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Express Deals Pro top iOS Apps of the Week

by Dan Kricke

Priceline gets a reinvention in this week’s top iOS apps, but that’s not the only interesting app this week. Far from it. With intriguing app offerings featuring the low down on the wine game, a video-friendly app from AOL, a data monitoring app and a solution for Bay Area iOS map woes, there’s plenty to check out.

Express Deals Pro by Priceline Hotels

Express Deals Pro by Priceline Hotels ($0.99) has taken the gambling out of Priceline. With the app, you no longer name your price. Instead, you’re given a list of deals in a given city and a handful of hotels that will honor that deal. Once you book your stay, which hotel you’ve selected is revealed to you. It makes for an interesting refinement that cuts right to the hotel-booking chase. The time for flirty wagering is over, as long as you live in the select cities across the U.S. where the app is currently operating. It should be noted that the original Priceline app (with its “name your price” booking) still exists, as well.

Wine Spectator WineRatings+

Wine Spectactor is a wine connoisseur’s dream app. For starters, the app offers over 270,000 reviews, and the app can be searched via name, producer, price, score or region so you’ll have the best shot at grabbing the bottle you really want. Some of the app’s content must be unlocked via in-app purchases, but a few bucks to unleash a wealth of wine knowledge seems like a good deal. The free content in the app includes vintage charts that shed light on the world’s wine regions and a section that explains the fundamentals of wine.

AOL On

As AOL continues its reinvention from a ubiquitous Internet service provider to…everything but that, AOL On shows that perhaps this dog can hunt. AOL On is essentially a one stop shop for web videos. If you want to see a mix of top news, entertainment videos, recipes and clips from Entertainment Tonight, Martha Stewart, Reuters and more, AOL On hopes you’ll add them to your buddy list.

DataWiz

Paranoid about your cell phone data plan’s overage charges? DataWiz tracks and predicts your mobile data usage so you can carefully plan out how you intend to spend those precious gigs. The app allows you to review your past usage by hour as well as track your current usage. You can view usage history graphs and receive alerts when your usage hits certain markers. Compared to similar apps, DataWiz also has a killer user interface that really pops.

Embarcadero

There’s no arguing how terrible the Maps app has handled big city navigation since the iOS 6 upgrade. Bay Area residents may have a workaround if they check out Embarcadero ($1.99). The San Francisco/Bay Area transit routing app gives California folks routes for MUNI, BART and Caltrain. Live department info is included for MUNI and the app displays departures of stations near you when it’s first launched. It’s hardly a perfect solution but it beats never knowing when the next train or bus is coming.

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