In this week's moderately anticipatory app roundup: Long distance charges, eliminated! Text messages, circumvented! Novelty zombie books, adapted! Free music, streamed! Consciousness, conveniently regained! Art, simulated! And much more...
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Mastercard MoneySend: Basically, an alternative to PayPal, from a brand people generally trust, that purports to be easier to set up that its competitor. In reality, the setup was somewhat labor-intensive, and the app feels somewhat glitchy. It's a fairly easy way to zap money around, though without integration into sites that call for person-to-person transactions, what is this really for? Loan sharks? Drug dealers?
Thumbplay: An all-you-can-stream music service with a respectable catalog, Thumbplay earns a mention because its $10 paid service is free to try, with this app. Why not?
Podcast Push: Dead simple, currently free app sends a push notification every time one of your podcasts has been updated, prompting you to download it. I'm not sure how long I'll stick with it, but it was interested to get a sense of the time at which my favorite podcasts are posted each week.
Sleep Blaster: Kyle's description:
To stand out in the already-overpopulated field of alarm clock iPhone apps, you have to bring some really unique functionality to the table. Sleep Blaster does just that, with one extremely good alarm clock idea and one extremely bad one...
The bad idea? Giving you the ability to yell at your alarm clock to shut it up…
But alongside that dangerous, delicious "yell-to-keep-sleeping" function, Sleep Blaster offers one truly great one: geographical wake-up. You just trace a boundary on a map and as soon as you cross it, the alarm sounds. If you've ever woken up at the last subway station on the line, you know just how valuable this feature could be.
Robot Unicorn Attack: From the folks at Adult Swim:
It's the legitimate excuse you were digging around for, to have something pink, sparkly, rainbow and unicorn-y on your iPhone. With an Erasure soundtrack, too. This thing speaks for itself, so get busy over here now
In case is hasn't spoken for itself, here's the Flash platformer the app has been directly adapted from.
PingChat: Says Rosa:
PingChat! (formerly known as Ping!) has received an overhaul. The iPhone messaging app now has a better looking user interface, allows for group chats, can send images and videos, and is ad-free. Not too shabby.
It shouldn't be tough to convince your pals to download this app when it's free.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: P&P&Z is less of a book than it is a pretty good joke that takes different forms: first, a book; now, a game:
If you wanted to not just see, but control a woman in a conservative white dress spin around like an over-hyper four-year-old through a mass of zombies, this is the game for you. If you wanted to see your favorite P&P&Z novel be distilled down to its undead-killing core, this is the game for you. If you just like pressing virtual buttons on your iPhone and seeing stuff happen, then this is also the game for you.
Skype 3G: Skype now lets you make calls over 3G. Still free!
eBoy FixPix: Kind of a game, but more of a toy. Either way, lovely results.
Splinter Cell Conviction: Stealthy! Well, stealthier than some OTHER games, I guess:
It's always interesting to see a well-known game franchise fold itself up, suck its belly in a cram itself into the iPhone, but it's not always gratifying: often, the game concepts are fundamentally changed. Remember Metal Gear Solid for the iPhone? It ran on rails, defying a looooong history of free sneaking. (Linear, yes, but still: free.) Metal Gear Solid! On rails!
Splinter Cell swings the other way, refigured for the iPhone, but still holding onto 3rd-person shooting conventions. Granted, this is a very Gameloft-y game-I'm pretty sure this is the same engine as, say, NOVA-and the action is much more straightforward than a Tom Clancy game on a console or PC, but the spirit's still there.
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!