TMO’s App Highlights: ThisLife, Chrome, Cheddar & More

It probably goes without saying, but there are way too many great apps flying off the shelves these days. So many, in fact, that we can’t cover them all with individual articles. So what did The Mac Observer — a pinnacle of information dissemination, a beacon of observation — decide to do? Why, we’re going to start rounding up some of the most interesting apps so you don’t miss them.

ThisLife (free) is the latest new service to take its shot at Flickr, the aging king of the hill of online photo storage and sharing, and it does some pretty interesting things.

Manage your online photos with ThisLifeManage your online photos with ThisLife

For starters, ThisLife lets you collect all your photos and videos from your cameras, iPhoto, and even social accounts like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram all in one place. You have a “library” where you can privately store and sync all of your photos and backup your originals, and a “Timeline” for sharing just the ones you want the world to see. It has powerful apps for iPhone and iPad, a great web app, a Mac uploader, and more tools on the way.

Another great ThisLife feature is that you can share your account with another person, which is perfect for couples. The main downside for now is that, while you can download the iOS app for free, ThisLife is currently in private beta, so you have to request an invitation for now. Fortunately, the folks at ThisLife tell me they’re moving through requests pretty quickly, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long.

You get a big bucket of photo and video space to try out ThisLife. If it fits your needs, you can upgrade to get more space starting at $8 per month or $80 per year.

You folks seem to enjoy using your iPhones and iPads to get things done, so Cheddar (free) is a brand new attempt at helping you do just that. Cheddar has a universal iOS app and full-featured web app, and a great differentiator is that it supports Markdown for creating lists, adding links, and styling text.

Organize yourself with Cheddar for iOSOrganize yourself with Cheddar for iOS

You can even tag your tasks for organization and use emoji. Take that, OmniFocus! Plus, there’s no reason to not give Cheddar a try: it’s free to start using, and only US$2 per month or $20 per year if you want to create more than two lists of tasks.

No, you do not need to adjust your display, and that was not a typo. Google Chrome (free) has arrived for iOS, but let’s get the caveats out of the way first. Unfortunately, iOS doesn’t let you set a default browser (or default anything), and because of some technical rules in what iOS allows alternative browsers to do, Chrome probably won’t feel as fast as Apple’s own Safari.

Google's Chrome Web browser, now for the iPhone & iPadGoogle’s Chrome Web browser, now for the iPhone & iPad

With the bad news out of the way, though, Chrome for iOS brings a lot of the Chrome experience its users love to Apple’s mobile OS. You can sign into your Google Account to sync your open tabs, bookmarks, passwords, and omnibox data with your desktop Chrome browser, and there are even some neat UI tricks you might like too.

Amazing Spider-Man
I’m a sucker for open-world games lately, and The Amazing Spider-Man ($6.99), a new universal game to tie in with the Spider-Man reboot that hits theaters next week, is getting good marks. When you combine open-world gameplay with time-tested superhero powers, I’m in.

Get ready for the new Spider-Man movie on your iPhone and iPadGet ready for the new Spider-Man movie on your iPhone and iPad

Cue (free), formerly known as Greplin, is one of my favorite and most underrated apps in a while. It’s a focused assistant that can search your own personal corner of the web and keep you informed about what’s going on in your day.

Cue keeps track of your important stuff right in your pocketCue keeps track of your important stuff right in your pocket

But here’s the awesome part: Cue goes far, far beyond your calendars and email. It can analyze and let you search your Gmail, Google Docs, Facebook, Evernote, Dropbox, Basecamp, Reddit, Tumblr, Delicious, Google Reader…. yeah, you get the picture.

If you created or saved something and need to find it, or simply need to know what’s going on today or what happened on a day in the past, Cue is invaluable. You can try Cue for free with a handful of services to get an idea of its power. If it comes in handy, you can unlock a bunch more useful services for $5 per month or $50 per year.

That’s a wrap
That’s about it for this week, but fear not. I only had so much room this time around, and I’m sure I missed your favorite new app. Let us know what it is in the comments and maybe we’ll give it a look for our next roundup!