Be a mobile DJ and play that level again: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include an app that lets you bring two turntables anywhere and a platform game that's so difficult you can't stop playing.


As we draw closer to the release of the iPad 2, the Apple rumor sites are heating up, with the usual speculation and research into hidden clues about what the new device will be like. Rumors about faster processor speed and front- and rear-facing cameras have been out there for a while, but an article over at AppleInsider breaks down what types of the iPad 2 Apple is banking on selling most.

The first iPad came in Wi-Fi-only and 3G/Wi-Fi varieties. But with the introduction of iOS devices to Verizon, Apple has needed to make some adjustments to the hardware to make sure it works on all carriers.

According to the article, Apple is expected to offer three variations of the iPad 2: a Wi-Fi only version, a GSM/UMTS version for AT&T, and a CDMA/EV-DO version for Verizon.

AppleInsider reports that Apple is producing more of the 3G-enabled models than the others and concludes that the company thinks most people will opt for the 3G version over just Wi-Fi.

It's tough to say what Apple is really planning, but if you were going to buy an iPad 2 at launch, which variation would you buy? Let me know in the comments.

This week's apps include an app that lets you bring two turntables anywhere and a platform game that's so difficult you can't stop playing.

Tap DJ
Just messing around with two turntables is fun, but you can actually create and record your own mixes. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Tap DJ ($1.99) puts two turntables on your iPhone touch screen, letting you create mixes, scratch, and sample wherever you are. A quick tutorial shows you all the main features when you get started so it's easy to get music up and running and start mixing. Tap DJ uses the music from your iPhone's library and adds a few premade samples you can use to get started.

Tap DJ attempts to give you a real DJ experience, and it does a pretty good job. As with a real DJ rig, you can raise or lower the volume for each turntable, adjust the speed to match up beats on your mixes, and use the cross-fader to fade the volume between turntables. One advantage is that you have the ability to see the waveform for your audio so it's easy to pick out precise parts of the song.

Beyond the main onscreen controls, you also have a pop-up drawerlike interface element that lets you adjust an equalizer for each turntable, set Cue Points so you can start a track at a precise spot or create loops, and adjust effects you can add to your mixes. The app offers three effects to play around with: echo, reverb, and a "Gyro" effect. With Gyro activated you can touch and hold your finger on a button and move your iPhone 4 to "scratch" using the device's gyroscope technology.

Once you've put together a song or mix you want to keep, Tap DJ lets you record your mix, share it with friends, or even add a vocal recording to give it the full radio-DJ effect. Overall, if you have any interest in mixing your music or like the idea of carrying two turntables wherever you go, you should definitely get Tap DJ.

League of Evil
What kind of classic arcade game would it be without moving platforms over a bed of spikes? (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

League of Evil (99 cents) is like an iOS remake of the popular and recent console and desktop game Super Meat Boy. For those who haven't played Super Meat Boy, it's a platform game that has become well-known (dare I say, "legendary") for being extremely difficult. League of Evil is probably not quite as hard as the game it emulates, but you'll find the same rage-inducing effect when you've restarted some of the later levels for the 20th time.

Like other platform games, League of Evil gives you directional controls for movement on the lower left part of the screen and buttons for jump and attack on the lower right. Your goals are to complete a level in the shortest amount of time possible, find and retrieve a hidden briefcase, and take out the scientist at the end of the level. The first several levels are not too bad, but once you get into the second tier of levels (54 levels total across three tiers), your old-school arcade skills will definitely be put to the test.

League of Evil is not for those who are new to platform games; even the most skilled gamers will be challenged by this title. But if you like the challenge of getting your run through a level exactly right and are willing to try the same level again and again for that feeling of finally succeeding, I highly recommend this game.

What's your favorite iPhone app? Are there any pro DJs reading who can comment on Tap DJ? Is League of Evil too difficult to be called a game and should instead be called work? Let me know in the comments!

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.