We’re switching things up in the weekly app department at Macgasm. (A department of one, but the placard was already at the printer’s office.) The format has been to pick five apps by platform. Problem is, not every platform has a stellar app week, while there have been a lot of iPhone and iPad apps that we weren’t able to show you. Since we want to make sure that you get the coolest apps, this column will now just be the top 5 regardless of platform.
So this week we have for you an app to organize and share your movie wish list for iOS. We have an iPad port of a popular PC strategy title. For your Mac we have a multi monitor utility for you power users. We finally find out what the hub hub is about the latest iOS game obsession. Finally we have a project design tool for the iPad.
Limelight isn’t a movie app for the casual movie fan. If you plan your Saturday around catching multiple movies at the cineplex and Netflix, then Limelight is going to be a big help.
You can go through and select your favorite movies and add them to your list of watched films. You can also browse through upcoming movies and add them to your ‘To Watch’ queue. You can also go back catalog and add those to your queue, for those you’d rather wait for Netflix or iTunes to rent. You can share your lists with Facebook and Twitter, or you can share with other users of Limelight directly. (They actual seed you with some high profiles users. Though these are developer types, not film critics, which may not be a good fit.)
Limelight is $1.99 from the App Store
Frozen Synapse was an indie strategy game for the PC. With highly stylized graphics, a cool soundtrack, and fiendishly in-depth mechanics, the game was fairly popular. It was a mostly mouse based game, so its port to iOS was met with some concern, but it has been really successful.
Frozen Synapse puts you in charge of a squad of soldiers fighting in a blend of reality and cyberspace. You give exact orders for movement direction and the aim of your soldiers before setting the turn and letting the actions go and the enemy react. In addition to simple battle modes, you have escort and hostage rescue missions that require a different approach. With online multiplayer, which can sync with your PC/Mac account for stats, this game is going to keep you busy. It’s difficult, but fun.
Frozen Synapse is available on the App Store for $6.99
Though Macs support multiple monitors, it’s never been really the focus of the OS. To make matters worse there’s never really been an equivalent to Ultramon for Windows. Second Bar was a possibility, but it was out of date and a little flakey. Multimon appears to fill that void, and it’s in the Mac App Store.
Multimon’s first and obvious benefit is to add a copy of the menu bar on your secondary monitor. This saves you a lot of mousing time. On the secondary menu bar and the Multimon icon in the primary bar, you can send the active window to your other monitor, or choose which monitor it should be on. The array of keyboard shortcuts to arrange windows and minimize and maximize them might be worth the purchase price alone.
Multimon is $7.99 on the Mac App Store.
Dots is another minimally designed game for iOS. Like Letterpress, when you’re done playing, your phone looks a little old fashioned. Well that is what most of the press seems to think. Does the game merit the hype?
Well if you like speed puzzlers like Bejeweled Blitz or 10000000 then Dots should be right up your alley. You’re given sixty second to connect group of two or more dots in straight lines. You can connect horizontal and vertical lines of dots, but you cannot move diagonally. Making squares out of your dots is actually the real key to a high score, as this clears all dots of that color from the board. There are boosts for time and clearing dots that you can purchase using your scores, or real money if you feel so inclined, which adds some strategy.
Dots is free on the App Store.
Gini is a project management tool masquerading as a mind mapping app. On the iPad you are presented an array of project templates you can use for common small business/ freelance tasks, like writing a book or starting a restaurant.
It seems a bit frivolous to lay out an article using Gini, as it’s about as overqualified as an english lit major at Hallmark. The app allows you to create ideas for your project, create areas of focus and tasks, as well as do case studies. It does it all using a custom interface, including file management, which may need a bit of a learning curve.
Gini is $4.99 in the App Store.