Mixed Bag of Free iOS Apps

| Free on iTunes

My current favorite quote is, "I yam what I yam and dats all dat I yam." Popeye, The Sailor.

I grew up watching Popeye chase anorexic Olive Oyl only to get spurned for Bluto. Of course when Bluto's true colors were revealed (he was a misogynistic woman-abusing megalomaniac) Olive would yell for Popeye, who was always around and who always had a can of spinach, to rescue her.

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I used to wonder what was it that Popeye saw in Olive that would keep him hanging on and coming back time and again. He was obviously his own man, followed his own path and took no guff from anyone. While he would never make the cover of GQ he exuded a testosterone ladened air of confidence that I think many women would find attractive. And he's a sailor. He can have a different girl in every port.

So why Olive?

The quote I favored before Popeye's was, "No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai.

I like that quote because I identify with its subtle pronouncement that we should live in the moment. Where ever we are, be there. Enjoy what you are doing, who you're with and your surroundings. It's how I've tried to live my life so the quote seem to aptly fit me.

But life changes, and while I firmly believe in Buckaroo's statement, Popeye's self effacing words seem a better fit. I understand now why the spinach eating sailor was so into Olive. It's because he was so into Olive. It's just that simple. He makes no excuses for his affection for her, it is what it is. He's accepted it and is willing to accept what tidbits of attention Olive tosses his way. Is he any less of a man for allowing his life to be so affected by the whims of a fickle woman? I don't think so. He is what he is. Don't expect more or less of him.

That ideology is more closely aligned with who I am. And whoever I am, that's what I am and that's all that I am.

OK, so why am I on the the doctor's couch today? Actually, I'm not, it's the quotes that got me thinking, and I got to thinking about quotes after reading through a bunch in one of the three apps I'm going to talk about today. It's a mixed bag, a small potpourri of apps that you might find useful and interesting. So, let get to it.

Quotes! [13.5 MB, all iOS devices, iOS 5.0 or later, Developer: Digital Hot Sauce]
As you may have guessed by now, this is the app that had me waxing introspective. I'm finding that quotes are like those popular potato chips, you can't read just one. What I like about Quotes!, besides the fact that it's free, is that it houses more than 75,000(!!!) quotes, all categorized for easy searching.

Quotes!

I'm also a fan of the interface, which makes navigating through all those quotes a breeze. You can also "like" quotes, which are set aside into your favorites, and you can review those exclusively.

And the search is to die for. Type in anything that makes sense to search for and you get a listing of quotes, including the author's name, in a small window. Tap one and you are there with the quote in full screen. Very nice.

Quotes!

What's not so nice are the the overzealous ads. There's one in the header area with a blue button big enough to tap by mistake, and you wind up in the App Store looking at some silly app you have no interest in. What's worse is that every so often a full page ad will pop up. And it can be persistent too. Closing it will sometimes not keep it closed and you'll have to close it again. And again. (Grrr!!) But the app is free and the quotes are good ones, so grab it if you feel you need some words of wisdom.

Dribbblr [15.5 MB, iPad, iOS 3.2 or later, Developer: Tapmates s.r.o.]
I'm a junkie for good design. Not just hardware or software, I enjoy any creation that displays obvious and intelligent intent at its core. If you're like me in that regard then Dribbblr is an excellent find.

DribbblrDribble posting in Dribbblr

It's a very simple app, it displays designs posted on Dribble, a very popular site for designers of every ilk. You'll find examples of ads, logos, hardware and other designs listed, complete with the designer's name, affiliation, and a short description. It's all so much fun to review.

As I said, it's a simple app, not much user interface to deal with. The app doesn't require you to have a Dribble account to view the posted designs. I count that as a very good thing. Of course, if you do have an account it'll let you log in.

DribbblrShare what you find

If you like a particular design you can "like" it, follow the designer, or get a listing of other postings by that particular designer. You can then share what you've found via Twitter, comment on it, or review comments by others.

That's pretty much it. Simple, elegant, easy. Grab Dribbblr and see what I mean.

Fotopedia Reporter [12.4 MB, iPad, iOS 5.0 or later, Developer: Fotonauts Inc.]
I love photography, and there are times when finding that perfect mix of photos and background story is too hard to ignore. So, I wind up shooting and getting more info about the subjects I shoot. The problem for me and many other photographers is that there is no outlet for all of that small time photojournalistic stuff we create. Now there is. Fotopedia Reporter.

Reporter

Create an account, post your pix and stories, get feedback, follow others and learn how they do what they do.

It you're thinking this is amateur hour at the local photography club, think again. What people are publishing is amazing, and that sets a pretty high bar for anyone thinking about putting their efforts before a discriminating public. The results, so far at least, is that every story, every photo is a winner on par with other photo-centric periodicals.

ReporterLots of great stories and photos awaits

I'm so excited about this app and the thinking behind it that I may revisit it after I've had time to actually get a story publish there. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, grab the app and see some of the amazing work being published.

And that's a wrap for this week.

Be sure to check out this week's Free App of the Week, Bee Leader, a fun arcade game where you lead your bees to the land of honey.

Comments

ibuck

Vern, thanks for the tip and the warning about Quotes!

What’s not so nice are the the overzealous ads. . . Closing [a full page pop-up ad] will sometimes not keep it closed and you’ll have to close it again. And again. (Grrr!!)

That specific failing (not closing) keeps me from downloading the app. And I love collecting quotes. Developer (Digital Hot Sauce), take note. This “feature” is not so hot.

wab95

Vern:

Excellent analysis of Popeye.

I think kids the world over have fallen in love with the diminutive sailor because, like them, he’s small; but in his courage, fearlessness, and standing up against that pervasive blight of childhood everywhere, bullying, he’s an inspiration. Like you, I couldn’t get the Olive Oil thing; but to each his own, and as his own man, more power to Popeye. Of course, as a wee lad, I couldn’t get the ‘girl’ thing full stop, and swore I’d never have any hanging about, let alone kiss one. A marriage and two kids later, I look back in wonder at how life unfolds, and how the inspirations we have at earlier stages of life are adapted to fit our maturing perspectives as we grow, yet remain a source of inspiration and affection (yes, I still love plucky little sailor).

As for your picks, I particularly like the concept of quotes, although like ibuck above, the intrusive ads are a deterrent to downloading.

On the other hand, I just might give Fotopedia Reporter a try; as I have loads of pics to which fascinating stories are attached, albeit sorely in need of being written. Perhaps in my quiet moments, I might finally bring them to life, and give them a suitable venue in which they can be enjoyed.

Barry Keaveney

THANKS!—3 cool apps.

Vern Seward

@ibuck: My pleasure. I done mind ads, but sometimes app makers miss the balance between providing something useful and the need to earn a buck. If you annoy people with obnoxious ad then they won’t use the app, then there’s not audience for the ad.

@Wab95: As always, I appreciate your feedback, I’ll be investigating Fotopedia Reporter more thoroughly and hope it lives up to its promise. As I’ve said, stay tuned.

@ Barry: You’re welcome grin

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