Scan receipts and reverse gravity: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include a handy image-scanning app for getting quick copies on the go and a 2D side-scrolling game where you can reverse gravity with a touch of your finger.


The big Apple news out this week was the event that launched the new MacBook Pros--and they are certainly drool-worthy. All three new models are twice as fast as their predecessors, featuring quad-core Intel i7 processors for the 15- and 17-inch models, and dual-core i5 and i7 processors for the 13-inch models. The AMD Radeon graphics processors have been improved along with newly added Thunderbolt technology that lets you use a new port (along side your USB ports) to transfer data at up to 10GB per second. Read our full coverage here.

I'm not sure whether I'll rush out and buy one of these new MacBook Pros with the iPad 2 coming out in April, but that's mostly because I don't have as much use for the high-powered graphics and processing power in my line of work. I also can't afford to buy both.

Are you in the market for a new laptop and thinking about getting a new MacBook Pro? Are you waiting to see what the iPad 2 will offer before pulling the trigger? Are you going to buy both? Let us know in the comments.

This week's apps include a handy image-scanning app for getting quick copies on the go and a 2D side-scrolling game where you can reverse gravity with a touch of your finger.

Genius Scan+
Drag the corners of the grid to get the perfect crop of your receipt. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Genius Scan+ ($2.99) is an excellent app for when you're away on business and need to keep track of expenses, letting you quickly use your iPhone camera to "scan" receipts for your records. It also comes in handy for making quick copies of documents, shopping lists, or recipes, as examples, but really any time you need a quick copy, Genius Scan+ does the job well.

Upon launch, you have the option to use a picture in your iPhone library or to create a new one using the iPhone camera. Once you have your "scan," Genius Scan+ lets you crop the image using a unique interface feature that lets you drag the corners of a grid around the area of the image you want for the perfect crop. Especially handy for business travelers, Genius Scan+ makes it possible to group several of your scans on to one page making for easy organization when it's time to report your expenses.

Though the app seems like a fairly straightforward way to make copies of documents, Genius Scan+ really shines with added features to make copying and managing documents much easier. The program supports popular apps like DropBox, Elements, and Evernote, so you can sync up with other devices and computers for easy export. Along with automatic syncing with the apps listed above, Genius Scan lets you export your documents as JPEG and PDF file types, or you can simply send them via e-mail.

Among some of the other handy features, Genius Scan+ also offers page frame detection, perspective correction, and scan post-processing, so you know your results will be readable and ready to attach to your expense reports.

Overall, if you're a frequent business traveler who wants a good method to track your many receipts or if you just want a way to scan documents (or class- and meeting-room whiteboards) for later use quickly, Genius Scan+ has the right set of tools to make it easy.

Gravity Guy
As you run, you'll flip upside down to move through the complex levels. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Gravity Guy (99 cents) is a fun game that takes some ideas from the running genre of games (like Canabalt) and adds some unique features that keep the game interesting. The main game mechanic is Gravity Guy's ability to reverse gravity, letting him run upside down on platforms and then switch back when he needs to run on the ground again. The first few levels are pretty easy, but the further you get into the game will require precise gravity switches as you speed through complex courses. To add even more tension to the action, a gravity security guard chases you the entire time (he has the same gravity switching abilities as you), waiting for the slightest slip up so he can blast you.

Gravity Guy's control system involves only one thing: tapping on the screen to switch gravity. But you'll need to be careful because the only time you can switch gravity is when you are running on a platform--not while in midair. This means that if you make a mistake, you'll likely get no second chance. Fortunately, unlike other running games, Gravity Guy lets you continue from the last checkpoint, so you'll be able to try complex areas again even if you die several times trying.

Overall, Gravity Guy is a fun diversion, even if it doesn't rank up with the top games of the genre. The unique game mechanic makes for some interesting gameplay, especially at later levels, and you can also play four-player multiplayer, but you all have to play using the iPhone screen--possible, but crowded. Nevertheless, if you like running games and are ready for a unique challenge, check out this game.

What's your favorite iPhone app? Do you have another use for Genius Scan+? What do you think of Gravity Guy? 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.