Fresh iPhone Apps for Jan. 16: OnLive Desktop, UPS Mobile update, Bit-1, Hatchi

Jan 16, 2012
Games

OnLive is known for its streaming video game service, but that’s not why its new app is leading the charge on today’s Fresh Apps list. Instead, it’s OnLive Desktop, a more work-oriented app, that’s on our radar. The remote desktop app allows you to access your computer remotely, and you can even use programs like […]

OnLive is known for its streaming video game service, but that’s not why its new app is leading the charge on today’s Fresh Apps list. Instead, it’s OnLive Desktop, a more work-oriented app, that’s on our radar. The remote desktop app allows you to access your computer remotely, and you can even use programs like Microsoft Word or play games on your PC using it, all using your iPad. It’s followed by an update to the U.S. Postal Service’s app, USPS Mobile, that now allows you to do even more with your mail and your smartphone or tablet. In games, 1-Bit is like Super Mario Bros. if Mario were a robot and had a laser cannon, and Hatchi brings a virtual pet to your iPhone or iPad in the vein of those old Tamagotchi toys.

OnLive Desktop (iPad) Free

Streaming video game company OnLive has a new app out that brings your desktop computing experience to your iPad. It’s called OnLive Desktop, and it works similarly to other remote desktop apps by giving you access to your computer remotely on your iPad. The difference here is, OnLive has added a whole lot of functionality to give you the ability to use more of your computer’s resources than other remote desktop apps like the ability to work on Microsoft programs such as Word or Excel.

OnLive boasts that its Desktop app will also be able to support higher-intensity media viewing from your desktop to your iPad. You’ll be able to watch videos from your computer remotely and even play PC games on your tablet. The app also lets you transfer documents between devices.

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USPS Mobile update (iPhone, iPad) Free

The official app of the U.S. Postal Service has just gotten better, adding new capabilities that make use of your iOS device’s camera to make shipping, purchasing and tracking easier. Now you can use your iPhone or iPad’s camera to scan barcodes, allowing you to instantly track packages when you have a USPS tracking slip, without the hassle of having to enter long strings of numbers.

As always, the USPS app also allows you to do all kinds of things like find local drop boxes for mail, estimate shipping costs, look up zip codes and order supplies to be delivered straight to you. The app even lets you schedule package pickups to save you a trip to your local post office.

Bit-1 (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

A fast-moving platformer with an 8-bit aesthetic, Bit-1 casts you in the role of a robot searching for your kidnapped beloved. In each stage, you’ll want to rack up as many points as you can by taking out enemies and collecting the coins they drop, using your on-board cannon. You’ll also jump obstacles, avoid death from falling into pits and spikes, and collect power-ups that make your weapons more powerful.

Bit-1 has a bit of a Super Mario Bros. feel and moves at a pretty fast clip through its 25 stages. Earning tons of points in each stage by fighting off enemies and collecting coins can also allow you to see how you stack up against other players, thanks to Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

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Hatchi (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Remember Tamagotchi, that virtual pet toy kids kept on their key rings back in the 1990s? Well, Hatchi brings those toys to your iOS device, complete with their low-res, pixel-y screens. You’ll care for your Hatchi from the moment it hatches, feeding it, playing with it, keeping it clean and teaching it stuff. When its energy runs out, you’ll have to put it to sleep, but if you don’t keep an eye on it, it’ll become unhappy.

You’ll need to give your Hatchi regular attention to keep it from kicking the bucket, but if you’re especially good at raising it, your Hatchi will eventually evolve. How you care for it will determine what it becomes in the long run, and the creature will go through several stages of growth along the way. It’s not a super-complex digital animal to take care of, but Hatchi should scratch your nostalgia itch and be pretty fun to boot.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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