The downturn in the economy have us all looking to cut corners. I’m spending way too much on my data plan, but am afraid to downgrade from the unlimited option, because, well, we know how much it costs when you go over. You mobile carrier stabs you through the wallet. Basically, I’ll pay a vig of $30 a month just to ensure I don’t end up with a $300 bill randomly one month. I feel like I’m being shaken down. With Data Used, by Mesh Studios, which is now free in the app store, you input your billing date, your plan and it will give you the numbers for how many bites and bits you’ve consumed. The key is dialing *3228# and AT&T will shoot you a text with your billing date, current totals – all that stuff. At this point, I’m using more data than the $15 AT&T Plan, but less than the $25 AT&T sells for 2GB. In essence, I’m paying an extra $60 a year for the extra data I’m not using – but I think that’s worth it for peace of mind. Data Used is currently free – but only for a limited time, so download now.
Platforms: All Leading Smartphone platforms
We all need to be ready for the coming zombie apocalypse. Sure, a stocked emergency kit could help you in any situation – hurricane, east coast earthquake, west coast snowstorm, attendance at a Giants/Dodger’s or 49ers/Raiders game. But the real reasons you need a trash can stocked with potable water, large plastic sheets, contractor bags, canned foods, a crowbar, a machete, shotgun and an ax are zombies. Stop denying it and start readying yourself and your family. There are multiple smartphone games out there that will desensitize you to the violence of protecting yourself from the oncoming horde. In Zombie Juice, the undead race across the screen, trying to get at your bed or break down the fence protecting your house. Slice them with a machete, but watch out for the many dogs that prowl the streets. Hitting them creates berserker zombie dogs that must be stopped at all costs. Like many of the games we review – Zombie Juice is free for a limited time but usually costs $0.99
Platforms: Palm, Android, webOS, iPhone, iPad
What’s a 5-letter homograph for grate? How about an 8-letter word for unmindful that starts with an H? Crosswords and Crosswords Light by Stand Alone, Inc. is a great little crossword app that has puzzles from the New York Times, Boston Globe, The Independent and much more. Clues in this app feature the number of letters in a word so you can narrow down your guesses. It enables you to complete the puzzle in pen or pencil. Hints are free – and if you are wicked smaht you can download additional puzzle packs for the title – these range anywhere in price from $0.99 to $9.99. The light version of this title is free – and the complete version, with hundreds of puzzles is $9.99. This multi-platform word application is available for tons of platforms – Palm OS, Palm Pre, Android, HP’s webOS, even on your Mac.
Platforms: iPhone, Andriod
Want to know if the Eagles have picked up yet another free agent? Dying to know the latest about Brian Wilson‘s elbow? Will you not be able to get through the day without knowing if David Ortiz’ plantar flasciitis has healed enough for him to play tonight? Are the Cubs playing a day or night game? Sure, you can take a safari with a Google search or go to ESPN’s mobile site – all comprehensive sources for all the sports information you could ever need. But getting to the information you want takes many clicks – and sometimes you just want to get the info you want on your favorite team. The five regional Comcast Sports Net mobile apps (New England, Bay Area, Chicago, DC, Philly) serve up content from local writers on your teams – for when you need info now. Thankfully, video isn’t enabled on these apps, so you want get stuck with Felger ruining your phone.
Did you grow up playing Asteroids? In the arcade? On the Atari 2600? Sure, you weren’t Scott Safran, but what’s he doing today anyway? What am I doing? Well, I spend my days searching the AppStore looking for cool games and apps for you! LastStandStan is a riff on Asteroids but with the addition of numerous gaming innovations from over the years. Every five levels there you must defeat a boss. Different levels require you to use your various weapons upgrades to defeat the continuous onslaught of marauding aliens. The final improvement on the old school classic is point and shoot. Just tap on your target to fire your missiles, lasers and more. LastStandStan, developed by GreenBean Games, is available now for free – so click on the icon above and download it now!
Here at App Of Our Eye, our latest obsession Linky Fish™ by IceBreak Games , a light puzzler where you match two of the same fish within a line containing no more than two 90-degree angles. Known by hundreds of millions in Asia as ‘Lian Lian Kan’, this classic puzzle game is now available globally, for both the iPhone and iPod Touch. Completely free of ads, this game provides fast fun with each level lasting no more than 30 seconds if you’re good, 45 if you’re alright, and 60 if you play like my mom. Sorry, mom! In Single Player, depending on how well you play, you get gold stars – that’s right, gold stars like in elementary school! As silly as it may sound, the gold stars work as you always ending up wanting the most gold stars (tops out at three per level) and even if that’s not enough, you get to see your time for each, which makes you obsessive. An old school feature to bring a little relay value that ends up being a necessity with only eight levels. But, have no fear as the game offers a bit more. An online Multiplayer mode is available for peeps who believe the value of their gold stars in Single Player.
Do you know what’s scarier than a thin, scrawny disheveled, pasty little girl whose face is hidden by her hair and comes at you like Boris Karloff in the original 1932 Universal release of The Mummy? It has to be the panic caused by the emergency closing of the Bay Bridge. There I was Wednesday night making pretty good time from the East Bay to San Francisco until I hit the MacArthur Maze. Suddenly, everything was black at the entrance of the span with cones and cops strewn all over the place. The only things illuminating the bridge itself were the lights outlining its frame and the brake lights of the last hundred cars trying to get over to The City. 2 hours later, as I finally reached the driveway to my house, all I could think about is the horrific experience of stop-and-go traffic with impatient, overaggressive drivers edging through lane after lane, who thought they were making progress. Surprisingly enough, from this experience, it seems the baton for jackass drivers, outside of delivery truck and taxi cab drivers, has passed from BMW to Toyota Prius owners. I guess it’s not too much of a stretch after all: the majority of both groups are self-righteous, condescending buttheads anyway. Yet, I survived it all and was able to tell my tale here because honestly, I was able to play Bendroid’s Mystique. Chapter 1: Foetus for a good portion of my commute. A 1st person horror-survival game reminiscent of Silent Hill, this nightmarishly atmospheric and moody game focuses on you waking up in a bathroom (sound familiar?) and not knowing why or how you got there. Blood stained walls lead you to escaping out into other areas to put the pieces of the puzzle together. But you have to be careful as a sinister environment can only lead to potentially disasterous conclusions. Plus, there is a thin, scrawny disheveled, pasty little girl whose face is hidden by her hair and comes at you like The Mummy. But unlike me, you won’t have the side effects of a massive traffic jam to hide behind. Highly recommended. Play the sequel for more. Price: Free.
Are you looking to spice up your library of word games? Yes, I said ‘WORD GAMES!’ Millions of people cannot be wrong, right? If I hazard to guess, there are probably more people playing crossword puzzles, word search, Jumble-type, and Scrabble-like games around the world than World of Warcraft and any combination of the current Top 10 video games regardless of platform… Is that sweat on my brow? I must be feeling the heat of Tetris, but I still stand my ground. Do I have evidence? C’mon, I run a self-funded indie website with friends. Yet, deep down inside, you know I speak the truth. So let me throw some more knowledge at you: Yes, you can spice up your word game library with this little gem from Phonagle, outWord. In this game, your location determines how close or far you are from letters that you can use to create words. Play against other users in your vicinity who can also pick up desired tiles. So you must be quick when obtaining desirable letters as you never know who lurks. On top of that, using red letters and creating long words helps you score big to outdistance your previous high scores or those of others. Overall, a fun original game born out of an excellent concept and well executed. Highly recommended. Price: Free.
Whether it’s eating pan fried milkfish at home, sauteed white fish in Choo Chee Curry at Zabb Cuisine (Thai), or even grilled salmon at Riva’s Fish House, my family loves to eat fish. Obviously, in this day and age, we consume fish in moderation because of recent toxicology reports where mercury levels in fish have risen almost exponentially. Plus, we’re conscientious on what kind of fish we do eat because of overfishing and how it has harmed the environment, which has led us to buy products like albacore tuna because of it’s sustainable fisheries. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a conservationist or an environmentalist, but considering we do love eating fish, we just want to make sure they’re still around in the future. A good way to have an impact is using the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Guide, which is an application that helps you make sustainable seafood choices at your favorite restaurants or local market. Using it’s Seafood Watch Program information, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s trusted recommendations are provided to you in a quick and easy regional guide outlining the best seafood in each area of the country. Updated regularly, a huge plus for sushi lovers is the Sushi Guide, which not only gives you the best choices of seafood to eat, but also lists fish by Japanese name along with it’s common name. Highly recommended. Price: Free.
In honor of the NBA season starting in a couple of weeks, I’m gonna take a short break from Games and talk about Great Big Apps’ free informational Lifestyle app, Nice Kicks, which gives readers updates on sneaker previews, reviews, and stories from avid fans. Pulling from their website, not only to get info on your fave kicks, but also new releases with hands-on details, which may entice you to go on your own adventure in search of high quality and/or limited availability product. Furthermore, see photos of soon-to-be-released shoes as well as specific details as they become available. But most entertaining are the stories you’ll read of people just like us and their experiences looking for specific kicks. Covering most of the major brands, such as Air Jordan, Nike, adidas, New Balance, Puma, Converse (now owned by Nike), Reebok, Supra and Vans, Nice Kicks is an exhaustive resource for consumer information, which should help you make a more conscientious purchase in the future, especially given the economy and the likelihood that manufacturers are tighening up their lineups and production runs. While it is a bit heavy on the Nike side of things, the app is nevertheless presented with crisp, clean graphics and content, all for free. Overall, very handy and informative. Price: Free.