Though there are several unofficial Imgur apps available in the App Store today, Imgur has just released its own official app. If you’re not already familiar with Imgur, it’s truly one of the best sites to facilitate procrastination and get a good laugh on the internet today.
Anyone can upload pictures anonymously to Imgur and you can choose to share the images you upload through social networking services (though if you do that, it’s no so anonymous anymore). Others can comment on pictures and like or dislike them and the most popular images are shown on Imgur’s home page. Imgur says that more than 1 million images are uploaded every day.
The universal Imgur app is available in the App Store now and is free to download.
If you’re a long-time Mac user and remember the early days of the Macintosh operating system with fondness, you can get a dose of history on your modern iPhone with Classic Note, a notes app that debuted in the App Store last week.
Classic Note replicates the look of the early versions (from the 1980s and 1990s) of Mac OS, complete with the Chicago font designed by Susan Kare, pixelated everything, and a stark black and white interface.
As a notes app, it’s very simple with no bells or whistles whatsoever. The first line of a note is used as its title, which is visible in the main view. Within a note, you can enter whatever text you’d like though URLs entered or pasted are not clickable. You can’t paste or attach any pictures to your notes to gussy them up, nor can you change the order of your notes.
Classic Note is in the App Store’s Entertainment category rather than the Productivity category, a selection that feels right given its limited functionality compared to other more “serious” notes apps.
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Classic Note does have a few other tricks up its sleeve in the Tools menu. There’s a basic calculator so you can do some number crunching without needing to switch to another app. A Fortune function gives you a random quote or adage, like a virtual fortune cookie. The last item in the Tools menu is Wrangler, a simple game of sorts in which you need to “catch” Clarus the DogCow, another Susan Kare design element from the early days of Mac OS. However, no amount of tapping or dragging to try to catch Clarus actually resulted in an increase in my score, so I have no idea how to play this game.
Classic Note is for the iPhone only though an iPad version is in the works according to a tweet by its developer, David Green.
If you need a notes app that syncs across multiple devices or is accessible on your computer, you’ll want to go with a more robust option like Clear (my review) or Paperless. If you don’t need much in the way of functionality and want a little reminder of days gone by, Classic Note is a charming choice.
South by Southwest, the annual festivals for music, film, and emerging technology kick off on March 8 in Austin, Texas. The festivals feature hundreds of performances and events that draw thousands of attendees, making navigation a challenge. Fortunately, South by Southwest offers SXSW Go, a universal app that offers the full schedule of events for all of the festivals along with a map and much more.
SXSW Go will let you build your own schedule of events to attend at the festivals, placing selected events on your calendar with reminders to alert you before each event starts. The app can also use the iPhone’s GPS receiver to locate you and guide you to events (switching you to the built-in Maps app for directions).
SXSW Go also lets you share your schedule with others, find other attendees who have elected to share their schedules, and even post pictures to the official SXSW Flickr group.
SXSW Go is free to download and has been updated several times this year already in preparation for the festivals this month. I’ve never attended SXSW myself, but I’ve heard it’s incredibly fun and that many of the events can be hard to find and crowded. If SXSW Go can make it easier to locate events and get to them early, downloading it is a no-brainer unless you like living on the edge.
As a kid, I got to see Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York City once when visiting family there. I don’t remember much of it. It was very, very cold. And very crowded. And I was too short to see much of the parade through the crowd. Parents, if you’re taking your kids to see see this famous spectacle in the Big Apple tomorrow, you’ll want to check out the official Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade app to make sure your children’s experiences are more memorable than mine.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade 2012 hit the App Store earlier this month and it will provide you with a ton of useful information like the parade route map, participant list and order, and even live traffic cams so you can see other portions of the parade in real-time.
If you’re not going to be in NYC for the parade but will be watching it on TV, you can still use the app as a live companion to track the parade’s progress, see float and balloon information, and even track specific parade participants if you know someone who’ll be in it and want to catch them while they’re on camera.
A lot of the app’s information is pulled from the web, so it’s not the speediest to use and I’d expect that some parts may work slowly if you’re actually in New York during the parade given the crowds and resultant stress on the cellular networks. Also, it’s not optimized for the iPhone 5’s larger screen. However, it’s still a nice one-stop source of information for the parade that can be easier to reference than any paper-based maps or guides you might bring with you and it’s free.
We here at AppShopper wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
I have a thing for William Shatner. Not *that* sort of thing. It’s just that I grew up watching reruns of Star Trek thanks to my dad and I learned early on that captains of space ships could be handsome, brash, and intensely emotional. And that many female aliens apparently had compatible lady parts to make hooking up with such brash space explorers feasible and enjoyable.
All that aside, William Shatner is still a character even when he’s not in character and you can now enjoy his own particular brand of crazy at your leisure on your iPhone thanks to Shatoetry, an app that lets you cobble together words into any combination your heart desires to be read aloud in his voice.
Once you get through all of the tutorial screens, you’re presented with a blank slate (featuring his Awesomeness, William Shatner, in a background image) along with words at the bottom that you can drag and drop to create the “Shatoetry” (a mash-up of “Shatner” and “poetry”) that you want to hear read in his voice. The More Words button swaps out the existing words for a new set and you can search for additional words using the More button. Once you’ve crafted your masterpiece, you can hear it in all its Shatnerized glory by tapping on the Shat that! button (and giggle a little at this understandable yet unexpected usage of “shat”).
You can save your creation to your iPhone’s photo album or share it through email, Facebook, or Twitter, or upload it directly to YouTube. Here’s one I created this morning in a pre-coffee haze of semi-wakefulness:
Shatoetry debuted in the App Store last week and costs $2.99. It requires iOS 4.3 or later and is optimized for the iPhone 5’s larger screen. I don’t normally cover apps from the Entertainment category like this since they offer little usefulness in the long run but if you’re at all a fan of William Shatner, Shatoetry will at least give you a few laughs.
The official app for our fantastic sister site, TouchArcade, just got a major update to make it universal, giving it an interface optimized for the iPad and its larger screen (with graphics up to the task of pleasing your eyes on the retina display of the latest iPad). Version 1.1 of TouchArcade – The Best New Games is free (as always) and available in the App Store now.
To step back a little bit, TouchArcade is a site focused entirely on iOS games with reviews and news of the hottest new releases and an active forum with over 165,000 members who discuss games across all genres and exchange tips and strategies. In addition to the excellent reviews, TouchArcade editors also record a weekly podcast (available for free through the iTunes Store) to talk about the biggest news in the world of iOS gaming each week.
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The TouchArcade app features a 3-pane interface on the iPad so the main menu and article or app lists are always easily accessible even while you’re reading reviews or browsing the forum. The Watch List toggle lets you add existing or upcoming games to a list so that you can receive push alerts when the game becomes available, gets updated or a price drop, or when a new article is published about it. This Watch List functions a lot like the Wish List feature here on AppShopper, in case it sounds familiar to you. And if you have the AppShopper app installed on your iPhone or iPad, an “Open in AppShopper” link at the bottom of articles or in game listings in the TouchArcade app will take you right to AppShopper in case you like to keep track of all of your apps through AppShopper instead.
TouchArcade first debuted in the App Store in May and has an average rating of 4.5 stars at the time of this post. If you’re at all interested in games for the iPhone or iPad, the official TouchArcade app is a must-have.
Although summer vacation and peak movie season is winding down, Frankfurt-based Taphive has released an app that will let you keep track of upcoming movies you want to see in what free time you’ll have left once the school year starts. TodoMovies, which debuted in the App Store in June and got a significant update late last month, lets you track upcoming movies you want to see, complete with the option for push notifications on release days.
Using TodoMovies is dead simple. To add movies you want to see, you simply tap on the plus button in the top right corner and enter the movie’s title or a partial title if you don’t know all of it. The search results will get narrowed down the more you enter and then you can just select the movie you want to save from the results list.
Selecting a movie will show you the movie’s poster with two buttons at the bottom. The bottom right button lets you share information about the movie via email, text message, or Twitter, or like it on Facebook. Double-tapping on the poster or tapping on the button in the top right corner will flip the poster view to show details including the director, cast, release date, synopsis, and more. The plus button in the bottom left corner adds the movie to your To Watch list.
On the release day for a movie on your To Watch list, you’ll get a push notification to alert you that it’s now in theaters. Once you’ve watched a movie that’s on your To Watch list, you can mark it to move it to your Watched list by tapping on the checkmark button in the bottom left corner.
Here’s a demo video showing TodoMovies in action:
TodoMovies isn’t only about movies that have not yet been released–you can also save movies that have already been released. TodoMovies gets its information from TMDb, a community-maintained movie database which is also used in Plex, the line of media management software available for multiple platforms.
There is one feature I’d love to see that would make TodoMovies perfect–the ability to get push notifications of when movies on my To Watch list come out on DVD. For example, I’ve missed seeing Prometheus in the theaters (don’t ask me how) and I definitely want to see it as soon as it’s available on DVD. I’d love to get a push notification when it’s available on DVD though it doesn’t seem like TMDb collects this data so there wouldn’t be an easy way for TodoMovies to get this information.
I regularly watch movie trailers, usually through Apple’s own iTunes Movie Trailers app, and frequent find movies that I want to watch. Creating a calendar event to remind me when the movie will come out isn’t always practical and I’d rather not clutter up my calendar this way and TodoMovies hits a sweet spot to let me keep a consolidated list of movies I’d like to see and get notifications on the day they’re released.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member and an owner of an iPad, Amazon gave you a big old virtual hug today by releasing Amazon Instant Video in the App Store. Amazon Instant Video lets Prime members view movies and TV shows from its entire Prime Instant Video library of more than 20,000 videos.
If you’re not familiar with Amazon Prime, it’s an annual membership for the online shopping giant that offers free two-day shipping on items sold or fulfilled by Amazon, the ability to “borrow” Kindle ebooks for free, and access to the Prime Instant Video library. Membership costs $79 per year, an amount that can quickly be made up from the savings in shipping costs if you shop at Amazon often (I’m a Prime member solely for this reason).
In Amazon Instant Video, all you need to do is log in with your Amazon credentials to access content and start streaming away. You can access your personalized video library of content you’ve purchased in the past or videos you’ve rented. These items can be downloaded to your iPad so you can watch them later even if you don’t have an internet connection.
However, it’s not all butterflies and unicorns since you can’t search available content or rent or buy new content to watch. The former feels like a major oversight that will hopefully be remedied in an update very soon while the latter is a function of Apple’s restrictions on selling content within apps without giving Apple a 30% cut. For now, you can only check out the content that Amazon has chosen to recommend or feature in certain categories, plus your video library of past purchases and rentals. To rent or purchase new videos, you’ll need to go to Amazon’s web site to do this directly.
Amazon Instant Video is free and requires iOS 4.3 or higher.