1. Mood-sensing apps have disturbing Big Brother implications

    A Tel Aviv-based company is preparing to debut Moodies, an emotion-sensing smartphone app. Users speak a few words into the microphone and the app uses an algorithm based on pitch, timing, volume, pauses, and energy to gauge the speaker’s emotional state.

    Though the app itself is intended to be playful (an emoticon is assigned to a user’s mood), the technology is also being developed with more serious applications in mind.

     

  2. "When your friends won’t tell you the truth, the Ugly Meter will.” So goes the tagline for the latest iPhone app sensation, which recently shot up to second place in the iPhone app store, just behind Angry Birds. The app was also the top seller in China for weeks. Created by Jo Overline and Ryan Allen of Arizona, the app has been around since 2010, but only hit the mainstream after its latest iteration, the Ugly Meter Pro, was featured on Howard Stern’s radio show. 

    The Ugly Meter: The iPhone app that rates your attractiveness

     

  3. Announcing the unveiling of THE WEEK’s iPhone and Android apps!

    Get the latest from TheWeek.com anywhere, anytime. THE WEEK U.S. app offers commentary on and analysis of the day’s breaking news and political debates, as well as arts, entertainment, business and technology coverage. TheWeek.com’s popular cartoon feature is also available with pinch-and-zoom functionality. The app is wired for the social graph, including saving and sharing capabilities, giving readers the ability to save articles and cartoons for viewing later or to share them using Twitter, Facebook or e-mail.

    Search the App Store for THE WEEK U.S., download, and get all you need to know about everything that matters — on your phone.

    P.S. - It’s free!

     


  4. "iSinned. iLied. iCoveted."

    Most iPhone apps are strictly secular creations, but in the case of “Confession: A Roman Catholic App,” sacred sanction was part of the approval process. Developer Patrick Leinen says he created the “confession helper” app, with help from some local priests, in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s call for the church to embrace new media. “Confession,” now officially approved by the Catholic Church in the U.S. and Britain, walks penitents through the ritual and stores their sins in password-protected accounts, but Catholics still need a priest’s absolution to complete the sacrament.

    Yes, “the Vatican has made major steps to embrace the 21st century,” says Megan Friedman in Time. “But will iPhone-toting Catholics access Confession as much as Angry Birds?”

    The app’s moniker, “Confession,” is at least “an improvement on the original name, ‘A Priest in Your Pocket,’” says Brian Moylan in Gawker.

     


  5. Google on Monday unveiled its new location-sharing Latitude app for the iPhone, almost two years after promising that its release was “coming soon.” Unlike its competitor Foursquare, Latitude lets users track and share their location in real time, not just when they “check in.”

    Is the new app worth adding — or just a needless invasion of privacy?