Platforms: iPhone, Android, Blackberry
Did the shake up of WEEI’s afternoon roster take you by surprise? Do you feel you should have savored you last few moments with Dale Arnold, but were travelling too much, had a work IT admin that frowns on excessive streaming? Now, you have a way to stay connected to what was once the highest rated sports talk radio station in the entire US, and thus, the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins. You could probably follow the New England Revolution too – but really, who cares about MLS. In addition to near constant streaming of the greatest sports teams in the country, you can also read columns and blog posts penned by WEEI’s ever growing collection of The Hub’s greatest sportswriters. The app also has a significant video library should you need even more entertainment. This free iPhone app is perfect for those who cannot get enough coverage as all your teams march towards yet another championship season.
An original and entertaining take on the Magic 8-Ball novelty toy starring a rude, yet lovable panda reminiscent of probably San-X‘s most popular character, Tare Panda. Spangu’s The Bad Panda is a very lazy panda, whose always laying down like Jabba The Hut barely moving and primarily sleeping until you ask a question and shake the iPhone to get his attention, which often produces a short and curt response. Although you have to structure questions for yes or no responses, The Bad Panda’s responses definitely put a smile on your face. In the context of the subtle environment, his quick dismissive motions and gestures provide a contrast between the serenity of solitude vs. the disarray caused by the constant interruption of others… Uh, yeah… There is definitely a philosophical point to be made here if you take some time to deconstruct it. Yet, in its purest form, it is a nice little respite from a busy day, especially if you share it with friends, family, and colleagues. Price: 99¢.
Growing up, the younger of my two older sisters had a big influence on me. As we were only 8 years apart, we had our ups and downs fighting as siblings do, especially since she was the baby of the family until I came along. In between getting on each other’s nerves, we did have our peaceful moments, which strangely enough came to us in the most tense of times: watching scary movies. While my sis would watch any scary movie imaginable, I believed she was quite the connoisseur knowing the difference between camp versus a real thrill fest. After all, we had Bob Wilkins (R.I.P.) and John Stanley to thank for Creature Features on KTVU as we were growing up. So, we were battle hardened so to speak as the 80′s came and went producing some of the finest (Poltergeist and The Thing) and worst (Silver Bullet anyone?) flicks in the genre. Yet, through it all, we both knew the best way to scare someone is by telling them a scary story in the dark, especially at night, with just a flashlight or a candle providing the only source of light. With Halloween fast approaching, I’m reminded of my sister once again through an application like Ghost Stories From Around The World by Joe Kwon, Inc., which takes user submissions of supposedly true accounts and adds them to an easy to navigate archive. It’s pretty ingenious really: new content provided by users just like you and me that is used to populate an entire paid application. But the real winners here are the users themselves, who now have a creative outlet to make good scary stories just in time for Halloween. A well-made app with the promise of new content daily, I wish my sister was alive to enjoy it with me… But I’m sure she already has in spirit. Rest in peace, sis! Price: $1.99.
Whether it was in the 80′s with Ms. Pac-Man or in the early 90′s with Chun-Li, we often wondered with much curiosity about those sexy female characters in video games. Like our fathers before us with Betty Rubble and Betty Boop, we had our own struggles with the “Bettys” of our time. But it all changed in 1996 when Tomb Raider was released. This time, the object of our lusty affections was in 3D and Lara Croft had sophistication both in visuals and characterization beyond her 2D counterparts. Since then, we’ve been innundated with an overabundance of pixel-popping vixens, who often bordered on the pornographic, i.e. Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive, and the notorious Rumble Roses. To recapture the magic of our “first time”, we recommend Tickle Me Pink, a virtual girlfriend app created by Burt Sloan. Try rubbing your girlfriend’s tummy to make her laugh, touch her head to entice a kiss, and tap her feet to get her to dance. Stay on her good side and you will feel good too. However, get naughty and you’ll both be in a foul mood. With an excellent selection of seemingly familiar songs, extras to keep you engaged, and great graphics, it’s a cool, entertaining experience, which you can easily get lost in. Price: $1.99.
An oldie but a goodie, Koi Pond is a great app for the money because of all the additional enhancements created by the developer since it’s release, which really shows how much they care about their product and it’s loyal fans. The app itself is exactly what the name suggests: you have a virtual pond in the palm of your hand with random koi swimming into and out of view. The quaint mix of natural sounds, whether it be of light splashing or ambient rain effects, and sharp detailed graphics (check out the ripples in the water and the detail of the rocks underneath them) will help melt any built-up stress. Plus, with the added bonus of user interaction with the koi, the pond, and movable objects like the lily pads, experiment to your heart’s content to vary your Zen-like experience. Already a winner to many iPhone and iPod Touch users, this app is unforgettable, especially in times like these when a creative distraction can bring us a little peace of mind. Price: 99¢.
Unlike the current brand (and I do mean ’brand’) of teenagers, back in our day, we had lava lamps to go with our vinyl records, video tapes, and magazines printed on actual paper touting the next great rock band. Krokus anyone? Now, when you see a lava lamp, it’s usually in some indie film for its cachet or a comedy for a cheap laugh. Cue Kurtz’s last words here. Lucky for us, Chaotic Box has given us something of a reprieve with Flux (Liquid Fire), an app that solicits similar stimuli as a lava lamp by touching the screen to see colors emerge. Guide your fingers on it and get the same sensation as a Zen Sand Garden. Change colors by shaking your iPhone if the mood strikes. A solid overall stress reliever. Price: Free.
I used to collect comic books. You have no idea how hard that is to say, but it’s true. I just can’t hang around the local comic shop every week anymore. So now, I just buy complications in trade paperback. But even that tends to be problematic since I’ve gotten into more indie comics, which have less reliable ship dates than Marvel and DC Comics. So it’s been a blessing to find this app, comiXology, that provides a list of new releases in detail with covers, previews, and news. Also, create ‘pull’ lists, filter down to desirable publishers, and have access to a weekly podcast. A must-have for comic book fans. Price: $1.99.