Sports, real and virtual
This week’s roundup of new and updated apps includes ways to track the real Wimbledon championships and play the simulated Superbike World Championships. Plus, we have stuff for you non-sporting types out there, too.
Amazon Instant Video
The free Amazon Instant Video app for iOS updated this week with several new features, including the ability to watch the first episode of select TV shows for free—a little taste just to draw you into the full subscription Amazon Prime service—as well as revamped video controls and a faster startup.
Richard Avedon was one of the 20th century’s greatest photographers, hands-down. The Avedon app for iPad showcases his fashion photography, photojournalism, and stunning portraits. It includes “hundreds of images displaying the arc of this extraordinary artist's career.”
Here’s an iPhone app for people too lazy to sell stuff on eBay. eBay Valet lets you take pictures of your stuff and get an estimate of its value from the “valets.” If you like their estimte, you pack up the item and send it to the valet, who will actually sell the item on eBay. You get back 70 percent of the final sale price.
If the Avedon app inspires you to take richly textured black-and-white photographs, Lenka looks to be a good helper. There are no filters: The app gives you a realtime preview of the picture you’re about to take … and that’s about it. You can’t use the flash or the front-facing camera on the phone because, the developers say, “these are creative decisions which speak to our artistic philosophy.” The app is $3; no extra charge for the pretentiousness.
This social media app is now two social media apps. Much like Facebook has its Facebook Messenger app to handle communications tasks, Path for iPhone and iPad has been updated—the 150-friend limit is gone—and its messaging capabilities spun off into a new iPhone-only offering, Talk. It offers back-and-forth messaging with folks on your phone’s contact list and includes features like “off the record,” which erases messages from Path’s servers after 24 hours.
Red Hot + Bach
Artists like Radiohead and Philip Glass have already received the “abstract app” treatment, in the form of offerings that let you trace your finger across an iPad page, both responding to and helping create their music. Now this fun-but-obscure idea has come to the classical world: If you want to spend the day finger-painting and listening to Bach, Red Hot + Bach will probably delight you.
SBK14 Official Mobile Game
SBK14 Official Mobile Game is a free offering for iOS, giving you a chance to participate in the FIM Superbike World Championship. You’ll have a choice of 13 racing tracks, 27 riders, and 16 racing teams to use. Just be warned: You’ll have to pay $5 for an in-app upgrade to the “full” version.
These days, every major sporting event has to have its own iOS app. Wimbledon, a free iPhone offering, gives users up-to-the minute scores and match results, as well as news, a live blog, and live video programming—including coverage of the championship matches—as well as three live audio channels for fans wanting to keep track of it all.