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BRANDED GAMING APP / FEATURED APPS

Trident Vitality Falling Stars 


Falling
StarsWanna play a game four out of five dentists recommend? Well, actually, judging from the five-star rating from 900-odd reviews and more than 415,000 downloads, a lot more folks than dentists recommend this sweet treat for both iPhone and iPad users. Created to promote the new Trident flavor "Awaken," a peppy blend of peppermint and ginseng, the app is essentially a digital music box for the app-enabled age. Branding takes a back seat to beautiful design, inventive user interface and the intriguing challenge of music creation. The Trident Vitality brand appears on the home screen and lower corner of all other screens, but really this is essentially just a fun musical app to play with. Falling StarsBring up the main screen and you're presented with what looks like a tropical landscape midnight view. Above everything shine several stars. Tap on them to release falling stars that create a percussive rhythm when they hit the ground. Tap on the bottom of the screen and a menu of various plant species slides up. Select one and drag your finger on the screen to create a foliage obstruction the falling stars will strike and bounce off of, creating a variety of tones and sounds. Stars behave a bit like pinball balls, often ricocheting off musical plants repeatedly in fascinating and often unexpected ways. You can control the speed and number of stars falling by tapping directly on the source stars again. The share features seemed a bit spartan. What looked like a cool idea - share a melody I'd created with my friends through Facebook, Twitter or email - turned out to share a soundless JPEG of my creation and a link to download the app. While the images are pretty, absent the unique melody users create I found the share feature wanting. This would no doubt limit the number of shares. On the plus side, the share feature was easy to use, and unlocked a few additional sounds to play with - a feature that pretty much guarantees at least one share per user. Overall, this is a wonderfully amusing time-waster, and well worth the free download. Available in
the App Store
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BOOKS / FEATURED APPS

Cinderella animated picture book 


CinderellaSpoiler Alert! At the end of Cinderella, the glass slipper fits. The King falls in love with our heroine, and all is well with the world. It's a classic feel-good story that's been told countless times in cultures far and wide. The book delivers the goods. So can an iPad app improve on it? Well, as long as you're not a storybook purist, oh yes it can. CinderellaThe Cinderella animated picture book for iPad enables your child to play an active role in the story, without straying too far from the general plot. There are no game elements - no scores to beat or baubles to collect - just active participation, as if your child is a featured character along for the ride. They can help Cinderella tidy up the kitchen, select her clothing, and even control each character's physical placement within a scene, like a digital storyboard artist. Very cool. Whether in "Read to Me," "Read by Myself" or "Read & Play" mode, the app combines modern illustrations and animations with character-specific and scene-setting music. In one of my favorite touches, your kids can insert their image into the story with the iPad's built-in camera. Not to spoil the ending again, but they'll love seeing themselves live happily ever after. Available in the App Store
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COMMUNICATION / FEATURED APPS

MediaPad Pro for iPad 


MediaPad
ProThe MediaPad Pro app for iPad was co-developed by Craig Orsini, an award-winning photographer and director who wanted a better way of presenting and sharing work with potential clients. He custom-crafted MediaPad Pro to allow artisans of any discipline to easily construct their portfolio of content into an intuitive and highly customizable format, ideal for photographers, artists, models, designers, or just about anyone with a portfolio. It comes equipped with all the tools you'd need to bring your portfolio into the modern digital lifestyle. MediaPad ProThe app is really big on personalization, so the entire interface is fully customizable. Initial upload of your media files is fairly straight forward, you simply do it through iTunes while the iPad is plugged in. Once all the media is in, you can organize it into sections on the iPad, adjust the color palate and modify the font scheme. Select from one of the included background images, or upload your own to make it consistent with your personal branding. MediaPad
ProWhen presenting your work to the clients, you can choose from a variety of included transitions and timing options to automate your content into a seamless slideshow. If you have a VGA adapter, you can even mirror it on a TV monitor or an overhead projector. If however you suddenly notice a mistake or decide to reposition an image while on your way to a meeting, just swap out the pieces you choose and you are instantly ready to go. We also like the way MediaPad Pro helps you stay in touch with potential clients, for that the app includes a guest book for viewers of your portfolio to sign and leave comments. You can easily keep track of who viewed your portfolio, delete individual records or disable the guestbook entirely. Mediapad Pro was clearly born out of an immediate need for a better tool, and it shows. It creates an environment essential to people showing off their multimedia content, it's impressively powerful, yet simple and friendly. Its modern take on the traditional portfolio format not only makes your work come alive in your hands, but also eliminates the costs of paper stock, print runs and portfolio cases, not to mention the constantly increasing costs of shipping - it's a win-win for everyone. Available in the App Store
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FEATURED APPS / TELEVISION & VIDEO

Baby First Mobile HD 


Baby FirstThere are two kinds of people in the mobile world: those okay with babies handling their device, and everyone else. If you're in the first category (and especially if you look after or know a baby in need of sharply-produced educational distractions), you'll be plenty pleased with Baby First. Baby FirstMy youngest niece is now eight, so it's been a while since I've racked my brain for baby-entertainment ideas. (Where were you when I needed you, Baby First?) Babies can actually choose the videos they'd like to watch based on icons that strike their fancy (that is, unless you guide their playlist with parental controls, though I'm not sure why you'd exercise that option - everything on the app is wholesome and cute). And once a video starts, it'll play through - the baby won't be able to accidentally stop it by touching the screen. Pretty much everything you'd want your baby to get a head start on is represented: vocabulary, numbers, animals, colors, all within short, beautifully animated and live action videos. Lots of cute characters too, including Harry the Bunny, Bonnie Bear, and a zippy squirrel who loves hide-and-seek. Baby First really does put your baby first - kudos! Available in the App Store
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FEATURED APPS / HEALTH AND FITNESS

Couch-to-5K 


Couch-to-5KWith so many exercise programs and related apps geared towards experienced athletes looking for an edge, it's nice to find a clean, simple, well-thought-out app for the beginner in need of motivation. The Couch-to-5K app takes the exercise novice by the hand and leads him/her from their living room sofa to the finish line of their very first 5K race. Couch-to-5KThe training workouts are layered and varied, allowing users to spice up runs with music and chart their routes via GPS to track distance and pace. A seamless integration with social media allows participants to share progress and encourage each other through Twitter and Facebook. And the app incorporates three different personal trainers (lithe ladies Constance & Billie, and no-nonsense Sergeant Block), each with their own motivational messages and advice. The trainers slowly increase the difficulty of the workouts as the runner progresses. Individual training sessions last roughly 30 minutes, and the recommended program is three times a week for a total of nine weeks. As a neat bonus, after users complete the program, they're eligible to receive discounts off select 5K race registrations in their area which they can conveniently register for through the app. Cheers to Couch-to-5K for removing every roadblock from getting in shape! Available in the App Store
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FEATURED APPS / SOCIAL NETWORKING

Viddy 


ViddyIt's hard to believe that Viddy has only been available in the iTunes store for a little over four months. In that time more than 750,000 people have downloaded the slick app that is essentially a video form of micro blogging on a mobile app platform. More than an app, Viddy is also social Web site Viddy.com, where Viddyers and their followers can see, share and like each other's videos. But the heart of the whole Viddy experience is this marvelous little app. ViddyViddy let's you shoot video and share it. Tap the share button and you're immediately presented with a host of options including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. You can also upload the video to your Viddy account. Much like Twitter limits posts to under 140 characters, so Viddy videos are limited to under 15 seconds. The app let's you post as is, or style your video with a host of themes, such as "Retro" and "3D," with music to match. The themes are impressively professional looking and easy to apply. And they do add that something extra: A video showing the vapid questioning stares of unsuspecting co-workers was amusing enough, but after run through the "Junkd" filter it was actually whimsical and funny. You can also import video shot on the iPhone camera, or videos edited in other apps such as Adobe's PhotoShop app. One of the best features is that the app knows when to to stop recording so videos are never more than 15 seconds long. It's easy to see how this app might lead to yet another interesting variant form of storytelling. What can you film in 10 to 15 seconds? Viddyers are testing those limits for sure. As I skimmed through the video snippets posted by a young woman I had randomly chosen to follow, I became aware of a fascinating, sometimes choppy, montage-like portrait she -- whether wittingly or not -- was painting of herself and her life. Goofy song parodies, random observations and pranks played on friends, combined with her infectious laugh, made for a moving picture of "TaylorMaylor." Viddy is quite simply, Twitter for the mobile video age. Available in the App Store
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FEATURED APPS / NEWS

Newsy for iPad 


Newsy for iPadOur very first Featured app is the 2011 Appy Awards winner, and our personal favorite - Newsy for iPad. There are many other contenders in the world of news aggregation apps, but this one is very different and yet familiar at the same time. Like news analysis and clipping services in days of yore, Newsy takes a curated approach to presenting news videos on the iPad. Newsy for iPadTopical reports from multiple news outlets are accessed and analyzed, compared and delivered in two-minute video segments. Users can filter videos and create personalized playlists, as well as rate, comment on and share videos via Twitter, Facebook and email, even access source links in transcripts. True to the app's name, Newsy is not a new aggregator, but a news analyzer. Try Newsy now for free via App Store. Available in the App Store
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UPDATE

Appys Always Open for Entries 


Appy AwardsWe mean that literally. No matter what time of day or what time of year, the door is always open here at the Appy Awards to accept entries in all categories. If you've made a great app, and you know it deserves the industry's coolest recognition, there's no need to wait. Enter it today to win your Appy! The next exciting Gala Reception & Appy Awards Ceremony will take place on March 21st 2012, and all entries submitted before February 8th will save 20%. Stop by our Deadlines and Fees pages for more details. Find out how your entry submission can be completely free, and save even more with our Appy Referral Program. Any entry you submit today will be eligible to win an Appy Award on March 21st, and may also be selected as our "Featured App of the Week", scoring you some seriously instant gratification.
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