The Week in iOS Apps: Google wants to know: Who's Down?

This week's roundup includes a new invite-only app from Google that lets you and your friends know "Who's Down" for some fun. Read on!

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Who's Down?

This week’s roundup includes a new invite-only app from Google that lets you and your friends know “Who’s Down” for some fun. Read on!



Chatbaka is pitched as a safe way to send SMS messages while you’re driving: Just open the app, hit the “record” button, dictate your text, and send it. The message is sent as both text and voice recording. Question: Do you need this app when you’ve already got Siri? Chatbaka’s developers hope so: The latest release includes new features to more easily shift the app into “drive mode” and to choose chat recipients.



everyStory lets you “record the voices and stories behind your photos and watch them come alive”—basically creating a commentary track for your photo album. The latest update lets you sign in using Facebook, and to share your audio-enhanced photos more easily on that social network.



What’s left that can make Evernote better? How about a new feature to let users sketch and save their notes directly in the app? Done and done.


Fourth Estate

Fourth Estate is a news aggregator that focuses almost exclusively on political news, for you elections-and-governance junkies. (I am one. Sorry not sorry.) Version 2.0 has launched with bigger photos, a “Top Stories” section that features only stories from the last 24 hours, and a new culture section. Because life isn’t all politics, baby.


Google Maps

Here’s a big, important update to Google Maps: The app now offers spoken traffic alerts, warning you about accidents and congestion on your route—along with more general traffic information—to help guide your drive.



The $9 Protosketch is a “vector design tool” built for the iPad. It’s “supercharged with icons, fonts, UI elements, basic and complex drag and drop shapes” to be used in everything from illustrations to technical drawing.


One of my favorite web services is Unroll.Me, which lets me keep the flood of unwanted mail down to a dull roar by unsubscribing to some emails and consolidating the rest into once-a-day roundup that can be easily scanned. Now it’s available as an iPhone app.


Who's Down

Who’s Down is a new app from Google and, for now, invite-only. It’s function? To let you know which of your friends are available, when, and where, to get together. That simple. It’s aimed at students—you’ll need a college-affiliated email address to use it.


Others of note

OmniFocus 2 updated with support for external keyboards … Guitar Hero is on iOS, in freemium form … Episode 2 of Minecraft: Story Mode (pictured) is now available … Tweetbot 4 now has Apple Watch support

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