It’s time to take a look at my recommendations for iPhone, hand-picked from the week’s App Store releases.
This week I’ve been looking at Mujik, Whiteboarder, Qik and Civilization Revolution.
There’s a special screen on my iPhone dedicated just to sound toys and music apps. Top of the list is FourTrack, which recreates the classic analog four track recorder on the iPhone, complete with metronome and bounce downs — it really is an essential tool for music makers. In the sound toys section, I have RjDj and Bloom, and now Mujik, a brand new electronica toy from App Store newcomers Lucky Frame. The app does away with traditional tech-infused electronica interfaces, instead offering up tilt-activated hot air balloons and a shelf of dusty old books filled with musical bugs. Despite the fact that the interface does away with a traditional feature-laden sequencer interface, there’s a surprising amount of depth and variation that can be achieved within moments of downloading the app. It’s a great app for electronica composers on the go and also an accessible sound toy for those with absolutely no musical skills.
With its updated camera, capable of recording and uploading video, the iPhone 3GS has brought about a weekly stream of new video recording tools to the App Store. With Apple opening the doors of the App Store to video services, Qik — the European equivalent of Ustream — has finally released its official app. Qik had previously been available only to iPhone owners savvy enough to jailbreak their devices. The jailbreak version offered live video upload with very little latency, although the actual video quality was somewhat under par. The official Qik app does away with streaming video live to Qik and instead forces the user to upload after recording. Even though the app’s potentially unique feature has been crippled, this is still a worthwhile download for users looking for an alternative to the Ustream and YouTube iPhone apps, especially as you’re able to share your video productions on Qik.com as well as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
In amongst the torrent of mainly useless tools making up the App Store’s Business section, comes a potentially handy app for the workplace. Created by Avatron Software, the folks behind Air Sharing, Whiteboarder can convert your meeting room whiteboard scrawlings into digital files, archived and ready for sharing. Once a meeting has ended, simply open the app and take a photo of the whiteboard you’d like to store. The app then flattens out the image, de-skewing, cropping and enhancing — even applying a white balance. Safely stored on your iPhone, you’re then able to to build up a library of previous whiteboards, which can then be mailed to colleagues and clients, or even printed directly from your device. Whiteboarder is a useful app, one which potentially waves goodbye to those situations where you’re not sure whether rubbing out a colleagues previous doodling will destroy the only record of the latest recession-busting concept.
Civilization Revolution ($9.99)
Finally this week, I’m slipping in another classic game update that has just arrived on iPhone. Sid Meier’s Civilization series has been a mainstay in the turn-based strategy genre since its original release in the early nineties. The game begins in 4000 AD, with you as ruler of a tiny settlement, the aim being to build upon your meagre beginnings and, over hundreds of years into the future, nurture an advanced civilization. This is compelling strategy-heavy fun, the type of game that sucks up your time and saps any potential productivity out of the day, that said, if you succeed you’ll gain a reward fit for an emperor: your own tiny world to preside over. Note that the full game is ten bucks — definitely a tad on the pricey side if you’re in unfamiliar territory with Civilization. I recommend that potential players who aren’t familiar with Sid Meier’s Civilization series first check out the Lite version of the game, available for free from the App Store.
That’s all the picks for this week. I’ll be back in seven days with more news from the week and picks from the App Store.
In the meantime, what apps have you been using this week?