The Week in iOS Apps: Pair your Mac and iPad with Astropad

This week's roundup of apps includes an offering to turn your iPad into a Mac-compatible "professional grade graphics tablet." Plus, games, video, and more.

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Pair your Mac and iPad with Astropad

This week’s roundup of apps includes an offering to turn your iPad into a Mac-compatible “professional grade graphics tablet.” Plus, games, video, and more.



The free Astropad app promises to turn your iPad into a “professional-grade graphics tablet”—similar, users say, to Wacom’s Cintiq hardware. Download the app (and a companion app to your Mac) and you can use graphics programs, like Photoshop, on your tablet while the results display on your desktop computer. (See Astropad’s video for a demonstration.) It works over wireless and USB, turning your Mac and iPad into “one connected workspace.”


Do Button, Do Camera, and Do Note

The makers of the popular IFTTT app have come up with a trio of new apps: Do Button lets you create “recipes” that let you control your Nest thermostat of Philips Hue lights from your iPhone; Do Camera lets you program rules that govern where and how your iPhone photos are uploaded to online cloud services; Do Note is a “personalized notepad” that connects to Evernote, Twitter, Google Calendar, and more. All are free and available for the iPhone.


Google Play Music

Google Play Music’s latest update includes an iPad version of the app. Other new features include new artist and album pages with descriptions; an “immersive” Now Playing experience, and small visual improvements throughout. And Google promises the update makes music playback faster and more reliable.


Frozen: Story Theater

Are your kids still singing “Let It Go?” They’ll probably enjoy the $6 Frozen: Story Theater for iOS. “Imagine your own Frozen story as you record your voice; add characters, props, and music; and share your movies with friends and family!” Your kids might never let it go.


Inbox by Gmail

Did you notice that the Sparrow email client had disappeared from the App Store? Never fear: Inbox by Gmail has arrived on iPad. (Google bought Sparrow and hopes users will turn to this offering instead.) The invite-only service is “designed to surface the most important messages and better organize the rest.” For once, though, Google appears a step behind Microsoft, whose still-new Outlook client for iOS is currently our favorite new way to prioritize and respond to the most important emails.


Jolly Jam

The free Jolly Jam game for iPhone is, uh, well... Let’s let the developers explain: “A fresh puzzle game that will surely make you jolly! Prince Jam needs YOU to help save Princess Honey and the Jelly Kingdom.” In-app purchases of $1 a pop let you buy extra lives. (And yes, this is a match-three puzzler.)



The free Pop app for iPhone lets you send short video messages to your friends. Just record and send; you can even create a favorites list of your “superfriends” to send your most-frequent messages to.



Short “imports reads from your favorite apps like Pocket, Instapaper, Readability, and ReadingPack and wants to help you to keep up with your reading list” by organizing and offering the shortest reads—five to 10 minues—first.


Others of note

OneNote for iPad has added handwriting capabilities … CalcBot has launched version 2.0 and is free in the app store … NBC has added live streaming in select markets.

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