Whatever you do this St. Patrick’s Day, just make sure you do it with a designated driver. Even if you’re sober, just take a taxi anyway, and save yourself the aggravation. Oh, and download our weekly apps before you imbibe to ensure that you don’t forget them in a haze of green beer and corned beef.
We have a launcher for the iPhone that enables you to do some light scripting this week, and our iPad app recommendation is a streaming app from the network that’s long been a hold out for online offerings. On the Mac we have a mod that brings iOS style multitasking to Mac OS X. Finally, our web recommendation is a lightweight text editor. For our game of the week we have a tale of redemption and fishing. Two things we love a lot.
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iPhone/iPod Touch: Launch Center Pro
Fiddly app launchers are cat nip for Mac Geeks. Alfred, Quicksilver, and Launchbar are all likely to induce an hour long explanation about how much time they save. Launch Center Pro brings that same sort of fiddly control to the iPhone.
App Junkies can create a grid of their most used apps, or even groups of apps if you really have a problem. You can also create a grid of messaging and phone shortcuts tied to contacts directly, or simply invoke a contact search. Power users will love the way the app allows you to use iOS’ custom URL scheme to create a variety of workflows.
You can find a good description of many of them in this Github collection of workflows. Launch Center can serve as a good introduction to these schemes as you can see what apps use which URLs and what can be passed. Launch Center Pro is on sale for $2.99 and available from the App Store.
CBS hasn’t been the most friendly network when it comes to streaming shows on the iPad, or online for that matter. They didn’t really have an option for iPad users, and the don’t really do same-season iTunes shows.Their deal with Hulu wasn’t even for any of their current-run shows.
It isn’t hard to imagine that some people are relieved that CBS finally put out an iPad app that fills in their TV needs. Of course you’ll have to put up with ads and wait eight days to see new episodes, but that caveat exists for most U.S. TV networks’ apps. What might be most infuriating is that there are series listed that don’t include full episodes. It’s a free app you can download from the App Store if you live in the U.S.
While some people lament the slow march of iOS features to their Macs, some of us embrace it fondly. TaskBoard may not come from Apple, but a clever programmer has brought iOS style multitasking to the Mac. You get a global multitouch gesture and keyboard shortcut, and then when you initiate the gesture, a banner of running apps along the bottom or side of your screen pops up.
It’s a bit silly, but it’s a neat little hack that you can show off to your geekier friends at work, especially if they’re the types that don’t believe mobile and desktop operating systems are on a crash course over the next couple of years.
TaskBoard is in beta, free, and can be downloaded from Sourceforge.
It’s funny, as Google positions docs to compete better with Microsoft Office, its online offerings begin to get weighed down by corporate friendly features. Draft strips that away, and simply gives you an online, collaborative text editor.
Once you finish writing up your text, you can mark it as a draft point, and email a link off to a collaborator. You can then review their changes and accept or reject them. It’s a simple but powerful tool for text. It’s essentially like ‘track changes’ in Office, but not as annoying. It’s free to sign up and try here.
Game of the Week: Ridiculous Fishing – A Tale of Redemption
There are fishing games and then there is Ridiculous Fishing. You aren’t going to find a game where you can shoot hundreds of fish from the sky using a blunderbuss or a mini-gun outside of this one.
You drop your line in the water and try to avoid hooking fish until you get to the end of your line. When you do hook a fish, you begin reeling the line back in and try to collect as many fish as possible. Once you get your line and fish to the surface, the fish are flung into the air where you can begin shooting them down for cash.
The cash buys you guns, hats, and gadgets to get more fish. There are four levels and sixty-six different fish to catch. It’s addictive fun that can chew up a few hours pretty easily. Ridiculous Fishing is $2.99 on the App Store.