The loss of Google Reader and the dawn of Flipboard-style news apps have tested the resolve of many RSS fans, but at least one champion for the medium hopes to change the way we read news on our iPhone with "a little peace each day through quiet, careful reading." That’s the lofty philosophy behind Unread, an RSS-based reader app that promises to "surprise and delight" users. Unfortunately, the first part of that equation came with the realization that there is no native iPad support – a shame considering that’s where the bulk of my reading is done, aside from perusing a few headlines while on the go.
On the surface, Paper looks a lot like what might have happened had Facebook invented Flipboard before Flipboard got the chance, and then slapped on a moniker rather too similar to an existing hugely popular (but entirely different) iOS app. Move beyond the snark, though, and you realize something surprising: Paper makes using Facebook almost pleasurable again. Facebook on desktop ceased to be fun a long time ago, and even the once-streamlined mobile app is increasingly full of cruft. The idea with Paper appears to be to strip everything back, bring stories to the fore, and turn the Facebook experience into a kind of edited newspaper.
We're constantly amazed by the amount of reading we do on our iPhones. Thanks to Retina displays that have all but eliminated eye strain, we're frequently buzzing through lengthy feature articles, flipping the pages of comics, and even curling up with occasional full-length novels, all without reaching for our iPads. But iPhones aren't exactly built for fast reading. Whether we're pinching and swiping to properly position text or constantly scrolling to get through lengthy works, the tiny screen is often a detriment to our concentration.
With a bit of flair, Yahoo News Digest dials down its mountain of news coverage to find the top articles and deliver them to your iPhone as rich, twice-daily bulletins. Much like its weather app, Yahoo! has crafted a delightfully simple interface that lets you read and navigate articles with ease. Each digest (delivered at 8am and 6pm ET) presents around 10 stories from a variety of subjects.
There's just something about a new calendar that makes us want to better ourselves. Every January 1, we set a series of seemingly attainable goals that we have every intention of keeping — but by the time spring rolls around, we've either forgotten, procrastinated, or just plain given up. But with the help of a few strategic apps, this year you can resolve to break that trend. Here are 10 such options that’ll help you stay on track in 2014.
In some games, story is the spice; in others, it’s the whole meal. Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! fell into the latter category, as a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style series of choices unwrapped into seemingly endless possibilities. Sorcery! 2 is largely a continuation rather than a fresh iteration on the concept, since it’s meant to pick up right where the last one left off — though new players can start fresh here if they see fit. And while it’s a little less novel this time around, the game still packs the unique flavor that made the first such a unique treat.
In Device 6, a new spy-themed interactive fiction game from Simogo (Year Walk, Beat Sneak Bandit), text is used with verve and clarity, as sharp prose maps out protagonist Anna’s journey around a mysterious island. It’s not just that Device 6 is text-based – it’s that the text dances around the iPhone or iPad screen. As Anna turns down a hallway, the words also bank at a hard right angle; when she climbs a spiral staircase, her story and your device screen spin with her.
There are plenty of free iPad apps for entertaining toddlers, but few have much real educational value. This isn’t a problem for Learn with Homer, an app created by top literacy experts that overflows with well-crafted early learning content. Aimed at ages three to six, Learn with Homer makes reading fun and instructive. Upon launch, up to three different little ones can customize the app with a photo from the front-facing camera, which is then decorated with one of several virtual “thinking caps.” It’s a fun way to set the stage for what lies ahead.
If you're an avid reader of Vanity Fair who's constantly on the move, you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the popular publication has launched an iPhone version tailored specifically for you. The app is reported to contain the full content of the print magazine, all while categorizing articles according to how long it takes to read them.