Apps of the Week: NPR One, Crazy Taxi: City Rush, Interactive Alphabet 4.0 + more
Beehive (free) — Beehive - The Social Network Filter from Kendall Innovations is that rare thing: a new social networking app that should be useful to certain people. The app takes your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, and lets you narrow them down to the friends you care about most. All of those updates can then be viewed from the single Beehive app. Most appealing to those who would be interested in this sort of thing is the app’s anonymity. You never have to worry about deleting or unfollowing friends — just pick who you want to follow within Beehive, and they’ll be none the wiser. Additionally, Beehive doesn’t require an email address, or even the creation of an account. It’s also ad-free. Not all users will find such an app necessary, of course, but for those looking to cut down on their social networking time without missing anything important — or without offending people — Beehive might be the perfect answer. Right now the app is built for iPhone, but an iPad version will be coming soon.
NPR One (free) — NPR’s new NPR One app curates a stream of public radio news and stories for the listener. The app’s bizarre, meandering description describes NPR One as “a handcrafted experience” while noting the app also delivers the big stories of the day. Basically, it’s a different way of accessing public radio through a somewhat personalized set of recommended stories — users must sign in using their Facebook, Google, or NPR accounts.
80 Days ($5) — 80 Days by inkle is a new game based on a steampunk version of Jules Verne’s classic novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. It’s an expansive, text-heavy adventure with plenty of twists, turns, and choices. We’ll have a full review tomorrow.
Angels in the Sky ($9) — Angels in the Sky from AImToG is an impressive-looking air combat shooter. Powered by Unreal Engine 4, the fantastic graphics can currently only be seen on the iPhone 5s — iPad support for the game won’t come until a future update, and less powerful iPhones aren’t supported. iPhone 5s users in the market for a marquee game might jump at the chance to blast away in this world. But if you have an iPad, be sure to check back later, as a graphic heavy game like this would best be seen on a bigger screen.
Crazy Taxi: City Rush (free) — Crazy Taxi was always a favorite of some of our editors, with its fun and frantic pick-up-and-play style. You can still get an iOS port of the original game for $5, but the new City Rush version from Sega is designed for touchscreens, and it’s free with IAP. The game now offers one-touch controls, and the ability to customize your cab. It’s definitely not the same as the full game — you’re mostly driving on rails, with the ability to change lanes and make turns with a touch — but all in all, it’s a fun little diversion with decent controls. We do wish they’d tone down the in-your-face IAPs, however.
Beats Music (free) — The Beats Music app has been updated to version 2.2.0. The app now lets users change their favorite genres and artists with the Tune Your Taste feature. A history of The Sentence feature is now included, and new verified badges have been given to profiles which have been certified by Beats. Beats Music is a free download, but a subscription is needed after a 14-day free trial.
Interactive Alphabet ($3) — Piikea St. claims its Interactive Alphabet app is the “best alphabet experience from crib to kindergarten,” and while that’s a bold claim, the developer has been steadily adding new features to its app over time. The most recent update, version 4.0, adds sing mode, in which 26 dancing letter robots sing the alphabet song. That’s on top of the app’s baby, explore, type, trace modes, and the ability to add your own photos and words for learning letters. We loved this app when it was first released in 2010, and it’s still going strong four years later.
Kindle (free) — Amazon’s Kindle app has updated to version 4.4. The new update automatically syncs to the most recently read page now, whether you’re using the iOS app or another Kindle device. Readers can also make use of placeholders, which let you skip through the book without losing a particular page. Other new features include a way to export notes and highlights, and Wikipedia Smart Lookup, which offers a Wikipedia Info Card about a selected word.
- Nintendo bringing Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing to iOS
- Apple requiring all new Apple Watch apps to be native apps
- Web previews popping up for some Apple TV apps
- Embedded Apple Map on WWDC site leads to speculation about public MapKit web API
- Apple considering ‘paid search’ option for App Store developers
- Airmail comes to iPad with Split View and Slide Over support
- Families fight in court over missing teen’s iPhone data
- Court allows police to force woman to unlock iPhone with Touch ID fingerprint
- Coach reportedly releasing bands for Apple Watch
- Invoxia adds Amazon Alexa to Triby
- Apple provides more details on new Apple Music API
- Apple Music for Android adds music videos, Family Plan support
- Icahn pulls out of Apple over China concerns
- Apple launches CareKit, with four apps debuting today
- Alleged schematics for iPhone 7 ‘Pro’ show up in Japanese magazine
- Nintendo bringing Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing to iOS
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)