time-waster that I have consistently returned to over the years, has just hit iPhone and touch. Seriously low on graphical flair (you’re a stick man with a bow and arrow), where it really shines is the gameplay — drag the arrows back before launching them at unwitting silhouetted ducks. So simple and so very satisfying as your arrows thunks in to a bird which then plummets to the ground in a shower of blood.

technoBoxtechnoBox ($9.99)
I adore electronic music and, as such, there’s a special place in my heart for Roland’s TR-808 and 909 drum machines. If you’re not too familiar with what I’m talking about, go watch this video of the TR-808 in action, bask in its glorious rhythmic awesomeness. Developed by AudioRealism, creators of various pro-level audio plugins, technoBox recreates the 808, 909 and also 303 bass machine. The even has a sequencer and a raft of variables for creating awesome blippy techno tracks whilst on the go.

ShooterShooter (99 cents)
Finally! It’s the official Shooter game, a perfect companion to the movie. You know the movie, right? The one that came out two years ago, featuring nobody we’ve actually heard of except that moderately-talented actor from the Funky Bunch? Yeah, that’s the one. Frankly, I have no clue why this game is tied in with the movie, its not like there’s a marketing bandwagon it could jump on to. It doesn’t even seem to feature Marky Mark’s likeness. The game itself is quite good fun though — it’s like sniper mode from Counter Strike — and, for the price, it’s definitely worth downloading.

That’s all for this week, I’ll be back next Saturday, in the meantime, drop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been downloading (and enable those Emojis!).