Tax season is upon us, eliciting groans of anguish across the U.S. as business owners and citizens alike prep for another round of less-than-pleasant paperwork, number crunching, and debt juggling. The good news is tax time doesn't have to be such a drag. While a few helpful apps let you do your taxes and file them right from your iOS device, there are plenty of others that offer much-needed support during this tricky time of year. Cut down on the chaos with these great tax season app picks, some of which are best used year-round to make the next filing process even easier.
Macworld is here! The biggest bestest event for fans of everything Apple kicked off today at Moscone West in San Francisco, with an all-day session on iPhoneography. If you're interested in the other sessions and speakers taking place throughout the weekend, be sure to download the official Macworld/iWorld official app, or visit macworldiworld.com.
Highlights of what I saw today (day zero?) after the jump!
Gimmicky apps certainly have their place on our iPhones. At some point, we've all been suckered into plunking down our hard-earned pennies for an app that seemed like a great idea (iBeer, iSteam, etc), but ultimately they end up in one of those folders that rarely gets opened – or worse, deleted outright. Cycloramic might not seem like it belongs in that class, but after a few attempts to make a panoramic photo, it becomes clear that this phone-spinning app is mostly a short-lived diversion.
We've seen so many slick and beautifully manicured iPhone apps over the years that it's rare to be wowed by a newcomer. However, Vine does just that when you first pop it open, immediately launching a brief shared video clip without hesitation. And assuming you have a half-decent Wi-Fi or cellular signal going, it simply doesn't stop as you scroll down the feed, with each subsequent six-seconds-or-less clip loading quickly and without prompt, giving you a very small window into the life of whoever was on the other side of that iPhone. Finally, somebody nailed the Instagram-for-video concept. Granted, that "somebody" is Twitter.
Most image editing apps for iOS are built to enhance photos or add artistic flourishes such as filters and frames, but what about using text to get your message across? Swipe makes it fun and easy to adorn your pictures with type and quickly share them with the world. The app is a model of simplicity: Merely swipe your finger across the screen wherever you want to add text, tweak to your liking, and then whisk the results off to most anywhere you’d like.
It's tough to believe that Wave Trip would exist in a world without Sound Shapes. Like that brilliantly experiential PlayStation 3 and Vita platformer, Wave Trip merges music-making with a new take on a well-worn gameplay style, with both allowing users to create and share their own stages using the existing level elements on a simple grid-based layout. The similarities extend into music styles and visual design, but using that framework with a side-scrolling runner makes it feel like more than just a noteworthy imitator, with a stronger focus on skill creating a much different overall tone.
There’s been a lot of news recently about Apple stocks, Vine, the MySpace relaunch, and assorted earnings reports, but amid all the excitement, most media outlets have missed out on the real big Apple-related story of the past week: The official Mr. T app has launched across all iOS devices. Yes, that’s right: thanks to developer Widebeam Digital, the gold-chain-wearing, fool-pitying ’80s icon now has an official app (and it’s presently only $0.99).
Back when it was first released on the Nintendo DS in 2009, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes' highly engrossing mix of match-three puzzle gameplay and RPG combat made it the surprise sleeper hit climbing its way onto year-end best games lists. While the low-resolution original was spectacular on its own, the fact that Clash of Heroes on iOS is a port of the updated HD console version is even better news for puzzle nerds.
With the exception of flesh-eating undead and the truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife, our apps today are all about utility. So put on your to-do list: how to escape having your brain eaten, how to stay in shape to escape shambling hordes of zombies, and how to get your Mr. Darcy to finally pop the question. Then get tapping at the App Store.
January is National Hobby Month, and while the month itself is almost over, it's never too late to pick up a new personal pastime. Whether you want to take up a new skill, dust off an old interest, or just need a diversion that you can turn to, it's good to have a leisurely pursuit to partake in. Once you've picked your great escape, let us help you turn it into a full blown obsession. We've compiled eight apps geared toward the most common hobbies, which are designed to help you indulge yourself in your acquired interest. These apps will turn you from dabbler to hobbyist and potentially even enthusiast in no time.