Michael McConnell, December 28, 2012
We’ve made it through the Apocalypse and Christmas, now all we need to do is survive New Year’s Eve and Day, and everything should be back to normal. While you’re simultaneously pondering a crash diet and planning an epic hangover, we’ve got some apps to pass the time.
iPhone/iPod Touch: Timer Bundle
This is another supplement to the Clock app built into iOS. This time, instead of great design, Timer Bundle is purely about fixing functionality. There is only a single timer included in the default Clock app, and Timer Bundle allows you to create multiple timers that run concurrently. This is great if you’ve got more than one dish to keep track of when cooking, or a couple of presets that you would like to keep. You can customize each timer with a unique color and sound. This is a simple app but can be quite useful. It is $1.99 and can be downloaded from the App Store.
There are so many things to read on the web, it’s often overwhelming. ReadQuick promises to train you to read faster using content you already want to read on a daily basis. ReadQuick’s tutorial says they do this by flashing words faster than you can sound them out allowing you to comprehend the word, but not allowing you the time to speak it in your head. It begins at 350 words-per-minute and can be set as high as 800 words-per-minute. It would be simple to build this kind of app without an eye on how to fill it with content. That’s where ReadQuick excels, since it connects to your Instapaper or Pocket queues, giving you custom content. In addition, they have a variety of their own online sources you can draw from. There are stats and playlist features to really round out the app. It is $3.99 and you can download it from the App Store.
The jury is still out on whether App.net is a noble experiment catering to smart geeks or an actual force to be reckoned with. Trying to fight Twitter was never going to be easy, but getting clients on every platform is an important beachhead. There have been some notable iOS clients, but App.net did not have a well known Mac app. Wedge appears to be an app that can really meet a lot of geeks’ wish lists. It’s got a unified timeline, Retina support, and gesture support. If you’re a Mac user on App.net, you should download it for free here
NOTE: App.net is five bucks a month and is required to use Wedge
Once you’ve shaken off your hangover on New’s Year’s Day, you can program in your quantifiable resolutions into Beeminder. They offer everything from losing weight to Inbox Zero. It integrates with some services like Fitbit or WiThings, and graphs out your progress. You can sign up for an account directly with Beeminder or you can use several other services to sign in. If you really want to incentivize yourself, you can pledge what you’re willing to lose if you fail. The interface has a nice graph and calculation program that can help you visualize your necessary progress to meet your goal. Beeminder is free and can be found here.
Game of the Week: Life is Magic
Location and gamefication has gotten some pretty bad press from spam generators and apps that seem to be games in name only. Life is Magic is a location game per se, as it uses your real world location to create game levels.
Instead of bragging about how many times you’ve been to the Subway this week, you’re using MP to influence shops for better prices and journeying into dungeons with your friends. It has some rough spots, but is fun enough to slog through. It’s a free game available in the App Store.Follow @macgasm