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Our favorite iOS Apps, July edition

As we do every month, Macworld staffers got together to chat about the best apps they’ve been using recently. Here are some that have recently captured our imaginations (and perhaps a spot on our homescreens), whether they’re tiny apps from budding developers or the top-grossing apps that everyone is using. Our hope is that, while you might recognize some of these apps, others you might never have encountered. All of them, we think, are worth a look.

Chris Breen: InstaWeather Pro

If you follow me on Twitter you know that I have the habit of tweeting pictures from my walks along the California coast. It not only allows me to practice my iPhonography, but additionally gives me the wicked satisfaction of lording my location over the less fortunate.

staff picks instaweather

To add to the envy inspired by these images, I’ve taken to tagging them with time, weather, and location information via Byss Mobile’s $2 InstaWeather Pro. You use the app to stamp your images (and short videos) with a variety of skins, apply effects to them, and then share them via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Foursquare, email, or AirDrop. And if you’re not in a sharing mood, you can save them to your camera roll. If you’re visiting a location that you’d like to brag about, InstaWeather Pro is a great way to go about it.

Serenity Caldwell: Heads Up!

staff picks heads up

I went to Disneyland this past week, as I often do when visiting my family in Los Angeles. It was a surprisingly light traffic day for a summer afternoon in July, but even rides with lengthier lines were a delight with Heads Up! ($1), a silly little party game from Warner Brothers.

The app revamps the old “stick a card with a famous person’s name on it to your head and have other people describe you” parlor game, adding a variety of categories along with audio and video filming of the participants. The basic motions are still the same, though: Hold your phone up to your head with the screen facing your friends. When you get the title of whatever they’re describing, nod; if you don’t get it, throw your head back (as if to cry in shame, perhaps?). You can also flick the device downward or upward if head movement is too strenuous—or you prefer to hold the phone in a more convenient place than your crown.

There are a bunch of $1 expansion packs you can purchase if you tire of the seven basic sets, but if you have some line waiting to kill with your friends or a dinner party to throw, those seven may be all you need.

Dan Frakes: PhotoScope

Come iOS 8 and Yosemite, Apple will let you store all your images in the cloud and access them from anywhere—a great solution for near-capacity iOS devices. Until then, I’m using PhotoScope (App Store link) to view all the photos in my iPhoto and Aperture libraries from my iPhone and iPad.

staff picks photoscope

PhotoScope is actually two apps: an iOS one for browsing photos, and an OS X one (PhotoScope Helper) that acts as a server for the iPhoto and Aperture libraries on your Mac. As long as your Mac and iOS device are on the same local network, PhotoScope lets you browse your library (or libraries) by albums, projects, or PhotoStream months. Tap any image to see a full-size version of it; you can zoom and pan, as you’d expect. Tap the info button to see detailed information about the image, including Exif data, aperture, ISO, ratings, and more. You can filter thumbnail views to show only flagged images, rejected images, or images with certain ratings. (You can even rate and flag photos hosted by Aperture, though not by iPhoto.)

PhotoScope also makes it easy to share your photos and download them to your iPhone or iPad. As you’re browsing an album, project, or month, you can select images, or even an antire gallery; when you’re done browsing, you can email those images, post them to Facebook or Twitter, save them to the Camera Roll in the iOS Photos app (they’re saved into albums that match their source album names, a nice touch), or print or copy them. Alas, PhotoScope doesn’t work when you’re away from your computer, but it’s great for browsing your entire library from the comfort of your couch.

Dan Moren: 7 Minute Workout

We can all agree exercise important—and we can all agree that some days going to the gym requires effort we just don’t have. That’s why I’ve been turning to 7 Minute Workout, an iOS-based implementation of the seven-minute workout. Fire up the app when you’re ready to workout, and it’ll run you through the 12 different exercises, giving you video and audio cues when to rest and when to move on to the next activity. I find it handy to AirPlay to my Apple TV, so I don’t have to constantly have the phone nearby.

staff picks 7minuteworkout

If you’ve got questions about any particular activity, tap on that exercise—say, planks—to get a quick description, and even a helpful video. There’s also an alternative set of exercises, a seven-minute pilates workout, and the ability to create a workout with your own 12 exercises. The basic version of the app works on both iPhone and iPad and is free, but a $2 in-app purchase gets you a workout log, more configuration options, a daily reminder, and other capabilities. About the only thing it can’t do is find you seven minutes to work out—that’s on you. (Note that there are plenty of other apps that provide similar features—if you don’t like this one, try one of those!)

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