TIME apps

The Best iPhone Apps of the Week

Momentum, Fresh Air, Vurb and more are our favorite iPhone apps of the week.

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.

  • Momentum

    Momentum
    Momentum

    We all know how hard it can be to develop positive habits — most people are still trying to find a way to fit flossing into their bedtime routine. Momentum uses iOS 8’s Today feature to help track your habits. You can use it to set goals for yourself and program reminders so that you can proactively work toward your goals.

    Momentum is free in the App Store

  • Fresh Air

    Fresh Air
    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

  • Nat Geo View

    Nat Geo View
    Nat Geo View

    National Geographic’s app breaks down the magazine’s best stories, images and video of the day with a sleek interface to make it easier to digest — ideally as you watch lions digest some prey. And because it’s all National Geographic content, the app gives you access to some of the most fascinating stories and stunning photos in the world. In short, it’s a good way to keep up with the other, oft-overlooked side of the daily news machine.

    Nat Geo View is free in the App Store

     

  • Vurb

    Vurb
    Vurb

    Vurb is sort of a preemptive Foursquare. Instead of tracking where you’ve been, you can use it to organize a list of places you’ll go on any given day — from restaurants to bars, movies, and events. Vurb’s most useful feature, though, is the ability to share your agenda with your friends. It makes the whole restaurant-to-bar-to-bar-to-bar-to-late-night-eatery debacle a whole lot easier to keep track of if someone wants to meet up with you later in the evening.

    Vurb is free in the App Store

TIME You Asked

You Asked: Can I Use My iPad or Other Tablet As a Second Monitor?

Duet Display for iOS and OS X
Duet Display Duet Display for iOS and OS X

Don't let your iPad sit unused

So you want a second computer monitor to help you be more efficient at work or at home, but you don’t want to shell out the money for another display. Is there a more potentially cost-effective solution to double up on displays?

You bet.

If you’ve got a tablet like an iPad or comparable Android tablet, it’s probably going unused when you’re on typing away on your desktop or laptop computer. But several apps on the market can turn your tablet into a bona-fide second monitor.

The best app for transforming your iPad or phone into a second screen is Duet Display, currently 50% off its normal price of $14.99. You’ll first need to download a free version of the app for your desktop or laptop Mac. Then download the paid version on your iPad (or nice, big iPhone 6 Plus). Once the two apps are installed on both machines, connect them with your Lightning or 30-pin cable. Next, open the app on the tablet or phone, and presto, Duet Display turns it into a second screen with minimal, if any, lag. (Another popular option for Apple users is Air Display, which recently introduced a USB connectivity option similar to Duet Display.)

For the PC and Android users out there, you can try the $9.99 Android version of Air Display — though it works over Wi-Fi, which means it comes with some lag. If that doesn’t cut it, give the $5 iDisplay a shot — but it, too, works over your wireless network. Instructions for setting up Air Display can be found here; follow these for iDisplay.

One quick note: If you’re using a tablet as a second display, your life will get much easier if you invest in a solid stand for the device to keep it upright.

TIME apps

Play the Best New iPhone Puzzle Games

Looking for a new iPhone game a little more mentally stimulating than Angry Birds? Try one of these five puzzle games, sure to confound and delight you.

  • Ones

    Ones
    Ones

    Ones is essentially a maddening version of 2048. Combine three or more identical blocks in order to create the next block. The goal is the mash enough blocks together and align them well enough so that you can reach the highest numbered block possible. You will spend hours trying to top your high score, and then, once you do, will spend hours more trying to do the same again.

    Ones is $0.99 in the App Store

     

  • Deeply Absurd Chain

    Deeply Absurd Chain
    Deeply Absurd Chain

    I am immediately fond of any game that embraces its own absurdity on the most superficial level. At first, this plays like most match games—the basic principle of which is to line up as many similar items in a row. But in Deeply Absurd Chain, matching items only reveals the next link in the chain, allowing for far more complicated moves. It’s a game that sends you down a rabbit hole of cartoonish puzzling with an archeological theme.

    Deeply Absurd Chain is free in the App Store

  • Atomas

    Atomas
    Atomas Atomas

    One of the best-designed games this month, Atomas is a puzzle game based in chemistry. Start with very basic elements and then try to get them to bond to one another to form precious metals like gold from your collection of bonded atoms. But don’t let your screen get too crowded with elements. You’ll learn about the periodic table, but you won’t become the next Walter White.

    Atomas is free in the App Store

     

  • Under the Sun

    Under the Sun
    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

     

  • TWIST3D

    TWIST3D
    TWIST3D

    Somewhere between a game of Tetris and a frustrating few hours spent with a Rubik’s Cube, TWIST3D is a puzzle game in which you must twist a 3D cube-like map in order to reveal patterns and match gems that only reveal themselves once a pattern is detected. You can use boosters to help you sort out the cube, but this game is only for those who are exceptionally skilled puzzle-solvers — those quick to anger should steer clear.

    TWIST3D is free in the App Store

TIME iPhone

The 5 Best iPhone Apps of the Week

Try Storm, Do Camera and Short

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 worth downloading this week.

  • Storm by Weather Underground

    Storm
    Storm

    Understanding the way storm systems work can be a pretty useful skill. Not only does Storm offer detailed maps, but it also has radar images, storm tracking, and expanded forecasts. Chances are, by using this app, you’ll become the person your coworkers rely on to tell whether or not everyone should just work from home that day.

    Storm by Weather Underground is free in the App Store

  • Do Camera

    Do Camera
    Do Camera Do Camera

    If This Then That’s camera app allows you to set a particular action based on your iPhone’s camera. For instance, you can set it up so when you snap a photo, your phone’s camera immediately corrects for color balance, emails your snap to mom, or posts the pic to Facebook. Handy!

    Do Camera is free in the App Store

  • Short

    Short
    Short

    For those with only fleeting moments of spare time for reading the news, Short curates quick articles from different sources. It also has a night mode for those truly deprived of downtime. It’s a good way to keep up with your favorite topics without setting aside chunks of the day to reading the entire A-section of a newspaper.

    Short is free in the App Store

  • Weafo

    Weafo
    Weafo

    Weafo allows quick, easy file transfers between iOS devices and other handhelds. The receiving device doesn’t need to be running iOS, nor does it need to have Weafo installed. Downloading Weafo automatically adds the option to send files through Weafo to your iPhone. You can then add as many media files as you wish into a compressed zip file. Weafo is faster and easier than emailing single files from your iPhone.

    Weafo is free in the App Store

  • Keadle

    Keadle
    Keadle

    Keadle is one part geocaching, one part Snapchat. First, you take a photo. Then you add text and select a location on a map. Once your friend enters the physical zone you’ve selected, the message will appear. It’s a digital photo treasure hunt with great potential to send your friends on a search around the city.

    Keadle is free in the App Store

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Games You Should Play This Week

Alto's Adventure, Grudgeball and Swap Heroes 2 are our favorites

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.

  • Alto’s Adventure

    Alto's Adventure
    Alto's Adventure

    While magnificently designed, Alto’s Adventure is also a rare runner game that incorporates objectives other than simply moving forward and earning points. Play as the snowboarder Alto and make jumps on difficult courses while leading your team through the frozen wilderness — and don’t forget to rescue those llamas.

    Alto’s Adventure is $1.99 in the App Store

  • Bob’s Space Adventure

    A modernized 8 bit-style arcade game in which you take a character through space to blast aliens. The developers have even organized a championship with a cash prize, so as you go fight off wave after wave of baddies before finally being outnumbered, you might actually put yourself in the running for a cool $100,000.

    Bob’s Space Adventure is free in the App Store

  • AdVenture Capitalist!

    Adventure Capitalist
    Adventure Capitalist

    AdVenture Capitalist! is a great little game about humble beginnings at a lemonade stand. Gradually grow your operation until you’re at the top of the capitalist chain. If you’re any good, you’ll be able to expand your empire to include other shops and operations — just remember to keep track of them all. It’s SimTower for the capitalist set.

    AdVenture Capitalist! is free in the App Store

  • Grudgeball: Enter the Chaosphere

    Grudgeball
    Grudgeball

    Grudgeball: Enter the Chaosphere

    Play as the characters of Cartoon Network’s much-adored Regular Show in the dangerous game of Grudgeball. Picture it as a game of dodgeball against all of your camp counselors. You can fire at opponents, block their balls, and counter-attack. However, the real fun is unleashing each character’s special Grudgeball move, as well as playing against friends using the same device.

    Grudgeball: Enter the Chaosphere is $2.99 in the App Store

  • Swap Heroes 2

    Swap Heroes 2
    Swap Heroes 2 Swap Heroes 2

    One of the more endearing RPGs available for iOS, Swap Heroes 2 has players assemble a team of heroes to go on quests. The game is slow-paced, but as you engage in a series of battles against opponents and complete a variety of missions, you start to feel like a ringleader of an old school gaming squad. It’s not as customizable as most console-based role playing games, but it has plenty of options for choosing your own path toward the final battle.

    Swap Heroes 2 is $2.99 in the App Store

TIME How-To

How to Stop Your Phone From Tracking Your Location

Google Maps Returns To Apple's iPhone
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images The Google Maps app is seen on an Apple iPhone 4S on December 13, 2012 in Fairfax, California.

But remember some apps need your location to work properly

While scrolling through your photos, you may notice your smartphone has created albums based on your location, tagged with eerie precision. How does my phone know that I was taking a photo of a certain cathedral, or that on one night in January I took a photo in South Slope and then another by 14th street?

It’s all about location tracking, which use your phone’s internal GPS and other sensors to track your whereabouts and feed that info to various apps.

For some, location tracking can be convenient: It helps apps like Google Maps and Uber know where you are to better deliver you information and services. But for those who have just seen Citizenfour, it could be creepy and invasive. And those people may wish to disable their location services.

Here’s how to do it:

On Apple’s iPhone or iPad: Go into your phone’s Settings tab, and then select Privacy. From there, select Location Services. You’ll see a string of apps that use location services. You can choose to disable them all by moving the slider at the top, or disable location services only for specific apps. Does Fruit Ninja really need to know where you are in the world? Probably not.

On Android: Open the App Drawer, go into Settings, select Location, and then enter Google Location Settings. Here, you can turn off Location Reporting and Location History. Location Reporting feeds your location data to various apps, while Location History stores your whereabouts for future use in searches and software like Google Now. You can also jettison your entire location history by selecting “Delete Location History” below Location History.

It’s important to remember that lots of popular apps like Google Maps, Foursquare and more are pretty dependent on having access to your location data to work to the best of their ability — turning off location services means losing some of your smartphone’s capabilities. But that just might be worth it if you’re ultra-concerned about your privacy.

TIME apps

These Are Our 5 Favorite iPhone Apps of the Week

Try SNL, which puts thousands of the show's clips in the palm of your hands

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.

  • Weather Lock

    Weather Lock
    Weather Lock

    Sometimes it’s the most simple app that’s also the most practical. Even Weather Lock’s name is intuitive — the app puts a basic graphic in your iPhone’s lock screen with a small strip of local weather info. No need to open a second app or check the weekend weather report. It’s a tiny fix to make your iPhone that much more useful during your day-to-day.

    Weather Lock is $1.99 in the App Store

  • Wave Podcasts

    Wave Podcasts
    Wave Podcasts

    Plenty of apps curate news and alerts for their users. Wave Podcasts is an incredibly useful tool that does the same thing but with podcasts, offering you a dedicated stream of episodes based on your preferences and friends’ recommendations. It takes countless podcast networks and combines them into a single listening tool, which means hours upon hours of easy, seamless listening.

    Wave Podcasts is free in the App Store

     

  • SNL

    SNL
    SNL

    After Saturday Night Live’s brilliant 40th anniversary special, this app gives you a fantastic way to enjoy the series’ best sketches. Not only can you cycle through thousands of different video clips from the show’s history, but you can also use the app to watch new episodes of SNL. The app can recommend clips you might enjoy based on your viewing history, and it comes with emoji add-ons for your texting keyboard.

    SNL is free in the App Store

  • Darkroom

    Darkroom
    Darkroom

    Darkroom is an advanced photo editor that makes it easy to post your results to Instagram and other social media networks. Users can create their own filters, which can be applied over other photos. The app directly accesses your photo library, which means you don’t need to select and import photos. An in-app purchase also allows you to toggle the RGB scale endlessly in order to make your photo look just right.

    Darkroom is free in the App Store

     

  • Wanderu

    Wanderu
    Wanderu

    During my senior year of college, I started traveling by bus to visit my brothers in an adjacent state. On occasion, I would find tickets from Chicago that were under $5 with Megabus, but an arbitrary price switch would put the same ticket north of $30 dollars just 24 hours later. Wanderu is like Kayak but for bus tickets—which would have helped me save a lot of money a few years ago. It helps travelers find the best ticket prices, at the most convenient times, and takes advantage of the growing number of affordable bus operators.

    Wanderu is free in the App Store

     

TIME apps

The Best iPhone Games You Should Play This Week

King of Thieves, Radical and Run Bird Run are our favorite iPhone games of the week

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.

  • Run Bird Run

    Run Bird Run
    Run Bird Run Run Bird Run

    While Angry Birds may dominate the absurd bird-based genre, games like Crossy Road and Run Bird Run are starting to steal the spotlight. Players control a square bird by tapping their screen left or right in order to avoid falling boxes. It’s simple, almost mindless, and yet lots of fun to play. Unlock different levels, characters, maps, and a variety of comical cube-shaped creatures to keep the game interesting.

    Run Bird Run is free in the App Store

  • King of Thieves

    King of Thieves
    King of Thieves

    One of the few non-puzzle, non-shooter player-vs.-player games available for iOS. Play as a tiny cubed thief trying to steal gold from others while remaining undetected. The more you steal, the more money you have to buy disguises to better rob your friends.

    King of Thieves is free in the App Store

     

  • Radical

    Radical
    Radical

    Radical combines old-school concepts of barebones design and simple obstacle avoidance. Guide a small triangle through a series of openings without hitting the side of the wall. See if you can swipe your triangle from one side of the screen to the other in order to avoid crashing. It’s a simple arcade-style game that can keep you busy for long stretches of time.

    Radical is available free in the App Store

  • Cava Racing

    Cava Racing
    Cava Racing

    Cava Racing is a well-designed racing title that has the feel of an arcade game, with the desolate look and coloring of a Mad Max movie. Players rotate their phones in order to steer ships around corners that can spell doom for your vehicle. Use boosters to try and crush the best times for each race. The gameplay is incredibly fast and high-quality.

    Cava Racing is $1.99 in the App Store

  • Darklings Season 2

    Darklings
    Darklings

    A sequel to a well-received first attempt, Darklings Season 2 takes players through a surreal universe to fight enemies and conquer maps. Players use special powers to battle enemy darklings, who have stolen the stars from the world. It’s a remarkably detailed and well-animated game worthy of the first.

    Darklings Season 2 is free in the App Store

TIME How-To

6 Tips to Save Your Laptop’s Battery From Dying

Apple Hosts Event At Company's Town Hall
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images A member of the press inspects the new trackpad on a MacBook Pro laptop after a special announcement event at Apple Headquarters October 14, 2008 in Cupertino, California.

How to squeeze more life out of a dying battery

We’ve all been there: Typing away furiously on our laptop, only to find our battery is quickly approaching zero and there’s not an outlet in sight. In order to resolve an immediate crisis of rapid battery drainage, there are a few things you can do to buy yourself some time before you need to reach for a charger:

1. Close any unnecessary applications or programs running in the background. Stopping your laptop from multitasking will help conserve battery.

2. Lower your screen brightness. Keeping your screen too bright is a huge drain on your batteries.

3. If you’re listening to music, cut it out. Your laptop speakers aren’t very power-efficient at all.

4. Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if you don’t need them. They can both drain your battery even if you’re not connected to anything.

5. Turn on your laptop’s power-saving modes. On Windows machines, click the battery icon in the Windows taskbar, then toggle your battery settings from “Balanced” to “Power Saver.” On a MacBook, you can access the Energy Saver settings by clicking the battery icon in your top toolbar or via System Preferences -> Energy Saver.

6. Keep your battery healthy. Don’t expose it to extreme temperatures, make sure to leave your laptop out of its case while charging, and only charge your laptop when it has as close to 0% power left as possible.

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Apps of the Week

Try Hopper, which can help you find cheaper flights

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.

 

  • Reuters TV

    Reuters TV
    Reuters TV

    If you’re often away from actual televisions and TV news, the Reuters TV app could be your best substitute. It sends your phone video newscasts on national and international news across different subjects. You can pick the length of newscasts you want and subjects you want to hear about. The first month is free, but after that it’s $1.99 every month.

    Reuters TV is free in the App Store

     

  • Hopper

    Hopper
    Hopper

    Although oil prices are dropping, airline costs aren’t following the same trend. Enter Hopper, the Kayak of heightened frugality. It makes it easier to search for the cheapest flights by letting you know how changing options like departure time could get you a cheaper trip. It also predicts price drops if you’re planning a flight well ahead of time.

    Hopper is free in the App Store.

  • ScreenShare

    Screenshare
    Screenshare Screenshare

    We tend to take screencaps of important things—order confirmations, map directions, grocery lists—but the trouble is accessing them means scrolling through a folder of hundreds of photographs to find the one you’re looking for. ScreenShare is a smart little app that does away with all that, letting you access screenshots right in your notification panel.

    ScreenShare is $0.99 in the App Store.

  • Nutshell Camera

    Nutshell Camera
    Nutshell Camera Nutshell Camera

    Nutshell gives you a simple way of creating a storyline with your phone’s camera. First, the app asks you to take three photos on your iPhone. Then, once the photos are loaded into the app, they can be edited with text or graphic elements. It then creates an elegant visual timeline that you can edit to your satisfaction before emailing or texting it to your contacts.

    Nutshell Camera is free in the App Store.

  • LookFor

    LookFor
    LookFor

    Ever try to meet up with a bunch of your friends in a crowded spot, like a concert or park? LookFor makes that easier by displaying a colorful flashing light on your screen, which turns you into an easy-to-spot beacon. As ridiculous as that may seem, the app will probably help you find your friends a lot more easily than ever before.

    LookFor is available for $0.99 in the App Store.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser