Byte The App: Must See Apps Of The Week 4/14
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.
If you’re a novice mixer looking to head onto the path of DJ superstardom, but find it all a bit confusing, or if your grandma has an iPad and she really wants to rip it up on the wheels of steel, but the virtual version leaves her lost and confused—well, this could be the app for you. Shapemix translates the task of mixing one song into another with accompanying visual patterns, utilizing the multi-touch screen of the iPad. Tracks are displayed as colored circles—move them up or down for volume, and left and right to control the panning of the sound. It comes with preloaded tracks so your grandma can start mixing straight away.
Atari’s Greatest Hits [iPhone, iPod touch, iPad]
It’s time, once again, to put on those nostalgia-tinged glasses and take a trip down video game memory lane. Presented in this app are classic Atari 2600 and arcade games, along with the art from the boxes and cabinets, which is equally important. With 100 retro games, this free app is worth the download, even if you’re playing joystick and button games on a touchscreen, which can be a little annoying as anyone who’s played the Capcom app will attest. Still, where else can you play all these old school classics on the move?
With this app you get to see real-time wireframe outlines of what your smartphone camera sees. And not only does it look awesome like the vision of Predator crossed with Neo set in the Tron universe, but you can record and play back videos as well, exporting them to be viewed in Chrome, Firefox, or VLC media player. The colors are adjustable too, in which will no doubt become a photographic addiction. If something looks cool, it’ll only look ten times cooler in wireframe.
This app from Jeremy Awon allows you to grow colors like bacteria in a Petri dish, cultivating the patterns like a scientist in a lab, exploring the color spectrum of your iDevice. It’s effectively a Processing sketch pad, where you start the process by tapping the touchscreen anywhere and then “each perimeter pixel copies itself outward, with mutating color”, creating a painterly watercolor effect as it seeps across the screen.
CO2GO [iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android]
In these ecologically prescient times, we all need to watch the toxic pattern of our carbon footprints. But, without getting all preachy, other than recycling your household waste how much of an effort do we really make? One reason to not be completely on top of is because it’s difficult to calculate just how large those footprints are. Well now in development, from SenseableCityLab at MIT, is an app that will use sophisticated algorithms to calculate your carbon emissions in real-time as you go about your day. It uses the various components found in most smartphones—GPS, compass, microphone, etc—to detect your mode of transportation (walking, car, bus) while also tracking the distance you’ve covered. You can then share alternative low-carbon routes while also learning how many calories you’ve burned, and it even treads into gamification territory, allowing users to challenge each other to real-world games. It’s due out the end of this year.