Title: MoPho: Prints and Photo Gifts
Cost: Free (with exclusion to in-app purchases.)
Platform: Requires iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Compatible with iOS 4.3 or later.
In this day and age no one carries around an actual camera anymore, especially when the quality of our phone’s camera is just as good. Today we are all about simplifying things at our fingertips. We like that our smart phones are just that… smart and can handle more than just one function.
Everyone has tons of photos on their phones and especially teens, who constantly take “selfies” and pics of their “bffls.” There are, however, some circumstances where you would like to have an actual print copy of a photo that you love rather than risking it being deleted or lost in the god-forbid, sudden death of your phone. Enter, MoPho. MoPho is so simple and the user experience cannot be clearer. MoPho is an app that lets you print and develop your cell phone’s photo stream right from your phone! This app allows you to choose the photos you wish to print by drawing from your phone’s camera roll, Instagram, and Facebook pictures. (more…)
Title: Graffiti Me!
Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later.
The teens in my library are always looking for fun new ways to take pictures of themselves to share with friends on Facebook. They usually know about any new photography app that comes out right away, but this time I shared this one with them! Graffiti Me! is an innovative photography app that allows you to upload a photo or access the camera function to take a new photo and turn it into graffiti. Once you have your photo uploaded, you may stretch the photo with two fingers to place the photo exactly how you would like it to show. You may zoom in and out at this time, as well. Next, the app will display a bar filled with color swatches that will pop up at the bottom of the screen, where you can customize the background effect of your photo. The effects include a wide range of choices from paint splatter, American flag, checkerboard, and many more. After you have the background set, you can use the “effects” slide bar to minimize or maximize the degree of the effect. (more…)
Title: Angry Birds Space
Platform: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (s), iPod touch, iPad, and Android. Requires i0S 4.0 or later.
The pigs are back to try to outsmart the birds, but this time they meet their fate in…space! Rovio Mobile, the same company that developed all of the previous Angry Birds games, has just unveiled the newest addition to the Angry Birds game family, Angry Birds Space. This game has all of the same excellent and addictive features as its predecessors, plus more. Since launching just last week, the app has already been downloaded over 10 million times! What makes it so cool? Well, the battles between the pigs and the birds take place in space where there are gravitational force fields and the game has new varieties of birds with special abilities, such as the bird who can freeze things by casting an ice shield when launched. This game is really fun and a must for teens who already enjoy the original Angry Birds games. (more…)
Platform: iOS 4.0 or later, Also available in the Android Market.
Launched on January 12th of this year, SoundCloud is not the first sound recording app, but I would argue that it is certainly the most polished. SoundCloud gives users the ability to record sounds, with the choice to then share them publically with friends and followers or keep them private. When you first employ the app, you will be prompted to create a free account by designating yourself a username and password along with the option of adding a photo to your profile. The next step is to choose sounds or people to follow. By searching for people, you can find your favorite music artists and the new sound bites they record. Just like with Twitter, real bands have the “Official” seal of approval on their account so users know that it is, in fact, the actual artist or band behind the account. This is a great way to hear new music that hasn’t even been released yet. Fans can get a sneak peak of what is coming down the pike and musicians have the ability to get their music out before the album is released.
Not only does this app have excellent features for music fans, but it’s also, ideal for aspiring musicians. SoundCloud is the perfect way for budding teen artists to record their sounds and share them with the world. The sharing featuring links to Facebook to help the user locate friends who also use the app as well as to post sound recordings, for others to hear. Within the app there is a tab called “stream,” where you can look at recent activity within your follower community. From there, you can also listen to new sounds complete with timestamps noting when they were originally posted. (more…)
Title: Michael Jackson The Experience
Platform: iPad: requires iOS 4.2 or later
When Michael Jackson The Experience came out for Xbox Kinect every teen in my library wanted to give it a whirl, but some were too shy to shake it in front of their peers. This excellent iPad app is a great alternative for teens who just aren’t comfortable doing their best rendition of “Thriller” in front of an audience. In this format, they can let their fingers do the dancing and save themselves some humiliation, all while taking part jamming out to MJ’s classic hits like “Beat It,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Blood on the Dance Floor, “and much more. Don’t see your favorite song included in the game? No worries, you can download other songs through the in-app purchase function.
The game functions by using your fingers to make a series of swipes across the screen, following the prompts for each impending dance move. When this happens, the Michael Jackson avatar comes to life and performs real Michael Jackson signature moves. Thankfully, the game is not sensitive to how large you make the signs or where on the screen you make them; just as long as you perform the correct “swipe motion,” your move will be properly executed. The animation and game graphics are amazing and will not let you down. (more…)
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Let’s face it, teaching a teenager how to drive is not the easiest thing to do. I can remember my parents alternating turns teaching me how to drive, taking me into empty parking lots to practice braking, parking, and controlled acceleration. I remember noticing that both of my parents drive differently and I would learn one thing from my mom that my dad would neglect to tell me and vice versa. When I finally did get my license, there were some rules to adhere to. I was not supposed to be listening to music, though I know I did, and I wasn’t allowed to have anyone in the passenger seat for at least the first 6 months. Although I’m pretty sure if safeGdriver was around when I was first starting out, this app would be definitely be allowed to ride shotgun with me.
safeGdriver was developed by a software engineer in Webster NY. The main function of this app is to identify gravitational force, which can causes errors like braking too late, harsh swerving, and other errors that an untrained teenage eye may make. This app is like having a parent in the front seat to tell you when you are going too fast, braking abruptly, or turned too quickly. To use, a teen may activate the device and place in a cup-holder or in an iPhone mount. It works any which way you put it, even upside down. As you drive, safeGdriver will send out a variety of audio signals to communicate any errors the driver may make. I know some may be thinking right about now, but Erica, this will encourage teens to fiddle with their phones while driving. I have to say the creator did not fail to address that concern. This app produces absolutely no visual feedback, only audio. So, there is no reason to even look at the phone until after you’ve reached your destination. When you are ready to view your results, safeGdriver provides some graphs highlighting the difficulties the driver had. For a teen, getting visual feedback works wonders, as opposed to a parent telling them they have made mistakes; now there is proof from an unbiased party. (more…)