Jan 16

CapRack

Friends, Fun, gifts Comments Off
Community Rating: 45 votes, average: 3.93 out of 545 votes, average: 3.93 out of 545 votes, average: 3.93 out of 545 votes, average: 3.93 out of 545 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5 (45 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5)

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CapRack is an application is brought to us by the wonderful kids that recently developed one of our favorite applications, Sneakers. If you are familiar with the Sneakers app, theres not a lot of surprises here. They kept the layout and functions much the same, and if you read our earlier review, you’ll see we’re fans big fans.

Just as Sneakers, you get a daily allowance to spend on your cap collection, this time via points (as opposed to “sneaker bucks”). Once again, caps can be purchased for yourself, or you can gift them to a friend. The app features caps in all varieties: MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAA, NHL, Racing, Pop Culture, and by brand. While most of the caps are of the traditional baseball variety, you can also select fedoras, drivers caps, visors, and may others. Just for giggles, they’ve even thrown in some funny “caps” including  mascot heads and cowboy hats made of beer boxes.

There’s not a lot new here, and not quite as robust as the Sneakers app (especially since they’ve added the sneaker wiki and ebay links), but it’s rock solid, none the less. I would like to see a click through link for actual purchase off hats in the app. I would also like if they had a more extensive selection of limited edition and harder to find exclusives, but I’m sure that will come in time. Another winner from the Sneakers camp.

Application Link:Click here
Our Score:
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (45 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5)
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Jan 15

Podcasts

Fun, Music, Video Comments Off
Community Rating: 33 votes, average: 3.88 out of 533 votes, average: 3.88 out of 533 votes, average: 3.88 out of 533 votes, average: 3.88 out of 533 votes, average: 3.88 out of 5 (33 votes, average: 3.88 out of 5)

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Well, well, well… It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the roving derelicts  writers over here at AppRate.com, as we run up and down the Coast trying to keep up with every last crumb of technology news coming out by the minute. What, you thought we only focused on Facebook apps? Even worse, you thought it paid our bills anything? But, perhaps the time away from the ol’ blue and white boxes served us well. I haven’t griped about pirates, hamsters, or which “Friends” character my LOLCat resembles, in, like…. Well a few days at least. Not only that, I’m actually on a roll… I’ve added at least 3 or 4 solid  (or at least marginally useful) applications to my profile over the past couple of weeks. You can go ahead and add this Podcasts application from the people over at Podtrack to that list.

The Podcasts app (as you may well be able to deduce from it’s name) allows you to add your favorite video and audio podcasts to your profile. The interface is fairly simple. The home page shows the basics: My Podcasts, Friends Podcasts, Most Popular Podcasts, Invite Friends, and (currently) Playing.  There’s tons of great podcasts from which to search through, and once selected, you can listen, share with friends, and post to your profile. If you want to share your favorite podcast but can’t fnd it through the application’s search, you can simply add the URL, and post it your profile.

I suppose your next question would be “Why would I post podcasts to my profile, when I can just go iTunes?” Simple. TO SHARE YOUR WITH YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK, SILLY. I mean, that is what Facebook is all about, right? As I’ve mentioned in some other reviews, who wouldn’t want their entire network to see the newest “Ask a Ninja” podcast from your profile? Um, hellloooo!?!? ME. All the time. Forever.

I would suggest a couple of minor aesthetic changes, just to add a bit of pizazz. I would like to have the my profile window a bit more defined, something to attract the viewers eye. I would also like each photo to display  some information  for each podcast, either by a roll over text box, or below each photo. I am a giant fan of klezmer techno mixes, and unless you can tell from a tiny photo of an orthodox rabbi behind a set of turntables in the middle of a laser light show, you would probably want this as well. Podcasts is still a great app, though, and I highly suggest it for people that are spending all day on the Facebook… much like my miserable, miserable self.

Application Link:Click here
Our Score:
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (33 votes, average: 3.88 out of 5)
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Jan 08

Oregon Trail

Fun, Games, Learning Comments Off
Community Rating: 19 votes, average: 3.37 out of 519 votes, average: 3.37 out of 519 votes, average: 3.37 out of 519 votes, average: 3.37 out of 519 votes, average: 3.37 out of 5 (19 votes, average: 3.37 out of 5)

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Okay, so we’re well aware that there have been tons of Facebook apps that turn on our heartlights for nostalgia , all of which are most certainly classic video game emulators. Well, school children of the 80’s, we have yet another, and perhaps it’s one of the most memorable, due to the fact that you could play it IN SCHOOL! (wait for it, waaait for it..) Oregon Trail!!! That’s right, the fine kids over at kickflip have brought us this great Oregon Trail app for Facebook. For those of you who don’t know what… Who am I kidding? Doesn’t everyone in the country know what… Oh wait. This is the WORLD Wide Web.

Oregon Trail was a computer game (Commador 64 and the Apple IIe for those who remember) that was distributed to elementary schools throughout the US during the 80’s. The premise was you were a settler headed from Independence, MO to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, via the aforementioned famed trail. Along the way you had to buy or trade for supplies (wagon parts, bullets, oxen, etc.) that diminish throughout your trip. You had to make decisions according to health problems, climate, pace, and obstacles. It was really amazing how robust the game was, but simple enough for a 7-10 year old to play (before 10 year olds were physically attached to gaming controllers and keyboards). It was meant to teach numerous different skills: money management, geography, time and distance relationship, history… I would go on about the game, but everyone that knows it and basically loves it, and for those that don’t know, I don’t want to spoil the fun.

The applcation gets the game down to a tee, but there are some bugs that the die hard fans will notice quite quickly. But hey, do you think it was any better in 1985 on an Apple II e with less memory than your cellphone? I remember in 5th grade, waiting a week to play (you would get an hour or so to play) and having the game crash a couple of times on me. So consider yourself lucky to revisit with considerably less problems. I highly suggest everyone give it a spin at least once (you may get bored with a second go), and for those with children, it is an awesome way to spend an hour or so…

PS There was another learning based computer game that came out in 85, equally, if not more cool. Where in the world is the Where in the World is Carmen San Diego app!?!?

Application Link:Click here
Our Score:
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (19 votes, average: 3.37 out of 5)
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Jan 07

I am a Spontaneous Idealist

Expression, Friends Comments Off
Community Rating: 8 votes, average: 2.63 out of 58 votes, average: 2.63 out of 58 votes, average: 2.63 out of 58 votes, average: 2.63 out of 58 votes, average: 2.63 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 2.63 out of 5)

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You too? So am I!!! At least that’s what the I am a Spontaneous Idealist app from iPersonic tells me. That is, until we get back to your place after a romantic dinner/movie date, when I come to find out you’re really a Psychopathic Narcissist. Damn you iPersonic and your Jungian Personality color wheel, damn you all to h-e-double hockey sticks!!!

You’d figure I would have gotten to the point in my thirty-hmprhsh life that I would have started to feel comfortable in my own skin. Well, I’m only human, apparently (because the social graph tells me so), and humans need to be reassured from time to time, ” I’m good, enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like me”. Maybe the cumbersomely named I am a Spontaneous Idealist app is the answer to all my lingering esteem issues from the time that Ingrid Straubb stabbed me in the hand with a pencil in fourth grade because I asked her to go the Dan Thompson’s roller skating birthday party with me. Bitter much?

I am a Spontaneous Idealist is based on a five minute test in which you choose between 2 sets of 5-8 personality traits which most resemble you. Never mind if out of both personality sets, only one trait is like you… THIS IS SCIENCE FOLKS. Apparently, the test is based on the typology of famous CG Jung, so who am I to argue? Anyhow, you answer 8 or so sets of questions, and you are then assigned a cute little circle with the initials of your diagnosis personality trait, in a correlating hue. The theory is, pending you’ve spammed up all your friends to take the test, that you’ll be able to tell by color which people you most get along with. Greens with some greens and blues but never reds, etc.

This all culminates in a three paragraph synopsis of your personality (which shows in your profile), that mostly reads like a pamphlet for the local krishna day retreat on Mount Harmonious Love Water. To quote my synopsis, “If the spontaneous idealist has just fallen in love, the sky is full of violins and his new partner is showered with attention and affection.” I can almost hear the dolphins singing. I mean seriously, you just read the review, do I sound like my sky is full of violins?!?!

OK, maybe you caught me on a bad day, but c’mon. Personality test/quizzes/ evaluators are a dime a (hundred) dozens on Facebook, but if you’re that in need of reassurances, then by all means, go ahead and add it. Not me, though. I’ll stick to the old fashion way, which usually involves a breakup, a bottle of cheap brown-flavored liquor, two buddies, a pool/cat fight, and some “I looooveee yoouu maaaann/guuuuurrrl” hugs on the stumble home.

Application Link:Click here
Our Score:
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 2.63 out of 5)
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Dec 20

Deadline

Entertainment, Fun, Games, News Comments Off
Community Rating: 37 votes, average: 4.35 out of 537 votes, average: 4.35 out of 537 votes, average: 4.35 out of 537 votes, average: 4.35 out of 537 votes, average: 4.35 out of 5 (37 votes, average: 4.35 out of 5)

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I’m going to go out on a limb here: Deadline is the slickest, best looking app on Facebook. No contest. Now I’m sure you could argue for other well produced applications taking the title, but wouldn’t that be a High-Class Problem? Indeed. I spend countless hours days weeks poo-pooing useless, ill conceived and poorly produced apps, in the hopes that 1 out of a 100 will come even close to retaining my attention for more than 2 minutes. Congratulations, Deadline, you’ve done it.

Deadline is so robust, I hardly know where to begin. Let’s start at the basics: It’s a quiz game. The developers, Fuel, refer to it as “non-trivial trivia”, which is spot on. The goal is to answer multiple choice, current event questions in as little of the 30 seconds allowed. Each question starts at 100 points, and quickly diminishes through the 30 seconds. As you answer questions, you can see your average overall score per question, as well as your overall percentage of correct answers. Each time you answer the question, correctly or incorrectly, Deadline shows you the actual correlating news story. Not only that, you can read more on each store, and bookmark them as well.

Here’s the cool part. Deadline offers three ways to cheat, but the interesting part is how you accrue the cheats. First cheat is “Beat the Clock” which allows you to stop the clock at any point while answering a question. You get this cheat by answering 10 questions in a row, correctly of course. Second, is the “50/50″ (ala Millionaire) that will remove two of the incorrect answers which you recieve by inviting 5 friends. Lastly, is the “Free Pass” allowing you to get the answer and keep the points, for each person you invited that adds the app. With as intense as the questions are, this is great incentive.

Now I know what your saying, “But Bryan, you hate apps that force you to add your friends…” This is not exactly true. I hate crappy, pointless apps that force you to invite your friends (it’s like tasting something horrible, making a face, and turning to your friend and saying “Taste this”). Heaven forbid there be a Facebook application, game or not, which may actually stimulate your brain. Deadline is not only one of the best looking app, its crazy addictive, and you’ve actually LEARNED STUFF by playing it. If only the rest of Facebook developers community would take notice… Oh wait, no ninjas, pirates or zombies? Nevermind.

Application Link:Click here
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (37 votes, average: 4.35 out of 5)
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Dec 20

Top Snapped

Friends, Photos, Uncategorized Comments Off
Community Rating: 12 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5 (12 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)

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Top Snapped is an application which tracks how many times you were “snapped” in photos on Facebook. Which is a not so fancy way of saying how many times you were tagged in a photo. Why not just call it “Top Tagged”? At least they saved us from some crappy web 2.0 spelling… Top Snapt anyone?

Ok, so you can see who tagged you in a photo. Isn’t that enough?…Oh nooo. Top Snapped also shows me “My Popularity”, which, by the way, tells me I’m a “Snap Newbie” (Great, always what I wanted to be). But the fun doesn’t stop there. There’s even a leaderboard, showing the 25 “Most Snapped”. As we all know, it’s not a real Facebook application unless it has a leaderboard.

Theres some other tabs thrown in, “My List”, and “My Friends” (what’s the diff?), but does it really matter? Anyone who uses this, really just wants to see how many pictures they’ve been tagged in. Simple as that. It’s all about stroking the ego. Constantly. Everywhere you you go. Top Snapped is probably about #9752 in the line of Facebook apps that will help you do precisely that.

PS I would like all of my readers to note that I refrained from making any quips involving the phrase “Oh, Snap!” However, after writing this review , I jumped around the room saying it… while doing the Running Man.

Application Link:Click here
Our Score:
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (12 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)
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Dec 13

Private Photo Gallery

Photos Comments Off
Community Rating: 14 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5 (14 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5)

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With the ever increasing fervor over Facebook’s privacy issues (particularly the Beacon debacle), this Private Photo Gallery application will certainly find some fans among paranoid worried users.  The benefits to making your photo gallery are obvious. Have pictures of yourself out partying while you were supposed to be out sick? How about the pix of you passed out in a shopping cart? Add this app and you’ll never have the boss, your mom, and most importantly, your “face-stalker” snooping in your photos again.

The idea is a great one, but I’m not sure the app does the best job executing it.  Once you’ve added it, your friends can request to view your private photos, but they must, of course, add the app themselves. As always, you can spam all your friends to add the app. Not a big fan. It would be so much nicer if I wanted to view someones private photos, I could simply send them a request WITHOUT adding the app. Also, the ads run rampant all over the application, which makes the whole thing cluttered and confusing. Having said that, though, I am sure plenty of users find value in Private Photo Gallery, could care less about the ads, and have no hesitation about sending invites to their network.

On a positive side of things, the application  has a cool news feed on the home page, featuring the most recent users (under the Browse Galleries tab). This has little, if anything to do with privacy, as you can request access to any strangers gallery, but is still cool none the less. Not to worry, you can opt to show your galleries to everyone, or just your friends, and no matter who sends a request, you can approve or deny them. Smartly, they’ve included an Access List (people you’ve approved) and Access Requests, which had they not been included, would’ve made the whole thing totally confusing. Again, people will find this useful,  I’m just not one of them. One things for sure, if Facebook didn’t exclude dirty photos from their TOS, this app would be GIANT.

Application Link:Click here
Our Score:
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (14 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5)
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Dec 12

Personal Name Acronym

Be Careful What You Wish For, Pointless Comments Off
Community Rating: 9 votes, average: 2.11 out of 59 votes, average: 2.11 out of 59 votes, average: 2.11 out of 59 votes, average: 2.11 out of 59 votes, average: 2.11 out of 5 (9 votes, average: 2.11 out of 5)

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I don’t get Canada. The short football fields, the five pin bowling, that “sport” with the big stone on the ice with the brushes… And don’t think the weirdness is limited to sports. Once I went to a “fusion” restaurant in Canada and was served a Hot Dog in Taco Shell. It was called “Dog in a Sombrero”. I am not kidding. What does this have have to do with the Personal Name Acronym application?  Nothing, really. Except it’s weird… and the developer is a Canuck. Oh wait, that’s everything.

This application places a window in your profile that allows your friends to type words that begin with letters in your name. Oooh. So entertaining a kindergartner would find it, ummm… Boring? It takes the mundanity one step further by allowing users to see who and when each letter of your name was edited. Oh, Canada (holding head in hands). Just when you thought the pointless could get no more pointless.

I don’t know if there is anything I could suggest that would make this app the least bit interesting. Perhaps allowing users to set “themes” of words their friends were allowed to enter (ex. Naughty, HipHop, Country, etc) would make it tolerable for perhaps 2.5 extra minutes. This app reminds me of the “name generator” joke (Your Porn name, Your Wu Tang name, etc), with even less comic results. Trust me when I say very few of anyones close friends are that funny.  Go ahead and add this app if your going for the Guinness Book World of Records for “Most Useless Applications on a Facebook Page”. Otherwise, let it be, eh?

Application Link:Click here
Our Score:
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 2.11 out of 5)
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Dec 12

GO (The Game)

Games Comments Off
Community Rating: 10 votes, average: 3.6 out of 510 votes, average: 3.6 out of 510 votes, average: 3.6 out of 510 votes, average: 3.6 out of 510 votes, average: 3.6 out of 5 (10 votes, average: 3.6 out of 5)

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For those not familiar with the game Go, it is an ancient board game Chinese emperor Yao (2237-2258 BC) had it designed for his unruly son, Danzu. It was created to teach the boy discipline, concentration and balance, and the fact that it is now a Facebook application, well… Let’s just say the irony is not lost on me.

Go is a game of devilishly simple rules, yet holds incredibly deep levels of strategy for players. Player select black or white “stones”, and alternate placing them at intersection points on a 19×19 grid that is the game board (beginners can also choose 13×13 and 9×9 boards). The goal is to surround you’re opponents pieces, and once you’ve done so, you receive the surrounded stones. There are different scoring scenarios depending on what part of the world you play in, but basically the player that controls most of the board, wins.

The application allows users to view the top ranking players vs the computer, as well as your own ranking on the three major Int’l Go organizations. Not only can users choose to play other friends or the computer, known as GnuGo Bot, there is also a public room for other Go players to challenge each other (although I have yet to see or play a game from this tab). The interface is pretty explanatory, but the home page is a bit crowded from all of the minutae of the game (rankings, alternate rules, int’l scoring scenarios). What do you expect, though, from a game that’s been debated and played for 4000+ years?

Overall, this is a great app for Go players of all skill levels. The user base seems pretty low for a game that has an enthusiastic and dedicated following. Being that Go games take some time, and certainly some brains to play, this is actually not all that surprising. Sure, people LOVE wasting time playing games on Facebook. Question is: Do they really want to think that hard while doing it?

Application Link:Click here
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 3.6 out of 5)
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Dec 05

Unfriender

Alerts, Friends, networking Comments Off
Community Rating: 18 votes, average: 3.11 out of 518 votes, average: 3.11 out of 518 votes, average: 3.11 out of 518 votes, average: 3.11 out of 518 votes, average: 3.11 out of 5 (18 votes, average: 3.11 out of 5)

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Do you have a ton of friends, and want need to see when an ex-girlfriend finally removes you from her profile? Well, my stalker-tastic friend, Unfriender is definitely for you. Quite honestly, I can’t believe this hasn’t caught on like wildfire. Perhaps it’s lack of installs is in part due to the fact that Facebook is one giant, zombie-poking (ewwww..) ego stroke.

Unfriender is devilishly simple. Add the app, check back “from time to time” (i.e. every 2.5 minutes), see who has removed you from their friend list, send them profanity laced email in all caps, break laptop over your knee, then walk around the neighborhood in your pajamas and shout at strangers. See… simple. If seeing how unlikable in your profile wasn’t demeaning enough, Unfriender is adding SMS and email updates as well. Sweet!

There is, however, some question as to whether or not Unfriender violates Facebook’s TOS, and you know how we love a good scandal. Apparently, applications cannot store Facebook-supplied relationships between users for more than 24 hours, and it appears Unfriender seems to do so (please correct us if we’re wrong, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time). We’re left to wonder if and when Facebook will wield its mighty Thor-Hammer down upon Unfriender. Irregardless, the app is pretty cool in some twisted, self-effacing way, and if they don’t get shut down, we could see it getting pretty popular.

Application Link:Click here
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 3.11 out of 5)
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