2014 was a prolific year for the App Store with over 500,000 new apps over the last calendar year. Now, it’s time to take a look back at all of the apps released in 2014, and pick the best ones. We have broken down the top apps into individual categories as we lead up to the top 10 apps of the year overall. Our rankings are based on a three person panel focusing on iOS uniqueness, overall enjoyment, and complete experience. Now, we present the five best productivity apps of 2014.
Timeful (Free, iPhone) [Review]: The app combines your calendars, and to-dos into one list to help you easily manage your time. Time is limited, and Timeful is designed to help you take full advantage of the time you have to spend it wisely based on any activities you have, whether it’s work, fun, or personal. The app connects with all of the calendars already on your device, to get you up and running in an instant. The biggest feature of Timeful is that it can provide recommendations for when to schedule certain events, based on algorithms that learn from your daily routine. The more you use the app, the more intelligent it becomes to slot different things in to your busy day.
Adobe Voice (Free, iPad) [Review]: Creating an animated video sounds like an arduous task that takes at least some level of expertise. Adobe Voice makes the process as accessible as possible, so that literally anyone can pick it up, and start using. Not only is the app accessible, but it also creates professional looking results to give deluxe creation power into the hands of many. The animated videos can cover telling a story, promoting an item, offering a tutorial, creating a presentation, teaching a lesson, and so many more scenarios. The creation process comes down to adding a page, inserting a photo, icon, or text, and then recording a voice over. The app positions everything, applies transitions, sets up timing, and adds effects to the objects to then give you a complete animation.
Microsoft Word (Free, Universal)/Excel (Free, Universal)/PowerPoint (Free, Universal): 2014 saw the official release of the Office suite for the iPad in March, with a universal update for iPhone in November. The main focus of Office for iOS is to bring the power of the well known productivity suite, but make everything revolve around touch. The familiar, and feature rich ribbon layout across all three apps is present, and made for both form factors of iPhone, and iPad. There are nice sized touch points to access the different features including working with images, tables, and footnotes in Word, formulas, charts, and filters in Excel, and transitions, animations, and notes in PowerPoint. In November, Microsoft also let all iOS Office apps offer free basic editing, and document creation.
Themeboard (Free, Universal) [Review]: Third party keyboards are a big part of iOS *, and Themeboard is keyboard app that focuses on customizing the look of your keyboard above all else. The app sources keyboards from multiple designers to essentially give you a marketplace of various keyboard designs. One of the best parts is that most of the keyboards are given away completely for free, and you can unlock many others by simply sharing them. The most important thing is that all of the new designs still maintain the functions of Apple’s stock keyboard including the QuickType bar. There are also subtle enhancements including a built-in emoji bar at the top, three speed delete, and keyboards being cognizant of numbers, emails, and urls.
INKredible (Free, iPad) [Review]: The entire app is designed around hand writing to make writing on your iPad as close to pen and paper as possible. The main interface is clutter free, so it’s almost like a single sheet of paper, just with a menu bar that you can slide in. There are two main modes in INKredible to write with either a finger, or a stylus. The highlight of the app is the ink engine with vector graphics, and a fine tuned Bezier curves engine to offer beautiful looking hand writing. INKredible is a smooth way to write on your iPad, which offers a specific hand writing focus, and does it very well.