Can’t decide what to get for your first (or next) tattoo?
You could flip through books at your local parlour or check out your friends’ ink for inspiration.
Or, why not design your own, with Instattoo ($5.79) for Apple’s mobile devices?
Instattoo can display a number of designs, which are divided into one of thirteen core styles—ranging from stars and tribal patterns to Asian imagery, hieroglyphs, floral designs, and shaded drawings with greyish tones.
By swiping your finger on the screen, you can rotate the design wheel to create something truly unique. Plus, you can also select from one of five different modes per style, adjust the size (from extra small to extra large), or tap the 'variate' button to see other kaleidoscope-like spins on the same design.
If you’re feeling lazy, you can tap the ying-yang symbol for a randomly generated design, until you find something you’d like to go with or tweak. You can also pinch to zoom in or out of your design at any time.
The app maker says that there are, literally, billions of combinations that can be created. Additional styles can be downloaded for free every week or via the in-app store. Each for $0.99 cents, top purchases include styles called Vardar, Sirocco, and Aster.
Once you have something interesting, you can save a high resolution image to your iPad’s camera roll, wirelessly print a hard copy to a compatible printer, or use Wi-Fi to send the design to a computer on the same wireless network. If you’d like to share your creation, you’ve got the option to email it or upload it to sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or Instagram.
Because no drawing skills are needed, this app is ideal for anyone who wants to design their own tattoo. It's too bad there’s no way to input text into your design, so you can see what it looks like with your loved one’s name weaved into the image, or a song lyric, religious scripture, or any other words you’d like to see. Perhaps this feature will be added with a future update.
Shortcoming aside, this first tattoo designer for iPad is a breeze to use and should help you create something unique to bring to your local tattoo parlour.
This handy Wi-Fi and 3G-enabled app lets you listen to—and record—more than 50,000 radio stations from around the world, as well as online-only stations and podcasts.
From rock to pop, hip-hop to reggae, classical to country, this app works with the RadioTime music directory to let you search for music by artists or genre, and then you can bookmark the stations you like best.
For example, I found a gem of a station called GotRadio Mash-Ups that plays two tracks cleverly mixed together, such as Katy Perry and Linkin Park or Mary J. Blige and Snow Patrol. You can also search for stations playing your favourite song at that particular time.
If your favourite radio station isn't listed, you can add it by copying and pasting the URL from a Web browser to TuneIn Radio Pro.
The app lets you pause for up to thirty minutes or skip forward and back between tracks, like a digital video recorder. Tap the red record button to save it to your device's built-in memory and play it back anytime you like, even when offline. Unfortunately, you can't transfer it to your iTunes library if you're on an iOS device, so you won't be able to weave it into existing playlists, but at least you can minimize the app and keep listening while, say, surfing the Web, playing a game, or typing in a word processor. Many stations offer commercial- and DJ-free music, and will often show album art with each track, too.
Illustrated by a map of the Earth or by country name, you can search for radio stations from around the world—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. TuneIn Radio Pro first asks if it could know your location—using the iPad's GPS or Wi-Fi wireless connectivity—and within a second or two, you'll see a thorough list of your local AM and FM stations.
It's not just music either, as you've also got access to news, talk, sports, comedy, and old time radio shows, and the app can recommend related stations to check out based on your tastes.
There's also an alarm clock, record timer, and sleep timer function, plus you can control audio playback with headphone controls and most speaker dock remotes, if desired. The latest update adds the ability to rename recordings, a data counter for those who want to keep an eye on their 3G or Wi-Fi usage (available in settings), and the app now automatically pauses the station you're on when you close the app, and resumes when you open it again.
For music lovers, TuneIn Radio Pro could be the best ninety-nine cents you've ever spent! A free version, called TuneIn Radio, doesn't let you record audio.
If you're a parent of kids or tweens, you might want to check out a new app called Totally Amp'd, as it's the first original mobile video series designed for kids ages 8 to 14.
Consider it a sitcom for the digital age, with 10 short "appisodes" reminiscent of a Disney Channel or Nickleodeon show. Plus, there's also a collection of related activities tied to music creation, movie editing and fashion design.
While ideal for the 9.7-inch iPad, the app also works with iPhone and iPod touch.
The six- to nine-minute videos follow five seemingly mismatched teenagers, who form a pop group and enter a music competition. The winner of this prestigious contest will open up for the fictional superstar Charlie "The Feve" Fever (think Justin Bieber). There's also a side story about the music label's receptionist-turned-manager Zoe -- played by Ashley Leggat from Disney Channel's Life with Derek TV series -- who'd like to show up her condescending boss, Archie.
While it's a live-action show, many of the backdrops are hand-drawn. This takes some getting used to, but I suppose it's much cheaper to produce the series with virtual sets than building ones.
The first appisode, Rejects Reborn, is free to watch, but the other eight videos can be unlocked for a one-time fee of $4.99.
Once each Totally Amp'd video is viewed, all the interactive content for that appisode is unlocked. This includes the ability to "direct" a music video by selecting which of the three camera angles to use, dressing up the stars of the show in the design studio and mixing songs heard in the show you just watched (such as Round and Round and It's Not a Dream from the first appisode). You can also sing into the iPad's microphone, record your performance with the rest of the band and play it back later. There's also a "bonus content" tab you can tap, which takes you to the Totally Amp'd YouTube channel for walk-throughs, Q&As and other behind-the-scenes content.
Speaking of music, the instrumental theme song for Totally Amp'd sounds an awful lot like Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA. Hmm.
Another issue with this app is its huge size at 925 MB. This is because the Toronto-based developer wanted all appisodes and activities to be on the iPad already, therefore you'll have access to everything immediately after coughing up the cash.
XMG Studio's Totally Amp'd is an interesting and entertaining experiment in the mobile delivery of short sitcom episodes, mixed with related activities. While the content won't appeal to all ages (the characters and songs were perfect for my 9-year-old twins), it's clever to go after a specific age group rather than try to paint with a broad stroke.
Quite simply, if you've got kids who enjoy Disney Channel shows, and the hefty download isn't an issue, you've got nothing to lose by downloading the free Totally Amp'd app and tuning into the first appisode and activities.