Formerly known as Weather HD, a long-time favorite of iLounge’s editors, Vimov has re-released its weather app as Clear Day ($2). Clear Day is version 2.5 of the prior app, with a new layout that reduces obscuring elements to let you see more of the weather videos. A free version — Clear Day Free — is ad-supported and lacks push notifications for severe alerts. Users of the full version can add an unlimited number of cities, as well as advanced weather data using in-app purchases.
Photo editing app Halftone 2 (free) from Juicy Bits allows users to turn their photos into comic book pages. A sequel to the original Halftone app, Halftone 2 is freemium, offering many in-app purchases. Users can easily insert thought bubbles and words into their photos, as well as tweaking colors and comic book-style layouts. There are also plenty of sharing options, via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, and more.
Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar (free) by EA brings the venerable RPG series to iOS in the form of a freemium, multiplayer social game. This new installment retains the spirit and lore of the original Ultima series, taking the character on a series of quests to save Brittania from a plague called The Black Weep. Users can play in a “guest” mode or link up with Facebook for a more connected multiplayer experience with their friends, and form parties with up to three other heroes to face the dungeons together. Gameplay is presented in a top-down isometric view, with straightforward touch controls, and while player movement and attack gestures are very usable and intuitive across all iOS devices, players using the smaller iPhone and iPod touch may find some buttons difficult to tap precisely. The freemium model allows players to purchase packs of silver and gold keys to advance in the game more quickly, but unlike many other freemium games, this appears to be an option for easily gaining higher level gear, rather than a requirement to fully advance within the game. Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar is true to the Ultima series, with engaging gameplay apart from the control caveat. Available now in Canada, Ultima Forever should be making its way to the U.S. soon.
Units ($1) by Crossroad Solutions, which was first released a week after the App Store’s launch in 2008, has updated to version 2.0. The unit converter app has been completely rewritten, with a redesigned, simplified interface. Main functions of the settings screen have been integrated, and mode and shortcut buttons have been removed, replaced by customizable user shortcuts and a quicker pull down keyboard. An integrated calculator has been added so users don’t have to leave the app for quick and simple calculations.