Suzy Kendrick, September 14, 2012
It was a big week with the Apple keynote and official introduction of the iPhone 5. If you missed all the action, Josh and I did a recap on Macgasm TV (subscribe in iTunes to get it!). You’ve got another week until the new iPhone will even ship, so we wanted to make sure you had something to keep you busy. This week we take a gander at apps for turning photos into sketches, making iPad WordPress blogging easier, staying on top of Facebook right on your desktop and a game to get you thinking.
The iPhone: Etchings
An app that lets you get more creative with your photos is always my idea of money well spent. In this case, it’s $0.99 well spent. I love finding new ways to manipulate my pictures and that’s what Mindsea Development has done with Etchings. Instantly create sketch-style illustrations from any photo. Easily export to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and if you’re extra photo-talented, to other photo apps for further photographic genius creations!
Snap a quick shot right in the app or upload from your photo library. Then, very similar to Instagram, choose the etch filter you want to put on it. Notable filters are “Air Mail”, which turns your photo into a stamp, and “Franklin” , which puts your face on a dollar bill. You also have the option to choose the different etch line styles, from thin to heavy. Use different combinations to make your photos unique.
Download links below
The iPad: Poster
Yo bloggers with iPads. Listen Up.
Tom Witkin has a cool iPad app that will help you easily and quickly post to and manage your WordPress blog. We’re talking both WordPress.com and WordPress.org self-hosted platforms here. For less than two cups of java from Starbucks ($3.99), directly integrate with Dropbox to create your content and publish like a maniac. Preview Markdown formatted posts with ease and automatically convert to HTML when ready to publish.
But wait, there’s more. Poster supports your formats, custom files and editing post slugs. Toggle post comments on and off. Assign categories and tags. Upload images. Open text or HTML files directly in the app when you’re ready to let your inner writing goddess go wild.
Download links below
The Mac: MenuTab for Facebook
Instantly access your Facebook without having to log in with a browser. This app from FIPLAB lets you stay on top of your Facebook creeping directly on your desktop and it’s free. Ya buddie! (Any else conjure up images of Pauly D when they read that?)
The drop down menu pretty much looks like Facebook on your iPhone, but it’s on your desktop. (Insert Twilight Zone theme here.) I think it’s handy because it means you don’t have to have another browser tab open to distract your work flow. Also, if you get Facebook FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), MenuTab will alert you to when anything is going on, so stay calm, my friends.
For an in-app purchase of $2.99, you can pay to unlock features for popup notifications, colour coded menubar alerts, desktop mode with chat and the ability to disable ads. You must be running on OS X Lion though.
Download links below
Game Of The Week: SpellTower
This week our GOTW app is going to test your brain power. Scrabble lovers will jump for joy over SpellTower by Zach Gage. Word game meets Tetris, that’s what I’m calling it.
What I really like about this app is that it gives you a really great interactive tutorial before you get started. Then, practice your word building skills in “Tower Mode” before you move on to “Puzzle Mode”, which adds a layer of letters to the top of each word you make. Don’t let the letter touch the top or it’s game over. Also, play with friends! “Debate Mode” lets two devices play together. When you find words, letters will drop on your opponent’s screen.
Grab this app to play on the go on your iPhone for $1.99. However, if you’re more of a desktop gamer, it’s also now available for the Mac for $3.99. Get ready for a challenge. You may want to take up reading the dictionary in your spare time to prepare for this.
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