The Week in iOS Apps: Opera Mini update, Runtastic's sleep app, and a war game

This week's roundup of apps includes a World War II-themed game almost as expensive as the war itself. Plus, apps for music, news, and more.

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Back to war

This week's roundup of apps includes a World War II-themed game almost as expensive as the war itself. Plus, apps for music, news, and more.

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Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front

This iPad game costs $20. Twenty dollars! It’s a World War II-themed strategy game set on the Russian front. You can control Axis and Soviet forces in more than 30 missions across four single-player campaigns. There’s enough depth and variety of experience here that playing the whole game could take as long as World War II itself.

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Code School

Ready to learn? Code School’s app for iOS lets users watch hundreds of videos for more than 40 courses, teaching topics such as JavaScript, HTML/CSS, Ruby and Rails, Git, and iOS. You can stream or downloaded videos for offline use; many courses offer free first levels so users can preview content. You’ll need to be a $29-a-month enrollee to take advantage of all this education, however.

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Keezy Drummer

Keezy Drummer bills itself as “the easiest programmable drum machine ever made.” The free iPhone app features 12 percussion sounds; up to nine can be layered into one track to make a complex beat. Set the tempo between 0 and 300 beats-per-minute, then let it go.

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Google Maps

How could the best map app—sorry, Apple—get better? Well, now you can make a dinner reservation at a nearby restaurant from right within the app. Also, you can see the estimated wait time and cost of taking an Uber car, if you also have the Uber app installed. Pretty cool.

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Molecules by Theodore Gray

We’ll let this $14 iOS offering introduce itself: “Molecules by Theodore Gray is the extraordinary sequel to The Elements, the bestselling book and app. It continues the story of the elements to show how they are assembled into the rich diversity of compounds, chemicals, molecules, rocks, and stuff that make up our world.” Oh, and it’s pretty neat, with features that let you poke different compounds to see how they react.

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Note Wars

This $2 game for iOS is devoted to the idea that gameplay is more important than graphics: It’s a tower defense game that appears to be composed entirely of graph paper and pencil. There are more than 30 levels of gameplay available—if you’re not dazzled by the view, let’s hope you’re at least challenged by the game itself.

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Opera Mini

Version 9.0 of this iOS browser offers a new “video boost” feature that “crunches down” the size of videos before playing them. “Combined with up to 90-percent data savings on ordinary web pages, this means time saved waiting on cool stuff, and money saved on your data bill,” developers boast.

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Sleep Better

This is a free iPhone app from the makers of the Runtastic fitness app: It helps users track their sleep, monitor moon phases, and keep a dream diary all in the service of helping you understand your sleep habits. Just place your iPhone on the bed, fire up the app, and sleep like the wind.

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Others of note

Microsoft’s Office apps have added editing functions … Flipboard has added topic tags and a personalized “daily edition” …. Google Drive has added touch support.

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