New Apps + Games
Atari Fit (free) — The video game pioneer takes a sharp turn with this latest App Store entry that brings gaming to fitness. Designed to motivate “players” to work out either by themselves or as a team with friends, Atari Fit includes a collection of more than 100 different exercises and workouts including full-body circuits and running programs certified by a professional trainer and performance enhancement specialist. As you progress through your workout program, you earn points that you can then use to play classic Atari games such as Centipede, Pong, and Super Breakout. While the games themselves likely won’t inspire anybody to go out and get fit, we’ve got to admit it’s an interesting approach. The app itself includes all of the usual fitness app features as well, including GPS and accelerometer integration for tracking distance, speed, pace, and calories burned. The app also connects through HealthKit to track data from devices such as your Fitbit or Jawbone, so you can garner gaming credit for those workouts as well, and integration with Runkeeper and Facebook lets you tie into logging and sharing through those apps as well. Individual in-app purchases or subscriptions are required to get more than a basic set of workouts, with a full subscription running $3.50/month or $10/year.
Launcher (free) — While not entirely a new app, Launcher has been away from the App Store for a while after a minor ongoing tiff with Apple over exactly how much Today Widgets should be allowed to do. In the end, common sense seems to have won out, and Launcher 1.1 is back with the ability to put shortcuts right on your pull-down Notification Center screen, giving you quick access to your favorite apps and shortcuts from just about anywhere on your device. Depending on the app involved, these shortcuts can get pretty sophisticated, ranging from simply launching an app to getting directions home, quickly accessing favorite websites, firing off canned e-mails, searching for nearby coffee shops, and a lot more. The app is free, while a $5 in-app purchase unlocks additional icons and customization features.
Stormblades (free) — Fans of the popular Infinity Blade series will likely appreciate this new entry, which basically brings the same hack-and-slash swordplay into a whole new realm. While the graphics here don’t hold a candle to the Infinity Blade trilogy, the gameplay is definitely engaging enough for fans of this genre, and the game features some new and different attacks to master, along with having to dodge not only conventional weapons, but spells. Players battle through a series of enemies to upgrade their weapon and release its arcane powers and claim relics from fallen enemies to gain points and skill, and multiplayer support allows players to match swords with other warriors from around the world.
Camera+ ($4) — The popular third-party camera app for iOS devices gets a nice iPhone 6 and 6 Plus update, while also adding a Today Widget for more quickly launching the app from anywhere — including your lock screen — with some handy photo tips and inspirational quotes thrown in for good measure. The update also includes a new advanced white balance control, which offers the ability to adjust white balance to any specific kelvin temperature for a greater degree of control, and integrated support for sharing directly to Instagram.
GoodReader ($5) — As mobile devices become more ubiquitous, being able to work entirely sans paper is now becoming more realistic, although one oft-missing component is how to actually sign documents while on the go. GoodReader’s latest update addresses just this issue, allowing for users to sign PDF documents with precomposed signatures, all securely locked down with Touch ID. You can essentially now add a signature to just about any PDF file with little more than a touch of your fingerprint. Multiple signatures can be saved and used for different occasions, and in keeping with GoodReader’s outstanding attention to security and privacy, signatures are stored solely on the device in an encrypted form using iOS Data Protection APIs, and specifically excluded even from your iOS device backups.
IMDb (free) — Version 5.0 gets a new dark theme on the iPhone, inspired by the iPad version, which has also been tweaked to ensure that the dark theme stays dark everywhere. The video player has also gotten a really nice redesign in this update, featuring the ability to play videos in both portrait and landscape modes, with on-screen overlaid controls that allow you to skip through to the next video in a series without having to leave the player. Additional enhancements include more information on TV series pages, and higher-quality photo gallery images for “devices with bigger screens” — something iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users should enjoy.