MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2009 (#40)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 51 of 179

50 MacDirectory CLOSER LOOK THE BEST OF THE iAPPS > WHAT'S IN OUR IPHONES? The occasional controversy aside, the iTunes App Store is obviously working. As we were writing this article in early December, Apple reported 10,000 applications in the store and more than 300 million downloads. Much of the success has come from Apple's App Store marketing plan, which has (mostly) leveled the playing field, allowing new, upstart developers to share the stage with the software greats. Whether you want to be more productive or are just plain bored, there are programs to fill almost any need. Working for a Living Even though Apple covered nearly all the most necessary bases with the included iPhone applications, there was one glaring omission: the ability to move text notes between the Mac and iPhone. Fortunately a few developers were quick to fill the gap. FileMagnet ($4.99, Magnetism Studios) uses your wireless connection and an included desktop application to move files between the desktop and phone, taking advantage of the new firmware's ability to read a wide variety of popular file formats (PDF, MS Office, image and sound files). PhoneView ($19.99, Ecamm Networks) is a desktop application that goes a bit further by letting you edit and sync for Notepad, manually move music, pictures and video files along with capturing your phone log and SMS sessions. When you're out and on the road, there are a lot of places that will let you take advantage of local wireless hotspots, but most require logins and passwords that can be cumbersome on a handheld. Easy WiFi (Devicescape, $1.99 or free for AT&T- only version) automates the login process for many popular connection services. 1Password (Agile Web Solution, free) performs a similar feat with PIN pad (and optionally full password) security and the ability to securely store confidential data in its wallets. It also can sync with the company's desktop application that transparently and securely stores site passwords for your web browsers. The Google Mobile App (Google, free) caused a bit of a stir by taking advantage of some interface features that were not part of Apple's developer toolkit. But the program takes us close to the realm of sci- fi by using voice recognition to do Google Web and map searches, basic arithmetic and even measurement conversions. The program also taps into the iPhone's motion and proximity sensors to automatically activate the voice search when you bring the phone to your ear. Fun & Games It becomes incredibly difficult to be bored when you own an iPhone. It's one of the best portable entertainment devices ever conceived. Combine the bright, sharp screen with the startlingly responsive motion sensor and multi-touch (the best human interface since finger paints) and you've opened up nearly infinite possibilities for entertainment. And because it's your phone (or iPod) even adults have an excuse to keep it with them everywhere they go. When the App Store opened, Apple's showpiece, HoldEm (Apple, $4.99) became an instant favorite. It combines an interface that will please rookies and pros alike, real video opponents and a WiFi multiplayer mode that anyone who loves the game (but hates loosing real money) would enjoy. A lot of us were curious to see just how sensitive those motion sensors really were. Carl Loodberg's Labyrinth (Illusion Labs, $6.99 or free for the Lite Edition) brings the old wooden-box maze game to your pocket. The full version gives you access to a huge collection of third-party mazes that range from extremely difficult to the absolutely infuriating. X-Plane (Laminar Research, $9.99) puts you in the cockpit of your choice, ranging from a fledgling-friendly Cessna 172 to a Cirrus Vision biz jet to take to the skies of Innsbruck, Austria. It has the various view modes you'd expect of a good flight sim, time, wind and weather along with one of the most accurate flight models on the market, thankfully a bit more forgiving than Laminar's full desktop version. Enigmo (Pangia, $1.99) has remained at the top of App Store's charts since its release. It's an extremely challenging liquid puzzle with some of the most sophisticated fluid dynamics models you'll find outside of a supercomputer. It used to be that when somebody asked you what was on your iPod, they could only get some insight into your musical interests. Now, with the iPhone and Touch, the same question can reveal a good deal about your work habits, hobbies, and how you have fun. WORDS BY RIC GETTER 1PASSWORD HOLDEM ENIGMO

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