With almost 150,000 apps in the iTunes App Store, it shouldn't come as a surprise that some apps have slipped under my radar. Though it's embarrassing to admit, some of my great app discoveries happened only because I read about them long after their release, or I had a friend pull out their iPhone and say, "You mean you've never tried 'X'?" But I think that's part of what is so fun about owning an iPhone: you virtually never stop discovering new things you can do with it even if the app isn't brand new.
With that said, I've made a couple of recent app discoveries through friends that are worthy of checking out. Both have received recent upgrades, making them even better, so even if you have tried them, they may be worth a second look. Long-time readers have probably noticed that I always ask what your favorite apps are at the end of every post and now you know why; I'm always on the lookout for new (to me) apps!
This week's apps include a program that helps you take better photos and a game that some people may recognize from their local pub.
Gorillacam (Free) has been around for quite some time, but a recent update adds even more options for enhancing your iPhone photos. With Gorillacam you'll be able to take three-shot bursts to capture the best moment of an action-oriented scene, time-lapse sequences for interesting photo projects, self-timer shots so you can get into the picture, and several other types of shots. The app comes with a zoom slider for close-ups and an intuitive interface for selecting the type of shot you want to take.
What make Gorillacam especially useful are the settings associated with each function of the app. You start by hitting the button on the far left to select from many different features, like the self-timer, time-lapse, and even antishake to keep your image clear. You also can use a level for precise shots, a grid to align your subject, and a feature that lets you press anywhere on the screen to initiate snapping a picture (great for holding out the iPhone to take a picture of you and a friend). Flip the appropriate switch to the on position to take that type of shot. Once you've selected the shot type, you can use a second button to adjust the parameters, like how many seconds between shots (time-lapse) or how long to wait before taking a shot (self-timer). Overall, if you've been looking for a good photo app with a self-timer or want to take your iPhone camera to the next level, Gorillacam is a great free option.
10 Pin Shuffle ($3.99) lets you play a 3D version of the popular pub game Shuffleboard, with the added capability to bowl and play an interesting game of Poker all on the Shuffleboard surface. The 3D graphics are silky smooth and the physics make the game feel very realistic even within the confines of the iPhone screen. Set up your shot by touching the screen to move the puck from side to side, then adjust the angle by touching and dragging on the arrows above your puck. When you're ready, touch and hold the puck and use a controlled forward motion to send it down the surface of the Shuffleboard table. Perfecting your shot takes some getting used to, but fortunately 10 Pin Shuffle offers beginning and advanced control settings to make things easier or more realistic depending on your skill level. You can play against a computer-controlled opponent (four skill levels) or you can play with a friend on the same iPhone or with two iPhones over the same Wi-Fi network.
10 Pin Shuffle would be good enough with the Shuffleboard game alone, but it also works surprisingly well to play 10 frames of bowling using the same control scheme with pins set up at the end of the playing surface. The game also includes a Poker game tied to the bowling game, with each player receiving a card for a strike or spare. The object is to make the best five-card Poker hand possible before the end of 10 frames of bowling. Overall, 10 Pin Shuffle does a great job with the classic pub game of Shuffleboard using beautiful 3D graphics, realistic physics, and challenging AI to keep you coming back for more. The extra games are just the icing on the cake.
What's your favorite iPhone app (new or old!)? Do you like the control scheme and features of Gorillacam? Have you beat Peter Perfect on expert setting in 10 Pin Shuffle? Let me know in the comments!