[This article is part of our
2010 App Gems Awards series, honoring the best apps of 2010.]
It’s not easy taking all the noteworthy products in the App Store and narrowing them down to a list of two-dozen award winners. A lot of great apps—as worthy of your attention as our 24 App Gems Award recipients—wind up on the cutting room floor, just because there are only so many trophies to go around. With that in mind, here are a dozen more apps that could just as easily made our final list. They might not have captured an App Gem award, but they certainly merit a second look the next time you’re perusing the App Store’s virtual shelves.
Air Video : Like ZumoCast, this app lets you stream video from your home computer to your iOS device, saving valuable storage space on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. The app supports nearly all video formats, converting them to an iOS-friendly format on the fly.
Everlands HD : Don’t be fooled by the cartoony graphics in this iPad game. This mix of chess and tic-tac-toe is one of the deepest, most complex strategy board games you’ll find in the App Store
FlightTrack Pro : Having a mobile device means having information at your fingertips. And this feature rich app keeps you up-to-speed on air travel with airport and gate maps, flight delays, estimated arrival times, weather readouts, in-flight tracking, and more.
Friendly : There’s no official Facebook app for the iPad, as of this writing. But Friendly picks up where Facebook leaves off, making most of the the social networking site’s features shine in the multi-touch world of Apple’s tablet.
Hulu Plus : If you’ve paid up for a $8-a-month subscription with the Hulu online TV streaming service, this app gives you access to much of the content you can view via a desktop browser—only now you can watch an extensive library of shows on the go.
iBooks : In the battle of hybrid e-book reader apps, Amazon’s Kindle offering may win for quantity of content. But Apple’s well-designed entry delivers an immersive reading experience that sets the standard on the iPhone or iPad.
LogMeIn Ignition : Plenty of App Store offerings let you control Mac and Windows machines remotely from your phone. Because it’s easy to set up, it provides secure control-level access, and it doesn’t require any firewall configuration.
Navigon Mobile Navigator : When it’s time to get from Point A to Point B, you don’t want to be restricted to using a single app for the entire journey. Navigon makes great use of iOS 4’s multitasking features, letting you run other apps at the same time as you get directions from the GPS program.
Netflix : We always appreciate an app that doesn’t rest on its laurels, and this movie streaming program for Netflix Unlimited members keeps tacking on the features. What started out as an iPad-only app now runs on all iOS devices and supports video output to your TV.
Pastebot : Beautifully designed and adorned with killer features—namely, the ability to paste things to and from your phone with the help of a free companion syncing program—this mobile clipboard manager deserves a place of prominence on your phone.
Photogene for iPad : Omer Shoor’s image editor was already an impressive iPhone app. But this iPad feels right at home on the tablet’s larger screen.
Solar Walk : Explore the solar system in exquisite detail on either your iPhone and iPad. Thanks to great graphics and clever use of multitouch gestures, you can pinch and zoom your way around the heavens, examining stars, moons, and planets in an immersive 3D environment.