The Week in iOS Apps: Big updates to old favorites

This week's roundup of apps includes significant updates to some of your favorite iPhone and iPad applications.

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New apps of the week

This week’s roundup of apps includes significant updates to some of your favorite iPhone and iPad applications. Read on!


One of our favorite taskmaster apps has long been (freemium, iPhone and iPad). Version 4.0 launched this week with two nifty features: First, it integrates a calendar so you can see your events and your tasks in one app. Second, it adds the “ Assistant,” a Siri-like feature that tries to accomplish some of your tasks—like shopping for your spouse’s birthday gift—for you. Will it work? This feature is still in beta, but you can sign up for access right now over on’s site.


Artie's Magic Pencil

New content has been added to Artie’s Magic Pencil ($3, iPhone, iPad, and iMessage), “an interactive learning adventure that teaches children the fundamentals of drawing” by helping the game’s central character, Artie, rebuild his world after a monster has destroyed everything. Kids can follow Artie’s storyline—or, they can choose their own adventure and pick the objects they want to draw.


Attenborough Story of Life

Who is the coolest nature documentary narrator in all the cosmos? That’s easy: David Attenborough. Now there’s a new app, Attenborough Story of Life (free, iPhone and iPad), which explores six decades of his work for the BBC, including highlights from the documentaries Planet Earth, Blue Planet, The Life of Mammals, and more.



eBay (free, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch) has updated its app to make for a more “personalized” shopping experience. The app now helps users open the home screen and pick up where they left when last they went shopping on the app, and it helps them browse deals and best-selling products based on their recent activity. Short story: The app is smarter about knowing what you’re looking for, and helping you find it.


Google Play Newsstand

Before Apple News, Google Play Newsstand (free, iPhone and iPad) was the app that some of us used to track the news on our iOS devices. Now, it’s Google that’s playing catch-up for a change—the app’s homescreen now features a “personalized news briefing,” as well as a news stream tailored to your interests and powered by Google’s recommendation engine.  



Also from Google, PhotoScan (free, iPhone) is a new app designed to help you scan and save printed photos using the iPhone’s camera. The scans are glare free, can be cropped, and can be saved to Google Photos for archiving and safe-keeping.



Pinterest (free, iPhone and iPad) has added “Pinterest Explore,” a sort of “trending topics” list for the social media service. The company says: “You can also explore ideas by topic—just swipe right for Food, Home, Style, or anything else you’re into to see what’s trending. To see full selection of Pins for each topic, just scroll down past the collections and tap ‘See all Pins.’”


Roadmap Planner

Version 2.0 of Roadmap Planner has launched, and it’s worth taking another look at this team project manager: It helps users plan their process; sync documents on all their macOS and iOS devices; see whether documents have synced or been shared; set permissions so the right people can see and edit a document; and share their “roadmap” with the right stakeholders.


Others of note

WhatsApp has finally added video calling … Google Allo messaging app now features smart recommendations for the sticker and emojis you want to use … Reddit (pictured) is now available on the iPad.

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