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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.

 

Dice With Buddies  [ v 2.0 ]

Picked by: BrandonK

 

Yes, it’s another one of those three-word games with “With” as the second word.  But hear me out.  Dice With Buddies is mindless fun at its turn-based best.  In the vein of Draw Something and Words, Hanging, Scramble, With Friends, Dice With Buddies is essentially the same but with aYahtzee concept.  The Yahtzee brand isn’t present, but everything else remains identical, including the scoring and dice combos you must get to score points.  Also, this isn’t a Zynga game, so the layout feels slightly different.  But only slightly.

I am usually cyclical when it comes to any “With” type game; meaning I play a lot in spurts for days, maybe weeks, and then give it up for a few weeks (or even months) until I go into full “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode.  Dice, however, has not let go of my attention after weeks with the game.  I can’t tell you why I keep coming back, but I believe it has something to do with the fact that there is little thinking involved here.  Roll the dice and that’s it.  You can go through several games in under a minute, as opposed to spending several minutes on one move with the other “With” games.

Free [ iTunes ]  Add supported

$1.99 [ iTunes ] Add free

 

 

TapTyping – typing trainer suite  [ v 3.4.1 ]

Picked by: Alex Jordan

 

My pick this week is TapTyping for iOS. Lately I’ve been working more and more on my iPad. I’ve written many articles on the device. I should also note that I have small-ish hands for a male, which is ideal for the iPad’s on-screen keyboard. That said, my typing on the device isn’t nearly as proficient as it is with a physical keyboard. I would wager that most people are facing the same issue.

That’s why I bought TapTyping for iOS. It is a universal app that runs on both the iPhone and iPad, which helps to hone your typing skills on a soft-keyboard. It has lessons, time tests, and even a heatmapping feature to show you where your problem areas  are on the keyboard. I’ve certainly noticed an improvement in just a week or so of use. If you’re wanting to improve your typing on an iPad, TapTyping is certainly worth a look.

$3.99 [ iTunes ]

 

 

 

Portal – FullScreen Browser  [ v 1.3 ]

Picked by: AliciaB

 

This week I’d like to toot the horn for a great app called Portal, which is a Full Screen Browser for iPhone. If you are like me, you like and use Safari for iPhone but sometimes, just sometimes, Safari does not play well in certain situations and you are in need of an alternative. Last week I was in Russia and needed to access my hotel’s wifi. Unfortunately Safari was not able to manage the many redirects of the hotel website and I needed an alternative to be able to get internet access. Luckily, I had Portal installed. I fired it up and it did the trick.

While using it I remembered what made me spend the USD 1.99 for it in the first place. It has this great innovative UI and is truly pleasing to use. It almost has a kind of steampunk quality in the way the semi-circular radii that spring up on tap make cool mechanical sounds. Updated a few days ago, the app packs a full palette of features: multiple search options, research mode, tilt to scroll, customisable gestures and true full screen browsing of course. It does take a while to get used to this “different” browsing experience but I have to say that having full screen satisfies the minimalist in me immensely! I’m resolved to try replacing Safari with it for a week to see if it can become one of my go to apps. We’ll see!

$1.99 [ iTunes ]

 

 

 

I Suck at Girls  [ iBooks 1.3.1 or later ]

Picked by: PatrickJ

 

A little bit of a different type of pick for me this week. This one is an iBooks title. It’s written by Justin Halpern – who should consider changing his name to ‘The guy who created the @shtmydadsays Twitter account. Like millions of others, I enjoy the heck out of that Twitter feed and I was curious to see if Halpern could be anywhere near as funny in something considerably over 140 characters (the book is about 300 landscape pages in iBooks).

Happily, he is much funnier in book format, hilarious in fact and with an extremely likable self-deprecating style. The book chronicles his epic lack of success with girls right from his elementary school days through college and life after college – all the way through meeting his future wife. It was one of those rare books that had me literally laughing out loud often – and one I found very difficult to put down right from the first page. Of course it also has healthy doses of shit Halpern’s dad says – and much of it is classic stuff.

There is a standard version of the iBook priced at $9.99, and an enhanced version for $11.99. I bought the enhanced version which includes a few photos of the author and a handful of short videos of Halpern and his dad talking about the book and life in general. I would’ve liked to see a bit more quantity on the enhanced content, but the videos that are included are great fun to watch.

$9.99 [ iTunes ]

$11.99 Enhanced

 

 

 

Easy Calendar  [ v 2.0 ]

Picked by: Jay

 


This week, I’m wanting to draw attention to a recently-updated app, Easy Calendar. This weekly calendar, which I reviewed here and picked last year here, has remained on my dock as the main calendar app for over a year now. Notably, the new landscape view has a three-week peek and several new features keep it tight to use over the native calendar app – which I despise.

According to the developer, version 2.0 has

New:
• A unique three weeks landscape view with continuous-scrolling effect
• A half-year calendar view to plan longer events (e.g. holidays)
• Quickly jump to a desired week (fully replaces the ‘Jump to Month’ function)
• Create and edit your own calendars (iOS5 only)
• Quickly change the calendar of an event (without the need to access ‘More’)
• A new, refreshed design

Adding events has never been faster or easier; moving appointments is as easy as a press-and-hold then tap a new date. Easy Calendar is intuitive and remains a solid fit on my dock.

$1.99 [ iTunes ]

 

 

 

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 in the comments section below.

 

 

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  • heatwave16

    I think I might check out Easy Calendar. I’ve been looking for something more detailed. Thanks for the tip.