Michael McConnell, November 16, 2012
Welcome to Friday everyone. For some of you that means a work-from-home day of taking conference calls in your pajamas, while the rest of us keep staring at the clock waiting for happy hour. There’s been some cool apps this week; let’s take a look at the various platforms.
iPhone/iPod Touch: Fontli
If you actually read the typesetter’s notes in your books or decry the office temp for putting the broken copier note in Copperplate, Fontli is the app for you. This is a social network for font nerds. After downloading the app, you add your Facebook and Twitter accounts and follow the other typography nerds in your life. (If you don’t know any, the Fontli team will still be there, along with some suggested accounts.) Then you can add pictures of interesting fonts that you find in the world. If you don’t know which font you’re looking at, you can mark it as an SOS. This puts the picture into a big queue of pictures for other Fontli users to identify, even if you don’t follow them. This is a free app, and can likely connect a very niche group of nerds. It’s worth checking out.
iPad: Next Draft
Dave Pell has had a popular mailing list called Next Draft that gives a good rundown of the news with a healthy dose of overlooked and weird stories. Though it’s only published once a day, email isn’t everyone’s favorite news platform. That may be why Dave has created Next Draft as an iPad app. Slick and minimal, this app provides each section of the newsletter as a separate page, rather than a big scrollable message. It riffs a bit on Marco Arment’s The Magazine, and that’s not a bad thing. This is another free one.
Mac: Display Menu
This is a little utility that puts your display settings back into the Menu Bar. This functionality is no longer in OS X, and if you have to change resolution or use a projector, changing settings is a bit more complicated than it needs to be. You get a simple drop down with the available resolutions along with Mirroring options. Continuing with the theme, this is also a free app.
Web: Infinite Jukebox
This is the sort of time wasting that befits the weekend. Have you ever put a song on repeat? Some songs have a hook you can’t get out of your head, or you’re simply just addicted to them. For those songs there’s the new site, Infinite Jukebox. You choose your song and upload it to the server, and it finds connections and pathways to allow the song to loop forever. (It isn’t perfect, uploading is down due to the increased demand, and as the Verge pointed out there are some weird effects with vocals and beats that don’t match up.) This was built by Paul Lamere at Music Hack Day, which was hosted by MIT. This was a lot of fun even though you’re limited to the chafed uploads, though some masochist uploaded “Call Me Maybe.”
Game: Zookeeper DX
Zookeeper DX is the sort of game that turns Friday night into Sunday morning. A simple match three affair, the game is deceptively simple. In arcade mode you have to quickly stay ahead of a timer matching three very quickly. There is a second mode called Tokoton where you have to collect a hundred of each animal with a much slower timer. They list a third game mode in the menu but that’s just an App Store link for their multiplayer version. The game is Apple’s Game of the Week on the App Store.Follow @macgasm