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Bryan M. Wolfe
| March 18, 2012
The Best New And Updated Apps Of The Week
Each week, Appadvice offers what we feel are the best apps of the past week. Enjoy! AppAdvice App Of The Week: Sparrow, Released March 15, $2.99 (iPhone), Original article Sparrow by Sparrow is the much-anticipated email app for your iPhone. Is it everything you dreamed of in an iPhone email client? I’ve been using Sparrow on my Mac since the first beta. It is my main email client, and I just can’t bring myself to go back to Mail on Mac. I love the beautifully designed interface intertwined with simplicity. It also has the best elements of what was then known as Tweetie, which I loved. In fact, the app just makes mail not feel so boring. So when I heard that Sparrow was coming for iPhone, I was ecstatic about the release and kept up-to-date throughout the development. Sparrow for iPhone fully supports IMAP email accounts (POP is not supported yet). This means that you can use your Gmail, Google Apps, iCloud, Yahoo, AOL, Mobile Me, and even custom IMAP email accounts with Sparrow. Seeing as how this covers most email accounts, you should be fine. Unless you use something like Google Exchange. I highly recommend linking up your Facebook account (if you have one) with Sparrow, because it will retrieve profile photos for your contacts. I have it enabled on the desktop version as well, and I must admit that being able to put a picture to every name really does make all the difference. With the iPhone app, the design still retains most of the elements from the desktop version. You still have the Tweetie-like sidebars, although because of the limited space estate on the iPhone, it’s divided into three panels: Accounts, Folders/Labels, and Messages. You can navigate between them via buttons, or with intuitive swipe gestures. Other New And Updated Apps Byword, Released March 10, $2.99 (Universal), Original article Byword by Metaclassy, Lda. is a minimalist writing app for your iPhone and iPad with full support for Markdown syntax, along with a companion Mac app (sold separately). If you didn’t already know, I was quite enthusiastic about iA Writer that just recently came out with an iPhone version of their app (it was previously iPad only). However, I can’t resist new text editors for iOS, so I was thrilled when I learned that Byword was available once again, after being released on Saturday and then being pulled for less-than-stellar performance relating to iCloud sync (it wasn’t ready at the time). Also, it’s inevitable to make comparisons between these two apps, since they are considered “rival” apps. Of course, with iCloud sync, I had to use Byword on my MacBook Pro once again (I’ve had it for a long time, but I simply preferred to do my writing in iA Writer on Mac). That may change now. Khan Academy – Watch. Practice. Learn almost anything for free., Released March 11, Free (iPad), Original article If you’re one of the tens of thousands of customers who pre-ordered the new iPad and you’re wondering what educational app to download to counter the potentially mind-numbing effects of playing Angry Birds HD for hours on end, look no further than the official app of Khan Academy. Released only yesterday, Khan Academy for iPad lets you do exactly what its subtitle says: “Watch. Practice. Learn almost anything for free.” Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that houses an online library of almost 3,000 educational videos. The topics covered by the videos on the site range from the mathematical subject Algebra to the mathemusician Vi Hart. (Apparently, the site has no videos pertaining to a topic that starts with the letter Z.) And the best thing about these videos is that they’re free. You know, the best things in life and all that. NOTE’d, Released March 13, $1.99 (iPhone), Original article NOTE’d by Suxxexx provides robust options in such a tiny package. Shopping lists, to-do items, homework planner. The list of possibilities can go on. Sure, you can use Apple’s Reminders or Notes, but this app is both of those in one. First you’ll need to click the plus symbol to add a notepad. A gallery appears, where you can select one of 15 different notepads. Each has a unique design, such as: black leather, denim, and panda (to name a few). Once you find the one you like you can either give it a name or just leave the default “NOTE’d” title. But what can you put in your notepad? All sorts of stuff. PiggyAlarm, The Alarm Clock With Character, Released March 10, $.99 (iPhone), Original article Most of you have met Tweetbot – A Twitter Client With Personality. Now, meet PiggyAlarm, The Alarm Clock With Character. PiggyAlarm is a new alarm clock app with a cute pink piggy for its clock face. But PiggyAlarm apparently has more going for it than a piggy face that happens to have four different sets of expressive eyes. You can also, of course, set multiple one-time or recurring alarms, and you can set the snooze function at an interval of five, 10, 20 or 30 minutes. But what really sets PiggyAlarm apart from other alarm clock apps is its ability to generate a snooze profile. For every alarm that sets off at the specified time, PiggyAlarm takes note of the number of times you hit the snooze button as well as the total number of minutes that have passed before you finally wake up. Using this data, the app lets you know whether you’re an Alert, Lazy or Sleeping Piggy. It also keeps a record of your snoozy ways over a period of two weeks, so you can see a couple of graphs charting your out-of-bed progress, if any, that is. And if you’re feeling particularly proud of your progress, or even if you just want to amuse your friends, you can share your snooze profile on Facebook or Twitter. Camera+, Updated March 13, $.99 (iPhone), Original article One of the top-selling photography apps for the iPhone/iPod touch has gained a significant update. Camera+ Version 3.0 arrived moments ago in the App Store. First released in June 2010, Camera+ now includes the ability to import multiple photos from your photo library. In addition, you can now share photos to multiple services, and even multiple accounts on the same service. Workflows offer customization tools including the ability to edit and share photos immediately after they are taken. Conversely, this new feature can also work in reverse; you can take a bunch of photos in a row without worrying about editing and sharing. Index Card, Updated March 13, $4.99 (iPad), Original article Available since August 2010, Index Card by DenVog is one of those more unique note taking apps. Is it the only index card app for iOS? Absolutely not, but its design and feature list have grabbed lots of attention and positive feedback. Even so, Index Card v3.0 is now available and contains several feature additions, including a third viewing option. Previously, users could view their index cards in the cork board-style grid view, where stacks can be viewed by tapping on the title card, and a second option allowed viewing all of your notes in a simplistic text list. These do seem like two great offerings, but now there’s one more. Using the cork board approach once again, column view separates stacks into columns of cards. With this third option every card is viewable, yet still organized, with simple one finger swipe panning. OnCue, The Music Player, Updated March 14, $.99 (Universal), Original article Let’s face it: Apple’s stock Music app for iOS doesn’t quite cut it. Far be it from us to totally cast the app aside, but don’t we all think that we deserve to have a music app on our favorite devices that is enriched with more helpful features? At the very least, shouldn’t the ability to queue tracks have been added to the app by now? The reality of it, though, is that the Music app is a passably basic music player. Fortunately, Apple has long lifted its ban on third-party apps that essentially replicate the functions of its preinstalled proprietary apps. As a result, some able developers have created music players for iOS that do far more than what the plain and simple Music.app does. One such developer is Dan Pourhadi, who made the feature-rich and queue-friendly OnCue, The Music Player. Skyfire Web Browser for iPad, Updated March 15, $4.99 (iPad), Original article Skyfire, one of the best alternative browsers available for iOS, now has an updated iPad version with a great, new ability to help users who share their tablet. The HotSwap feature allows multiple users to keep their bookmarks, history, open tabs, social networking and email information intact without having to logout each time they use an iPad. Tweetbot – A Twitter Client with Personality for iPad, Updated March 13, $2.99 (iPad), Original article It was only a month ago when Tweetbot finally arrived on the iPad, much to everyone’s surprise. And it proved to be the best Twitter client for the iPad yet. Today is another huge milestone for Tweetbot for iPad with version 1.2 – it finally has live streaming. That’s right, now you can always keep up with what’s happening on your timeline without ever having to manually refresh. The live streams only work on Wi-Fi, and the Pin to Top feature allows you to remain at the top of the timeline (if you are already at the top). This is a feature that has been long overdue in Tweetbot, and I’m definitely glad to see that it’s finally here. Of course, if live stream is too fast for you, the option to disable it is there as well. That’s all folks, until next week! – The Best New and Updated Apps Of The Week is published each weekend at AppAdvice.com. Attention developers: If you would like your app to be considered for one of our “Best Of” lists, please let me know by sending a tweet @bryanmwolfe. Note: Your app must have been new or updated in the last week to make the current list.