iSource Picks of the Week

POTW 3 Fututa

Here we are, another week has passed and it is time for us to once again promote Apple-related goodies that we think you might be interested in. From week to week we may pick iPhone and Mac accessories, iOS and Mac apps or just about anything else you can think of. Here are the picks for this week:

Lincoln: A Steven Spielberg Film – Discover the Story
Picked by PatrickJ 
 
This is a brand new – and free – iBooks title that’s another great example of what can be done with iBooks Author. It’s an interactive and in-depth look at the Spielberg’s upcoming new movie on Abraham Lincoln, which is set for release this weekend. 
 
The book offers lots of behind-the-scenes detail on the everything from costume and set design to the actual filming of the movie. It includes a foreword by Spielberg himself and video interviews with Daniel Day-Lewis (who plays Lincoln) and other lead actors. 
 
I downloaded it earlier today and it looks like a great companion and warmup for seeing the film. I have to admit I’m very excited to see this movie – this feels like a great time for a Spielberg epic on a great American leader at a time when the country was so divided.
 
Price: Free
 

Pocket
Picked by AlicaB 
 
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My Pick this Week is Pocket (formerly ReaditLater) which is a single scrapbook collecting platform to store articles and other tidbits for later enjoyment. Like many people, I strive to continuously improve the way I do things. For a long time now, I have been “starring” articles to read later and videos to view later in my RSS feed app of choice NewsRack, not a bad solution, until I realized that I also come across lots of reading and viewing material through other means: Zite, Twitter, Facebook etc. Enter Pocket, which I have been trying out for the past few days and really liking the solution it offers.
 
Of course you have a free profile account with seamless integration via iOS app on iPhone or iPad or web or desktop version. What I really like is the fact that it works within other apps (Pulse, Twitter, Zite etc – over 300 apps) and that you can use it offline as well. I haven’t decided which platform is my favourite place to use it yet as it looks good everywhere. But I must give props to how things are displayed on iPad, which makes the consuming experience a pleasurable one. Pocket is well on its way to becoming a permanent part of my daily routine. Try it you might like it!
 
Price: Free for both Mac and iOS
 

Gas Cubby
Picked by Brandon

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My POTW is another ‘classic’ app that hasn’t left my phone since the day I bought it – Gas Cubby. When I was younger a buddy of mine used to keep a little journal book in his glove box. Every time he put gas in his car he’d spent a minute logging his mileage, how many gallons, the price per gallon and that sort of thing. I (being in my late teens early 20’s) thought he was insane and couldn’t for life of me figure out why the heck he bothered. A couple years ago I stumbled upon Gas Cubby and started keeping track of my maintenance information + fuel purchases and now I get it. For example I know that my (real data in attached screenshot) 2010 Suzuki Kizashi over the past 25,500 miles gets a real world 24.04 MPG, costs me roughly $0.14 per mile to drive, and not including the loan costs me about $3.95 per day to drive. I also know that (again real world over the past 6000 miles) my 2008 Yamaha R6s costs me a measly $0.06 per mile. If you’re looking to keep track of when the last time you bough tires was, when your last oil change was or simply just want to know if your car lives up to its EPA estimates – check out Gas Cubby. Your wallet will thank you for it later. 

Price: $2.99

 

Scratch
Picked by Thomas
 
Scratch for iPhone
 
My pick of the week is Scratch for iPhone, which I picked up for $0.99 during a sale. Scratch’s appeal lies in how quickly it allows you to type out thoughts on your iPhone. It loads up in two seconds flat on my iPhone 4S with the keyboard up and ready to go. I can then resume typing into a note I had been working on earlier, or tap a button to save my current note and start a new one.
 
There are export options for emailing, messaging, tweeting, sending files to Dropbox, appending text to a journal in Dropbox, or opening your text in another app. Strangely missing is the option to just copy all of your currently written text. 
 
Ultimately, I still prefer Drafts because it allows me to save text to other apps *without* switching to them. But if you want an app with *the* fastest load time on the market for note-taking, you can’t do better than Scratch.
 
Price: $0.99 (On Sale)
 

Square Wallet
Picked by Alex Jordan
 
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My pick this week is Square Wallet. This app from Square, the same people that allow anyone to accept credit card transactions, now allows users to pay by simply waving their phone in front of a barcode scanner. Square Wallet works by connecting to your debit or credit cards, and then presenting a QR code when at select (as of right now) retail locations. Tap “Pay Here”, the QR code pops up, scan the code, and off you go.
 
I’ve used this app at Starbucks several times now, and it works perfectly. You even get a notification letting you know that your transaction was completed. I see something like this taking off before NFC gains any traction in the market. It requires less infrastructure. Speaking of which, Square Wallet is what Apple’s Passbook should be. Apple could tie into user iTunes accounts and process the payment that way, and it could be used at any retailer that can scan QR codes.
 
Square Wallet is currently at the mercy of the limited retailer rollout, but it’s still totally worth giving it a spin.
 
Price: Free

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