The Week in iOS Apps: A Netflix for books?

Oyster's 'Netflix for books' is now available for iPad. Plus, we have new apps for people who love games, words, maps, and more.

A Netflix for books?

Oyster’s ‘Netflix for books’ is now available for iPad. Plus, we have new apps for people who love games, words, maps, and more.


The promise of the $2 Boxie app for iPhone is that it will “prettify” your Dropbox experience. In fact, the app makes doing lots of things in Dropbox simpler, thanks to easy navigation and features like bookmarking. Deleted files can be restored, and other files can be saved for offline use. There’s support to view animated GIF images, and a “beautifully crafted” media player that allows users access to music and videos. This week’s update fixed some bugs in the still-new app.

F1 Challenge

It’s hard for us to think about Formula One racing without recalling Sacha Baron Cohen’s effete European racecar driver in Talledega Nights. The $3 F1 Challenge game for iPhone and iPad, however, does not contain a jazz soundtrack—instead, you have access to every team and driver from the racing circuit’s 2012 season at your disposal for high-speed turbo-powered racing.

Machinarium Pocket Edition

We’re suckers for games featuring graphics that look almost hand-drawn, and the $2 Machinarium Pocket Edition fits the bill: Users play the role of a robot exiled to the scrap heap, one who must solve puzzles and collect items to fight his way out, save his robot girlfriend, and beat the the bad guys. It’s both beautiful and challenging.


At long last, the “Netflix for books” is here. The Oyster app is a $10-per-month book-reading service that offers users access to more than 100,000 titles. This week’s update brought the service to a broader audience—it’s no longer invite-only—and expanded the app from the iPhone to a full iOS offering that’s also native to the iPad. Before investing the dough, though, you might check out what kind of digital book selection your local library has.


The free Seene app for iPhone lets users create “3D” images that can be shared on Twitter and Facebook; just point a phone at an object and move around it—when viewers see the finished project, they’ll be able to view the the object from different angles in lifelike fashion. See the example at Seene’s website for a demonstration of the finished product.

Spark Camera

Want to create a beautiful montage of the best moments in life? The $2 Spark Camera app lets users take dozens of short video clips, splice them together, and overlay a song from their iTunes library to create meaning and inspiration from a bunch of isolated moments.

Square Cash

Transferring money just got a lot easier. The free Square Cash app for iPhone lets users connect to their debit card accounts, then send money to friends or family simply by emailing them. They’ll need Square Cash on their end, also connected to their bank account, to receive, but given that the process is so seamless—and that they’ll get money—it’s hard to imagine they’ll complain.

Terminology 3

The $3 Terminology 3 app bills itself as a “browser for the English language.” It’s more than just a dictionary, thanks to a thesaurus and a research tool that lets you explore synonyms, antonyms, and even the history of a word. It’s a perfect app for sesquipedalian iOS users.

Other apps of note

Google Maps has been updated with faster navigation and improved traffic overlays … PDFPen has added support for Google Drive and Adonit Touch Pens ... and YouTube now lets users set their video quality when watching via Wi-Fi.

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