In this week's self-contradictory app roundup: Videos, recorded! Hoops, shot! Stuff, copied and pasted! Photos, LEGO-ed! Navigation, given away! Classic movies, obsessively documented! Marbles, gratuitously exploded! Rivals of Yelp, doomed to die! And more...
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Simplenote: An app that's similar to, but obviously better than, the built-in notes app, if only for its online syncing abilities. The app is now free, though you can still download a paid, ad-free version for $5.
Facebook: Facebook! You probably already have this. But if you don't, get it now, because it has fully customizable push notifications. If you have the app, just check for updates. If not, it's still free.
LEGO Photo: Takes photos, and converts them into pixel art, in which the pixels are actually little LEGOs. Sort of. There's a nice ripple effect when rendering photos, though the results, unless your subject is well-defined, can be kind of muddy. Free.
CoPilot Live Directions: CoPilot is an all-around decent turn-by-turn app, and it's one of the cheapest available. This version, though, lets you use the app for free for 30 days, after which voice directions, traffic, and a few other features are stripped. But you still get to keep turn-by-turn directions for free, which is pretty amazing.
Momento: A very pretty journaling app. Unless you've felt the specific urge to keep a journal or scrapbook on your iPhone before, it's hard to recommend this. But if that's something you're into—apparently this is a thing, now—then there isn't a nicer way to indulge your habit. $3.
iVideocamera: When this video camera app came out, it was a joke—it recorded postage-stamp-sized video at a stuttering framerate, without sound. Now, it records at a decent resolution—320x486—at a full 10fps. This conforms to commonly held definitions of "video," almost! There's still no sound, but this is the best you can do without jailbreaking. A dollar.
Turner Classic Movies: TCM's got an extensive database of vintage film trivia, previews, posters and other info—it's an invaluable source for people who like films that are older than they are. The app is a faithful adaptation of most of the web content, including a lot of video. As a non-buff I found a fair amount to be entertained by here, though I wish it was a little less than three dollars.
Pastefire: Remember Pastebot? It was great. Pastefire is like that, sliced in half: Any content you paste to your online Pastefire account, or into a bookmarklet, shows up on your iPhone in Pastefire. One you've got it set up, it's quite a bit faster than sending an email, and the app gives you a lot of options as to how to deal with the pasted content once you've got it. Free.
Typograffit: Instant ransom letters! It's pure gimmickry, but pretty well executed. $2.
Dark Nebula: is great. It's basically a marble labyrinth game with guns, and explosions. My opinion here doesn't really matter, though, because over the weekend, this app—normally a dollar—is free. The discount is live now, so GO GO GO.
NBA Hotshot: I laughed at how simple the original Skee-ball game was, but I kept coming back to it. NBA Hotshot used the same physics engine and general concept, so if you've already got one, you probably don't need the other. But if you don't, this simple throw-the-ball-in-the-hoop casual game is a brilliant timesuck, which you can play for a short or as long as you want.
MobileMe Galleries: Apple doesn't release official iPhone apps that much, and adding a MobileMe gallery after all these months seems a little tardy. Thankfully, it's pretty good—better than Flickr's app, for example, and a nice value-add for MobileMe subscribers.
Yelp: So, uh, as I was writing this roundup, I got an email from Yelp. It was long, and it was announcing a new version of the app. Here's the part that matters:
Yelp Check-ins: We've now added the ability for yelpers to "Check-in" to businesses. This includes being able to broadcast your whereabouts and send Quick Tips to your friends on Yelp, Facebook and Twitter who, if they opt-in to these updates, will be able to see your location both via "Push" alerts, as well as on a map. Active users of this feature may receive "Regular" status of highly-frequented businesses. This means they are part of an active group of people who patronize a business and this moniker will appear next to reviews and tips and on business pages in the app, as well as on the business listing on Yelp.com.
In other words, Yelp probably just murdered FourSquare in its sleep. Yikes. There are some other nice updates to the app's augmented reality feature, account support and sharing faculties. Still free.
This list is in no way definitive. If you've spotted a great app that hit the store this week, give us a heads up or, better yet, your firsthand impressions in the comments. And for even more apps: see our previous weekly roundups here, and check out our Favorite iPhone Apps Directory. Have a great weekend, everybody!