The places to watch for apps and games set FREE for a day

One of the most noteworthy iPhone-related events last Christmas was the Appvent Calendar – an initiative started by several developers where a game was made free for a day. I have admired their devotion and grabbed a few titles myself. Apparently, this has been quite profitable for the developers involved as well – only a month had passed before the 3 original founders of the Appvent Calendar teamed up with Openfeint and started the website that followed a similar path. But it seems they are not the only to do so.

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Aperture 3 – Say ‘Cheese!’

Apple’s RAW workflow software, Aperture, just got a nice-looking upgrade. Aperture 3 sports over 100 features – right, so Apple-speak doesn’t always translate into realistic gains, but… – for the professional and wannabe professional to streamline through. Aperture isn’t a Photoshop replacement, but like Adobe’s Lightroom, is a great collection of the most-used components.

iPastor – Recording the need

Bowers Technologies’ latest app, iPastor could be considered to an ad-hoc notepad for those in the ministry. It is a contact do-all which helps track needs, target ministry objectives, and divide responsibilities between staff. In short, it helps ministry workers succinctly organise their objectives and goals for better care. The cynic in me tells me that this can be done for less and doesn’t need to be marketed to pastors, but the App Store will tell us what is what in the coming months.

iPastor Bowers Technologies, Inc., iPastor – $4.99

More piccies and info after the gap:

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Review: Make it or News Break it? Go for the Former

News Break should be an excellent app. Pulling all the popular sources together in one place and allowing you to read them even when you haven’t got an internet connection, it should make scouring the web for news a thing of the past. However, though it does do the job, it doesn’t do it particularly well. The sources from which you can grab news are all well and good, with a good selection from the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. There’s even a function within the app where you can send an email directly to the developers to request additional news sources be added. Sadly, though, the rest of the features just aren’t up to scratch.

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Prediction – an app for the rumourist

If you scan RSS feeds looking for that latest heart-stopping news title; if you gamble your savings on the next big event; if you bet against rumour sites, hoping that they fail: there’s an app for you. Prediction is a simple app which tracks and updates rumours via push notification. But its unique twist is that it adds the ability to categorise which rumours were right and which were wrong and track reliable and unreliable sources. Predictions may just beat the browser.

Prediction Unweary, Prediction – $2.99

Piccies and App Description after the gap:

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iDevice crime on the rise – iPhone seen Breaking Jail

So, after the Mobistar fiasco, it is clear that the iPhone ain’t just another phone. From Tokyo to Toledo, it’s in high demand and draws a load of envy from have-nots. I fit into the latter group, but unlike the 3 men from L.A. who committed 28 aught crimes against Apple Store customers, my dearth shouldn’t cause worse mischief than random petty theft.

I am actually prey to other deterrents: smashingly beautiful smartphones, and superphones too.

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iPaying for the news – Capital N

News houses have been hit hard by a failing economy and by the times. Many customers no longer buy newspapers; instead, they selectively read news sites, feeds, and social network reports. But at the same time, dwindling reliance upon dead trees means less overhead cost. Still, as news corporations face the times, and like the music industry, learn to step to a different tune, consumers will be hitby a wave of new revenue-making schemes. If not portal adverts, online subscriptions and cost per link options are bound rise to popularity. The iDevice, may be another option. Fox News and The Guardian have run with the iDevice, creating pay-once apps that allow precipitate referencing. Below are a few large publications whose N has gone capital:

FOX News Pro Top Pick, FOX News Pro – $1.99

The Guardian Guardian News and Media Limited, The Guardian – $3.99

CNN Mobile CNN Interactive Group, Inc., CNN Mobile – $1.99

BBC Mobile News Reader RIV Creations, BBC Mobile News Reader – $0.99

Gay News (The News App for Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgender People) Splaysoft, LLC., Gay News (The News App for Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgender People) – $0.99

Tokyo OFF Audio Meeting – Eye and ear opening

FiQuest and prototype - Awesome

FiQuest Headfi special and prototype

On 19 December 2009, I attended one of the most eye-opening meetings of my life: the Tokyo OFF Headphone Audio Meeting. While that is a rough translation of the actual event’s title is underwhelming, the current crop of small Japanese audio makers who peeked in is amazing. I have been smitten by the nearly perfect ALO Rx headphone amplifier, but what I heard at the meeting smashed most of my expectations in terms of what is possible in portable audio. Carrying an amp with an iPod can be annoying, but in my opinion, the jump in sound quality is worthwhile – very worthwhile. Matt MacBeth who designed the audio circuitry of the ALO Rx said in TMA interview that 2010 will be the year when portable audio overtakes home audio in terms of quality. In terms of price/performance, that certainly is possible, and in terms of possibility, that much is certainly true.

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Reason to Jailbreak #1443: Bluetooth keyboards

Among non-vocal jailbreakers, I am probably one of its meakest proponents. I’m not a pirate and not much of a hacker. But when out and about, I would love a better way to enjoy a cup of coffee, a sandwich and my iPod touch at the same time. Currently, I have to do either one or the other, and in the heat of it all, remember to wipe my greasy fingers. Of all the cryptic messages I have seen on da internets, “Available in the Cydia store before Christmas” has sent heretofore absent chills up and down my spine. In short, Jailbreak your hamstrung iPhone if you long for the more graceful input allowed by external Bluetooth keyboards. Sometime soon, the iPhone Bluetooth Keyboard driver will make quick work of emails, stories, and obtuse SMS messages.

It will debut at the Cydia store in time for Santa to drop something beneath the Christmas tree. Click here for more information.

Waldo found in Canada – Canuck’s top app

Everyone once in a while, I throw caution to the wind, damn the American App Store, and look at what the rest of the world (in small letters) is enjoying. Well, Oh Canada has been ripping its shorts on Where’s Waldo, a relatively new app which hails to the good ol’ days of magnifying glasses, colour-blind streams of cartoon characters, and perfect frustrated searching. Waldo has found some friends this time to accompany his journey through the game’s 12 magical worlds; and just in time for the holiday, seller Ludia have blessed the app with a 40% discount. For a limited time, Waldo fun can be had for 2.99$.

Ludia, Where’s Waldo?™ The Fantastic Journey, 2.99$, 133 MB
Where's Waldo?? The Fantastic Journey

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