Dear Developer, This Is Why I Won’t Buy Your App

In my line of work, I get to test a lot of apps. I hunt for them, I judge their usefulness, I try them out, and then when I find an app works well enough or addresses a real problem, I review it for our readers. It sounds like a fun job and as I've continued to test and review more and more apps, I've picked up on tell-tale signs of what makes a good app. But I'm not overly clever to pick up on these signs; it's a by-product of experience and where I can identify if an app is good or bad just by looking at the screenshots and reading a brief description, it isn't a foolproof check. Developers are just as clever (if not more) at the game  than I am and they give me the slip. It's times like this that the true test of a good app comes down to one thing, and one thing alone; features. Read More

Alter: Parse Email & Message Text Into A To-Do List On Your iOS Device [Paid]

Alter text
When you send or receive a text message or an iMessage that mentions a date or time, you can tap it and add it as a calendar event or even a reminder. It's little things like this that make the iOS platform wonderful to use. And apps like Alter that take it further and improve on it. Alter is an iOS app available in the App Store for $0.99 and it turns text from email and messages into lists. You copy and paste text from an email body or from a message, and the app parses it into to-do items that can be crossed off. There is one catch though; it doesn't just work for emails but for any and all kinds of text. That means you can copy the ingredients of a recipe you just read in your browser, paste it into Alter, and you have a shopping list. Read More

Kalky: Gesture Based Calculator App That Saves Results [Paid]

Kalky calculation
iOS developers develop apps for playing music, saving and syncing photos, editing photos, capturing photos, games, and more. Very few developers will create apps that are alternatives for stock apps like Notes, Calculator, or Reminders. It makes sense because the apps get the job done and really, what else is there left to add? Meet Kalky; it's an iOS app worth $0.99 and requires iOS 7.1.1 (or above) that tells you exactly how the calculator app can be much better. It is gesture based and saves multiple results. Gestures allow the user to clear all calculations, save a calculation, use the result from a calculation in the next one, and delete the previous number entered. Read More

AlbumSnapper: Create Albums From The Camera App & Save Photos To It [Jailbreak]

iOS 7 and the Photos app that comes with it does a fairly good job at organizing photos but it can't really organize the way a human mind can. It's smart organization based on location and time when a photo but it isn't going to create a photo album called 'Graduation Party' and know which photos to put in it. AlbumSnapper is a Cydia tweak available in the BigBoss repo for $0.99 that lets you create albums directly from the Camera app. Whenever you launch the app, you can create a new album and the tweak will save all photos you capture to that album. It can also remember the album you created and save photos to it the next time you take them. Read More

Volume Mixer: Separately Manage Volume For Any Media Channel [Jailbreak]

Your iDevice has several different sound output channels; one for notifications, one for media, one for the in-call sound, and more. To adjust the volume for any one of these channels, they must be active. If you want to change the volume of a call, you must be in a call to do so. Volume Mixer is a Cydia tweak available in the BigBoss repo for $0.99 that lets you change the volume of each channel without it being active. The tweak puts the volume controls in the Notification Centre (leaving Control Centre untouched). The tweak lets you customize which sound channels appear in the Notification Centre and also lets you change the theme of the controls with rich customization options available for the default iOS theme. Read More

Gridplay: Record Split Screen Videos In Custom Layout & Combine Them [Paid]

Gridplay cells
Gridplay is a new way to record videos; it divides the camera view into a grid and you can record a different video in each cell, or groups of cells. The app costs $1.99 in the App Store and is worth the price you pay. The app lets you record 15 second videos for each set of cells you select and an in-app purchase of $0.99 lets you increase recording time to 15 minutes. You can add a soundtrack to each video segment, control the volume separately for each one, and trim the final video which can be shared on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, or by email, and saved to your camera roll. Gridplay can connect with both the front and back facing camera and comes with different grid arrangements giving you many different split views to choose from. Read More

Easily Capture Selected Screen Area & Save It To Pictures Folder With EasyScreenCrop [Mac]

Mac OS X has possibly one of the best built-in screenshot tools you can find on a desktop OS. It trumps the simple Print Screen method for capturing the screen in Windows by allowing users to capture the entire screen, an active window or just a selected area of the screen. Despite the screen capturing tool being fairly sophisticated, there are plenty of alternatives available for the same purpose. Some apps allow users to capture and annotate screenshots as well as upload them to a cloud service for quick sharing, while others are fairly simple like EasyScreenCrop, which offers a single functionality; capturing a selected area of the screen. Worth $0.99 in the Mac App store, it might seem a tad pricey since it does only one trick. The application only supports PNG format, and saves images to your Pictures folder as soon as you capture them. Unlike the default screenshot tool, it doesn't require you to use the exhaustive hotkey combination for capturing the screen, instead you can capture the selected screen area using just the left click. Read More

Crop, Stretch & Set A Single Background Across Multiple Mac Displays With Multi Monitor Wallpaper

Working with multiple monitors on Mac OS X takes a little adjusting to; managing windows and having the taskbar and dock on only one display are just some things that need getting used to. While working with multiple displays involves window management tools and perhaps a more efficient app launcher and switcher, one aspect that is often ignored, is the wallpaper. OS X does not split or divide the wallpaper across the two (or more) screens you’re using; rather, it adds the wallpaper separately as a separate image to each one. Multi Monitor Wallpaper is a Mac App worth $1.99 in the Mac App store that lets you cut an image and set it as a wallpaper that spans over both screens. The app lets you use an image on your hard disk or search your Flickr stream for something widescreen and suitable. Read More

View Facebook Account Activity In Mac OS X Notification Center With Glow for FB

Fall isn’t too far away now, and that means Facebook integration will be arriving soon to OS X Mountain Lion. For those who can’t wait or haven’t upgraded to Mountain Lion because an older version of OS X seems better, you might still be interested in having easy access to your Facebook notifications. Facebook integration, like Twitter counterpart, is something that you aren’t likely to realize the utility of unless you experience it the way it is in Mountain Lion. However, if you'd take our word for it, it’s pretty amazing. Glow for FB is a Mac app worth $0.99 in the Mac App Store that emulates what it would be like to have Notification Center alerts for your Facebook activity. While it doesn't offer the system wide integration that will be offered in Mountain Lion, it still lets you stay up to date with your Facebook notifications without having to open them in your browser. The benefit here is two fold; on one hand, you get your notifications easily, and on the other, you won’t end up wasting more time than you meant to by getting caught up with your feed. Read More

Get RSS Feed Alerts In Mountain Lion Notification Center With News Notifications

News Notifications
OS X Mountain Lion's Notification Center is largely dependent on other apps supporting it, and since not many do, we’ve seen an influx of apps that redirect Growl notifications to Notification Center. The Notification Center presents a lot of opportunity for app development and for users it is an excellent feature that they would likely want to put more creative uses. Since there is nothing wrong with Growl and a new version of the app for Mountain Lion has recently been submitted to the Mac App Store, you can rest assured it isn’t going anywhere. That leaves you with Notification Center and a world of possibilities. Demonstrating just one of the many uses you can put Notification Center to is News Notifications, a Mac app worth $0.99 in the Mac App Store that lets you put RSS feeds in the Notification Center. Read More

Simple ShutDown Timer: Schedule Mac Shutdown, Restart & Sleep

Mountain Lion’s new features have earned a lot of attention and plenty of detailed coverage online. As far as new features go, Mountain Lion is one kitty that loves to nap, so much so that you need a Terminal command to stop Mountain Lion from going to sleep. If you aren’t that crazy about going to Terminal and then calculating the exact number of seconds needed to delay your system going to sleep, you will be glad to know there’s an app for that. Simple ShutDown Timer is a Mac app worth $0.99 that not only lets you schedule what time your system goes to sleep, but also allows you to schedule a system shutdown and restart. You have the option to choose both the date and time to set up a system sleep or shutdown schedule. Additionally, it requires your account password to create a schedule, preventing guest users from scheduling the system sleep and shutdown task. The app is available on a trial that allows you to run the app for only ten times before you have to buy a license. Read More

RocketShip: Create Shortcuts For Openning Apps, Files, Scripts & Folders

We’ve covered app launchers in abundance before, and most of them provide quick access to frequently used apps or apps that you’ve bookmarked. The purpose of these apps is to minimize the number of apps in your dock and to allow you to group apps, so that you can easily find and launch them. RocketShip is a Mac app worth $1.99 in the Mac App Store that can be broadly classified as an app launcher. However, it is best described as a utility for creating universal shortcuts to apps, URLs, files and folders etc. The app isn’t just restricted to creating keyboard shortcuts for apps; it can also open files, folders, Finder, a website, your browser or run a script. Shortcuts can be added in combination with either the Option or the Command key or both. Shift and Control keys are not supported. Read More

Sharetastic Makes The Share Feature In Mountain Lion Omnipresent

Mountain Lion’s new features were guaranteed to give developers lots of new ideas for apps, and they’ve definitely come through with apps like iTunification, Now Playing and Hiss, to name a few right off the bat. These three apps are similar in what they do, but perform an essential function for the new OS. Sharetastic is a Mac app worth $1.99 in the Mac App Store and is perhaps the first of its kind. The app imitates the new share feature that has been integrated across all stock apps in Mountain Lion; it runs in the Menu Bar and supports 11 services: Aperture, iPhoto, Reading List, Email, Message, Flickr, Sina Weibo, Twitter, Tudou, Vimeo, AirDrop - that you can copy and share items to. Items are automatically added whenever you copy something to your clipboard. The app supports shortcuts not just for toggling its panel in the Menu Bar but also for quickly sharing an item to one of the services it supports. Read More

Tomatoes: Pomodoro App That Lets You Add Tasks & Time Units To Measure Output

The Pomodoro technique is usually good for getting most people to be productive, but at the heart of it, a Pomodoro is really a timer that’s running out on you and while it’s boosting your productivity, it is still just a timer. If the Pomodoro technique is one that works exceptionally well for you, then you might want to stop using an ordinary Pomodoro app and try one that helps you work better. Tomatoes is a Mac app worth $4.99 in the Mac App Store that allows you to add tasks, associate ‘Pomodoro units’ with each task and quantify how long you need to get a task done. Tasks and time units are recorded and archived accordingly. Tomatoes lets you add tasks and focus the time you’re spending on a single task at a time. A timer in the Menu Bar shows time left till the current time unit expires. Read More

Desktop Tidy: Clean Files From Desktop & Sort According To Format

A clean desk is a sign of  a troubled mind, and that is possibly one of the best reasons to let your desktop get cluttered with files and folders. The only problem is that as your desktop continues to gather clutter, it gets difficult to locate a file and sometimes to work. Mac users might still be able to locate files with the help of Spotlight, but that doesn’t make the desktop any easier to work with. If lack of cleanup time is what keeps your desktop looking like a mess, Desktop Tidy is a good solution. It is a Mac app worth $4.99 in the Mac App Store and it periodically cleans your desktop. You can define the time period for cleaning up the desktop and the app will take care of the rest. Files and folders are categorized based on their type and moved to a different folder. You can select any location for this folder and add additional file formats to the ones that already exist. Since not all items on your desktop are trash, the app lets you select items that should be ignored during the periodic clean up. Read More

Fleksy: A Gesture-Based Predictive Keyboard For iPhone

Fleksy Keyboard iOS
Android has got a lot of useful options for quick and easy typing, like Swype, SwiftKey, A.I.type Keyboard etc, and even Windows Phone’s stock keyboard is pretty good. On the other hand, the autocorrect in iOS is notoriously troublesome. There is a rather complex way of unlocking the correction bar for iPhone keyboard, but not many people are likely to go through all that trouble to enhance their typing experience. So, if you are among those who have always found the absence of alternative typing options in iOS a little annoying, Fleksy is here for you. This app provides users with a keyboard that lets you type effortlessly and without having to think too much. With Fleksy, you just type anything that remotely resembles the word you intend to use, and then, with a single swipe, that gibberish will change into the correct word (most of the times, at least). Even if the app doesn’t get it right in the first attempt, you just have to swipe downwards and choose the correct word from the app’s suggestions list. Read More

PhotoMagic: Add Color And Lighting Effects & Frames To Images [Mac]

Adding effects to photos doesn’t sound like a complex idea but as Instagram can testify, it is actually a billion dollar idea. Regardless of what Instagram is worth to Facebook, its user base is proof that amateur photography is something we can’t get enough of and photo effects play a huge role in this. PhotoMagic is a Mac App worth $9.99 in the Mac App Store and it is a simple app that lets you add a large variety of color filters, frames, textures and light effects to an image. The output image is very similar to what you get from Instagram except you have more effects to choose from. Altogether, the app has 72 color effects, 17 lights effects and 90 frames to choose from. The output is saved in JPG format and images you create can be shared on Flickr and Facebook. The app also has a crop tool that allows you to crop an image on one of four preset sizes. Read More

Recood Pro: Capture Short Videos With Real-Time, Instagram-Like Effects

iOS apps that offer filters and effects for videos are quite rare, but if an app lets its users apply those filters in real-time, before they even begin shooting a video, then that really is something noteworthy. Recood Pro does exactly that, and much more. Thanks to the app, you can shoot short video clips with a bunch of really cool effects, and then share them over YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or the app’s own social network. Recood allows its users to comment on videos, follow other people and mention their friends during interactions. The maximum length of videos shot using Recood is one minute, and hence, it is not meant to be used as a complete replacement app for the stock video camera in your iPhone. Recood is just an app that will make sure that you get something that is more detailed than a photo, but is still short enough to keep users interested. Read More

MoreSpace: Compress Files & Folders Into HFS+ Format To Save Space

Space and file size matter more in cases where data has to be transferred online, because there is always a limit and because sending large files takes time and precious bandwidth that you may be short on. As far as your local hard disk is concerned, time isn’t a issue, but space still matters; however, files can’t be kept in an archive format all the time. They will have to be extracted each time you want to access them and will need to be recompressed once you’ve made changes. MoreSpace Folder Compression is a Mac app worth $0.99 in the Mac App Store that compresses files but does not add them to an archive. Files are kept in their original format and compression is on the HFS+ system. The app actively monitors any folder that you’ve added and compressed for changes, and when a change is detected, i.e., items are added to a folder, the app will compress the new items. In addition to compressing any folder you choose to add, it will also compress your email. Read More

Clips: Instantly Share Clipboard Items From iPhone To PC via Dropbox

One of the features that made Chrome a really popular browser on iOS, is its real-time tab syncing. People really find it useful that everything they do on their iPhone is reflected on their computer straight away. Clips is a Cydia tweak that is based on the same concept, except that it syncs your iDevice’s clipboard rather than browser data. Using this action menu-based tweak, you can share images and text from your iPhone to PC with a single tap. All you need is a Dropbox account and a Windows PC to enjoy some really efficient instant sharing. Although the text data from your clipboard will appear in your Dropbox account immediately after you give it the Clips treatment, you will need the service’s desktop client to read the shared files. While this might be a slight inconvenience, there are no such limitations for images and even for text you are sure to get used to the way things work in Clips. Read More