Photos to Facebook and grenade-tossing goodness: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include a free photography app that makes it easy to share your photos, and a demolition type game that offers a unique twist on other popular games in the iTunes App Store.


One of the big iPhone news items this week revolved around an app I wrote about in the June 11 edition of iPhone apps of the week. Apparently, Taptaptap, developer of Camera+ (not currently available at the App Store) recently added a feature called "VolumeSnap" that would allow users to snap pictures using the iPhone volume controls on the side of the device. Apple pulled Camera+ from the iTunes App Store saying the app violated Apple's developer agreement terms by using one of the main iPhone controls in a "non-standard way, potentially resulting in user confusion."

I suppose it makes sense to keep things consistent, and of course Apple has the last say in these matters, but I have to agree with the idea that tapping the screen isn't an ideal way to snap pictures. Just about every time you take a picture with an iPhone you're holding it unsteadily in your hand and pressing the screen only moves the iPhone more, sometimes resulting in blurry shots.

Am I asking for another button on the iPhone? I wouldn't go that far, but now that the iPhone 4 has upped the ante with a 5-megapixel camera, it just might be the kind of thing Apple needs to consider. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

This week's apps include a free photography app that makes it easy to share your photos and a demolition type game that offers a unique twist on other popular games in the iTunes App Store.

Before you upload, you get to choose between the original image and one with a random effect. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

SayCheeze (free) is a photography app that's focused on snapping pictures and sharing them on Facebook (almost) immediately. While not all of us are out there snapping pictures wherever we are, those who do will appreciate the simplicity of SayCheeze's interface. Start by using the settings to log in to your Facebook account, then flip the switch for auto-upload to the "On" position. From there, every time you snap a picture, your photo will automatically be uploaded to Mobile Uploads on Facebook almost immediately. If you want to check out images before uploading them, you can turn off auto-upload and it still only takes a couple of screen taps to upload them quickly.

As a free app, SayCheeze doesn't come with a lot of fancy extras, but it fulfills its intended purpose very well. Extra options include a zoom feature that goes up to 4x zoom and the ability to apply a simple effect to images at the time of upload. My only complaint about SayCheeze is that you can't choose which effect to use on your image--the app chooses randomly from seven basic effects, which means you would need to cancel and then hit upload again to get a new effect. But overall, if you are a person who likes to capture the action and send it to Facebook without a lot of added extra steps, SayCheeze is an excellent free option.

You'll sometimes need to thread the needle with your grenade toss for the best effect. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Fragger (99 cents) takes the concept of hit game Angry Birds and adds a special-ops spin by instead having you toss grenades into structures that house enemy soldiers. Even with its similarity to the Angry Birds game mechanic, Fragger manages to offer enough variation in levels and enough of a graphical detachment from the popular game to make it both fun and addictive.

What separates Fragger from Angry Birds is the need to make highly precise shots in certain situations. Sometimes you'll need to bank grenades off of walls to drop them into a bunker, while other times the grenade will serve as a method for knocking soldiers off high platforms (where the explosion of the grenade becomes unnecessary).

You get 70 levels to play through across two different worlds, and, judging by the level-select screen, another world will open up in a later release. Overall, if you like demolition games or want a more military feel as you blow up structures than you'd get in Angry Birds, you should definitely check out Fragger.

What's your favorite iPhone app? Is SayCheeze just the photo-sharing app you were looking for? Do you think Fragger is too much like Angry Birds or is it a great game in it's own right? 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.