There are now a staggering half-million apps available in the Apple App Store. You would no longer say, “There’s an app for that.” You would now say, “There are about 150 different apps for that, and I have no idea which of them are worth my hard-earned one dollar and 99 cents.”
With such an overwhelming number of apps out there, someone ought to go through and pick out which are the best, most useful and most entertaining.
Actually, someone has. Macworld held a no-holds-barred app contest in December called Appalooza, wherein Macworld Facebook fans got to vote on the "Top 25 Greatest Apps of All Time." The winners will be proudly on display at the Macworld expo, and the developers will be onhand to discuss their mobile app craft.
In a competitive field of more than 500,000 iOS apps, a Top 25 finish is quite prestigious. Finishing in the Top Five Apps is even more prestigious.
When the Honey Badger Don’t Care app comes in 12th place, you know that contest presented some very stiff competition.
The winning apps' developers are getting ready to set up shop in the Mobile Apps Showcase at Macworld|iWorld 2012, billed by organizers as the “largest assembly of mobile app developers under one roof at one time.” Here’s the low-down on the downloads that finished in the Appalooza Top Five:
Splashtop Remote Desktop
It’s a sign of how de-centralized mobile app development has become that only one of the top five apps was engineered in Silicon Valley. That distinction belongs to Splashtop Mobile Desktop, developed by San Jose’s own Splashtop.
Splashtop Remote Desktop easily connects to your Windows PC or Mac OS X machine to provide remote access to your computer from the screen of your iPhone or iPad. Flash, MS Office programs, right click capabilities, alt keys, you name it – this remote desktop application lets you do anything your computer can do, right on your iPhone or iPad screen. If your iPad didn’t upload some of the more “unauthorized” files in your music or film library, Splashtop Remote Desktop plays those files on your iOS device with ease.
Whether you’re a beginning Blues guitarist or B.B. King himself, Blues Masters will add more color to your Blues guitar stylings. By replicating the guitar on your iOS interface, Blues Masters provides detailed lessons on how to play the blues guitar like your first name was “Mississippi.”
Cropping unwanted items out of your Photoshop images -- and then retouching the image so your editing is inconspicuous -- is no easy process, even for an advanced user. With TouchRetouch, all you do is lasso the unwanted item, shadow or flaw. TouchRetouch automatically fills the gap with intelligently populated pixels, leaving your images, well, picture perfect. You can edit out unwanted spinach in your teeth and armpit stains before you even upload to Flickr, right after you take the picture on your iOS device. If tiny flaws in images drive you crazy, TouchRetouch may be the best 99 cents you ever spend.
Hello, here’s the free one! But Turbo Viewer is of no use to you unless you design DWG files for technical drawings. If you do, though, this is the only DWG viewer application that supports both 2D and 3D technical drawings on the iOS platform.
Of course a delightfully violent RPG video game has to make it into the Top Five – if one didn’t, you’d figure that vote was rigged. I didn’t know that “Castle defense games” are a full-blown genre, but Legendary Wars is among the genre’s top offerings. Few video games combine cartoon violence with sophisticated strategy to the degree of Legendary Wars. The array of monsters is breathtaking, hilarious and non-stop – and gives you the opportunity to wage that “Unicorns vs. Zombies” battle royale that you’ve always wanted to wage.
The Appalooza "Top 25 Greatest Apps of All Time" winners can be seen listed on the Macworld Facebook page and in the Mobile Apps Showcase at Macworld on Jan. 26-28.
For more of Allvoices' coverage of Macworld | iWorld 2012, check out allvoices.com/macworld2012.