This week’s edition of our Apps of the Week roundup features a new app for reading articles to you, a new calendar app, and a social app that can send messages into the future. And as always, we’ve selected two great new games for you to check out.
Want to read that big news article everyone is talking about, but don’t have the time or patience to eyeball your way through 2,000+ words? Meet Hark News. Just open the app and enter in the URL of the article you want to read, and it takes care of the rest. The app converts the text into an audio file that you can play offline—it’s like having a digital assistant read the article to you! Hark supports a number of website formats and uses Apple’s built-in voice services to create the audio. I know there are other apps that do this (as well as an iOS accessibility feature), but the sharp design and simplicity of this app make it worth checking out. Hark News is available for $0.99.
Whenever is a casual calendar/todo-list/reminders app, modeled after the simplicity and flexibility of a physical notebook. Use it to keep track of whatever you deem most important in your life. I know, I know, there are tons of these apps already out there, but anytime a new one pops up with a good-looking interface and a fresh take on data input, I feel like it’s worth mentioning. You never know, this could be the calendar app you’ve been looking for. It’s free to check out, but if you like it you’ll probably want to pay the $5 to upgrade to the Plus version, which allows you to sync up with Google Calendar, iCloud, etc. Whenever is available for free (with a single IAP).
Willy is a social app that makes it possible for you to send photos, text, and videos… into the future! You’ve seen it in a million Sci-Fi movies: a time-traveler sends himself a message from the future to help avoid a treacherous event. Now, you can do the opposite with Willy: create a message with a photo or video, add some text, choose your contact(s), and set the date and time in the future that the message will become available. You can choose how long your message will be available and who can see it, and you can delete your messages manually. It’s a bit odd-sounding, I know, but the unique concept seemed worth checking out. Will is available for free.
Beyond Helios is a modern take on the retro space shooters found in arcades long ago. Your goal is to clear as many of the randomly generated battlefields as possible before all the ships in your squadron are taken out. A new battlefield is generated after each one you clear, so the game goes on as long as you can survive, but be careful the battles get more chaotic and dangerous as you progress. Completing zones earns you gems which you can use to buy effects and upgrades for your ship, allowing you to go even farther and keep increasing your high score! Beyond Helios is available for $0.99.
Man Vs. Missiles
Here’s a fun one for you to check out this weekend. Man Vs. Missiles. Players are tasked with flying their planes and avoiding the incoming missiles for as long as possible. You use your fingers to control the plane with an on-screen joystick, collect coins and use them to upgrade your flyer, collect shield and speed boost power-ups and deploy flares to destroy oncoming missiles. There are 30 levels to play with unique objectives to complete and you can invite your friends to compete with you for the top leaderboard spot. Man Vs. Missiles is available for free (with some IAPs).