App Mix: Distant Shore, Nomina, Grocery IQ, RepairPal

The Blimp Pilots, developer of early App Store success Koi Pond, has released its latest application for the iPhone and iPod touch, Distant Shore. The app puts users in a setting of an endless beach, on which they can walk, finding and reading messages in bottles from other users around the world. Users can also write their own messages to be put inside bottles and cast out to sea for other users to discover. Other features include 3-D graphics and soothing ambient sound effects. Distant Shore is available now and sells for $1.

Outspring has released its Nomina application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Nomina allows entrepreneurs and business people to enter a potential brand name and quickly search multiple sources to see if the name is available for use. Once a name is entered, the app searches for available second-level domains, optionally checking another 25 international domains, and also searches the U.S Patent & Trademark Office for identical trademarks, as well as The Library of Congress, Google, Thomas Guide, Dun & Bradstreet, Reuters News Service, and the U.S. Yellow Pages database. Search times range from under a minute on EDGE to as little as 10 seconds over WiFi or 3G. Once completed, the app presents the search results in a graphic report indicating the availability of the name; these reports can then be emailed, and are also saved for reference in a recent searches list. Nomina is available now from the App Store and sells for $15.

Independent iPhone developer Free State Labs has announced that its top-selling lifestyle application Grocery IQ has been acquired by The app comes preloaded with more than 130,000 items commonly found in supermarkets across America, allowing users to organize their personal shopping lists by store, aisle, buying history, favorites, as well as customizing item sizes. Version 2 of Grocery IQ, planned for a February release, will match shopper’s grocery lists with coupons, and provide multiple ways for consumers to redeem the coupons from their handset. The free upgrade will also allow users to download layouts of nearby supermarkets based on ZIP code and organize their shopping list by store layout to save time shopping. Grocery IQ v.1.0.4 is available now from the App Store for $1; version 2 will be a free upgrade for all existing users.

RepairPal has released its iPhone and iPod touch application of the same name. RepairPal lets users receive free car repair estimates right on their device, and offers a comprehensive repair shop directory—including the ability to use GPS to search for local shops, one-touch access to most automobile manufacturer helplines, and local tow truck or roadside assistance lookup. RepairPal is available as a free download from the App Store.

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