This Week’s Best iPhone Apps

This Week’s Best iPhone Apps

In this week’s personally approved app roundup: Alternative browsers, allowed! Old games, emulated! Your international reputation, protected! And more…

Opera Mini: An alternative web browser with (!!!) a different rendering engine than Safari Mobile. This is notable just because of what it is, and because everything, including Opera themselves, seemed convinced that it would never happen. Minor point: It’s not actually that great, unless you’re perpetually stuck on EDGE, where Opera’s site compression will help load times. Free.

Glee: This show! It’s not really my thing, but Joel loves it. And the app, too:

Here’s how it works: You sing into your iPhone’s (or iPad’s) microphone along with background music. A live pitch meter will let you know if you’re in tune or not. All pretty standard stuff for a karaoke game.

But what’s extraordinarily clever – and technologically impressive – is that Glee doesn’t just automatically autotune your voice as it is output through the headphones, but also generates live autotuned harmonies from your own voice. It takes your mediocre singing and turns it into overproduced pop pap – and it’s fantastic.

It’s made by Smule, too, which vouches for its general quality. $4.

Swankolab: A simulated darkroom for lo-fi, stylish photography:

We’re talking vignetting, saturation, the usual retro lomo-esque effects that are very popular nowadays, as seen in the Hipstamatic app – which has the same developers as Swankolad. The app “pours” the chemicals into the bath, and once you dim the lights the photo starts to develop. Putting that in-app purchasing to work, you can also buy other chemicals for even zanier effects, at a further $2.49.


Commodore 64: The Commodore 64 emulator is now free, and it’s staying that way. The initial download include a handful of free titles, though to fill out your library you’re going to need to shell out on some in-app purchases.

Whiteboard Share: Takes snapshots of whiteboard sketches or notes (think university lecture hall, company meeting room) and processes the image to leave a clean white background with legible text. Beats taking notes. Free.

Frommers: From the travel guide company of the same name, a set of travel tools with the sole purpose of preventing you from looking like an idiot, including a tip calculator (with guidance), currency conversion and handful of other widgets. Free.

This list is in no way definitive. If you’ve spotted a great app that hit the store this week, give us your firsthand impressions in the comments. And for even more apps: see our previous weekly roundups here, and check out our Favourite iPhone Apps Directory. Have a great weekend, everybody!