Dropbox (free) — Dropbox tightens up its iOS integration a notch with a new iOS 8 Action Extension that will allow you to save files to your Dropbox from pretty much any other app. While Dropbox has had “Open In” support for quite a while — and still does — the Action Extension allows content to be saved to Dropbox even from apps that don’t traditionally support “Open In” such as the iOS Photos app. Due to the way iOS 8 works, this is still a bit confusing, however — apps that support “Open In” will still have the color Dropbox icon in the top row of the Share Sheet, and will not include the new Action Extension, which otherwise appears as a grayscale icon in the lower row for apps where “Open In” isn’t available.
Google Play Music (free) — Google’s official iOS Music app finally gets a native iPad UI in this latest update, as well as the new “Material Design” UI polish throughout both versions. While Google Play Music was closer to Material Design in the first place, a number of subtle changes are still apparent here, particularly in the control buttons on the Now Playing screens. Artist and Album pages have also been redesigned and now include descriptions. As before, Google Play Music is free if you want to simply upload your own music — up to 20,000 tracks — but like other streaming services you’ll need a monthly subscription to take advantage of the much wider catalogue available within the app. The upside, however, is that unlike many competing services, Google Play Music lets you combine your own music with the streaming library — a great option for those who have a lot of older or more obscure tracks that aren’t typically available for streaming.
Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (free) — Microsoft’s trio of office productivity apps get a nice update adding support for iOS 8 storage extensions, including iCloud Drive. This means that in addition to Dropbox and OneDrive, users can now save and open files directly to and from their iCloud Drive storage, or take advantage of iOS 8’s storage hooks to work with files via other supported apps such as Transmit. Further, unlike traditional iCloud Document support, which partitions off data on a per-app basis, this full iCloud Drive integration lets you access any of the exposed folders in your iCloud Drive. So, for example, you could import documents from Apple’s Pages app into Microsoft Word simply by opening up the Pages folder.
Microsoft Outlook (free) — While Microsoft’s official e-mail client is barely a month old in its current form, many users were somewhat disappointed with being limited to only using it with specific e-mail services. This latest update adds support for configuring it with just about any IMAP account, which will be great for those users who work a bit off the beaten path of e-mail providers.
NBC (free) — The official NBC app gets a big update that adds the ability for cable subscribers “in select markets” to live stream NBC programming directly to their mobile devices. Even if you’re not covered by that, however, you may appreciate the expanded library of classic NBC shows that can now be watched on-demand through the app, including The A-Team, Miami Vice, Kojak, Battlestar Galactica, and more, which are available in full for free viewing by anybody in the U.S.
TED (free) — Browsing and watching TED’s catalog of fascinating talks on just about every topic is now even easier for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users, with the app getting an update for the larger screen. The app has also squashed a few bugs and fixed up its Chromecast support, which should make the process of watching on the big screen even easier for those folks.
Too Many Teddy Bears ($3) — Too Many Teddy Bears is a recent release from StoryToys. A collection of teddy bears offer different games, all teaching different skills. Memory games, puzzles, counting exercises and more are all featured. Some apps might feature one or two such games, but StoryToys has included six mini-games with a good learning curve that should keep youngsters from getting bored. Considering the variety of games, clever implementation, and polished presentation, Too Many Teddy Bears is one of the better preschool apps we’ve seen in a while.