Browsing the App Store can be a bit overwhelming. Which apps are new? Which ones are good? Are the paid ones worth paying for, or do they have a free, lite version that will work well enough?
Well, if you stop interrogating me for a second, hypothetical App Store shopper, I can tell you about this thing we do here.
Every week, we highlight some of the most interesting new apps and collect them here for your consideration. This time, our picks include another cool timer, a money-saving challenge, and a thing to help you unwind.
Here you go:
52 Weeks Money Challenge — Finance — Free
If you haven’t heard of the 52 Weeks Money Challenge, you probably don’t have a Facebook account. And I envy you for that.
Anyway, the challenge is a way to help you build up a nest egg through regimented saving. You put away one dollar the first week, two dollars the second, and so on. At the end of 52 weeks, you’ve set aside a total of $1,378. This app tracks your progress and grand total, and it will even send you weekly reminders in case you’re the forgetful type.
Relaxatron — Entertainment — Free
People keep telling me I’m too highly strung, which is probably why I keep finding relaxation apps to write up. It might also be why I just yelled at my TV for 15 minutes for refusing to contain any episodes of Quantum Leap.
Anyway, Relaxatron has two things going for it: a badass name and a little more interaction than some of those other calming apps. You create a “seed shape” by placing dots into a grid, and then you just tap the screen and watch calming patterns emerge, and …
That was two hours ago.
Night Sky Guide 3D+ — Reference — $1.99
Alright, this one’s really cool.
Sometimes, I’m outside at night (fewer bees then), and I’ll see something in the sky and think, “Is that a planet, or should I call NASA and tell them that we’re all probably about to die?”
Night Sky Guide 3D+ will save me a lot of embarrassing phone conversations with scientists. It uses your iOS device’s GPS and compass, so you can just hold it up and it’ll show you a notated view of the patch of sky you’re facing.
So it was just Jupiter. Sorry, NASA operator.
Tico Timer — Education — $0.99
Here’s another app from the maker of the very clever Humming Timing. Developer Ricardo Fonseca made Tico Timer for children, and it counts down using animated shapes instead of numbers. So the clock will expire when, for example, all the squares disappear from the screen. Or when the large circle shrinks down to a point and disappears. And all of this happens while some very relaxing music plays.
The goal of the app is to teach kids a sense of time, but I’ll probably use it myself because it’s the most relaxing timer I’ve ever seen.