2010 saw the release of some of the greatest apps on the face of the planet. We travel back in time to pick the top ten for you.
1 Angry Birds
Seriously, does this one even need an introduction anymore? You’re probably either quite well versed on Angry Birds by now or simply fed up of hearing about it. If it’s the latter, then shame on you. 'Coz it’s awesome!
Still, in case you’ve been living in a cave this past year, Angry Birds is an incredibly addictive puzzler that puts you in control of a flock of very angry birds whose precious eggs have been stolen by some evil pigs that have taken refuge in defensive structures made of wood, glass and stone. Your job is to deliver the wronged finches stone cold revenge by slinging them onto the pigs’ protective fortresses, decimating every last swine in the process.
N.B: No animals were harmed in the process of making this game.
2 Cut the Rope
An adorable creature has been left at your doorstep and it’s hungry. Hungry for the only food on this great spinning marble it cares to eat – candy. And to meet its special dietary requirement, you must slice off the sugary treats left dangling on pieces of ropes in the game’s many levels.
Doing so won’t be easy though, as you’ll have to tackle both the laws of physics and an abundance of obstacles to carefully drop the sweets directly onto the inviting mouth of said creature.
It’s challenging, it’s jam-packed with fun and it’s sickeningly cute, too. What’s not to like?
Up until now, high dynamic range (HDR) photography has been something of a luxury for mainly expensive DSRLs that your average Joe knows little about. Thanks to the TrueHDR app, which harnesses the best that the iPhone’s onboard snapper has to offer, that is no longer the case.
By giving you greater control over exposure points to achieve realistic dynamic lighting, TrueHDR radically transforms the dark, dreary snaps you’ve been taking with your stock camera app to high-fidelity shots that look as good as the real thing.
Whether you’re an expert photographer or not, don’t leave the house without this gem.
4 Mirror’s Edge
Set in a dystopian future where a totalitarian government has taken over and placed an entire city under surveillance, Mirror’s Edge puts players in the shoes of a girl with a mission to change all that.
Faith, the game’s protagonist, is a ‘runner’ with some kickass parkour/free-running skills who earns her trade by delivering important communiqués to anti-government revolutionaries. And in doing so, she’ll be scaling rooftops, running up walls and making impossible jumps that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Arguably one of the best looking games on the platform, Mirror’s Edge plays the part, too. You’d be foolish not to pick this up.
Incredibooth utilises the iPhone 4’s front-mounted camera to lets users take photos just like a real photo booth. Or at least photo strips that resemble those dispensed by a photo booth, with the option to slap on top some cool retro effects and then sharing them directly on Facebook.
It’s a nifty little app with a simple purpose. And it’s a ton of fun, too, especially when friends are around.
6 Splice - Video Editor
Video editing can be a really frustrating experience, especially if you’re trying to do it with only a few inches of screen real estate. Splice separates the pain from the process and injects the fun back into creating movies with a raft of powerful but super easy-to-use tools.
Get started by adding some images and clips to a new project, which you can crop, and trim on the fly. Throw in some music from your iTunes collection or better yet, record your own voice directly from the app. Top it off with some awesome transition effects and a predesigned frame, and you’re ready to share your creation with the world. Sound easy? It is really, really is.
7 Calvetica Calendar
Calvetica is a calendar application designed to make life easier and simpler. It syncs with multiple accounts (Google, Exchange, Mobile Me, Facebook, et al) and merges all your calendars in a clean, highly intuitive interface with colour-coded entries that make it easy to distinguish between different calendars.
Creating a new event is only two taps away, with the option to add notes, locations, durations and repeats. And don’t worry about reminders, as there’s built-in notifications support, too. Need to tick an event off the schedule? Just swipe and it’s gone. Plus, it smartly integrates with the stock calendar app, so you can still use both if you ever need to.
8 Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is the latest instalment in what is undoubtedly one of the biggest franchises in gaming. You play as the spoilt son of a murdered Triad boss who’s just stepped off the plane in Liberty City, a never-sleeping metropolis that has long been a hotbed of crime, corruption and warring gangs in the GTA mythos. Before you know it, an assassination attempt is made on your life and you barely survive. Your mission is to find the perpetrators and the killer of your father.
As with every GTA title to date, Chinatown Wars is crafted with the same care and consideration that Rockstar Games has built its reputation on, with incredible production values and excellent gameplay mechanisms designed specifically for the touchscreen. This is one title no self-respecting gamer should miss out.
9 Plants vs. Zombies
In Plants vs. Zombies, you play the role of a homeowner trying to stave off a never-ending horde of the undead (who we suspect may be bankers). Fortunately your gardening lessons are paying off and you can plant, literally, zombie-killing veggies in your front lawn to keep the hordes at bay. It’s one of the most fun and addictive tower defence games we have played.
10 Bills (with sync & notifications)
The recession has bit us hard in the butt this year. While the high-paid suits are crying foul for not being able to take their third holiday, the rest of us have still to worry about paying bills and all the while keeping an eye on our monthly finances. The Bills app for iPhone helps you do exactly that with the ability to set up recurring bills, costs and planned payments to stay top of your outgoings.
It has an incredibly polished and intuitive interface, with neatly organised categories for overdue, planned and paid expenses, plus a green progress bar that tells you if you’re running over your monthly budget or not. Plus, there’s local notifications, which means you won’t miss an important payment again.