iTunes applications to waste your time with

Rachel Hagenbaugh

Waste time in checkout lines by downloading these iTunes applications – some are fun, others useful and many are pointless.

The most amusing applications:

1. The object of “Cut the Rope” is to get a ball into the mouth of a monster. The ball is attached to a series of ropes.

While maneuvering around a series of objects that can pop the ball, the user also needs to collect three stars before dropping the ball in the monster’s mouth. This application is also 99 cents.

2. In “Fruit Ninja,” the user slices fruit by sliding his or her finger across the screen.

Fruit flies up from the bottom of the screen and must be sliced before it falls under the screen. Slicing a bomb automatically means the end of the game. This application is 99 cents.

“Students need something to get their mind off of things, said Spencer Woodill, a computer products coordinator at the Apple Store on campus. “It’s the same reason you go to see a stupid movie, to relax and rejuvenate.”

3. A June cover for The New Yorker was created from using “Brushes,” a $4.99 application. This application has an advanced color picker, several realistic brushes and extreme zooming for detailed designs.

Brush strokes range from small and thin to large splotches. This application also allows multiple layers of the image to be made, rearranged and merged. The opacity of each layer is also adjustable.

Once the application is complete, the artist can upload the image onto a computer and replay the making of the creation, stroke by stroke.

The most useful applications:

1. “Vlingo – Voice App” is a free voice recognition application that makes it possible to do anything while driving.

As long as a microphone or Bluetooth headset is plugged in, all the user needs to do is say exactly what he or she wants to do. This application works with sending e-mails, uploading Facebook statuses, finding information on the Internet, calling and texting friends and much more.

2. “SoundHound” is a free application that recognizes a song that is sang or hummed in less than four seconds.

Artist, album, lyrics and tour dates for the artist and similar artists are also displayed. This application is free for those who will only use this application five times per month. To use it for an unlimited amount of songs, this application is $4.99.

3. The next application was featured in Women’s Health magazine. “Nutrition Menu – Calorie, Exercise, Weigh & Water Tracking” features the nutritional value for over 93,000 foods.

The common foods selection includes information for over 51,000 foods. The restaurant section features over 42,000 menu items.

This application has 149 built-in exercises, but users can also enter in their own workout plan. The journal feature keeps track of the daily summary of food intake.

Megan O’Shaughnessy, senior managerial marketing major, thinks this application is the worth 99 cents. “I think a lot of people would use it,” she said.

The most pointless applications:

1. “Poop Machine” is a 99 cent application that can show the user what his or her feces will look like after eating certain foods.

The game begins with a picture of a person’s face with the option of inserting different foods into the mouth. When the user is ready he or she pushes the “POOP! Button” to reveal the feces produced by the combination of foods.

2. “iDragPaper” is an application that keeps track of how long it takes the user to unravel a whole roll of virtual toilet paper by sliding his or her hand down the screen.

This application has Internet access that allows users to post their scores. It costs 99 cents. “I’m very surprised people use that game,” O’Shaughnessy said.

3. Women can now experience how difficult it is for men to accurately pee in a toilet while drunk with “Drunk Sniper,” a 99-cent application.

The user must tilt his or her mobile device and keep the spray inside the rim of the toilet. As the levels progress, the spray sways more and more as if the person using the bathroom was getting progressively more drunk.


Top iPod/iPhone apps (according to NYTimes)

Pandora — The all-time best free app for music lovers. Pick a song, album or artist and Pandora immediately builds a whole “radio station” around it, endlessly streaming complete tunes from top artists. You can even tweak your station by giving songs a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

Midomi — This wizardly program can identify just about any radio song when you hold your iPhone to a speaker. You can also sing or hum a tune and Midomi will identify it. That comes in handy when you’ve got a riff stuck in your head but don’t know where it’s from.

Remote — Turn your iPhone into a remote control for your computer. This app lets you pause, fast-forward or rewind anything you’re watching or listening to, or switch to a different playlist. It also operates an Apple TV, a device that sends music, photos and movies from your computer to your television.

Yelp — Find nearby restaurants, bars and banks using the iPhone’s built-in GPS. Yelp offers thousands of reviews from its regular-Joe users, who are passionate about their favorite spots to eat and drink.

ShoZu — Take pictures with the iPhone’s built-in camera and upload them to Facebook, your blog, or a photo-sharing site like Flickr. ShoZu links your device with numerous online services, making it easy to update social networks or blogs from wherever you are.

NYTimes– The Times has done an excellent job of making its voluminous newspaper easy to read on the iPhone. Find stories by section or look at the day’s most popular articles. Full-color photos accompany most stories and the text is surprisingly easy to read on-screen. Almost no other major publications are available in app form.

WritingPad — A hidden gem, this little app allows you to circumvent the iPhone’s standard hunt-and-peck fingertip typing — a major iPhone-user gripe —when you’re composing an e-mail message. WritingPad lets you drag your finger along a virtual keyboard to spell out words.

Stanza — Read free classics with this app. Add as many books as you want from a large library of public domain titles, or add lengthy Word or PDF files from your computer. iPhone users have already downloaded more than 20,000 books. The phone’s screen is sizable enough that for some book lovers, Amazon’s Kindle may seem superfluous.

Jott — For those who don’t like typing on the iPhone’s virtual keyboard, Jott transcribes voice memos into text that can be filed for future reference. Just tap the screen and speak into the phone for up to 15 seconds. It’s handy on-the-go for reminding yourself of a task or noting a phone number, address or name you don’t want to forget.

Google Mobile App — Sometimes the best things are the simplest. As soon as you start typing, the search box analyzes what you’re looking for and scans both the Web and your phone’s address book. Find a nearby business or a friend’s address or phone number. The app also links to other Google services like Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, Picasa and Google Docs.

You can contact Rachel Hagenbaugh at [email protected].