TIME apps

5 iPhone App Deals You Just Can’t Miss This Weekend

Try 'Scan & Translate' to eliminate the language barrier

Looking to download a few great iPhone apps while saving some money this weekend? Check out these five, all on sale or free right now.

  • Scan & Translate

    Scan to Translate
    Scan to Translate Scan to Translate

    Similar to Google Translate, this app allows you to scan and translate text in another language. That makes it a fantastic tool for traveling (when, for example, you have no idea how to figure out menus and street directions), or for students working with texts in foreign languages. It’s also handy for getting over simple language barriers in day-to-day interactions.

    Scan & Translate is on sale for $1.99 in the App Store.

  • Lost Yeti

    Lost Yeti
    Lost Yeti Lost Yeti

    Very few puzzle games have plots, and the ones that do seem to try a little too hard. However, Lost Yeti seems to strike the perfect balance. The object is simple: Players must free a trapped Yeti (or Bigfoot, as some call him) by completing puzzles that unlock a footpath. It’s the sort of game you can spend a lot of time tinkering around with — but don’t get lost in the woods.

    Lost Yeti is temporarily free in the App Store.

  • Cycloramic

    Cycloramic
    Cycloramic Cycloramic

    Another app that helps you take advantage of your new phone’s advanced photo capabilities, Cycloramic can let take way better panoramic photos. The app can take wide-angle photos, but it also has a hands-free mode allowing it to snap fully 360º shots by rotating your iPhone using its vibration motor. If that sounds confusing, worry not: The app packs very clear instructions on how to get the best results.

    Cycloramic is temporarily free in the App Store.

  • Touch2Face

    Touch2Face
    Touch2Face Touch2Face

    Touch2Face is one of those rare apps that doesn’t sound like it does much of anything, but it will actually change the way your use your iPhone. It’s simple: Touch2Face creates icons in your iPhone’s notification dock or home screen for dialing up your favorite people, which eliminates the need to scroll through your endless list of contacts. There are options to have the buttons make FaceTime calls or stick to regular voice dials.

    Touch2Face is temporarily free in the App Store.

  • Message Art

    Message Art
    Message Art Message Art

    For some reason, this app’s developers have decided to market it to towards children and parents when it’s obvious that 1) very young children shouldn’t have iPhones and 2) that it’s likely to be used and enjoyed by adults. The app allows you to draw pictures, doodle over photos from your library, or even hand-write notes and send them as an image via iMessage. It’s a lot of fun to use, and sometimes more intimate than normal text messages.

    Message Art is temporarily free in the App Store.

TIME apps

5 iPhone Apps You Just Can’t Miss This Week

TIME.com stock photos iPhone Apps Uber
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Try Chrome Remote Desktop, which lets you access your desktop from your mobile phone

It seems like hundreds of new iPhone apps pop up every week, but which ones should you bother trying? We explored the App Store and found five apps actually worth downloading.

Chrome Remote Desktop

This app is as straightforward as it is useful. Every developer or software company seems eager to cram every device you can possibly own into a single tool, but Google has found a way to do it best. Remote Desktop lets you use your phone to access your computer desktop; you can choose to access one of several different desktops from your mobile device. And on an iPad, this app eliminates the need to carry your laptop everywhere.

Chrome Remote Desktop is free in the App Store.

Power Nap HQ

The danger of napping is that complacency, exhaustion, laziness, and snoozing will get the best of us almost every time we try to shut our eyes for 20 minutes. We might set our timers for 20 minutes, but by the time they go off, we’ve only been asleep for a few short minutes.

This new app tracks users’ movements to see when they have fallen asleep, and then uses this data to wake them up after a desired amount of time. It keeps us from falling into a frustrating five-minute nap or from a midday slumber so long our regular sleep pattern will be disrupted.

Power Nap HQ is available for $0.99 in the App Store.

Cat Facts Extreme

Perhaps one of the most brilliantly inane apps ever created, Cat Facts Extreme is the perfect way to bring a smile to your cat-loving friends — or drag everyone else into an abyss of frustration. Go through your contact list and choose which friends deserve to have cat facts texted to them. It’s really the simpler pleasures of technology that can be the most meaningful.

Cat Facts Extreme is free in the App Store.

Stayful

Stayful not only searches multiple databases in order to find you the best hotel rates in a given city, but it will actively negotiate the best price for you with the hotel. How exactly it works is something of a mystery, but so long as the result is cheaper rates, then Stayful has done its job. Not only is the idea itself incredibly useful, but the interface is easy to use and takes the headache out of online booking.

Stayful is available for free in the App Store.

Flush Toilet Finder

What happens when nature calls but you can’t answer? It’s a place we’ve all been, and as it happens, resentful restaurant owners aren’t terribly gracious when you ask to use their bathrooms. Flush Toilet Finder is rather self-explanatory: The app uses your GPS to locate all the public restrooms in your area, which can make a critical difference when you’re on the move and won’t be home for a while.

Flush Toilet Finder is available for free in the App Store

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Games To Play This Week

Try 1+2=3, a deceivingly difficult game of quick calculations

Looking for some fun new games to play on your iPhone? Here are five favorites TIME rounded up this week. Enjoy!

  • Shadowmatic

    Shadowmatic
    Shadowmatic Shadowmatic

    Shadowmatic is one of the most challenging puzzle games around, not necessarily because the puzzles themselves are impossible to solve, but because the game requires players to think differently. The goal is to contort objects in order to match a shadow cast on a wall. Use objects from your surroundings in order to solve the puzzle. It’s like a mind-bending shadow-puppet spectacle.

    Shadowmatic is available for $2.99 in the App Store.

  • Flockers

    Flockers
    Flockers Flockers

    Flockers is shockingly similar to the yesteryear gaming hit Lemmings, in which players must lead a flock of animals over a series of obstacles and, hopefully, not to one of many violent deaths. It’s a puzzle game in action. Take your sheep through 60 levels and see if they can survive the gruesome machines and pitfalls designed to pulp your clueless herd.

    Flockers is available for $1.99 in the App Store.

  • Lowlander

    Lowlander
    Lowlander Lowlander

    In a world full of retro games, Lowlander is so retro that it’s nearly analog. It’s a throwback to a time of pixels the size of a quarter, and game movement as simple and as straightforward as the arrow keys. Actions are selected from a drop down menu as you try to battle your way through the Amazon. Imagine the RPG Tom Hanks plays in Big, but colorful, and on your iPhone.

    Lowlander is available for $1.99 in the App Store.

  • 1+2=3

    1+2=3
    1+2=3 1+2=3

    There’s a level of inanity to this game that’s hard to stomach, were it not for the fact that it’s been near the top of the iTunes chart for the last week. Clearly players are responding to the idea that basic math equations thrown at them at top speed are not only a lot of fun, but strangely challenging. It’s literally single digit operations, and yet, it’s not hard to make mistakes. Not really a brain teaser as much as a puzzle game, 1+2=3 is a great way to spend a few minutes of free time.

    1+2=3 is free in the App Store.

  • Hexxy Snake

    Hexxy Snake
    Hexxy Snake Hexxy Snake

    A lot like the classic game Snake, Hexxy Snake is a game in which players control a growing snake, navigate it towards food and around obstacles, and, more importantly, away from its ever-growing tail. The added challenge to this game is anticipating the slightly fractal element of guessing the precise angle at which your snake will turn when it comes to a fork in the hex background.

    Hexxy Snake is $2.99 in the App Store.

TIME apps

Don’t Miss These iPhone App Deals This Weekend

TIME.com stock photos Social Apps iPhone
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Try City Maps 2Go, which lets you download maps for offline viewing

It seems like hundreds of new iPhone apps pop up every week, but which ones should you bother trying? We explored the App Store and found five apps actually worth downloading.

1. City Maps 2Go Pro

City Maps 2Go is an incredibly useful iPhone app, not only because it offers users maps on their phones with a level of detail that Google Maps cannot match, but because it also allows you to use those maps offline. It’s a great tool for road trips where signal service might be spotty, or when you’re traveling and hoping to conserve data.

City Maps 2Go Pro is on sale for $0.99 in the App Store.

2. Goat Simulator

We’ve written about Goat Simulator before, but for those that are still out of the loop, it’s essentially Grand Theft Auto, but with a goat and without sexual violence/gun violence. Use the goat’s tongue to fling him around an interactive universe and destroy your surroundings with the force of an airborne animal. Few games make you laugh out loud, but Goat Simulator definitely will.

Goat Simulator is on sale for $2.99 in the App Store.

3. Marvel Pinball

A game for those who enjoy comic books but lament the disappearance of arcades, Marvel Pinball is an amazing distraction and doesn’t feel out of place on a small screen. Play your way through levels decorated with your favorite heroes and villains, and upgrade to unlock new maps. Changing maps means accessing new structures and obstacles in order to change gameplay in ways real pinball machines never could.

Marvel Pinball is temporarily free in the App Store.

4. 5coins

If you’re someone who not only has trouble budgeting, but also has trouble juggling a high number of functions in a single app, then 5coins may be a useful tool for you. It allows you to focus on the most essential components of your budget, which feels like the most responsible and least constructive way to watch how much you spend. In short, it helps you watch what you spend where it matters most.

5coins is temporarily free in the App Store.

5. Super Lemonade Factory

Another iOS gem with the feel of a Game Boy game, Super Lemonade Factory throws you into a pixelated world of faceless characters in which players must infiltrate an inherited Lemonade Factory full of menacing villains. Work your way through a post-World War II storyline while enjoying a classic-style video game with an interesting premise.

Super Lemonade Factory is temporarily free in the App Store.

TIME apps

5 Apps You Just Can’t Miss This Week

Apple iPhone 6/6 Plus Launch in Japan
A customer looks at the new IPhone 6 Plus at the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus at the Apple Omotesando store on September 19, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Chris McGrath—Getty Images

Try Evernote Scannable, which lets you digitize receipts and business cards

It seems like hundreds of new iPhone apps pop up every week, but which ones should you bother trying? We explored the App Store and found five apps actually worth downloading.

Evernote Scannable

Over the last few years, Evernote has become one of the most popular note-taking apps available. It combines the need for quick, on-the-go note-taking with cloud storage, never sacrificing the option for more in-depth composition.

Now, Evernote has introduced Scannable, which allows you to scan documents, receipts, or all other manners of paper, save them, and then share them with your contacts. That needlessly tall tower of papers and receipts on your desk waiting to be sorted for April 1st? Yeah, no more of that.

Evernote Scannable is free in the App Store.

CommitTo3

Many productivity apps expect far more than we can reasonably deliver. Yes, for some it is indeed great to have all of a day’s tasks outlined and color-coded in a single app, but for others, this level of scheduling seems overzealous and daunting.

CommitTo3 is an app that allows you to set three reasonable goals for the day, then tracks your completion/success rate. It’s an easy way to gain momentum. Think of it as the Couch-to-5k of productivity apps.

CommitTo3 is free in the App Store.

Water Tracker

When I get a little ornery, I have a friend who will condescendingly ask me: “Are you dehydrated?” The answer is, almost always, yes. We keep hearing about eight glasses a day, or ounces-to-body-weight ratios, but we’re all almost always in a constant state of dehydration.

Water Tracker is the app we all need on our phones. It tells users how much water they should consume in a day and then holds them to that number. It also has input settings for other beverages, so you can finally see that your coffee-to-water intake ratio is medically irresponsible. 4 p.m. headaches, frustration and physical discomfort can all be curbed if we obey Water Tracker.

Water Tracker is available for $1.99 in the App Store.


Player

For musicians and amateurs, Player is an incredibly useful tool. For the rest of us, it’s one of the most fascinating digital experiments around. The app takes songs from your library and then analyzes them, breaking them down by chords for piano or guitar while also revealing other relevant information. It’s a way of learning to play songs, or simply developing a far more intimate relationship with your music collection.

Player is free in the App Store.

iGreet

iGreet is an amazing app perhaps more for what it represents than the purpose it actually serves. It allows users to create customizable greeting cards that can then be printed out at a nearby Walgreens. The card is then scanned by the recipient, revealing secondary “augmented reality” content.

True, it’s a way of jazzing up boring greeting cards and making birthday cards that much more affectionate, but it also evidence that our phones are the key to getting a lot more out of even the most mundane aspects of non-digital life.

iGreet is free in the App Store.

TIME apps

The Absolute Best iPhone Games You Should Play This Week

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus retail sales begin in Spain
Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Anadolu Agency—Getty Images

Try Powder, a super-relaxing endless ski game

Looking for some fun new games to play on your iPhone? Here are five favorites TIME rounded up this week. Enjoy!

The Princess Bride

Although arguably less remarkable than the film that inspired it, The Princess Bride iOS game can only be described as “long expected.” A charming series of well-animated backgrounds combined with stills from the film set the scene for four small mini games. Among others, players can climb a cliff with a castigating Wally Shawn, or duel Inigo Montoya. Although nothing can surpass the magic of The Princess Bride, the game is a pleasant way to relive some of it.

The Princess Bride is available for $3.99 in the App Store.

Space Marshals

An amazingly animated iOS game, Space Marshals is the outer space equivalent of Cowboys and Aliens. Don a space-age 10-gallon hat and hunt down criminals. The game involves a surprising amount of strategy, with options to flank criminals, or lurk in the shadows until the moment is right to strike. Weapons and kits are just as sophisticated—choose the right body armor and blast enemies away with specialized grenades or assault rifles, shotguns, or pistols.

Space Marshals is available for $4.99 in the App Store.


1-bit Ninja Remix Rush

The most amazing aspect of 1-bit Ninja is its ability to fuse the most two-dimensional, basic, flattest gaming technology with the elegance of 3D iOS gaming. Hop around in a streamlined, retro landscape in order to fight the clock and destroy as many enemies as possible as an agile ninja character.

1-bit Ninja Remix Rush is available for $1.99 in the App Store.

Zoidtrip

Squirm around as a squid-like triangle with tentacles and navigate a basic but increasingly complicated landscape in order to avoid obstacles and platforms. Survive as long as you can and crush your high score. The higher you go, the more you can unlock, which means accessing new triangles of different colors and an array of adorable faces to match. Zoidtrip is a good way to pass a moment or two of spare time.

Zoidtrip is free in the App Store.

Powder

One of the most calming iOS games ever developed, Powder is a ski simulator that allows users to slowly go down an endless slope, slaloming around trees and obstacles—but never too challenging in pace or landscape. A great game to download if you’re prone to stress or angry outbursts in the middle of your work day. A digital stress ball.

Powder is free in the App Store.

TIME apps

5 iPhone App Deals You Just Can’t Miss This Weekend

Shoppers And Product Displays Inside The Apple Inc. Store At China Central Mall
Customers try out Apple Inc. iPhone 6 smartphones at an Apple store in the China Central Mall in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Try Routina, a beautiful reminder app that'll notify you for recurring appointments

Looking to download a few great iPhone apps while saving some money this weekend? Check out these five, all on sale or free right now.

Van Gogh: Painted With Words

With plenty of apps released by the world’s largest museums, you might think there’s little room for apps focused on a single artist. But this Van Gogh app is a true work of complete adoration for the artist, which makes as much apparent in the final product. Not only is the app amazingly interactive, with complete timelines of the artist’s works and biographical information, but it includes some of the less-well-known elements of his life, including letters with his brother Theo. The world would be a slightly smarter place if all apps about art were designed so well.

Van Gogh: Painted With Words is temporarily free in the App Store.

Beer Buddy

An app that allows you to scan barcodes on beer bottles in order to learn more about your beverage, Beer Buddy is perhaps much more useful than many would like to admit. It’s a constant struggle to remember the name of a beer you once had at that place after your buddy’s thing that time a year ago. It all seems so vague, but you remember the label was green and that it tasted good. Beer Buddy takes care of that problem, making it easy to get information about your drink and put together a favorites list based on your scans.

Beer Buddy is on sale for $0.99 in the App Store.

File Hub

A great app for storing or managing files, File Hub allows you to monitor all your cloud services, like Google Drive and Dropbox. The app provides a single uniform platform to access your files across those services, complete with a PDF reader, a music and video player, and a few ways of transferring files when necessary.

File Hub is temporarily free in the App Store.

Routina

Routina is a completely different kind of productivity/reminder app. It’s not a grocery list or a workflow organizer; rather, Routina reminds you of recurring events. Simply tell your app to remind you to pay rent every month, visit the doctor twice a year, or visit your grandmother once every 2 weeks, and the app will send you an alert at the right moment. It also happens to be really pleasant to look at.

Routina is on sale for $0.99 in the App Store.

NewsBar

NewsBar is a very customizable RSS reader that allows you to curate news based on source, keyword, or interest, publishing updates to your phone the moment a story goes live. No swipe and load—the app sends you a notification that stories have been loaded to your device. Definitely one of the better mobile-optimized RSS readers.

NewsBar is on Sale for $2.99 in the App Store.

TIME apps

These 6 Apps Will Help You Tell Amazing Stories With Just Your iPhone

iPhone Photography
A woman dayhiking in Arches Park. Jordan Siemens—Getty Images

Go beyond Facebook and Instagram this year

You’ve just come back from holiday vacation, and you’re looking for an easy way to share your incredible trip with all your friends. Sure, there’s Facebook and Instagram — but these six iPhone apps, recently highlighted by Apple, are purpose-built for the task and create beautiful-looking photo and video stories to boot.

Replay

Essentially, if you want to be able to make a multimedia Facebook album to share with your friends, Replay allows you to assemble photos, videos, music, and a variety of different fonts, and edit it into a single, sharable file. It’s about as nostalgic as you can get while using an iPhone.

Replay is free in the App Store.

Steller

A storytelling app that puts a lot of emphasis on the elegance of a final product. Steller allows users to piece together photo essays and make use of various cropping tools as well as a large number of headers and classic fonts. It makes it easy and even fun for someone else to sit through your vacation photos. Steller can make looking through an album feel a lot more like thumbing through a great coffee table book.

Steller is free in the App Store.

Storehouse

If you’re someone who likes to use a variety of photo sharing and editing clients, but prefers ease of use and simplicity, then Storehouse is a great app to download. It takes a page out of Snapchat’s story-telling function by allowing you to put together a timeline or a collage of photos with linearity in mind. Storehouse also allows you to explore content put together by other users.

Storehouse is free in the App Store.

Heyday Photo Journal

Users play a far less hands-on role with Heydey Photo Journal, and interact with it simply by using their phone as they normally would. Heyday takes the locations you visit and pairs them with the photos taken that day in order to reproduce an editable album. Instead of making you think more about how to keep track of memories, Heyday does most of the work for you.

Heyday Photo Journal is free in the App Store.

1 Second Everyday

If you’re more into the Boyhood-Richard-Linklater style of storytelling, 1 Second Everyday is probably the app you’ll want to use. Instead of having users make involved photo albums or tell stories with video clips and text banners, this app allows users to film one second of their day, which can be revisited by day or edited into a single reel. It’s a sweet way to look back on a year, if not a slightly melancholic one.

1 Second Everyday is $0.99 in the App Store.

Lightt

Lightt is everything you wish Instagram were and everything Vine and Snapchat will never be. It allows users to edit photos and video clips using a huge number of filters and settings and then share the finished product on social media (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter) or even email it. There’s something heartwarming about how simple it is to share clips of your life on Lightt.

Lightt is available for free in the App Store.

TIME apps

These 5 iPhone Apps Will Make You Wildly More Creative

iPad Creativity
Painted face on tablet Marta Nardini—Getty Images/Flickr RF

Use your iPhone or iPad to tap into your inner artist

Sure, your iPhone can send texts, make calls and get the weather. But it can also help you realize your artistic ambitions, too. How? Check out these five apps, all recently highlighted by Apple as ways to be more creative using just your iPhone or iPad.

Procreate

Procreate can turn your iPad into a professional-grade tablet for illustration. Not only is the app hundreds of dollars cheaper than comparable software, but it allows you to draw using a stylus or your hand and export your work into a variety of formats. Procreate lets you edit multiple layers at once, use a series of professional illustrator’s tools, and tinker around with scores of customizable brushes. Procreate isn’t merely a doodling app; it’s for creating something remarkable.

Procreate is available for $5.99 in the App Store.

VSCO Cam

VSCO is one of the few ways to take full advantage of the newest iPhones’ advanced camera settings. Not only does it help you take photographs, but it also allows you to edit them with a wide range of vintage-style filters, making VSCO Cam a double-threat in mobile photography. Toy around with a series of presets, but also learn what makes a better photograph by comparing edited versions of your photos to the original shot. At best, VSCO Cam will help you take ambitious and gorgeous photographs, and, at the very least, will get you a ton of Instagram likes.

VSCO Cam is free in the App Store.

iMovie

Apple’s iMovie software realized its true potential when the company moved to Intel processors about ten years ago. For the first time, users could actually make professional-quality movies using just their iMac. The iMovie app has since been adapted for your iPhone and iPad, which means you can take your mobile videos and edit them with the software’s hallmark simplicity and efficiency. Your movies will be almost as mind-boggling as the ease with which they were created.

iMovie is available for $4.99 in the App Store.

Slow Shutter!

Slow Shutter! taps into iOS 8’s expanded manual photography controls, allowing iPhone photographers to snap photos while manually operating the shutter speed in order to create longer exposure photographs. Think of it as Picasso painting with light, except now you can use your iPhone.

Slow Shutter! is available for $1.99 in the App Store.

Brushes 3

Like Procreate, Brushes 3 is a very powerful mobile sketching app. Perhaps a bit more like drawing by hand than digital illustration, Brushes 3 is a hugely customizable app that allows users to pinpoint their style preferences and use the tools that work best for them. Moreover, it can also be used on the iPhone, which brings an added dimension to this advanced creativity app–this level of detail is usually reserved for the iPad’s larger screens.

Brushes 3 is free in the App Store.

TIME apps

5 Awesome iPhone App Deals This Weekend

iPhone 6
An Apple Inc. employee holds an iPhone 6 for a photograph during the sales launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the company's George Street store in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Try BioShock, a ported version of one of the most popular video games of the last few years

Looking to download a few great iPhone apps while saving some money this weekend? Check out these five, all on sale or free right now.

Alayer

Alayer is an advanced photo editor with very streamlined and simplified functions. It allows you to alter photos using filters, effects and an arsenal of standard editing tools like color balance or adjusting light in an image. Essentially, Alayer is an idiot-proof version of Lightbox that makes it easy for amateur mobile photographers to get their desired outcome with minimal work.

Alayer is temporarily free in the App Store.

Sliding.to

Sliding.to is the digital version of those impossible puzzle games found on keychains dangling from your old elementary school backpack. However, the added fun of Sliding.to is that you can take photos from your library and turn them into solvable puzzles in the app.

Sliding.to is temporarily free in the App Store.

BioShock

Arguably one of the most popular console games of the past few years, BioShock’s iOS version has made a similar splash. Although not as extensive as the original, the iPhone/iPad version’s developers did an excellent job optimizing this game for mobile platforms. Fight your way through the dystopian, retro-space-age universe using old school weapons and futuristic machines just as you would on a console.

BioShock is on sale for $4.99 in the App Store.

Alarm Clock Reboot

If you’re anything like most iPhone users, then your brain has probably found a way of shutting off your standard iOS alarm clock without ever actually making you wake up. Alarm Clock Reboot has taken our laziness into account and built an alarm clock that actually gives you snooze options well before your schedule wake up time — you can hit the button four times and still get up when you’re supposed to. Not only is the display huge, but alarms need to be shut off in such a way that it’s hard to do it without truly being awake.

Alarm Clock Reboot is temporarily free in the App Store.

Avadon: The Black Fortress HD

Some typical iOS games have started to feel strangely deficient — but Avadon is an incredibly interactive fantasy RPG that could easily be played on a computer far more powerful. Build a character, boost its stats and go on epic adventures into a dark universe of underground prisons and dangerous wooded areas. One of the more extensive iOS games available.

Avadon: The Black Fortress HD is on sale for $4.99 in the App Store.

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