In this week’s Flash-free app roundup: Default texting and music apps, replaced! Gamepads, obsoleted! Football, flagrantly called soccer! Twitter apps, given an ultimatum! And more…
Textie: Unlimited free text messaging from the guys behind Tweetie and Borange:
Textie texts just about any way you want it to, trading messages through email aliases between Textie clients (free), through phone numbers between Textie clients (free), between Textie and email clients (free), and between Textie and other phone numbers not associated with Textie apps. (Free for you, but possibly not for the other person in the conversation, who may incur regular texting charges.) The only carrier that doesn't play well with Textie is T-Mobile.
Free, or $2 to go ad-free.
SoundHound: The first app I've ever considered to replace my iPhone's default music player. It's great at IDing music through its microphone--it was spawned from Shazam competitor Midomi, after all--but it's pretty good at other stuff, too:
Where SoundHound really betters Midomi and Shazam is in music playback: You can access your entire library, except for podcasts, from the app itself. It effectively mirrors the iPod app on the iPhone and iPad, and adds all kinds of context to whatever you're listening to, from lyrics and artist info to YouTube video and links to the artist's Pandora stations. It's the iPod/iPad music player, except, well, more. And if you close it, playback continues through the default music player, meaning that even if you close SoundHound, the music doesn't stop.
Rhapsody: Rhapsody's all-you-can-eat music streaming service has had an iPhone app for some time now, but it was missing one crucial feature: Offline music caching. In version 2.0, you can download playlists for offline playback to your heart's content.
FIFA World Cup: The prospect of playing a soccer game on the iPhone rightly gives a lot of people a headache. Well generally, FIFA World Cup 2010 bucks the trend. It's playable! If you're into soccer games on consoles, you'll grasp this almost immediately. It's FIFA, too, so all the official team and player names are licensed.
Twitter for iPhone: So, here's the deal. Twitter for iPhone isn't out yet, and we don't even know what it'll look like. We know it will be based on Tweetie 2, which is easily one of the best paid Twitter apps available right now, but we're not sure what Twitter's going to change--except for the price. Twitter for iPhone will be free, so my reason for including it in this week's roundup is to tell you not to pay for another Twitter app, at least for a few weeks while Twitter gets their plans together. Public service!
Siri: Another odd inclusion, since this one's been out a while. Several updates, along with the fact that Apple is planning to acquire this app, means that it's worth a second look. The concept is awesome: Ask Siri for anything, with your voice, and it'll return you what you're looking for, not just in terms of search results, but actual, actionable things, like restaurant bookings or movie tickets. The gap between theory and execution has closed nicely over the last few months, and I'm very curious to see how Apple may or may not integrate this into iPhone OS, or morph it into an in-house app.
Grow Your Own: Not what it sounds like! Or exactly what it sounds like, depending on your level of maturity/penchant for chemical recreation. This is a beginner's guide to planting plants, edible or otherwise, in your garden. It's a bit light on content right now, but I expect it to be filled out in due time.
Ziplist: Grocery list apps are a dime a dozen, but this one's good enough to test for a while. Creates shopping lists from recipes, lets you assign items to particular stores, and syncs over the web. Free.
ePrint: It's been a while since we've highlighted a printing app. Macworld ran some of the more prominent options through their paces, and of the three they tested, ePrint came out on top. It worked fairly well for me--I was able to connect to two of three available printers--and the print results were predictable, which is really the most you can ask. The real reason ePrint wins for me is the availability of a free, lite version. It's barely useful for printing, but it will give you an idea as to whether or not your printing setup will be compatible with the full version, which costs $3. Works on iPad, too.
Last week's apps were just as thrilling!
Villains and heroes, conjured from paper!
Comics, beautifully presented!
Things, climbed, forever! Car crises, mitigated! Calculations, calculated!
Turn-by-turn navigation, set free!