New Apps + Games
Microsoft Outlook (free) — Microsoft has been doing an impressive job of bringing its collection of productivity apps to the iOS platform, and we’ve been pretty impressed with what they’ve done with entries like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. With an official Microsoft Outlook client, the company pretty much rounds out its entire core office suite. The most interesting part, however, is that this app goes beyond simply being a client for Outlook.com e-mail addresses and Microsoft Exchange servers, and actually provides the ability to handle mail and calendaring for iCloud, Gmail, and Yahoo accounts as well. Sadly, there’s not yet support for any other providers, or even generic accounts. The app also integrates cloud-based file services, allowing you to easily attach files to an e-mail from your Dropbox, Box.net, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive account. The iOS app also breaks new ground for those familiar with Microsoft Outlook for Windows or Mac, with a defer-style “Scheduling” feature to make e-mails return to the inbox in the future and a “Focused Inbox” feature that attempts to automatically figure out what’s most relevant and present it to you in a filtered view.
Timeline — News in Context (free) — While there’s no shortage of news apps on the App Store, this latest entry into the arena takes a somewhat unique approach, promising to provide news within a historical context. Users who like to dig a bit deeper into the background of breaking news stories will likely appreciate the collection of curated articles that include media-rich content with associated historical articles and background. Stories are presented in an attractive, full-screen headline view, and users can then read through the background or even pull up a timeline view to select a specific related story from the past. Users can search and bookmark stories and timelines based on their own unique interests, and view their entire reading history from within the app. Sharing to Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and messages is also provided.
Mean Girls: The Game ($4) — In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the movie Mean Girls comes this ‘tiara’ defense game that puts you in the role of your favorite characters from the movie as you work to coordinate the various cliques at North Shore High to prevent the latest group of Plastics from getting their hands on the Spring Fling Tiara and taking over the school. The game play is standard tower defense style, with students in the various cliques representing types of defenders, and while it may seem a bit silly on the surface, it’s actually a pretty fun and cute premise, and definitely something that fans of the original movie will appreciate. The eight main characters are all here — Cady, Regina, Gretchen, Karen, Janis, Damian, Aaron, or Kevin G. — and you get a chance to play as each of them throughout the game’s twenty levels and four different zones within the school. Nineteen cliques give you a variety of tiara defense options — JV jocks throw balls, cheerleaders take out everybody nearby with their pompoms, and so forth. In-game quizzes throughout the action test your knowledge of Mean Girls movie trivia, offering power-ups and bonuses for answering right. Lastly, no Mean Girls spinoff would be complete without the Burn Book, where you can share your high scores and compete with your friends on Facebook.
Facebook Groups (free) — Version 6.0 of Facebook’s group-focused app adds the ability for users to see who has viewed their posts in a group, customize push notifications in greater detail, and suggest new admins for groups that don’t have one. The new version also makes it easier for group admins to delete posts and kick people out of their groups.
ProCam 2 (free) — Making headlines last fall for its addition of 4K video recording, ProCam 2 gets a big version 5.0 update, adding a full-featured, non-destructive video editor, the ability to extract still frames out of videos, an advanced 4K upscaling option, and more. The new video editor provides a frame-by-frame timeline view with trimming, cropping, mirroring, straightening and perspective correction, and includes fifty filters, fifteen lens effects, and eighteen adjustment tools. Users can add and mix in background music with full control over volume levels of both the music and original tracks. Additional enhancements include manual shutter speed control in all recording modes, various UI enhancements, and new perspective correction tools.
Transit (free) — Version 3.4 continues to expand this indispensable public transportation routing app with support for finding car2go car sharing locations on the map, and even allows you to book a ride nearby in just a few quick taps. It’s a nice way of helping you round out your transportation options. Calendar integration has also been added, allowing you to see your upcoming events and quickly get directions to them right from the search bar, saving you a trip back to the Calendar and Maps apps. The Today Widget has also been polished a bit and adds support for ordering a Uber right from the Today screen.