Each year, the last week in December brings joy, camaraderie, and goodwill to lots of people around the world, but the holidays don’t always go as smoothly as we anticipate. For those times when everything goes to absolute hell and the best-laid plans fall apart, you’d be surprised how easily a few thoughtful apps can turn things around. Whether you’re stranded en route to your family gathering, ready to throttle you loved ones, or dealing with a kitchen nightmare, we’ve got your app 911 right here.
Hohoho, appy holidays from Mac|Life to you. Here it is, the final slab of free and discounted apps available just for you, dear readers, before the Christmas holiday is well and truly upon us. We've got you on our Nice list, so we grabbed these apps for your stocking.
Foldify brings papercraft figure creation to the iPad, and while the idea is simple, the way it's implemented makes this app truly great. Choosing from 10 available shapes, you'll then see the editable cutout section on the right and a 3D representation on the left. As you decorate the shape, the 3D model is updated in real time, making it easy to see how your creation will look once complete.
Word games like Scrabble are great, but their classic sensibilities can sometimes feel a little staid. If you’re looking for something a little more mobile, you might want to give QatQi a try—it feels similar enough to the familiar formula, yet is a fresh take that has you “moving” around a darkened map looking for coins and multiplier bonus tiles. Yes, it’s rather interesting.
Nobody likes to watch home movies. Whether it's your niece's dance recital beamed to an Apple TV or your grandmother's old reel-to-reels, we can all agree on one thing: the shorter the better. Videokits does its part to keep things moving. Where other video editing apps encourage longer movies filled with transitions and effects, Videokits focuses on your content, helping make your masterpiece as concise and interesting as possible. After you've used its series of tips and prompts, you'll never want to shoot solo again.
The freedom of being let loose to explore, build, and carve out your own little niche in an open sandbox world made games like Minecraft and Terraria tremendously addictive. Deepworld attempts to capture that same magic by injecting the formula with a post-apocalyptic steampunk vibe, and while there's plenty to do both above and below the surface of this fantasy realm, this online crafting adventure doesn't quite click in the same way as the games it emulates.
Still scrambling to wrap-up your holiday shopping craziness and can't quite find the perfect gift for that favorite geeky person in your life? Don't fret. We've got our fingers on the pulse of the coolest nerdy tech around. From the crazy to the clever, here's a saucy selection of iPad gift geekery that's bound to titillate that special someone who takes their iOS addiction very seriously.
In the world of console gaming, the Skylanders franchise – spun off from the once-popular Spyro the Dragon series – has been one of the biggest surprises over the last couple of years, enthralling kids and adults alike by letting them collect physical figurines that can be imported into the game using a portal peripheral. Following a couple of digital-only iOS entries, Skylanders Battlegrounds finally brings a similar experience to iPhone and iPad, though while the toys and process are much the same, the game built around it struggles to captivate.
Despite sharing the name and much of the content from one of the year's most prominent Nintendo 3DS games, the iOS version of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is not quite the same experience. Rather than serve up a smattering of classic songs from the entire core Final Fantasy role-playing series, complete with story elements and familiar cinematic clips, the App Store release pairs the tap-and-swipe rhythm formula with a free-to-play shell that lets you pick and pay for exactly the tracks and characters your want. But trying to compare the two directly proves a losing proposition both for players and creator Square Enix.
Initially pronounced the best mobile mapping solution on the planet, the reimagined iOS 6 Maps has become a PR disaster for Apple, leading CEO Tim Cook to publicly apologize for the debacle. Google heard the frustrated cries of iOS users and, like a knight in shining armor, now comes riding back onto the iPhone with its own Google Maps app, a mere three months after being banished from the castle. But this isn't exactly the same app iOS users have loved since its debut in 2007.