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iSource Picks of the Week

Welcome to our weekly installment of Picks of the Week at iSource where we provide our expanded coverage of Apple accessories and applications  Here we will promote our favorite iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV related items, as well as bring you occasional tips and tricks.  Hopefully many of our favorite items will also be of interest to you. Please feel free to comment on our selections, and suggest picks of your own.  Check out this week’s picks after the break

 

FIFA 12 (v1.02 )

Picked by: jhrogersii

FIFA 12

 

So, I was pretty hard on EA for FIFA 11 in my review last year. It, like the recent Madden 12, was a lazy and/or rushed port of an EA classic that wasn’t worth the full retail price. While the graphics were some of the best you could find on the iPhone 4 when it launched, the pervasive lag and lack of both multiplayer (which did finally arrive months later) and manager mode ultimately killed the fun. Considering that FIFA 10 had been a pretty solid effore that just needed some smoothing out to make a great game, FIFA 11 left a lot of fans pretty flat at release.

Thankfully, EA listened to the criticism and delivered something that fans of the series can be happy about this year, as FIFA 12 is a BIG improvement over its predecessor. The graphics and controls are even better than FIFA 11, the lag is nowhere to be found, and a full-featured Manager Mode has re-appeared. While multiplayer is curiously missing from the iPhone version, EA has included their new Origin service for sharing leaderboards and achievements. Also, the iPad version of FIFA 12 includes a unique feature that allows you to use two iPhones or iPod Touches as Bluetooth controllers to play a 2-player match on the tablet. Considering EA’s considerable investment in the traditional game console establishment, this is a bold and surprising step forward that gives causal gamers a chance to take full advantage of the iPad’s screen real estate.

Hopefully the multiplayer options that made their way into FIFA 11 will come in a later update, but if you are like me, and have been wanting to build up a club, gain promotion to the first division, and make a run at the best cups available, then FIFA 12 is worth every penny.

FIFA 12_icon

($4.99)  iPhone

($9.99)  iPad

 

Google Chrome Browser

Picked by: PatrickJ

ChromeOK, another little bit of Apple fanboy sacrilege here: I really don’t like the Safari browser much at all on the Mac. Chrome has been by far and away my favorite browser on my MacBook Pro for ages now, and I rarely open Safari for anything other than testing purposes.

My biggest reason for preferring Chrome is that it is fast, very fast indeed. And much faster than Safari. I’m not talking a bit faster than Safari. I’m talking Chrome loads and refreshes pages miles faster than Safari when I have 20+ tabs open in Chrome and one or two in Safari. It’s real tortoise and hare stuff. I know many others say they get different results, but for me Chrome has been kicking Safari’s butt for speed consistently for months now. In Snow Leopard and in OS X Lion.

Another major reason is I just find Safari too clever and designer-ish at the expense of usability, at least for me. Two quick examples of this:

— In Chrome the Refresh button is good-sized and positioned nicely just to the left of the address bar. In Safari it’s tiny and positioned at the end of the address bar, it almost feels hidden to me.

— In Chrome the + button to add a new tab is right next to the last tab in use, right where it feels natural and easy to click it. In Safari, it’s shunted down to the far right-hand side where it takes a moment to spot it, and of course it’s much smaller as well.

Honestly, Safari on the Mac feels to me like it’s far more concerned with being ‘pretty’ than with being effective and functional. Chrome is easier to use and blazing fast.

Oh, and of course Chrome has the brilliant Omnibox as its address bar – so you can type in a URL or a search term and both work and are handled intelligently. Safari makes you enter URLs in one area and search terms in another, which feels awkward and lame once you’ve used Chrome

Chrome_icon

(Free)  Link

 

 

ToDo (v4.4.2)

Picked by: Thomas

ToDo

 

I’ve been trying out a very old purchase this past week: Todo for iPhone. It all started because 2Do was feeling just a little slower because of the sync on launch settings (which won’t be an issue when the next background sync update arrives), and so I looked through all the task managers I owned that could sync with Toodledo. Todo for iPhone, which I bought for $10 when the App Store first came out, caught my eye.
It’s certainly not the prettiest app around, and I find all of the on-screen extras (tags, search, etc.) a little distracting, but the app does feel pretty fast on my 3GS. Todo syncs seamlessly on launch and exit, lets me batch re-schedule or delete tasks, and is probably way more powerful than I give it credit for.

There’s also something very simple and classy about the blue icon with the white checkmark on it. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep using Todo, but I’ve really enjoyed this week’s experiment (esp. the part where all of my data synced over automatically, so I didn’t have to start from scratch).

ToDo_icon

($4.99)  iTunes Link

 

 

Can’t Wait! (v1.1.5)

Picked by: AliciaB

Cant Wait!

 

I know I can’t be the only one wishing that Apple would finally feature mobile versions of their websites. Of course the sites render alright on iPhone and iPad but the content is simply not displayed in the best way for mobile use.

In particular I wish there was an app for the Apple trailers section, one of my favourites places to go to kill a few hours minutes online. Until we get an Apple app for movie trailers we can use the new iPhone app Can’t Wait – which promises loads of movie trailers, hot off the presses, ready for viewing on iPhone.

You shouldn’t let the inapt name detract you (more on that shortly) the app is a solid if not simple offering – leading in with a feed stream for Just Added, Popular or trailers by release date. There you can discover newly added trailers or search for specific ones. The app aims for social relevance with the integration of a community, where you can share, follow, recommend to others and get tips from others. You have a user profile, you have friends or followers and you have a list of movie trailers that you have either stamped “Can’t Wait” (a-Ha! Get it?!?) or “Gonna Pass”. Of course a middle-ground option is missing here (I’m not always a one or the other kinda gal) but I’m hoping this will be added in a future update.

As you’ve seen I’m not a fan of the name but I’m recommending this app on its mere premise and of course its able execution. I love watching trailers and I love having apps on my iPhone that give me a one-tap way to get to what I want. Can’t Wait delivers on its premise and promises to garner a number of users to its platform, while we wait for others, hopefully Apple among them, to give us a killer trailers iOS app.

Cant Wait

(Free) iTunes Link

 

 

Sacred Odyssey – Rise of Ayden (v1.0.0)

Picked by: Jay

Sacred Odyssey

 

This week I’m choosing Gameloft’s iPad version of Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden HD as my pick to share. I grabbed this game a few months ago and finally got around to trying it out. All I have to say is “Wow! THIS is why having a tablet in your hand can change the way you game!”

Take a fairly strong storyline (uniting pieces of the fragmented Grail to defeat the dark lord Amonbane), easy to learn combat moves, puzzles that are just challenging enough, and spectacular graphics, and Gameloft has another huge hit with its self-proclaimed “most ambitious Action RPG ever released on iOS!” Admittedly I don’t get to spend a lot of time playing RPG like I used to, but if I’d had access to this game (and others) and an iPad when I did have the time, I’d have been a killer… at least in my own adventurous RPG mind.

Sacred Odyssey_icon

($6.99) iTunes Link

 

 

There you have it!  Hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of Picks of the week.  Please let us know what you think, and share with us some of your favorites.

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