Apple has bundled a weather app with every iPhone and iPod touch ever sold, so creating a paid third-party alternative is either extremely foolish or very brave. To succeed, you’d have to stand out and offer something so different that paying for it actually makes sense. This is precisely what the creator of Partly Cloudy has done. Most weather apps offer a nice graphic of the current weather, along with basic information like temperature and other details. By contrast, Partly Cloudy is very spartan; there are no pretty pictures, just what looks like an unusual clock face.
There are many reasons that you might want to avoid giving out your real cell phone number. From remaining anonymous when buying or selling on Craigslist to establishing trust with someone you’ve just met, Burner is a unique technological solution to a decidedly first-world problem. The app uses credits to let you create temporary phone numbers, which receive calls and SMS messages, and then destroy them as desired.
It's always a rare treat when I stumble upon a portable game that delivers a console quality experience I can take with me on-the-go. Unassuming name aside, Horn is a stunning feat of techno-wizardry and easily one of the most impressive iOS games of 2012. Created by Phosphor Games, the same studio responsible for the eerie Dark Meadow, this absorbing iOS action adventure looks and feels like it would be right at home in your living room.
One of the App Store's earliest original sensations returns in Fieldrunners 2, a sequel to the tower defense affair in which you'll place towers across various open battlefields to repel the coming forces. Much like in the original, the myriad Gatling guns and missile turrets can typically be placed in dozens of locations, letting you concoct winding mazes to direct the enemy grunts and tanks through, and it adds an extra layer of strategy to consider as you aim to protect your base.
The iPad certainly does a first-rate job at organizing our photos, videos, and music, but it struggles when it comes to keeping our thoughts in order. Apple's Notes and Reminders tandem works in a pinch -- and there are more than a few top-notch notebook replacements in the App Store -- but serious brainstormers need more than just a place to jot down their ideas. Projectbook: Notes and To-Dos just might be that place. While it won't win any design awards, its understated interface puts the emphasis squarely where it belongs: your work.
Whether by good old-fashioned breakout or tunneling out unseen, an escape is an essential part of any good prison tale. In the case of Adult Swim’s Super Mole Escape, it’s the main event. Choosing from a number of unlockable mole convicts with varying speed, strength and stamina, Super Mole Escape is an arcade-style endless runner fashioned downward, using simple touch or tilt controls to direct your detainee’s path as they descend deep into the earth.
Even if sports typically aren't your thing, Gasketball is one funky space jam fest you don't want to pass up. Beyond a catchy title and a quirky robot buddy that offers good natured coaching assistance, this upbeat hoops-meets-puzzle game delivers a slam dunk in the trick shot department.
Slices for Twitter tries hard to differentiate itself from the masses of iOS apps designed around the social networking service, and while it doesn't quite race clear of the pack of third-party options, it offers some great ideas and solid execution. Combining a clean and responsive interface with everything you'd expect from a stellar client (sans push notifications), Slices emphasizes the discovery aspect of Twitter with its extra functionality.
It's a funny thing when a competitor's app is at the top of most iPad users' wish lists. For Amazon Prime members like myself, Instant Video's lack of compatibility with Apple was a glaring omission that threatened the future of many memberships, and clearly Amazon was aware of this. Luckily, the recently released Amazon Instant Video feels right at home on the iPad, with a smooth-scrolling interface that spotlights "featured" videos in an array of categories.
Giving a heavy nod to Ridley Scott's oh-so-creepy Alien film series, Alien Breed delivered a good dose of top-down sci-fi arcade adventure back when it first came out for the Amiga. Its portable debut is punctuated with plenty of crawly beast-blasting fun that spans the original game, an updated special edition, and a handful of all-new levels created for its iOS release. While the formula feels a little dated, there's still plenty of pull left in this intense bid for survival amidst the horrors of deep space.