Two More Nifty Apps

December 18, 2009 @ 9:14 am | Filed under:

catanappDid you know you can play Settlers of Catan (our favorite board game) on the iPhone or Touch? The app is called Catan. Jane and I have been trying it out.

Pro: no tiles and small pieces for the baby to scatter.

Con: the computer-generated characters do too much trading.

Pro: clean, clear graphics and efficient gameplay.

Con: unattractive cartoonish characters (are we shallow?) and it’s harder to monitor your opponents’ moves and resources.

Pro: just about as much fun as the real game, and we can play it anywhere.

You can play with up to four people, taking turns passing the iPod around. Or you can play alone with computer-generated opponents: Catan solitaire. Jane says, and I heartily concur, that it’s more fun with real people.I can see this app being a great take-along on a road trip.

It’s pretty nifty, and would be a nice virtual stocking stuffer for the iPod Touch owner on your gift list (except I don’t really know how you give an iPhone app as a present, except maybe with an iTunes gift certificate).


Snapshot 2009-12-18 07-48-00Melanie alerted me to a supercool what-this-gadget-was-made-for app for birdwatchers: iBird. Awesome. Imagine carrying an entire birding field guide in a device the size of a playing card. Brilliant. The complete iBird guide seems to be about $20. I downloaded the free one which contains only fifteen species. Beautiful graphics and great functionality. One for the wish list. (And, like Melanie, I can see my little ones being entertained by the freebie app. Pretty birds!)

Related posts:

A Day in the Life of My iPod Touch
Settlers of Catan board game

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7 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. MelanieB says:

    Oh Lissa glad you like it. Let me add it is totally worth the $20 to get the full iBird Plus.

    I’d mention that it includes recordings of bird calls too. Though I almost never have headphones plugged in and can never find them when I want them so I don’t use this feature as much as I’d like. Still, show me a field guide that can do that!

  2. Elizabeth McCullough says:

    I don’t know nothing about no iPhone, but I just found a terrific math game — Everyday Genius Square Logic by MumboJumbo ( You can download a demo and try it out. I bet one of your mathy kids would love it!

  3. christie says:

    My husband and I can’t figure out… Are there any costs to the iTouch after you purchase the hardware? I mean in terms of subscription not software. If you have wireless in you home you can use the touch to access the internet, right? and out where there is free wireless?

  4. Melissa Wiley says:

    Christie, no, there are no subscription fees for the iPod Touch. You can set up an iTunes account for free. There are many, many free apps (including several of the ones I mentioned in my post) available through the App Store (there’s a portal on the iPod Touch) and also through iTunes. And there are hundreds of other apps that only cost 99 cents—more all the time.

    The Touch is WiFi compatible, so yes, if you have a wireless system in your house, you can connect to the internet on your Touch, or anywhere else that has free WiFi.

    So: what you can do with a Touch for free (besides the cost of the device itself) is: check email, surf the web, read blogs—the Google Reader app is free and very nice, download many free games, ebooks, and other apps, check the weather, use the calculator, access Wikipedia easily via Wikipanion, listen to music and podcasts (including Pandora), set an alarm clock, use it as a flashlight, pray the Rosary, access Facebook and Twitter, send IMs, sync with your Google Calendar or iCal, use the notepad, visit the Louvre, learn a foreign language, play Sudoku—to name a few of the many no-cost possibilities. You see why I am so enthusiastic about the thing! 🙂

  5. Domo Master says:

    This iBird application is interesting. I’ll try the free guide.

  6. Betty says:

    Hi Lissa,
    I’ve heard Kindle users rave that the Kindle doesn’t strain your eyes like the Ipod does. Do you find that reading off the Ipod Touch strains your eyes? My husband had bought me the Kindle for Mother’s day but I had him return it. I wanted it to do everything that the Touch does. So, for Christmas, he bought me the Ipod Touch! Surprisingly, I’m using it most for audio books (which I guess I could have done on the Kindle), but I use it also to check my email, read my Google Readers and keep up with message boards. I have downloaded a few books too. After reading about all the new Kindle users (since Christmas) I was starting to have remorse for sending it back and getting the Itouch instead. Set me straight!