Saturday, June 23, 2012

iPhone Free Apps: Top Picks

Since getting an iPhone, I've been able to browse the App Store to find downloads that may be fun, useful, & informative.

I'm not really into too many games, since I'd rather play on a larger screen. Some of them are pretty good, though. Reading on the iPhone is actually not bad, & I'm currently reading the version of "Thoughts on Life & Art" by Leonardo da Vinci in iBooks.

I am starting to work on getting my own game app developed, for the award-winning strategy game I created as a college student, "Da Vinci's Challenge™" The gameboard is a pattern of circles known as the Flower of Life, that was studied by Leonardo in his codex drawings. I have been downloading other  Da Vinci based material to help inspire this effort. Now that I am able to check out apps & their capabilities, this project is one of my top priorities now.

In order to share the time I personally spent picking quality apps, I'm making a quick (nevermind, this took me awhile) list of ones I've downloaded to date. I've only gotten free ones for now, & they're in the categories I use to group them.

Probably one of my favorite apps is Relax Melodies, which is a wonderful ambient noise generator. I love using it!  Although I don't really have trouble sleeping, having relaxing background noise is really nice sometimes.

Forge of Neon - draw cool glowing mult-dimensional designs, with details you can zoom into & rotate.
Mandala Lite - this is a cool colorful fractal kaleidoscope in motion
Shark Fingers! Free - my little nephews & friends' kids love this. You touch the screen & sharks start "biting" your finger & the water turns red w blood. Crazy.
SpinArt Free
• Sci-Fi Sounds

Genesis Free - I've only played a little of this game but its very engaging. You manipulate beams of light to hit all the planets, which burst into color & activate sounds.
• Beatles Trivia - I downloaded this while I was showing the phone to my Dad & we played a round. Some of the questions were tough even for him.
Fun Blast Trivia Lite - As a trivia buff, I'm inevitably going to try this type of game.
Logos Quiz Game - As a graphic designer, this is a must-have.
Top Gear Stunt School Revolution - fun stunt driving game
Atlantis Oceans Free - kind of fun, but is also tough
Hungry Shark Part 1+ - I literally just downloaded this but it's entertaining, you just eat everything in sight.

Pulse - a great customizable visual news feed that can be organized into categories
Reddit's Alien Blue

Red Cross First Aid - the obvious medical emergency reference
Yellow Pages - very useful
Global Convert - indispensable unit conversion
Drinks & Cocktails - encyclopedia of stuff that will get you drunk
SAS Survival Guide Lite - outdoor survival
Minipedia - an offline encyclopedia with varying amounts of data you can store
How to Tie Knots
Stellarium - this app boggles my mind & makes me feel I'm truly living in The Future. You point your phone at the sky & it tells you what stars & constellations you are looking at.

Magnifying Glass w Light - see details closer than the human eye can discern
Find iPhone - if someone is dumb enough to steal my phone, or if I'm dumb enough to lose it, this will help me find it.
Multi-Measures - a neat toolkit with metronome, stopwatch, timer, seismometer, ruler, surface level, teslameter, plumb bob, protractor, etc
Google Translate - an amazing app that confirms my lazy refusal to learn other languages.

Waze - an innovative, community-based navigation app that shows all kinds of relevant traffic info, along with it's turn-by-turn directions. This is what I'll use, at least until Apple releases their app.
Google Earth - just a virtual planet, that's all.
Official NJ State Parks & Forests Guide - a great app for people here in NJ who enjoy the outdoors
Official PA State Parks & Forests Guide - ditto for PA
Sierra Club Trail Explorer - great app from America's most well-known nature advocates

Musée du Louvre - an awesome timeline of artwork from the Louvre's collection.
• Leonardo da Vinci -
Impressionism HD Free - a nice collection of beautiful paintings by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, & more.
National Gallery in London HD - another great digital art collection
Artmatch - using the iPhone's capabilities to recognize & catalog interesting art

Buddha Quotes 500
Tao of Wisdom - a nicely illustrated version of the Tao Te Ching
A Seeker's Journey
Daily Zen Enlightenment

I'll probably post lists of new apps as time goes on, but these are ones that I think are worth getting so far.

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