Following an extended weekend break, App Recap is back. For those unfamiliar with App Recap, it’s our daily column conceived to surface best new apps and games while keeping you in the loop regarding major app updates, price drops and promotions.
In today’s edition, we bring you beautiful new apps to enjoy Reddit and Pinboard, snap images with stunning fisheye barrel distortion in Instagram’s square format, create satanic videos with an eerie reverse slow-motion effect, check the UV index before hitting the beaches, apply tags to your photos and much more.
And let’s not forget about important updates to your favorite apps and not-to-be-missed deals rounding up this edition of App Recap…
Best New Apps & Games
Brightly 1.0 [iPhone, Free]: Avoid harmful UV rays by launching Brightly before you go out. Brought to you by the same people who created a popular lifelogging app called Saga, Brightly acts as your personal UV monitor. The app uses your location to determine the UV index and is smart enough to know when you’re outside. It keeps track of your daily UV exposure and promotes healthy skin via a personal profile tool that teaches you about your skin type, with awards to motivate you to establish healthier habits.
Feedworthy 1.0 [iPhone, Free]: A brand new app by Yap Studios to discover trending topics, viral content and just about anything else Reddit offers. Its key selling point is a Flipboard-esque interface with a visual ribbon and story thumbnails that make the experience of skimming through Reddit engaging and aesthetically pleasing. The app is totally free and there are no hidden/locked features other than a one-time $4.99 In-App Purchase to remove ads.
Ingress 1.53 [Universal, Free]: After launching on Android a few months ago, Google’s augmented reality massively multiplayer online pervasive game is now available on iOS devices. As we detailed, you’re tasked with visiting real-world landmarks around you to establish portals and link them to create virtual triangular fields over larger geographic areas. The game is quite addictive and has a strong following on the Internet so do give it a whirl, especially if you’re good at networking with other people.
Polymo 1.0 [iPhone, $1.99]: Having launched earlier in the month, Polymo is a new camera app for the iPhone definitely worth checking out. Polymo makes it easy to apply tags to your photos to create a “better place for photos on iOS”. It’s smart, too, so your photo tags turn into hashtags as you share images on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Lory included it in our Apps of the Week feature and MacStories has a thorough review, if you’re interested.
Spillo 1.0 [Mac, $9.99]: Versatile and fast Pinboard client for OS X from Bananafish Software. The app has a minimal UI, but doesn’t skimp on features. You can use Spillo to manage and discover bookmarks on Pinboard links, with support for clipboard detection and autocompletion for tags. Its built-in widescreen browsing with inline previews lets you read Pinboard items without switching to the browser. If you’re a Pinboard fan, MacStories editor Federico Viticci has a detailed review of Spillo.
Tap is an upcoming new messaging app for the iPhone that builds on the popularity of Yo, another short-messaging app we previewed recently. Like Yo which lets you send two-character “Yo” messages to contacts, Tap lets you ping someone or a group of friends by tapping twice on the phone, even if it’s locked (via the accelerometer).
The Verge had a chance to take Tap for a spin so give it a read to learn more. The app can also broadcast your location and has notifications that disappear after ten minutes. We’ll keep you posted as Tap is scheduled to launch soon in the App Store. In the meantime, check out the promo video below. Yes, ephemeral messaging apps are everywhere!
Discounts & Promos
ContactsXL + Facebook Sync [$0.99 → Free]: Create, edit and delete contacts, manage contact groups, send group text and email, get notified of birthdays, anniversaries and other dates in your address book, update your contacts with their Facebook profile pictures or import Facebook friends to your contact list, call folks with the built-in T9 dialer that suggests contact numbers as you tap buttons and much more. Free today only.
Inspire Pro [$9.99 → Free]: In celebration of Rembrandt’s birthday anniversary, this premium painting/drawing app for the iPad has gone from its regular price of $9.99 to zero bucks. Its Sorcery engine taps OpenGL ES 2.0 to take full advantage of your devices’ GPU to render brush strokes smoothly, with 64-bit color and sub-pixel precision. The featured-pack software has a bunch of pressure-sensitive brushes, presets, drawing modes and blending effects that will appeal to your inner artist.
InstaFisheye [$1.99 → Free]: LOMO Fisheye camera for Instagram’s square format, with support for sharing directly to Instagram, four built-in fisheye lenses simulating 170-degree wide-angle view and a stunning fisheye barrel distortion. InstaFisheye developer Lotogram has discounted several other popular camera apps to $0, including Fisheye Pro (regularly $0.99), InstaFisheEye (regularly $1.99), Framatic Pro (regularly $1.99) and Reflex (regularly $0.99).
Reverser [$0.99 → Free]: Backward video maker with a reverse Slow-Mo effect. We praised Reverser in our review for its ease of use and powerful rendering engine. Just pick a clip, choose one of the three playback speeds and let Reverser do its magic. If you’ve always wanted to give your home videos a satanic feel to them by reversing and slowing them down, look no further than Reverser for the iPhone and iPad by Magic App Factory.
AcePlayer [$2.99 → Free]: If you have a personal library of videos encoded in formats not supported in iOS such as DIVX, MKV and AVI, AcePlayer will encode them on-the-fly and stream from a Mac directly to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. With built-in downloader and FTP/Samba client, AcePlayer can stream movies stored on remote or network-attached storage and more.
FNotes [$0.99 → Free]: Minimalist and elegant note-taking app with search, themes, custom fonts and Fleksy keyboard, TextExpander and Dropbox support.
Paper Camera [$0.99 → Free]: This iPhone and iPad app makes it fun and easy to paint cartoon-style filters and effects like Sketch, Comic Book, Halftone, Noir, Neon and many others directly in your camera, in real-time.
PDF Converter Pro [$0.99 → Free]: Free today only courtesy of AppGratis.com, this app makes it easy to convert documents and web pages to cross-platform PDF files that can be shared with others and rendered accurately across major desktop and mobile platforms.
Week Calendar [$1.99 → Free]: This nicely done iPhone replacement for the stock iOS Calendar has gone free for the next two days. As Lory told you, Week Calendar is on our list of favorite calendar apps as it packs in a number of interesting features like month/week/daily view, meeting rescheduling via drag-and-drop, icons for events, templates for groups of events and much more.
Angry Birds Rio: Both the iPhone and iPad edition of Angry Birds Rio have gone free for a limited time. In addition, the game today received a Timber Tumble content update adding twenty exotic new levels, six bonus ones, some effective demolition help from your Macaw buddies and a new power potion allowing you to juice up your bird with more destructive power. And if you get stuck, you can now get a tip or just continue on your own. Better grab Angry Birds Rio before the price goes back up again.
Google Chrome 36.0.1985.49 [Universal, Free]: Google today refreshed its Chrome for iOS browser with support for browser-based Chromecasting (Google’s version of AirPlay). As noted, website owners must specifically implement integration with Cast-enabled devices. Cast-compatible websites are few and far between, but if you own Google’s $35 Chromecast HDMI dongle, Chrome can now beam compatible websites from your iPhone and iPad to a TV.
Scribd [Universal, Free]: The world’s largest digital library with over 80 million users. Developers will be rolling out a major new update today adding a redesigned book page that includes in-depth descriptions, reader reviews and related books. In addition, you’re going to love seamless book-to-book browsing and streamlined management of your Library: simply tap the new “+” sign on books to instantly save them to your device, add them to your library or add them to a collection.
BBC Sport 1.5.2 [Universal, Free]: The new version has added a dedicated Commonwealth Games section including live video and highlights, full schedule, live text commentary, medals table, reports and features and analysis. And, you can now set medal alerts for Commonwealth Games nations (Gold, Silver or Bronze).
Birdseye Mail 2.2.1 [Universal, Free]: The app now supports iCloud, Yahoo, AOL and FastMail accounts, has a new Recent Attachments workflow for attaching files to your emails and lets you toggle notifications for accounts.
Boxer 4.6 [Universal, $9.99]: Massive update adds HTML signatures, push notifications for Outlook.com, a new Archive as Read feature, the ability to create new folders, Delete From Trash/Empty Trash options, badge count improvements and nearly two dozen bug fixes and other feature additions.
Bing 4.6 [iPhone, Free]: Now browse deals and offers around you with Bing Offers (US residents only). Version 4.6 also fixes bugs that caused crashing and syncs your images/screenshots to Bing Desktop.
Day One 1.14.2 [Universal, Free]: My favorite journaling app has received a maintenance update fixing an issue that caused it to crash upon launch for some users and another one causing a crash on iPad when tapping off of action sheets.
Delivery Status touch 5.2 [Universal, $2.99]: Now on sale (regularly $4.99), Delivery Status touch introduces significant performance improvements for iCloud sync and Calendar enhancements. Specifically, your Calendar events now include a checkmark when the item has been delivered and the app will automatically clean up duplicate entries on multiple devices the next time it updates.
Echofon Pro 7.4 [Universal, $4.99]: The popular Twitter client has fixed bugs causing crashes and will at last integrate your conversation and replies inline when viewing individual tweets.
ESPN Fantasy Football 2.0 [Universal, Free]: The start of the NFL season is just around the corner so ESPN has updated its Fantasy Football app with much-needed iOS 7 styling, the ability to create a team or league right from the app, push notifications for team, league, trade, scores and more.
Keyboard Maestro Control 2.0 [Universal, Free]: Companion to Keyboard Maestro on desktop. The new 2.0 update is now a universal binary that supports natively both 3.5 and four-inch iPhones and iPad screen sizes. The app lets you create and edit keyboard shortcuts on the go, executes macros in the Keyboard Maestro for Mac and much more. iOS 7.1 or later is required.
Listen 2.1 [Universal, Free]: Gestural-driven iOS music player you can use without looking at it (review). This update introduces iOS 8 compatibility, new Shuffle and Repeat features, reorganized playback screen controls, a new Instant Album view (the bottom lefthand corner control), status indicators for Shuffle, Repeat and Favorites on the playback screen, shake-to-shuffle (disable in settings) and more. Highly recommended.
PayPal 5.5 [Universal, Free]: As Cody told you, PayPal now lets you link all of your favorite loyalty cards, just like Apple’s stock Passbook app. In addition, this version includes faster logins and bug fixes. Though the app no longer offers the check-scanning feature, but you can still add money to PayPal directly from your bank account.
Shazam 7.7 [Universal, Free]: The media-fingerprinting service that Siri in iOS 8 will use to detect which song is playing. If you use Rdio, Shazam can now play any recognized track via Rdio, right within Shazam. The Shazam Encore has received Rdio integration, too. Cody has more on this Shazam update.
Snapchat [iPhone, Free]: The ephemeral messaging app today started rolling out Geofilters, basically a set of location-based filters to soup up your photos that have been taken at a specific geographical location. Geofilters are currently available for Los Angeles and New York City areas. Go here for additional information, including a cool promo vid.
Speedtest 3.3.1 [Universal, Free]: The Internet analysis app used by millions to benchmark their network connection and check if their ISP is throttling their link. This version squashes a few pesky bugs while introducing under-the-hood improvements to the engine for even more accurate test results.
Uber 2.31.0 [Universal, Free]: The official app of the popular ride-sharing service has gained an improved location search and added support for Polish. As a reminder, adding your eligible American Express Card to your Uber account will earn you 2x Membership Rewards program points or use points toward rides.
Apps in the News
App Store features 5 calculator apps: As part of the App Store’s Productivity Monday feature, Apple yesterday put a spotlight on five free and paid calculator apps: Digits [Universal, $0.99]; Calc [Universal, Free]; Tydlig [Universal, $2.99]; MyScript Calculator [Universal, Free] and Soulver [Universal, $1.99]. For detailed per-app descriptions, check out our write-up.
The best calendar apps for iPad: Not to be outdone by Apple, our own Lory Gil has put together a list of ten premium calendar apps for your iPad. You’ll find some familiar names on it, like Fantastical 2 [iPad, $14.99], Sunrise Calendar [Universal, Free] and Calendars 5 by Readdle [Universal, $6.99], as well as new entrants worth checking out, such as iCalendar [Universal, Free], Pocket Informant [Universal, Free] and Daily Routine [Universal, $1.99], among others. Best calendar apps for iPhone? We have that, too!
Google flagging Flash content in search results: The Internet giant today started labeling Flash content in search results. The next time you use Google Search, you may notice a “Uses Flash, may not work on all devices” warning in your search result snippets next to Flash items, saving you clicks.
iTunes Pass launches in Japan: Japanese users can now top up their iTunes credit by purchasing an iTunes Store credit from an Apple retail store. The credit gets applied to a customer’s device as a Passbook item, bypassing the need to scan physical iTunes gift cards. It’s a quite interesting addition that we think will be coming to other markets at a later stage.
iOS 7 adoption hits 90 percent mark: As measured by the App Store during a 7-day period ending July 13, 2014, iOS 7 is now installed on 90 percent of compatible devices, the expected accomplishment given iOS 8 is less than three months away.
Dropbox now syncs large files 2x faster: Courtesy of a new Streaming Sync technology, Dropbox will now start downloading small slices of a large file while it’s still being uploaded to the servers, resulting in up to two times faster syncing of files larger than sixteen megabytes. If you use Dropbox to sync high-res photos and video files, this will be music to your ears. Dropbox Tech Blog details how Streaming Sync works.
Munin review [iPad, $2.99]: Featured in our last App Recap, Munin is a mythical platformer with a twist that our own Andrew Kunesh immediately fell in love with. This nicely done 2D platformer is based on Norse mythology in which a raven named Munin has been transformed into a human. In order to become a raven again, Munin must collect all of her feathers from various places in the beautifully dark world of Yggdrasil.
Searchr 1.4 [iPhone, Free]: Lory took Searchr for iPhone for a spin and came away pretty impressed. It’s a lot like “Spotlight on steroids,” she wrote in her hands-on with Searchr. The software makes it easy to perform a variety of actions without having to switch to other apps like crazy.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this feature-packed edition of App Recap and will contribute to future columns by sending us your wishes and tips.
Did I miss anything of importance?
Hit us in comments or drop us a line at tips@iDownloadBlog.com and we’ll consider spotlighting your app ideas in future App Recaps.