TIME Games

5 iPhone Games You Can’t Miss This Week

For when you're finally bored of Candy Crush

Done with Candy Crush and looking for a new iPhone game for your commute to work or lunch break at school? TIME rounded up some favorites from this week that are worth a download.

  • Enterchained

    Enterchained App Store

    For almost 15 years, countless video games have aimed to fill the cultural niche created by the Russell Crowe movie that helped pioneer fast-cut fight sequences, Gladiator. Now, a slightly more PG and much more endearing gladiator arena game has emerged. Enterchained brings simple animation and countless unlockable battle items to your iPhone.

    Enterchained is available for $0.99 in the App Store.

  • Ghostbusters Pinball

    Ghostbusters Pinball App Store

    Taking us back 30 years to when Ghostbusters was first released and to a time when movie-themed pinball machines dominated arcades, Ghostbusters Pinball is a hypnotic way to spend a few minutes. Obstacles in three dimensions, characters from the series, and different levels contained in a single map allow this app take advantage of the iPhone by invoking a charming, Ghostbusters universe without losing the authenticity of a real pinball game. Gameplay is run on tokens, and the app doles out 4 free tokens a day.

    Ghostbusters Pinball is available free in the App Store

  • Mmm Fingers

    Mmm Fingers App Store

    A reverse Hungry Hungry Hippos with graphics reminiscent of Plants vs. Zombies, Mmm Fingers is about keeping your finger safe. The goal is to navigate an increasingly dangerous field of monsters and traps without lifting your finger off the screen or colliding with obstacles. It’s a great game for quick breaks and short idle moments, and can even be played against friends.

    Mmm Fingers is available free in the App Store

  • Felllice

    Felllice App Store

    A black and white game about cell growth, Felllice is the endearingly downsized story of natural selection. Players start out as a cell, and grow by eating weaker, smaller-celled organisms. Similarly, players must avoid being eaten by larger organisms also fighting for their place in the world. Part of the fun is watching the environment and other cells interact with itself as your cell develops, grows, evolves and assimilates into an increasingly complicated organism.

    Felllice is available for $0.99 in the App Store

  • Super Mashteroids

    Super Mashteroids App Store

    Super Mastheroids follows a trend of bringing back 8-bit style games to advanced devices. Part Asteroids, part Space Invaders, the game intentionally brings together elements of celebrated 80s arcade games to create a new experience on your iPhone. Fly through a slightly tidied up version of retro space in a starship cruiser destroying asteroids and enemies, earning power ups and zooming to the next stage.

    Super Mashteroids is available free in the App Store

TIME How-To

5 Tips for Getting More Out of Gmail

Gmail is a comprehensive, powerful email program, but it can be confusing, even for those like me who have been using it since it launched in beta in 2004.

That’s because Google likes to add new features to improve the way it works. Some changes are welcome, like the tabs feature that sorts incoming mail into types of mail. Others may streamline the look, but hide basic options, like changing the subject on an email reply. So I’ve pulled together the five features I find most useful in the current iteration of Gmail.

Adding a calendar entry from Gmail

If you get a lot of invites in your email–whether they’re for social events or just plain old work meetings–it’s now easier than ever to add them directly to your Google calendar from an open email. Look for any dates or times in the email and you’ll see dashes appear under those words. Click the date and you’ll get a prompt asking if you want to “Add to Calendar.” Clicking yes shows you your calendar for that date with the event filled in. You can change the date and time and name of the event, before adding it to your calendar. Google also includes a link back to the original email right in your calendar entry.

gmail-calendar-entry-540px
Google

If Google hasn’t identified a date or time within an email, you can still add the entry without leaving your email. With the message open, click the “More” drop-down menu on top of the email. Select “Create event” and your email message will show up in the description section. You can then edit and enter details and click “save”.

Adding a person’s info to your contacts

One of the things I love about Gmail is the ability to easily update a person’s contact information right from within an email. It’s just a little tricky to find this option. In an open email, scan over to the right, just above the ads. This is where you see the option to chat with, email or start a video call with this person.

gmail-save-contact-590px
Google

Next to those icons is a little downward-pointing arrow that gives you more options if you click it. The top option is “Add to contacts” or “edit contact details,” if you have the person already in your address book. Before you click that, copy any info from that person’s signature that you want to paste into their contact entry. Now click edit contact details and you’ll see that person’s name and email address auto-populate in the proper fields. Paste the extra info like phone number and address into the notes field for easy access while you’re editing the contact information. All changes are saved automatically.

Once you’re done, simply hit the back button on your browser to go back to your email.

Sorting and labeling incoming email

One of Google’s recent “improvements” to Gmail is customizable tabs which separate incoming email into categories; Primary, Social and Promotions. Primary is email sent specifically to you, or that you mark as important. Social is email from social networking sites like LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook. Promotions is where I find my Groupon emails and other newsletters that I subscribe to. I like this system because it lets me scan my inbox and see what needs tending to first. Then I can go through my LinkedIn updates and ultimately see if there’s a good neighborhood restaurant on Groupon.

The problem with this is that some emails which are sent to multiple users may wind up in the Promotions tab, leading you to believe they’re unimportant – or worse, spam. For instance, the Techlicious Newsletter appears under my Promotions tab, so I don’t see it when first perusing my email in the morning.

It’s easy enough to train Gmail to send items to the proper tab. To move the newsletters and emails that are important to you, simply drag them to the tab you want them to appear in. For instance, I dragged the Techlicious newsletter from the Promotions tab and moved it to my Primary tab. Google asked “do this for future messages?” Clicking “yes” taught Google to send it to my Primary tab the next time. Another option is to right click on the message in your inbox. You’ll get an option to move it to any of the other two folders, or archive or delete it.

You can customize these tabs to your liking. Click the + sign all the way to the right of the tabs and you’ll be given the option of adding Updates and Forums as folders. You’ll be given a preview of email senders from your own inbox that will be sent to each tab. Play around with this feature and choose what works best for you. If you can’t stand the idea of emails being sorted into folders, use this feature to de-select everything but Primary and all of your emails will appear in one folder.

gmail-tabs-568px
Google

Creating and using filters

While we’re on the subjects of sorting emails, it’s really important to know how to create filters for certain types of emails. You can use a filter to label, archive or even delete emails without them ever seeing the light of day in your inbox.

To send non-priority updates — like deals from a favorite retailer — to a folder where you can find them if you want to, open the email and click the more button on top of the screen.

gmail-email-more-button-600px
Google

Now click “Filter messages like these.” You’ll see a pop-up window with the email address of the sender already filled in. Now select “create a filter” and you’ll see a box with different options. I generally select Skip the Inbox (archive it) and then apply a label, like LinkedIn or Facebook.

Gmail-Filters-401px
Google

Now, when those messages come in, they’re automatically archived and sent to specific folders that I can peruse when I have time. You can also use filters to mark items important, or have email from a specific person – like your boss or your spouse – get sorted into a folder of its own.

Changing the subject line in a reply

This is a question I get asked all the time: “How do you change the subject line in an email reply?” Often, someone will reply to an earlier email I’ve sent and include brand new information on an entirely different topic than the original exchange, but the subject line doesn’t reflect that.

To change or update the subject, click reply in an open email and you’ll see that downward-facing arrow next to the reply arrow. Click that and you’ll see options to either reply, reply all, forward or edit subject.

gmail-reply-600px
Google

Could they have buried that feature any deeper? Now, you can delete, or write URGENT or New Info or whatever else you might want to add to the subject.

What are your favorite Gmail tips and tricks? Let us know what you found, or if you have any Gmail questions we can answer.

This article was written by Andrea Smith and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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TIME Video Games

50 Things Nintendo Wants You to Know About Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Nintendo just rolled out a special Nintendo Direct that walks through 50 of the game's new features, including an eight-player offline Smash mode.

Some of us, myself included, were worried Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U wouldn’t make 2014. But then Nintendo ska-kawed our disquiet at the not-quite eleventh hour, announcing a few weeks ago that, yes, the game would arrive this year: November 21, in case you missed it.

Now the company’s released a 35-minute primer on the game that’s basically a feature pitch video. It’s (almost) nothing Smash aficionados don’t already know, but everything that’s new gets nicely compiled into a single straight-through look.

It’s also a helpful thing to watch if (a) you haven’t yet bought the 3DS version and so have no idea what’s different from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, (b) you’re a fighting-game fan who’s never played a Super Smash Bros. game but you’re Smash-curious, or (c) you want to see what the corybantic madness of eight-player offline Smash – a series first — looks like.

And with that, I suppose I’d better finish watching it, since I’m going to be playing the Wii U game tonight at a Nintendo event in Detroit.

TIME Apple

3 Features a Nike-Apple Wearable Absolutely Must Have

Apple Presents Apple Watch At Colette Paris
Chesnot—Getty Images

Apple's wearable will target fitness nuts. Here's what it has to be able to do—with Nike's help

Nike and Apple have had a special relationship since 2006 when the companies announced a partnership that created a sports-oriented ecosystem around iPods and Nike running shoes. Since then iPods and iPhones have been tightly integrated with Nike+, the Portland-based sports giant’s activity- and exercise-tracking social network. (Apple CEO Tim Cook is also on Nike’s board of directors.)

Now they may be working together to improve wearables. In an Oct. 22 interview with Bloomberg, Nike CEO Mark Parker said he is “bullish” on the two firms’ joint ambitions. He went on to explain:

As I look ahead at what’s possible with Nike and Apple…technologically we can do things together that we couldn’t do independently. So yeah, that’s part of our plan, is to expand the whole digital frontier in terms of wearables and go from 25 million Nike+ users to hundreds of millions.

Expanding the wearables “frontier” is likely to start with Apple’s upcoming Watch, which will go on sale sometime early next year. The device will pack sensors that can not only track movement, but differentiate between types of exercise as well as capture the heart rate of the person wearing it.

When Apple showed off the device earlier this year, executives emphasized its fitness applications. (The company hired Nike’s former design director last year to work on wearable devices.) And during the keynote, a Nike-branded app for the Watch was shown briefly.

What could the two companies be working on? Impossible to say. But here are three features I hope they build into whatever it is they are doing together.

Intelligent music management. Nike’s iPod and iPhone apps have always been able to control music playback. Some versions have also included a “power song” feature—a user designated tune intended to motivate through crunch time. Apple’s Watch will also be able to control music playback through a connected iPhone. But, as far as exercising goes, this is all uber-basic.

Even better would be to be able to generate playlists automatically based on track BPMs, a.k.a the speed of each song, and the desired intensity of a given workout. So, for instance, for an easy recovery run, a set of slower-paced songs might be strung together. Similarly, correlating personal performance data with listening history could yield interesting insights, such as you run your best splits to “X” album or “Y” artist.

Additional sports. This is an easy one. Despite forays into other sports, Nike’s apps have been strongest on running. With the integration of a connected phone’s WiFi and GPS data, a wearable app should be compatible with a wider array of sports. Cycling and golf are two obvious ones—with the device tracking performance for the former sport and location and weather conditions for the later.

Deeper social integration. According to this summer’s keynote presentation, Nike’s Apple Watch app will allow you to challenge friends to runs, much like its software currently does. But the Watch’s so-called “taptic” feedback—small vibrations and audio cues that simulate a gentle tap on the wrist—open up new opportunities.

For example: recording and trading “ghosts” for runs that would gently let you know when you’re outpacing or falling behind a friend on a run of a similar distance or course. Or, if two users both have watches, they might be able to swap route information, say, a favorite place to run, using the Watch’s built in communications.

TIME Video Games

The 5 Best PlayStation 4 Games Right Now

The essential video game checklist for new PlayStation 4 owners

So you just picked up a PlayStation 4, and you’re wondering what to buy. Or maybe you haven’t bought one yet, but you’re leaning in Sony’s general direction. Either way, we think these are hands-down the best games on platform at the moment.

  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag‘s Caribbean setting is sun-dappled, tropical and thoroughly tattooed, a sultry archipelago of jungle-scapes, cerulean skies and grizzled buccaneers. You’re a pirate neophyte as the game begins, rising through the pirate echelons, rubbing elbows with everyone from Blackbeard to Anne Bonny, working to hammer out a kind of egalitarianism that’s often overlooked in Hollywood’s rush to mythologize pirates as unshowered, bloodthirsty, money-grubbing mercenaries preying on the weak like peg-legged sociopaths.

    Buy this game if… You like pirates, boats, sneaking around and scaling everything in sight, light naval and economic simulations, alternate history tales slathered with cabalistic conspiracies, ginormous open-worlds with gobs of collection-oriented side activities, a literal archipelago of elaborate locales to survey, and a central story you can engage at your own pace, whether chewing through missions one after another, or ignoring them entirely.

    Steer clear if… You don’t like open-ended games or having to travel vast distances to make things happen, have no interest in the particulars of naval combat, find scads of collection quests repetitive, don’t like pirates or early 18th century settings, expect hand-to-hand combat that evolves and challenges, and hate having to slink through the shadows.

    What critics said: “…great fun when you let your impulses guide you” (Game Informer); “…the most generous Assassin’s Creed game to date” (Edge); “…an incredible scope to what you can do” (GameSpot).

    ESRB Rating: Mature

  • Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn

    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn arrived for PlayStation 3 and Windows last September, and after some early launch problems with glitchy servers, it settled into a kind of groove. It’s been humming along since: a lavish fantasy universe with scads of Final Fantasy-ish things to tangle with, craft and explore. The PlayStation 4 version includes the same content, but with vastly prettier versions of things to look at, and the subscription fee (after the 30-day trail period) remains the same: $12.99 a month, after the cost of the game itself.

    Buy this game if… You don’t mind (or actually like) the idea of playing one with a gamepad, you’re in the mood to pick through a mammoth fantasy sandbox, you enjoy the Final Fantasy games (or just different stylistic takes on Western fantasy tropes), or you want to play the best version of this game on a console (and for that matter, the best MMO on any console).

    Steer clear if… You don’t like MMOs, don’t like fantasy settings, or don’t want to pay a monthly subscription fee.

    What critics said: “My favorite MMO since World of Warcraft” (Destructoid); “…one of the biggest reversals in fortune we’ve seen for a game” (Gameplanet); “the best venue to experience the staggering world” (GameSpot).

    ESRB Rating: Teen

  • Flower

    What would you do if you were the wind? The dream of a potted plant on an urban windowsill? Don’t worry, Flower isn’t a tedious philosophical treatise on the nature of reality, but as you twist the PlayStation 4’s motion-sensing gamepad to maneuver dancing petals through oceans of grass, stone rings, steel girders, windmills, striated caverns and pallid cityscapes, you may find yourself contemplating whether you’re playing a game, or involved in a form of interactive meditation.

    Buy this game if… You want to try something genuinely different, you enjoy environmental puzzles, you love immersing yourself in beautiful and uniquely imagined virtual worlds.

    Steer clear if… You tend to rush through games (in which case Flower may seem brief).

    What critics said: “…has the power to change the way that you look at the outside world” (Push Square); “…like rediscovering an old friend” (USgamer); “…there’s no prettier way to inaugurate your new console” (Hardcore Gamer).

    ESRB Rating: Everyone

  • The Last of Us Remastered

    Developer Naughty Dog’s original PlayStation 3 tale of a horror-numbed survivor escorting a young girl through a broken zombie-filled near-future world won the 2013’s Writers Guild of America award (“Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing”), an Annie (“Best Animated Video Game”) and a Game Developer’s Choice Award (“Game of the Year”). The PlayStation 4 version is simply the original version remastered, but with all the additional content.

    Buy this game if… You appreciate finely crafted storytelling, you love tenterhooks survival horror games with light stealth elements and a dash of third-person shooting, or you just want to experience one of the finest explorations of the way a relationship can work in an interactive game.

    Steer clear if… You scare easily.

    What critics said: “..the version of Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic story of survival that the developer always intended us to play” (EGM); “…a fabulous story, riffing on Cormac McCarthy and other bleak post-apocalyptic fiction” (Telegraph); “…the definitive edition of an already outstanding affair” (Push Square).

    ESRB Rating: Mature

  • Resogun

    Imagine a side-scrolling shoot-em-up (shmup), only the levels fold around until the ends touch, turning the game into a cylinder you can vector across either left or right. The object of the game is to free and save tiny retro-stick-figure humans, powering up your ship and executing special attacks that include a kind of battle-ram maneuver that lets you arrow through waves of enemies, annihilating them without destroying yourself.

    Buy this game if… You love shmups (this is one of the best), you love uniquely convoluted shmups with gorgeous retro-particle animations and effects, you want the option to play a shmup on a difficulty setting that’ll be the challenge of your life.

    Steer clear if… Twitchy, punishing shooting games aren’t your thing.

    What critics said: “…an eye-searing blur of a loop” (Destructoid); “…brilliant stuff, always thrilling and constantly rewarding” (Telegraph); “stands as one of the best ways to be introduced to the recently launched PlayStation 4″ (EGM).

    ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+

TIME Video Games

Felicia Day Writes About #GamerGate, Gets Information Hacked

"Supernatural" Celebrates 200 Episodes
Actress Felicia Day celebrates the 200th episode of 'Supernatural' at Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel on October 18, 2014 in Vancouver, Canada. Andrew Chin—Getty Images

"Games are worth fighting for, even if the atmosphere is ugly right now"

Supernatural actress and avid gamer Felicia Day took to her Tumblr to talk about #GamerGate on Thursday and, perhaps unsurprisingly, was immediately harassed. Though #GamerGaters claim that they are policing ethics in gaming journalism, a small but loud subset of the group has lobbed misogynistic threats at women who play, create and critique games, some even making threats of murder and rape. (Here’s an explainer.)

“A small voice of doubt in my brain now suspected that [two male gamers I was passing on the street] and I might not be comrades after all,” wrote Day. “That they might not greet me with reflected friendliness, but contempt.”

Day was moved to write on the subject after feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian came under attack. Sarkeesian, who makes videos examining misogynist tropes in video games, had to flee her home because of violent threats. Then, a week ago, she was forced to cancel a speaking engagement at Utah State University after an anonymous person sent a letter to the school administration threatening to massacre students if she spoke.

“I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America,” the letter read. Sarkeesian is just one of the many women targeted by #GamerGate: game developers Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn have also had to leave their homes due to threats.

“Because of the frightening emotions and actions attached to what has happened over the last month, the events are sure to have a long-lasting affect on gaming as a culture,” Day wrote. “The fact that it has affected me, to the point where I decided to cross the street last weekend away from those gamers, was heartbreaking. Because I realized my silence on the issue was not motivated by some grand strategy, but out of fear that the issue has created about speaking out.”

But she encouraged everyone to continue gaming, even if they are harassed: “Games are beautiful, they are creative, they are worlds to immerse yourself in. They are art. And they are worth fighting for, even if the atmosphere is ugly right now.”

Just an hour after writing the post, Day was doxxed (i.e., had her private or identifying information published with malicious intent). Former NFL player Chris Kluwe pointed out the inherent sexism in the fact that #GamerGate doxxed Day but did not make his information public, even though he wrote his own post calling GamerGaters “basement-dwelling, cheetos-huffing, poopsock-sniffing douchepistols,” among dozens of other equally creative insults.

In his post, Kluwe called for #GamerGaters who disagreed with these misogynistic attacks to distance themselves from those making sexist threats by starting a new hashtag movement and condemning the old one.

Day tweeted Thursday afternoon to thank fans, feminists and gamers for their support as she has come under attack:

.

TIME Companies

Nike CEO Hints at Apple Collaboration

The athletic brand and tech giant may come together in the near future

For those looking for wearable tech that’s significantly less nerdy than Google Glass and the Apple Watch, you may not be looking for long.

TIME Apple

Apple Just Passed a Massive Milestone

Consumers Shop At An Apple Inc. Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Michael Nagle—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The news of its massive quarter has finally settled in

It took a few days, but Apple’s blow-out quarterly earnings report — driven by strong iPhone and Mac sales and bolstered by the largest stock repurchase program in the history of capitalism — has finally made its way through Wall Street’s algorithms and into Apple’s share price.

The stock closed Thursday at $104.83, up 1.8% for the day, 7.2% for the week and 50% from April 2013, the cruelest month, when it dipped into the high 300s.

Speculators who bought a lot of calls in September 2012, when Apple was approaching an intraday high of $705.07 ($100.72 post-split), will never get their money back.

But investors who held on to their shares through the rout of 2012 and 2013 are back in the green.

Apple is now not only the world’s most valuable public company, but it has left the nearest contenders in the dust. The top four market caps:

Apple: $617.9 billion
Exxon: $401.4 billion
Microsoft $371.0 billion
Google $369.0 billion

TIME Video Games

Assassin’s Creed Unity Wants to Bodyslam Your PC

Ubisoft just unveiled the PC minimum and recommended specs for its upcoming open-world stealth game set during the French Revolution.

I noticed a rumor about this on Reddit earlier, and wondered if it might be someone trolling, but no: The minimum requirements to play Assassin’s Creed Unity on a PC are indeed going to cost a lot of PC owners a pile of cash paid in upgrades to play. The full list is below.

It’s mostly the required GPU spec that has heads turning: an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970. That’s the sort of thing you’d normally see (still, these days) listed as the recommended power level. Last year’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, by comparison, only required a GTX 260 and HD 4870, and even the recommended GPUs were a mere GTX 470 and HD 5850.

To play with everything turned up in Unity, Ubisoft’s recommending a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X. Those cards aren’t first-timers in the recommended box; it’s the relative narrowness of the gap between minimum and recommended that’s unusual here. Ubisoft says it’s only supporting the GTX 680 or better, GTX 700 series, AMD Radeon HD 7970 or better and the Radeon R9 series. The company notes “Laptop versions of these cards may work but are NOT officially supported.”

I’m not surprised. Ubisoft can’t even get the game running at 1080p on Sony’s PlayStation 4 (it’ll be 900p on both current-gen consoles), so expecting the PC minimum specs to register at current averages was probably wishful thinking.

The upside, if you have the horsepower to make it happen, is that PC owners stand to have the best experience possible, since there’s no resolution ceiling on the PC version of the game.

If you want a reminder why the game’s putting crazy wrestling moves on your hardware (and wallet), here’s the latest “experience” trailer, highlighting Ubisoft’s open-world rendition of 18th century Paris.

Required

  • 64-bit Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8/8.1
  • Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz, AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz or AMD Phenom II x4 940 @ 3.0 GHz
  • 6 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970 (2 GB VRAM)
  • DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers
  • 50GB storage space
  • Windows-compatible keyboard and mouse required, optional controller
  • 256 Kbps or faster broadband connection

Recommended

  • Intel Core I7-3770 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz or better
  • 8 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X (3 GB VRAM)
TIME apps

10 Apps to Get Right Now For Your New iPad

Got a new iPad? Get these apps.

Slimmer, lighter, and not as reflective, the new iPad Air 2 is more than just a looker — under the glass there’s a beefed up processor, more powerful camera and Touch ID, to name a few upgrades.

Get the most out of your new Apple tablet with these 10 great apps.

  • 1Password

    With Touch ID sensors on the new iPads, Apple’s tablet becomes much more secure. But outside using your fingerprint to unlock the device or buy apps, your personal information is still only as safe as your passwords. 1Password stores your passwords remotely and even recommends tough-to-crack randomized ones.

    While the service isn’t new, as of iOS 8, it can be opened using the Touch ID sensor, making for one less password to remember (or forget).

    1Password is available for free in the App Store.

  • 80 Days

    80 Days App Store

    Combining the educational gaming of Carmen Sandiego with the urgency of The Amazing Race, this interactive novel-like adventure game is stylish and fun. The object? Transport Mr. Phineas Fogg across the globe in 80 days, using all manner of steampunk and conventional transport to traverse the more than 150 cities, all while solving puzzles along the way.

    While not a processor-crunching title, its chic graphics look smooth and seamless on the new Air.

    80 Days is available for $4.99 in the App Store.

  • Adobe Shape CC

    Time to put the myth that iPads are for consuming, not creating, to pasture. This whip-smart app lets users snap photos and convert the shapes in the images to vector-based objects. Once the domain of Adobe’s expensive Illustrator and Photoshop desktop programs, this app can turn anyone with an eye into a designer or graphic artist.

    Adobe Shape CC is available for free in the App Store.

  • Fancy

    Itching to get your fingers on Apple Pay? Got $250 to burn on a Scarface Action Figure? If yes to both, this social-shopping app is your soul mate. Just set up your credit card with Apple’s new Touch ID-operated payment system, and a pop-up hot dog toaster, a deck of wooden playing cards, or a wall-mounted fishbowl could be on your doorstep, with only a thumbs-up to your iPad’s home button.

    Fancy is available for free in the App Store.

  • Houzz

    Houzz App Store

    The new iPad’s autumn launch gets it in shoppers’ hands just in time for nesting season. Home design inspiration and shopping app Houzz is also Apple Pay-enabled, which means users will have an easy time snapping up everything from bar carts to bath towels. And unlike the Restoration Hardware catalog, the iPad Air is getting thinner and easier to carry, which makes this app great for snuggling up with on idea sessions.

    Houzz is available for free in the App Store.

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

    Like the Peanuts gang itself, this app is an oldie, but a goodie. An interactive book voiced by the actor who played Linus, it’s the timeless Charles Schulz tale of the Great Pumpkin, who every year rises out of whichever pumpkin patch he thinks most sincere. Now before you think Charlie Brown has “gone commercial” with this app, stop being a blockhead and think how much fun it is to flick, spin, and fling the pop-up book-type elements. It’s a great annual read for kids and adults alike, and already set to be downloaded when your new iPad arrives.

    It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is available for $5.99 in the App Store.

  • Modern Combat 5: Blackout

    Modern Combat App Store

    Once just a blank slate where casual games spun on aimlessly, the iPad has evolved into a platform where high-powered shooters, simulators, and brawlers tear up the screen. This first-person situational shooter lets users play multiplayer or in a mission-based story mode with stunning worldwide settings.

    On the new iPad, with its A8X processor, the game — one of the earliest programmed using Apple’s graphics-maximizing Metal API — has detail and speed not available on any other Apple or Android device.

    Modern Combat 5: Blackout is available for $6.99 in the App Store.

  • Next Issue

    Next Issue App Store

    With apologies to this website, the best way to enjoy a magazine is still in well-designed page layouts, and that’s where the recently updated Next Issue app shines. A monthly subscription-based service that delivers more than 140 publications straight to your tablet, this Netflix for magazines looks better than ever on iPad Air 2’s 9.7-inch display, thanks to the tablet’s new antireflective coating.

    In addition, the Air’s screen is just one sheet of glass, unlike previous iPads, which had three layers, making the new model brighter and more vibrant—perfect for taking in fantastic magazine layouts.

    Next Issue requires a subscription, but the app is available for free in the App Store.

  • Pixelmator

    Though not yet available on the iPad, this powerful image editing app was previewed at the iPad Air 2 launch, and its jaw-dropping visuals make it worth waiting for. A layer-based photo editor, Pixelmator gives users professional level graphic abilities on a tablet, the same tools available on the desktop version of the app. With the Air’s beefier processor, it handles 4K resolution images with ease. And it can even use iOS’s Handoff feature to let users work on files either on the iPad or on a Mac desktop or laptop.

    Pixelmator will be available soon for $4.99 in the App Store soon.

  • Replay Video Editor

    Another app demonstrated at the iPad’s launch, this movie-making tool takes the pain and patience out of producing fun personal movies. Programmed using Apple’s Metal API, it hauls when running on the new iPad’s faster processor. Just select some photos and/or video clips, choose a theme with graphics, and tap. Less than a second later, all the media is stitched together, rendered and ready to be shared, making sharing vacation videos almost as fun as going on the trip itself. Almost.

    Replay Video Editor is available for free in the App Store.

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