Weekly App Store Picks: April 4, 2009


It’s the weekend and this is TheAppleBlog…so that means only one thing: the latest picks fresh from the App Store.

This week, Apple (s aapl) news seems to have been predominantly iPhone-centric so, before jumping in to the latest apps, it’s time for a quick refresher of Apple news from the past seven days.

Sony started the week by detailing their lineup for forthcoming iPhone games. The list includes a remake of retro classic Q*Bert, among others, but most notable are plans to release games based on Ghostbusters and James Bond. I hate to disappoint any hopeful readers, but there’s just no way it’s going to be N64 Goldeneye for the iPhone.

Alongside all those other iPhone-occurrences, I managed to squeeze in reviews of two brand new apps: AudioBoo and RelationTips. Earning a Silver App Review Award, AudioBoo (essentially an audio-version of Twitter) is seriously good fun, especially for those with a voice for radio.

Word on the grape vine is that 3D video could arrive on the iPhone as soon as next year. Now that’s soon indeed, but does anyone actually care? I am totally confounded by the notion of using 3D glasses on portable devices. Ever since trying out portable 3D Quake at CES a few years back, I consider 3D to be over-priced, over-hyped and almost useless techno-junk.

And with that said, I’m pleased to tell you that this week I’ve been looking at Super Kaiju Hero Force #2, Eliza, Skype and Match.com.

kaiju_app_iconSuper Kaiju Hero Force #2 (free)
After the serious bashing that I gave to Daniel X — an incredibly poor graphic novel released on iPhone — I was overjoyed to discover a comic series on iPhone that gets everything right. Starting with the painfully (and amusingly) verbose title, Super Kaiju Hero Force is a manga-inspired joyride through otaku fanboy culture, mashing super-heros and Adult Swim style humor together in to a colorful mess. This second episode is totally free and absolutely brilliant.

eliza_app_iconEliza (99 cents)
Back in the day, before I had discovered the joys of Macs or the woes of Windows, I had an Amiga 500. When I wasn’t playing classics like Rick Dangerous, Lemmings or Cannon Fodder, I’d boot up Workbench and chat to ELIZA. For me this was pre-Internet and so ELIZA, a basic chatbot-cum-therapist, felt like magic. If you’re in need of a pocket therapist, download ELIZA for your iPhone and you can spend hours telling her about your mother.

skype_app_iconSkype (free)
With Fring, Truphone and Nimbuzz, I just couldn’t see what Skype for the iPhone could bring to the game. As GigaOm’s Om Malik said earlier this week, there are a few areas for improvement, but setting those aside for a moment, this is a commendable first version (and so it should be, seeing as Skype have taken so long to deliver): call quality is great, browsing contacts is clear, and the interface feels incredibly similar to the desktop version. The app has made front page on my iPhone and, if you’re already a Skype user, it’s well worth downloading the official app immediately.

picture-1Match.com (free)
Earlier this week I wrote about RelationTips, an iPhone app that proffers relationship advice. Setting aside our emerging theme of iPhone as therapist, it’s time to let your iPhone play matchmaker. Match.com has finally arrived on the iPhone with an app that services all of your online dating needs as you hunt for love. The app is ideal for Match.com users on the dating scene, integrating profile editing, messaging and photo uploads.

I’ll return in just seven days time with more picks from the App Store. Drop by TheAppleBlog during the week to find the latest Apple news alongside app reviews too.

In the meantime, what apps have you been using this week?