Although we’re in the middle of Summer, it isn’t too early to think about school. Okay, maybe it is for some of you youngsters, but as a first-time dad, I wish I had some of the luxuries that students have now: cellphones, netbooks, photo printers, and of course, the iPhone/iPod Touch. Just knowing how much can change from now to when my son enters college (Class of 2025! Holla!) has me envious. Even something as simple as iStudiez Pro would have made a world of difference in my productivity and overall academic performance. You see, I’m the type of student that needs to be organized. Otherwise, I procrastinate by cleaning this or straightening out that. If I had this app from the one-two punch of Andriy Kachalo and Michael Balashoff, I’d be coasting since I’d know what my schedule is, what assignments are due and when, and since there is an integrated address book, I can make that emergency call to a classmate to take notes for me as I’m at the bargain matinee showing of The Hangover. Man, I really miss school in more ways than one! With an awesome interface, you’ll be able to see that this app was made for students by students. Editor’s Tip: Make sure you’re taking full advantage of this app by first checking it out with sample data and start editing from there. Price: $2.99.
Generally, the end of June each year marks the celebration of Gay Pride throughout the world. Obviously, San Francisco is no exception and with some of our staff connected to the LGBT community as members or through family and friends, we wanted to commemorate that fact in some small way as a show of support. Therefore, we’re going against our own website’s mission statement, i.e. not recommending apps already in the App Store’s Top 50 in any category, and recommending EDGE Gay News Reader (#28 in Top Free Apps under News), which we believe is the best iPhone/iPod Touch app out there for the LGBT community. While its title may solicit yawns, the app is exceptionally well made providing easy navigation not only to News, but also to Entertainment, Style, Business, Health/Fitness, Technology, Travel, and Nightlife content. Plus, get access to critically acclaimed columnists and bloggers, such as David Toussaint, as well as photos from major events important to the LGBT community. All items can be shared with friends and family through e-mail and Facebook. Definitely a must-have, especially if you want to keep up with current events during one of the most important times for the LGBT community: same-sex marriage and gays in the military. Price: Free.
Whenever the subject of CPR comes up, I can’t help but remember Bruce McCulloch’s line from a Kids in the Hall skit where he plays a paramedic: “No, uh, I don’t think so… Wes is new here and I’m two out of five with the Heimlich Maneuver. Don’t worry, we’ll get him to a doctor!” As much as it makes me laugh, the line contains a fundamental truth when it comes to the Heimlich Maneuver or CPR in general: you’d rather pass the buck to someone else. Well, now, whether you’re a newbie, who wants an intro, or an expert, who needs a refresher, CPR•Choking will prove extremely useful to anyone regardless of education or experience. While not a replacement for a complete CPR class, gain confidence by learning the fundamentals of CPR, especially how to aide a choking victim. All instruction is presented in short, but clear videos of less than a minute each and additionally shows how to help children and babies. Price: Free.
Are you afraid your son or daughter just isn’t putting in the time to excel in his or her US geography class? Are you afraid you’re about to raise the next Mister or Miss South Carolina? PopGeo USA Geography is a fun little app that’s basically an interactive test on US states and their capitals. The gameplay is simple: floating on a map of the US are labels with the names of four states, state capitals, cities or national parks. Just drag and drop the labels to its correct map location and wait for the ‘oh so satisfying’ jingle of coins if you’re correct. For the price, it might be the little nudge to inspire your unmotivated student. Price: 99¢.
It’s amazing how I have a History minor, but don’t know a damn thing about U.S. history outside of an African American Experience course, which was awesome by the way. Ask me about the Magna Carta? Nothing. The Federalist Papers? Nada. The Declaration of Independence? I know I have a right to kick ass, which I fulfill by my wife forcing me to watch American Idol, blogging, and eating Popeye’s Chicken. Ugh. To improve my understanding, I downloaded U.S. Historical Documents, which has over 150 docs that have formed the basis of our country’s past, present and future. A good read for all. Price: 99¢.
I’m a newbie dad always thinking about my toddler son’s future. Remembering how hard it was to fulfill the secondary language requirement for college, I recently learned that sign language is a viable substitute for a majority of schools. As my son is now beginning to communicate with both words and gestures, Signing Time ASL – Sign Language fits perfectly for the present and the future. The interface is easy to understand and the production value is high, especially the videos. Plus, the fun, catchy songs are a nice respite between lessons and makes learning infectious. Worth it. Price: $4.99.
Explore Fractals with your finger tips. You can pan, zoom, set colors, etc. If you find an image you like, you can save it and post it to the FractoScope web page with a touch of a button. Images from other FractoScope users are ranked by number of times they are clicked. It is amazing how much time you can waste exploring the fractal. The variety of images you can make are endless. Very intuitive. Price: 99¢.