TIME apps

5 Can’t-Miss iPhone Apps You Should Download This Week

Woman using iPhone
Image Source/Getty Images

Check out Workflow, an app that lets you make cool new shortcuts

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.

Robinhood

When you’re new to trading stocks, among the most daunting thoughts is not that you might lose money, but that you might have to pay commission on a trade that ends with you losing a ton of money. Robinhood is your way around this anxiety. Not only does it offer commission-free trading, but it quickly displays historical share prices and allows users to create a stock hit-list by swiping left or right on a given stock. Though you might not earn millions, Robinhood might just help you line your pockets with a little extra cash, if you know what you’re doing.

Robinhood is available free in the App Store.

Workflow

When the Heartbleed fiasco earlier this year temporarily shut down productivity service IFTTT (which allowed users to make simple if-this-then-that macros on their mobile devices), it paved the way for different, though perhaps just as useful apps like Workflow. Workflow allows users to do simple things like creating an icon that makes calls to select people, to getting directions to the nearest coffee shop. The app essentially allows you to create your own apps based on dozens of interchangeable actions.

Workflow is available for $2.99 in the App Store.

Do

I like to think that the meetings of the five families in The Godfather would have been much smoother with an app like Do. It creates a meeting itinerary, with ideas to bring up, alerts, points of interest, and the ability to send automatic summaries to participants. Did Bruno Tattaglia bring up the division of labor union contracts? Do would have put that in the shared notes. Did you suddenly remember not to trust Don Barzini on the import-export deal? Put that in the private notes. It makes the business of meeting with colleagues (or enemy mob bosses looking to have you killed) seamless, easy, and ruthlessly efficient.

Do is available free in the App Store.

Gyf

The last thing anyone wants to do is open up a video in a text message. It might be a hilarious clip from one college friend of another falling down a small flight of stairs, but it’s a dangerous thing to open up a clip at the office and not know where it’s going. Gyf allows you to turn these treasured memories into easy-to-share GIF files. That video of your younger sibling accidentally blowing up a pressure cooker? Mom might not have time to watch a video, so send her the GIF version instead.

Gyf is available free in the App Store.

Zen Shopping

With the holidays right around the corner, the decision between saving a few bucks and doing what is easy might end up taking a turn for the more expensive. Zen Shopping is a brilliant little app that not only compares the best prices for the same item, but also finds coupons, as well as deals geared toward your interests. It also offers partial refunds for certain stores should an item drop below the price you paid, which can mean even greater, more unexpected savings. It really is a full service shopping app that ties everything up nicely with package tracking.

Zen Shopping is available free in the App Store.

TIME apps

These iPhone Apps on Sale This Weekend Are Crazy Good Deals

iPhone Apps
A man uses his iPhone on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Atsushi Tomura—Getty Images

Get your life in order with Checkmark 2

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

SimpleRockets

Combining strategy, physics, design, and man’s indefatigable ambition to soar among the stars, SimpleRockets puts you in the shoes of a rocket engineer. In the game, players design rockets by choosing engines and other parts, and then seeing if the vessel can sustain flight in a variety of extraterrestrial environments.

SimpleRockets is temporarily free in the App Store.

Starglobe

Perhaps more people would appreciate the romance of stargazing if they had any clue what they were looking at. In cities, it’s even harder to tell one small blip from another. Starglobe displays a realtime mural of the night sky on your phone so you can know which stars are above you at any given moment. Simply by pointing your phone to the sky, Starglobe will tell you (even in daylight or in the obscured sky of a city at night) which starts are in front of you.

Starglobe is temporarily free in the App Store.

Scanbot

There’s a reason why Scanbot is one of the highest-rated document scanners available for iOS: it not only allows you to scan documents of multiple pages and upload them to the cloud, but it also optimizes your documents so you can zoom in on them, and recognizes text so you can copy or search your PDF scans. It’s technology every computer or PDF reader should have. Until then, you can use Scanbot.

Scanbot is temporarily free in the App Store.

Checkmark 2

It’s been proven time and again that writing out a list of tasks in your iPhone Notes app in no way acts as a reminder to do anything or assures that any of your tasks will ever get completed. Checkmark 2 allows you to compartmentalize different tasks depending on where you are—tasks for work are kept under a different header than your grocery store list. It’s a simple way to avoid getting overwhelmed, and an even easier way to make sure things get done when and where they’re supposed to. The app comes with location and date specific reminders.

Checkmark 2 is on sale for $2.99 in the App Store.

Frontline: The Longest Day

Frontline is a mobile-friendly strategy game and a history lesson in a single app. The game allows users to command allied troops in different missions from Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy that included D-Day. Storm the beaches without the Saving Private Ryan gore and overpower enemy forces by using different specialized attack units.

Frontline: The Longest Day is on sale for $2.99 in the App Store.

TIME apps

The Best iPhone Apps You Should Download This Week

Apple iPhone 6
A woman checks the iPhone 6, on the day of its launch at the Apple Store Opera on September 19, 2014, in Paris, France. Chesnot—Getty Images

Try Snipboard, which brings an autocomplete function to your iPhone

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.

Wire

Backed by Skype’s co-founder, Wire combines social networking with basic telecommunication. You can place calls through the app as well as send text messages, but Wire also allows users to share photos and clips from YouTube, as well as link the app to their desktop.

Although video chat is not yet offered on Wire, it seems logical that a marriage with Skype or another video conference client is around the corner. Think of wire as an intelligent, practical version of WUPHF from The Office.

Wire is available free in the App Store.

Snipboard

Snipboard is more or less exactly what it sounds like: A placeholder for the iPhone’s lack of an autocomplete function. The app allows you to copy frequently-used bits of text—from an address for mobile shopping to an email template you end up typing out several times a day—and lets you paste it into other apps. Snipboard is used as a keyboard extension in your text box (sort of like emoji).

Snipboard is available free in the App Store.

Hanx Writer

A popular “little-known fact” about Tom Hanks is that he is obsessed with typewriters. From this fascination came his typewriter app, “Hanx,” for iPad. Recently released for iPhone, however, the app is as fun as it is useless. It allows users to take notes as the app plunks out each letter, imitating the sound of a typewriter.

The documents can then be shared and emailed around to contacts. Files can even be turned into PDFs. Hanx can even be used in other apps, like iPhone’s Notes app. It makes tedious digital chores a lot less tedious. And who can resist the charm of an old-school typewriter and Tom Hanks?

Hanx Writer is available free in the App Store.

Bop.fm

Although Bop.fm launched as a website not long ago, the new iOS app brings another dimension to the music streaming client. It combines Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud, among others, into a single app.

With minimal ads, Bop does a great job of creating an easy-to-use app that, surprisingly, doesn’t look like the Clown Car of different apps that it truly is. You’re presented with one, streamlined interface. So, in short, Taylor Swift may have pulled out of Spotify, but you can still stream her music as though she hadn’t.

Bop.fm is available free in the App Store.

Hoods

Although FourSquare’s most recent update took the app from the check-in game that it was for so many years to a more finely-tuned recommendation app, Hoods takes that information to yet another step. It can identify which neighborhood of a city you’ve entered (a function even offered in your notification center), and boils down info from FourSquare to inform users which activities are most popular in that particular neighborhood.

Hoods is available for $0.99 in the App Store.

 

TIME Video Games

The 5 Best iPhone Games You Should Play This Week

Apple iPhone
An Apple iPhone 6 Plus gold, is shown here at a Verizon store on September 18, 2014 in Orem, Utah. George Frey—Getty Images

Try Noda, a super-addictive puzzle game

Had enough Candy Crush and looking for something new to play on your iPhone? We rounded up some favorites worth a download this week. Have fun!

Game of Thrones

Although perhaps not the gore- and sex-filled video game one might expect of a Game of Thrones iPhone app, this game series is fascinating nonetheless. Take the helm of a posh Westeros family in the throes of war and decide the fate of your clan. Interact with characters from the show as you try to sort our family business. No, it isn’t season 5, but it might just be involved enough to tide you over until next spring.

Game of Thrones is available for $4.99 in the App Store.

Bean Dreams

A game with a title this banal shouldn’t be so much fun to play. Bean Dreams combines the simple ambitions of video games of yesteryear like Super Mario with the graphic component of an iOS game. Bounce your sombrero-wearing bean through almost 50 levels—an excellent way to keep you busy on a long plane ride. As you pounce on enemies to destroy them, it’s easy to realize this game would have quickly become a darling of the Game Boy era.

Bean Dreams is available for $2.99 in the App Store.

Noda

Few games can be as as infuriating and as absorbing as Noda. The rules take about a full hour to understand, but it is perhaps one of the finest puzzle games released for iOS. The goal is to swipe numbered dots to form matching numbers. Your attempt to clear a stage in the fewest moves possible will be completely undercut by the game’s challenging rules, one of which is that two dots cannot be combined if their sum is greater than nine. But for all the hours this timesuck has stolen, it’s sleek enough to make you forget how long you’ve spent playing it. Worth a download for every puzzle aficionado.

Noda is available free in the App Store.

Clarence’s Amazing Day Out

Fans of Cartoon Network’s game packages will enjoy Clarence’s adventure through a series of minigames. Follow Clarence, of the new, eponymous CN game, as he goes about his day, running into all sorts of nonsense adventures, like piñata smashing or watermelon bowling. In the end, it feels a lot more like a cartoon than an iPhone game, and in an excellent way it pulls you out of the 9-5 world and into one of uninhibited childhood inanity.

Clarence’s Amazing Day Out is available free in the App Store.

Ancient Legacy

Back in a time when RPG games were more about strategy than fire-bearing swords and armor dyes, games like Ancient Legacy taught us to prioritize strategy and economy over slashing maneuvers. Ancient Legacy really is a game from a simpler time, or one in which sophisticated games didn’t exist. Develop different players, each with their own abilities. Explore weapon classes, win battles by rolling dice, and beat bosses with good old fashioned nerdy number crunching — and praying the dice will roll in your favor.

Ancient Legacy is available for $1.99 in the App Store.

TIME apps

Don’t Miss These Great iPhone Apps on Sale This Weekend

Woman using iPhone.
Guido Mieth—Flickr RF/Getty Images

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

The Hobbit: Official Visual Companion

As we await the release of the third installment of The Hobbit (how time flies), we may also find ourselves, for good reason, significantly less invested in the plot of this series than the original Lord of The Rings.

That said, a fascinating app that tells us about the goings on of Middle-earth might be precisely what we need to stay caught up before the release. Packed with interactive maps and character bios, this app might finally tell you the difference between all of the dwarves.

The Hobbit is temporarily free in the App Store.

Sonic Jump

There are a certain class of games that have gone surprisingly undeveloped for iOS — Sonic and friends is one of them. Sonic Jump, although not the classic vertical running game that made the franchise famous, is all about jumping heights. Play as Sonic, or your other favorite characters from the series, like Tails and Knuckles. Collect rings the way you did when you were 8.

Sonic Jump is on sale for $0.99 in the App Store.

Appetites

If you’re anything like most people, cooking recipes never turn out the way you expect. It’s no fault of your own, but your meals might turn out less like a pile of mush if you were taught how to do it properly. Appetites offers countless step-by-step instructional cooking videos to make sure you don’t mess things up miserably.

Appetites is temporarily free in the App Store.

Fuel My Run

If you, like all your friends and relatives ,are training for a marathon, there’s the likely risk of hitting the 20-mile-wall. An app like Fuel My Run can use your phone’s GPS to track your pace and help you monitor progress. It will also watch your mid-race caloric intake in order to make sure you physically have enough energy to actually finish your run at your desired pace.

Fuel My Run is temporarily free in the App Store.

Catan

At this point, everybody’s been forced to play a game of Settlers of Catan at a party as it dies down. Of course, there’s that embarrassing moment when you have nothing left to spend and have been forced to make dark and shady deals simply to stay in the game. This iPhone version may offer just enough practice hours so you don’t end up losing all the time.

Catan is on sale for $2.99 in the App Store.

TIME apps

5 Can’t-Miss iPhone Apps You Should Download This Week

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus retail sales begin in Spain
The new product of Apple, iPhone 6 Plus, is on display at an Apple Store in Madrid, Spain, on September 26, 2014. Anadolu Agency—Getty Images

Sick of shuffle mode? Try listening with Stringer instead

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.

Canopy

With curated shopping websites like Woot! slowing down, the developers of Canopy have decided to take the helm. Canopy is an app that curates items and breaks them down into different categories, or presents them by brand, allowing you to purchase them on Amazon. Canopy encourages users to make a series of impulse purchases, and if you have money to burn and are a profoundly indecisive human being, Canopy is the app for you.

Canopy is available free on the App Store.

Facebook Groups

Facebook recently released Groups, a standalone app that allows users to stay in touch with small batches of friends. The streamlined design makes it simple to create groups for different interest, as well as invite different friends to join you. However, Facebook Group’s most useful tool by far is that the app creates an individual icon on your homescreen for your favorite groups, making it so that users don’t need to go directly through the app to access important information.

Facebook Groups is available free in the App Store.

Loose Leaf

A sort of sharable Evernote, Loose Leaf makes it easy for users to take notes and send them to friends. Whether it’s important notes from a doctor’s appointment to be shared with family members or a ridiculous drawing to be sent around as a poorly-timed gag during the middle of a work day, Loose Leaf can be used for just about anything—even annotating photos from your library or from online.

Loose Leaf is available for $4.99 in the App Store.

Stringer

Stringer pinpoints an oft-overlooked problem with the standard iTunes shuffle button: The app takes a shuffle function and turns it into a playlist. If users want to hear a song from a particular album, Stringer can throw it into the shuffle-mix; if Stringer starts playing a song by an artist, users can request that related tracks be played as well. Stringer sits somewhere between a shuffle function and an actual playlist, making easy to go through other albums in your library and select different tracks to play without deactivating your shuffle mode.

Stringer is available free in the App Store.

Mail to Self

This app is one of the more innovative ways of overcoming human procrastination and forgetfulness. For too long have notes sat ignored, forgotten, and forlorn in the iPhone’s notepad. For too long have we thought it would be easy to remember the most important ideas and notes if we simply tapped them out into our phones. But more often than not, they are never looked at again until the next time we have a bright idea. Mail to Self inserts a button into a variety of apps that, simply put, allows you to email a note to yourself.

Mail to Self is available free in the App Store.

TIME apps

The Best iPhone Games You Can Play One-Handed

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the new iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

They're great for strap-hanging commuters

Far too many iPhone games take two hands to play, rendering them useless if you’re strap-hanging on a subway or bus. For those rush-hour commuters out there, here are the best iPhone games you can download and play with only a single free paw:

Temple Run 2

For a while, you could find several different people in a single subway car playing the first Temple Run. When the expansion came out two years ago, it made a similarly large splash, updating the much adored format. The premise is simple and based on the opening scene of Raiders of The Lost Ark: run away from a temple with an ancient treasure and make sure not to get caught.

In Temple Run, you collect coins, powerups, and cross a variety of terrains. Updates are infrequent, but greatly expand gameplay when they are released.

Temple Run 2 is available free in the App Store.

Dots

The game is as magnetic as it is simple. Players line up dots of the same color in a playing field in order to clear the space. More dots cleared in the same move yields more points. You can play in an endless cycle of dot collecting, or try to beat your score against a clock, or clear dots with a limited number of moves.

Regardless, the short playclock is great for fast train rides or brief moments of free time. Dots gets bonus points because, unlike most puzzle games, it doesn’t strain your eyes. There’s also an equally addictive sequel available.

Dots is available free in the App Store.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is at once a simple puzzle game and one of the most complex one-handed iOS games on the market. The aim is to guide a princess through an increasingly complicated series of beautifully designed castles. Simple at first, castles soon become an M.C. Escher landscape that will lead you far from where you imagined. Trying to get from A to B has perhaps never been so frustrating — or satisfying.

Monument Valley is available for $3.99 in the App Store.

Badland

One of the best but perhaps most underrated tap-to-fly games, Badland is dark and excellently animated. Tap the screen to keep a fuzzy black urchin-like monster afloat and to navigate him around a network of natural and mechanical obstacles. Badland also includes powerups, multiplying the number of monsters players can navigate or giving the character special properties like stickiness. Although Badland is a horizontal game, it can still be played single-handed.

Badland is available for $0.99 in the App Store.

Doodle Jump

Doodle Jump takes the standard iPhone game tap navigation and introduces a different concept: players must tilt their phones to navigate a character across an adorable landscape. A long-time iTunes Store favorite, Doodle Jump is an endless game in which a character must jump from surface to surface in order ascend. Powerups come up along the way: it’s a game one can play for hours in order to beat a high score, kept fresh by the occasional introduction of a new theme or new obstacle along the way. For the already initiated, a new DC Comics/Batman Doodle Jump was recently released.

Doodle Jump is available for $0.99 in the App Store.

TIME apps

5 Can’t-Miss iPhone Apps On Sale This Weekend

Launch Of The iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus
A general view of the iPhone 6 at Apples Covent Garden store launch on September 19, 2014 in London, England. Ben A. Pruchnie—Getty Images

Do some networking with Business Card Reader

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

SKRWT

A camera app for the geometrically (or photographically) challenged, SKRWT helps mobile photographers learn composition more effectively. Or, if that’s still difficult, users are taught to fake it with SKRWT’s grid alignment. It also automatically crops your photos for better composition, turning your camera both into a viewfinder and instant editor.

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

Ancient Battle: Rome

Back in the mid 2000s, Rome Total War was responsible for pulling millions of students away from their schoolwork, children from social occasions, spouses from marital duties. It was a strategy game that blew the others out of the water. Ancient Battle: Rome, is, in many ways, a facsimile of the much beloved Rome. Command specialized units in battle against enemy forces. Outflank, outmaneuver, or straight up outnumber your opponent for the win.

Ancient Battle: Rome is on sale for $0.99 in the App Store.

Business Card Reader

Ingenuity, practicality, and technology all cross paths with Business Card Reader. All manner of networking is cut short when you get back from an event and find you have lost a business card, or worse, cannot find it when you need it many months later. Business Card Reader not only photographs a business card, but creates a contact in your iPhone with the information on the card.

Business Card Reader is on sale for $1.99 in the App Store.

Surgeon Simulator

A disturbing version of Operation, Surgeon Simulator takes you into the mind of a surgeon before his patient. It’s honestly a very dark game, allowing users to now perform dental surgery or surgery on an alien body (the latter being the game’s coolest feature.) But the sheer absurdity of the game makes it strangely mesmerizing. Think Goat Simulator meets The Simpson’s Dr. Nick.

Surgeon Simulator is on sale for $3.79 in the App Store.

ShutterSnitch

Perhaps one of the most useful apps for photographers on the move, SutterSnitch allows you to wirelessly transmit images from certain digital cameras to an iPad or iPhone. Although the list of compatible cameras is relatively short at the moment (it includes some popular options like GoPro), it also works with Eye-Fi wireless memory cards and FTP transmitters. Combine this with Pixelmator (which is also on sale for Black Friday), and your iPad suddenly becomes an almost-fully-powered mobile editing station.

SutterSnitch is on sale for $8.99 in the App Store.

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Apps You Should Download This Week

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

SurgeProtector keeps you clear of Uber's surge pricing

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 or Not

Few weather apps address the solipsism of smartphone users. In short, we are left to wonder how the weather directly affects our plans. Weather or Not combines your calendar with a forecast, so all we have to do is ask ourselves the important questions: should I wear my suede shoes today, or will it rain? Can I take my date to that outdoor cafe? Was it a terrible mistake to leave my umbrella at home today?

Weather or Not is available for $2.99 in the App Store.

Cleen

If you’re anything like the millions of other iPhone users, you have an enormous stash of completely useless photos clogging up your phone’s memory. Cleen is like Tinder for your photos—swipe to keep the ones you want, and swipe in another direction to make peace with the idea that you’ll never look at a particular photo again. Unlike Tinder, however, you can choose to revisit certain images. Gone are the days when 80% of your phone’s memory is taken up by photos your children and grandchildren would delete without thinking twice about.

Cleen is available free in the App Store.

Goldbely

The highly-praised food-ordering website finally has its own app. Goldbely is like Seamless for the greatest hits of American dining. The app’s developers have researched and conglomerated the most impressive food in the country and have offered it for delivery, now on your phone. The genius of Goldbely is perhaps most evident in those moments of profound cravings when you’re far from home, which is to say that Goldbely will ship you a pastrami sandwich from Katz’s Deli on Houston Street.

Goldbely is available free in the App Store.

SurgeProtector

For those accustomed to using Uber over street taxis, it’s obvious how vulnerable a user experience is to price surging. This happens during certain times of the year of during important events. However, SurgeProtector does an excellent job at highlighting to Uber users no-surge and low-surge areas nearby to help you get home without getting fleeced.

SurgeProtector is available free in the App Store.

Next Glass

An excellent app that allows you to discover new craft beers and wines, Next Glass uses an algorithm to predict which new beverages you might enjoy. Users take photos of bottles and enter their scores. Next Glass takes a look at the beers on a molecular level to perceive what you liked about it in order to effectively make recommendations.

Next Glass is available free in the App Store.

TIME apps

5 Awesome iPhone Apps On Sale This Weekend

Fackbook Acquires WhatsApp For $16 Billion
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Get Final Fantasy for cheap!

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

Final Fantasy Series

The much-loved game series is going through a series of sales on the App Store store at the moment. I-VI of the series are currently on sale at prices between $3.99 and $10.99. Usually $16.00, the series is a long narrative adventure from the 1990s, taking players through a remarkable trans-galactic universe, from the earliest versions to the newer, 3D re-releases.

Final Fantasy is on sale in the App Store.

7 Minute Workout Pro

This app has become a best-seller for good reason. With a simple interface, it takes users through a short, no-frills workout based on 12 carefully chosen exercises. Some professional athletes believe that seven- or eight-minute bursts of intense workouts through the day can be a much more effective way of keeping in shape than hitting the gym during the 6 p.m. rush a few times a week. This app does all the planning for you.

7 Minutes Workout Pro is on sale $0.99 in the App Store.

Osmos

One of the iPhone’s most popular games, Osmos is a brilliantly designed evolution game in which players must absorb smaller organisms and avoid being absorbed by predators. The aim is to grow as large as possible, but in order to move your organism, you must expel some of your internal matter and shrink. It’s as much a game of strategy as it is of survival.

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

Resume Mobile Pro

For those who decided not to visit career services at their universities and now are looking for jobs with unruly three-page resumes, this app creates a template and reminds you to fill out essential components of a professional resume. The most important feature may be that it allows you to send a PDF of your resume directly from the app to your potential employer.

Resume Mobile Pro is temporarily free in the App Store.

Things

Things is one of the most effective task manager developed for the iPhone. With separate spaces for your various commitments—from hobbies to work obligations—Things helps organize your life. Keep yourself on track with checklists and reminders and lists of goals for long-term projects. But above all, it displays what you will need to do today and allows you to manage an overwhelming schedule one day at a time.

Things is temporarily free in the App Store.

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