Great new mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices

Jan 10, 2012
Tech

Whether you got your first smartphone or tablet over the holidays or are an experienced user, there are plenty of great new mobile applications for iPhones, iPads and Android devices to tap into. Here are five new or recently revamped apps you should consider downloading right away. Shazam Player (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad: Free) Among […]

Whether you got your first smartphone or tablet over the holidays or are an experienced user, there are plenty of great new mobile applications for iPhones, iPads and Android devices to tap into.

Here are five new or recently revamped apps you should consider downloading right away.

Shazam Player (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad: Free)

Among the titles that pioneered the iPhone app phenomenon nearly four years ago was Shazam. The free music discovery app identifies the song you are listening to in a bar or elevator (or humming into your phone!), and then publishes background information of that track along with an opportunity to add it to your library. Since those salad days of mobile apps, however, a band of notable music discovery competitors have crowded in on Shazam’s space. SoundHound can not only identify a song, but play scrolling lyrics in time with the music. SoundTracking lets users share what songs they are listening to with their friends and followers. Recognizing the need to add a few new members to its ensemble, Shazam this week launches the Shazam Player app which, shockingly, lets users share songs with their friends and read lyrics in real time. In addition to sharing and lyric scrolling, Shazam Player has a snappy interface that allows users to create custom playlists (separate from iTunes) on the fly. All iTunes library data is also imported within the app. Check out this video for an overview of all the new features. While Shazam Player is launching exclusively on Apple’s iOS devices, the company intends to develop versions of the app for Android and other mobile platforms. Rock out!

Path (iPhone, iPod Touch and Android: Free)

The next generation of social networking is playing out on mobile devices (rather than on our desktop and laptop computers). Available for iPhones and Android smartphones, Path is a beautifully designed digital journal that tracks where you go, who you are with and what music you are listening to. There is even a feature in the app that documents when you go to sleep and when you arise. Path, which was completely revamped last month, knows you so well that it will even send notifications if you meander outside of your normal routine. Yet while Path chronicles nearly everything you do, it sets limits on who you can share with by restricting accounts to 150 contacts. This encourages users to share their status only with family and very close friends. While Path only has a very small fraction of the number of users that are on Facebook and Twitter, it is growing quickly and is reportedly where “The A List” is hanging out. So if your friends and family are not on Path yet, you can introduce them to the next hot thing.

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NBA Game Time 2011 – 2012 (iPhone, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

Just because the NBA season was abbreviated due to an owners’ lockout doesn’t mean the league’s official mobile app for iPhones and Android devices is anything short of a slam dunk. Free to download, NBA Game Time offers a robust selection of highlights and statistics designed to please both passive fans and hardcore hoopsters. You can watch video previews of your favorite teams and get alerts just as their games are about to tip off. Fantasy basketball players will love the in-depth box scores and leaderboards of the major statistical categories. If you subscribe to the NBA League Pass video package, you can even watch all games live right on your device. Expect the NBA to introduce new features within the app throughout the season and into the playoffs.

Wolfram Words Reference App (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad: $0.99)

Wordsmiths and casual fans of games like Scrabble and Words With Friends alike will enjoy digging into this next-generation dictionary. Created by Wolfram Alpha, which developed technology for the iPhone 4S that helps the Siri personal assistant answer questions, the Wolfram Words Reference app can help you uncover basically anything found within the English language. From pronunciation and general usage, to locating synonyms and antonyms, to finding the most difficult combinations to your favorite word games, Wolfram Words delivers. The app, which can also convert a sentence into Morse code or Braille, works very well with Wi-Fi, 3G and even 2G connections.

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Jimmy Fallon’s Wake Up Call (iPhone, iPod Touch: $0.99)

If you’re not able to stay up late enough to watch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon these days, you can still be woken up by the popular comedian. Jimmy Fallon’s Wake Up Call comes equipped with 10 customized ringtones for the alarm and 17 different pre-recorded messages from Fallon. Those who do stay up late will enjoy the option of programming “snooze” periods for anywhere between five and 30 minutes. While there are hundreds of iPhone apps designed to get you out of bed in the morning, this one is certainly the most entertaining.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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