The app stores are teeming with new releases, but who has time to go through them all? We do. Bringing you a selection of the most interesting, creative, and innovative apps each week. Submit your suggestions for next week in the comments below.
Cyborg Vision – Face Recognition from the Future [iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad]
Yep, now you too can make like Arnie in the Terminator movies, pulling up all sorts of data as you survey your immediate landscape with your keen cyborg assassin eye. You might even want to go out and get yourself a leather biker jacket and sunglasses, then wander around blowing stuff up. Or, you could use it for real-time facial recognition of your friends, displaying all their personal info (sourced from their Facebook profiles, naturally) alongside their image for easy reference/real-time stalking. It’s apps like this that are going to change the world. Or, at the very least, give you a few minutes fun.
Meanwhile for iOS [iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad]
Back in 2001 Jason Shiga wrote and published a comic called Meanwhile about a kid who, on the way back from getting some ice-cream, stumbles upon a mad scientist’s lab. While there, he’s given three choices: try on a mind-reading helmet, check out a time travel machine, or see what Killitron 3000 can do. You, the reader, decide his fate just like in those fantasy role-play books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone back in the ’80s. And now, Meanwhile has been turned into an interactive comic book app, which seems like the most natural evolution ever.
Atari’s Greatest Hits [Android]
This app’s already out on iOS, but why should they hog all the retro fun? No smart phone would be complete without iconic games from three decades ago to help while away the hours. Games like Missile Command, Pong, Battlezone and various others come as four-game packs (or buy them all for $9.99), so you don’t feel like you’re being cheated too much. Best of all, it comes with original cabinet and box art for added geekgasms.
ZX Plectrum [iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad]
To take a quote from the Customer Reviews, “This is how your granny feels listening to war time songs.” This is a niche app, for sure—chiptune music may be a well established musical genre but even the die-hard 8-bit fanatics might find this a nostalgic indulgence that goes a little too far. With it you can play the loading sounds from the ZX Spectrum as a musical instrument. Does that interest anybody? No? Nobody wants to do that? Well, the 0.5% that might, here’s your chance to relive those halcyon moments waiting ages and ages for games to load.
Shoebox by 1000memorie for iPhone [iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad]
Ah, memories. Remember them? Yeah. In an ideal world all memories would appear in your mind looking like an old photo, slightly ragged at the edges, sepia-toned maybe, with everyone wearing those pointy specs that your mother (grandmother?) wore in the ‘60s. Anyway, this free app lets you scan old photos that are stuck in an analogue world unable to roam free in digital space. Using the iPhone’s camera, it scans the photos and then you can crop, add captions, dates, and any other info you want, and they get preserved on 1000memories.com—which is a bit like Instagram but with actual retro photos rather than just pretend ones.