Such, presumably, was the competition in June that Money Today has listed four rather than its usual three top Korean apps for the month of June. In no particular order, they are:
Developer: Next Apps
Koreans’ love affair with computer games has found a fertile new ground with smartphones, and some of the country’s biggest app successes so far have come from naggingly addictive game apps such as Booooly!
Booooly! offers a twist on the usual match-three game by requiring players to match up at least four Boooolies of the same colour. When assembled in clusters the Boooolies explode and vanish, with extra points awarded for clusters of five or more. There are eight colours in all, which progressively reveal themselves as the player moves up through levels of difficulty.
For all its simplicity, Booooly! is, Money Today says, deceptively strategic. To gain the greatest advantage, you need to be selective in which Boooolies you explode, rather than just engaging in frenzied destruction. In addition, instead of slotting easily into allotted spaces, the Boooolies roll and bounce around, adding another challenge to the mix.
Booooly! has a live social media stream that lets players instantly share their progress with like-minded souls on Facebook and Twitter. An online leader board also enables you to compare your high score with players around the world, adding another impetus to forsake family and friends in pursuit of “match-four” glory.
The graphics are sharp with impressive-looking explosions, and the boooolies themselves display the kind of cutesy features that are so integral to many popular Korean games.
A top 10 hit throughout East Asia, an a top 100 hit worldwide, Booooly! retails for US$0.99 in Apple’s app store.
Name: MobiReader Biz+
OS: iOS, Android
Using the phone’s camera, MobiReader Biz+ snaps biz cards and converts the content into text (which can be edited if there are any errors). If you place the card against a plain background and get all four of its borders in the frame, the app takes the shot automatically, so you don’t even have to press the button.
MobiReader Biz+ records all the contact info on the cards, and lets you flick through them on its virtual business card holder. When you find the one you’re looking for, you can email or call the person just by touching the screen.
Cooler still, integration with Google Maps means the app can plot your course to the address on your chosen business card, while a new augmented reality feature (shown left) can show you who’s in the vicinity. Even better for biz types, the app has a PDF conversion function and Google Docs.
Recognizing Korean and English, and with nine other UI languages, MobiReader Biz+ costs 7,900 won from T-Store and US$9.99 from Apple’s app store.
Name: PokeDrive Pro
OS: Windows Mobile
In a single video file, PokeDrive Pro records a video of your journey along with info on your location, speed, direction and the time. It can, Money Today says, be used with cars, motorbikes and even bicycles (though it doesn’t explain exactly where you’d need to perch your phone on the bike for the video function to work).
PokeDrive Pro has a strikingly clean interface, with speed, GPS reception and battery capacity displayed on the main screen. The recording kicks in when the app senses impact, but users can also activate recording by touching the speed icon on the main screen.
Among the many functions on the menu are a compass that can tell you your longitude and latitude, along with the direction you’re heading in. It can also calculate your average and highest speeds, while offering contrast control on the main picture, vibration correction and even a picture preview on the camera. Should you actually be involved in an accident, the app can also send out an automatic message to a pre-registered number. To look at the course of your journey, you can also playback any recordings from the app onto your PC.
PokeDrive Pro is available from the Show App Store for 9,900 won.
Developer: Image Bakery
Money Today doesn’t offer too much more info on this app, other than to say it was recommended by a publication in Japan and Skyhook Wireless, a specialist in location-based technology. It is also, according to the headline, a favourite of Korean funnyman Chung Jong-chul, and app recommendations don’t come much higher than that.