Welcome to today’s edition of App Recap, iDownloadBlog’s daily column that keeps you up to date on best new App Store apps, shiny new games, deep discounts and major content updates, all wrapped into a friendly, visually engaging format.
Among today’s highlights: a nice Apple Design Award Winners fire sale with premium games like Monument Valley, Blek and Threes all discounted heavily.
No matter if you’re a heavy app user or just browse the App Store occasionally, with so much going and with the App Store’s sixth anniversary upon us, App Recap is here to help you focus on stuff that matters …
New Apps & Games
Beyond Gravity by Qwiboo files as a procedurally generated platformer where you jump in-between planets and try to collect as many pickups as you can. Controlled by only one button – the whole screen – the game features old-cartoon style graphics and smooth animations. Upgrade your character with loads of power-ups and collect missing spaceship parts to build up score multipliers. Beyond Gravity is $0.99 and due on the US App Store at 11PM ET.
Hellraid: The Escape by Shortbreak Studios is a new action-adventure game with eye-candy visuals, courtesy of the Unreal Engine 3 technology. It has challenging puzzles, lets you freely explore the game’s world and challenges you to fight demons with brains instead of weapons. The iPhone and iPad game contains no In-App Purchases and can be played on a big screen via HDMI and AirPlay. Hellraid is due on the US App Store at 11PM ET, priced at $2.99.
Munin by Daedalic Entertainment is a 2D physics-based adventure where you must help a girl turn back into her true form, a raven named Munin. Game mechanics involve twisting portions of the environment to create bridges from pillars, turn walls into floors, open new passages, move items and more. And when you rotate the world, boulders and debris rumble, roll and fall and liquids flow accordingly. There’re 81 levels scattered across nine varied worlds. Grab Munin for $2.99 from the App Store.
Ultratext by Andrew Farmer is a nice new animated GIF creation tool for the iPhone that combines text and your selfies into short animations called ultratexts that can be shared through iMessage or on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This sleek app automatically chooses sweet colors for your message though you can pick your own colors, too. The best bit: it’s free and no features are locked behind In-App Purchases. Ultratext is available for free on the App Store.
Other notable newcomers
Adobe Voice has received “little bug fixes and UI enhancements”.
Appoint, is a new iPhone calendar app that works the way you want it to. As Lory noted in her quick review, with multiple calendar views, dark or light themes, daily or monthly views, events as a list, the smart type feature and more, Appoint is incredibly customizable and makes it very easy to create new events as quickly as can be. Appoint is iPhone-only and $3.99 in the App Store.
Panic PunchClock, though not a typical app you can download in the App Store, is worth a mention. Created by folks over at Panic, a studio that brought you well-known Mac apps like Transit and Coda and Status Board for iPad [review], PunchClock uses a combination of a geo-fence and iBeacon tracking to create an interesting office in/out tracker, pictured on the screenshot below.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a movie tie-in by the French label Gameloft, has received an important update allowing the game to function without an Internet connection. Released in April, the open-world wall-crawler surprised us with awesome graphics and smooth animations. Spidey fans will appreciate combo-based fighting, web-slinging, wall-crawling and remarkably fluid aerobic combat. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is $4.99 in the App Store.
Image Blender is a nice simplistic app for combining images with masks and different blend modes and textures on your iPhone and iPad. I’ve been using it a lot and today’s version 2.3 update introduces color filters: just tap on an image and select filter to instantly see the results. You can now save images taken within the app in your iOS Camera roll and this update also has tweaked share views when sharing individual photos. Image Blender is universal.
Vine, Twitter’s six-second video sharing app, has received a small 2.1.1 update to brought back revine numbers in all feeds, as well as the likes tab on profiles. Earlier this month, Twitter enhanced Vine with a revamped Activity section with bigger video thumbnails, a handy view counter for your videos, richer notifications with new account milestones for loop counts, likes new followers and more. Unfortunately, Vine is still an iPhone-only app as the team hasn’t gotten around creating a native iPad UI yet. Vine for iPhone is free.
Other notable updates
Amazon App has been bumped to version 4.0.0. to bring an updated Wish List on the iPad, in addition to bug fixes and performance improvements.
Any.DO Task & To-do List in version 1.17.1 update got a bit better with an improved registration flow, bug fixes and various optimizations.
Cameo video creation app has received its first major update since being acquired by Vimeo. Version 1.7 includes Vimeo integration for easy sharing, a revamped soundtrack selection UI with new genre sorting and a fun interactive player to preview the tracks (swipe to quickly listen to lots of music) and optional email notices when your Cameos get upgraded to high-definition (you can turn this off in settings).
Foursquare version 7.0.11 makes it easier to switch between Swarm and Foursquare, “in preparation for big changes coming later this summer.” Speaking of Swarm, a free download, it was refreshed yesterday with better check-ins, easier sharing and other enhancements.
iTunes users in Japan can sigh a collective breath of relief as popular Disney movies like Frozen and Thor: The Dark World are again available for purchase after being halted briefly for a few days over a licensing dispute. Cody has more on that.
Manything, a DIY video monitoring startup, has a nice app which lets you use iOS devices as the smart cameras to beef up your home security. It recently picked up new features like motion activated alerts, motion sensitivity controls and the ability to watch your live streams and motion events remotely. And, it’s now even more popular with the addition of 38 IFTTT (IF This Then That) recipes. The IFTTT automation service allows Manything to incorporate Siri support and do things like start recording when you leave home (or when the last family member leaves home), turn on Philips Hue lighting when motion is detected outside the home, start recording when Nest smoke alarm gets triggered and so forth.
Modern Combat 5: Blackout finally has a release date set in stone: July 24. As Cody told you, the game is going to require an Internet connection for its unified progression system that keeps your experience points, kills, the weapons you unlock and even the current state of your gameplay saved across both single and multiplayer modes. There will also be a brand new multiplayer mode where you join squads with your friends. It’s interesting that the game’s developer Gameloft just updated The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to enable gameplay while offline.
NYTimes for iPad in version 3.2 release brings a new “In Case You Missed It” section, a collection of the paper’s most popular articles personalized to your reading history. You can also subscribe to additional breaking news alerts on Business, Politics, Sports and New York City and subscribe to Times Premier and access the Times Insider blog. “Lots of performance updates” round up NYT’s update.
Reckless Racing 3 will be landing on iOS and Android devices this Fall, developer Pixelbite confirmed earlier today. The official sequel to the popular top-down racer, Reckless Racing 3 includes 20 highly detailed cars, 28 routes, the Career mode to earn money for new cars and car upgrades, events like Race, Hot Lap and Elimination, the Arcade mode with 40 pre-defined challenges, Game Center leaderboards and more. Reckless Racing 2 is available in the App Store for $1.99 and currently has a 4-star rating on nearly 4000 reviews.
Spotify, arguably the world’s top music-streaming service, is finally expanding to Canada. The service will be initially available on an invite-only basis. Canadian users must be running Spotify version 1.4.1 for iOS to be able to join the queue for invites from the app.
Starbucks has issued an emergency fix for its Pick Of The Week feature so people who were having difficulty downloading free apps and songs should be covered now. Furthermore, the team’s made some tweaks to prevent the app from keeping you logged out.
Vimeo has a nice iOS app on the App Store and today they announced a brand new presence on the Apple TV. As depicted below, the video-sharing service is rolling out a revamped Apple TV channel with streamlined navigation, Staff Favorites Albums that “highlight the best of the best,” Vimeo On Demand trailers, new shortcuts to favorite a clip, add it to your Watch Later queue and lots more. Go in-depth here. In other Apple TV news, a new survey indicates that a gap between Roku and Apple is widening.
Blek, a 2014 Apple Design Award winner, has once again gone from its regular price tag of $2.99 to just 99 cents. The gesture-based minimalist puzzler has you drawing a line to collect all colored circles and avoid black holes. The line itself moves, making things more interesting, while multiple solutions for each level add a dash of variety. It’s received many positive reviews and is a steal at just $0.99 for the universal iPhone and iPad version. Download Blek for $0.99.
Drafts for iPad Use Drafts on the iPhone, but haven’t picked up the iPad edition? The app is on sale through Thursday, July 10 for only $2.99 (regularly $4.99). This note-taking app by Agile Tortoise has an elegant interface for creating text documents and supports customizable actions, workflows and popular cloud-storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox, with background refresh support for iOS 7 and much more. Grab Drafts for iPad for $2.99, good through Thursday.
Monument Valley, an impossible physics-based puzzler inspired by the world’s top palaces and temples, launched in April at $3.99. Developer UsTwo has kept the price intact until today, when it got discounted for the first time ever. This 2014 Apple Design Award winner takes you on a surreal exploration through fantastical architecture and impossible geometry. As the silent princess Ida, you must unfold optical illusions and outsmart the enigmatic Crow People. The universal Monument Valley app is just $1.99.
Out There by Mi Clos Studio is a smart play on the “alone in space” formula. This award-winning iPhone and iPad game is all about resource and risk management as you must constantly exploit the planets to mine that give you fuel, oxygen and hull strength. The atmospheric game features music by award-winning composer Siddhartha Barnhoorn and has tons of other features that don’t fit this space. Out There is $1.99 for a limited time.
Threes is a numerical sliding puzzler with a strong following. If you don’t already own the game, or haven’t gone to Starbucks to get it for free, it’s now been marked down for the first time to $0.99 from its original $1.99 price. Known for its beautiful UI and addictive gameplay, Threes will keep you occupied as you try to match number tiles, which must be multiples of three, by sliding your finger across the screen to move all tiles in that direction. Threes for iPhone and iPad is $0.99 for a limited time.
Blast-A-Way has dropped from $4.99 to just 99 cents. Created by the Swedish studio Illusion Labs, this clever puzzler is slow-paced and set in a stylistic 3D environment.
Eliss Infinity is a classic iPhone game that in February got remade for 2014. Having dropped from $2.99 to 99 cents, the addictive tasks you with a bunch of planets around and splitting/combining them with other planets of the same size/color.
har•mo•ny 2, a stimulating intellectual game and relaxing sensory experience successfully wrapped into one app, is now $1.99 (regularly $3.99).
Kiwanuka is an elegant game that was featured by Apple. It looks great, will charm you with puzzles and can be yours in exchange for 99 cents, down from its regular asking price of $1.99.
Lost Toys has dropped from $3.99 to $1.99. You must basically restore broken toys in this gorgeous puzzler by flipping, twisting, and twirling broken, weatherworn toys with your finger until they return to their former glory.
The Room 2 atmospheric puzzler has been slashed to 99 cents for a limited time, regularly $2.99.
And that’s all folks for today’s App Recap.
Stay tuned for more!
And don’t be afraid to tip us on new apps/deals/sales and suggest great new apps and games to share with others by commenting below or dropping us a line on tips@iDownloadBlog.com.