TouchMyApps » Lifestyle http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:59:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Google releases Field Trip for the iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/03/07/google-releases-field-trip-for-the-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/03/07/google-releases-field-trip-for-the-iphone/#comments Thu, 07 Mar 2013 19:32:55 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72092 Google’s Field Trip app is now available for the iPhone. First released on Android several months ago, this location discovery tool runs in the background of your phone. As soon as you get close to “something interesting”, an iOS notification will let you know of the POI in question. Select from a local feed of things "Field Trip can help guide the way..." - AllThingsD
"The future of Augmented Reality" - The Atlantic
"App of the Day" - Gizmodo

Field Trip, your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you is now on the iPhone! Field Trip runs in the background on your phone. When you get close to something interesting, it will notify you and if you have a headset or bluetooth connected,… Read more]]>

google-field-trip-ios

Google’s Field Trip app is now available for the iPhone. First released on Android several months ago, this location discovery tool runs in the background of your phone. As soon as you get close to “something interesting”, an iOS notification will let you know of the POI in question. Select from a local feed of things you’d like to see, and Field Trip taps into numerous publications (Zagat, Cool Hunting, Atlas Obscura etc) to help you discover places/experiences under categories like Architecture, Food & Drinks, Offers & Deals, Movie locations and more.

Field Trip even knows when you’re driving, so it’ll automatically “talk” to you about the interesting locales around you as you’re behind the wheel. A recent section also keeps track of your recently discovered places and of course, they can be shared via the likes of email, Facebook and Twitter. The app is free to download and currently only optimized for the iPhone, though it’ll still work on 3G/LTE iPads.

App Highlights:

★ Discover thousands of interesting places/experiences that fall under the following categories: Architecture, Historic Places & Events, Lifestyle, Offers & Deals, Food Drinks & Fun, Movie Locations, Outdoor Art and Obscure Places of Interest around you.

★ Choose from three different modes to set frequency of Field Trip notifications. See “Field Trip” worthy places around you on a map, by tapping on cards in map view to pull up enthralling points of interest around you.

★ Go on a Field Trip while you drive. Field Trip can detect when you’re driving and automatically “talk” about interesting places and experience around you.

★ Came across an amazing story or restaurant? Mark it as a favorite to easily come back to it at any point.

★ Capture the memory of a special place, by sharing a wondrous discovery through email and social networks such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

★ Wondering where the gem that you recently discovered is? Find your discovered field trip cards in the “recent’ section.

] [appStore-appDetails] [yes] -->

 
"Field Trip can help guide the way..." - AllThingsD
"The future of Augmented Reality" - The Atlantic
"App of the Day" - Gizmodo

Field Trip, your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you is now on the iPhone! Field Trip runs in the background on your phone. When you get close to something interesting, it will notify you and if you have a headset or bluetooth connected,… Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/03/07/google-releases-field-trip-for-the-iphone/feed/ 0
Cards app updated with Mother’s Day themed cards http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/17/cards-app-updated-with-mothers-day-themed-cards/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/17/cards-app-updated-with-mothers-day-themed-cards/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 18:04:27 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=67648 Apple has updated its Cards app to v1.1 and added card designs for Mother’s Day, which lands on the second Sunday of May in the US and Canada (among other countries). Here’s the list of what’s new: • Beautiful letterpress cards for Mother’s Day • New Get Well card designs • Additional cards for birthdays, thank … Read more]]>

Apple has updated its Cards app to v1.1 and added card designs for Mother’s Day, which lands on the second Sunday of May in the US and Canada (among other countries). Here’s the list of what’s new:

• Beautiful letterpress cards for Mother’s Day
• New Get Well card designs
• Additional cards for birthdays, thank you and more
• Improves accuracy of envelope address verification
• Simplifies and improves the checkout process

First released back in October of 2011, Cards lets you design and mail real greeting cards to your family and friends for a small cost – $2.99 (including postage) within the US and $4.99 for rest of the world. The one downside to the Cards app is that it currently isn’t optimized for the iPad. But other than that, it’s free to download and a great tool to use if you plan on sending some custom made cards to your loved ones.

Cards Apple, Cards, – Free

Description

The Cards app from Apple lets you create and mail beautifully crafted, real greeting cards personalized with your own text and photos — right from your iPhone or iPod touch. Take a quick snapshot and with a few taps and swipes, an elegant thank you note or “wish-you-were-here” card is on its way to any mailbox in the world. Choose from dozens of designs and customize your card with a personal message and photo. Then select a mailing address from your Contacts and place your order in seconds. All your cards are saved automatically, so it’s easy to send an invitation or birth announcement to more than one person.

Custom letterpress cards
• Cards combine a centuries-old letterpress technique with your digital text and photos
• Each card is crafted from 100 percent cotton paper and imprinted with an elegant debossed design
• Choose from dozens of designs for eight occasions: Mother’s Day, Thank You,  Get Well, Baby, Birthday, Love, Travel and Holiday
• Customize the placeholder text for any occasion, such as an anniversary or graduation
• Add a photo to your card or send one with just text

Location integration
• If you select one of the Travel designs, your card automatically displays the name of your current location
• Choose a photo with GPS data, and the card shows the name of the place where the photo was taken

Prepaid postage included
• U.S. customers can send a card within the U.S. for $2.99 including postage
• Send a card anywhere else in the world for $4.99 including postage
• Select an address from your Contacts and easily personalize it — from Mr. Johnny Appleseed to The Appleseed Family, for example
• To place your order, simply enter your Apple ID password
• In the U.S., your card will include our own Apple-designed postage

Delivery notification
• Cards mailed to U.S. addresses make use of the United States Postal Service Intelligent Mail® barcode
• On the day your card is to be delivered, you’ll receive a notification on your iPhone or iPod touch

Card history
• All your cards are automatically saved and can be viewed in a history list
• You can resend any card to another recipient — perfect for when you have a lot of friends to thank or you want to spread the word about the newest member of your family

Total order price includes postage.  For orders with a U.S. billing address, sales tax will be added to the order price.  For orders with a non-U.S. billing address, the order price will include applicable VAT.

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/04/17/cards-app-updated-with-mothers-day-themed-cards/feed/ 0
Evi brings Siri-like functionality to iOS devices http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/24/evi-brings-siri-like-functionality-to-ios-devices/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/24/evi-brings-siri-like-functionality-to-ios-devices/#comments Tue, 24 Jan 2012 17:39:53 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=65406 If you think Siri’s a bit too snobbish for your liking (as in you don’t have an iPhone 4S), there’s a new digital assistant in town, and she’s not exclusive to only one iDevice. Meet Evi, the app that works on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (iOS 4 and higher required) and Android phones. Evi is the … Read more]]>

If you think Siri’s a bit too snobbish for your liking (as in you don’t have an iPhone 4S), there’s a new digital assistant in town, and she’s not exclusive to only one iDevice. Meet Evi, the app that works on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (iOS 4 and higher required) and Android phones.

Evi is the revolutionary artificial intelligence here to help with all of your everyday information needs.

Unlike a search engine, which simply looks for matching words and shows you a list of websites, Evi understands what you want to know and gives back exactly what you’re after.

Need to know where the nearest bank is? Not a problem. Going out for dinner but can’t decide where? She can help with that too. The more you ask, the more she will learn, and thus she is improving all the time.

Similar to Siri, you can ask it a bunch of questions, like “What’s the capital of Spain”, or “How many pounds are there in a kilogram”. Evi will even tell you where the nearest banks and restaurants are (local searches only supported in US and UK at the moment). What it won’t do however, is interact with your calendar, like set an appointment/reminder for a specific time/date.

Evi sells for $0.99, though due to overwhelming demand since its launch, users have been encountering the error message “I’m having trouble getting a response from my servers, please try again in a minute”. The developers behind Evi are well aware of the connection issues and are said to be working around the clock to better prepare it for the high volumes of incoming requests. For those of you who’re interested in checking out Evi, you may want to wait until their servers are able to handle the traffic before downloading the app. Twitter users can follow @EviKnows for the latest updates on when the all the kinks have been ironed out.

Evi True Knowledge, Evi, – $0.99

App Description

Say hello to Evi.

Evi is the revolutionary artificial intelligence here to help with all of your everyday information needs.

Unlike a search engine, which simply looks for matching words and shows you a list of websites, Evi understands what you want to know and gives back exactly what you’re after.

Need to know where the nearest bank is? Not a problem. Going out for dinner but can’t decide where? She can help with that too. The more you ask, the more she will learn, and thus she is improving all the time.

Life is simpler with Evi.

========================

On Monday 23rd the world learned about Evi and responded in a phenomenal way. To see how many people were excited by Evi and her app was overwhelming and hugely exciting for us. Unfortunately the enormous response was more than our servers were able to handle and so many users experienced connection problems.

Weíd like to say a massive thank you to everyone who downloaded the app, and to assure you that the team are working around the clock to get Evi back on her feet and ensure that she is better able to handle the huge number of people who wish to ask her questions.

So many thanks from everyone on the team, and Evi herself, for your patience and understanding.

========================

Features:
• Voice or text input – Chat to Evi in plain English and she will understand
• Local information for UK and USA – Shopping, news, dining and more. Evi knows where you are and gives answers based on your location
• One tap words – Allowing you to build your question super-fast
• Built in browser – No need to swap to a different browser, view web links within Evi’s app
• A learning and adapting intelligence – Rate Evi’s answers to help her learn more about the world
• More than a search engine – Evi takes the searching out of search, able to review and compare nearly a billion facts from her database to give you exactly what you need

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/24/evi-brings-siri-like-functionality-to-ios-devices/feed/ 0
Dimensions. Adventures in the Multiverse in Review – Ambient noise app meets foursquare and Farmville http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/18/dimensions-adventures-in-the-multiverse-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/18/dimensions-adventures-in-the-multiverse-in-review/#comments Wed, 18 Jan 2012 12:43:33 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=64716 As we all know – life can be stressful. And one way to make it a little bit more bearable is using an ambient sounds app to block out the annoying noises of everyday fuss. Whether in the office or outside they allow to, at least temporarily, shift your mind to someplace peaceful. Not content … Read more]]>

reviews-dimensions-1

As we all know – life can be stressful. And one way to make it a little bit more bearable is using an ambient sounds app to block out the annoying noises of everyday fuss. Whether in the office or outside they allow to, at least temporarily, shift your mind to someplace peaceful. Not content with only providing a listening experience, the developers behind Inception – The App released Dimensions. Adventures in the Multiverse, a unique app that adds some original gameplay elements to make it even more part of your routine.

It’s hard to classify Dimensions, proving once again the iOS is the perfect platform for innovation. Think of it as a hearing aid for other dimensions. But all of this is wrapped around a platform that Farmville itself would not be shy of.

reviews-dimensions-2

First and foremost Dimensions is an ambient/meditation sound producing app. However, unlike other similar releases, it does not have a pre-defined set of tracks for you to enjoy. Instead it utilizes the iPhone’s microphone and transforms surrounding noise to create a unique experience in realtime. The result is influenced not only by the source noise but the dimension within the app you are currently occupying.

reviews-dimensions-3

These dimensions are unlocked by performing specific actions – i.e. Tranquility, featuring music that’s more relaxing, is unlocked by being in a quiet place, while the more energetic Kinetic requires the iPhone to be in motion. Some dimensions even allow you to communicate with other players by creating a virtual space where you can send short voice messages. Once a dimension is unlocked you can visit it anytime without the hassle of matching the predefined conditions. Not all dimensions are available right from the start, thus requiring you to first open up a set in order to reach a new level.

But this is only the start. To make the experience more interesting (and to stimulate people spending more cash of course) the devs added a freemium minigame component. Every so often while listening to the mysterious sounds Dimensions produces, the game will say that something strange is going on. If you check the game at this point and hold the hotspot in the center you will get a map of your surroundings (powered by Google Maps of course), bathed in an eerie light with strange items scattered across the landscape. They might include Quantum (the game’s currency), artifacts and/or Nephilim.

reviews-dimensions-4

Quantum can be gathered by simply catching it in your beam of light while Artifacts will require a tractor beam to reel them in (which incidentally takes Quantum as fuel ). The Nephilim are the bad guys and you’ll have to use the same beam to repel them, otherwise they’ll steal the artifacts you found. To unlock the next level of dimensions you need to gather all artifacts in the already open ones. The artifacts can also be bought using Quantum. You guessed where this is leading to, right? Yep, in addition to be found in-game Quantum can also be bought using real-live cash.

The visuals in Dimensions are minimalistic but stylish. I especially liked the eerie way the map looked in the artifact-hunting minigame. I couldn’t help but think, however, the devs missed an opportunity to further integrate Augmented Reality elements using the iPhone’s camera. Hunting for quantum, artifacts and beating the Nephilim would’ve been ever so much fun if it was overlaid on top of a live feed put through some additional filters to make the video look more like from another dimension.

reviews-dimensions-5

Of course it would’ve been great to have the iPhone be a window to another dimension, fully embracing the augmented reality capabilities of the platform. But even limited to audio only, Dimensions provides a unique experience heralding the next step in ambient sound apps. The added game elements unfortunately suffer from a somewhat unbalanced freemium model pushing quite a bit to use real cash if you want to have access to all “tracks” in a reasonable timeframe. At $0.99 though it’s definitely worth a try, especially if you want a taste of what the future holds.

With this I declare Dimensions. Adventures in the Multiverse officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Dimensions. Adventures in the Multiverse Developer: Reality Jockey Ltd.
Reviewed Ver: 1.5 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: $0.99 App Size: 140.49MB
  • Experience unique to here and now
  • Original way of unlocking individual dimensions
  • Addictive minigame
  • A bit overused freemium element
  • Frustrating to unlock higher levels of dimensions
  • No augmented video

appstoreicon

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/18/dimensions-adventures-in-the-multiverse-in-review/feed/ 0
Naturespace updated with new tracks and features http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/11/naturespace-updated-with-new-tracks-and-features/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/11/naturespace-updated-with-new-tracks-and-features/#comments Wed, 11 Jan 2012 14:16:16 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=64023 A little over a year ago I started using Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep (TMA Review) – one of the best ambient nature sounds apps out there. Unique in the way it makes a fully engrossing surround sound experience even through the stock Apple earbuds, it has saved my nerve endings from countless deaths. And … Read more]]>

news-naturespace-1

A little over a year ago I started using Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep (TMA Review) – one of the best ambient nature sounds apps out there. Unique in the way it makes a fully engrossing surround sound experience even through the stock Apple earbuds, it has saved my nerve endings from countless deaths. And as we all know – nerves don’t regenerate. Well, I’m glad to say that shortly before Christmas (yes, I Know I’m a bit late on this but still) the developers informed me that they’d just rolled out a massive update, not only making an additional 15 tracks available for purchase but a few nifty features in the catalogue as well.

In my review my biggest concern was that the individual tracks seemed a bit expensive, especially considering there was no way to test them out beforehand. Of course the later added user review feature helped a bit. That said, to each his own and it’s difficult to rely on other people’s tastes.

Taking all of this into consideration with the latest update, the devs added a Visitor’s Pass (available as a separate product or unlocked automatically once you buy 5 tracks), which allows you to download a shorter non-looping preview versions of any track in the catalogue, giving you a taste before making you hand out the dough.

Additionally collections have been made available for sale along with Limited Time deals, allowing for further savings on acquiring tracks in the catalogue.

Official “What’s new” and app desciription just below. But seriously – it’s FREE so go download it now if you haven’t already.

Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep Holographic Audio Theater, Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep (TMA Review), 56.35MB – Free


What’s New

• Provides access to the 15 latest Naturespace releases
• Offers collections of tracks at a huge savings over buying them individually
• Ability to purchase a Visitors Pass, which unlocks previews of the entire Naturespace catalog
• System performance and efficiency enhancements

App Decription

Naturespace Holographic Audio provides an audiophile-class listening experience to all headphone users, including earbuds. Our 3-D ambiences transport the listener like nothing else on the planet. It is a truly profound new way of listening to the natural world.

It’s not just about nature’s sound, it’s about nature’s space. All 3 dimensions (including height) are accurately reproduced, providing the listener with a true “being there” experience. The impact that spatially accurate outdoor sound has on the brain is astounding; it is immensely relaxing and entertaining. Whether you take a 5 minute vacation to a Hawaiian morning sunrise, or an extended stay underneath a powerful thunderstorm, Naturespace provides the brain with the sense of openness and vastness that is so important to a balanced state of well-being. Naturespace is a spectacular catalyst for creative visualization and imaginative exploration. Just put on your headphones, and close your eyes. You’ll see.

For detailed information about Naturespace Holographic Audio, visit our website. Sign in to receive the latest info about new releases and giveaways.

Do you know of somewhere great we should record? Do you have a feature request? Join the Naturespace community by visiting our blog and tell us about it! And please, use the reviews as they are intended, as a forum to help others decide whether to download the app or not. We cannot respond to you there, so do not ask us questions that way. Thank you!!!

Features:
3-D sound over headphones
Earbud optimization mode (amazing with stock Apple earphones)
Created by audio professionals
Truly seamless looping
Vast catalog available via In-App purchasing
Drag-and-drop reordering of library
Supports multitasking on iOS4
Sleep timer
Efficient and elegant user interface
Unsurpassed audio fidelity
Six free tracks included. Enjoy without spending a penny!
No advertising (and there never will be)

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/01/11/naturespace-updated-with-new-tracks-and-features/feed/ 0
Apple Store app updated to 2.0, now supports EasyPay http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/09/apple-store-app-updated-to-2-0-now-supports-easypay/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/09/apple-store-app-updated-to-2-0-now-supports-easypay/#comments Wed, 09 Nov 2011 16:43:09 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=60494 Apple’s Apple Store app has been updated and now adds some nifty features for iOS users in the US, namely Personal Pickup and EasyPay: - Personal Pickup: Buy in the app and choose to pick up your order at any Apple Retail Store. Most in-stock orders are available for pickup within an hour. (U.S. only) - … Read more]]>

Apple’s Apple Store app has been updated and now adds some nifty features for iOS users in the US, namely Personal Pickup and EasyPay:

- Personal Pickup: Buy in the app and choose to pick up your order at any Apple Retail Store. Most in-stock orders are available for pickup within an hour. (U.S. only)
- EasyPay: Purchase select accessories in store quickly by scanning the barcode and completing your transaction right in the app. (U.S. only, requires iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S)
- Track your stuff: View the status of current and previous orders from the order status section in the More tab.
- Additional international support (Canada, China).
- Requires iOS 4.2 or higher

With EasyPay (good for only accessories at the moment), it’s a matter of simply choosing your item, scanning its barcode within the app, and paying with the credit card that’s stored on your Apple ID. This process certainly makes it easier for small item purchases and no longer will you have to wait in line to check out during a busy day at the store. You can see just how simple it is to use EasyPay with an actual purchase made by Engadget below.

Apple Store Apple, Apple Store, – Free

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/09/apple-store-app-updated-to-2-0-now-supports-easypay/feed/ 0
Asian Cooking For Dummies HD lends a helping hand on the iPad http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/04/asian-cooking-for-dummies-hd-lends-a-helping-hand-on-the-ipad/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/04/asian-cooking-for-dummies-hd-lends-a-helping-hand-on-the-ipad/#comments Fri, 04 Nov 2011 16:27:12 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=60236 Ever thought about brushing up your (Asian) culinary skills in the kitchen to impress your better half? Well if you own an iPad, the learning experience should be even more enjoyable now that Asian Cooking For Dummies HD has found its way onto the App Store. We reviewed the iPhone version early this year and found it … Read more]]>

Ever thought about brushing up your (Asian) culinary skills in the kitchen to impress your better half? Well if you own an iPad, the learning experience should be even more enjoyable now that Asian Cooking For Dummies HD has found its way onto the App Store. We reviewed the iPhone version early this year and found it to be quite the handy app. Now tweaked for the iPad’s larger screen, A.C.F.D HD offers over 60 recipes from four countries: China, Japan, India and Thailand. Also included are recipe cards, step-by-step instructions, demo videos, a measurement converter, timer and even a shopping check list tool.

Asian Cooking For Dummies HD Anuman, Asian Cooking For Dummies HD, – $2.99

App Description

Discover the culinary secrets of the East and take your taste buds on a journey with Asian Cooking For Dummies!

Enjoy learning from fun and educational videos, created by master chefs from the four corners of Asia (China, Japan, India and Thailand). Hone your skills and choose from over 60 recipes to make perfect and delicious Asian dishes!

Sample entrees on the menu include: Sushi, Sashimi, Steam Pork Dumplings, Spring Rolls, Aromatic Rice, Mixed Vegetable Curry, Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce, Pineapple Rice and many more!

With numerous recipe cards, detailed list of ingredients and step by step instructions, cooking perfect dishes is easy! Your dinner guests will be amazed!

APPLICATION FEATURES:
- 60 traditional recipes from China, India, Japan and Thailand with accompanying video instruction to easily navigate every recipe step by step.
- A convenient search tool to select recipes according to various criteria (country / ingredients / preparation time, etc.)
- A measurement converter to change all units of measure with ease.
- A timer to keep track of cooking time.
- A practical shopping list to keep you organized while you shop. Check and delete items with a simple touch!

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/04/asian-cooking-for-dummies-hd-lends-a-helping-hand-on-the-ipad/feed/ 0
Library App Reviews: Goodreads, iBookshelf and Book Crawler http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/31/library-apps-goodreads-and-more/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/31/library-apps-goodreads-and-more/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:05:11 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=49893 Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler . We all love books, right? If you’re like me, your reading list is long and getting longer every day. We’ll never finish them all, but heck, when someone recommends a book, we probably still want to jot it down for future reference. A good list can be a real blessing when … Read more]]>
Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler

.
We all love books, right? If you’re like me, your reading list is long and getting longer every day. We’ll never finish them all, but heck, when someone recommends a book, we probably still want to jot it down for future reference.

A good list can be a real blessing when trying to remember an author or a book we’ve just read, finding the name of the next book in a series, or easily sharing our favorite books with friends.

The three apps reviewed here are excellent candidates for keeping track of all the books we love and all the books we want to read.

To find the best book library (or book list) manager app, you’ll have to figure out how you want to use it. Goodreads is best for those who use the Goodreads web service. If you don’t want to keep your books and personal preferences online or want to to have more flexibility in what you keep on your list, then Book Crawler or iBookshelf may be more in line with your needs.

######### Goodreads iBookshelf Book Crawler
Backup autosync
to website
Dropbox, E-Mail,
Desktop
Dropbox, E-Mail,
Desktop
Library Finder no WorldCat WorldCat
Author Info yes no no
Price Compare yes yes no
Goodreads Reviews yes yes yes
ISBN Scanner Red Laser pic2shop, ZBar,
Red Laser
pic2shop, ZBar
Import/Export CSV, others CSV CSV
Track Loans no yes yes
Offline Viewing no yes yes
Sharing Friends &
Followers
E-mail, Twitter,
Facebook
E-mail, Twitter,
Facebook
Universal App no yes yes

.
Free versions exist for all these apps, so you can try them out yourself first before selecting one.

Individual books, audiobooks and ebooks may be added manually (author & title) or by scanning the ISBN barcode – the rest of the information is automatically looked up. I did not test any of the apps on an iPod Touch or iPad 2 – though the reliability of their cameras for scanning barcodes could be an issue unless Red Laser is used.

One feature all these apps have in common is that they can import and export their data as CSV (comma separated value) files which can be opened in word processors and spreadsheets. For bulk updates, like when you want to copy your books from a paper list or external book database (or move it from one app to another), you’ll probably have to do a little CSV editing to make the transfer, but it does work without too much effort (I’ve done it).

Once you’ve added your books, these apps let you organize, track (ownership, loans, want-to-buy, etc.), and share your books with others. Plus you’ll have searchable list whenever you need them.

Warning: Any time you store lots of information on your iDevice, it is essential that it gets backed up regularly. The device backup that occurs when you do a sync to your computer does not save 3rd party app data. One glitch or a bad update and all your work can be lost. Both iBookshelf and Book Crawler have excellent backup and restore database features, but they are manual – you must remember to do it. Goodreads auto-syncs to the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about it.

 


Goodreads v1.2.1

If you’re a book lover and haven’t taken a look at the Goodreads web site yet, I highly encourage you to do so. One might call it a “Facebook for Book Lovers” (but without all the craziness and noise). On Goodreads you’ll find over 4 million members who have created an astounding collection of books, reviews and recommendations far larger than anything else you’re likely to find – and it’s free! You can meet new friends there (or invite your existing friends) to share reviews and recommendations for the books you’ve read and/or want to read.

The Goodreads app (it’s also free!) has the most polished user interface of the three apps reviewed here for the iPhone, but it does require an active data connection to display more than just a simple list of books.This app allows you to add books to your personal on-line collection (scan in the ISBN or enter title/author), find out what your friends are reading, and build your wishlist by perusing lists of books others love.

My all time favorite: Dandelion Wine!

Goodreads has a vast pool of information such as author pictures and bios, lots of detailed user reviews and info any bibliophile would love. Since it’s maintained by volunteer librarians, it isn’t always perfect, but there are plenty of people (librarians) who will make corrections if you alert them on the forums – or become a librarian yourself.

I was disappointed that the series number of a book is not displayed in the app (like it is on the web) unless the number is included in the title. This may not be an issue for everyone, but I like to follow author’s characters chronologically.

Summary

For anyone with a Goodreads account, this app is a must-have. It provides a good clean interface, book scanning capability (device camera required) and auto-syncs to your web account. Note that a data connection (cellular or WiFi) is required to use the app. The app has not (yet?) been enhanced for the iPad.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Goodreads Developer: Goodreads
Reviewed Ver: 1.2.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: Free App Size: 9.5 MB
  • Ties into your Goodreads account
  • Instantly syncs all updates to Goodreads cloud (this is goodness)
  • Lots of information about books including details of many editions
  • Must-have for Goodreads users
  • Requires an online connection to display more than a simple book list
  • No series info displayed in-app unless included in title (which many are)
  • Can’t add additional information about books other than comments and tags

appstoreicon

 


 

iBookshelf v2.10.1

This app is part of a group of similar media database apps for books (iBookshelf), movies (MyBoxOffice) and music (Disk Tracker) which are also available in an all-in-one app called My Library that contains all their features. If you’re interested in tracking more than just your books, take a look at My Library. Free Lite versions also exist for all these apps.

iBookshelf is an easy app to use with a broad feature set. Books can be sorted 8 ways and a collections feature exists to group books together into named subsets for separate sorting and viewing. You can also customize the app’s look and feel through its settings in the Settings app. The iPad and iPhone user interfaces are fairly similar.

This app is unable to fill out book information from online sources once a book is saved in its database. So after importing CSV files or manually adding a book without doing an online search for data, you can’t make the app look it up later. If books are entered one at a time, however, this usually shouldn’t be a problem.

Local libraries containing the books you wish to read can be listed and Dropbox backup/restore are available as in Book Crawler (backup/restore is essential in any app that saves data on your iDevice). If you own the QuickReader or MegaReader apps, iBookshelf has a custom interface that connects to them from the app itself. Like Goodreads, it has a Red Laser scanning camera interface which works well with lower resolution cameras, plus it can autoselect the best camera based on the device being used. If you want to get book recommendations, it also contains an interface to the iRecommends app.

Summary

While perhaps not as polished as the other two apps, iBookshelf does a good job with collecting data. It has a very motivated developer who is open to feature requests and who makes frequent updates. I tested a soon to be released version that is focused on stability improvements (something each of these 3 apps under review could use).

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: iBookshelf
iBookshelf Lite (free)
Developer: Josh Pressnell
Reviewed Ver: 2.10.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 6.5 MB
  • Scans up to 16 data sources for book information
  • Interface to QuickReader and MegaReader for e-books
  • Connects to iRecommend app to get book recommendations
  • Universal app
  • Can’t autofill additional information about a book once it has been saved
  • User interface is functional but occasionally awkward to use
  • Documentation is only on web site
  • Backup is manual

appstoreicon


 

Book Crawler v3.1

Of the three apps reviewed, Book Crawler has the most pleasing user interface (especially on the iPad) and provides the most flexiblity to customize your library. More information is collected and displayed by this app than the others. If your goal is to include a lot of information about your books, then this app will give you the best experience.

Book Crawler has a dedicated Author section where you can view and rate individual authors and look for other books they’ve published. Besides the standard book data fields, Book Crawler includes several custom fields that can be labeled and used to add additional information about your books, like who recommended a book, the date added to your database, etc. Additional authors (or narrators for audiobooks) can be added as well to any book.

Book Crawler has the most flexible interface for adding new books individually or in batch. Most data fields can be given default values from the app settings panel and CSV data can be input in almost any order. Like iBookShelf, the number in a book series is either automatically added or easily entered later and books can be sorted based on your choice of 18 data fields.

Book Crawler can tag books with multiple labels and you can build smart collections (groups of books) based on complex rule sets. For example, you could create a collection of books marked with the tag “Female Protagonist” that were published after the year 2005 with a 4 star or better rating and are owned by you. Any book matching this criteria is automatically added to the collection.

Summary

From a feature standpoint, this app is hard to beat plus it looks great. I ran into some intermittent stability problems, but nothing serious and overall it delivers all one would want. Good documentation exists throughout the app to help one learn how to use it. The app has a very motivated developer who makes frequent improvements and gives quick responses to questions.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Book Crawler
Book Crawler Lite (free)
Developer: Jaime Stokes
Reviewed Ver: 3.1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $1.99 App Size: 6.5 MB
  • Attractive and functional user interface (especially on the iPad)
  • List and rate authors
  • Lookup additional books by author
  • Several custom data fields
  • Good in-app documentation
  • Smart Collections
  • Universal app
  • Correcting misspelled author names is best done by delete/replace
  • A few features (e.g., collections, adding multiple editions) are awkward to use
  • Backup is manual

appstoreicon

.
Related Articles:

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/31/library-apps-goodreads-and-more/feed/ 4
Gay Cure app pulled from App Store – expect precedential backlash http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/24/gay-cure-app-pulled-from-app-store-expect-precedential-backlash/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/24/gay-cure-app-pulled-from-app-store-expect-precedential-backlash/#comments Fri, 25 Mar 2011 00:51:11 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=50316 Not that it’s my strong suit or anything, but I certainly take issue with Apple’s wording of Exodus International’s Gay Cure rejection letter, which went something like this: “We removed the Exodus International app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.” (Cult of Mac emphasis … Read more]]>

Not that it’s my strong suit or anything, but I certainly take issue with Apple’s wording of Exodus International’s Gay Cure rejection letter, which went something like this:

“We removed the Exodus International app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.” (Cult of Mac emphasis kept).

Presumably, the ‘large groups of people’ Apple reference is – in this instance – the gay community. The problem, of course, is that the wording is otiose and could be construed to fit anyone’s purposes. Imagine Canon camera fans taking issue with Nikon Learn & Explore app. Or, Oxford dictionary devs taking issue with (admittedly inferior) Webster dev counterparts. Without even touching the political/religious debate, Apple have opened a can of worms by failing to properly copy edit their marketing literature. They aren’t some two-bit blog, they’re the most iconic tech company in the world, and their moves (no matter how small) vibrate around the world.

On the other hand, Exodus International’s rebuttals are hardly convincing, either. Exodus’ next editions: The Mormon Cure, the Jewish Cure, the Liberal Cure, the Evolutionist Cure, to be followed by: the Mormon Solution, the Jewish Solution, etc.. Both sides adroitly prove just how flawed a system of checks and balances can be.

Thanks Cult of Mac.

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/03/24/gay-cure-app-pulled-from-app-store-expect-precedential-backlash/feed/ 0
Asian Cooking for Dummies in Review – Dinner Is Served! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/14/asian-cooking-for-dummies-in-review-dinner-is-served/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/14/asian-cooking-for-dummies-in-review-dinner-is-served/#comments Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:27:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=46403 Being an Asian myself, I can say with a great deal of certainty that Asian dishes can more than hold their own with what the rest of the world can offer. There’s a reason why a good number of them are very popular in the world’s other six continents. And as I discovered with Asian … Read more]]>

Being an Asian myself, I can say with a great deal of certainty that Asian dishes can more than hold their own with what the rest of the world can offer. There’s a reason why a good number of them are very popular in the world’s other six continents.

And as I discovered with Asian Cooking For Dummies, they’re also fairly easy to cook despite their elaborately-prepared appearances. With 60 traditional video recipes from China, India, Japan and Thailand, this easy-to-use app should make you kitchen-bound in no time.

There are only five menu items presented in a dock under the recipes already categorized by country and in true For Dummies fashion, each one is a no-brainer. Under the default Browse icon, you only need to tap Chinese Cooking for Chinese dishes, Indian Cookingfor Indian fare and so on. A Search icon allows you to search recipes by country, ingredient or preparation time.

Tapping the Tools button reveals three options namely Converter (for converting units of measure), Timer (to aid you with baking time although you probably already have that in your oven) and a Shopping List where all the ingredients that you tap in a given recipe is transferred for future shopping reference. The Share icon allows you to share any recipe with Facebook and Twitter while the Favorites section is well, where your favorite food items in the app are saved.

The meat of the app, pardon the pun, lies in the well-produced videos of the recipes themselves. To Anuman’s credit, the step-by-step presentations that start with showing what the ingredients look like (coriander, anyone?) to the actual cooking are, in the absence of a better term, truly for dummies. Even more impressive is the way they lend an air of authenticity to the actual proceedings. In keeping with the traditional nature of the dishes, an Asian-sounding woman walks you through every step of the way as each country is well-represented by a corresponding cook and background music. The bearded Indian cook, in particular is even wearing a turban while cooking.

Maybe it’s because I’m using an iPhone 3G to review this app but for some reason, some videos can’t be loaded and viewed. Good thing each recipe also comes in text form with clear and detailed instructions so you can still actually cook them even without watching how they’re done.

As for the recipes themselves, most of the dishes presented here are those that are already familiar to most people. Among them, are the Hot and Sour Soup, Sweet and Sour Pork and Fried Rice from China; Chicken Curry, Fish Tandoori and Mutton Biryani from India; Sashimi, Miso Soup and Sushi with Nori Seaweed from Japan; and Chili King Prawns and Lime Soup and Spicy Seafood Salad from Thailand. Entrees dominate the recipes while appetizers and dessert items are quite limited.

Since the app is called Asian Cooking for Dummies, it doesn’t leave much room for something more exotic or adventurous. And I kinda lament the fact that only four Asian countries are represented as there are many other exciting recipes from Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and even my native Philippines. While I can understand that much of the app’s $3.99 price tag can be attributed to its elaborate efforts. I do hope Anuman continues to provide updates that include more recipes from yes, other parts of the region. As it is, Asian Cooking for Dummies already provides a generous sampler of delicious Asian recipes that should keep you busy for a while. Yes, they don’t look like a piece of cake by any means but thanks to this app, preparing them is not exactly rocket science either.
grab

App Summary
Title: Asian Cooking For Dummies Developer: Anuman
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $3.99 App Size: Size: 6.9 MB
  • Easy navigation
  • Well-produced step-by-step videos
  • Recipes in both video and text forms
  • Universal binary
  • Some videos can’t load on older iDevices
  • Limited to only four Asian countries
  • Leaves you wanting for more

appstoreicon

.
This review was brought to you by TouchMyApps Contributor Edwin Sallan. You can find him on Twitter @edwinsallan.

review-asian-cooking-for-dummies-6 review-asian-cooking-for-dummies-7 review-asian-cooking-for-dummies-8 review-asian-cooking-for-dummies-5 review-asian-cooking-for-dummies-3 review-asian-cooking-for-dummies-2 review-asian-cooking-for-dummies-1 review-asian-cooking-for-dummies-4

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/14/asian-cooking-for-dummies-in-review-dinner-is-served/feed/ 3
See what’s around you with Google Places http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/13/see-whats-around-you-with-google-places/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/13/see-whats-around-you-with-google-places/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 20:43:27 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=46397 Fresh off the recent update of their visual search tool Google Goggles, Google has released what promises to be an extremely handy tool while on the go – Google Places. Similar to apps like Yelp and AroundMe, Places allows users to easily find attractions, restaurants and more based on their location. Google Places with Hotpot helps … Read more]]>

Fresh off the recent update of their visual search tool Google Goggles, Google has released what promises to be an extremely handy tool while on the go – Google Places. Similar to apps like Yelp and AroundMe, Places allows users to easily find attractions, restaurants and more based on their location.

Google Places with Hotpot helps you discover nearby places you’ll love. Quickly search for Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and other places, while on the go.

Google Places also makes it easy to quickly rate the places you visit. By rating places, you power Hotpot — Google’s new personalized recommendation engine, which lets you get place recommendations based on the places you like and recommendations from your friends.

To make the most of the app, you can visit also google.com/hotpot from your computer and begin adding friends. Subsequently, the search results will not only be based off of recommendations from around the web and your personal preferences, but also what your friends have recommended. Check out Google Places now for free for your iPhone/iPod Touch.

Google Places Google, Google Places, Size: 6.9 MB – Free

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/13/see-whats-around-you-with-google-places/feed/ 0
Amazon releases Amazon Deals App http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/11/amazon-releases-amazon-deals-app/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/11/amazon-releases-amazon-deals-app/#comments Tue, 11 Jan 2011 21:34:36 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=46271 Having released the Price Check app to help make online price comparisons easier using the iDevice, Amazon has now followed up with Amazon Deals, an iPhone app that lets users browse Amazon’s daily Gold Box Deals. Stay up-to-date with Amazon Gold Box Deals wherever you go and never miss another deal. Amazon Deals for iPhone … Read more]]>

Having released the Price Check app to help make online price comparisons easier using the iDevice, Amazon has now followed up with Amazon Deals, an iPhone app that lets users browse Amazon’s daily Gold Box Deals.

Stay up-to-date with Amazon Gold Box Deals wherever you go and never miss another deal. Amazon Deals for iPhone lets you check availability of current offers, schedule reminders, and purchase Lightning Deals and Gold Box Deals of the Day.

Amazon Deals features:
- Up to date Deal of the Day and Lightning Deal offers and availability status
- Ability to purchase deals via Amazon’s secure mobile shopping experience
- View the day’s calendar of deal offers and set up alarms that remind you of individual deals
- Subscribe to Apple push notifications to receive alerts about future deals in specific categories
- Share great bargains you’ve found via e-mail, SMS, Facebook or Twitter

Aside from viewing current specials, the ability to check off specific categories that will be part of the upcoming deals (via push notification) should make it much more convenient for shoppers hoping to snag certain items/gadgets at great prices. Best of all, Amazon Deals is free to download for your iDevice.

Amazon Deals Amazon.com, Amazon Deals, Size: 3.6 MB – Free

Read more]]>
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/01/11/amazon-releases-amazon-deals-app/feed/ 0