Looking for the very best iPhone and iPad apps launched in the last 30 days? You've found 'em.
Following on our round-up of the best games from the last month, we've got our five favorite iOS app releases for March 2014. Obviously Microsoft is going to be featuring large this month, but all work and no play makes bloggers something something. We've also got a few intriguing social apps that push into some new territory.
Ready your downloadin' finger and take a look at the very best iPhone and iPad apps from March 2014.
Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Microsoft introduced some highly polished productivity tools at the later end of March, giving Apple- and Google-made alternatives some serious competition. Word offers outstanding word processing, layout editing, and imagery The one caveat is that in order for these apps to be useful for creating and editing and not just viewing, you’ve got to shell out $10/month for an Office365 subscription. If you live and die by Microsoft Office apps, and have a legitimate use case for cloud collaboration, it’s a no-brainer. Scope out our full review for a deep dive.
Canada’s National Film Board released a really slick stop motion animation app for iOS last month. You take individual pictures, stitch them together on a timeline, and export the final product as a video. Useful tools like an opacity slider lets you see your previous shot and see how your next one lines up. You can drop in existing photos, preset title screens, and adjust the replay speed. With a simple mount, one could make some very creative videos.
FireChat is an interesting new take on instant messaging. Instead of relying on any kind of cellular connectivity, FireChat communicates over a little-known iOS 7 feature called Multipeer Connectivity. Basically, this creates decentralized networks between devices using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct. This means fairly limited range, sure, but at least you can get in touch with friends at crowded, loud parties when reception is otherwise poor. Plus, the idea here is that you can meet other FireChat users that happen to be nearby. Now, the app is still early and shaky as far as stability goes, but the concept is altogether fascinating and worth a shot.
Checkmark 2 is a highly polished task management app. It extends the core location-based task management app built into iOS with group location task reminders. That means you’ll get a notification when you approach a number of different spots, such as any nearby grocery story rather than just one. Those location-based reminders can have delayed timers and due dates tacked on as well. The usual array of multi-task projects, recurrences, and priorities are included. It certainly helps that the happ is nice and flat, suiting the iOS 7 look. If you’ve yet to find the perfect task management app, give Checkmark 2 a shot.
Cloak is a self-proclaimed anti-social network that tracks your “friends” based on their Instagram posts and Foursquare check-ins so you can avoid them. You’ll get a notification when flagged contacts are detected to be within a certain radius of where you are, which may be necessary if there are exes or co-workers to avoid. It’s a neat idea, but Facebook integration isn’t there yet, which is very much needed. Plus, you’re betting on your contacts being active on those networks. It’s an original idea, in any case.
Your favorite iPad and iPhone apps for March 2014?
This is obviously just a sampling of the new stuff to hit the App Store in the last month. What have you downloaded lately that's been amazing? We're constantly on the lookout for great iOS apps, so feel free to drop me a line on Twitter with your latest picks