Apps of the Week: Lovely, Puffin, Ampkit, Spotify, Vengence, And An Honorable Mention
In the U.S. everyone is wandering around the malls in a Turkey coma searching for deals; in the rest of the world everyone is just happy it’s Friday. This week might feature the oddest game ever published on the App Store, and we offer an honorable mention for a new map app.
iPhone/iPod Touch: Lovely
Searching for an apartment sucks. Craigslist, at least, ensured that you didn’t need to grab the ten pound Sunday paper just to find a place to keep your stuff. However, Craigslist doesn’t have the best UI, especially when it comes to searching for apartments based on location. Lovely is an iOS app that allows you to search and filter apartment listings and then see your results on a map. The listing interface itself is clean and simple. You can create alerts and save favorites after creating an account with the service. Lovely is free and you can get the app here.
iPad: Puffin Web Browser
Despite some serious strides in the last few years, Flash continues to be a thorn in the side of iPad web browsing. Most of the Flash sites left have been relegated to games and bad restaurants. (There are some video sites that are still using Flash, and actually requiring users to pay a premium to access content via HTML5.) Puffin does a pretty great job of displaying Flash on the iPad and has some unique controls for games. Flash is powered by streaming the Flash content to the iPad in a translated state, as Puffin is a cloud based browser. There is a free version available here that offers only two weeks of Flash support, and a full version is available here that has unlimited Flash support.
It used to be that you had to buy a closet’s worth of equipment to make your guitar sound like your favorite bands, and each guitarist prefers a different combination of pedals and amps to create their unique sound. Ampkit for Mac gives you access to all of that equipment to allow the home guitarist to jam out in a variety of styles without the need for a dozen pedals. Ampkit is $49.99 and can be downloaded here.
We’ll have to level with you that access to Spotify’s new web player isn’t universal. So much so that we haven’t even gotten to take it for a spin yet. However being able to access Spotify without having to install the client is quite useful for work computers or notebooks that are storage challenged. This is another step in Spotify’s near ubiquity as a music player. The beta is live in some areas and for some users. To find out if you qualify go to: play.spotify.com
Game: Vengeance: Woz with a Coz
This might be the most surreal title in the App Store, combining Danny Trejo and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. In promotion of Trejo’s upcoming movie, Vengance, Woz and Trejo team up to rescue Woz’s kidnapped wife. The game is only 99¢ and well worth checking out just for the sheer surreality of this game. You can grab it here!
Aww You Tried: HERE Maps
Nokia released its mapping software, HERE, into the App Store this week and just a glance at its reviews will tell you that it isn’t getting the best reception. We’ve been pretty vocal here about iOS 6’s maps being less than stellar, but HERE seems to suffer from all of the same issues. Nokia doesn’t even offer turn by turn directions for driving, just walking. Nokia squandered an opportunity with HERE as they were name checked by Tim Cook in his Maps apology. Nokia does offer transit for some locations. You can get the free app here.