This week’s roundup of new and updated apps features new ways to achieve a Zen-like state.
Cook’s Companion: The free Cook’s Companion app for iPhone and iPad is really handy in the kitchen: It includes a timer, measurement converter, equipment list, ingredients list, and a cooking glossary—everything you need to make sure that soufflé is a success.
Evernote Food: If, on the other hand, you already know your way around the kitchen, the revamped Evernote Food for iPhone and iPad has been utterly redesigned, letting users clip and save recipes, list restaurants you want to visit and have already enjoyed, and share your meals via Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook Poke: The Facebook “poke” feature has long been an object of sport among the site’s users, but now the social network has introduced the free Facebook Poke app for iPhone. Users can poke friends with messages, photos, or videos, and they can also choose how long those messages are available to be seen.
Karateka: The original version of this game was an 8-bit side-scrolling martial arts classic. Now, the $3 Karateka has been reborn for the 21st century, letting users play as one of three characters out to rescue Mariko and prove himself her true love.
Rhapsody for iPad: This music player has long had a presence on the iPhone; now Rhapsody for iPad has arrived on the tablet, bringing its ad-free music service with it. You have to be a subscriber to use the app—subscriptions start at $10 a month—but the app features AirPlay support for wireless streaming over your stereo.
Rise Alarm Clock: If you’re seeking a Zen-like start to the day, the $2 Rise Alarm Clock for iPhone and iPad will gently stir you with softly chiming bells and pastel screens that may make you want to burrow deeper into your pillow.
Shizen: Oceanscapes: Still need to chill out? The free Shizen: Oceanscapes app for iPhone and iPad features two high-def video scenes of nature being its typical trance-inducing self. (Drop $3, and you can get eight more scenes.) Relaxation has never been this zzzzzzzzzzz.
Tumblr: The updated Tumblr app features two nifty new features: First, it’s now optimized for the iPad; second, it now features Markdown support, letting savvy users more carefully craft their blog posts on iOS.
Where’s My Holiday? If you need to distract the kids with some easy fun while you finish the onerous task of gift-wrapping the next few days, Disney’s free Where’s My Holiday? game for iPhone and iPad provides great Yuletide fun featuring Swampy the alligator and Perry the bird.
Other apps of note:Flight Track has been updated with new features to make it easier for friends and family to track your flight …. Dropbox has been redesigned with a new photos tab … Scanner Mini launched as a new solution for scanning and saving documents to the cloud … the Wunderlist get-things-done app has been relaunched and revamped.
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Joel Mathis is a regular contributor to Macworld and TechHive. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and young son.