" />

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.



Prismatic  [ v 1.03 ]

Picked by: Alex Jordan



My pick this week is a news aggregator called Prismatic. When you install the iPhone app, you are asked a series of questions, and then a news feed is generated based on your interests. From there, your news feed is updated with things that interest you, as they come in from different sources. To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised someone hadn’t come up with this idea sooner. The user interface is fluid, clean, and intuitive. The selection of places where prismatic collects content is nice as well.

Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you can enjoy the service from any modern web  browser. Surprisingly, this service is free, and is good enough I would pay for it if they asked. If you’re like me, and like to keep up to date with the things that interest you most, Prismatic is defiantly worth a look.

Free [ iTunes ]





Foodspotting  [ v 3.6 ]

Picked by:  Jay



I have a confession. I am a foodie. I enjoy the food that I cook and I definitely enjoy food that I eat – especially when I eat out. Whether it’s with family, a working lunch, or a business dinner, I take pure enjoyment in the sight, the smell, and definitely the taste of good food.

I used to share my food pictures and descriptions on Facebook, but as my previous rant suggested, the previous version of the Facebook app left a bad taste in my mouth – pun intended. In place of the previous lousy Facebook app, I discovered a classy app that is dedicated to sharing the sights, location, and description of a meal – Foodspotting.

After creating a profile with Foodspotting, you can connect you favorite social media accounts – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and Flickr – to the app, and share the pictures and restaurant check-ins on multiple accounts.

The menu buttons are the bottom are pretty clear. “Explore” shows some of the pictures of other foodies in nearby restaurants, the latest uploaded, or the friends you’re following; “Places” gives a listing of restaurants near your location (at least the ones that have been sighted by other foodspotters); the “Spot” menu allows you to share a picture of the recommended food or drink; “Guides” are written food guides; and like Facebook, the “Follow” menu displays pictures of foods that the people you follow are proud to show and that you can comment on, and like – with “Great Shot” or ” Great Find”.

When I first saw Foodspotting, I thought it was a crazy idea. After all, Facebook was my primary way to share. But if food is the necessity worth sharing, I found this app to be classier than Yelp! and more fun to use. Are you a foodie and want to see what I’m eating? Follow me “Jay Roth” to see!

Free [ iTunes ]





Drop7  [ v 2.3 ]

Picked by: Joe Tomasone



Drop7 by Zynga is an addictive puzzle game that is reminiscent of games that require you to match 3 or more balls to make them disappear, but with a novel twist.

Instead of balls, numbers are dropped.  To make them disappear, you must manipulate them to be in that numbered position in a chain of other numbers in a column or row.  So, if your number is a 2, you must drop it (or later manipulate it) to become one of two contiguous numbers in any column or row.

Complicating this are hidden numbers that drop as blank disks.  You reveal them by removing a number adjacent to that disk – not once, but twice.  The first time, the disk “cracks”, and the second time it reveals its number.

Don’t worry, it’s much easier to learn the game than it is to describe it.

My one minor quibble about the game is that it doesn’t look as professional or polished as other Zynga games – but for what it is, it’s great.

Drop7 is available for the iPad or iPhone (universal binary) and comes in free and paid ($2.99) versions.  I have been playing the free version for some time and haven’t seen any ads, or anything that would inspire me to upgrade to the paid version.

Free  [ iTunes ] Add supported

$2.99  [ iTunes ]




Bike Baron  [ v 2.1 ]

Picked by: Brandon



Bike Baron has quickly become one of my favorite iOS games ever.  Yes, it’s that good.  I remember on the day I decided to buy it – due to nothing more than a random App Store search, mind you – that I almost backed out.  I initially dismissed it as yet another entry in the quickly overcrowding three-star-every-level genre.  But that’s not the case at all.  I mean, yes, the goal is to get three stars on every level.  But how you go about accomplishing that is where the fun lies.  First and foremost, it’s a bike racing game.  Not Gran Turismo style racing – you’re not competing against others.  You’re just trying to make it to the end of each level while doing flips and grabbing coins.  It sounds simple, and it is.  But it’s also a hell of a lot of fun.

The graphics – and I mean this as a complement – are way above average.  I wouldn’t call them fantastic, but they are quite good.  The physics, however, are where this game shines.  The way you flip in the air, the way your tires hit the ground, the way your body flails through the air after a crash, it all looks amazing.  You can tell that a lot of attention was paid to detail throughout this title.

There are over 90 levels with over 300 challenges (stars), so you’ll be plenty busy throughout.  If you’re interested, there is a custom levels feature.  But to be honest, the developer-provided levels are so fun that I haven’t even spent much time at all on that feature.

This is a universal app that is worth every penny of the $1.99 that it costs.  I highly recommend you try this out.

$1.99  [ iTunes ]





Picked by: Thomas


My pick of the week is the new Grooveshark web app, which saw a US-only launch yesterday. However, thanks to some sort of little loophole, I got to try the updated web app out in Canada for a few hours. I couldn’t log in, but I could see the updated player, sidebar (just like in the Facebook app), and generally snappy performance. This new Grooveshark app means that you can now enjoy a fuller Grooveshark without jailbreaking to use their native app, which ultimately means more streaming music for free. I opt to use Grooveshark over other online streaming services because 1) it actually works in Canada and 2) it plays exactly what I asked to hear, and not a song that sounds like what I wanted to hear.

To check out the updated Grooveshark app as a bona fide American, head to www.Grooveshark.com. If you live outside of the US like I do, expect to wait a few weeks before the updated web app hits your country.

Free  [ Link ]




iTunes Festival London 2012  [ v 3.6 ]

Picked by:  PatrickJ



The iTunes Festival is in London again this year and it’s 30 days of live music running through the month of September. This is Apple’s companion app for the festival and it’s very nicely done. It offers short band and artist profiles that include song previews, a full schedule of all the live shows, festival news, and of course the ability to watch every show live, or catch highlight videos afterwards. It has AirPlay support so you can enjoy the shows on your big screen via Apple TV too.

Last year my daughter and I discovered how much we like Adele largely because of this app, well before she was all over the radio. This year’s festival lineup includes some big names like

Alicia Keys, Usher, Muse, Norah Jones, Jack White, and Pink along with lots of rising stars and newer artists. Among the newer acts I’m especially looking forward to seeing Emile Sandé and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Noel was the (much) better half of Oasis.

Free [ iTunes ]





Perspective  [ v 1.1 ]

Picked by:  AliciaB



My Pick this Week is Perspective for iPad, an app well worth taking a look at as it provides one of those “iPad” experiences, delighting the user not only with the content but also in how the app flows. The creators call it a platform for sharing, viewing, creating audiovisual stories but that does not truly give an idea of what it feels like. You have to see it to appreciate how nicely it displays content.

You can view for example video presentations accompanied by slides, peppered with informative titles, stats or explanations; or you can browse through a presentation on the history of the Olympics – where comparative graphs come alive, fluid in motion, never static. Excel tables, Google docs, Bubble charts or still images can be brought together to animate content and effectively engage the audience. The only drawback to the app that I would fairly point out is that content is limited at the moment; it seems yet to be discovered by the masses. Also, to be able to create your own Perspective piece, you need to fork over EUR 15,99 for publisher privileges, which may be the reason there are not more active users of the platform. Still I do see the potential for this kind of app for teachers and coaches who can use it to bring “dry” topics alive.

Free [ 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.



Continue reading: