TouchMyApps » Reference 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 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:42:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Google Search app for iOS gets Google Now feature http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/04/30/google-search-app-for-ios-gets-google-now-feature/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/04/30/google-search-app-for-ios-gets-google-now-feature/#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:16:03 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72401 Google Now has been available to Android phones for several months now, and it has finally arrived for the iPhone and iPad. Described as ”the right information at just the right time”, Google Now is the latest feature found within the Google Search app. Once you sign into your Gmail account, “Cards” will appear at the bottom that provide … Read more]]>

google-search-google-now-feature

Google Now has been available to Android phones for several months now, and it has finally arrived for the iPhone and iPad. Described as ”the right information at just the right time”, Google Now is the latest feature found within the Google Search app. Once you sign into your Gmail account, “Cards” will appear at the bottom that provide helpful info like local weather, currency conversion when travel abroad, traffic conditions to your next likely destination, sports scores, flight status and much more.

Simply swipe said cards left or right if you don’t need them. According to Google, the more you use it and over time, prediction will improve and more cards will appear. To help pull in relevant info, Google Now relies on Location Services, but because the app doesn’t use the device’s GPS – rather it receives “passive” updates from nearby cell towers and WIFI hot spots – the feature shouldn’t be a battery hog.

With the implementation of Google Now, the Google Search app has become even more of a single hub for all things Google, be it accessing Google Apps like Calendar, Google+, Drive, or the very impressive Google Voice - a more than capable competitor to Siri.

Google Search is free to download for iPhone and iPad and you can read more about Google Now here. 

What’s New in 3.0

Answers before you ask with Google Now:
• start your day with weather & traffic conditions
• get updates on your favorite teams & news

Learn more about location
To provide up-to-the-minute information, Google Now turns on Location Services. Even though the icon stays on, the app has minimal battery impact:

• The app doesn’t turn on the GPS. Instead, it receives passive updates from nearby cell towers and WIFI hot spots.
• If your battery is running low, the app pauses location updates.
• The app stays asleep unless your device moves a long distance.

If you see an impact on your battery life, please tell us about it by tapping feedback in the app settings. You can also turn this feature on and off as you like in the privacy section of the app settings. Learn more at http://goo.gl/9GKI2

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Languages released for iPhone – a cheap and gorgeous offline translator http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/10/25/languages-released-for-iphone-a-cheap-and-gorgeous-offline-translator/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/10/25/languages-released-for-iphone-a-cheap-and-gorgeous-offline-translator/#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2012 19:02:42 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=70502 Languages, brought to you by Sonico (iTranslate+) and Tapity (Grades 2), may very well be the last translator you’ll ever need on your iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s not only beautifully designed and works offline, but it’s also just $0.99. Twelve complete language dictionaries are included (Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch etc.), so there’s … Read more]]>

Languages, brought to you by Sonico (iTranslate+) and Tapity (Grades 2), may very well be the last translator you’ll ever need on your iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s not only beautifully designed and works offline, but it’s also just $0.99. Twelve complete language dictionaries are included (Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch etc.), so there’s no need for internet access to look up words and phrases – most ideal for when traveling with your iDevice.

Besides being lightning quick (and it really is fast compared to other translation apps), Languages also supports unified search, meaning you can simply start typing a word and results in both languages will begin to appear. This helps eliminate the need to constantly switch back and forth manually between a given language. Moreover, this is the first translation tool on the iPhone I’ve seen that relies heavily on gestures. For instance, you swipe right to search the dictionary; swipe right to clear the current search; and pinch to close the dictionary.

You won’t find more advanced features like voice recognition or verb conjugations (you’ll need iTranslate+ for that), but for simple translations, offline use and a snappy UI, I can’t think of a better app out there for iOS at the moment. And the fact that it’s only $0.99 is a huge bonus.

Languages Sonico GmbH, Languages - $0.99

Description

Lightning-fast translation that works without an internet connection.

Features
◆ Offline translation. Most translation apps require an internet connection. Languages stores all words on the phone itself so you always have translation when you need it, whether you are traveling internationally or simply don’t have a connection.
◆ Lightning fast. Start typing a few letters and boom, you already have the translation you need.
◆ Unified search. Type a word from either language and you’ll get the results you want. No more switching modes.
◆ Search or browse. Search is great but sometimes it’s useful and fun to explore a language by browsing through the words alphabetically.
◆ Innovative A-Z index for quick browsing.
◆ Common phrases included for most languages.

12 complete language dictionaries included
◆ Spanish-English
◆ German-English
◆ French-English
◆ Italian-English
◆ Dutch-English
◆ Portugese-English
◆ Swedish-English
◆ French-Italian
◆ French-Spanish
◆ German-French
◆ German-Italian
◆ German-Spanish
◆ Most offline translation apps charge $5+ for each language pair.

Pro Tips
◆ Tap and hold the index to magnify the letters.
◆ Swipe to the right to search.
◆ In search, swipe to the left to go back to the dictionary.
◆ In search, swipe to the right to clear a search (much faster than reaching for the clear button).
◆ Pinch to close a language dictionary.
◆ Tap and hold to move a dictionary on the shelf.
◆ Tap a word to copy it.
◆ Tap the flag icon to switch the primary language.

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New and Improved: Google Search for iPad http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/22/new-and-improved-google-search-for-ipad/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/11/22/new-and-improved-google-search-for-ipad/#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2011 16:27:31 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=61194  The Google Search app has been updated and it’s now better than ever on the iPad. The new features make searching for what you want much more interactive and easier as well. Google Instant starts displaying results as you’re typing the search term; a slide-in pane lets you slide back and forth between browse pages and results; … Read more]]>

 The Google Search app has been updated and it’s now better than ever on the iPad. The new features make searching for what you want much more interactive and easier as well. Google Instant starts displaying results as you’re typing the search term; a slide-in pane lets you slide back and forth between browse pages and results; visual search history can be accessed by swiping right to reveal snapshots of pages you’ve visited (organized by search terms), and more. Here’s the full list of “What’s New” for the iPad:

✓ See search results and websites side-by-side to quickly browse pages and results
✓ Swipe through the image carousel to see image results in full-size
✓ Compare search results as webpage snapshots in Instant Previews mode
✓ Use Google Instant and search suggestions to get to search results faster
✓ Revisit past searches with Visual Search History
✓ Highlight what you want to see on a webpage with the new Find button
✓ Easily share pages and +1 sites
✓ Quick access to other Google apps like Gmail, Calendar, Docs and more

After even the first few minutes of using Google Search on the iPad, the slide-in pane feature alone made it difficult for me to go back to Safari. The downside is that since it wasn’t designed to be a full fledged browser, the app doesn’t support tabbed browsing. Still, for day-to-day googlin’ on the iPad, the host of new features definitely makes this a keeper. Check out the video demo after this space.

Google Search Google, Google Search, – Free

[Google Mobile Blog] … Read more]]>
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Related Articles:

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Google Translate App arrives on iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/02/08/google-translate-app-arrives-on-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/02/08/google-translate-app-arrives-on-iphone/#comments Tue, 08 Feb 2011 23:26:19 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=47890 Google’s surprisingly accurate translation service, first seen on the iPhone back in 2008 as a web app, is now here as a standalone app for the iDevice. Google Translate accepts voice input for 15 languages, and like the web app, it can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. Even … Read more]]>

Google’s surprisingly accurate translation service, first seen on the iPhone back in 2008 as a web app, is now here as a standalone app for the iDevice. Google Translate accepts voice input for 15 languages, and like the web app, it can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. Even more impressive, you can listen to the translations spoken out loud in 1 of the 23 supported languages. There’s also a handy zoom feature that enlarges the translated text to fit the entire screen. Definitely a useful feature if you’re making your way around a foreign country and in need of directions and what not. As with all Google apps, this one’s free and well worth your while.

Google Translate Google, Google Translate, 1.9 MB – Free

App Description

Translate words and phrases between more than 50 languages using Google Translate for iOS. For most languages, you can speak your phrases and hear the corresponding translations.

With Google Translate you can:

* Translate text between 57 languages
* Translate by speaking the text instead of typing it (15 languages)
* Listen to your translations spoken aloud (23 languages)
* Display translations in full screen mode to make it easier for others nearby to read
* Star your favorite translations for quick access even when you’re offline
* Access your translation history even when you’re offline
* Spell out the translation of non-Latin script languages (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, etc..) in Latin characters to read it phonetically (e.g. Pinyin, Romaji)
* View additional dictionary results for single words or short phrases

Translations between the following languages are supported:

Afrikaans, Albanian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Arabic, Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, Yiddish

[Google Mobile Blog] … Read more]]>
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Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 in Review – Possibly useful for sommeliers, useless for everyone else… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/24/hugh-johnson%e2%80%99s-wine-guide-2011-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/09/24/hugh-johnson%e2%80%99s-wine-guide-2011-in-review/#comments Fri, 24 Sep 2010 14:52:37 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=40178 Those sommeliers have one of the best jobs in the world, don’t they? Drinking good wine and getting paid for doing it and even more for writing about it… Well, one of the best-selling wine writers, Hugh Johnson, has decided to jump on the iOS bandwagon and release his own wine guide on the App … Read more]]>

Those sommeliers have one of the best jobs in the world, don’t they? Drinking good wine and getting paid for doing it and even more for writing about it… Well, one of the best-selling wine writers, Hugh Johnson, has decided to jump on the iOS bandwagon and release his own wine guide on the App Store. Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 is now available to help us, common folk, decide what bottle we’ll be drinking this evening.

Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 (though it seems to be a bit early to release a 2011 version just yet) is deemed by its own author to be more of an encouragement than a specific charter. With this in mind let’s examine it in more detail.

Wine Guide has 2 main features – Wine-speak and browsing/searching for various wines with comments from Hugh Johnson himself. The former is meant for the aspiring sommeliers to learn the ins and outs of the terminology and is a comprehensive dictionary of all-things wine related. The dictionary is also equipped with a handy search option, as well as marking the grape varieties with a special icon for easy distinction.

The catalogue is what it’s all about though. You can browse it by region or by country to get to the producer list. However you won’t be able to find specific wine brands with most entries; they’re are just a few general words about where the producer’s vineries are and what grapes they use. Some are more detailed, some even have a bit of information on the actual vintages, but those are few and far between and still don’t contain anything on the specific brands of wine they offer.

On the upside a nice feature is the overview information on the region complete with a map and some general vintage information, usually split by region. You can also search the catalogue by country, region, grape variety and/or minimum rating, including a filter to limit the results to Hugh’s current selection only.

The interface of the Wine Guide is more or less ok, though for some reason it doesn’t support the Retina display, providing for pixilated text and blurry images on the iPhone 4. Also the intro video with Hugh Johnson himself is stuck in portrait mode for some strange reason. The ability to favourite producers for quick access later is a plus though.

Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 is in many ways a disappointment, especially with such a big name behind it. The information provided is not nearly enough to help make a choice in the wine aisle and the general overview, while quite interesting, is mostly of use for (aspiring) sommeliers, looking to broaden their knowledge of the regions. But if you’re one of those just looking for a helpful guide to select a nice bottle of Cabernet, this app is definitely not for you.

With this I declare Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Hugh Johnson’s Wine Guide 2011 Developer: Hachette UK
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $7.99 App Size: 9.98MB
  • Region overviews with maps and general vintage information
  • Nice Wine-Speak dictionary
  • Almost no information on individual producers
  • No wine brand information or vintages

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Mixologist: Drink Recipes in Review – Vodka-Martini – shaken, not stirred! + Promo Codes http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/04/09/mixologist-drink-recipes-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/04/09/mixologist-drink-recipes-in-review/#comments Fri, 09 Apr 2010 20:35:19 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=30395 Note: We have 20 25 promo codes to giveaway for Mixologist. Simply leave a comment in our review to receive your free copy!! (1st 25 will snag a code) I love alcohol in all of its varieties and am not afraid to say so. What could be better than a glass of fine red wine … Read more]]>

Note: We have 20 25 promo codes to giveaway for Mixologist. Simply leave a comment in our review to receive your free copy!! (1st 25 will snag a code)

I love alcohol in all of its varieties and am not afraid to say so. What could be better than a glass of fine red wine after a hard day’s work? But every once in a while I have a craving for something special. And in these times I turn to one of my books with cocktail recipes. Or recently, to my iPhone and the excellent app – Mixologist: Drink Recipes.

Mixologist: Drink Recipes offers almost 8000 cocktail recipes available for your pleasure, along with an extra bit of useful information thrown in for good measure. Even better, the app has quite a few useful features that I haven’t seen in other competing apps. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The basic browsing experience is well-done – you can check out all of the recipes in one list or grouped by ingredient or category. With such a large amount included, the favourite feature allowing you to mark recipes is a nice addition. And if you are a creative cocktail-master yourself, you can put in recipes of your own in the custom section.

Tired of finding a great cocktail recipe only to discover you’re missing a vital component in your own bar? Well, rejoice! Probably the best feature of Mixologist is the ability to mark the liquors and/or mixers you have available and only show recipes you can actually make right off the bat. And if you’re lost in the myriad of cocktails available or simply want to make something new and exotic, you can use the random function with lockable ingredients and/or glass.

But wait, there’s still more! Just starting out your bartending career? Mixologist has an extensive informational section, where you can learn the terminology, techniques and even watch streaming video tutorials. And if you’re missing a component or two, you can use the included search function (Google Maps powered, of course) to search for nearby liquor stores or bars.

One place Mixologist is really lacking is the interface. While easy-to-use and lightning quick, it lacks the polish necessary to make the experience really enjoyable. The other problematic area is the liquor categorization – the app goes into minute detail about the various subtypes of alcohol available in the recipes, without considering the possible replacements. i.e. while I understand the difference between bourbon and scotch and the necessity to differentiate between them, I refuse to acknowledge recipes noting Chivas Regal or Johnnie Walker specifically. If I start to check for cocktails with cognac, I will miss out on all having Courvoisier Cognac specifically, and that’s not even talking about brandy.

Mixologist is one of the best cocktail recipe apps out there, and no doubt about it. The extensive library of cocktails, the excellent tips and tricks and the awesome liquor cabinet functions make it a must have for any true cocktail lover. At the same you should take into consideration that quite a few of the advertised 7900+ recipes are variants of the same cocktail with slightly different liquors specified. And the interface could use quite a lot of polish, especially the category browsing which is too restrictive on alcohol subtypes.

With this I declare Mixologist: Drink Recipes officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Mixologist: Drink Recipes Developer: Digital Outcrop
Reviewed Ver: 2.0.2 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: 5.4 MB
  • Excellent selection of drinks
  • Useful hints, tips and tutorials
  • Very useful Liquor Cabinet feature
  • A significant number of duplicate recipes
  • The interface could use a lot of polish
  • Too selective on liquor subtypes in recipes

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White Park Bay’s Oxford Reference Series in Review – The devil is in the details http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/01/white-park-bays-oxford-reference-series-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/01/white-park-bays-oxford-reference-series-in-review/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2010 08:41:51 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=26779 White Park Bay recently released a handful of new Oxford Reference Dictionaries to add to its already strong suite. The new dictionaries feature a few upgrades to the Oxford Reference series I reviewed before. These include: better mail integration and indexing as well as a structured note-taking system. For 14.99$, they remain a little pricey, … Read more]]>

White Park Bay recently released a handful of new Oxford Reference Dictionaries to add to its already strong suite. The new dictionaries feature a few upgrades to the Oxford Reference series I reviewed before. These include: better mail integration and indexing as well as a structured note-taking system. For 14.99$, they remain a little pricey, but are great titles for the would-be know-it-all.

All of White Park Bay’s apps are updated to support the new features which make this suite a much more worthwhile buy. The contents speaks for itself; Oxford’s dictionary series is one of the most pithy and wide-reaching reference series on a number of subjects. And that series is translated for 1:1 use on the iDevice – a great idea indeed.

In my previous article, I decried White Park Bay’s lack of note-taking and streamlined email support. Thankfully, both have been fixed. Note taking is accomplished by tapping a pad icon in the lower right hand portion of the screen and can be filled up with new information, comparisons – anything your heart fancies.

White Park Bay have made that easy. Thankfully, emailing is also much better. After sending an entry to email, the app is resumed from the same entry. Both of these tweaks are very helpful, especially as electronic dictionaries should benefit from their platform.

Unfortunately, White Park Bay still have left out one very important piece: resume function. When you exit a dictionary, current progress isn’t saved. After resuming, you are brought to the directory listing, not the last entry. And, after emailing an entry to someone, rather than resuming from the last read spot, the app defaults to the entry title. The series has been updated to let through fewer user-forceable errors, but it isn’t yet free of them. Landscape mode for the most part, is usable, but when sending an article via email then switching to landscape mode, the following rendering error pops up. And when entering landscape from portrait, the current article disappears from the right-hand column. There have been a number of tweaks which help this series stand out, but there is a long way to go.

The suite is great. There is no denying that Oxford Dictionary series is one of the best sources for fingertip browsing. And with so many items for perusal at the App Store, White Park Bay have a trump card for encyclopedia/dictionary buffs. But they are missing the mark in one spectacular way: these references are electronic and should be designed from the ground up to deliver content with all of the benefits of the format. Notes and better email support help the suite to reach maturity, but the absence of resume is a quizzical omission at best. While the suite is getting better, it isn’t yet at the level it should be for its price.

White Park Bay Software Ltd White Park Bay, Oxford Reference series, 14.99$

If you enjoy iDevice reference titles, you may enjoy the following articles.

Review-Reference-WPB-OxfordReference-02IMG_1131 Review-Reference-WPB-OxfordReference-02IMG_1132 Review-Reference-WPB-OxfordReference-02IMG_1134 Review-Reference-WPB-OxfordReference-02IMG_1141 Review-Reference-WPB-OxfordReference-02IMG_1144 Review-Reference-WPB-OxfordReference-02IMG_1145 Review-Reference-WPB-OxfordReference-02-AbaloneRead more]]>
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New App: National Geographic World Atlas – A Journey All around the Earth http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/21/national-geographic-world-atlas-a-journey-all-around-the-earth/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/21/national-geographic-world-atlas-a-journey-all-around-the-earth/#comments Thu, 21 Jan 2010 07:20:56 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=26462 If only Professor Otto Lidenbrock and his nephew, Axel, were born a century and a half later – their trip to the interior of the earth would have been spared a few mishaps. As it is, National Geographic World Atlas comes at a poignant time: when the news of earthquakes and floods constantly tips all … Read more]]>

If only Professor Otto Lidenbrock and his nephew, Axel, were born a century and a half later – their trip to the interior of the earth would have been spared a few mishaps. As it is, National Geographic World Atlas comes at a poignant time: when the news of earthquakes and floods constantly tips all four corners of the globe in the minds of more and more people.

World Atlas allows armchair adventurers to explore the globe in: classic, political, satellite, and antique views. It also makes use of the in-built triangulation and GPS functions.

National Geographic World Atlas National Geographic Society, National Geographic World Atlas – $1.99

App Description

Explore your world with National Geographic’s World Atlas for iPhone and iPod Touch!

Easy-to-use, feature packed, and containing the world’s best maps, the National Geographic World Atlas enables you to browse, search, and zoom detailed maps of the globe.

Unlike other atlas applications, the National Geographic World Atlas utilizes our highest resolution, “press-ready” images, providing you the same rich detail, accuracy, and artistic beauty found in our award-winning wall maps and bound atlases.

The National Geographic World Atlas contains 7 different levels of National Geographic cartography, plus through our unique partnership with Microsoft, 7 bonus levels of Microsoft Bing maps enabling you to zoom in close enough to see your home!

Learn more about the world around you using the up-to-date, expertly researched, Flags and Facts database which contains concise geographic and socio-economic data.

Find even the most remote places in the news, using the built-in search tool and place names directory which contains nearly 7 million entries!

Mark, annotate and save your favorite places with the intuitive push-pin tool. Add pictures from your photo library, or take a new picture on camera equipped iPhones.

On-the-go? GPS enabled iPhones can quickly center the map to your current position, making the National Geographic World Atlas a handy companion for global travelers.

Features

  • High resolution National Geographic cartography, the same used to print our award-winning wall maps and bound atlases!
  • Preloaded with 3 different styles of world maps, down to country detail. Additional detailed zoom levels and Microsoft Bing maps require internet connection to view. Map Library feature allows you to download and save National Geographic maps for faster access and offline use.
  • Easy-to-use and fast place name search tool, with over 6 million database entries (major cities index is preloaded; full search requires internet or cell connection).
  • World Flags and Facts database, expertly edited and up-to-date with concise socio-economic and geographic data.
  • Push pin tool enables you to mark, annotate, and save your favorite places. Push pins come in a variety of colors and can tap into your iPhoto library or camera.
  • GPS enabled iPhones can center the maps to show your current location.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet.

Languages
English

System Requirements
Compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. Requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later.

National Geographic World Atlas National Geographic Society, National Geographic World Atlas – $1.99

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Leonard Maltin Movie Guide in Review – Decades Of Reviews In The Palm Of Your Hand http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/11/10/leonard-maltin-movie-guide-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/11/10/leonard-maltin-movie-guide-in-review/#comments Tue, 10 Nov 2009 18:22:46 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=22888 Reviewing and critiquing movies from as young as 18, Leonard Maltin has had numerous books published as well as an almost 30 year long career on television with Entertainment Weekly. Most recently, his renowned “Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide” has made it onto the iPlatform. Thanks to developers MobileAge, “the 2300 page Godzilla of movie references” … Read more]]>

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Reviewing and critiquing movies from as young as 18, Leonard Maltin has had numerous books published as well as an almost 30 year long career on television with Entertainment Weekly. Most recently, his renowned “Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide” has made it onto the iPlatform. Thanks to developers MobileAge, “the 2300 page Godzilla of movie references” is now even more accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

With the app’s focus being the delivery of reviews one of the most important aspects of design is legibility. The dark brushed grey with the white/light grey text accomplishes that perfectly. As for layout, they kept it simple and clean as well.

There are 2 tabs at the bottom: the guide itself and your “lists”. If you’re interested in more info about Mr. Maltin or the editors of the guide it’s all available by tapping the (i) in the top corner. Also there is contact info and a link directly to the appstore for you to write a review (sidebar- more developers should include this in their app. It wouldn’t kill users to take the 5 mins to say what they like or don’t like).

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Currently, there are 24,000 reviews that are accessible to you anywhere. The most recent ones are shown on the front page when the app loads, the rest are a quick search away. This is another area that they really put effort into. Searching is available by title, cast and even director. We all have our favourite actor/actress and having the ability to search with instant results is a great feature. I used this when looking for a couple actors that I thought I knew everything about and was surprised to find movies that I had never even heard of. For people who are obsessed with (insert actor name here) I am sure you will find this invaluable.

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As great as that is, reading the reviews is where you can tell they put in the most work. Leonard Maltin’s reviews are well thought-out: he praises the good and has no problem calling out the bad.

Also in the review you’ll notice at the top and bottom that all directors and actors are highlighted. Tapping them will bring you back to the search screen with results based on the person that you tapped – a perfect feature when you are trying to find more movies about “that guy from that one movie you liked”. As of the latest release, they also added the ability to view trailers for 4500 different movies (with more to come I’m sure).

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Another awesome feature is the ability to link through to your netflix or itunes account to either rent or purchase titles. If you really did want to rent/buy it then without this handy feature, you would have to close the app, load up another, log in, etc. – a hassle that can now be totally avoided thanks to those 2 links.

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The other 2 links you’ll see at the top are the heart symbol and envelope. The heart allows you to add titles to lists which you can create (e.g. Must See, Movies To Buy, etc). A great idea if you’re trying to plan out movies to buy for gifts or organize favourites to complete a collection. As is usually the case with lists, the possibilities are endless. The envelope lets you email the entire review to whomever you want.

Overall, Leonard Maltin Movie Guide is amazing. As a movie review app, it is perfectly designed and easy to read/use. The ability to rent/purchase the movies just throws it over the top. I think any movie buff will appreciate the value in having thousands of movies reviewed and readily available in the palm of their hand at any time.

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App Summary
Title: Leonard Maltin Movie Guide (v1.1) Developer: Mobile Age
Price: $4.99 App Size: 8.3 MB
  • Thousands of reviews available anytime
  • Dynamic search system built throughout app
  • Ability to link to Netflix and iTunes
  • Watch trailers in app
  • A little pricey for a review app

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Wine Enthusiast Guide in Review – A personal sommelier in your pocket! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/22/wine-enthusiast-guide-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/22/wine-enthusiast-guide-in-review/#comments Thu, 22 Oct 2009 16:16:19 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=21975 I love wine and simply can’t image my life without a glass of Cabernet after a hard day’s work. And the quality of wine matters so much. At the same time, I don’t earn enough to afford the really good stuff, so I often find myself wandering up and down the wine aisle at my … Read more]]>

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I love wine and simply can’t image my life without a glass of Cabernet after a hard day’s work. And the quality of wine matters so much. At the same time, I don’t earn enough to afford the really good stuff, so I often find myself wandering up and down the wine aisle at my local grocery store, trying to choose a bottle with a reasonable price/quality ratio. Well, MobilAge have provided Wine Enthusiast Guide (WEG) to help me and other poor sods like me.

The Wine Enthusiast Guide has more than 75 000 wine reviews to help you pick the wine for tonight. Unfortunately, the price is probably only valid in the USA because what I pay locally in Russia is about double. Otherwise, the list is very comprehensive and awe-inspiring; there is a heap of work which has gone into it. On the other hand, those wine-taster guys (yes, I DO know they are officially called sommeliers) have a great job, don’t they? They can even call in the morning and say, that they can’t come in today because they worked late the previous day.

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WEG’s interface is split into 5 tabs. Probably the most used is the “Guide” tab. It contains the list of producers and allows you to drill down through brands and up to vintages. The actual series are noted as extra information only. This allows you to check the very bottle you are planning on purchasing. The quality of the reviews is top notch, providing enough information for you to make your decision. I do have to note that the guide is NOT stored in the app, requiring you to have internet connectivity in order to work.

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The search/filter mechanism on the “Guide” tab, however, is not as good. I couldn’t find one my favourite wines for quite some time until I started browsing by the producer name. It turned out that the app does not search by the wine series’ name, only by the producer or brand. That means that the wine Concha Y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere is searchable by “Concha Y Toro” or “Carmenere” but NOT “Casillero del Diablo” which would be most logical. Also, the search works on the “Starts with” principal, rather than “contains” which makes finding certain words a major pain.

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Another way to browse the catalogue — which strangely enough, is placed in the search tab — is to filter wines using categories such as type, rating and, most importantly, price. It works as well as can be expected and I had no gripes with it. Another very useful feature is the ability to create your personal custom wine lists out of the whole collection, allowing you to note your favourite or least favourite wines, for example. Finally, you can check the vintages for various wineries across the globe to see how they compare over one another in a very user-friendly manner.

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And last, but not least, the app features an extensive reference guide to more than 1400 wine-related terms, as well as 20 step-by-step guides for you to hone your wine-tasting skills, as well as numerous tips on the subject.

I would say that this application is a must have for anyone who values a good glass of wine. Yes, some aspects could use tweaking and the app could really benefit from barcode recognition or search and the price may be a bit high for the average consumer. But still, the Wine Enthusiast Guide can provide you with that little extra bit of help when you’re lost in the wine aisle.

With this I declare the Wine Enthusiast Guide officially touched.

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App Summary
Title: Wine Enthusiast Guide (v.1.3) Developer: MobileAge
Price: $4.99 App Size: 1.7 MB
  • Vast selection of wines
  • Lots of useful information
  • Vintage comparison
  • Useful wine list functionality
  • A bit pricey for the average consumer
  • Search is often very difficult
  • Browsing wines requires internet access

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Quotationary’s Got Company – Get Wise ‘r Die Tryin’ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/02/quotationarys-got-company-get-wise-r-die-tryin/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/02/quotationarys-got-company-get-wise-r-die-tryin/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2009 08:23:15 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=11963 Educational? Inspirational? Baddass? You decide. Developer Kim Chi Studios (yum!) just released the new educational, inspirational, quotation-full, life-changing app: Get Wise ‘r Die Tryin’, a tongue-in-cheek collection of quotations that can be mailed, appended, rated, bookmarked and researched via Wikipedia. Anything else? Yes, you can make your own quotes! If anyone can stand up to giants of … Read more]]>

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Educational? Inspirational? Baddass? You decide. Developer Kim Chi Studios (yum!) just released the new educational, inspirational, quotation-full, life-changing app: Get Wise ‘r Die Tryin’, a tongue-in-cheek collection of quotations that can be mailed, appended, rated, bookmarked and researched via Wikipedia. Anything else? Yes, you can make your own quotes! If anyone can stand up to giants of wisdom such as Clint Eastwood, it is you, the baddass reader.

Kim Chi Studios, Get Wise ‘r Die Tryin’, $0.99
Get Wise 'r Die Tryin'

Get Wise ‘r Die Tryin’ even has the cool old-looking background that you see in ancient manuscripts. Add that too cool page-turn effects and a decent interface and Quotationary has a competitor. Of course, a library of 500 quotes versus thousands has a long road ahead, but just as wine and kimchi get better with age, Kim Chi Studios will ferment their app gracefully.

A quick look at their support site (no jokes) will reveal their strategy to become the best quotation-app in the app store.

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