The Week in iOS Apps: The Force is with you

This week brings an iOS version of a Star Wars movie as a game-driven storybook. Plus: apps for foodies, game players, weather bugs, and more.

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The Force is with you

This week brings an iOS reboot of a Star Wars movie as a game-driven storybook. Plus: apps for foodies, game players, weather bugs, and more.

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Beats Music

Version 2.0 of Beats Music brings this melodic offering to the iPad. The interface has been redesigned to accommodate the tablet’s larger screen; the app offers support for both portrait and landscape modes, as well as account management using your iTunes account. As ever, subscriptions start at $10 a month for access to the service’s 20 million songs.

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Cook's Ilustrated All-Time Best recipes

This $10 app collects the 88 “best” recipes from 20 years of Cook’s Illustrated—each carefully illustrated, and 15 of which feature videos to give home chefs a helping hand. The app features how-to guides for everything from pot roast to banana bread to thin-crust pizza. It’s the yummiest app of the month, no doubt.

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Google Maps

It’s been a long while since we bothered opening iOS’s built-in Maps app on our iPhone. Google Maps aims to keep it that way with version 3.0 of its iOS offering: Turn-by-turn navigation now also offers lane guidance; you can view travel time, distance, and estimated arrival all at once in navigation mode; custom maps can be saved for offline viewing; and transit results now also display the total walking time expected for a trip.

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GoodReader 4

This venerable Swiss Army knife of an app has been revved to version 4.0, bringing the ability to add, rearrange, delete, and rotate PDF pages (and more), as well as create new PDFs for your own notes. There’s also now an icon view in its file browser, a collapsible tool area, and page previews in the PDF slider. The app is also finally universal, and is currently on sale for just $3.—Dan Moren

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Simple Weather

The last year has seen the rise of beautiful, minimalistic weather apps that offer the information you need with just a few sharp design choices. Simple Weather is one of them.

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If you need help with financial decisions—and who doesn’t?—SmartAsset is a free iPhone offering that can take your basic information and use it to answer questions that help you plan for the future: How much house can you afford? What mortgages do you qualify for? What’s your credit score? Just make sure you’re emotionally ready to see the answers.

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Stickman Basketball

The Stickman series of sports games have all been greatly entertaining, and now hoop-heads can get the $2 Stickman Basketball game for iPhone and iPad. You can pick from a variety of modes—single games, seasons, tournaments, training and more—with levels ranging from easy to hard, so you always have a challenge. You can play against friends, and share game highlights on social networks.

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Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace

This $7 app for iPhone and iPad shows off how Lucasfilm properties might fare under Disney’s stewardship. It’s reminiscent of Pixar’s interactive storybooks of recent years, and features a mix of storytelling, game play, and hidden content in each scene. You’ll even get to pilot Anakin’s entry in a big podrace. Followup editions are expected soon, but for now you’ll have to content yourself with the company of Darth Maul and Jar-Jar Binks. We’re so sorry.

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This free app offers a simple service: It grabs the best frames from your iPhone video to create great still photos. You can edit, apply filters, and share them on your social networks—or join your friends in sharing pics via Vhoto’s own Instagram-style network.

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Other apps of note

PayPal has been redesigned … 1Password can now sync Dropbox data in the background … and At Bat has expanded instant replay.

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