Michael McConnell, December 14, 2012
We’re getting close to the App Store freeze. Apple has already given their best of 2012. So, for the next couple weeks, we’re likely going to have to find some overlooked apps from earlier in the year. Nevertheless, we’ve got some great apps for you this week.
iPhone/iPod Touch: Flickr
Before Instagram had terabytes of hipsters’ brunch and drink choices on file, Flickr had terabytes of first-year art students’ sepia toned snapshots of melting icicles. Frankly, considering Instagram’s tussles with Twitter, and its inevitable transformation (in all but name) to Facebook Camera, Flickr could assert itself in mobile the way it should have five years ago. The app supports Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and has an array of filters to ensure your latte art looks as interesting as possible. The app is free and can be downloaded here.
iPad: Smule Strum
YouTube is full of people doing their best Karaoke renditions of their favorite songs. Smule brings easy music video creation to the iPad for these would-be stars, making it easy to create and share videos. There’s a big listing of popular videos included if you’re looking for inspiration. Along with a wide array of options to share your new videos, Smule also seems to be creating its own network for these videos. For people that can’t make it home for the holidays, send your family an apology set to music. It’s a free app that can be downloaded here.
It’s a pain to use a Windows keyboard with your Mac. Sometimes it’s a burdensome case of trashing your only Apple keyboard and having to settle for a $10 replacement in a pinch. (Some of you may be using PC hardware with OS X, we promise not to tell Apple.) Ergonomic keyboards are a big blind spot for Mac keyboards, leaving you with no choice but to opt for a Windows layout. KeyRemap4Macbook is a preference pane that allows you to remap a variety of commands. For Windows gamers and sysadmins, it supports limiting those changes to when you’re working in a VM or Remote Desktop. This is a power user tool, but has a pretty straightforward interface. The truly ambitious can actually create their own key mappings with XML. It’s free and can be downloaded here.
Web App: Twitter.com
Twitter doesn’t get a lot of love. Their war with Instagram, third party clients, Mac users looking for Retina support, and pretty much every class of early adopter has taken its toll. Twitter apps are all pretty good, and app reviewers seem to love Tweetbot and Twitterrific, and fawn over each app’s releases. However, there is a lot to be said for the web interface, and let’s face it, it’s all we’ll have sooner or later. Get used to it hipsters. Go to Twitter.com and sign in.
Game of the Week: Middle Manager of Justice
This spot was originally slated to have You Don’t Know Jack and some fawning about a social version of a beloved classic. While that is a great game, hours were lost to Double Fine’s Middle Manager of Justice. Double Fine is the brainchild of Lucasarts vet Tim Schaffer, and has been really pushing for creative takes on existing genres. Middle Manager of Justice is exactly that, applying the freemium Time Management model to super heroes. You’re upping morale, planning training, and ensuring that crime rates stay low in all areas of the city. The battles can be automated, but the manual combat system is engaging so it shouldn’t feel like a chore. You unlock more villains as you progress, and there is already more content promised. There’s more than enough to the free portion of the game to make this worth your time. It’s a free game that can be downloaded here.Follow @macgasm