Posted: 08 Dec 2011 10:57 PM PST
The AppStorm team have been hard at work again. Here is a huge bunch of great free apps and web services they covered.
52 Superb Free Icon Sets For Mac
If you own a Mac, you probably know that the software on these machines is often stunningly well designed, and in particular Mac icons are renowned for being gorgeous, or even 'lickable' to borrow the words of Jobs.
These beautiful icons are made not only by Apple designers, but by designers from around the world, and due to the ease of replacing icons, your Mac experience can be very customizable. Icons don't have to be for replacing current App icons, they are used everywhere in design to get the best user experience and we hope you enjoy this collection and that you find many ways to express yourself with these wicked icons.
Quick Look: Programr
In this Quick Look, we're highlighting Programr. The developer describes Programr as an app that lets you master programming in any language, right in your browser. It's the world's free social lab for programming students and teachers. At Programr you can code, compile & run your programs right in the browser and share them with the world. Other users can then study, discuss, vote and even enhance your app further. Programr also offer courses and certifications to IT students.
Quick Look: Wishbox
In this Quick Look, we're highlighting Wishbox. The developer describes Wishbox as a new kind of feedback tool for web sites. Your web site visitors can click on a "Feedback" button on the side of the page, and that pops up a screenshot of your web site with a drawing tool. Your visitors can draw arrows, add text and do many other fun things on the screenshot, then send it back to you.
Markdown + Dropbox = Dead Simple Blogging With Calepin
Blogs are supposed to be about writing. Real, authentic, personal, heartfelt writing. The very word blog comes from the words web and log, a log of your thoughts on the web. But by and large, blogs have gotten complicated. 15 million widgets, word clouds, flashing ads, and more drive most people to just use social networks and forget the mess and confusion of blogging.
If installing WordPress on your hosting account or tweaking a Tumblr account to your liking sounds like more trouble than it's worth just to publish your thoughts on the web, then get ready for a breath of fresh air. How about just saving plain text files with Markdown formatting to a folder in Dropbox, and having them published directly online? That's what Calepin offers.
Track Your Personal Goals with RoutineTap
As incredible as it may seem, this year is almost over. Many of use made New Year's commitments last year, only to forget them on January 2nd. It's so easy to pick up bad habits, but incredibly hard to discipline ourselves to do what's good for us. If we'd make our New Year's goal to, say, drink more coffee this year, it'd be easy to do, but if we decide to cut out coffee this year, we'd likely give up.
Sometimes, though, what you need is a proverbial kick to keep you going. Joining a fitness club might get you to exercise better than just saying you'll run 5k a day on your own. You can't get others to motivate you to do everything, though, so you'll need to find better ways to keep yourself going on with your lofty personal goals.
Letterboxd: Your Life in Film
Hollywood churns out so many movies every year. Even for an ardent movie buff, it is tough to stay on top all hot releases, let alone good ones. If you a are a casual moviegoer, then it is doubly tough to know which movie is watchable and worth making the trip to a theatre or paying up for on an on-demand service.
For years, IMDB has been the primary source of movie related information and they do have a great database. Except for a few changes to the homepage, though, the website remains its same old clunky self. Letterboxd is a new web app that's focused on helping movie fans find and recommend movies socially. It does so with a modern UI that puts movies front and center.
Stamped: Social Networking With a Twist
The other day, I decided that I was lacking a bit in the social networking department, so I started investigating the various options that I had on the table to see what I could get involved in. I was covered on Facebook, Twitter, With, Path, Tumblr, Foursquare, Instagram and a few others, and then I realized that there were still a ton of other options out there if I wanted them. It was dizzying.
So the last thing I wanted was to sign up for another social network, but then out came Stamped with a lot of hype following it. Seemed like everyone was talking about it, so I decided to give it a try for a few days and see what all the buzz was all about. Is Stamped worth the hype? Let's talk it out after the jump.
Find Your Next Favorite Restaurant With Ness
How many times have you found yourself in the position in which you're hungry, but you're not sure where to go. Sure, you could hit up one of your go-to spots (that would Chipotle for me), but perhaps you want to do something a bit different. There are a handful of apps on the App Store that can help you in this scenario.
Arguably the most popular app to help find nearby eateries is Yelp, which does a great job of searching for restaurants and providing a list of user reviews. However, I'm often cautious about reviews of restaurants, unless I know the source of the review really well. Instead, I'm more more apt to trust a service that recommends something based on my personal tastes, which is exactly what Ness brings to the table.
Fitbit: an Excellent Tool for Getting In Shape
There have been plenty of games reviewed over here on AppStorm, so there are plenty of ways for you to kick back and relax. What I'd like to look at today is a way for you to get active and in shape, with the Fitbit app for iPhone. Fitbit is a relatively mature utility in the fitness space but their iPhone app is brand new.
Is this service going to help you get in shape, or is it a slouch? In my experience, it may just have the tools that you need to get up and running.
Organize All Your Receipts With Lemon
If only there were a way to save all your receipts from getting washed, lost in your car or buried in the stacks of paper claiming most of the real estate on your desk — in a single, easily accessible place, right?
With the Lemon app — designed to complement the services of Lemon.com — you can scan all your receipts with your iPhone and store all their details online. Keep track of your spending, create expense reports and more. Want to see how it works? Hit the jump and I'll show you.
Gowalla: Finding and Sharing Stories
One question that anyone using a check-in app has is "What are they doing with this data?" For as long as we've been busy checking in and sharing who we're with, people have been thinking about how this data could be leveraged for something more useful than a virtual badge or title.
Gowalla attempts to answer this question. Previously an app that focused on the check-in, Gowalla is now using this information to generate travel guides for hot places all across the world. In this grand pivot, has Gowalla become something profoundly useful or lost some users?
Quick Look: Song Mix
In this Quick Look, we're highlighting Song Mix. The developer describes Song Mix as a cool interactive music trivia game and a great music discovery tool. It's a great way to fill your dead moments. Whenever you're stuck in traffic or having that meaningful conversation with your significant other, you now can just zone out and recycle your playlist. Try and guess as many songs as possible and show your music skills to your friends by reaching the top of the leaderboards.
Shoebox: Digitize Your Analog Photos
You just found a shoebox full of vintage photographs in your Aunt's attic and she has no scanner (or computer for that matter) to speak of. They are amazing photos showing your mom and her sister in the heyday of yesteryear and are just too good not to share during after dinner cocktails during the upcoming holidays. With Shoebox, a new photo scanning and sharing app from 1000memories, you don't have a problem. Simply "scan," or take a photo of the photograph or document, add a few key bits of information and share. Sharing the photo later will be much easier than trying to describe your mom's sky-high afro and ahem, stylish attire around the dinner table.
Hipster: Send a Postcard
There are many ways to share where you are: a phone call, a text message, a Facebook check-in, Foursquare … each of these are available directly from that phone in your pocket, and it's easy to forget their origins.
One of the oldest ways of sharing where you are (or where you've been) is by sending a postcard. These simple cards were nothing more than a picture and whatever you could scribble on the back without completely obscuring the address, and for years they worked just fine.
Postcards have been largely forgotten, and Hipster aims to bring the oldest form of rubbing in the fact that you're in a cooler place than the recipient into the modern age.
Flipboard for the iPhone: A Beautiful Transition
I bought an iPad on release day, and since then I've seen my parents follow suit and get an iPad and an iPad 2 in the following years. Although I use my iPad every day, it's not for writing, drawing or creating, it's basically an e-reader. And my main app for that is Flipboard.
Had you asked me months ago if Flipboard would work on the iPhone, I would've told you that it was a stupid idea. Flipboard is so effective on the iPad because of the added real estate; it lets the app breathe, and the stories come to life. There's no way it would work on the iPhone. No way.
Boy was I wrong.
Hitpad: A Quick and Easy Way to Stay Current
There are so many ways to consume news if you happen to own an iPad. From a very capable standards compliant browser to feed readers, native apps straight from news outlets, RSS readers, among a bunch of other options. One vertical among them that has gotten the attention of indie developers and large media powerhouses are newsreaders that offer a mashup of content.
It's a fun way to read articles on a snazzy newsreader. Most of them are iPad only and more of them come knocking ever so often. I personally have reviewed a couple of cool ones for our readers. The recent one that got my attention was Hitpad. Like its umpteen competitors, Hitpad also strives to present news in a compelling manner – could it persuade you to ditch Flipboard or another similar app. Is it really that compelling?
Bored of Email? Send a Postcard With Touchnote
Sometimes sending an email just feels so impersonal…
Sending your friend, or loved one, a postcard is a much nicer way of expressing your [insert emotion] than merely emailing them a link to an hilarious Onion article. This is where Touchnote comes in.
With the release of Cards, Apple has made it clear that they a least see a market in this sphere, even if they aren't going to pursue it fervently in the future. One small issue, however, is that it's not available for the iPad! Not to fear, Touchnote provides you with an iPad friendly alternative, but is the extra love you'll receive in response to your physical postcard worth it?
Stuck on Earth: A New Kind of Map for Photographers
There are many ways to explore the world. Some folks prefer to go by plane, while others would rather to take cruises or stowaway on ships. These are usually the desired means of transportation for if you wish to travel across the pond, so to speak.
On the other hand, if you want to visit majestic places in your own homeland, you'll usually take a plane, car, bus, or train to get there. The one element of the travel equation that's missing is the map. All explorers carry a map with them, but things have changed a lot since the days of paper and compasses. In this day and age explorers prefer to take along a smartphone that has all of the tools they'll need. The only problem with this solution is the device's small screen, which poses a limitation if you're looking to use it as a replacement for your map. This is where the new iPad app Stuck on Earth enters the scene.
Stuck in Earth is a free app invented by the renowned HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff. The app's name is modeled on his photography blog, Stuck in Customs. Ratcliff designed the app to help photographers and explorers find the prime spot to take a photo while on their travels. It works like a traditional map, except with community involvement and photo sharing that spreads the word if there's a great spot somewhere near where you'll be traveling. If you love to explore the great abyss and take photos while doing so, then read on to discover an app that will assist you with your endeavors.
LBE Privacy Guard: How Safe Is Your Private Data?
Android has an excellent array of security apps to protect you against threats of malware and viruses. But in my opinion, privacy issues are a far greater concern.
What permissions and elements of my phone are newly installed apps using? How safe is the private data I store on my phone? This was a gap in my knowledge that I wanted to fill – and LBE Privacy is a great tool for this job.
The app protects my privacy, and safeguards services that could cost me money if the wrong apps gained control of them. It does all this with a beautiful and intuitive interface.
Manage Your Phone Wirelessly With AirDroid
Sometimes an app comes along that changes how you use your phone. AirDroid is one of them.
Once installed you can say goodbye to searching for your USB cable, typing out messages on your phone's tiny keyboard and dedicating a USB slot to your phone. This app really is revolutionary.
Track Your Movies and TV Shows With Trakt Apps on Android
Over the last couple of years, the concept of tracking personal collections – be it books, movies, music, TV shows, venues you visit, recipes, or really anything else – has been more popularized by smartphones, thanks to them letting you carry a digital archive of your prized possessions, search through it quickly when asked about a specific item, and show it to your friends.
One good example of managing collections for movies and TV shows is Trakt, a web service. This already supports a full API allowing several developers to work on apps for our beloved Android phones.
Any.DO Helps You Make Things Happen
Any.DO is a simple app that helps you easily capture and organize everything you need to. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles you may find in other similar apps for managing tasks, lists, and to-dos – but this simplicity is definitely one of its strengths.
Not only is the Any.DO interface clean and pleasing to look at, but it has a few features tucked away that make it a breeze to use.
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