Qbism HD, PianoHead lead iPad Apps of the Week

Jan 11, 2011
Tech

I was a little lukewarm on the offerings in the iTunes App Store this week, but I rooted out a handful of really wonderful apps, including an addicting puzzle game, the iPad debut of a well-known piano-learning program, a great new radio station player, as well as a documentary film player. QBISM HD (99 CENTS) […]

I was a little lukewarm on the offerings in the iTunes App Store this week, but I rooted out a handful of really wonderful apps, including an addicting puzzle game, the iPad debut of a well-known piano-learning program, a great new radio station player, as well as a documentary film player.

QBISM HD (99 CENTS)

I wasn’t quite sure what Qbism HD was all about until I started to play with the app — now, I’m completely addicted. The goal is to fit the colored blocks into a 3D shape, but they must be fit in from all sides. You think you’ve got it, then you rotate the shape to see that you’ve got a couple blocks floating out in space. You can choose from “Easy,” “Medium,” “Baffling,” and even “Ridiculous” (though you must work your way up to unlock the more difficult levels). Within the levels, you choose a shape then “Normal Play Mode” or “Super Hard Mode.” Qbism HD is a challenging and addictive game for iPad gaming enthusiasts.

PIANOHEAD HD ($4.99)

I have a feeling that my mother, a retired piano teacher, might come out of retirement just so she can have her students play with PianoHead HD. With drills that feel like games, PianoHead HD helps you to learn notes, scales, intervals and key signatures. As you learn by playing, your scores increase, and there’s a PianoHead challenge, which gives you the chance to earn yourself a spot on the worldwide scoreboard.

SNAGFILMS (FREE)

Any iPad-owning fan of documentary films must grab SnagFilms. Most films are free, including the first one I watched, which was called Blasted. It’s the story about the Americans who volunteered to blow noted iconoclast journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes from their own cannons, including the essays they wrote to apply for the project. I also ran across a couple of other documentaries that could be purchased or rented via iTunes. This fantastic addition to the iPad also features a slick interface with a great selection of documentaries.

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RADIO TABLET ($4.99)

I always check out radio apps when they hit the iTunes App Store, and Radio Tablet is fantastic. Using my location, Radio Tablet found a boatload of local radio stations, including the local high school station, as well as police and fire dispatch channels. Oddly, though it picked up Chicago Public Radio 91.5 and the classical station WFMT (98.7), it didn’t find WXRT (93.1). You can either search for stations, or browse by categories and sub-categories. More than 65,000 radio stations are available from all over the world. If available, the app will display the station’s website, schedule, playlist and Twitter feed, as well as provide a list of similar stations. With a great interface and a huge selection, Radio Tablet is destined to become one of my most oft-used apps.

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