This week, there are iPhone apps for baseball fans, shoppers and for those who want to know how long they’re going to live (or for those who like taking tests, but more on that later). The latest local business browser, Geodelic, also gets mentioned, as well as the free lite game of the week.
Get your rumors, for free
While sports fans still have the World Cup to occupy their time, it’s getting closer and closer to that time of year when baseball is the dominant sport. Anyone who frequents the website prorumors.com will be excited to know the website has an app with the same name, Pro Rumors ($2.99), as well as a free lite version called Pro Rumors Free. The site is similar to MLB Trade Rumors and ESPN’s rumor page, as it consists mostly of interesting tidbits from beat writers for all 30 MLB teams. You can open the original stories within the app, and there are also player cards with the standard stats available. There’s also a section devoted to the site’s Twitter page, so they did an admirable job of putting as much of the website as possible into an easy-to-use app. Baseball’s trade deadline is a little more than a month away, and I can’t think of a better app to follow it with than Pro Rumors; baseball fans should at least check out the free demo.
What took so long?
Given that the iPhone is an Apple product, it strikes me as a little odd that it took so long for the company to release an Apple Store iPhone app. But as of last week, there is now a free app to browse through many of the company’s products, and it even allows you to buy or reserve things -- all from within the app. The first thing that I noticed with the app was that it’s incredibly easy to use, as it seemed like regardless of what I wanted to do, it only took a few clicks. The design is nothing special and there aren’t really any special features here, but the app works, which is the most important thing. Almost as significant, it’s a much more pleasant experience than viewing the website through Safari on your phone. Now that the Apple Store app is available, the only thing left to wonder is why we didn’t have it months (or years) ago.
Get to know your neighborhood
The premise of Geodelic is by no means an original one to the app world. There are plenty of apps that tell you what businesses are in your area; honestly, they're all essentially the same app with a slight twist. Still, there are plenty of things this app does really well, such as providing Yelp! ratings for restaurants and pictures of storefronts for businesses. It also has multiple interface options, so you can view businesses by scrolling through a wheel, in list form or on an area map. And, of course, you can filter by the type of store you’re looking for, whether it’s a place to get your car washed or the closest daycare center. Again, Geodelic isn’t breaking any barriers, but there was clearly a lot of effort put into making this a functional app with plenty of information and user options.
The most important test of your life
Movisol, the maker of apps such as STUPIDMETER, Test Your Intelligence and Your Ideal Weight, recently had their app Test of Life shoot to the top of the iTunes App Store’s free entertainment apps list. The app is a series of questions that calculate your life expectancy, asking you such things as how long your parents and/or grandparents lived, as well as plenty of questions about your habits. Maybe more importantly for some, this free download includes tips about how to live a longer life (spoiler alert: smoking and drinking does not lead to a longer life). Of course, a test that takes a few minutes to complete may not be the most accurate gauge of your life expectancy, but it certainly seems like Test of Life covers the basics.
Free lite game of the week
Judging by the huge number of downloads it has received, you’re probably already familiar with the 99-cent app :Shift:. In case you haven’t, drop everything – except your iPhone – and immediately download Armor Games’ :Shift Lite:. The game is a simplistic platformer that is heavy on charm, from the often-humorous messages that encourage you to go faster to its appropriate soundtrack. Each level requires you to get to a door to advance, often by grabbing one or more keys. The trick is that the game’s levels are entirely in black and white, and you can hit the ‘shift’ button, which flips your character to the other side. It’s somewhat hard to explain, but the game’s opening tutorial does a great job of explaining the basics of shifting, as well as its two-button controls. And while the game is pretty basic, there’s plenty of challenge and payoff for more hardcore gamers; basically what I’m saying is trust me, you’ll love this game.