Happy Valentine’s Day!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to post about love. Not how-things-are-with-the-boyfriend; that’s more private than I want to get on here right now. And not sex-scenes-in-books; that’s not exactly about love, now is it? No, I want to post about geek love. Specifically, iPhone apps I adore.

(I think that, seeing as Verizon now has a bunch of people who can use iPhones as well, I will also post a list of some tips and tricks I have found to be useful. I imagine that most if not all of them will be the same on Verizon as AT&T, but since I haven’t had a chance to test that out yet with someone’s Verizon iPhone, I can’t say for sure.)

15 iPhone apps I love, sorted by category but not otherwise in any particular order

GAMES

1. Carcassone — not only is it a fun board game, it translates well to become a fun iPhone game. Also, the graphics are pretty. And the music isn’t annoying the way so much app music is.

2. Cut the Rope — heh. Amusing, silly, and the little monster you are feeding makes the cutest sounds.

3. Angry Birds Seasons — so much more fun than the traditional Angry Birds. I especially loved the way the Christmas one was an advent calendar, and you had to wait for the next day to play the next level. (Also that this meant you could play a level based on what day it was even if you hadn’t beaten the previous level.)

4. Crazy Penguin Catapult (1 & 2) — I loved this before I knew about Angry Birds, and I still like it better. I mean, really. When you fling a penguin somewhere and your aim is off, it doesn’t bounce the way the Angry Birds do. It splats against the wall. So much more satisfying.

5. Prince of Persia (Retro) — as in, the original game. With the original cut scenes and the original music. So awesome. Granted, I have not yet played much of it on my iPhone because the controls are hard to manouver, but still. When I eventually have an iPad to play it on, I think it will be easier. I can’t wait.

6. Skee-Ball — it’s Skee-Ball. This should be sufficient reason. If it’s not, just look at the ability to change to custom ball and lane decorations, and all the fun prizes you can buy with your tickets. Spider rings! Bouncy balls! Nuclear submarines!

DISNEY

7. Toy Story Mania — it’s a game, but it’s also Disney. It’s the next best thing to being on the attraction itsef. The only problem I have with this app is that it won’t let me check-in when I’m at the attraction. (I’ve tried from the line, from the gift shop, from the loading area, and from inside the show building itself. I have always gotten an “you are not at the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction” error message even though I couldn’t get at the attraction any more if I tried. Major Fail.)

8. MouseWait — I could tell you right now what the wait time is for Pirates of the Carribean. Or for Space Mountain. Not that it will do me any good unless I actually am at Disneyland, but still. It’s good to know that I could get on BTMRR in five minutes if I *was* there.

KNITTING

9. KnitBuddy — until Ravelry gets an iPhone app, this is the closest thing I’ve found. Of course, I haven’t input much into it since I have to type it all on my touch screen, but it’s good for recording things I want to remember. Also, it has very customizable row counters, which I love.

10. KnitEvenly — for those times when you have to increase or decrease to a certain number of stitches, this will tell you when to do those in/decreases. No knitting math needed. Hooray!

PHOTOGRAPHY

11. Flickr — if you have a Flickr account and take pictures on your phone, this is a must. It makes uploading them so much easier than syncing to your computer first.

12. Color Splash — a fun app for photos that lets you make a photo greyscale and then choose what parts of it you want in color. It doesn’t do much in the way of photo retouching, but what it does it does well.

13. Photo Funia — another fun photo app: this one takes your photos and retouches them in any number of ways. It mostly inserts them into other photos; for instance it will make your photo the billboard on a stock photo. Or it will pull faces from your photo and insert them into the faces on its photos. Lots of fun to play with.

MUSIC

14. Pandora Radio — free streaming music. Need I say more?

15. Ringtone Maker Pro — there is a free version as well, but I have the paid version. It lets you make custom ring tones based on the music stored to your phone. You do have to be at your computer to sync the new sounds back and forth before you can use the ringtones, but it’s better than the iTunes version in my opinion.

There are more apps I love, but I don’t want to go on about it *all* day…

And as for tips & tricks… (you may have to set some of these up in the preferences, I’m not positive)

* double-clicking the home button when the phone is locked brings up a mini iPod control bar. Great for playing music in the car or while at the gym. (If you most recently played music or videos from a different app, however, it should pull that up instead.)

* you can set your iPod to “shake to shuffle”, which is a great way to easily switch songs. However, if you have this set, the phone needs to be unlocked for it to work. And it might think you have shaken the phone when you didn’t actually intend to…

* if you want to lock the screen orientation, double-click the home button when the screen is unlocked and swipe the bottom bar from left to right. The icon at the far left of the bar (which is next to another mini iPod control bar) will lock the screen orientation. It will only lock in Portrait orientation, but better than nothing.

* cut/copy & paste is a great function. Use it well.

* the multi-touch feature has really evolved nicely. There are so many things you can do with it! You can double tap with one finger on the map (on the included Google Map app) to zoom in, or double-tap with two fingers to zoom out. You can pinch to zoom, too. Ditto for sizing photos. And so many apps are now using multi-touch as well. It’s great.

* the included earbuds have nifty tricks, too. The volume rocker is (to all appearances) pretty self-explanatory. Click the top to raise the volume, click the bottom to lower it. But did you know that you can also voice-dial using the same button? Press and hold the center of the volume rocker, and after a moment it will beep at you and be ready to accept instruction. Or, hold the center of the button during a call, and it will hang up for you. It works for music, too: the volume controls are the same, but clicking in the center (don’t hold) will start your iPod playing.

Anyway… that should be plenty of tips for now. And for those of you WITHOUT iPhones who have made it this far, congrats! You receive a gold star for managing to not be bored during a blog post that has absoluetly nothing to do with you!

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4 thoughts on “Happy Valentine’s Day!

  1. Sherri says:

    LOL…no iphone here.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours.

  2. Chris says:

    No iphone here, either. But Happy Valentine’s to you!

  3. Lorraine says:

    Nicole- I am such a Luddite.

    Happy Valentines Day-

  4. Dorien says:

    Cut the rope, soooo addictive. And perfect when one can’t sleep.

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