'Tis the season to head back to school, and this week's New App Recap has a handful of titles to help students and teachers alike get back in the swing of things. We've even got a bit of Hollywood royalty in the lineup, along with a new app dedicated solely to the task of finding a flight to get out of town within hours of buying a ticket.
Google's Ingress is a fascinating example of what Apple's chief mobile OS rival can accomplish when it puts its mind to making a game, and now the folks at Mountain View have decided to extend the app to the Apple faithful. iPhone owners who have wanted to play have had to content themselves with a closed beta that's been around since 2012, but it's available for all of us as of today.
You would be forgiven for mistaking Steller for a Storehouse companion, but in actuality they're independent variations on the same social storytelling theme: simple, elegant narration. Like Storehouse, Steller doesn't overwhelm you with design options, but it gives you just enough to get your creative juices flowing while inspiring you to turn your life into art.
Social networking is a great tool for groups or businesses to communicate with the masses, but getting the message out across multiple services can be like pulling teeth. Like most everything these days, there’s an iPhone app for just such a purpose — no toothache necessary. Postcard is a free app for iPhone that simplifies the task of cross-posting to multiple social networks at once. Rather than switching between different apps or services, you'll simply tap out your missive once and then sit back as it’s posted to the relevant websites of your choosing.
If you’ve always wanted an answer to an eternal question (like “Are we alone in the universe?”), there’s finally an app capable of providing the answer – although you may want to stick with more basic queries for now unless you have a sense of humor. Jelly is the brainchild of Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, offering a method for iPhone (and Android) users to snap a picture of something, type in a related question, and post for others to see and answer. Questions appear on cards that can be swiped off the screen, with options for contributing an answer or forwarding to others who can help via SMS, email, or clipboard.
The App Store is home to plenty of digital journal tools, but all of them require effort from the author to be useful. Heyday solves this problem in a very elegant way – and one that actually makes us want to participate. The free app converts existing photo libraries from an iOS device into an automatic journal of your life, complete with geolocation data and time stamps. The speed and accuracy at which Heyday accomplishes this task is nothing short of amazing, but the occasional coarse location can be confirmed or updated as needed. On days when photos aren’t taken, the app continues to work in the background with minimal battery impact, capturing key places visited.
Where most video apps on our iPhones focus purely on Kodak moments, Lightt is kind of like a personal documentarian. With an eye for short clips that can be quickly captured and posted, the video-recording app stitches together your posts into an endless looping timeline that plays a bit like a disjointed flip book. Version 3 brings it up to speed with its filter-happy contemporaries, and a host of editing and audio tools make it a viable alternative to Vine and Instagram.
With version 4, popular news aggregator Pulse fully embraces its corporate branding, with a new name, a fresh iOS 7-inspired interface, and a re-imagined way to read and find content. The first release may have been met with a loud backlash, but Alphonso Labs quickly responded to users’ complaints with a 4.0.1 update — and while it fixes many of the major gaffes, it still feels like a downgrade from the previous take.
You might recall that last week we reported on a nasty vulnerability issue with iOS 7 in which other people could bypass your iPhone's lockscreen and access your photos, e-mail, and social networking accounts by exploiting the Control Center. Today Apple released a fix for it with a 17.4 MB update that also introduces a Greek keyboard for our friends in the Mediterranean.