Every week, our staff will handpick an app from the past two weeks that we believe is a must-download for your iPhone or iPad. These apps will always be from various categories, but they are chosen because our own staff members love it and have been using them daily. So here are this week’s picks! Enjoy!
Breeze - Activity and step tracking made simple
Looking to get motivated to move more? Then have our App of the Week get you going! Say hello to Breeze from Runkeeper.
While there are plenty of pedometer apps out in the App Store, Breeze takes an entirely new approach to the act of keeping track of your movement. First off, the app itself is beautiful and definitely not your standard run-of-the-mill activity tracker app. You’re greeted with beautiful blurred photos in the background, a circular graph in the center of the screen that will quickly tell you how many steps you’ve taken, and you can see your progress for the week with a single glance.
But Breeze is much more than that. It will learn what your habits are, and adjust itself to fit your lifestyle. You won’t be able to set a custom goal, because Breeze will do that for you, based on your movement history. The more you move, the more your goal gets increased over time. But if you begin to slouch off, don’t worry, Breeze will lower the goal for whatever the situation is.
The app will also tell you some neat statistics about yourself that you may not have realized otherwise. It will determine when you are most active, such as the weekdays or the weekends, and whether you’re a continuous walker or someone who is active in short bursts. The app can even determine if you’re more of a runner or a walker, and all of this information comes from the M7 chip in your iPhone 5s. Because a week’s worth of this data is stored on the chip itself, Breeze can analyze you right from the moment you launch the app.
Breeze does not need to be open to keep track of your activity, since it draws this information from the M7 chip itself. Battery usage is fairly low even when the app is open. Also, to help push you towards your goal, Breeze will send you the occasional push notification every now and then after detecting a lot of movement to what your progress is for the day. These friendly nudges are a great thing if you plan on becoming more active.
We’ve been enjoying keeping track of our physical activity with Breeze, and it’s simply one of the most beautiful pedometer apps out there. If you have an iPhone 5s and are looking to get more active, then make sure to grab Breeze on the iPhone App Store for free.
For more information, check out our full review.
In the mood to get a little creative with your photographs? Then how about superimposing images on top of each other with our Honorable Mention, Union?
This sleek little app is brought to you by the makers of Tangent and Fragment, both awesome little photo apps as well. Like its kin, Union features a slick interface that is easy on the eyes, focuses on your images, and is incredibly intuitive to use.
Each image that can be created in Union will consist of the background and foreground layer. The app allows you to adjust the individual photo settings, such as brightness and contrast, individually, which is rather nice in case you need to make some adjustments to make the combination work. Placing an image on top means you can adjust the transparency, or you can even tint it into a specific color for an artsy effect.
Now, how do you take out specific elements from one photo to place on top of the background? Just use the Mask section of Union, of course. This is where you can erase parts of an image so your subject appears as the foreground only, or you can take the guesswork out and use the Smart Wand so the app can detect large chunks of image and take them out automatically. There are even other options, such as painting in the image on the background, and you can easily see what parts were erased by having the erased sections show up in red on the image.
When you’re done, you can compress the project into a single layer, and continue to add more to it. If you’re done, you can save it to the Camera Roll and share it to various social networks or open it in a third-party photo editing app. The possibilities are endless with Union.
We’ve enjoyed using the app lately to create some unique superimposed images, and if you’re in the market for doing this type of thing on your iOS device, then you should check it out. Grab Union as a universal app on the App Store for $1.99.
For a closer look at Union, make sure to check out my full review.