TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Apps of the Week

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Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Google Calendar, VOX Player and more are our favorite iPhone apps of the week.

Linkagoal

Linkagoal describes itself as a “goal-based social network,” letting you post all sorts of personal aspirations so people can cheer you on and help keep you motivated. But the flip side is also true: Using the app brings a newfound sense of shame when you don’t complete your goals, further helping you stay on target. Once you post about your dreams online, motivation from strangers won’t get you there — the fear of public failure, rather, does the trick.

Linkagoal is free in the App Store

Sketchat

Sketchat is essentially Snapchat for drawings, but you don’t lose your sketches into the ether. The most fun part of the app is that you can send your sketches to friends, who can then make modifications of their own and send them back to you. Staff meetings and lecture halls will never be the same.

Sketchat is free in the App Store

VOX Player

VOX gives you cloud storage for your music, meaning you don’t have to take up your iPhone’s storage space with a whole bunch of .mp3s. You get unlimited music storage for $4.99, as well as the ability to create offline playlists and access music you have stored in different places, making it a great app for those managing multiple music subscriptions.

VOX Player is free in the App Store

Office 365 Video for iPhone

Office 365 Video is a great way to share videos with your employees or coworkers. Record a video, then submit it to your personal portal for others in your organization to view — assuming you’ve got an Office 365 subscription.

Office 365 Video for iPhone is free in the App Store

Google Calendar

Many of us have been waiting for years for Google to release an iPhone version of its Google Calendar app. It’s finally here, with a beautiful color palette and easy-to-read viewing options. It also syncs up nicely with your Gmail account, helping to import events directly from emailed messages.

Google Calendar is free in the App Store

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Apps of the Week

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Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Try HBO Now, which brings you HBO content without a cable subscription

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 some apps actually worth downloading.

HBO NOW

HBO NOW is HBO’s new standalone streaming service, offering all of the network’s programming for $15 a month sans a cable subscription. You can watch shows like Game of Thrones, Veep, and Silicon Valley as they air, or dive deep into HBO’s back catalog to catch up on Sex and the City or The Sopranos.

HBO NOW is free in the App Store

Highball

Highball is less of a cocktail recipe app and more of a cocktail diary app, helping you remember exactly how you prefer certain drinks. For example, I like twice as much gin in my Negroni than the normal recipe calls for. Highball allows you to doctor and alter drink recipes, adding measurements as small as a “Pinch” (which will come in extremely handy for the eccentrics who like to add a drop of bitters into everything).

Highball is free in the App Store

Dingo

Ticket-buying app Dingo is perfect for anyone looking for more reliable options than Craigslist or scalping outside the stadium. U.K.-only at the moment, Dingo combines the efficiency of StubHub with the chat function of Tinder to bring you a pretty solid way to buy tickets directly from other fans.

Dingo is free in the App Store

Dialr

Dialr makes life easier by putting your most-dialed contacts right in the Notification Center so you can reach them with minimal effort. Basically, it makes your iPhone way more useful without overcomplicating the device. While there are other similar apps out there, Dialr is simple and doesn’t require launching the app every time you want to use it.

Dialr is $0.99 in the App Store

CARROT Weather

If ever you’ve wanted to feel like Tony Stark jabbing with his sarcastic artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S., then CARROT Weather is the app for you. It’s an adorably designed weather app that talks to you, or, more accurately, talks back to you. It puts up new images on your screen for different weather scenarios, and makes checking the weather actually sort of fun as opposed to tedious.

CARROT Weather is $2.99 in the App Store

TIME How-To

How to Save Stories To Read Later On Your Phone

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Oli Kellett—Getty Images Woman using phone and drinking coffee

Pocket and Instapaper help you avoid missing the articles you want to read

Sometimes, it feels like our phones buzz with notifications from our favorite news apps at the most inconvenient moments — it’s hard to open a notification about Iranian nuclear developments when we’re headed into a meeting or chasing down the bus.

Luckily, there are a few great apps that will help you save important stories for reading later in the day when you’ve got some downtime, even if you don’t have a data signal (say, on the subway).

One of the most well-known of these story-saving apps is the easy-to-use Instapaper. After creating an account and downloading the mobile app (iPhone and iPad here, Android here) and optional browser extensions, you can save stories to your Instapaper queue from your desktop browser or mobile device. Later, you can recall those saved stories in Instapaper’s app for easy reading. Some websites and apps also offer a button that lets you instantly save stories to Instapaper directly.

Another popular option is Pocket, which works mostly the same way as Instapaper — people tend to prefer whichever app they were introduced to first. However, Pocket gives you some different options for saving stories, like the ability to add articles to your queue by emailing them to a designated Pocket address. Like Instapaper, you can also save from a number of third party apps through the share function. Get the iPhone version here, Android here.

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Games of the Week

Try Rogue Star, a Star Wars-like space adventure

Had enough Candy Crush and looking for some fun new games to play on your iPhone? Here are five favorites TIME rounded up this week.

Smove

Overall an incredibly simple game with a very rewarding premise, Smove takes you through a number of levels in which you fly through different stages, dodging obstacles as they fly toward you. And though it may not be the world’s most complex game, it’ll keep you playing for a very long time.

Smove is free in the App Store

Attack the Light

For fans of Steven Universe, this game is an absolute necessity. For those who have yet to watch the endearing Cartoon Network show, then allow this game to be your gateway. Run through maps related to the show and clobber enemies while playing as the show’s main characters. However, Attack the Light isn’t entirely a fighting game. You lead your characters on an adventure, turning this game into an adorable RPG.

Attack the Light is $2.99 in the App Store

Tiltagon

Tiltagon is a truly fantastic, fast-paced puzzle game. The object is simple: you must continuously tilt your device in order to manipulate the trajectory of a ball on a series of increasingly complex hexagonal landscapes. Keep the ball rolling, and you stay alive. If not, you explode, which is a great way to go out.

Tiltagon is free in the App Store

Rogue Star

Perhaps it’s simply the game’s name, but Rogue Star has great similarities to the celebrated GameCube game Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader. In Rogue Star, you fly your ship in a band of criminals, blasting your way through space and completing missions in order to ascend the ranks.

Rogue Star is $4.99 in the App Store

MORTAL KOMBAT X

This hugely anticipated game was well worth the wait. It’s essentially just like the much-loved button mashing games of yesteryear, except with greatly improved graphics. You can unlock a variety of characters, including some of your favorites from the old series, and spend your time ripping opponents throats out or stabbing them in the face or turning them into ice sculptures.

MORTAL KOMBAT X is free in the App Store

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Apps of the Week

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

Try Office Lens, which lets you turn paper documents into digital files

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 some apps actually worth downloading.

Office Lens

Long one of the best Windows Phone apps out there, Microsoft’s Office Lens is now available for iPhone (and Android), letting you use your iPhone’s camera to digitize just about anything. Office Lens can turn whiteboard notes into a readable document; it can convert images into a PowerPoint presentation, and it can make digital versions of print documents. In short, your phone is a lot more useful with Office Lens than without it.

Office Lens is free in the iTunes App Store

Periscope

When Meerkat came out and gave Twitter users a way to stream live video feeds directly to their followers, it was clear that Twitter itself would need to respond, and quickly. Like Meerkat, Twitter’s new app Periscope allows you to send direct live video feeds to your Twitter followers. However, the app is more polished and easier to use, plus it has the benefit of official Twitter support.

Periscope is free in the App Store

Flyp

Flyp works a lot like Google Voice: it gives you multiple numbers to use and connects them to your mobile device. That means you can create dedicated lines for work, for family, for friends, or for people you never hope to hear from again. It makes compartmentalizing your life a lot easier and makes managing a hectic social or work life a lot simpler.

Flyp is free in the App Store

Tempo Video Editor

For a little more depth in your iPhone videos, Tempo is a perfect app that gives you just enough control to make your clips more interesting. You can select parts of your video clips and edit them either to speed up or slow down playback by varying degrees.

Tempo Video Editor is free in the App Store

Unlimited photo and video transfer

This powerful file transfer app eliminates any need for thumb drives and zip files. You can send videos and photos of any length directly to your contacts, as well as between your iPhone and your desktop. This app works incredibly quickly, which means you won’t have to wait 20 minutes for a file to finish transferring.

Unlimited photo and video transfer is free in the App Store

TIME apps

How to Make Typing On Your iPhone Way Easier

Swype and Swiftkey are helpful keyboard apps

Even though the iPhone was designed with convenience in mind, there can still be something counterintuitive about its default keyboard. Occasionally, autocorrect errors or errant typing will result in sending “I love moo” in a text when we didn’t really mean to confess our appreciation for anything bovine.

While iOS 8 packs a pretty good predictive text function that allows you to select from oft-used words via a bar over the keyboard, there are some great third party apps that can help facilitate texting and typing away on your iPhone.

One of the most popular third-party keyboards is Swype, which costs $0.99 in the App Store and can dramatically increase your texting speed and accuracy by letting you drag your finger from one letter to the next.

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To use Swype after you’ve downloaded it, you must enable it as an alternate keyboard by entering Settings, going to General, then heading to Keyboard. Select “Add New Keyboard,” and you’ll be presented from a list, one of which is Swype. With that done, next time you’re typing something on your iPhone, hold down the globe icon on the bottom-left of your keyboard and select Swype.

Another extremely popular third party keyboard app is Swiftkey, which can be downloaded in the App Store for free and enabled the same way as Swype. Swiftkey has two great functions: First, as you type, it offers an incredibly accurate predictive text algorithm, allowing you to choose from several words to complete your missives. Swiftkey also offers typing-by-swiping much like Swype does.

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Games of the Week

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

Try 'Ducktails' and 'Hellrider'

Had enough Candy Crush and looking for some fun new games to play on your iPhone? Here are five favorites TIME rounded up this week.

DuckTales: Remastered

DuckTales, originally released in the late 1980s and 1990s, was one of the best adventure games ever. Now, it’s been remastered for iOS — which means no more crummy, hard to see graphics. Take Scrooge McDuck on a string of journeys through dangerous terrains, traps and maps until you find your treasure. It’s an expensive game, but it’s a small price to pay for reliving one of the best games ever developed – or discovering it for the first time.

DuckTales: Remastered is available for $9.99 in the App Store

Hellrider

Imagine Mad Max, but instead of fighting other humans, you’re battling an army of skeletons. Clobber your way through various maps and destroy your enemies. Despite the fact that Hellrider follows the basic arcade game principle of running through levels and smashing enemies to bits, the game is remarkably designed and never gets boring.

Hellrider is free in the App Store

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons

Until the day Nintendo decides to get launch a full suite of titles for iOS, games like Tiny Dangerous Dungeons will have to do. Take your character (who is wearing a suspiciously Mario-like outfit) through spooky arenas and over obstacles until you reach the end of each level. There’s not much enemy-fighting in this one, which is why it’s so endearingly like games of yesteryear, down to the blocky graphics and monochrome display. It’ll look really cool on your iPhone screen.

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons is free in the App Store

Last Voyage

Unlike almost every puzzle game, Last Voyage is a strange quest through time and space. One moment you’re solving something that looks more like a Rubik’s Cube, and the next, you’re racing from chapter to chapter and beaming around stars at warp speed. The puzzles are almost impossible to solve, but it’s incredibly rewarding once you unlock the next stage. Though the graphics are basic, games like Last Voyage are bringing a new level of complexity to the realm of iOS puzzle games.

Last Voyage is available for $0.99 in the App Store

Phil The Pill

A game that looks like it could be turned into a Cartoon Network show, Phil The Pill is the story of a character who must restore order to his once peaceful universe of strange animated characters. Enemies have invaded Phil’s village, and it’s up to him to fight his way through alleyways and mazes in order to liberate his town’s princess and free his fellow citizens from invaders.

Phil The Pill is free in the App Store

 

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Apps of the Month

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Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Try Layout, Instagram's new photo editing tool

Every week, TIME rounds up our favorite iPhone apps of the past few days. Here are the best of the best for March, from messaging to mapping.

VaporChat

I say a lot of things I wish I hadn’t, so an app like VaporChat is pretty essential for a walking foot-in-mouth marathon like me. VaporChat offers you far greater control over your conversations by allowing you to delete texts or even entire conversations from your own phone and from the receiving device as well. No further explanation is needed.

VaporChat is free in the App Store

HERE

A much-lauded maps app, HERE combines the practicality of Google Maps with the level of detailed offered by more powerful travel apps. This means maps can be downloaded for offline use or in areas of spotty wireless service—the times when having maps may matter the most. HERE functions as a full GPS, helps plan public transport routes, and can give to tips on where to stay or help keep your itinerary organized. The interface is simple, keeping the app from getting overwhelming.

HERE is free in the App Store

Breaking

Breaking is like lots of other iPhone RSS readers in that it lets you compile news alerts from different sources—anything that has an RSS feed—and then pulls updates to your phone. But where Breaking stands out is that it pushes stories to your notification center, which makes it easy to get news at a glance without having to log into a dozen different apps.

Breaking is $2.99 in the App Store

Layout from Instagram

Some clever folks over at Instagram realized they weren’t doing enough to help users make collages or photo montages right in the app, seceding those functions to a plethora of third-party apps. Enter Layout, which lets you tinker with your photos by putting them in a collage or mirror-flipping them for a variety of clever effects. You can then share the results on Instagram or anywhere else on the web.

Layout from Instagram is free in the App Store

Fresh Air

Fresh Air creates a handsome graph that tracks developing weather patterns, giving you a better sense of how the day will develop — just because it’s sunny when you roll out of bed doesn’t mean your suede shoes will be safe from those afternoon showers. Moreover, Fresh Air sends notifications to your phone in the mornings, which feels a lot like having a butler on your phone to help you plan accordingly.

Fresh Air is available for $1.99 in the App Store

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Games of the Month

Lastronaut
Lastronaut Lastronaut

Play our favorite iPhone games of March

Every week, TIME rounds up our favorite iPhone games of the past few days. Here are the best of the best for March, from mind-straining puzzle games to mad-dash runners.

TouchTone

This is one of the most fascinating games for iPhone at the moment. A lot like the celebrated Papers Please, TouchTone is about cracking a code and finding patterns with an eye for red flags. The game presents you with puzzles you must break in order to find important messages pertaining to national security. It’s a true, tough challenge that feels a bit like propaganda, but if you can get over that part of it, TouchTone will keep you occupied for hours.

TouchTone is $2.99 in the App Store

Spring Ninja

Spring Ninja is an adorable runner-type game in which you control a ninja with springs beneath its feet, jumping from column to column in order to beat your high score. The challenge is to jump from one platform to the next without falling off or overshooting. Be prepared to invest lots of practice time to master the art of spotting your next landing.

Spring Ninja is free in the App Store

Heartbeats

A game that feels like a Gogol short story, Heartbeats is a puzzling little challenge that will take you plenty of time to crack. The appeal of this game is largely in the way it’s designed — as a series of scrawled, eerie doodles. The game tells a story, too: you must solve the puzzles one man left behind as his life’s legacy to learn more about him. Each level presents a unique task that will make you work hard and think differently. A strange game that should make the top of the charts in little time.

Heartbeats is free in the App Store

Lastronaut

An endless runner game with an arcade backdrop, Lastronaut tells the story of a world overrun by a mechanical army that must be destroyed. Jump, run, dodge, and attack wave after wave of enemy forces as you run through the map. Pick up robot weapons and different gear in order to last as long as you possibly can.

Lastronaut is free in the App Store

Under the Sun

In Under the Sun, the goal is to lead your character through a series of puzzle-based desert island maps. In this 3D puzzle game, try to navigate natural obstacles such as trees and rocks in order to get to reach your fire before it gets dark. But every move you make alters the map just a bit. Thankfully, you can tinker with time and go backwards if you make a mistake.

Under the Sun is free in the App Store

TIME How-To

How to Delete iPhone Apps for Good

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

Sometimes it's not as easy as it should be

What Apple’s iPhone platform provides in ease of use, it takes away in control. As easy as it is to learn how to use an iPhone, it can be tricky to get it to behave exactly like you want it to — that’s why almost nobody was particularly thrilled when Apple decided to upload U2’s newest album onto iPhones across the world without asking first.

One of the more difficult tasks for new iPhone owners is removing apps you’ve decided you no longer want. Here’s how to delete an iPhone app for good.

First, the simple method is to tap and hold the offending app’s icon on your home screen until all your iPhone’s app icons begin to jiggle. Then, you can tap the small “x” on the upper corner of the app. You’ll then be prompted with an option to delete the app and its data.

However, this doesn’t always rid your iPhone of the unwanted app for good. Sometimes you’ll find that upon connecting your iPhone to your computer to sync with iTunes, you’ll find the app has mysteriously reappeared on your iPhone. The solution for this is to go into iTunes on your desktop or laptop, select “Apps,” find the app you want to delete and click the small “x” on the app icon. That will ensure the app doesn’t find its way back to your iPhone through a sync again.

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