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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…)

I love Tumblr. I didn’t think I would, after I saw some of the stuff that my younger sister was always checking out on it, but sometimes I surprise even myself. At this point, I keep two blogs up on the site: a rarely-updated personal blog that’s not even worth linking to and a music recommendations blog called Unsung Sundays, and I couldn’t be happier with the service. It’s one of the few CMS systems that doesn’t feel totally broken.

That being said, I didn’t think I’d ever start making posts on my iOS devices and keeping them. While the Tumblr app for iPhone and iPad has been capable of doing that sort of thing for a while, it hasn’t always been as smooth of an experience as it’s been on the desktop. But recently, that changed with the iOS 7 update for Tumblr, which makes it the best blogging app on iOS bar none. Read on to find out why you might consider taking up blogging again, but from your phone.

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Twitter clients were once one of the most popular apps on the App Store. In the time of Tweetie, there were more options than most anyone could keep up with. At that time, one of the more popular options was an app named Osfoora — strange name, particularly for a category where most apps included a play on the word Twitter.

Osfoora hung around for some time, but ultimately fell behind as apps like Tweetbot, Twitterrific, and Tweetie 2 become more popular. Then, Twitter bought Tweetie, and roughly two years later started throwing up API limitations for developers of third-party apps. It is in this ecosystem that Osfoora 2 has been released; can it compete? (more…)

I’ve been a Pinboard user for a few months now. The service is great: its a bookmarking tool for those of us that prefer to be organized about it, letting us tag everything we bookmark for reference later. The full-priced annual membership fee (for $25), an optional “accessory” which I don’t subscribe to, allows you to save a cached copy of any website page at the time of initial reference and provides full text search across all your bookmarks.

There’s bevy of great Pinboard clients out there, and for a long time I was using Pincase for my iPhone and iPad. It’s a great app with a beautiful iOS 7-inspired design, but it’s certainly not perfect (read more about it in my review). That’s why I’m excited to talk about Pinswift, a fast and beautiful Pinboard client for iPhone that I’m absolutely in love with. Read on to find out what makes this app such a great buy.

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