The world is your Oyster
This week’s roundup includes updates to the app that bills itself as “the Netflix of books.” Plus new ways to track expenses, save screenshots, and stay organized.
The Elements Flashcards
We are suckers for science and for beautifully designed apps. The Elements Flashcards, a free app for iPhone and iPad, hits both our sweet spots. You can try to identify chemical elements by their symbol alone, test your knowledge of groups in the periodic table, or drag and drop elements into their correct position on the periodic table.
The latest trend in news apps is all about giving you bite-sized chunks. (Even the New York Times has the NYT Now app these days.) Fresco, a free iPhone offering, uses a photo-driven approach to offer a summary of the day’s top stories. This week’s update includes a new background refresh feature, as well as improved push notifications.
This trip-planning app has been revamped, starting with a new user interface, and expanding from there. Other new features include the ability to create and organize travel itineraries, as well as a weather-forecasting feature that helps you pick activities according to whether it might rain or not.
The “Netflix of books” keeps adding new features and expanding its library—there are now more than 500,000 digital volumes available to read in this app. The latest update marks books as read when you’ve finished them, and end-of-book messages prompt you to leave a review and share messages with your friends about whether you liked what you just read.
Looking for the perfect pet? PetMatch lets you upload a picture of your ideal dog or cat, then uses facial-recognition technology to match it with an adoptable pet in your area. Then once you’re matched, you can take a “pelfie” with your new friend to post to the app’s community. (“Pelfie?” Yes, that’s what the developers say.)
Version 5.0 of this expense tracker for iPhone costs $5, but it might be worth it. It lets you manage your accounts, compare budgets to actual expenses, and track your bills so you’re never late with a payment. And it’s password-protected, so your valuable financial information doesn’t end up being everybody else’s business.
Most of us use Dropbox or some similar app to save and share screenshots from our iPhones. Screenshotter, a free app, is specially designed for the task: Just open the app, give it access to your Camera Roll, and it automatically separates your screenshots from your regular photos. You do the rest.
Silent Text 2
The free Silent Text 2 app lets you send and receive encrypted messages with attachments up to 100MB to other members of the Silent Circle messaging service: It’s oriented towards businesses, government, and justifiably paranoid individuals. Membership in the service starts at $10 a month for individuals.