2015 is in the books, and it’s time to look at all that was released over the past calendar year. We picked the best iOS games of 2015, and now it’s time for the top 10 apps of 2015 with our app of the year. A lot of apps build upon what’s already out there, but there are still stand outs, and that’s what we tried to focus on in our choices.
App Of The Year:
1.) Arcadia by Iain Pears (Free, Universal) [Review]: An app that delivers a brand new form to present a story, that in itself is a thoroughly engaging narrative that is even more compelling with the way you uncover all that’s included. The story presents ten different characters spread across three worlds, and the reader can choose which character’s story to follow. You can start down the path of one character, and it will soon meet another character before diverging again. The app lets you choose to continue with one path, or follow the diversion to a different character. The best part is that you get to choose how to move through the story, and it can be tough to decide to keep following one character further, or jump back to the beginning of another character. There are all new insights as you essentially read backstory of a character that you meet through the eyes of another.
2.) LiquidText (Free, iPad) [Review]: An app that lets you read and take notes simultaneously with the ability to import pdfs, documents, powerpoint slides, web pages, and more. Everything is designed for touch to let you easily annotate, take notes, extract key items, and do so all at once. The highlight of LiquidText, is the ability to select a section of text, and then simply drag it out of the document and on to the ever present sidebar. You can tap on any of the extracted pieces to jump directly to the page that text is from. It’s so much easier to go over documents with key items in one place, rather than looking through your highlights within the text. You also have the ability to pinch to shrink down a document in between your highlights. You can keep pinching to scrunch up the in between pages to just go from highlight to highlight, or even directly compare two items separated by multiple pages.
3.) Earth Primer ($9.99, iPad) [Review]: One of the most deluxe, and memorable educational apps available. The app combines scientific depth with a friendly approach to make it enjoyable to go through. The highlight of Earth Primer is that many sections in the app are accompanied by interactive models. Earth Primer adopts the philosophy that the best learning is through doing, and has crafted fined tuned touch centric models. It’s a whole new way to learn about the Earth as you get to form volcanoes, sculpt mountains, draw in rain, drag in the wind, and so much more. Each technique reinforces the words on a given page to bring life to the text like never before.
4.) Storm by Weather Underground (Free, Universal) [Review]:A deluxe weather app from Weather Underground that builds upon the company’s standard app to deliver a more in-depth look at storm tracking. The Storm app is jam packed with features to give you every bit of weather information you could think of to help you track an incoming storm. Most of the app revolves around the map view to give you a real world view of how any storm will impact you. Storm may be the most deluxe weather offering around to give you everything you could want in regards to the weather.
5.) Mapkin (Free, iPhone) [Review]: A navigation app that distinguishes itself with crowd sourced directions. Instead of the robotic jargon of taking specific streets, turns, and off ramps, Mapkin dictates the directions with a personal touch. The app is designed to give you directions as though you’re asking a local. For example, the app might say “take a right at the light, just past the supermarket”. Mapkin has a ton of potential ways to tell you which way to go, and it’s all based on tips from real people.
6.) Volotic (Free, iPad) [Review]: A music app that brings music content creation to anyone with a great balance of ease of use, and great sounding results. The app present a nonlinear sequence made for touch. Whether you know what nonlinear sequencer means, or not, you can jump right into Volotic, and start creating some tunes. Volotic gives you little dots in the sidebar that you can drag on to the grid with each dot corresponding to a different musical tool, or instrument. There are over 60 different items to add with drums and melodic instruments as well as scales and tones. It’s as effortless as can be to let you experiment at will to continue to refine your musical creation.
7.) The Everything Machine by Tinybop ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: A kid’s app designed to create contraptions that take advantage of various iOS utilities. The app makes it easy to use the device’s camera, microphones, speakers, accelerometer, and more. There are numerous built-in functions, and you just need to drag and drop them into place to create the different functions. The Everything Machine by Tinybop provides a visual programming language that is accessible for kids, and all ages. There are numerous possibilities as you piece the individual functions together to create complex machines.
8.) HBO NOW (Free, Universal) [Review]: HBO NOW has the obvious function of letting you watch any new HBO show as it airs whether it’s Game of Thrones, True Detective, Silicon Valley, Girls, and more. The highlight of the app though, is the ability to watch any past programming including all seasons of the shows listed above as well as past hits like The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and The Wire. The app also gives access to movies, including the latest hits, as well as news programs, documentaries, and boxing. Everything HBO offers both past and present is available to stream on all of your Apple devices for $14.99/month regardless if you have a cable or satellite subscription.
Showtime (Free, Universal) [Review]: Showtime is essentially the same thing, but for Showtime programming.
9.) Ditty by Zya (Free, Universal) [Review]: An app that turns your text into a song to bring life to your text messages like never before. The app gives you over 100 songs to choose from that range from current hit songs to classical music. You simply type in a string of text, and the app combines the words to the tune to sing what you typed within the flow of the song you choose. The results of Ditty are extraordinary with different voices included based on the original singer. Your words are pieced together in about five seconds, and it’s a treat to hear the results.
10.) Star Wars Card Trader (Free, Universal) [Review]: A digital card trading app that has featured dozens of new sets throughout the entirety of 2015. The app fully embraces Star Wars with inserts and base cards spanning the gamut from the original Star Wars film of 1977 to The Force Awakens. The app gives you daily incentive to check in, and there are multiple ways to collect. There’s also a great network to trade, and connect with people over Star Wars fandom. The cards are digital, and yet have real world value. It’s much easier to have your vast collection on your iPhone, rather than cardboard cards in plastic sleeves and shoeboxes.