The best mobile apps of the month for June 2011

Jun 30, 2011
Tech

Whether you are looking for the best way to share personal pictures with friends and family members, or want a new casual game to download after conquering Angry Birds, there are several new applications you can tap into on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. Here are five of the best apps that […]

Whether you are looking for the best way to share personal pictures with friends and family members, or want a new casual game to download after conquering Angry Birds, there are several new applications you can tap into on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. Here are five of the best apps that were released in June.

Photogram (iPhone/iPod Touch free)

While there is no shortage of photo-sharing apps available for the iPhone, Photogram stands out because of its handcrafted design, ease of use, and focus on families. Beyond letting users share pictures they take via email, Facebook and Twitter, Photogram makes it dead simple to set up individual recipient lists so you are only sending shots of personal family moments to the exact groups and individuals you designate. Because users can only share up to four pictures at any one time, they are forced to select the best of the bunch. Translation: those on the receiving end don’t have to scroll through (or pretend to) dozens of less-than-interesting pictures that you send them! Best of all, Photogram works with a network of individual artists who create designs that beautifully frame the photos you send. Photogram is free to download, with premium design themes available for an extra charge.

Feed Me Oil (iPhone/iPod Touch 99 cents, iPad $1.99)

From the folks who brought you Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and other blockbuster titles comes this casual puzzle game that will keep you clinging to your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The premise of this slower-placed game requires players to direct the flow of oil from a pipe to a waiting receptacle. As scoring is based on making as few moves as possible, players need to be judicious while using resources like platforms, turning mills and wind currents to move the oil from Point A to Point B. The graphics, which make land structures look like animals that are literally trying to eat the oil, are particularly impressive for such an inexpensive game. It’s certainly worth a buck or two to download (and gobble up your free time).

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Flipboard update (iPad Free)

Flipboard, which was named by Apple as the best iPad app of 2010, has a brand new update that lets you view your professional network in an entirely new way. The innovation of Flipboard, which debuted last summer, stems from its ability to package content found in social networks like Facebook and Twitter into magazine form. Status updates read more like news articles with related images and videos appearing within them. The new Flipboard update now invites users to incorporate their LinkedIn accounts within the app, making it easier and more enjoyable to keep up with professional contacts. As well, new blogs and magazines including The Economist and Sports Illustrated are added to Flipboard seemingly everyday. It is now easier than ever to consume your favorite content all in one place.

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing (iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad $4.99)

Fabled video game company SEGA is reinventing itself as a premier developer with multiple titles on Apple’s iDevices. SEGA’s most recent offering goes full throttle on nostalgia by bringing together characters from Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario Kart and other classic games to one application. Race as one of ten characters across 25 different levels. You can also take on players from around the world with support from Apple’s socially-driven Game Center platform.

Starbucks (Android, iPhone/iPod Touch Free)

While Starbucks has long been available on iPhones and BlackBerries, it took a little longer to brew an Android offering. It was worth the wait. The Android app enables Starbucks customers to ditch their loyalty cards and pay for their orders at the register with their smartphones. Make sure you are properly registered online at Starbucks.com before using, and start enjoying caffeinated perks after your first 30 purchases (which for some of us can be accomplished within a week or so). The next step for Starbucks is coming out with an app that lets us make our orders in advance and avoid standing in line. But this is a nice start and a worthy download.

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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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