Well, the big Black Friday sale day is upon us. If you've been out this morning beating back hordes for physical bargains on flat screen TVs and whatnot, this will come as a welcome respite. Cheap prices and no lines, no shortages, no riots. And if you skip the whole retailer madness on principal or for other reasons, you can still grab some sweet deals right here still.
Well, if you were looking for a week where productivity apps were blowing up, this is your week. Whether you want an awesome calendar, some inbox management, task lists, or more, the App Store is where you need to be with a few tips from us. But, since all work and no play makes MacLifers dull kids, we've also got a little gaming action to hook you and reward you with some fun times to go with all your hard work.
This week's app gallery assembles a number of promising newcomers along with return of a Bitcoin payments app and significant new updates to a pair of popular productivity apps. Most of these new arrivals are free to install, but most of the paid titles are currently discounted for a limited time, so don't hesitate to get downloading before those prices go back up!
When Apple redesigned its apps for iOS 7, the iPad versions got something of a short shrift. Stale staples like Notes and Calendar were happily stripped of their skeuomorphism—but somewhere along the design process, they lost their character too, as Jony Ive sought to bring greater aesthetic harmony across the various iOS screens. Flexibits’ Fantastical 2 for iPad does well to avoid this trap. Instead of a dull port from the smaller screen, it sets a new standard for universality, reinventing its brilliant calendar concept with a streamlined interface that takes everything good about the iPhone app and makes it bigger and better.
Updating a beloved app for iOS 7 is no easy task. Simply tweaking the interface to match Apple's lighter, cleaner style can affect the user experience in unexpected ways, but a full-on overhaul can bring its share of problems too, as features are squeezed out in the name of simplicity. Released as a new standalone app, Fantastical 2 has neither of these problems. With an effortless redesign that refines everything we love about the original version, the calendar app retains its spot at the head of the class.
Apple's built-in Calendar app continues to be a sore spot for many iPhone users, but thankfully there are any number of third-party alternatives that do a far better job -- including an old favorite with a whole new version.
Games, ebook readers, movie watchers, and more games -- that's what we've got for you this week. A heaping helping of just what you're after, just what you're interested in. The recent rainy weather means that some days, you're trapped inside, and this is just the ticket for what ails you. So get tapping.
This week you are in for a treat, boy are you ever. This week we have some App Store essentials that went on sale. We're talking apps that are must-haves. So if you've been putting off making your App Life that much better, simpler, cooler, then this is the week for you to get out your wallet.
Just because they have billions in the bank, that doesn't mean Apple wants to share it with the record labels. The big news Thursday was a new report that sheds some light on Cupertino's lowball tactics as it works to launch a rumored music streaming service. Will the iPhone maker get its way? As with most things, only time will tell. Until then, get caught up on what you might have missed before heading into the weekend...