months past, we've rounded up some of the newest, most popular applications for mobile phones (primarily iPhone and Android) in an occasional post here and there. In 2011, we're aiming to make this a more regular feature - monthly, in fact. To kick off the new year, here's a list of some of the new apps that caught our eye this past month, some which received notable updates and a few that we're checking out, but haven't quite decided on yet.In
Note that this series will primarily focus on two top mobile platforms: Android and iPhone. This is not only because of these platforms' popularity, but also because we don't own Nokia's, BlackBerry's or Windows Phone 7 devices around here. We may sometimes mention when one of those platforms sees a notable app addition, but keep in mind that we will not have been able to test the app in that case.
New Apps for iPhone
- SeeSee: This one didn't get a lot of press, but in late December (oops, is that cheating?), an app called SeeSee showed up in the iTunes App Store. The app is basically a photo browser and organizer, but it has a neat trick: it totally rips off Windows Phone 7's user interface! If you're itching for a taste of WP7 but aren't willing to make the switch, it's fun. Note that the app has now changed its name to the potentially copyright infringing "iPhotos." Not sure that's going to work out too well. ($1.99)
- Daytum: Data nerds, you've been warned: this app may lead to obsession. Like the Daytum website and Web app, the new iOS application lets you keep track of all your daily activities so you can later see how long you spent working, on Facebook, exercising, reading, eating, drinking, or whatever else you may have been up to. You can then see charts and graphs related to your life for true narcissistic data-filled bliss. (Free)
- Garmin StreetPilot: Navigation company Garmin released its first turn-by-turn app for iPhone in January, which includes voice-prompted navigation, traffic alerts, lane assist, speed limit indicators and controls for iTunes' music library, so you can listen to music while navigating. ($39.99)
- Security Cam: Ever wanted to use your iPhone as a security camera but didn't know how to set it up? There's an app for that now and it's called Security Cam. It can record video as soon as it detects movement, can use the iPhone 4's front-facing camera and can even operate in stealth mode. ($0.99)
- OverDrive (Update): Not new, but notably updated, this eBook/audiobook downloader now offers a "Get Books" feature that guides you to your local library's digital catalog. The app supports over 13,000 public libraries, schools, colleges, etc. in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and 9 other countries. (Free)
- PlayStation: This app lets you connect to the Sony PlayStation network to see your friends, their games, read status updates and more. (Free)
- WindowSeat: WindowSeat lets you use your iPhone to track your flight - while you're in the air! Instead of relying on a GPS and/or network connection, the app uses historical flight data so it can be used offline in airplane mode. The app shows you where you are on a map, plots your course, and it offers info on points of interest. ($6.99)
- MegaReader: Not so sure it's a great idea, but if you want to walk and read and the same time without running into things, MegaReader's eBook reader can accommodate by allowing you to overlay text on a live view of what's in front of you.($1.99)
- Verbs: This pretty new IM app offers retina display support, cloud storage for files, multitasking support and more. It supports Google Talk, AIM and MobileMe. Oh, and did I mention it's really, really attractive? ($2.99)
- TalkBox Voice Messenger: Another new app is TalkBox which lets you send "voice IMs" via an interface that looks like text messaging. It's sort of like push-to-talk for iPhone. (Free)
- Splice: An iMovie alternative, Splice lets you cut, clip and edit movies on iPhone. There's a free version available or a $1.99 ad-free version, if you'd rather. (Free/$1.99)
- FaceMan: Best described as a Photo Booth clone for iPhone, this lets you play around with various effects for photos. 20 effects are included. ($0.99)
- SynthCam: Designed to bring SLR camera features to iPhone, SynthCam lets you shoot in low light or blur parts of a photo while focusing on others. It's an innovation leap with room for improvement, but for a reasonable price. ($0.99)
- IntoNow: This app listens to what you're watching on TV and then "checks you in" to that show/program/movie, and can share that info via Facebook or Twitter. And yes, it knows what you're watching because it hears it - amazing! (Free)
- Bump (Update): The contact sharing app now lets you share app recommendations! Hooray! (Free)
New Apps for Android
- ChromeMarks: As we recently mentioned, one of Firefox for Android's strengths is its bookmarks sync feature. But what if you use Google Chrome? Then you may want to try ChromeMarks, an Android app that syncs Google Chrome bookmarks to your mobile. Sync is manual with the free version, or automatic with the $2 paid version.
- Go Launcher: Go Launcher is a new alternative to Launcher Pro and ADWLauncher which includes the some of the best features from each - gestures, resizable widgets, customizable docks and homescreens and even a custom app drawer. (Free)
- Dolphin Browser (Update): The popular Dolphin Web browser left beta in January and delivered several new features in addition to its support for tabbed browsing, gestures, and pinch-to-zoom. It also now offers location support, lets you switch between accounts in Google Bookmark sync, sort downloads by date and a lot more. (Free)
- VEVO: The music video playing app arrived on Android mid-January, offering 25,000 videos from over 7,500 artists. (Free)
- Thrillist: Already on iPhone, this local recommendations app came to Android this past month to help you find local hotspots, restaurants, shops and more. (Free)
- ABBYY Business Card Reader: The ABBYY Business Card Reader app for Android is now available in two versions: free and paid. As with the iPhone and Symbian versions, the app uses the camera to snap photos of business cards and transfer them to your contacts. (Free/$9.99)
- Line2: The VoIP/SMS app Line2 comes to Android to allow for calls over Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G data or cellular voice connections. (Free trial, $9.95 in U.S./Canada)
- AAA Roadside Assistance: Motorist support company AAA has launched a free app for Android that lets you request roadside assistance without making a call - it just uses GPS. (Free)
- WebMD: You know the site - the medical info resource for all you self-diagnosers out there. Now it's an Android app, too. But this app is intended for medical professionals, of course, not you doctor wannabe's. (Free)
- Zoopla: Real estate startup Zoopla launched an augmented reality app for Android that lets you see home prices through your phone's camera. UK-only, though!
- Play.fm: This mobile music app arrived on Android (and iPhone & WP7) offering on-demand radios for DJ sets from around the world. ($4.12 one-time fee for 90 days unlimited; then requires premium subscription or only 5 hours streaming per month)
- Songbird: Once known as an iTunes alternative, Songbird is now a beta app for Android that lets you browse through and play songs from your music collection on your phone. There's even a homescreen widget.