Ah, December 26th. Boxing Day. Christmas is finally over and it’s time to take stock of your gifts. Invariably, many of us receive colorful plastic cards, with a dancing silhouette on it, worth trading for digital things on iTunes. A fine gift and all, but what the heck do you do with it? You don’t buy music (Spotify Premium takes care of that) or movies or TV shows (Netflix!) so that just leaves apps and games to blow a measly $10 gift card on. Believe it or not, there are applications that are worth spending money on, and it’s all the sweeter when you’re not spending your own money.
10000000 is a simple fast-paced match-three game with RPG elements. Your little guy runs through a 16-bit dungeon and into monsters, and you need to match tiles in order to attack, defend, and get items. Easy to pick up yet painfully addictive, 10000000 gives you plenty of replays as you try to ultimately get the ten million points needed to open the door to your freedom. Once you hit that milestone, download the sequel: You Must Build A Boat. The goal is different (you must build a boat) but the gameplay is the same, and with tons of new features and secrets as you build your boat bigger and bigger, recruiting monsters to act as your crew while moving up-river.
If you’re tired of the iTunes podcast interface, give Pocket Casts a try. We prefer it for two main features: reverse-chronological sorting (for starting a podcast series at the beginning) and easy downloads for offline listening. Almost everything is customizable, from playback to storage, and convenient features such as intro-skipping, silence-removal, and variable speed lets you get the most pod for your time. We also believe that every app should have at least an option for a retina-pleasing dark theme, and Pocket Casts makes the cut. Some podcasts the iFixYouri crew enjoys:
- 99% Invisible – Interesting stories about day-to-day designs you don’t generally think about (examples: revolving doors, the NBC chimes, and “Busta Rhymes Island”).
- Welcome to Night Vale – Regular updates from the creepiest town in the Southwest. Surreal, often-dark humor in the form of local newscasts from the fictional Night Vale.
- Embedded – Investigative journalism for people who like self-contained stories, unlike the months-long yarns of Serial. Each episode stands alone and covers its topic in gripping, explorative fashion.
Algoriddim’s popular app lets you be a pro DJ, allowing playback and mixing of digital audio files with a user interface that tries to simulate the concept of two turntables and a microphone. Works decently well on your phone but you really need an iPad to fully realize its potential. Integrates with Spotify (Premium account required) and features a huge array of effects, waveforms, and sampling capabilities. A lot of professionals use Djay for both composing and live performances, but for such a low cost, it can be just as much fun for a desktop disc-jockey to start mixing their favorite tunes.