I was pretty pumped about UpWord Notes when it came out back in February, and it’s still the first place I go when I need to jot something down. Meanwhile, my iPhone’s onboard Notes app just languishes in a folder marked “Trash” because I can’t delete it.
Developer Lau Brothers is dropping Version 2.0 of UpWord Notes on us today, and it includes several new features that make the app even more fun and useful.
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Maybe you have a busy life, and you need some help making time for the things that matter. Like, a lot of help. I’m talking about zero willpower here.
PlayTimer is for you. It locks your phone down but good so that you can play with your kid or focus on other things for a while. You just set the interval, press the cute smiley face, and you’re off. If you touch your phone, an alarm sounds unless you show the app your unlock key.
The unlock key is your child’s face, and that’s kinda weird, but I do like the idea.
With Gesture Alarm Clock, you set wakeup alerts by drawing numbers on the screen. It has a sleep timer that plays a variety of soothing music and sounds to lull you off. Plus, it has three different vibration strengths, several gesture-based snoozes, and if you think you’d wake up easier if your iPhone’s flashlight turned on, it’ll do that for you, too.
It will also automatically wake you up earlier if it detects traffic delays, and it displays the current weather.
But it won’t cook my breakfast, so I can’t really recommend it.
I like looking at art, but I don’t always like going to galleries because my fellow patrons don’t usually appreciate my habit of giggling uncontrollably whenever I see pictures with naked butts in them.
And sometimes galleries are really far away, too. I probably should have just said that.
But Curiator puts a whole lot of art from all over right into your phone and lets you browse and giggle as much as you want without bothering anyone but your coworkers, roommates, or people on the bus. But you probably annoy them daily, anyway, so it probably doesn’t matter.
TextSync is kind of a confusing app, and it took me a while to figure out what the point was. It lets you link your computer and your iPhone or iPad over Wi-Fi so that whatever you type on the big screen appears on the smaller one. You can then copy that text to paste elsewhere or save it as a note.
But what’s the point? Well, it’s a good workaround if you don’t want to spring for a Bluetooth keyboard, and it’s handy for these really long and tedious iMessages that I send all the time.
They’re epic, people. Blue boxes for days.
Cigar is a new aggregation app that pulls in new content from crowd-funding site Kickstarter, Netflix, TED Talks, and the App Store and presents it to you in a giant pile for your consideration. You run through them one at a time, swiping up to dismiss ones you don’t like and double-tapping to save some for later.
It can be a little daunting when it throws like 300 things on your stack. But Cigar also e-mails you a digest of things you liked, so you don’t have to go back to the app and sort through your “Liked” list again.
Which is nice.
A lot of apps hope to inspire you to improve yourself and focus by offering you words of wisdom from people whose names you recognize. Like that rather stern one up there, which comes courtesy of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Maybe you’ll get something out of this app, which gives you a new quotation every day to make you work harder and feel better. But I’m going to use it to reply back to coworkers who have silly inspirational quotes in their e-mail signatures. It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive office way of saying, “Leave me alone, and get back to work.”
I’m sure my boss will love that.
Style My Floor is a decorating app that lets you sample an assortment of different hardwood materials and styles. And even cooler, you can request a “Quick Key” that’ll let you see how different floors will look in your house. You just print out a PDF, lay it in a corner, and then point your iPhone or iPad camera at it. Magic does the rest.
Or technology. Probably that.
Either way, it hits my “easily impressed” button.
You probably have a few improvements you’d like to make to your home, but it’s possible you have no idea how to do them yourself. Or maybe you do, but you’d like some handy tips on how to store and maintain your paintbrushes or something. This app has you covered either way; it comes from Skil Power Tools, and it contains a wealth of information including tips on removing broken spade handles, tips about proper tool usage, and step-by-step directions on a ridiculous number of projects.
So now I can finally build that deck for my apartment. The landlord will love that.
Color Suite is a ridiculously comprehensive color-identification app with an easy sampling tool and a wealth of information. Just point the little dot at the color you want to identify, and it’ll tell you pretty much everything about it, including its complementary color, how it appears to eight different kinds of color-blindness, and even which Crayola is most similar.
It actually has an insanely long list of products you can match, like several brands of house paints, colored pencils, and make-up.
So basically, if you see a color, you can use that color for everything. This app really, really wants you to do that.