The Week in iOS Apps: A better connection

This week's roundup of new and updated apps for the iPhone includes better ways to communicate with your co-workers, make your own animated short films, or take in Wimbledon.

A better connection

Amazon Instant Video

The Amazon Instant Video app for iPhone and iPad has been revamped to make it easier to find the movies and TV shows you want, with new dropdown menus that let users search by genre and other featured video collections.

Contra: Evolution HD

Hark back to your middle school days of playing Nintendo with Contra: Evolution HD, a $3 iPad offering. It revives the old-school action classic with a few new features, including brand-new levels, an in-game weapon shop, more lives, and more bonuses available.

The Championships, Wimbledon 2013

You’ll only need this app for a fortnight or so: The Championships, Wimbledon 2013 is a free iPad app that offers live radio and video coverage of the world’s most famous tennis tournament, as well as panoramic shots of the courts, profiles of the players, and up-to-the-minute scoring and match results.


Want to know the best time is to go play a round of golf? Foresee, a $1 offering for iPad, lets users input their favorite activities and the optimal weather conditions for doing that activity—the app then shows the times during the next week when, say, you’ll most want to hit the links or go for a walk. No more needless sweating during your workout!


Fuse for iPhone isn’t the first app to let users manage all their social media accounts in a single place, but it’s probably the newest. Users can get overviews of their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts in one spot; developers say additional social networks are on the way.


HipChat is already a great service for helping far-flung organizations communicate and get organized internally. This week's update to the free HipChat app for iPhone and iPad overhauls the user interface, adding a left sidebar to display open chat rooms, a right sidebar in those rooms to view other members and search the chat history, and new swipe gestures for accessing those features.

McLaren's Workshop

We’d normally find the temptation to make Canadian jokes too strong to resist, but the free McLaren’s Workshop app for iPad is just too neat to dismiss with mere McKenzie Brothers jokes. The app celebrates the work of Canadian animator Norman McLaren, with 51 of his short films and a biographical essay. The app also invites creativity, showing users how McLaren performed his animation while giving users the opportunity to make their own using his techniques. It’s cooler than the Great White North.

Mr. Reader

Still looking for a Google Reader replacement? The $4 Mr. Reader for iPad is well-positioned for the RSS service’s demise—it offers the option of connecting to the BazQux Reader, Feedbin, FeedHQ, Feedly, Feed Wrangler and Fever services, among others.

Other apps of note

The Boston Globe (pictured) has launched its own iPhone app … Dropbox has been updated to more easily share links and photos with family and friends … and Check-Bills & Money now lets users schedule bill payments directly from the app

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