While some radio and television networks have firmly cemented themselves in the past, opposing digital distribution of media, the BBC has been quite the opposite, embracing digital distribution with their award-winning iPlayer service. More recently, the BBC has been quietly revolutionising radio in the same way they did with television by making almost every radio show broadcast available through iPlayer, with a select number even distributed as podcasts.
To make BBC radio as accessible as possible, the company have released the BBC iPlayer Radio app, which has recently been updated with podcast support. It’s an app we’ve not looked at so far, but with the golden age of podcasting upon us, it’s high-time we check out the latest app from the Beeb.
Apple really went above and beyond with most of the stock apps on iPhone. As much as we hate to admit it, the stock apps are all a lot of people will ever need. Notes, Compass (now with a built-in level!), Weather, Calendar, Camera, and even the Maps app are actually pretty good. Apart from the occasional app I recommend for their specific needs, many of my friends are really content leaving their home screen exactly how Apple set it up.
That being said, there are some apps that Apple neglected to include. They have a Stocks app and a Calculator, but they didn’t include a unit or currency converter to match the World Clock. Vert rectifies this with a beautiful interface that not only matches iOS 7 very well, but also does its own thing with great panache. Many other developers should start taking notes. Read on to find out what Vert does and why it’s so beautiful.
The first version of Skitch brought along with it a different approach to image editing. It came with great tools that allowed you to take screenshots of any size and quickly annotate them, yet it could also handle any image you threw at it. Skitch has always been straightforward and effortless — an image tool for human beings. After its acquisition by Evernote, the company entered into a battle to contain the uproar caused by the drastic overhaul to ensure Skitch would fit into its service and yet still remain a simple image editor.
Skitch 3.0 is a fresh take on the controversial app, built from scratch with a brand-new interface based on iOS 7 guidelines, as well as boasting a gorgeous new icon. Did the Evernote team recover the early praise of Skitch with this update or will it just be another stain on the history of a once beloved application? Let’s find out.
If you’ve ever taken a trip on the London Underground (or any subway service for that matter) then you’ll no doubt notice that each train is littered with small ads, providing both an effective means of marketing whilst giving us commuters something to read when we’ve accidentally left our headphones at home.
Sandwiched between the various online dating sites (apparently everyone in London is lonely) and cosmetic surgery boutiques was an ad for a new online music service called Bloom.fm. The ad, promising features such as 22 million tracks, offline playback and a radio service similar to that of Spotify and Rdio, was enough to pique my interest. After spending a few days with the iPhone app and service, I can honestly say it is making me think twice about continuing my Spotify Premium subscription.
I really dig Instagram — or I used to. But since the service was purchased by Facebook, I feel like it’s lost its focus. Instagram’s new video features are nice, but they don’t feel as smartly-designed as Vine. And speaking of design, I feel like Instagram’s has suffered recently — particularly on iOS 7, where the app looks like something an arts college dropout would whip up if given the opportunity. And finally, I can’t be alone in saying that I think the filter selection is getting worse with time.
That’s why I’m really excited about Favd. Favd is a photo-sharing app made for iOS 7 that’s designed on the App.net backbone. It offers total ownership of your photos, great filters, and the ability to share them on Twitter and Facebook. Better yet, its design harkens back to the days of early Instagram and uses App.net for its social structure. Read on to find out why I think Favd is a must-have app.
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 love Pinboard. Until not long ago, I was doubting whether or not I thought it would be a valuable purchase, but holy cow, do I love Pinboard. My problem is finding an iOS app that I really like using Pinboard with — one that meets high standards in design and functionality. It has to work and do most of what I need it to, but it also has to look stunning. Whether or not that makes me shallow is trivial — nobody wants to use ugly apps.
Until recently, none of the apps I’d seen or tried — and even some of the heavily-endorsed apps like Pushpin — are aesthetically pleasing to me. On iOS 7, all of them seem too textured or too heavy for my liking. That’s why I was insanely excited about Pincase — a Pinboard app exclusively for the new iOS. Read on to find out if Pincase can be your new Pinboard home.
Camera+ has been one of the most popular camera apps for the iPhone ever since it debuted back in 2010, offering a dizzying array of features and advanced controls for composing shots. To say that Camera+ was groundbreaking would be an understatement and it set the benchmark for how a camera app should be. It even introduced new features, such as the rather controversial VolumeSnap: a feature that led to the app being pulled from the App Store, only to then see it become part of the built-in camera app.
With the iPhone now the go-to camera for almost every user, the market for camera apps on the App Store has become one of the largest and second only to games. Camera+ has had some fierce competition since our last review in 2011 but the developers, tap tap tap, have now launched their next major iteration: Camera+ 4.
We live in a busy world that has us juggling work, school, kids, and so much more each and every day. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get ten minutes a day to completely relax? Well, that just might be possible with Headspace (on-the-go), a mediation app.
The creators of Headspace are on a mission to get as many people as possible to take ten minutes out of their day to practice mediation. They suggest that Headspace is mediation for the modern world delivered through simple and scientifically proven techniques that aim to give you a healthy mind. But does the app manage to keep you motivated with its design and techniques or does it end up boring you to tears? That’s what we’ll find out.