Written by Luke Buscombe

Great Apps for iOS7

This is a list of my favourite iPhone / iPad apps currently available for iOS7. While compiling the list I've attempted to keep a few main rules in place:

  • No Pay-to-Win games
  • Paying for the full app, or to remove ads is ok
  • No pop-up ads ever
  • No annoying notifications (eg. "You haven't played today!") 
  • High preference for games with beautiful design and intuitive controls

The apps have been split into categories for Games, Content, Travel, Newsstand and Podcasts. 

With that said, lets get into the apps.

Games

Letterpress

Created by Loren Brichter, formerly of Apple and Twitter (but now atebits), Letterpress is a fantastic turn-based word game that has been wildly popular since its release. A grid of letters is presented and all you need to do is make a word. The catch is, letters can be controlled by using the surrounding letters (above, below and to the sides) so that you can march your way across the board.

While the real objective of the game is to win a majority of the board, I also enjoy playing to get as many words as possible out of the board before the game is over.  (500 is the highest I've had so far)

While available for free, paying the In-App upgrade will remove ads, allow for more simultaneous games, and allow for different theme colours to be chosen. 

Impossible Road

From the mind of Kevin Ng of Pixels on Toast, Impossible Road is a twist on the 'endless running' genre. The game is focussed on just keeping a ball on a path that twists and turns down into nothingness. The real key to the game though is that jumping and falling off the track to skip difficult sections is the best way forward.

Not one for those that get easily frustrated, but a fantastic game for those looking to fill in a quick minute or two waiting in line. 

Ridiculous Fishing

Created by Vlambeer, Zach Gage and Greg Wohlwend , Ridiculous Fishing is an enjoyable fishing game. The music and graphical theme of the game is fantastic, and gives a great atmosphere for a game that is much deeper than it appears on the surface.

The main premise of the game is to drop your lure as deep as possible, by tilting the device to avoid fish on the way down. When reeling in the catch, you want to collect as many fish as possible, and then take them out when they get to the surface with your weapon of choice. 

Progression through the game comes from a series of weapon, lure, line, unlocks and upgrades, as well as various fishing locations with different species available.  The time and passion put into this game show themselves from a game that is truly a complete package.

Badland

A creation of independent game makers Frogmind, Badland is an interesting side-scroller that uses physics and an almost Abes Odyssey style atmosphere to make the game feel special.

Although side-scrollers often suffer from control problems on touch devices, Badland uses a one-touch control technique that fits the game well and doesn't feel artificially restrictive like most platformers on touch screens. 

QWOP

For anyone that hasn't played QWOP, go and play the flash version here right now: 

http://www.foddy.net/Athletics.html

There's not much to say about the game that isn't in the flash version, other than QWOP for iOS keeps all the fun of the original, while adding in some fantastic game modes for you to fail at. (50 kilometer walk anyone?) 

Content

Alien Blue

Created by Jason Morrissey, Alien Blue is in my opinion the best reddit client available anywhere. (Even better than the web version). With different approaches to UI for iPhone and iPad, it makes browsing reddit the best it can be.

Plex

For anyone that hasn't used Plex (or similar products like Air Video), it allows you to take media such as tv shows and movies stored on a computer and serve it up over the network to any clients. The server software is free to install and setup, but for access on devices like iPhones you'll need to purchase the app.

For those of you with certain Samsung Smart TVs and other media devices, apps are also available. Paying for extras services called Plex Pass will also let you sync media to your devices, so that rather than just streaming, you can download and sync to your device. 

Plex is one of those applications that once it has been set up, you wonder what you ever did without it. 

Imgur

The Imgur app gives a quick and easy to way to upload images to the site, as well as browse and see new content. There isn't much to the app, but it does exactly what you'd expect, and does it well.

Dropbox

For anyone that has wished a file system was available for iOS, the Dropbox app is really the best option available right now. It allows you to add documents on your computer or mobile device and have access to them anywhere.

For anyone used to the awful process of emailing attachments to yourself to access them across different devices or locations, Dropbox completely solves the problem. 

You also get 2GB of free storage when you sign up, which is more than likely enough for most people using the service. 

Vesper

Vesper is a note taking app. The things that stand out for me with Vesper are: 

  • Drag and drop to rearrange notes
  • One swipe to archive old notes
  • The first line of a note automatically becomes the heading, additional notes are added underneath

Vesper is a fantastic app that I use every day for jotting down quick notes like article ideas for this site. I can then easily go back and add in extra detail that I think of during the day. 

There are many todo or note-taking apps available for iOS, but Vesper just happens to be the one that works for me. 

Travel

Go Catch

Go Catch completely changes the dynamic of catching a cab or taxi. With the app as a passenger, you can enter your pickup location and destination and see nearby taxis. When the job has been accepted by a driver, you can track their location on the map and even enter CC details to make payment easy as well. 

In cities like Sydney, where I live, this app has become a life saver as often waiting times for normal taxi services can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. 

It's also great for drivers as they can select passenger routes near their current location and have hassle free payments. Ratings can be given by passengers which encourages the drivers to take the correct routes and provide a great service to have more passengers in the future. 

 

 

 

Fog of World

Fog of World is a quirky travel app created by Ollix . The premise of the app is that it will actively track your location, with anywhere you visit revealing the 'fog' that has been overlaid the entire world map. You can get achievements for travelling to new or interesting locations.

As someone that travels quite a lot in and out of work, I love this app purely for tracking where I've been. It's also great for those that like walking or hiking as you can easily see which places or directions you've already been. 

It also allows for sync and backup through Dropbox if you have an account. 

A feature that is available that I haven't use is the abilitiy to use a separate GPS tracking device, and then import the data into the app.

This may be a good option for those that do not want to use up the battery life of their phone by running the app.

 

 

TripView

Created by Grofsoft , TripView is hands-down the best public transport app for Sydney. You can add bus, train or ferry routes, and then select a trip based on stations or lines for trains and stops or routes for busses. 

Real time updates are also provided whenever they are available, which is necessary when taking public transport in Sydney when relying on the time you need to arrive. 

 

 

 

 

 

Newsstand

Newsstand has always been a tad of a pain point for iOS fans. The fact that 'free' magazines essentially always require an ongoing subscription payment make finding quality Newsstand apps very difficult. Most magazines available offer almost nothing over their print alternatives, with difficult to navigate interfaces which essentially serve up images instead of actual text. 

The following magazines I believe live up to the actual vision of what Newsstand should offer on iOS. 

The Magazine

Originally created by Marco Arment (of Instapaper fame) , and then purchased by 

Aperiodical LLC, The Magazine takes a unique approach among Newsstand apps. A focus on beautiful text articles, written for a majority tech audience, but not necessarily written about computing itself.

For anyone that has been repeatedly disappointed in the Newsstand offerings available, I can't recommend The Magazine enough. It really is a breath of fresh air in the market. 

The Photo Journal

Similar in approach to The Magazine, The Photo Journal provides various stories of people travelling around the world and showing what they saw through great photography. Simple single-page scrolling provides a fantastic relaxed view of the content, worlds above the page-by-page mess of most magazines in Newsstand.

Recent additions to the app such as landscape viewing of full size images really show off what enjoying media on the iPad is all about. 

Podcasts

While not really a list of apps, I also enjoy the following podcasts and wanted them included in this list. 

Accidental Tech Podcast

Featuring Marco Arment, Casey Liss and John Siracusa, ATP has a loose focus on tech and Apple news of the week, while occasionally drifting into rants and other topics. 

The Talk Show

Hosted by John Gruber, The Talk Show is essentially a running commentary for content posted at daringfireball.net

Debug

A fantastic insight into various popular app development processes, Debug is a podcast hosted by Guy English and Rene Ritchie. Episode 1 is a great interview with Loren Brichter (of atebits). 

The Anandtech Podcast

Anandtech has always been the go-to location for great in-depth reviews and articles. Listening to Anand Shimpi and various guests discuss the week in tech is always enjoyable. 

The Mac Gist Podcast

TMG follows a group of Apple fans discussing the relevant news of the week. The website also covers recent Apple and Mac related news and events.

Extras

If you think there are great apps that should be added to the list here, feel free to contact me on twitter @LukeBuscombe