Once again we've gathered together the best iPhone apps and best iPad apps and games released this week! We'll regularly dig up the best, freshest social, music, photography and productivity apps for iOS, not to mention action games, shooter games, puzzle games, and anything in between. Come on and dig in to see our favorite releases over the last seven days!
Ingress is a location-based game made by Google's Niantic Labs. Players join one of two sides in an attempt to take command of real-world landmarks using the mobile game, and connect those points with other landmarks in order to claim large swathes of territory. Players gain resources over time, so long as they can hold onto these landmarks against the attacks of the other side by upgrading them and recharging their resonators. The premise is that there's a whole other world invisible to the human eye, full of an alien resource called XM. The Enlightened are trying to use the resource as a means of reaching the alien race responsible for it and entering a golden age of technology through them, while the Resistance is a little less optimistic about the situation, and is trying to defend the resource for themselves. We like to think of Ingress as competitive geocaching with a sci-fi twist.
If you're looking for an excuse to explore your town or somewhere you're visiting, Ingress is a great way to do it. Beyond that, Ingress is really setting the bar for location-based gaming in the future.
Blackwell is a series of classic point and click adventure games that have recently found their way to iOS. The old-timey pixel art will pluck on the heartstrings of nostalgic gamers, but the stories themselves are extremely well-polished and full of original voice acting. Players control Rosa, who has recently lost her mother and at the same time has apparently inherited a wise-cracking spirit guide in the process. This flings Rosa into a storyline full of tortured souls and a New York full of ghosts that nobody else can see. The other two episodes explore how other Blackwells in the family handled this predicament, and there are still another two on the way.
Blackwell addresses an itch for old school gaming that isn't often scratched.
Ninja Up! is a simple endless jumper from Gameloft where players have to create trampolines for their airborne companion before he drops off the edge of the screen. Shorter trampolines will provide extra speed, and angling to one side or the other will have you bounce off the edges of the screen. You'll encounter other furious ninjas and other obstacles in the sky which you must avoid in order to continue your ascent. There's no currency or unlockables, or in-app purchases, only optional social leaderboards. The simple, straightforward gameplay is highly addictive, and the ads in the game are easy enough to deal with.
Grab Ninja Up! for bite-sized, no-nonsense action and its cute, blocky graphics.
Bio Inc. is an insidious medical game where players are trying to infect a person's various bodily systems with a deadly disease. Players can target the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, nervous, muscular, renal, skeletal, and immune systems in different ways, all based on real medical conditions. There are 12 different types of people to infect, each with their own different physical characteristics that make ruining their immune system progressively more difficult. Three different difficulty levels are available for each one. New risk factors can be introduced as the player collects bio points, and recovery can be slowed by investing in other factors. Though Bio Inc. is decidedly inspired by the pandemic-scale Plague Inc., it does offer a new range and an interesting twist on the established formula.
Bio Inc. is a dark and detailed sim game that's a perfect follow-up for those that have had their fill of Plague Inc.
Zombie Commando is a cute retro-themed undead shoot-em-up. Players move a squad of hand-picked survivors to evade the shambling hordes, and once they're still, they'll automatically open fire or start swinging at the nearest walker. If you make it through enough stages with your motley crew, you'll be able to upgrade them to be hardened badasses of the post-apocalypse. New heroes are available at the tavern, provided you've scrounged up enough gold to buy them. Every stage has a main quest and a few side quests if you're feeling gutsy (or if you just need the extra rewards). There are five worlds with 10 stages each and three stars to earn depending on which objectives you complete. There are no in-app purchases to worry about, only zombies chewing on your frontal lobe.
Zombie Commando is a fun, cartoony, and imaginative take on shooters where you're constantly making the decision of fight or flight.
Kinomatic is a fresh take on shooting and editing video on iPhone. Monitor audio levels, adjust white balance, and add titles in an elegant UI. You can drop in outside audio clips, or trim and move anything you already have placed in your timeline. Kinomatic also includes a video shooting portion, which can lock focus, or set timed zooms as you like. Additional stabilization is provided while shooting. Final creations can be shared out to Vimeo, Facebook, or e-mail.
Kinomatic is perfect for new-age videographers looking for an alternative to iMovie on mobile.
Google Analytics is a must-have for anyone running a website. With it, you can monitor real-time statistics of traffic, where they're coming from (both geographically and from the web), as well as look back at historical data. Of course you can check to see what your bounce rate is like, check new vs. returning visitors, average time visiting pages, and flip through your already-saved views and reports. If you're busy enough to be monitoring multiple sites, you can register them for monitoring through the app too.
Anybody working seriously on the web will be really happy to have access to Google Analytics on iPhone. Here's hoping for an iPad version soon.
Hours is a highly polished timekeeping app for anybody doing freelance work. Easily track billable hours for multiple projects, clients, and tasks, and keep notes for each individual stretch of work. Reminders can be put in place to get you to start and stop timers throughout the day. Rounding rules ensure your hours are as rough or precise as you like. Full days can be exported as CSV or PDF reports for invoicing and other bookkeeping.
Overcast is a refreshing new take on listening to podcasts on your iPhone. It features a particularly neat Smart Speed feature that shorts silences in the conversation so you can get the absolute most out of the conversations you're enjoying. Playlists can be sorted and filtered based on priority, making sure you listen to your favorite shows first. Overcast also helps you find new shows, as well as share shows you're enjoying yourself on Twitter. Voice quality is boosted and volume adjusted so it suits your surroundings and stays consistent. Dig into our Overcast review for a closer look.
If you listen to a lot of podcasts, you'll want to give Overcast a try.
Fix that shakycam syndrome. Steady Camera stabilizes your videos to provide smooth pans and eliminate bounce from walking or other movement. It even supports slo-mo. Recorded videos can be saved in 1:1 or 16:9 as needed and put into the local camera roll, plus you'll get a live preview of the stabilization while shooting. If you hold two fingers on the screen, you can see a before and after stabilization of the shot.
Though Steady Camera is a fairly single-purpose video app, it's really good at what it does.
Your favorite iPhone and iPad apps from this week?
A lot happens in the iOS App Store in a week, so feel free to leave a comment with your favorite recent release on iPhone and iPad! We're always looking for more, so don't be shy to drop us a line when you find something exciting!