The Week in iOS Apps: The sound of music

This week's roundup features improvements to several apps that let you listen to music and podcasts when and where you want to.

weekiniosapps copy

The sound of music

This week’s roundup features improvements to several apps that let you listen to music and podcasts when and where you want to.

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ESPN FC Soccer and World Cup

It’s about a month before futbol’s World Cup opens in Brazil, but it’s never too early to download the ESPN FC Soccer and World Cup app. Since ESPN is the broadcaster for the games, you’ll be able to view video highlights once the matches take place. Until then, you can follow clubs and action from major soccer leagues all over the world.

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Facebook Messenger

The update to the free Facebook Messenger app for iPhone promises that everything about sending messages—in text and voice—will be easier than before. The update also adds video: You can send videos to friends directly from your camera roll, or receive videos from friends and play them right in the app. Also new: instant photo sharing, shortcuts to stickers, and improved search.

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The preeminent “read it later” app for iPhone and iPad gets a significant update this week: Users can now make highlights in stories, and those highlights are then accessible no matter which device you’re viewing Instapaper on. There’s also more improved social sharing, new navigational tricks—like swiping from the edge to navigate back from the article you’re viewing—and more.

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The free iParked app comes with one limitation—you can only use it on the iPhone 5s. But it’s a handy app to have, because it does all the work for you. Just open the app once after you’ve downloaded it—after that, iParked can sense when you’ve stopped driving and it marks that spot. When you start walking back to your car, open the app again and let it guide you back to your vehicle.

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The $1 PureContact app for iPhone is both gesture- and face-based: Instead of a list of names, the app can show you a grid of your contacts’ faces. You can choose what the gestures mean: a swipe or a double-tap can instruct your phone to text, email, or phone your friends.

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Sonos Controller

Version 5.0 of Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPad offers a number of new features to let you control music on your home stereo system. The app includes a new design, improved exploration of the various music services, a universal search function that lets you search all the services for the music you seek, and more.

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TuneIn Radio Pro

Two years ago, we said that TuneIn Radio Pro “offers users nearly unmatched power to create an individualized listening experience” and, well, it keeps getting better. The $4 app for iPhone and iPad lets users experience both live radio and recorded podcasts; this week’s update adds a Pandora effect by offering a personalized audio feed based on your interests; the new “TuneIn Echo” feature lets you share the stuff you’re listening to with friends and followers.

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The free Vimeo app has been updated with a new home page; you can now view and edit a video’s metadata simply by tapping and typing. Improved personalization lets you see what videos other users like, who they follow, and who is following them. It’s video and voyeurism wrapped up in one tidy package.

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Other apps of note

Fodor’s City Guides is now free, down from $5 … Tumblr has updated to give users total control of how their blog appears in the app … and the Castro podcasting app has been updated with a new design and other enhanced features.

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