The Week in iOS Apps: Beautiful words

We have two apps this week that take the words you write and make them more beautiful. Also, there's a vampire game, so there's that.

Beautiful words

We have two apps this week that take the words you write and make them more beautiful. Also, there's a vampire game, so there's that.


Enjoy a good story? Byliner, a subscription service that offers great fiction and nonfiction stories to users, is now available in an iPad app. The $10-a-month service features contributions by authors ranging from Margaret Atwood to George Saunders to Jonathan Krakauer to Adam Gopnik. If you’re a fan of any of those folks, this app might be for you.

Djay 2

The first edition of Djay was so good, how could it be improved? Algoriddim somehow found a way with the $5 Djay 2 for iPad. It has a new user interface, which lets you rotate your iPad so that you have a single sound deck with larger controls. There are also HD waveforms, a new sampler and drum pads, an improved view of your music library, and updated syncing and looping tools. You’ll be able to keep the party hoppin’ all night long.


Searching your mail on the iPhone can be a pain. The free FindIt app may be a better solution: It lets users find files from Gmail, Google Drive, and Dropbox in a single search; users can narrow their search parameters by person, year, or type of attachment. One possible downside is that you’ll have to become a salesperson to take full advantage of the app. You get up to 30 file previews a month in FindIt; if you want more, you’ll have to recommend the app to five acquaintances—as yet, there are no subscription fees to unlock this feature.


GoPro is the camera gear provider of the exxxxxxxtreme sports crowd, and the iOS app has handily let users remotely control their cameras while they ride bikes, surf waves, or jump out of planes. Version 2.0 of GoPro is a bit more well-rounded, feature-wise, letting gnarly dudes view their photos, play back videos, and add that media to their official GoPro album. They can also share their videos via social media, or remotely delete them from their camera’s memory card.


If this app and Shine (next) are any indication, we’re entering an era where iOS users will demand that word-processing be increasingly beautiful. The free Quip app allows Google Drive-style collaboration on documents (indeed, you’ll have to use a Google sign-in to use the app) but what sets it apart is the effort to create elegant, good-looking documents that are a pleasure to view.


It’s hard to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Shine, a free iPad app, offers graphic-rich templates to create eye-catching applications that might help you get that next job. The app comes with one free template; other designs cost $7 to purchase and use.

Smithsonian Channel on iPad

There’s a million video apps on our iPad, but we like the way version 2.0 of Smithsonian Channel for iPad encourages us to curate the channel and create a programming lineup to our liking, letting us pick from a range of shows about nature and culture and history. It’s a slightly different, more interactive way of doing video on demand.


Want local restaurant recommendations from experts instead of “crowdsourced” wisdom? The free Zagat iPhone app offers guides to the best eateries in Austin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., with more cities to come soon. You can make reservations through the app and spend your free time reading articles and watching videos of the best meals you haven’t yet been able to eat.

Other apps of note

TeeVee 2 has seen a number of bug fixes, making it easier to find your favorite shows and schedule reminders to watch them … Bloodmasque (pictured) lets you battle sexy vampires ... and Caveman Feast offers great recipes for the “paleo” crowd.

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