Taking black and white photos with your iPhone sounds simple enough, but getting that perfect look can actually be incredibly challenging. Challenging, that is, unless you have Camera Noir ($2). This deceptively simple app is designed specifically for taking black and white shots, with three brightness adjustments, square crop marks for the Instagram lovers, a horizon line that turns green when you're level, the ability to import prior photos, and the ability to share your new B&W masterpieces to Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere.
Like to play chess? Like to play chess on your iPhone? Then you'll love Tall Chess (Free). Crafted specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch, Tall Chess — as the name suggests — takes advantage of the entire screen to give you a bird's-eye view of the game board at all times. Despite the uncluttered interface, all the features you'd expect — captured pieces, move history, exporting, and more — are just a swipe away. Thanks to Game Center integration, it's easy to start up a match with both friends and total strangers, and should you want to keep more than one game going at a time, the functionality is just a quick, easy, and affordable upgrade away.
Let's see: the ability to send handwritten cards without needing to walk into the candle fragrance minefield of the nearby card shop? Sign us up. Felt (Free; $4/card) is a new app for the iPad that lets you handwrite your own personal message — using the pen type and color of your choice — inside the card, then add that extra touch by handwriting the address that will go on the outside of the envelope. Felt will then print your message on Mohawk card stock, seal it in the custom-printed envelope, and send it out — no need to wait in line, staring at creepy porcelain figurines and gaudy photo frames. You're welcome. [Scouted by Lake]
Finally, our iPhones are ready to take on the most important task possible: finding the closest pizza place. Pizza Compass ($1) is a new Avenir Next-friendly app that features a spinning slice of pie that will point you towards the nearest pizza purveyor, releasing steam the closer you get. As you might expect, there's also a map view to provide more precise directions, as well as the ability to see ratings, operating hours, and reviews, and an option to share your favorite spots with your friends. Welcome to the (very tasty) future.
Frequent travelers know that having access to up-to-date exchange rates can mean the difference between getting a fair deal and getting hosed out of some cash. Currency ($1) promises to give you accurate conversions for over 160 countries, each with its own custom-designed flag. A clean, gesture-based interface makes entering new amounts a snap, while a handy favorites feature means conversions for the currencies you use most often are never more than a swipe away.