Old games, new life
This week’s roundup includes new and updated apps from three much-loved franchises: BioShock, Pac-Man, and Star Wars. We've also got finance and video apps, if you have any time left over after gaming.
It’s billed as “one of the greatest first-person shooters of all time” and who wants to argue? BioShock is now available on the iPhone and iPad for $15—and it’s so advanced it’ll run only on the most recent iOS devices: the iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, fourth-generation iPad, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5. If you’re an iOS gamer, you’ve officially run out of reasons not to upgrade your equipment.
Some folks like to keep it all in the family. Cabin, a free iPhone app, lets you do just that by creating a “private mobile network” that lets you assign reminders, geotrack your loved ones, and even chat with them. You can even share photos and audio through the app—it’s like Facebook, if everybody on Facebook was your mother. The latest version includes improved notifications and better location-based reminders.
There are plenty of scanner apps on the market, and Easy Scan’s $7 price tag might scare you into checking out the others first. But developers claim the price is worth it: The app uses your phone’s camera to take a picture of a document, and it even detects the page frame, crops it, and corrects the perspective. The document can be saved as a JPG or PDF, and saved to a variety of services, including Evernote, Dropbox, and more.
There are also plenty of time-lapse video apps on the market, but this one is from Instagram. It lets you shoot videos that speed up time up to a factor of 12—but perhaps more impressively it contains auto-stabilization to smooth out the bumps in your camerawork. Share the videos directly to Instagram or Facebook, or save to your camera roll for sharing even more broadly.
Some of us are old enough to remember when “Pac-Man Fever” wasn’t just a great song, but also an accurate description of a way of life. These days, though, you don’t need a pocketful of quarters to play, nor do you need to head to the arcade. Pac-Man Friends, a $5 universal app, brings you the same characters you’ve known for 30 years, but varies up the playing field a little—instead of mazes, you can compete on islands, miniature golf courses, and more.
Long billed as a “better banking app,” Simple—a free iPhone offering—has been updated to version 2.0. There’s a new interface and other updated features, including the ability to send money to friends, a new “Goals” section to help you achieve your financial aims, and the ability to upload an avatar.
Star Walk 2
Star Walk was already one of the most beloved iOS apps around. Star Walk 2, a $3 universal app, might even be better. It’s been redesigned for Apple’s Retina displays, and features new artwork to guide you through the constellations, as well as new 3D models of planetary nebulae, comets, and man-made satellites. Some content is available through in-app purchase.
Star Wars Commander
Version 2.0 of this combat strategy game for iPhone and iPad has launched with a ton of new features: additional missions to be played, new characters to play with on both the Rebel and Empire sides, and lots and lots of battles. You can play for free, but in-app purchases will help you progress through the game a lot faster. Just think of “money” as “midichlorians” and everything will be fine.