Big Fish Sale Starts, but You May be Disappointed

Just a quick note to let you know that the biannual Big Fish Games sale has officially started, but you may be a little disappointed to hear that prices have dropped to just $2.99 instead of the usuall 99 cent sale. (I thought it my iPad was having a convulsion at first, but it was just my AppShopper wish list sending me alerts like crazy). Prices are still dropping, so everything may not have gone down yet, and I’m not sure that every single game will be affected.

Big Fish’s famous 99 cent sales are looked forward to by many, so I’m not sure how this is going to go over with people. What do you think? I’m going to try to update my Top 5 Best Big Fish Games post later today in honor of the sale.

Cool Sayings Will Put Smile On Your Face

Cool Sayings

100,000 Sayings – Cool Sayings – The Funny Collection of Lines, Quotes and Jokes

I just treated myself to an app off of my AppShopper wishlist (something I do when I’m not feeling so well) and today’s pick was Cool Sayings (universal, 99 cents). Well, the title is much longer, as you can see from the photo above, but Cool Sayings is what we’re going to call it here.

Cool Sayings

Cool Sayings features more than 100,000 quotes and sayings, but it is definitely not your usual quote app. Rather than focusing on pieces of wisdom (although there is the Confucius Says category), Cool Sayings relies on things that will make you laugh.

Divided up into 69 categories, Cool Sayings features things like Stupid Laws, Yo Momma and Knock, Knock Jokes, Funny Wisdom, things from bumper stickers, things on t-shirts, and popular funny Facebook or Twitter statuses.

Cool Sayings

There are birthday wishes and things to say when saying goodbye and the like, but even they will probably make you smile.

And, you can read or listen (because the app will speak the words to you, too) to every phrase in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Swedish. To listen to the text, just click the speaker button along the bottom.

The developers seem to be growing this app by leaps and bounds and adding features by the truckload.

Cool Sayings

You can search all the phrases, search by category, or just keep hitting the random button (or shake your iPhone).

Like something a lot? Add it to your favorites so that you can view it again later. Or, send it by the usual email, Facebook, Twitter, or text message. If you’re feeling really creative, you can even make the saying into an eCard and send it to someone or post it on their Facebook.

Use your own picture to make the eCard, snap a shot with the camera, or use one of the included photos. It’s very simple to do. My only suggestion to the developer is to let us pick from a few simple fonts to change up the look of the eCard (and the app for that matter), but you all know I’m a bit of a fontophile. You could always just copy the text and paste it into an eCard maker of your own choosing, too, I suppose.

And, to top it all off, Cool Sayings does NOT require an Internet connection to use. All the sayings are on your device in a tidy package.

So, if you’re just having a bad day or need a pithy comeback, Cool Sayings is where it’s at.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

PS: The developers were nice enough to send me 5 promo codes for this app and 5 for 2 other apps by the same developer: Idioms and Congratulations. If you would like a code, please shoot me an email or leave me a message and I’ll send one your way as long as they last.

Augment Alters Reality With 3D Models

Augment

Browse 3D models with Augmented Reality in Augment.

Currently FREE, an app called Augment (universal) uses Augmented Reality to let you view 3D models of a variety of items. Using the camera on your iPad and iPhone combined with a downloadable marker that you print out, Augment takes you on tours of famous landmarks and artworks, lets you test out cars and products, and can even let you meet your favorite characters.

Augment

The searchable model database includes categories for architechture, art, characters, cubes, furniture, geek tech, and vehicles.

Here's how it works. You search the database for a model you want to look at or an item you want to try out. You can also view more information on the item. Then, you select it and press the Augment button (you can also select the item to add to a favorites list). Finally, you point your camera at the printed out marker and like magic, an object that you can manipulate appears.

This is a great way to just view awesome images with newly developing technology. It is also tauted as a way to tour a car you want to buy or try out an artpiece or furniture you are thinking of buying to see how they would actually look in your home.

I haven't tried this part of the app out, but apparently you can upload your own images as well.

There is a link within the app to let you print out the markers you'll need.

That's it for me today. Until later, …

Jixi Pix Unveils Pop Dot Comics

Pop Dot Comics HD by Jixi Pix

Jixi Pix’s newest app makes your photos pop.

One of the coolest brand new apps to be released this week is by one of my absolute favorite developers, Jixi Pix (read a review of many of their other offerings). Pop Dot Comics HD (iPhone version here) is the newest in Jixi’s top-of-the-line photography editing apps. Both versions are currently $1.99, which is a steal for this quality of app by this developer.

Pop Dot Comics

Pop Dot is unlike any other photo editing app of this kind that I have ever seen in quality and caliber. Comparisons will be made to Halftone and the like (and I do love Halftone), but they are really completely different creatures.

Both apps can create comic book panels, but Jixi Pix elevates simple comics to art. As an aside, Jixi recommends using larger photos with this app for better results.

Anyone familiar with Jixi Pix’s other apps will feel right at home in Pop Dot. Pulling a photo in, making adjustments, and saving the photo are exactly the same. There is even the lovely dice button to create shots that randomize all settings and styles. Keep pushing the button for new style upon new style.

Pop Dot Comics

And, if you’re not familiar with Jixi Pix, Pop Dot is the perfect entry point. The controls are intutive and you’ll be creating masterpieces out of even the most mundane of photos in no time.

There are 5 style categories with many presets within them, and of course, they are each customizable. The styles are Sunday Comics (cartoon photo), Halftone (halftone newspaper photo), Pop Comics (bright Pop Art Lichtenstein-style cartoon), Pulp Comics (vintage color on aged pulp paper), and Noir Comics (contrasted toned or black & white with selective color like in the Sin City series).

After you choose the style and preset that you want, you can move to the Adjust tab to tweak anything you like about the photo. Randomize the colors in the photo or choose specific colors. There are just too many adjustment features to mention here. Okay, a few are outlines, color, border width, border inset, and pulp papers. Needless to say, you’ll be playing with those for a long time. Not that you need to tweak anything. The presets alone are beautiful.

Pop Dot Comics

The third tab lets you change the paper that the comic is printed on. Many of your favorite papers return for this app.

And, the fourth tab gives you the largest assortment of sticker graphics that I have seen in any comic making app. There are also bubbles to add text. Tap to edit, long press to delete, pinch to resize, touch the center to move around. Easy as pie.

Choose between dots, lines, and halftones for a look that’s just right for you.

As with all Jixi Pix apps, you can save your final product in low, medium, and full resolution.

Pop Dot Comics joins the superb collection of Jixi Pix apps and it is sure to become an instant classic.

(I apologize for stealing someone’s photo from Pinterest to make these screenshots. Little photo issue I’m having with my own photos.)

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Songza Brings You Free Music Based on Activities/Mood

Songza

Songza music player is intuitively easy to use.

I mostly get new music mostly through chance. I use Soundhound (full review here) to identify music I like when I hear it in a store/restaurant/anywhere. I haven’t used many of the popular music finding apps or really anything. Pandora is as close as I have gottlen to a radio or new music.

But, yesterday I read a blog about an app called Songza. It’s a music app like Pandora, except without the audio ads. Songza is a free, universal app so it works on any device with Internet. There are ads, but they are just banners across the bottom of the screen and you can delete them temporarily if you want.

Songza

Besides the audio ad-free delightfulness that is Songza, the app also uses and unique service called Concierge. Apparently Concierge is an online service that lets you choose your music based on some unique things.

Concierge via Songza recommends music to you based on what you are doing at the time. The recommendations are given based on time of day. So, if it is Saturday morning, it might recommend music for waking up, reading the newspaper, or making breakfast. From there, it gives you a few choices of music collections you can listen to.

Songza

You can also choose music based on many more common groupings, and a few not so common ones. Choose based on your mood, genre, activities, decades, culture, and record store clerk recommendations. Each song you hear can be given a thumbs up or down. If you like it, Songza will give you Just For You recommendations based on what you like and you can make playlists from your likes as well. If you don’t like the song, Songza moves on to the next one. I don’t think there are any limits on not liking a song like there is in Pandora.

Searching for specific music is allowed as well. The player works just like pretty much any other music player, so the controls should look familiar. And, you can share what you are listening to on social media sites.

There are also links to iTunes to buy any song you like. Music keeps playing even when you leave the app. If you want to turn it off, you must hit the pause/stop button. The great thing is that you can go back and look at music it has played by swiping right and left on the album/CD covers. So, if you’re not in the app but hear something you like, you can always go back into the app and look at what was playing.

Songza is definitely an app I will be using a lot!

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Moleskine Releases Journal/Note-taking App

Moleskine Journal

Moleskine Journal for the iPad just released.

Moleskine Journal for the iPad is new and FREE in an App Store near you. With the look and feel of traditional Moleskines, Moleskine Journal is a definite download for any person who journals, sketches, or writes.

Moleskine Journal

And, it is a beautiful app. Simple and elegant with just the right amount of everything. A simple instruction guide greets you upon opening your first journal. Six journals are started for you. One with each type of paper style (plain, ruled, squared, weekly planner, passion recipe, and storyboard). The instructions are clear and concise. And low and behold, there is even gesture integration. Create as many journals as you want. There are no limits. Choose a paper type and the color of the band and title in the edit screen of the library.

Moleskine Journal

It wouldn’t be a Moleskine without the signature inner pocket. So, they included one of those as well (at right). In it you can store your favorite images and text, although I can’t figure out how to add text. There is a built-in camera for taking photos both for the pocket and for the journals themselves.

Moleskine Journal

The tools are refined. There is a painbrush, Moleskine pencil, Moleskine pen, highlighter, eraser, and scissors to cut out sections that you want to delete. Colors are chosen using a full-spectrum color picker and the size is determined by a slider. You can even adjust the value and opacity and create custom swatches.

Now, the only area that I found to be a lacking with this new app is the handwriting. I wasn’t able to write very smoothly. Lots of jaggedness when I tried to write actual words. The ink flows beautifully, but writing was difficult. Also, there is no way to write small as there is in so many journal and note-taking apps. But, since it’s their first day, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and hope it gets improved upon.

Moleskine Journal

You can type your notes if you would like as well. All the normal Apple fonts are there. The color picker (at right) is available for typed fonts, too.

Moleskine Journal works in portrait and landscape mode. In landscape mode, you see two pages at once. And, you can stick the traditional ribbon bookmark in to keep your place.

Import images from your photo library to place within the journals. I liked that once placed, you can even erase parts of the picture making them almost part of the background. Or, you could use the scissors to keep just the part of the photo you want. Lots of art possibilities there.

Moleskine Journal integrates with Dropbox and Evernote and you can add as many pages to a journal as you want. Then, just back up to Dropbox or sync with Evernote. You can see all your pages at once by clicking on the page number. Then, you can insert new pages anyplace or reorder the existing pages.

If you’re working on something that you want to share, it is easy to do via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

And, in case all this Moleskine loveliness is making you nostalgic for actual paper, there is a link to the Moleskin store in the tools and settings tray.

There’s so much to love and very little to not like (and that can be improved)! Plus, it’s FREE! What’s not to like?

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

PhotoCopier Reproduces the Classics on Your Photos

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PhotoCopier

PhotoCopier makes your photos imitate art.

I just discovered a new app with a different twist on photo filters and editing. PhotoCopier (universal) analyzes your photo and then adjusts it to match famous artworks, movies, photo processes, and photos.

PhotoCopier

Rather than give you the same old photo filters that everyone uses, PhotoCopier provides fresh, new filters made from the DNA of masterpieces. The final image is formed through a combination of a propietary image analysis and adaption of color, texture, and light from your choice of sources.

PhotoCopier

PhotoCopier developers analyzed the brightness, color, tone, detail, grain, and texture of some of the world’s greatest paintings, photos, movie stills, and historical photographic processes, and that’s the basis upon which your photo is altered. The effect is applied to your own images. Color, tone, and brightness is replicated, and texture, grain, and detail are simulated.

PhotoCopier

You choose from 91 Academy Award nominated movies, 72 paintings, 40 famous photos, and 30 historical photo processes as a filter source. You can also add a vignette to any of the presets. All parts of the preset process are alterable. So, you can increase or decrease any part of the effect.

When you’re happy with the image, you can save or share the photo with full resolution.

PhotoCopier is a definite original that I am thoroughly enjoying.

Incredibooth

This week’s App Store freebie is Incredibooth.

As an aside, this week’s featured free app in the Apple App Store is Incredibooth. From the developers of Hipstamatic, Incredibooth is a universal app that simulates the experience of classic photo booth photography.

Incredibooth

Included in the base package is the Incredible Cowboy photo booth. Other booths with cool effects are available through in-app purchases. I bought the Crown Colour booth for 99 cents and am really happy with it.

Each booth has 3-4 styles. It is comparable to Hipstamatic’s packages of films, lenses, flashes, and camera bodies. Each extra booth is 99 cents.

The booths show your where eye level is. Each one is styled appropriately. And, after your 4 photos are shot, you get a photo strip reminiscent of original photo booth results. Then, you can save or share your photo strips. The default camera is the rear-facing camera, but you can turn it around to the front-facing camera.

Check out a full review of Hipstamatic here. As an aside to my aside, Hipstamatic has a film/lens/camera body package for free today (Friday, Aug. 24). There’s only a few hours left to snatch it up. Just go to the in-app store and search for the W package.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

Launch Center Pro Currently On Sale (And, Fab)

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Launch Center Pro

Command Central for Launch Center Pro.

Launch Center Pro (iPhone) is a fabulous little app that is so full of fun surprises it’s a steal at $4.99 and an absolute bargain at its current $2.99 price tag. I had heard of the app for a long time and its reputation is stellar, but I had tried similar apps and found that I didn’t use them. So, I didn’t buy Launch Center until it just went on sale. But, I’m very glad that I did.

Launch Center Pro

If you’re not familiar with apps like Launch Center (the best known of this group of apps), they are apps that launch other apps and actions (like email, calling someone, etc.). They are a great solution to organizing a crowded iPhone and make an excellent dock app because you get so much in such a small package.

Contained in Launch Center is a series of smartly organized shortcuts that take you where you want to go lightening quick. Not only to apps, but even to features within those apps. For instance, instead of just taking you to the App Store, Launch Center can take you to a search in the App Store or the Featured Section. The choices are virtually endless.

There are literally hundreds of supported apps. To find out if your favorite apps are supported by Launch Center, visit appcubby.com/apps/.

Launch Center Pro

And, it’s not just about apps. Launch Center can also contain shortcuts to bookmarks in Safari and contacts to call, text, or email.

From the main, uncluttered screen of Launch Center, you simply press one of the main shortcuts or hold down Bookmarks, Apps, or Contacts, and then swipe to the selection you want on the screen that pops up. It’ll become second nature in no time.

What sets Launch Center apart from the rest of the bunch are the little details.

For instance, instead of using a generic contact icon for each contact or bookmark, you can design your own (photo directly above is the icon editor). You choose the background color of the icon and the picture that you want to go on the icon, too. There are soooo many choices.

At first I thought that there weren’t enough spaces for apps in Launch Center, but after really looking at my usage of the hundreds of apps on my iPhone, I really had no trouble narrowing down which apps I wanted to use.

My only wish is that the app were universal so that I could enjoy it on my iPad as well.

Make no mistake about it. Launch Center Pro is a smooth, slick, and speedy way to take you anywhere you need to go on your iPhone. From the seemingly simplistic interface that hides the extent of what Launch Center is capable of to the fact that it just works every time, this is one gamble that really paid off for me, and I’m sure it will for you, as well.

That’s it for me today. I will hopefully be back tomorrow and I thank all of you for your patience during this time of crisis for me and my family. Until later, …

Everything You Wanted To Know About Twitter (But Were Afraid To Ask)

Not everyone is on the same page when it comes to Twitter. I know a lot of people who are even confused about what the whole purpose of the social media site is and question why people use it. Even those of us who use Twitter (except for super-users) have questions from time to time. So, today I bring you The Who, Why, and How of Twitter. For some of my favorite ways to connect to Twitter via app, check out How to Be Social (Without Leaving the House).

Twitter infographic