In this week's app roundup: Kingdoms, commanded! Space, explored! Digg, dugg! Journal entries, synced! Dr. Horrible, explained! Calories, counted! Trolololo, further ingrained into your consciousness! Water consumption, added to the list of things you feel guilty about! And more...
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We Rule: Rosa called it "a medieval version of FarmVille." I've never played FarmVille, so I don't know how apt that is, but the corn-growing, experience-points-gaining, fife-music-playing gameplay suggests that she's right. We Rule is free to download, though you can buy "mojo"—the force that helps you grow your kingdom faster—if you're too lazy to accrue it through ye old hard work.
Buzz Aldrin Portal to Science and Space Exploration: If anyone deserves to have a personal iPhone app about the wonders of space, it's Buzz Aldrin. His $2 app is a grab bag of all things space; it has writings by Buzz's, including his take on the ISS, the future of manned spaceflight, exploring Mars, etc. It also has plenty of YouTube clips, including one from 2009 in which Buzz talks about the monolith on Mars' moon and others in which he talks about his time on Dancing with the Stars. One of those two things really fascinated me.
Muziic: The internet has a ton of music—be it on YouTube, internet radio, or the next thing—but it's a vast, untamed wilderness. Muziic, a free app, looks to harness all that crazy content. You can listen in on a variety of internet radio stations, create playlists of songs from YouTube, or check out featured tracks. Rock ON.
Waterprint: "You've heard of carbon footprints," this app asserts, "but what about water footprints?" What about water footprints? Basically, if worrying about depleting Earth's fossil fuels wasn't enough for you, Waterprint will let you shift your concern to another precious natural resource, helping you calculate how much water you use in your daily activities. For example, thanks to Waterprint, I now know that the single cup of coffee I just consumed took 30 gallons of water to produce. Wow! Thankfully the app is free, so my newfound coffee guilt didn't cost a thing.
FoodEssentials Scanner: Everyone eats, but only some people care about what's in what they eat. For $5, FoodEssentials Scanner will scan bar codes and give you the whole scoop, including the regular nutritional information as well as additives and allergens the item contains (important information some other similar apps leave out.) You can also set up custom labels to restrict the information you want from your scans. Trust me, there's nothing more frustrating than getting bombarded with gluten content when you just wanna get the calorie count.
Digg: The long-anticipated official Digg app has finally arrived! Upon firing it up you get a nice list of all the top stories, sorted by digg count, which you can preview, dive into, or save for later perusal. Of course, a Digg app would be nothing without being able to actually digg (and bury) stuff, and you can do it at pretty much every turn here. There's something satisfying about giving a story you like a boost with your finger, as opposed to a disembodied cursor. You probably never knew you wanted a more intimate relationship with Digg, but this app gives it to you nonetheless. Free.
MacJournal: Everyone has their own way of keeping notes, but if yours happens to be MacJournal—a fine application that was included in the most recent MacHeist Bundle—then you're in luck. The $5 MacJournal app is pretty bare bones compared to some of the other, more established note-gathering apps, but if you're already a user of the excellent OSX MacJournal application, then you'll be happy to finally have journal syncage in your life.
Star Wars Cantina: Kat summed up the appeal for the upcoming Star Wars Cantina game nicely: "Like Animal Crossing, but with Star Wars! and booze!" If that piques your interest (and it should)—watch this space!
Football - Real Kick: Did you know your iPhone can play soccer? As long as the ball is a tiny piece of styrofoam and you have the $1 Real Kick app installed, which turns your iPhone into a cellular Maradona by pushing air out of the speaker.
Bing: Bing, your iPhone's possible future bedfellow, just went and got its app all updated. It's still free but now has bookmarking ability, direct sharing via email, and URL cut and paste capability, in addition to other small improvements and interface tweaks.
Opera Mini: Opera Mini was recently submitted to the App Store for approval, and though it's not available quite yet, it's worth keeping an eye out for. Matt reviewed the browser on EDGE and said, "Overall, it's the fastest I've ever felt Opera Mini perform across any platform. Everything happens instantly, and it feels really smooth, and polished."
Dr. Horrible: Take it away, Matt:
Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog is a work of pure supervillian musical genius, produced for the internet during the height of the Hollywood writers' strike, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Firefly's Nathan Fillion. The iPhone comic prequel is awesome...for 99 cents, it's a trip worth taking.