Four years ago I had the idea to build a blog network dedicated to reviewing and rounding up apps. We started with Mac apps and then quickly expanded to additional channels covering iOS, Android, Windows and Web apps. While the network has been successful in traffic and audience, reaching some 100m+ visitors over the four years, it’s ultimately not fit within our broader company mission. So I’m here today to announce that unfortunately after four years of app guidance, we’re closing AppStorm down.
I’m currently in the throes of consolidating as much of my information and workflows as possible, all the while, pruning redundant apps and services. In that respect, I’ve found myself using Pinboard increasingly more, not only for archival of my bookmarks but also for content discovery and as a read later service.
Therefore, I’ve been on a quest to find the best Pinboard client for iOS. Having sample a myriad of apps such as Pinner,Pinswift, Pinbrowser, Pinbook and Pincase (to name just a few) I now turn my attention to Pushpin to see how it fairs.
I’ve long been a proponent of natural language parsing in calendar apps. In 2013, it’s a genuine surprise to me when a modern calendar application doesn’t allow you to type your schedule in naturally. If I’m going to a play on Friday (which I am), I want to be able to type “Tim’s play on Friday from 7:30–9:30” in the event creation field and have the event ready to go. Calendar.app has this all wrong, and Fantastical wiped its clock clean when it debuted with natural language parsing last year.
But now there’s Fantastical 2. More than just a re-skin, it brings some great new features and enhancements to the table. At this point, though, Fantastical isn’t alone. It’s also dealing with contenders like Horizon and Calendars 5 by Readdle, both of which bring their own unique tricks to the table. Despite that, though, Fantastical isn’t just king of the calendar throne, it’s also my most-used app every day. It’s the one that manages everything for me now, and it’s an automatic must for me for anybody I know with an iPhone. Read on to find out what makes this not just a great update, but one of the best iPhone apps available and my pick for the best utility app of the year. (more…)
I was never much of a mind mapping person — that is until I stumbled into it a couple of years ago. Since then, its become an essential part of my thought process. I often turn to mind maps to help me flesh out ideas and having an app on my iOS device that allows me to do so, is game changing.
Mention mind mapping on iOS and immediately two names rise to the top: iThoughts and MindNode. When time came to choose one, I opted for MindNode — Despite iThoughts being heralded as the best. It’s minimal, almost playful aesthetics drew me in and it was powerful and versatile enough for my needs while being a joy to use.
It did have it’s shortcomings however, but this update addresses many of them, adds a few new features and a new coat of paint too.
Everyone enjoys taking pictures, as taking a photo is how many choose to capture a moment or memory in digital form. The iPhone — and, by extension, iOS as a platform — has quickly become one of the most popular ways to take these photos. Apple has included industry-leading optics in their devices since the iPhone 4. More importantly, Apple has focused on the software side of their solution, making a solution where tech specs take a back seat to the processing techniques in iOS. Let’s take a look back at the year through the lens (pun intended) of photography. (more…)
I’m not addicted to television or anything like that, but I like to keep up with what’s on TV. I go through binges a fair bit, sometimes on Netflix, but I also like to keep up with a couple sitcoms. I loathe myself for it, but I have a little bit of a soft spot for Big Bang Theory. I love HBO too. I’m also checking out apps to see if there are any good ones to help me schedule my week a little bit.
One that’s been making the rounds recently is Televised, an app that helps you keep track of what’s coming up on television. Read on to find out how it compares to the competition and whether or not it’s worth trying for all you TV diehards.
Tap here, tap there. Sometimes an app is just too many taps away and no home screen fits every app we use. If that’s a common scenario, you need something to save you taps and swipes, turning the whole iPhone experience quicker and appealing. What you’re looking for is Launch Center Pro.
Launch Center Pro lets you create actions to interact with other applications and skip taps on basic functions of your iPhone, such as calling, messaging or opening sites. The application recently delivered its second version with plenty of new features for the automation rookie and the power user.
Podcasting has been around since the early 2000s, and it has undergone a massive amount of change since then. The mobile industry itself has seen change — gone are the iPods and Creative MP3 players, replaced by the dominance of smartphones. While the iPhone doesn’t hold the lion’s amount of market share that the iPod did, it has been enough to catapult both podcast clients and podcasts themselves to a completely new level. In 2013, we saw just how utterly successful that market has become. (more…)
I’ve got something of an addiction to stargazing apps. While some app addicts have a folder for Twitter apps or Pinboard apps, I’ve got a folder simply labeled “Stars.” The thing is, I’m not an astronomer. I know as much about the stars as I do about neuroscience — almost nothing. I can point out the Big Dipper. My closest friend is a serious stargazer, and she’s always pointing things out to me, but the Big Dipper is embarrassingly about as far as I can get on my own.
These apps, then, have really helped me out on my journey to learn more about the night sky. They’re equally informative and always brilliantly designed. The ones that have an iPad interface are always stellar there as well, but I mostly fiddle on my iPhone, which is like staring into a portal in our own universe. It blows me away. But the problem is, living in the city, I rarely know when I can go check out stars. There’s no “forecast app for stargazers.” Or at least, there never used to be. Recently, I’ve been using Sky Live, a beautiful app that helps me know when I should leave my house. Read on to find out why this is a must-try for night owls.
Apple ships a very capable weather app in iOS 7. That weather app uses Yahoo’s information, and takes cues from other apps in the design and feature department. On iOS, many developers take a hint as to what they need to include in a weather app from Apple’s efforts.
Weather Line goes in a different direction: what two conditions do you need to know most often? Temperature, and whether or not it’s going to rain in the next hour or so — or at least that’s what the developers bet on. Other information is available in the app, but those two key pieces of data are displayed most prominently. Interested? (more…)