This week’s roundup of apps includes ways to buy coffee, plant your garden, plan your tasks, and call a cab. Oh, and everybody’s favorite web-slinger makes an appearance, too.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
This is one of those apps that kind of sells itself: The $5 Amazing Spider-Man 2 for iPhone and iPad features the latest adventures of everybody’s favorite web-slinger. The game, though, goes beyond the story of the new film and includes new characters like Black Cat and Screwball. (You’ll also take on six “legendary villains” from the Marvel universe.) Best of all? You can pretend to be Spider-Man without risking an actual broken limb.
This free iPhone app only works in New York City, but we’re praying to the Sweet Caffeine Gods that the service comes to our city: Pay a $45-a-month subscription fee, and you’ll get unlimited coffee at dozens of the city’s independent coffee shops. ($85 a month gets you unlimited specialty drinks.) There’s no reason you couldn’t do this with just a plastic rewards card, we suppose, but that’s not how it works. Use your iPhone, get unlimited coffee. Heaven.
The granddaddy of online photo sharing services is working hard to stay relevant in the Instagram era, and version 3.0 of its free iOS app brings some cool new features. In addition to a UI redesign—influenced by iOS 7—the app now features 14 filters for your photos, all of which can be applied live, before the photo is shot. You can also shoot up to 30 seconds of video for saving and sharing; since you have 1TB of free storage, filling your account will be difficult.
FTL: Faster Than Light
This $10 iPad game has been a hit, letting players command a Star Trek-style starship while on the run from dangerous enemies—but beware: Lose a battle, lose your life, and the game sends you all the way back to the beginning to start over. The latest update fixes some iPad-related sound problems, and even lets users now play music and podcasts in the background while playing.
Garden Plan Pro
Just to prove there’s no activity in life that goes untouched by iOS: Garden Plan Pro, an $8 offering, is now available for both iPad and iPhone. Version 2.0 of the app features a redesigned user interface and now allows plants to be “searched, filtered and favorited” while also including a “grow guide” for novice users.
Need more than a set of instructions to learn that new task? Helpouts, the free new iPhone app from Google, connects you to an expert in whichever field you’re trying to master—arts, electronics, cooking, music, and more—so you can get face-to-face video instruction. The experts aren’t all free, though: Some charge for their time, with fees varying from instructor to instructor.
The original version of Mailbox was immediately one of our favorite mail apps for iOS; erstwhile Macworld staffer Lex Friedman called it “a joy to use” in his initial review. This version of the app is smarter—learning from your swipes to help create “auto swipe” actions like muting certain threads and snoozing messages from friends until after work. The updated app also uses Dropbox to sync your preferences across multiple accounts and devices.
This $3 app for iPhone tries to distill your busy life down to one simple task: the next one. You can create multiple task lists and enter repeating tasks, but when you finish an item on your list, the app will show you just the next item instead of drowning you in an endless list of to-dos. It integrates with the phone’s Reminders and Calendar app. And if travel is required, the app can provide driving instructions, with estimated travel time, to help you stay on task.