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Staff Picks: Our favorite iOS apps this month

Macworld Staff | March 10, 2014
Just as we did last month, Macworld staffers got together to chat about the best apps they've been using recently. Here are some that have recently captured our imaginations (and perhaps a spot on our homescreens), whether they're tiny apps from budding developers or the top-grossing apps that everyone is using. Our hope is that, while you might recognize some of these apps, others you might never have encountered. All of them, we think, are worth a look.

Just as we did last month, Macworld staffers got together to chat about the best apps they've been using recently. Here are some that have recently captured our imaginations (and perhaps a spot on our homescreens), whether they're tiny apps from budding developers or the top-grossing apps that everyone is using. Our hope is that, while you might recognize some of these apps, others you might never have encountered. All of them, we think, are worth a look.

Chris Breen: Waterlogue

I'm old enough to have used really bad cameras back in the day, and so the charm of purposefully applying a filter to a good image to make it look like a poor one is lost on me. But I haven't entirely given up on image-munging apps: I just prefer those that lend something truly beautiful to my images.

Such beauty can be found in Tinrocket's Waterlogue ($3). As its name implies, Waterlogue takes any image you feed to it (via your iOS device's camera or pulled from your photo library) and renders it as a watercolor painting. I know, I know, you've seen filters like this before in Photoshop and other image editing programs; the difference here is that Waterlogue's images actually look like watercolor paintings created by a human painter rather than an algorithm. Waterlogue offers 12 presets and lets you render images in a variety of sizes; it couldn't be simpler to operate. Now if I could find a way to print my images so that they looked like they were just as lovingly painted.

Serenity Caldwell: Hatch

Like its Tamagotchi predecessor, the Fugu in Hatch ($2) is neither fluffy nor cuddly — but it brings warmth to your heart just the same. Hatch's gameplay will be familiar to anyone well-versed in the digital pet genre, but the app has a delightful style, beautiful animation, and a few nifty tricks up its sleeve. I found myself making faces at my Fugu or making it run for treats long after the initial novelty had worn off, and I'm looking forward to the next update, which includes mini-games to play with your pet — beyond fetchn — and teaching tricks.

Bonus: If you often find yourself among little children, it's a great kid-pleaser.

Dan Frakes: Playing Time

If you've ever coached a youth-sports team, especially at young ages where equal time on the field or court is encouraged (or mandated), you'll know how important it is to keep track of playing time. Parents understandably want to be sure their child is playing an appropriate share of the minutes, and you, as the coach, want to be sure you're doling out those minutes fairly. As the coach of a second-grade basketball team, Playing Time ($2) has made my coaching life much easier.

 

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