Most iPhone owners I meet are content with using the apps provided by Apple. Whether it’s from lack of interest or uncertainty about what’s available in the App Store, they stick with what’s provided to them and go about their business. I, on the other hand, only use a few of Apple’s apps for which alternatives are available and stash the rest away in a folder. There are many reasons why I opt for third-party apps, but anyone that visits an app review blog, such as yourself, probably doesn’t need must explanation why they’re often much better.
With iOS 7’s release, a few of Apple’s apps that I abandoned long ago got a reprieve; mainly due each app’s stark redesign from their iOS 6 predecessor. Of those apps, iTunes Movie Trailers is by far one of my favorites. Beforehand, I was using a combination Wigglehop, Fandango and Google for all my theater going excursions, but now Apple’s all-in-one movie app offers nearly all the information and features I’ll ever need. (more…)
Don’t judge a book by its cover–a valuable piece of advice I was taught early in my life, as I’m sure a lot of you where as well. More often than not I find this old adage to be profoundly true, but, at times, I find it incredibly difficult to live by. I, like a lot of individuals, find it easier to embrace something that’s pleasing to the eye. Sometimes it turns out well, which I’m sure most Apple device owners can attest to (just holding my iPad mini is one of my favorite past times), but other times I’m reminded why the adage rings so true.
Taasky is an app that was on my radar several months before its launch. I had seen it showcased on several blogs and Dribbble because of it’s beautiful and sleek design. I was enamored, to say the least. So, when the app found its way to the App Store I was quite pleased, and downloaded it with haste. What I discovered after spending a mere few minutes with the app, however, was another lesson involving books and their covers. (more…)
Attention iPhone owners! You know how you can never seem to find a great music streaming service for iOS? Well, Google has released their Google Play Music app on iOS, which features their All Access service with library of 18+ million songs. At long last, I can ditch the gigs of music on my iPhone and tap into this cloud music business I’ve heard so much about.
Okay, so that was probably an unnecessarily snarky opening, but please forgive me if I don’t get excited about yet another streaming music service that’s incredibly late to the party. Especially when the last service to land on iOS ended up being rather lackluster (I’m referring to Xbox Music for those that didn’t wish to click the link). I can only speak for myself, but as a member of the Rdio faithful, Google’s music service has a lot to prove for me to even entertain the notion of jumping ship. Let’s find out if it can do just that. (more…)
Calendars 5 is the newest iteration of Readdle’s calendars app (Calendars+ being the previous version). Readdle has been a developing team I’ve long admired, as they’ve consistently produced high quality productivity, utility and business apps that get the job done, plain and simple. In September, I wrote a how-to article that features their Printer Pro app, which makes it incredibly easy to print from an iOS device to a non-AirPrint enabled printer. I should also state, for the purposes of full disclosure, that I’m a member of their beta program.
Be that as it may, I always find myself being very critical of new calendar apps, and make no exceptions with Calendars 5. The iOS 7 Calendar.app has done little to sway me in using it full-time. Fantastical 2 is a quite good, overall, but I just don’t like how the events list functions. Sunrise is my favorite calendar app, which I recently reviewed, but it lacks some key features (discussed in my review).
While it may seem like I’m attempting to boast about how I’m never satisfied with calendar apps, or that I’m just incredibly picky, I assure you that neither are the case (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). A calendar is a very important tool in most people’s lives, so when using an app for calendar management it’s important that it makes this task as easy as possible. With that in mind, let’s find out if Calendars 5 has what it takes to get the job done. (more…)
Do you ever have a moment in which you thought you really liked something, but then over time you started to feel the opposite? This sometimes happens to me with apps. I’ll write a raving review, and a few weeks later I’ll start to notice issues that didn’t make themselves known early on, or they were noticeable but weren’t annoying just yet. Luckily, I’m often given a chance to review apps a second time when they’ve received a major update, which provides me the opportunity to provide are more impactful analysis on whether the app is worth its weight in gold.
On this occasion, I’m taking a second look at noidentity’s Next, which enables you to track day-to-day expenses to get a big picture of your spending habits. In my initial review, I stated that Next was really fun to use, and that “between the design eye candy and extremely enjoyable sound effects, I actually look forward to entering an expense.” In September, version 2.0 of Next was released, giving me a chance to reassess what makes the app good and no so good. Read on to find out how my opinions have changed. (more…)
Writing app reviews is a great gig, mainly because it gives me an excuse to “audition” apps on a constant basis. I have a need to research and find new apps, or test out the latest and greatest offerings, to determine if they fill a crucial need. Because of this, most apps don’t end up spending much time on my phone, as they’re often being replaced. I’ve used over a dozen notes apps, for example, which get replaced every other week or so (I’m currently using Simplenote, which may finally bring some stability).
With that being said, I’m always pleased when I encounter an app that stands up to scrutiny and outshines the competition. I shared a similar sentiment in my recent Pocket Casts review, which is by far and away my favorite podcast management app. Now, I refer you to my favorite calendar app–Sunrise. Redesigned and refreshed for iOS 7, let’s find out how this calendar app has progressed since my initial review in April. (more…)
I may not speak for everyone–and judging by a bevy of social media comments I’ve see, I don’t– but I’ve really enjoyed iOS 7 thus far. From the moment the update install finished, I was captivated by an experience that was both new and familiar. Even now, I still find myself unlocking my phone just to play with the new OS. To say iOS 7 is a major change is an understatement, and I know it’s easy to feel lost or confused about how certain functions now work. Also, there’s quite a number of new features to tinker with.
That’s where I come in. I’ve perused iOS 7 in order to compile a list of useful tips and tricks, which I hope will be of great use to you. So, journey forth and discover! (more…)
As an fan of Apple, I’m sometimes bestowed the label of “fanboy” by some individuals. I often find these incidents to be humorous, as most of the individuals bestowing me the title could in fact be labeled fanboys as well — but for another tech company. I have zero qualms being called an Apple fanboy, as I’m proud to support a company that creates stellar software and hardware. Likewise, I’ve often touted my love for Pocket Casts over all other podcast apps, and could very well be branded a Pockets Casts fanboy.
Since my initial review of Pocket Casts way back in August 2011, I’ve continued to utilize it for all my podcasting needs. When Pocket Casts 4 was initially released for Android over iOS, I was disappointed. When the new app was delayed after the announcement of iOS 7 at WWDC, I was disappointed even more so. With the arrival of iOS 7, Pocket Casts 4 has finally found its way to my iPhone. The question is, was it worth the wait? (more…)
Last December I wrote an opinion piece about Microsoft’s (and Google’s) place in the iOS ecosystem. In the article, I stated that Microsoft had finally learned that restricting their popular services for the Windows Phone 8 operating system doesn’t necessarily translate to more sales of hardware devices running said OS. This transition of philosophy was evidenced by the release of Microsoft’s popular services like SkyDrive, Xbox SmartGlass and OneNote on iOS.
Since then, Microsoft has even released Office, though the app is restricted to those subscribing to Office 365. Another popular service that finally made its debut on the iPhone just a few weeks prior is Xbox Music. I won’t deny that I was anxiously waiting to see that Microsoft had in store, as I’ve long admired their music service. Join me after the jump as I determine whether or not my wait was in vain. (more…)