3 Free iOS Apps for Just Messin’ Around

I used to spend a surprising amount of time watching movies. I was really into collecting flicks I enjoyed and had a growing list of movies that I would watch again on a yearly basis. I even had my watch list categorized. Stuff like:

  • Buddy/Cop: Bad Boys (I actually liked the second better than the first), Rush Hour (the first 2), and a few others
  • We All Gonna Die: 2012, Armageddon, Day After Tomorrow, others
  • BRAAAAIIINNNSS!: 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, I am Legend, Dawn of the Dead (any version), Zombieland, others
  • With Great Power...: All the Marvel Comic movies (yes, even the first Hulk movie and Dare Devil), Most DC Comic movies, Unbreakable (I think it’s under appreciated), Kick Ass, others
  • Just You and (Mostly) Me Against the World: Brazil, The Postman, Soldier, Last of the Mohicans, Hildalgo, A History of Violence, others
  • Let God Sort ‘em Out: Shoot’em Up, Transporter (all), Smokin’ Aces, Kill Bill(s), Enter the Dragon, so on
  • You Don’t Bring Me Flowers: Heartland (the British one), Love Actually, Penny’s From Heaven, many others. (OK, so I have a soft side.)

There’s more, but you get the idea. I’d watch several out of each category over the course of the year, and watch new stuff whenever they appeared.

It occurred to me a while ago that that was a lot of watching and very little doing. It was also a lot of money spent to keep me watching and not doing. This is odd since I see myself as a fairly active person.

So, I quit collecting movies and seldom watch TV anymore. Instead of spending money on movies, I go places. I just got back from San Diego, I was visiting my son. I haven’t been on the West Coast in a long time and had never visited San Diego.

Oceanside CA

Oceanside, CA. Instead of wishing I was there, I WAS there. (That’s not me, BTW)

As you can see, I was not sitting around watching TV.

That is not to say that I don’t watch movies anymore, or TV for that matter. I do, it’s just that I’m very selective about what I watch. For instance, I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead. I’m often doing something on Sunday nights so I wind up watching it on the web or the encore presentation before a new episode starts. My son has Tivo (don’t ask my why I don’t) and watches it whenever he feels like it.

I now rely heavily on previews to help me select a movie to go to the theater to watch, or ones that I will leave to watch as a rental, or wait until it appears on Netflix.

I mentioned Apple’s new iTunes Movie Trailers app in another Free on iTunes, but it bears mentioning again. It’s a slick app and suits my lifestyle just fine.

iTunes Movie Trailers

What Trailers doesn’t do, however, is give me info about what’s playing and where after the movie has left the big screens.

If you think about it, listing movies regardless of the service that offers them is not an easy task, that’s why I’m so impressed with Fanhattan for iPad.


This iPad-only app will show you all the latest releases, where they’re playing, and how much it’ll cost you to watch.

Wanna watch Green Lantern? Fanhattan says you can watch it on iTunes or VuDu, and will cost you US$3.99. US$4.99 if you want to watch it in HD on iTunes.


Search will list movies from way back in the day, and if they are available, like on Netflix for instance, it will tell you that too. The only thing it won’t do is list available movies on RedBox or Blockbuster. If it did that I wouldn’t need another app.

The interface is slick and it’s a well executed app. Grab Fanhattan. I think you’ll like it.

Now that I’m on the go I like to take photos where ever I go. Mostly, my photos are taken with my iPhone, but on my trip to San Diego, I took my aging, but infinitely functional Canon 40D. When I take a shot with my iPhone the photo is available to my iPad as soon as I connect to WiFi thanks to iCloud and PhotoStream, but I’m beginning to not like PhotoStream so much. I like the convenience, but I don’t like that I can’t delete a photo from the stream. It’s silly, really. The only way to remove photos from PhotoStream is to deactivate PhotoStream.

I use DropBox for my documents since I seldom use Pages, too cumbersome for what write. So, iCloud is used only for background syncing, which it does wonderfully. For my photos I use Box.


Box and DropBox are nearly identical. They both offer cloud storage for free and they both are easy to use. But there’s one big difference that Box has over DropBox; Box will give new iOS users 50GB(!) free. Fifty. Gigabytes. Free. Forever!


What I don’t like is that the iOS version of Box won’t tell you how much storage you’ve used, the Android version does, but those guys don’t get the 50GB. So, your 50GB may be nothing more than smoke and mirrors. There’s no telling how long this offer will last so grab your FREE 50GB of Box storage now.

And to round things out this week, if you have an iPad, and you are like me and want to get up and get out, then this app will give you a few suggestions as to where to get out to, and something to read while in transit.

Flipboard is an iPad magazine from the creators of Fotopedia, and it’s loading with articles from all over and is a great place to catch up on current events in almost any subject.


What I like about Flipboard is its interface, which is clean and very useable. It doesn’t protrude into your reading experience like AOL’s Editions can at times (another fine iPad magazine).


Flipboard is free and the articles it contains are free. So if you’ve got room on your iPad, here’s one more app for you.

OK, that’s a wrap for this week.

More free travel related stuff below with direct links.