The Week in iOS Apps: May the force be with you

Angry Birds Star Wars II is out. Should we tell you about other apps, or do you already know how you're spending all your waking hours this week?

May the force be with you

Angry Birds Star Wars II is out. Should we tell you about other apps, or do you already know how you're spending all your waking hours this week?

Angry Birds Star Wars II

The original version of Angry Birds Star Wars had a profound effect on my then 4-year-old son. He started singing the Star Wars theme all the time. I’d wake up to hear him launching himself from his bed at an imaginary pile of space pigs. His birthday cake? An Angry Birds Death Star. Which is why I’m begging you: Let’s keep the arrival of Angry Birds Star Wars II, a $1 app for iPhone and iPad, to ourselves. OK?


As with EA Sports’s other games, FIFA 14, the latest version of the popular futbol game, arrives on iPad and iPhone in “freemium” format. You can play regular games without spending a cent, but to build and play with your own custom team, you’ll probably want to buy in-app “FIFA Points” that come in packages up to $100 apiece—you’ll also have to purchase the manager, tournament, and “kick off” game modes to use them. The game also feature new touch controls and multiplayer capabilities.

Life Noted

The Life Noted app for iPhone combines “calendaring, note taking, photography and video apps.” It’s a planner that’s got a little bit of Evernote’s DNA, and syncs with the phone’s native calendar. Users can create a PDF of their calendar to share. Life Noted is free, but an ad-free version costs $3.


Version 2.0 of Next, the iPhone expense tracker, makes it easier for users to add and edit expenses; it also features new animations and an iOS 7-influenced design, offering improved statistics to let you determine your financial standing at a glance.

Pocket Casts

The $4 Pocket Casts app for iOS continues its run as one of the best podcast apps out there. This week’s update sports a new design for iOS 7, offers automatic downloads and syncing with your other mobile devices, and is finally fully supported on the iPad. Developers say the app also includes “hundreds of other powerful new features” for users to discover on their own.

Strava Run

The Strava Run app uses the M7 coprocessor on the iPhone 5s to do a better job of tracking a runner’s pace and path, including a new “auto pause” feature that automatically stops when runners are paused at a street corner. The app also reportedly consumes less battery power, allowing users to go for longer runs without worry.


The update to the fun, free Tanktastic war game offers players a new game mode—“Capture the Flag”—nine new tanks, a new oilfield map, clans and clan chat, and premium accounts starting at $3 a month.


The $3 Velocity app for iPhone turns users into speed readers by taking them through a text, one word at a time. Want to read at 120 words per minute? That’s precisely how many words you’ll see, two per second, to help you blaze through your stack of reading. This week’s update tightens the integration with Instapaper, fixing occasional crashes that hindered the connection between the two apps.

Others of note

Chronicle Touch, Collaborate (pictured), and Write for iPhone all feature updates for iOS 7.

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Check out last week's roundup, iOS Heaven.

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