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Matt Reich

I'm a freelance writer and web developer and Mac nerd (obviously). I enjoy technology, bicycles, writing, good beer, music, and baseball. Killer combo, right?

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There is a lot of content out there on the Web, huge swathes of fascinating and engaging content. The problem has become locating the good stuff amidst all the noise. The trend for pumping out fluffy content really quickly has been growing and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find those truly good, in-depth pieces. They’re out there somewhere. You just need a little help finding them.

Longform is an iPad application that attempts to help you to discover just that, long form content. Not only that, Longform provides you with a very nice place to read those pieces along with handy features for sharing and utilizing your other services. Let’s take a look at this app and do some reading!

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I enjoy music a lot and I’m on a constant quest to discovery new music. Lucky for me there are a ton of resources and applications today that allow for a music nerd like myself to explore to almost endlessly. One of the places I always turn to is NPR.

National Public Radio produces a lot of amazing content. They seem to pay extra special attention to music with some solid regular programs such as All Songs Considered and World Cafe. There are others as well and when all combined they produce a substantial amount of high quality music related content. I say "content" because this ranges from live audio or video concerts, full radio programs, interviews, album previews and even things as basic as articles. Wouldn’t it be great to herd all of this stuff into one place? Thankfully NPR agrees and has created a specific iPad application aptly named NPR Music.

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Yes, the World Wide Web has unleashed a flurry of information on us all and we now have the World’s knowledge at our fingertips. I think we can all agree, that is awesome. There is, however, one problem.

The amount of information available on any topic imaginable is daunting, and we gravitate to sources that have some resemblance of organization and credibility to locate what we’re looking for. Wikipedia has become this source for a lot of people and we turn to it as the place for reference material or just to wander and learn. Wikibot is an iPad application that takes the core Wikipedia experience and attempts to add some functionality to make the resource even more useful. Let’s take a look at Wikibot and see just how successful it is.

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Games are meant to be a reprieve from our daily lives. Games are meant to entertain us and give us a little break from reality. Everything from a simple puzzle game to an engrossing console game. The basic purpose is the same.

The iPad has definitely proven itself as a valid gaming device of sorts and boasts many titles that serve the exact purpose I describe above. Most do this to some degree, but you could say some games are naturally better at this than others. I was searching for that completely engrossing experience and I decided to explore a game called Eufloria hoping to find just that.

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Cooking is fun and, for the most part, fairly easy if you have the right teacher. Taking a written recipe for anything even a little bit complicated can lead to some incorrect interpretations and a failed culinary endeavor.

Not long ago I did a roundup of cooking apps here and included Appetites as part of the group. I spent more time with Appetites and really learned some serious things from the step by step video delivery method of cooking a recipe. I can say it changed the way I cook. When I came upon the same developer’s Easy As Pie I knew I had to try it out. Off into the world of pie making.

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I’m the type of person that enjoys watching movies. I’m no movie buff, but I enjoy a trip to the theater or a night on the couch as the next person. One problem I do have is deciding what movie to watch whether at home or the theater. Going to the theater is more of an issue dealing with multiple theaters showing different movies at different times. Deciding what to see and where to see it have always been tough choices in my mind.

Flixster aims to be the movie watcher’s perfect companion. It can assist you in deciding what movie to watch either at a theater or at home and it can help you figure out what movies are showing at what theaters. Let’s be honest, this isn’t an incredibly tough problem to surpass in the grand scheme of things, but a free app that I can turn to when I need a little help? Sounds good to me. Let’s check it out.

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The iPad has taken on many more uses than its critics initially thought possible, but one of the main uses that has stayed consistent from day one is that of media consumption. The iPad is great for many things, but consuming media has to rank near the top.

Specifically, it’s a wonderful device for watching videos, and many applications are now available for watching all of that free video content on the Web in a multitude of interesting ways. We’ve recently reviewed Squrl and Denso and today we’re going to take a look at Frequency and Vodio, two other players in this market. These two applications are similar to each other in some regards, but take some different approaches to watching video on the iPad. Let’s see how they stack up against each other…

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If you’re an iPad owner you no doubt understand the joy that you get from simply interacting with the device. It’s a fun device to use no matter what you’re doing. While the iPad was pegged early on as purely a consumption device (I won’t dispute it, it’s pretty amazing at that), the touch interaction allows for so much more – there’s a growing crop of applications exploring just that.

A seemingly logical interaction with the iPad is creating art. There has been mixed reception with applications in this category so far. Some work well, but most can agree that while very cool, it isn’t exactly a perfect experience. Mixel carves out a niche in the art application category and allows you to create and share art. It’s intentionally extremely simple. On the surface this seems like a good angle, but let’s see how it actually works.

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The stock market in the last few weeks has been volatile to say the least. The week prior to writing this review saw 200 to 800 point swings in a matter of twenty-four hours. StockTouch is a stock market monitoring tool that is incredibly visual in nature so this temperamental behavior has created some interesting and quickly changing visuals.

StockTouch gives you a visual representation of individual stocks and the market divided in sectors and also as a whole. It makes stock and market research quite entertaining, but is it actually useful?

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Sharing in 140 characters or less is the name of the Twitter game. The platform simply exists and the users make it whatever they want it to be. We’ve seen a wide variety of uses as Twitter’s popularity has increased, from breaking news to sharing pictures of your dog (and everything in between). It’s safe to say that we are still discovering ways to utilize Twitter.

I’ve been a Twitter user for couple years and I’ll admit that I’ve had moments in the past were I wasn’t sure I really understood what Twitter should be used for. I was always looking for what it should be used for. I just went with it and continued on in my semi-active, mostly observational state. After a while I began to notice how much less I was using my RSS reader and instead going to Twitter for some Web reading. I was following people that interested me and they shared a lot of links to things I found interesting as well.

You may have heard the argument that Twitter is going to kill the RSS reader. Now, while I don’t think that is necessarily true, I do think that it can fill a need for a lot of people. Tweed is an iPad application that brings us a step closer and attempts to cut out the fluff and just deliver those links. Can it replace my RSS reader? Let’s find out!

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