Fresh iPhone Apps for Jan. 7: Marquee News, ViceCalculator, Virtuoso Piano Free 3

Jan 7, 2011
Tech

Today’s Fresh Apps will turn your iPhone or iPad into a couple of handy items, like a news ticker, a financial tracker and a musical keyboard. Marquee News runs headlines over your screen, while Virtuoso Piano is a freebie that turns your touchscreen into an instrument. ViceCalculator helps you figure out what you’re spending your […]

Today’s Fresh Apps will turn your iPhone or iPad into a couple of handy items, like a news ticker, a financial tracker and a musical keyboard. Marquee News runs headlines over your screen, while Virtuoso Piano is a freebie that turns your touchscreen into an instrument. ViceCalculator helps you figure out what you’re spending your money on so you can save it. They’re all pretty interesting and useful, and you can read all about them below.

Marquee News (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

What’s the most useful part about watching cable news? The handy little headline ticker at the bottom of the screen, of course. Marquee News’ developer Jason Purdy must understand that fact, because Marquee News is distilled into headlines ticking across your iPhone screen, giving you just the facts without requiring your full attention.

Tapping a headline that interests you bounces the app to the story so you can immediately read it and get more information. Marquee News also lets you customize it a little bit, adjusting what font you want the headlines to appear in on your screen.

ViceCalculator (iPhone) $0.99

We all spend a lot of money on little things that add up — Starbucks coffee, McDonald’s burgers, DVDs, take-out food, cigarettes, whatever. It’s easy to buy stuff when it seems like a small expense, but ViceCalculator helps you see the truth by presenting the big picture, like how much your cigarette habit runs you per hour or per year.

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Once you’ve got the information of how much money you’re spending on minor vices, ViceCalculator gives you good news by showing you how much you’d save if you refrained from engaging in your vice for a day each week. It’s kind of a refreshing wake-up call, and can help figure out what’s worth spending your money on, and what isn’t.

Virtuoso Piano Free 3 (iPhone, iPad) Free

Turn your iPhone or iPad into a working keyboard, for free. It’s pretty simple and it works quite well. Virtuoso Piano fills your touchscreen with keys and labels them, and as you tap them, different notes sound — you know, like a keyboard.

You can choose the number of keys that appear on the screen, as well as the sustain of each note as you play it. The option screen lets you remove the labels on the keys if you choose, and you can turn on a visual indicator for when you press keys as well. It’s a pretty slick app, especially for not costing you anything.

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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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