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!
Doing a lot of traveling? Record and share your fun!
While we’re in the home stretch of summer now, I’m sure that many of you have been out on family vacations these past few months. Now that you’re back home, you’ll definitely want to be sharing your awesome adventures with others, so what better app for the job than ShutterBee?
ShutterBee comes with a slick design that is easy to use and navigate. Users will have to create an account or just use Facebook Connect to sign up, but then you’re able to use the app to its full potential. You can map out where you are traveling to or where you’ve been just by getting a new capture or importing from your Camera Roll. Add a caption, note the country and city, add any landmarks, and then post it. Your entries in ShutterBee can be shared with others who are not on the network as well, since it can post on other sites. If you are feeling a bit nostalgic, just take a look at your Travel Map and see where you’ve been.
Discover new places
ShutterBee helps you find cool new spots to visit next time you're in the area.
The latest update to the app also brought many improvements that make the app easier to use, such as better ways to tag, share, and check-in. Things like the news feed have been revamped to include Latest, Nearby, and Top Posts, which will help you find new spots to check out on your next trip.
Keep track of where you've been
ShutterBee makes it easy to map out the places you've seen so you can keep track and share your experience with others.
Personally, I haven’t done much traveling this year, but I do live in the Los Angeles area, so there is always something to see or do. ShutterBee serves as a nice journal of where you’ve been, regardless of whether that was vacation or not. It’s also a fantastic way to get ideas on where to go the next time you are out in the town or on vacation. It’s certainly worth a download since it is free on the iPhone App Store.
Sometimes you can't beat an old-fashioned outline
Do you take a lot of notes, but prefer to organize everything into an outline for a more cohesive and fluid structure that is easily understandable? Then you should give Cloud Outliner 2 a try.
Even if you’ve used the previous Cloud Outliner Lite or the fully featured original version with Evernote integration, Cloud Outliner 2 is still worth checking out. Not only does this app provide the same powerful outlining tools as the other apps, but it has some great new features. Now, users can export their outlines as a PDF file, keep documents safe with password protection, make outlines look pretty with a full rich text editor as well as read-only mode, and there is the new ability to create multi-tier outlines with ease. To top things off, there is a light and dark theme for easier reading no matter what time of day it is.
Organize through outlines
Sometimes all you need to do to organize your thoughts and ideas is an old-fashioned outline.
But that was just the beginning. Cloud Outliner 2 also has many other additions, including document templates, drag-and-drop rearranging for rows, swipe indentation options, checkboxes and filters, sharing and exporting, synchronization with iCloud or Evernote, full-screen and landscape mode, detailed row highlighting, and much more. If you’re an outlining person, then this is simply a must-have.
Cloud Outliner 2 now has themes
While I don’t always outline everything before I get started on it, I do find it helpful every now and then for bigger projects. I’m finding Cloud Outliner 2 pretty straightforward to use and the options available mean plenty of flexibility as you work. Having the choice of using iCloud or Evernote is nice too, since I’m an Evernote Premium subscriber (it is my digital brain). Plus, the app looks fantastic whether you’re using the light or dark theme (I prefer the latter).
Cloud Outliner 2 is on the App Store as a universal app for only $2.99 and is a must for productive outlining.
Get hot news before it starts trending
Are you a news junkie, but prefer seeing just the biggest stories of the day when you’re trying to get other things in life done? Then you should consider using Trigger, which keeps you in the loop with hot stories before they’re trending.
While some of us still prefer to use RSS or the websites and apps of reliable news sources, not everyone does that these days. No, with the rise of social networks in the past few years, most people get their dose of news from Twitter or Facebook, but let’s face it — most of the time, these links are crap and it’s hard to find the stuff that is worth your attention. Fortunately, Trigger is an app that solves all of these problems. That’s because Trigger determines the popularity of headlines, prioritizes, and gets those stories to you first.
Stay ahead of the curve
Trigger has many credible news sources, such as CNN, Reuters, Time, The Verge, Bon Appetit, and many more. Users can browse through the Trending section of the app to find what is Hot Now, see what is Recent, and even mark articles as favorites to read later. Another option for finding the hottest stories are browsing by category and mood, which include science, sports, world, technology, national news, music, humor, food and drink, and more. No matter what you feel like reading, Trigger will have it. The higher an article is on the list, the more popular it is at the moment.
See what's Overlooked
But Trigger does more than just get you the news and let you read it. Users can vote for stories to push them higher up on the list so that others see it quicker, kind of like how Reddit works. There is also the option for connecting to your Twitter account to see Overlooked articles, which are stories that you and your friends should be looking at, but aren’t.
I definitely consider myself a news junkie since I am always clicking on headlines throughout the day. However, I’m enjoying Trigger so far because it is only delivering the most popular stories that are worth checking out, before they are even considered “big news” for most. It’s an interesting concept that is executed well in the app, plus the social aspects are nice. Plus, having the option to switch over to lighter news is a must, considering how dark or depressing most news is these days.
If you enjoy the news as much as I do, then give Trigger a shot. It’s a free app on the iPhone App Store.
Keep your emotions in check and get useful insights
As humans, we all go through emotions, whether they are good or bad. But have you ever thought of what triggers your feelings, and how to improve your overall well-being because of how you feel? Moodnotes is a new app that lets you record and track your feelings while also enriching your life.
If you are skeptical on the idea, please note that the developers of Moodnotes have worked with a team of healthcare professionals as well as the guys behind Monument Valley in order to bring this app to life. So not only does it look great, but it has some useful advice once you begin to use it to track your mood on a regular basis.
How do you feel?
Moodnotes has a simple and clean design, which is not surprising since the people behind the gorgeous Monument Valley are involved. It’s easy to navigate around in the app, and creating new entries is a breeze. When you make a new entry, swipe up and down to select the appropriate smiley face “mood” that suits how you feel right now, and then quick save it or add detail. If you go to add detail, you can write about why you are feeling this way, and then select whatever positive or negative feelings that are contributing to your emotions. Each selected one starts at 50 percent, but you can slide your finger along the bar to adjust the feeling intensity.
Record your feelings
Write and describe what is making you feel the way you do.
Depending on whether you are in a good or bad mood, Moodnotes offers two different things after feelings are selected. If positive, the app will have some journaling activities for you that are designed to enrich your life. These can include questions like “What is an act of kindness that you can do?” and “How would this action benefit you as well?” If negative, Moodnotes gives Thoughts instead, which are aimed to help you identify the traps that you may be falling into, which lead to you feeling “down,” as they say. Either way, Moodnotes offers a new perspective on things and will help make you feel better over time.
Enrich your life
Moodnotes journal activities and thoughts will help you reflect and improve on your own well-being.
Another feature of Moodnotes is “Moodtrends,” which is a line graph that shows how many entries you’ve entered for each mood. You get an overview of your thought patterns and what triggers your emotions. The app also has reminder notifications, as well as an Apple Watch app for quick mood input.
I can be a rather emotional person at times, which is why I’m appreciating Moodnotes so much. Not only does this app look beautiful and is intuitive to use, but it is insanely helpful. While it does not substitute for professional help or therapy, it is a good way to reflect back on how you feel over time and what causes you to have those emotions. Plus, it gives you a bit more perception on your overall well-being.
For a much more in-depth look at Moodnotes, make sure to check my full review.
The forecast just came with a side of snark
Tired of the same, boring weather app that doesn’t give you some attitude? Then it’s time to switch over to Carrot Weather, your new weather forecast robot that loves sarcasm.
For those that don’t know, Carrot Weather is the result when you mix extreme sarcasm, a malevolent supercomputer, and weather forecasts. Not only does she give you the hourly, daily, and short-term forecasts for multiple locations, but she also provides detailed information, such as humidity, pressure, visibility, and more. Carrot Weather has a flat and unique aesthetic that matches up with the rest of the Carrot apps on the App Store, and who can resist the snarky comments that she spews out every time you launch the app? There are even secret locations that you can get the forecast for as you continue to use the app, which are sure to give you a good chuckle or two.
Get detailed forecasts and sarcasm
Carrot Weather may be a malevolent, sarcastic robot, but she doesn't skimp out on the forecast.
Last week, Carrot Weather received a nice update that brings the new Time Machine feature. This lets users choose a date in order to see what the weather was like in the past, or even future. There is also a new Today widget, more secret locations, UV index data, and a rebuilt Apple Watch companion app. And exclusively on iOS, there is now support for weather maps and live radar images.
To make things even better, Carrot Weather has now arrived on the Mac, bringing along all of the features and sarcasm that we’ve come to love. There is support for notification forwarding from iOS to Mac, so you’ll never miss a beat.
Carrot has her own TARDIS
Now Carrot can travel in time to give you the forecast history or even predict it.
I’ve been a big fan of all of the Carrot apps in the past, but I believe that Carrot Weather is the first one that is designed to be used by everyone, because who doesn’t benefit from knowing the weather? I love how Carrot Weather is designed, especially with the humorous animations on the floating forecast platform. The app is comprehensive while being funny, and the updates have made it even better, especially if you get the Mac version. While I’ve been using BeWeather 2 on my iPhone primarily for the past several months, I’ve recently switched to Carrot Weather as my main weather app, and I’m loving it.
Our top app pick this week goes to Moodnotes.
While there have been some interesting apps that came out over the past week, the one that I’m loving the most is Moodnotes.
It’s only natural for everyone to get a bit emotional at times, but until now, there hasn’t been a great way to keep track of how you feel on a regular basis. Sure, there are other journal apps, but I prefer to keep those for memories and photos, rather than just feelings and rants. Moodnotes is designed specifically to capture your feelings and associated thoughts, and the journaling activities that are associated with both the good and bad serves as a nice mental exercise to help you gain a new viewpoint on why things are the way they are. Plus, I find it interesting and informative to keep track of my thought patterns, because no other app has done that for me.
While Moodnotes is a helpful tool in evaluating my feelings, I am also a big fan of how the app looks and feels. It has a minimalist design with bright and vibrant colors, gorgeous typography, and is super responsive and easy to use.
Even if you don’t want to admit that you can be emotional, having this app around is more helpful than not.