The Week In IPhone Apps: Augmented Everything

The Week In IPhone Apps: Augmented Everything

In a very special late night edition of your weekly iPhone apptacular: Apps that make things that are already good—FM radio, video games, shopping, spouses, the city you live in—a little bit better.

Priceless Picks: Don’t let the advertising-crap-app appearance of Priceless Picks turn you off—this free download, branded all over with Mastercard, is great. It combines loads of data collected from a number of sources, including user submissions and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk army, to give wide-ranging recommendations for things to do, eat, drink or experience wherever you happen to be. There are other apps that do similar things, yes, but the dataset on this one already seems strong, the scope—not just restaurants, not just a particular company’s establishments—is healthy, and the 3D map presentation is fantastically cool, and surprisingly smooth.

Griffin iFM Radio Browser: A lot of people will download this assuming it’s a streaming radio app—it’s something else entirely, and actually quite exciting: iFM polls your location to come up with a list of local terrestrial radio stations, providing you with access to song titles, album art, artist info and purchase links for whatever’s playing on your FM station of choice. Think of it as augmented radio.

It’s also one of the earliest examples of accessory integration for OS 3.0, featuring a software interface for Griffin’s Navigate inline iPod remote, which has a built-in radio. Free. (The app, not the accessory. Sorry.)

Snore Patrol: Leave this app running overnight and it’ll provide a decibel readout of whatever weird nostril/sinus/lung business goes down in the duration. The idea is to present a snoring partner with graphical proof of their terrible flaw, which will in turn guilt them into doing something about it. It’s funny, but the pink interface and lady-oriented marketing is disheartening. Women snore too! MUST WE MEN SUFFER IN SILENCE? Your gynocentric passive aggressiveness: Free.

Squash the Street : If the economy’s got you down, and you’re vaguely upset about some fatcats on Wall Street, or at your banks, or something, why not direct a little bit of your pent-up aggression and/or depression into your iPhone? That’s what Squash the Street is for: Pure, possibly misguided venting. Neat 3D-ish graphics give this ultra-timely voodoo doll a bit of longevity. A dollar.

Cyclops: Barcode scanning apps are a no-brainer for modern smartphones: just snap a picture of a product’s label, and they’ll pull down a plethora of information. That’s exactly what Cyclops does. It’s not the first, but it’s the first designed around the iPhone 3GS’s new camera, which has good enough macro skills to make such an app truly useful. Free. [Via TUAW]

iMetal: There are many rules by which app developers live, some written, some not. One of the most powerful is the mandate that no hardware feature on any version of the iPhone shall go unused, or perhaps more accurately, unexploited. The iPhone 3GS utilises a magnetometer for its compass, meaning that it can detect when certain metals are nearby, and that someone could theoretically make an app that acts as a sort of makeshift metal detector. And since nothing stays theoretical for more than a week in the App Store, someone has: it’s called iMetal, and it’ll tell you when you’re iPhone is next to a giant piece or iron, or hovering somewhere near a neodymium magnet. As an actual metal detector, it’s basically useless; as a party trick, it’s pretty neat. A dollar.

The Typography Manual: To most, this app will seem esoteric, or at worst, plain boring. To type nerds, however, this is like kerned, serifed manna from heaven. As its name implies, it’s something of a typography primer and history lesson, but on top of that, it’s a visual glossary, a collection of clever type tools, a directory of keyboard combinations for special symbols, and quite a bit more. Five dollars.

World of Warcraft Mobile Armory: Anyone who doesn’t play WoW won’t know what this is, and doesn’t need to. Anyone who does can download it for free.

This Week’s App News On Giz:

Portal Gets Played On an iPhone, Sort Of

Google Now Finds Stuff Nearby Using Your Location in Mobile Safari

Pizza Hut's iPhone App Makes Pizza Ordering Easier, More Gimmicky

iPhone Server Farm Puts Old Models To Good Use

TwitVid for iPhone 3GS: Guess What It Does?

TomTom's GPS-Enhancing Car adapter Should Work With The iPod Touch

Worms For iPhone: Same Game, Worse Controls

TuneWiki for iPhone Is Now Fully Armed and Operational

This list is in no way definitive. If you've spotted a great app that hit the store this week, give us a heads up or, better yet, your firsthand impressions in the comments. Have a good weekend everybody.