The Week in iOS Apps: Government made easy

A new app promises to help you make up your mind about big issues--and to let Congress know about it. Plus, we have new apps for gaming, making movies, hearing music, and more.

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Government made easy

A new app promises to help you make up your mind about big issues—and to let Congress know about it. Plus, we have new apps for gaming, making movies, hearing music, and more.



Nate Silver got famous predicting elections by computing the average results of all the polls about those campaigns at his Five Thirty Eight website. Climendo, a $1 iPhone app, does pretty much the exact same thing for the weather, offering you a forecast that averages out five different weather forecasts for your area. Version 2.0 launched this month with new features, including one that shows you which forecaster in your area is the most accurate.


Countable - Government Made Easy

You know how tech visionaries are always promising that the next big development will transform government and make it more accountable to the masses? You know how that never happens? Well, the free Countable iPhone app at least makes the attempt, offering summaries of bills before Congress, along with pro-and-con arguments, then lets you vote how you think the issue should go—it also lets you instantly email your Congressional representative and your friends to let them know how you feel about an issue. Democracy is just a thumb swipe away.


Hours Time Tracking

Here’s an app for lawyers and others who bill by the hour: Hours Time Tracking is a $5 iPhone offering that makes the time-tracking process more intuitive. “Smart reminders” let you know when to start and stop your timers, but a visual timeline makes it easy to identify if you’ve made a mistake—and to correct it quickly. And when you’re done? Reports can be emailed in CSV or PDF formats.



This free taxi-hailing app is available only in a few California cities and, um, Oklahoma City. The latest update lets you schedule airport rides hours in advance, allowing you to “enjoy the peace of mind knowing your taxi will be waiting outside when you need it.“


Modern Combat 5: Blackout

Violence! Death! ‘Splosions! All just for $9 on your iPhone or iPad—but be warned: This game requires an iPad 2 (or newer), iPhone 4s (or newer), or fifth-generation iPod touch. BOOM!



This nifty $2 iPhone app lets you shoot and edit video quickly and easily—watch this video demonstration for a sense of how well it works. You can shoot a series of clips that will be automatically edited into a short film. You can also reorder the clips and take advantage of a ton of other options, including control over focus, exposure, white balance, and far more, all of which will help your short film look professionally made.



Setstream is a free iPad app that lets you watch live performances of hot bands, piped in from clubs around the world. Best of all? You can stream the video from your tablet straight to your big screen via your Apple TV, so sit back and enjoy the concert.



You probably can’t be too paranoid about your communications secrecy. Wiper is a free iPhone app for the Edward Snowden age, letting you encrypt and protect your texts and phone calls, detect when somebody has taken a screenshot of your messages, and (possibly this is kind of creepy) letting you erase your messages from the phones of your friends.

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Others of note

Evernote (pictured) now lets users automatically set an alarm when adding a reminder … GoodReader has added some new Auto Sync features … and UpTo Calendar has added TV schedules, letting you plan your day around that Oprah re-run.

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