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Aye phone Niki Boyle checks out some of the best iPhone apps about Scotland, or made by Scottish developers

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE Perhaps not of greatest use right now, but come CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2011 A portable edition of the much-loved computer game series, by Dundonian

August, this little piece of software will be indispensable. Contains links to shows, venues, half price offers, plus a ‘My Fringe’ section where you can bookmark the half-million shows you optimistically imagine you’ll have time to see. Loc8 Solutions, Free developer, Dynamo Games. Tons of stats, fixtures, players, clubs and more, with multitasking enabled so your season can progress in the background if you wish. Eidos/Dynamo Game, £3.99

IAN RANKIN’S EDINBURGH The master of Scots crime fiction lends his voice to a guided tour around Auld Reekie, pointing out areas where real history and his own grisly fiction have collided. A must-have for Rebus fans. MMT Digital, Free

EDINBUS This Lothian Buses- linked software has info on traffic disruptions such as road works, as well as

a comprehensive list of all the city’s stops, with buses’ ETAs provided in real time. You can save your most frequented stop, and check up on buses’ progress using Bus Tracker codes at individual stops. Gordon Christie, Free

GLASGOW SUBWAY All the info you’ll need to ride the Subway in Glasgow: operating times, fares, maps, live updates and station guides. There may be a freebie version in the pipeline, once Apple launch iAds in December. Michael Pollock, £0.59

B-BOY BEATS Developed by Dundee-based Tag Games, this is best described as a dance mat for fingers. Hold your iPhone flat in your hand, and let your fingers dance around the surface. A bit fiddly to start with, but very rewarding when you start racking up combos. Tag Games Ltd., £1.79

GLASGOW STYLE MILE A comprehensive guide to hundreds of shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and attractions in Glasgow’s city centre, with info on sales and offers available around town. Also handy for planning travel to, from and around the city. Nation1, Free

MY BERIMBAU A fun-if-slightly- frivolous app for capoeira enthusiasts. The berimbau is the main instrument that provides the soundtrack for the martial art-cum-dance form. This app simulates the various sounds and techniques of berimbau-playing, and is apparently used in real Brazilian capoeira schools. From Glasgow developer iSPY. Up Next Apps/ iSPY, £1.59

BABY LOOK A collection of apps for entertaining and educating your infants, with an emphasis on facial recognition. Looks basic by design (so infant eyes can discern shapes more easily), and due for a big upgrade in coming weeks, this’ll also give the little ‘uns a head start in using technology. Developed in collaboration with Glasgow University. Me and the Giants, £0.59

SCOTTISH MIDGE FORECAST If you fancy taking in some of Scotland’s fantastic natural

scenery any time between March and October, you’ll need this to let you know where the little blighters are swarming. If they can develop some sort of high-frequency electronic midge repellent to go with it, it’ll be perfect., Free

MR BUMP Effectively a next- generation Frogger, this game lets you use the iPhone’s motion detectors to bounce Mr Bump from side to side up the screen, with cameos from various other Mr Men characters. Ostensibly designed to entertain the kiddies, but you’ll find yourself becoming addicted. By Dundee’s Digital Goldfish Ltd. Digital Goldfish, £0.59

ALBUMS - TACTILE MUSIC CONTROLLER A nice little gadget from Edinburgh developer Random Sequence, targeting those folks who bemoan the devaluation of album artwork in today’s MP3-heavy climate. Choose a selection of best-loved (or best-looking) albums from your iTunes playlist, and browse through them as you would a real CD collection. Not essential, but aesthetically pleasing. Random Sequence, £0.59

GAMES REVIEW Murray Robertson checks out the world’s favouritve videogame, Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops Xbox 360/PS3/PC (Activision) ●●●●● Like family feuds and turkey fatigue, the Call of Duty series has firmly established itself as a Christmas tradition. This year’s offering is developer Treyarch’s follow-up to 2008’s World at War. Set during the 1960s, at the height of Cold War paranoia, the single-player campaign is almost as bombastic as last year’s Modern Warfare 2, slightly tempered by its historical setting. It’s a typically short affair, breathlessly exploring diverse locations from a Russian Gulag to the jungles of Vietnam via the Pentagon. With fewer stand-out moments than last year’s story it’s a largely forgettable romp,

and, like an impatient younger brother, the game has an annoying habit of wrestling control from the player as it tries to advance its nonsensical plot. But since 2007’s Modern Warfare

revolutionised (and infantilised) the online shooter, CoD has been all about the multiplayer. After MW2’s woefully unbalanced iteration it’s a relief to see Treyarch have addressed many of the criticisms levelled at the system, although it remains an irritatingly twitchy and selfish affair, dominated by over-caffeinated tweens. Yet it’s an undeniably moreish design, and the brand new wager matches whereby players can bet virtual cash on a game’s outcome are an inspired addition.

2–16 Dec 2010 THE LIST 27