The Week in iOS Apps: Sci-fi and fantasy

This week's roundup of new and updated apps features new entries from the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings franchises. Need we say more?

Sci-fi and fantasy

This week's roundup of new and updated apps features new entries from the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings franchises. Need we say more?


The free Airbnb has revolutionized travel by making it easier for average folks to find non-hotel options for lodging on the road. This week’s update to the iPhone app offers new features for the hosts, letting them manage and reply to inquiries from a new Host Home page. It also offers tips about meeting “hospitality standards” and helping guests have memorable trips.


This free iOS App from Lady Gaga … well, let’s let the developers explain: “Altering the human experience, we bring ARTculture into POP in a reverse Warholian expedition. Exploring Gaga's existence as a cultural interface, the user will share in the ‘adrenaline of fame’ as they build and share their own projects, chat with one another, and watch in real-time on a virtual globe as ARTPOP explodes onto the physical and virtual universe at once.” Uh ... yeah. What they said.


The free Curator app might be thought of as a cross between Pinterest and Evernote—a place where iPad users can collect ideas and images from the Web and cloud sources like Dropbox, Instagram, and Flickr. Users can drag and drop content to organize and make presentations of their best “visual ideas.”

Lego: The Lord of the Rings

We’re pretty sure that there’s nothing we can say about Lego: The Lord of the Rings, a $5 game for iPhone and iPad, that will make you want it any more or any less than you already do, so just consider this a public service announcement: The game is now available to buy.

Modernist Cuisine at Home

This just may be the fanciest, most tricked-out cookbook in all of iOS-dom. The $80 Modernist Cuisine at Home app for iPhone and iPad is a multimedia updating of the classic cookbook, with hundreds of recipes, photographs, and videos, plus tools for scaling recipes and making shopping lists that can sync between your various devices. There are more than 400 recipes in the app, sporting more than 1600 photographs. It’s a visual feast, all by itself.

The app for iPhone and iPad was one of the first financial apps to make a mark, back in the early days of the App Store. It continues to find new ways to improve: This week’s update sports a striking new design for iOS 7, as well as new features for the iPhone version, including a “trends tracker” that allows users to track their spending by category over time and weigh it against their income.


This popular “read it later” app sports a really nifty new feature dubbed “Highlights,” which helps you decide what to read or watch from among your saved items. It includes four subcategories. “Best of,” the “most impactful” items in your to-read list; “Trending,” which includes the most popular items saved and shared throughout Pocket; “Long Reads”; and “Quick Reads.” Now users can easily pick the right content for the right moment.

Tiny Death Star

Remember when Star Wars videos and games were rare, their arrival accompanied by a wave of exceitement because you never know when you’d get the next one? Neither do we. Tiny Death Star continues the franchise’s recent habit of mashing up with other well-known games—this time, the 8-bit hit Tiny Towers. Users can build over 80 floors of Star Wars-themed residential and commercial floors, which hopefully won’t make you think the Death Star was full of innocent people, living and shopping and sleeping, when Luke Skywalker blew it up.

YouTube Capture

The updated YouTube Capture app now lets users pause mid-recording, stitch multiple clips into a single video, edit those clips, and add a soundtrack from your device’s library.

Other apps of note

Fetchnotes (pictured) has improved its notification and sharing features … Twitterrific has been upgraded with a new pull-to-refresh animation and other improved features … and Tweetbot has restored the ability to use a list as the user’s main timeline.

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