Wednesday, August 26, 2009

5 Dang-Worthy iPhone Apps

USAA (Free)

Although its great to get paid, how frustrating is it when you need money and someone gives you a check? During the limited window of bank availability, you've got to drive out, login to the ATM, fill out a deposit slip, and fill out a bank envelope in order to get dough into your account. Frankly, it's just not the 80's anymore, (although this man might believe otherwise) and there's a bank out there that recognizes that. USAA's free iPhone application comes with a feature (for customers with a good credit history) that allows you to take a picture of both sides of a check and upload it for instant deposit. Finally, I can deposit grandma's birthday checks with no pants on!

Shazam (Free)

The music in Old Navy is terrible, but every once in a while, you're going to hear something vaguely familiar and want to know what it is. We've all been there. Then, you're going to get into an argument with your girlfriend about whether its a song Sting or Phil Collins (who, to this day, I still believe are actually the same person). The free Shazam app allows you to instantly identify a song by automatically analyzing 10-15 second clips and submitting it to their database. For me out in the field, its worked only about 65% of the time, but when it does work, its been consistently accurate every time, even in a noisy bar or crowded room. What's more, Shazam also provides links to Youtube videos, iTunes pages, and artist info. Not too bad if you want to do a back-to-back listen of Fields of Gold and Sussudio.

Peggle ($4.99)

After I got the iPhone, one part of my life will never be the same: the bathroom. No longer will I be impatient and bored whilst upon the golden throne. In fact, I think Apple should completely reposition their marketing strategy to bowel-based benefits. ('There's a crap for that') When searching for a great casual video game, you want something that's fun, easy to pick up and put down, and addicting. Now, the developers of the award-winning game Peggle have brought quirky pinball style action to the iPhone that's reminiscent of the ever popular computer game Snood. Just make sure you mute it, or the guy in the next stall might hear its zany noises and think that you're giving birth to an NES console.

Snatch ($3.99)

Ever since the speculation began for what next-generation technology might come in Apple's latest lines of MacBook, there's one concept that has always intrigued me. Imagine a MacBook that incorporated the touch display technology of the iPhone into its trackpad. Every application could theoretically produce its own dedicated set of custom buttons designed for a specific purpose. Well unfortunately for me, Apple went in a different direction so I'm stuck trying to find the damned spellcheck in Office 2007's 'innovative' ribbon menu. Snatch has been developed in order to change the way we interact with programs. By syncing to your computer and downloading program 'remotes', you can display a full page of program specific commands or even design your own. Initiatives like this will certainly shape the face of computer input in the future, or at the very least, tide me over until I can check email like Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

Sex Offenders

The future is a weird place huh? The marriage of pocket computing and the National Sex Offender Registry has brought forth a disturbing new tool which will inevitably trigger the following conversation in homes across America.

Wife: Honey, did you know we lived near a child molester?
Husband: Oh yeah? What degree?
Wife: Third.
Husband: Gee, only 3rd? What an amateur. Guess it looks like we're not moving!

That's right folks. For only $1.99, you can get a detailed map of your perfect little neighborhood with pins that show the household locations of every registered sex offender in the area. And if that wasn't enough to get you to hide your daughters and lock your doors, the app even allows you to select each pin for a detailed description of the crime and view a charming photo of the offender. The biggest use I've gotten out of this thus far is scaring women at local bars in an attempt to convince them not to sleep alone. Unfortunately, my eyes just can't take the pepper spray anymore.

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