This week's roundup of new and updated iOS apps offers ways to keep your New Year's resolutions to get fit, eat better, and make good decisions. And if you just want to have a better music-listening experience, we've got help on that front, too.
This free personalized cookbook app for iPad has a ton of new features, including “world books” that let you peruse recipes by their native region, as well as collections of popular recipe categories such as desserts and backed goods. As always, you create your own cookbook, design it, and share the recipies as widely as you choose. Social networking has never been so tasty!
Remember that episode of Friends where Ross made a pro-con list about whether to date Rachel? Feels, an iPhone-based decision-making app, is like that. It lets you input information about decisions you’re making, the variables influencing the decisions, and how much weight to give each variable, in order to help produce a decision that’s roughly mathematically aligned with your actual desires. The latest update includes animations that help guide your choices, as well as a number of bug fixes.
Here’s a must-have app to help you keep your New Year’s resolution: Fitbit takes data from the (sold separately) Fitbit tracker you wear and converts it into information about how many steps you’ve taken and calories you’ve burned throughout the day; the latest update lets you skip the separate tracker altogether, instead measuring that basic information with a “Mobile Track” feature on your iPhone 5s using that phone’s M7 co-processor.
Google Play Music
While the mobile radio battle has focused on offerings from the likes of Pandora, Spotify, and Apple, Google Play Music is lurking at the edges as well. The update to this iPhone-based service refreshes the look of the (relatively new) app for iOS 7, while adding support for the new “I’m Feeling Lucky” radio, and adding genre radio stations for users of the service’s “All Access” feature. It’s another reminder, too: Even if you’re not an Android user, Google will take your business any way it can get it.
This app has undergone a significant overhaul, with a UI that’s been refreshed for iOS 7, an evolution into a “universal” app for both the iPhone and iPad, revamped looks for MyGroupon and MyProfile pages, and a number of other improvements. What a deal!
Listen: The Gesture Based Music App
The chief benefit of this music-playing app for iPhone is that you don’t even have to look at it to control your music. Just swipe left or right to change tracks, tap to pause, or swipe up to add a song to your “favorites” playlist. It integrates with your iTunes library, can share song information via Facebook and Twitter, and can stream music to other devices using AirPlay.
It’s been almost five years since we praised Notebooks’s “uniquely-crafted, fully usable interface,” and the app from Alfons Schmid has seen copious improvements in the intervening time. Version 7.0 launched just before the New Year with a $10 price tag and new iOS 7 interface, but with additional features that allow you to create e-books from a collection of documents in the app. Users can also compile multiple documents or books in the app into a single document. Oh, and it’s still a really great app for taking notes on the fly.
The $2 Sky Guide app has been relaunched with a host of nifty new features: a time-lapse offering that lets you watch satellites streak through the sky at 1000 times their real speed; 64-bit support to take advantage of the computing power of the latest iOS devices; a doubling of the number of articles and photos about galaxies and other items in the sky; and even an improved search function.