Roundup: The Best iPhone Apps of the Week

Our weekly roundup of the best free and paid applications available for the iPhone and the iPod touch.

Guitar Toolkit

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We first decided to check out Guitar Toolkit ($9.99, available here) because we recently bought an acoustic guitar and we needed a way to tune it. The tuner that comes with Apple's GarageBand was having trouble hearing our notes, even with a reliable microphone, so we turned to the iTunes Store for help. Guitar Toolkit's digital tuner makes quick work of adjustments: it heard our notes perfectly and had us strumming in tune in under a minute.

There's much more to Guitar Toolkit, however, While there are several guitar tuners available from iTunes, none of the others offers the range of useful information you'll find here. The app offers an easy-to-navigate chord library that shows us just where to hold our fingers for over 1,500 chords.

It also has includes a metronome that supports time signatures (by providing a different sound for the downbeat of each measure) and offers a flash interface if you'd prefer quiet help. While we've been using it with a standard six-string guitar, the app can also be set to tune 12-string guitars and 4- and 5-string basses.

It's not just a tuner, but a powerful guitar resource and it's handy for this beginning player (or guitar gods of any level) to have on hand.

Ziibii

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With its unusual method of delivering content, Ziibii (available here) isn't for everyone, but many will find it interesting enough to take a look. The app lets you subscribe to RSS feeds, Flickr keywords, Twitter accounts, and more, then watch updated content scroll across the screen in what's called "the river."

If the scrolling view is too odd for you, Ziibii also offers a list view of new content. You can tap any item to view a longer entry, or tap a tap a red button to the right of it to replace it with a new entry. It adds a random flavor to your browsing: you can stock it with your online favorites, but you still don't know what you'll get.

We're not going to say this is the greatest Twitter client in the world or that it's even the most useful way to get updated information, but it presents an appealing random interface that we're really digging. When so much on the Net is structured and organized, it's fun to be surprised once in a while.

iAmbigrams

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So darn cool! iAmbigrams ($2.99, available here) lets you create your own word designs which can be read right-side-up and upside-down. Input two different words and in only seconds the app makes a savable ambigram that combines the two. We also like inputting the same word twice to create a symmetrical design. The company offers a lite version (available here) capable of making just two ambigrams, if you want to try it out. Make one with your first and last names and you'll be amazed and how impressive the results are.

Pocket Express

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Pocket Express (available here)provides one-touch access to customized news, sports, weather, travel, movies, and more. Get news from the Associated Press, scores for NFL, MLB, and NHL teams, and either current, 48-hour, or 7-day weather forecasts. You can also view local movie schedules and flight status times. The cherry on top is the daily horoscope. It's a central location for everything you need to start your day.

pocketexpresssiphoneb.gifPocket Express (available here)provides one-touch access to customized news, sports, weather, travel, movies, and more. Get news from the Associated Press, scores for NFL, MLB, and NHL teams, and either current, 48-hour, or 7-day weather forecasts. You can also view local movie schedules and flight status times. The cherry on top is the daily horoscope. It's a central location for everything you need to start your day.

The Presidents' Music

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Download The Presidents' Music ($2.99, available here) and you'll get streaming access to four albums by The Presidents of the United States of America, the band known for the songs "Peaches," "Lump," and "Kitty." Collectors will enjoy listening to FroggyStyle, the band's previously unavailable 10-song demo album. The app also delivers rare demos, live tracks, and other unusual finds. This is a new way for bands to communicate with their listeners and we hope many other musicians follow suit.

Relax Alarm Clock Lite

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Tired of walking up to the jarring sounds of a traditional alarm? Wouldn't you rather be roused by something a little more pleasant? Relax Alarm Clock Lite (available here) combines an easy-to-read digital clock display with 10 natural sounds, including bamboo flute, forest rain, and wind in the trees. You can also use the app to fall asleep gently, by selecting a sound and setting the built-in timer.

Lucky at Your Service

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Brought to you by Lucky Magazine, Lucky at Your Service (available here) is a digital shoe shopping concierge. Use it to browse dozens of the latest shoe fashions from the magazine, find nearby stores that carry them, and check to see if your size and color is in stock. The app even lets you zoom in on pictures to study the details.

Shooter - The Official Movie Game

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Joining the "I can't believe this is a cell phone game" club is Shooter ($.99, available here), a stunning first-person shooter. As gunnery sergeant Bob Lee Swagger, you need to clear your name after being accused of an assassination attempt on the president. The game offers 30 levels that require a steady shooting hand to succeed. Earn medals by completing dangerous missions and choose from a large assortment of weapons. This game offers many hours of gameplay for a super low price.

Keeper

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Available for a short time at this introductory price ($.99, available here), Keeper is a safe for your personal data. Use it to store all of your passwords, notes, log-ins, credit card info, and more. Your data is protected with 128-bit AES encryption. We love the self-destruct mode, which erases your data if an intruder inputs an incorrect password five times.

AmbiSounds

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Rush to grab a copy of this sound app (available here), which is only free until February 27. It offers a large collection of ambient tracks which can help you relax, fall asleep, or even work better by blocking out distracting sounds. Unlike other sound apps, AmbiSounds lets you layer sounds to get exactly the environment you want. It also offers a favorites list, so you can quickly get to your top sounds.

Click here to see the next page for the previous week's selection of hot iPhone apps.

TAGS:

iPhone, Apple, ipod touch, iTunes, app stores

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