Apps of the Week: Star Walk 2, Swing Copters, Vine 2.5 + more
Lytro Mobile App (free) — Lytro has relaunched its Lytro Mobile App. The new app is universal, and allows users to interact with Lytro’s “living pictures” through various gestures. Both the old app and the new app are free, so if you’re a Lytro user, there’s no reason not to download this new edition. For the best viewing experience, iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina display are recommended.
Star Walk 2 ($3) — Vito Technology’s Star Walk 2 is the sequel to the popular Star Walk app, which allows users to point their iPhone or iPad to the sky for information on constellations and astronomical data in real time. The new app offers a new design with a cleaner interface, new visual and sound effects, and 3D models of celestial bodies which are available through in-app purchase. For those who enjoy the original app, Star Walk 2 is worth the upgrade — the interface is gorgeous. Anyone with even a passing interest in astronomy should grab Star Walk 2.
Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace ($4) — Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace from Bulkypix is being billed as a “colorful space opera set in an 80s cartoon universe.” Which, along with the title, certainly sounds intriguing. The gameplay is centered around dogfights in space, with a story pitting a ragtag group of pilots against extraterrestrial dinosaurs. Apparently, 1980s cartoon tropes abound, so a certain crowd prone to 80s nostalgia may find a fun title here. Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace has full MFi gamepad support, and it’s currently on sale for $2 until Saturday, August 23.
Star Wars: Commander (free) — LucasArts has released the freemium Star Wars: Commander, a combat strategy game in the mold of Clash of Clans. Players can join the Empire or the Rebellion, and are tasked with building and defending their bases. It doesn’t appear to be much different than other games of this type, but it’s got the Star Wars name on it. For many folks, that’ll be enough to give Commander a try.
Swing Copters (free) — Dong Nguyen is back — the creator of the once inexplicably popular Flappy Bird has returned with the equally basic and frustrating Swing Copters. It’s free to play, and a $1 in-app purchase removes banner ads. Those of you who liked Flappy Bird will probably enjoy this, as Swing Copters is very, very similar. The rest of us will find this just as terrible as the previous game, and we’ll continue to wonder where everyone else went wrong.
Google Play Music (free) — Google has updated its Google Play Music app to version 184.108.40.2069. The update lets users remove tracks from their libraries, and navigate music from the Manage Downloads space. Library management has been tweaked to show fewer duplicates, and playback has been improved to correct skipping issues. More accessibility features have also been added.
Vine (free) — All your iPhone videos can now become Vines thanks to version 2.5.0 of the Vine app. The app now lets users import existing videos from their phones and turn them into Vines. A single video can be used, or multiple videos can be mashed up into that six-second space. New capture tools have also been included in the update, as users can now undo their last recordings. The focus lock now works with your phone’s FaceTime camera, and a flashlight has been added for low-light recording.
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Nintendo’s next two smartphone games will be free-to-play
- Report: iOS 10 likely to include standalone HomeKit app
- 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
- Report: Apple’s Siri-based Amazon Echo competitor will be a new Apple TV
- Report: Apple SVP Eddy Cue proposed bid to buy Time Warner
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- Apple hires hint at improvements in encryption, health monitoring
- Hyundai adds CarPlay support to more vehicles
- Plaintiffs file new motion to keep ‘Error 53’ Touch ID lawsuit alive
- Report: Apple developing Siri home speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo; will release Siri SDK at WWDC
- iOS Spotlight search now offers relevant results for some emoji
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- 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
- 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)