While we cover dozens of apps in the App Store each week at AppAdvice, we understand that sometimes things can slip into the cracks and you, our awesome readers, may miss something. That’s why we are bringing you the highlights of the App Store in our weekly App Brief column, so you can catch up on some of the hottest must-have apps.
Sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and let’s dive in to some great apps. Enjoy.
Love to learn?
Daily Curiosity will help you discover something new about the world every day
As humans, we have a natural curiosity for things, and it is never too late to learn something new. As the Dalai Lama once said, “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”
With Daily Curiosity, users get a gorgeous app that is both sleek and intuitive to use. Users will have to create an account, but if you use Facebook or Twitter, there are easy signup options using those existing profiles. Once the account is made, you’ll be able to get today’s digest, which contains five topics that range from history to technology. Chances are, this will be something you don’t already know and won’t have known if it weren’t for the app.
Tapping on a topic will give you many more details about it, including videos. If you’re short on time, the Key Facts To Know section will give you the most important information you’d need to know about the topic. Further down, you’ll be able to get full details, links to Wikipedia, and share your newfound knowledge with others.
If you miss a digest from previous days, just swipe left to go through past editions. Swiping to the right will show you how much time is remaining until tomorrow’s edition.
I’m always up for learning new things in my spare time, and Daily Curiosity is an app that I’m enjoying a lot so far. It’s easy to get lost in the information that the app provides, and you’ll come out with new, valuable knowledge that you wouldn’t have found out about otherwise. I found the app to be easy to set up and use, and being able to browse digests you’ve missed is a bonus. So if you’re a fan of discovering new things, then I recommend picking this one up on the iPhone App Store for free.
Get smarter and expand your daily lexicon
Word of the Day: Start Learning will help you impress others through the power of conversation
Continuing on with the topic of learning something new each day, how about expanding your vocabulary? With Word of the Day, you’ll be able to do just that.
Word of the Day is a simple and clean app that will present users with a new word every day. You can swipe horizontally to navigate through the words of previous days as well. On each word, users will be able to learn the definition, how to pronounce it (complete with audio), and even save words to Favorites to reference later. If you’re looking for the word for a specific day, tap on the calendar icon at the top to jump to the day you want. You can also view a list of all of the words that have been featured in the Word of the Day app to catch up. The dice button will give you a random word that has been used in the app.
For those who have an Apple Watch, there is also a companion app for Word of the Day so you can expand your lexicon from your wrist. There are also push notifications that can be enabled so you never miss out on the new word of the day.
As a writer, I love to learn new words and expand my vocabulary. I’ve been using Word of the Day for the past few days and have found it to be a useful app. It’s simple and super easy to use, and the words I’m encountering are definitely ones I did not know of before. I look forward to using this app each day, and if you’re a word person, you will too. Word of the Day can be found on the App Store as a universal app for free.
On a budget but love to shop online?
Shop hot deals and save money with FatWallet
With all of the advancements in technology the past few years, it has made online shopping easier than ever before. Hey, we all love to buy things online, but what if you could save some money while you’re at it?
If you’ve ever used a service like Ebates, then you should be familiar with the concept of earning cash back for your purchases, essentially being paid to shop. You don’t make millions from this, but it’s a nice incentive to look forward to.
FatWallet is like Ebates, as users will earn cash back on their purchases through certain retailers, but there is another big difference: FatWallet puts emphasis on “Hot Deals” so you can get the best bargains for your buck and earn money back. For example, you’ll be able to shop Kmart for 10 percent off mountain bikes and earn up to 3 percent cash back at the same time. Or plan your next trip through Orbitz and get 15 percent off your order and earn up to 10.4 percent cash back.
While I prefer to be a bit conservative with my money, I do love a good deal every now and then while earning some money back from it. I’m a user of Ebates, but I like how FatWallet highlights the best deals at different retailers so you can get the most bang for your buck. If you’re a fan of online shopping and saving money, then I recommend giving FatWallet a try. It’s available on the App Store as a universal app for free.
Going on vacation this summer?
Let Tripwolf guide you to the best spots worth your time
It’s summer, so I’m sure that many of you are on vacation or planning to go on one soon. If so, then Tripwolf is an app that’s worth a download before you embark for your flight or drive.
Tripwolf features travel guides for over 500 worldwide destinations, so chances are high that the place you’re going to is covered here. The guides in Tripwolf provide travelers with a ton of information and recommendations on what to do while you’re there, including where to eat and get accommodations. But there is plenty more below the surface. Tripwolf allows users to check train maps and other public transportation options, which is highly useful if you are not planning to rent a car on vacation. The app also has detailed tours and booking, local currency, tips for electricity and emergency assistance, and even safety advice. You are getting an entire planner, local calendar of events, and neighborhood information for your vacation spot in a single app.
For those worried about multiple language support for Tripwolf, don’t worry. The app currently supports English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. Tripwolf also lets you easily sort and filter out maps so you can get the ones that are relevant to your current position. The guides can also be downloaded so you don’t need a data connection to access them.
While I don’t have any vacations planned so far, I still see a lot of value in Tripwolf. The app looks sleek and is intuitive to navigate, and brings you all of the information you would need into a single hub. If you’re doing any traveling at all this summer, then this is worth a look. You can get Tripwolf on the App Store as a universal app for free with in-app purchases for various destinations.
Don’t have the resources for a vacation right now?
Worldview lets you travel the world from the comfort of your own home
If you’re like me and aren’t going anywhere this summer, don’t fret — you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are apps like Worldview to help you explore the world without ever having to get up from the couch.
With Worldview, you are brought into a community stream of gorgeous scenes and cultural events from all over the globe thanks to the power of photography. With the captivating imagery, you can feel as if you are really there in person (kind of). A magical thing about Worldview is the fact that you can tilt your device around to view different angles of the photos as well as more of the scenes. While the stream will advance on its own, you can tap on the screen to skip forward or tap-and-hold to pause it.
Since Worldview is community-driven, users can also submit their own photos to the service for others to check out, and you can share images you like on Facebook or vote for favorites with a single tap. However, I had an issue with the submission feature, as it would not recognize my iPhone camera. Hopefully this will be fixed in the future.
While I would love to travel all over the world, it’s just not feasible at the moment. That’s why I’m loving what Worldview offers, because it’s a great way for me to check out what is happening all over the world without having to get up. The submitted images are stunning, and make you feel like you’re there, which is always a bonus. The scenes range from nature and landscapes to city views and even current events. The use of the gyroscope to get different angles is pretty cool in itself as well.
Worldview is the perfect window into the world for those who are not traveling, or just like to explore the world through photography. You can get Worldview on the App Store for the iPhone for free.
Need a simple, yet powerful camera app for your iPhone?
Obscura Camera is an intuitive alternative to the default app
While the native Camera app on the iPhone has been improved over the years, it is still not enough for some. If you are looking for great alternatives, then Obscura Camera is one you don’t want to miss.
Going along with the name, Obscura Camera features a control panel that is similar to a dark chamber. The app consists of design elements that are nothing more than a plain black box with an accented, white interface. There is a button for the shutter when a photo is taken, of course, and there are separate buttons for setting separate focus and exposure, which is always a necessity. Obscura also features individual settings for ISO and shutter speed, which can alter the result of the image drastically. More camera options are revealed when you tap on the ISO and shutter speed indicators, and these include toggling the front and rear facing camera, flash, applying a grid overlay, and getting to the app’s settings menu.
For those who love filters, Obscura also includes nine filters that you can swipe through on the viewfinder, but six more can be unlocked when you leave a tip via in-app purchase, whether it’s $1.99 or $4.99.
I’m a sucker for any great Camera replacement app, and Obscura is a winner this week. The app itself is minimalistic, fast, and intuitive to use. All of the options are easily reachable with your thumb, regardless of whether you’re shooting in portrait or landscape mode. I recommend getting this one to check out if you haven’t already.
Slide and flick your way through your photos
With Slidebox, managing and organizing your photos has never been easier
Most of us will be snapping away this summer, but what kind of mess will we end up with in our Camera Rolls from dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of unorganized images on our devices? Slidebox is a must-have app that will help you take care of all of that.
Slidebox is a simple app that helps users organize and manage their Camera Roll with Tinder-like swiping gestures. When the app has access to your photos, you’ll see them all one-at-a-time on the screen. Swiping left and right will go through your images, and swiping up will “trash” the current one. If you swipe down, you’ll be prompted to create an album to save the image to. Any album that you make in Slidebox will also show up in the Photos app, so this is a fantastic way to organize your images. You can create an unlimited number of albums from Slidebox, and then just tap on the one you want to save an image to as you go through them.
By default, Slidebox will be on the most recent image, but if you want to start from a different point in your Camera Roll, just tap on the header bar. Scroll through your images and tap on the one you want to jump to. Be warned though — there is currently no way to quickly jump back to the top of the unsorted images and you have to manually scroll to go down the grid.
Images you’ve “trashed” won’t be deleted permanently until you go to the trash and select the “Delete Trashed Photos” option. You can also recover images if you change your mind.
I take a ton of photos, and I’ve been using Slidebox for organizing my photo library into something more manageable. The app itself is sleek, and the swiping gestures feel natural. It’s an app that is off to a good start, and just needs some refinements before it’s great. Regardless, it’s worth checking out in the current state.
Editor’s Choice: Obscura
My Editor’s Choice pick this week goes to Obscura Camera. While Apple has made some big improvements in the native Camera, it still isn’t enough. Obscura Camera’s simple interface makes it easy to focus on shooting your photos, and the buttons for exposure, focus, ISO, and shutter speed control are within easy reach of your thumb and make all the difference in the world. If you’re looking for a camera app that will make your life easier when it comes to getting amazing quality shots out of your iPhone, then do not hesitate to pick up this app.