Burbn’s Instagram (free) app is now at version 4.1. Two major features are included in this update: users can now import any videos from their camera roll, instead of having to use Instagram itself to record the video. Also, Instagram now automatically straightens photos when taken with the Instagram camera.
Pi’ikea Street’s Interactive Alphabet ABCs, ($3) a long-time iLounge editors’ favorite for kids, has just reached version 3.01—a milestone that adds letter tracing and an add-your-own-image mode. The letter trading feature is really well-conceived, using illuminating lights to track the path of a child’s finger, and providing both helpful clues and rewards to encourage progress. Separately, the photo feature lets parents add their own photos, words, and sounds to the app’s Explore mode, presenting each photo as an alternate page for a given alphabet letter — a cool way to add “D is for Daddy” or “M is for Mommy,” just to name a couple of examples. Pi’ikea Street has effectively added another app worth of content to the title, yet it has cut Interactive Alphabet’s footprint in half. It was already a must-download app for young kids; this update further cements its excellent reputation.
Mikey Hooks ($2) from BeaverTap Games is the followup to Mikey Shorts, last year’s acclaimed platformer. In the new game, Mikey is now able to swing on a hook to reach higher levels, à la Bionic Commando. The rest of the game is pure platforming, with gamers earning stars depending on how fast the levels are finished. There’s a story mode and a race mode, which lets Mikey race ghosts across special levels. Unlike many touchscreen platformers, the controls in Mikey Hooks are spot-on. Though the game isn’t very challenging, fans of side-scrolling games will enjoy it.
The Twitter (free) app is now more secure as version 5.9 adds two-factor login verification that can be managed directly from the app. A verification code can be sent to a user for sign-in, if the user registers a verified phone number and selects the feature. Additionally, Twitter now lets users view another user’s photos within a gallery — photo search results can also be viewed in a gallery. Lists have also been improved within the app, allowing for more functionality.