Submissions started rolling in immediately. Some were old favorites. Many were brand new surprises.
Now, Christmas is almost upon us, the weather is going to make last-minute brick-and-mortar shopping hazardous and the iPhone is now officially the most popular mobile device in the country. I know what you’re thinking: The holiday, the weather, and MobileCrunch have just come together to make this a very timely post. Did the Silicon Prairie News guys see this coming? Yes, we did. We also know if you’ve been naughty or nice. At any rate, here’s the list that we compiled:
Get Your Bearings by Smelly. Puppy. of Omaha Get Your Bearings is a simple little game that comes to us by way of Jim Boutcher of Smelly. Puppy. The game presents you with a series of cities. You point your phone in the direction of that city, and your iPhone’s compass and GPS systems determine how good your sense of direction is. Points are awarded based on your accuracy. Sounds like a great game for a long layover in a crowded airport, no?
WxFix Standard & WxFix Lite by Eelios, Inc. & I.COM of Omaha Frequent readers of Silicon Prairie News (and Macworld, no less) are familiar with WxFix. It’s primarily a well-rounded weather app. What makes it different than the other 500 weather apps on the App Store? This one was due to the joint effort of Omaha-based Eelios, Inc. and Hasani Hunter of I.COM. If you’re choosing one, why not make it the one that was developed right here in Omaha? Just because it isn’t produce, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t “buy local.”
Eat Sleep by BitMethod of Des Moines Have a new or expectant parents in your life? You might consider gifting Eat Sleep. It’s a handly little app for tracking a newborn’s eating, sleeping, and diaper habits. Let’s face it: new parents don’t get nearly enough sleep to be able to remember this kind of stuff on their own, so this is a no-brainer of a gift.
BNO News by BitMethod of Des Moines BNO News is a news push-content application which allows you to pick and choose which news alerts you want to receive, while filtering out the ones that you don’t. Very handy for those of us who are awash in media saturation and are ready to cry “Uncle!” if another Tiger Woods story gets in the way of real news.
Lite Weight by BitMethod of Des Moines Many people are concerned about gaining weight during the holiday season. If you’re one of them, then BitMethod has you covered with Lite Weight, which allows users to track their weight with a simple user interface. Just for the record, I wouldn’t recommend gifting this one. It might send the wrong message.
Flight Sites by Sojern and Ninth Division; Rental Car Sites and Hotel Sites by Sojern and David McRae of Omaha Flight Sites condenses popular airline web sites into one app, while Rental Car Sites and Hotel Sites do the same thing for…you get the picture. The three apps are touted as “a great time saver” for leisure, business, and holiday travelers alike. If you know someone traveling during the winter season, all three of these would come in handy. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles would have been a vastly different film if Steve Martin had had an iPhone. John Hughes, FTW!
BigOmaha by Ninth Division of Omaha Remember the Big Omaha 2009 conference? Boy, I sure do. Ah, memories. Right now, we’re only about six months away from the 2010 edition, but you can relive all the fun from last year with the BigOmaha iPhone app. Links are provided to all your favorite speakers’ websites and Twitter feeds. As if there are any of us that aren’t following Gary Vaynerchuk already.
Backdrop by Mulitplexity of Omaha This one is pretty simple. Thanks to Nick Veys of Mulitplexity, you can provide someone with no shortage of iPhone wallpapers. Yeah, it’s free, but who cares? It’s the thought that counts, you ingrate. Never mind. You’re getting coal next year.
Swine Flute and Swine Flute Lean by Propaganda3 of Kansas City Swine Flute comes in two versions: Standard and the “Lean” version for commitment-phobes. (“Lean” instead of “Lite”. Get it? It’s funny because it’s a pork joke. Is this thing on?) Basically, it turns your iPhone into a pig-based musical instrument. Also, it would make a great utility to call upon if you need to summon a quick laugh from a crabby child who refuses to smile for a holiday family picture. Hand it over to aforementioned child at your own risk.
Horrorscope by Propaganda3 of Kansas City Horrorscope provides a darker alternative to other weekly horoscopes. Weekly updates are sent to your iPhone for each astrological sign, warning the user of potential evil that may befall him/her. This may sound like a quirky little app, but hey, every family has a black sheep that needs a gift.
PocketSitCom by Propaganda3 of Kansas City PocketSitCom provides an easy out for anyone with a painfully amateur comedian in the family. Propaganda3 has given the user the ability to queue up a variety of studio-audience responses on demand, allowing them to bask in the warm glow of canned laughter. By the way, if you can’t identify the token jester in your family, I have news for you. It’s probably you.
BATTLE BEARS and BATTLE BEARS Free by SkyVu Pictures of Omaha BattleBears v1.5 is out, featuring new features, new enemies, and new content. I can’t think of anything more fun to do while hunkering down during inclement weather than trying to avoid being “hugged to death.”
StoryBoy by SkyVu Pictures of Omaha Since SPN interviewed SkyVu last summer, they have released a new app in the App Store: StoryBoy, which is most succinctly described as a Kindle for kids. It’s designed specifically to be fun, educational, and safe for ages 1-7. This is the perfect long-car-ride app for those with young ones.
Amanda Palmer by Grataware of Lincoln According to Grataware’s website, Amanda Palmer is a punk cabaret “performer, director, composer and musician.” Naturally, an artist this well-rounded needs a well-rounded app to provide a portal to all that content. Grataware has definitely tied it all together into one package.
Mind Nimmer by Grataware of Lincoln MindNimmer is one of surprisingly few games submitted. It’s a puzzle game in which the player is pitted against the app’s AI which has a character of it’s own. I was obsessed enough with Tetris back in the day, so I’m a little glad that Tetris never talked smack.
FBI Most Wanted by Grataware of Lincoln FBI Most Wanted was the biggest surprise of a submission for me. It provides a hub for a variety of FBI information including Top Ten Fugitives, Most Wanted Terrorists, Missing Children cases, and even grants the ability to contact your nearest FBI office right from your iPhone. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a future version that includes X-file access.
Nebraska Sports, Florida Sports and Texas Sports by Grataware of Lincoln Grataware has also created three flavors of sports apps: Nebraska Sports, Florida Sports, and Texas Sports. Both apps connect users to a myriad of content regarding their favorite college teams from each state. This is great for people like me that follow University of Nebraska Football, UNO Maverick Hockey, and Creighton Basketball. I can get multiple teams’ stats and schedules in one place. No information is provided about what will happen if you install all three apps on the same phone. My guess: trouble.
Pro Gridiron Fan, College Gridiron Fan & Pro Baseline Fan by Reflect7 of Omaha Speaking of sports, Reflect7 has taken the polar-opposite position to Grataware with their “one team-one app” approach. While Grataware’s app is better for my tastes because of my fractured athletic interests, but I would opt for Reflect7’s College Gridiron (Nebraska Fan) for my grandmother if only she had an iPhone. She’s the one tailgating at the bottom of Gate 12 at Memorial Stadium with a Bloody Mary and fresh banana bread before every Husker home football game. Seriously.
The Meeting Nazi by Harish Bharadhwaj of Omaha This one is a office-culture play on Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi” character. It’s sure to undermine the productivity of any corporate gathering. Synergy paradigms will not be leveraged.
Studio Audience by Nick Nisi of Omaha Nick Nisi gives us another canned-laughter app, similar to PocketSitCom by Propaganda3. Try them both out and see which one you like better, or keep them both. After all, the only thing better than fake appreciation is more fake appreciation, right?
HappenOn by Grant Horeji of Lincoln This app gives you the opportunity to scan the area for other users that may or may not have similar interests as you using the power of Bluetooth. You fill out your profile complete with photo, tagline, and your interests, and the app goes to work for you. No awkward ice-breakers necessary!