Tag Archives: apps

App Cubby Launches Launch Center Pro

If you haven’t heard of the Launch Center App before, you will want to now. App Cubby first launched their shortcut app Launch Center and it was basically a list of shortcuts and actions. It was in a list view and it was really handy.

Now they’ve redone the app and relaunched it as Launch Center Pro. The basic point of this app is to make things easier to do and faster to do things. The shortcuts you create in the app can be specific to certain apps or people, like create a new item in Omifocus, or message or call a certain person to launch Instagram in the camera view.

The format of Launch Center Pro uses a grid of large buttons, that are accessible with gestures. There are a lot of supported apps and actions, and I really only went back to using the original a few weeks ago, but it saves me a lot of time and actions.

The one thing I do like is that you can schedule actions to happen, so for example if you want to write an entry in Day One everyday at a certain time, you can schedule it to notify you.

There are a lot of supported apps and actions, and they use the Custom URL scheme. If you are unfamiliar with what that is, it’s how you can launch apps and actions, and a developer has to use that within the app itself. If you want to add one that’s not included, you can check the handleOpenURL index. Most of the time though you can just try appname:// and see if it will open your app (replace appname with the name of the app you want.

You can also customize the icons in the app, which is nice, and I highly recommend you get it and start using it, the more you use it, the more you will get used to it and customize it.

Launch Center Pro is available right now for $2.99 in the App Store ($4.99 after the introductory pricing).


Wunder Radio is Now iOS 4 Ready

Wunder-RadioLarge-300x300.pngMy favorite, and possibly the best streaming radio app Wunder Radio (iTunes Link) is now iOS 4 ready with official background streaming. The app has had background streaming available for a lot of it’s feeds via mobile safari streaming for awhile, but it’s gotten better with official streaming. Wunder Radio offers more radio stations than you can imagine, and they offer Sirius and XM streaming as well as live streams of Air Traffic Control and Police Bands. When TUAW reviewed this app they said that most of the time the signal was actually better on the iPhone then on the car radio, and I agree.

Continue reading Wunder Radio is Now iOS 4 Ready

How to Tag Your Videos for iTunes the Easy Way

For a long time I was an avid windows user, and had a hard time properly tagging my videos for iTunes. I prefer to add MPAA ratings, actors, and all the data that you cannot add directly in iTunes itself. I didn’t like the fact that the videos would show up wrong, or the artwork was jacked up. Now to clarify, most of the videos you buy directly from the iTunes store or get as a digital copy off your DVD’s come properly tagged. The crisis was for downloaded content or movies that I rip from my personal DVD collection.


Now that I am a full time mac user, I heavily rely on a couple of programs for getting the job done. If you want to get your personal DVD’s into iTunes and tag them the right way, I recommend the following combination of programs. Handbrake and MetaX. Handbrake is an open source app that takes DVD’s and a variety of other video files and converts them to a host of formats, the main one being MPEG-4 which is iTunes and iPod friendly. MetaX is a meta-data tagging application capable of batch tagging MPEG-4 as well as QuickTime videos.

Both programs will make your ripping and tagging much easier, and handbrake will throw the file into MetaX if you change that in the prefrences.

It’s an easy way to make sure that all your files are properly tagged and so iTunes puts them in the right place.

TomTom for iPhone Finally Released


The long awaited TomTom iPhone app has finally been released in the US app store at a whopping $99.99 price tag. I was hesitant to get this app as I have used G-Maps in the past and it has been fairly good to me.

I have been using the TomTom app to go to places in town that I know the way, and so far it hasn’t been wrong on the directions. The best thing about the app is that is is able to tap into your contacts and use the addresses you already have, and the POI database isn’t bad as well.

I do wish they would let you customize the way it notifies you of upcoming events, because I really don’t need to know 5 times that I am turning, but otherwise with some updates in the future it’s a strong app, and I will be using it as my main GPS app.tomtomus_screen-208x300.png

TomTom has been in the GPS business for awhile now, and they can only improve the app, as long as they don’t charge for maps, this will be a big contender in the GPS app family.

Links to the iTunes App Store

TomTom US & Canada

TomTom Western Europe

TomTom Australia

TomTom New Zealand

TuneWiki – A Very Cool iPhone 3.0 App

During the time I had the 1st generation iPhone, I decided to jailbreak it, and came across the TuneWiki app, I liked it, then I had a problem with my phone and had to restore it thus no more TuneWiki. You may be asking what is TuneWiki, well, it’s a full featured music-related app that displays the lyrics of the current song that’s playing. That’s not the best part. When it displays the lyrics, it follows along with the song.


TuneWiki also has a bunch of other features such as music videos, streaming radio via Shoutcast, real-time top 50 charts, interactive music maps and more. It should be said that TuneWiki is free, and it’s another one of those apps that should be on every iPhone because it offers something more for your music.

Get TuneWiki now in the iTunes App Store: TuneWiki

I also should let you know that according to TUAW:

It should be noted that TuneWiki has a direct licensing deal with Universal EMI, Sony, and about 16,000 publishers in 1800 groups including Warner (via the Harry Fox Agency) as well as deals in Greece, Israel, Spain, Germany, Turkey, and so forth. Every attempt has been made to license this lyric use world wide. Amnon Sarig, TuneWiki founder, told TUAW that he’s worked hard on securing these world wide licensing agreements to ensure that TuneWiki has rights to display lyrics wherever it is used. "No one else has worldwide exploitation rights," he told us. "I’ve been in the licensing business for 11 years and as far as I know, the only other application on App store that exploits lyrics legally has their licenses limited to the United States."

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Help Finding the App You Want

The iTunes App Store now has 56,081 different apps available, but how do you find the right one, the search in iTunes is good, but if you type something in, you usually get too many choices that really don’t contain what you want, there are a few sites out there that might help:

  • Appshopper.com is a great site for finding out what’s new, free or updated, as well as price changes. The newest feature is that if you create an account you can check if you own the app or want the app, and it will notify you via email if the app is updated, I currently use this site via RSS.
  • 148apps.com lists what’s new and free, but they also release their favorite 148 apps, and have other lists as well.
  • Freeappalert.com updates daily with a list of apps that have gone from paid to free, I haven’t used this one yet, but I will start using it right away.
  • Macworld’s App Guide is very well organized and is the most functional site out there, it’s search is great, and it also notes price changes and groups popular apps.
  • Iviewer.com is a reader submitted site that looks for undiscovered apps from readers, it’s pretty basic.

This is just a basic list, and if you have a site or tip you like better feel free to let me know in the comments.

G-Maps for iPhone Updates

I have been a fan of the G-Maps app for awhile now because they have been the only true app to serve turn by turn directions before the 3.0 software update. They just updated their app and now it’s true voice turn by turn, and I just took it for a test drive on my new 3GS and it’s faster than ever. I went off route and it found the way in no time, with the voice lady telling me when to turn, the only setback is that it doesn’t announce street names, but if you have your iPhone mounted like I do, you can glance at the upcoming street, but it tells you when to turn well before you have to turn.

It’s a little pricey and they have two flavors because it’s so big, east and west, so make sure you get the one for your area.

G-Map WestG-Map U.S. West

G-Map EastG-Map U.S. East

TweetDeck for iPhone is Live

One of my favorite desktop twitter apps TweetDeck has released their iPhone version, and it will definately get a spot on my home screen, it’s a good iPhone twitter app. The best new feature in both apps is the ability to sync colums across platforms. You can download TweetDeck for your computer and the iPhone now.

TweetDeck for desktop download

TweetDeck for iPhone download

(photos via Kevin Rose)

7 Various Twitter Apps for All Types of Users

I have been using Twitter for quite awhile and after many failed attempts to make my friends understand and start using it, I will tell you about 7 twitter apps that you may or may not know about, but I have used most of them and like them all in different ways.

1. Seesmic Desktop – This is my number one app right now, it has gotten better over time, and ever since they added Facebook integration, and they promise more, it seems to be the best choice for power users. They allow for filtering and setting up groups, search and more.

2. TweetDeck – This was number one for a long time, and I still recommend it for power users, they also have some type of Facebook integration, but not as well as Seesmic Desktop. The setting up of groups is much easier in this app, as you can choose the users from a checklist. If you are a power twitter user, then this is another one to check out.

3. Tweetie – This is the most popular iPhone app for twitter, and no matter how many others I try and use, I always come back to this one, it’s hands down the easiest to use, but it’s not free. They also have a Mac desktop application as well.

4. PowerTwitter – A Firefox extension that lets you do a lot more than post tweets, you can do broad and user-based searches, post inline links to YouTube, Flickr, TwitPic and more, it’s a powerful tool to check out.

5. Twitterberry – This is a Blackberry app, but it’s slow to update, and doesn’t grab tweets as much as it should, but if you are a Blackberry user and don’t want to waste SMS messages, then give this a try.

6. Ping.fm – While not really a dedicated Twitter app, it allows you to post your updates across multiple sites at one time, so if you belong to a lot of social networks and dislike going to each individual site to update your status than check this out, you can also update from your IM service of choice.

7. Twitter.com – This is just a given, but you can tweet from the Twitter website, and now that they have added search and trends to the homepage, it is a lot more user friendly.

I know I may have missed some or excluded your favorite twitter tool, if I have please feel free to share your favorites in the comments or follow me on twitter @btiede.