Last week, Apple confirmed the purchase of Swell, an iPhone application that enabled you to listen to a stream of audio podcasts according to the theme of your choice. What I found most unique about Swell was the easy and simple user interface that allowed you to swipe from one podcast to the next in a seamless fashion. Apple's response to the purchase was pretty generic, according to Alex Heath who grabbed the quote from the Wall Street Journal:
Apple confirms Swell deal w: we buy "smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.
As a result of the purchase, the app is no longer available in the App Store and no longer available to current users who downloaded the application. For example, after opening the application, I could no longer listen to podcasts, but instead received the following audio message:
Apple is smart to buy companies that offer features that succeed in areas where they fall short. I actually found myself listening to Swell more often than Apple's Podcasts app, which I also enjoy. This was a smart purchase by Apple, but I will miss Swell a lot.
KidPix 3D has everything a young artist needs to explore the depths of creativity and imagination. Made for the Mac desktop, the application comes with a rich media library complete with 2D and 3D backgrounds, animations, stickers, movies and sound files, and a range of painting tools and effects. Each scene can be saved as a slide which can be incorporated into a video with soundtracks and transitions. KidPix 3D gets my vote as the best application available for kids on the Mac. The app is $49.99 in the Mac App Store.
Airpano Travel Book is an application for the iPad that provides you with beautiful aerial panoramas of places all around the world.. Taken by a group of Russian photographers in helicopters, the aerial views are what make the photos absolutely spectacular. You can view the panos on their website, but the application makes the images more accessible. The user interface is beautifully designed and easy to navigate, with beautiful graphics in the form of flip books to guide you through the various topics. Most actions occur by swiping your finger across the screen, although you also have the option to physically move the iPad as you pan back and forth across the horizon. The app is $4.99 and worth every penny. Check out my video review below.
Halftone 2 is a universal application for the iPhone and iPad that enables you to create vintage style comic strip layouts with your photos. Halftone makes it easy to add paper styles, captions, speech balloons, graphic stamps, and fonts. Your project can be set up as a sequence of pages, changing the layouts throughout. The app also comes with a wide variety of customizations, including the ability to add gradients to the background, adjust borders, padding, effects, and more. In addition to exporting your projects as photos to your camera roll or favorite social networking sites, Halftone also introduced the ability to export your project as a video. Depending on how your pages are laid out, the video will pan and zoom through your layouts, as if providing an animated visual narrative. You also have the option to add soundtracks! The application is available on iOS at the affordable price of $ 0.99. Check out the video below to learn more.
Host of My Apple Podcast.