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Top 5 Free Apps

Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: May 22, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: August 29, 2009
Genre: Games
Release Date: March 27, 2009
Release Date: August 07, 2009

iTunes New Music Releases

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: September 20, 2009
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: August 25, 2009

Top 5 Paid Apps

Release Date: April 22, 2009
StickWars $0.99
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Genre: Games
Bloons $0.99
Release Date: April 05, 2009
Genre: Games

Discover New Music

  • Chicago Transit Authority

    • 10 out of 10
    • Chicago
    • For those of you who don't know, Chicago didn't always suck, and everyone in the band didn't always play a keyboard. When the band started off they were pioneers of rock and jazz fusion, and guita

  • The Printz

    • 8 out of 10
    • Bumblebeez 81
    • Part white rap, part alternative, part pop, and part rock, the Bumblebeez grabbed a hold of me with "Pony Ride," and didn't let go.

      This group does a marvelous job of moving seamlessly be

  • 8:30

    • 10 out of 10
    • Weather Report
    • This is Weather Reports quintessential line-up captured live. Jaco Pastorious and Peter Erskine join Wayne Shorter and, of course, Joe Zawinul to create this masterpiece.
  • Mezzanine

    • 6 out of 10
    • Massive Attack
    • "Black Milk" knocks me off my feet in this collection of moody and eclectic songs. Massive Attack uses samples and keyboards in a very unique way, but not all the songs pack the same punch.

  • Music Has The Right To Children

    • 10 out of 10
    • Boards of Canada
    • This one will haunt you. From the first notes to the last, their sound surrounds you. BOC has put out a fantastic catalogue, and this album is a great starting point for a new listener. Jump straight

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Quick Look Review

Wings Earth for iPhone: A Pleasant Flying Experience

There are flight simulators designed to develop proficiency, but this isn't one of them. It's basically a simul-game for iPhone and iPod touch that allows one to fly over various terrains with accompanying music. It's an ethereal experience, good for calming the nerves or an occasional diversion.

The product description says it all.

"Wings brings the fun, excitement, and relaxation of flying to everyone.... Tailor your flying to have fun or just relax and enjoy the scenery."

Wings Earth is all about the flying experience, sans any other activity or attentions.

Wings Earth 1

HUD on

To reinforce that relaxation theme, there are several ethereal sound tracks that augment the experience of floating over the terrain. There's a head's up display that can be toggled on and off, and a throttle. One can also set the default for whether the view is slightly down, straight out or up. These settings are in the iPhone Settings at the bottom, not in the app. Once those are set, the main page provides four virtual worlds to select from.

I noted that the sound comes only out of the headphone/earbud jack and not through the external speaker.

What I liked was the music, the sense of floating, and the fabulous, fabulous clouds. What I didn't like was the rapid emergence of terrain, brought on by the limitations of the platform, even when selecting long range setting. There is also an annoying ad for other Bottle Rocket apps the first few times the app launches.


Wings Earth 2

HUD off

Flying is a tense proposition for any kind of aircraft, from balloons through F-22s. Even sailplane pilots have to be well trained and alert to keep from landing out. This app takes away all those cares, and just focuses on the sensation of flying. So, while it's technically a flight simulator, serious pilots, unless the subscribe to the theme of the app, won't find it of much use. The iTunes product page even points that out: if you're looking for flight training, go with X-Plane.

On the other hand, if you're in your cubicle at work, eating a hasty lunch and under stress, this app could help calm your nerves. Plug in some earbuds and float along in the sky.

The app is available in English, Chinese, Dutch, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

Wings Earth, Version 2.5 was released on June 23, and it's priced at US$1.99. The developer suggests rebooting the iPhone after install. It requires iPhone OS 2.1 or later and is 3.0 compatible.

Given what is does, it's fun, and I liked playing with it for awhile. But my sense is that, for most adults, whether they're pilots or not,  interest will soon wane. 

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