When Icelandic developer Thorsteinn Fridriksson unleashed QuizUp on the world in late 2013, the last thing he expected was that the trivia app’s questions would turn into the nerdy equivalent of Cupid’s arrows. However, a surprising number of people who fell in love with the app also fell in love with each other.
“Very soon after we launched, we started hearing about people connecting on the platform,” Fridriksson told Cult of Mac. “You’d be amazed at how many QuizUp couples there are — people who literally met each other because they shared interests in the game.”
Now QuizUp is poised to pivot, taking advantage of its innate ability to connect players — whether for love, friendship or just a killer trivia smackdown. Today’s update marks the biggest and riskiest change in QuizUp’s history, as the multiple-choice game relaunches with a new focus on social networking.
We've got lots of creative apps in the hopper this week, from the comic-book-artist-friendly Procreate 2.1 to the art-sharing app August. There's also stuff for metadata-hungry photographers, as well as a note-card app for screenwriters. Get to work.
Procreate, already my favorite painting app on the iPad, just got a huge update. A few highlights are the new color wheel for selecting shades, with pinch-to-zoom for even more accurate picking; ColorDrop, which auto-fills color areas for you; and a new Reference Layer, which lets you designate a layer as a kind of template for filling other layers. Thus, you can make a color-fill layer under your line art, still using that line art as the reference for the fills. I love Procreate, and it keeps on getting better. $6
Together for iOS syncs with the venerable OS X version, giving an Evernote-like everything-bucket that you can use and access anywhere. Create text files, add photos and import documents from other apps, then tag them and let them sync with the Mac version (and other iOS versions) over iCloud. iCloud sync means you’ll need the Mac App Store version of Together to make it work. It looks fantastic, and way easier to use than Evernote. The only problem is that it can’t search inside any of your documents. $10
Slick, secure and open messaging app Telegram has just been updated with a native iPad version. The already-impressive app now brings GIF support, broadcast lists and an iPad-friendly interface, along with the same great cross-platform access, letting you read your messages anywhere, even on the Web. Free
PhotoMeta shows you everything about your photos that the iOS photos app doesn’t. You can view all EXIF data, from shutter speed and aperture to the direction you were facing when you took the shot. You can even browse photos from your Dropbox, and this latest update to the app lets you view the focus points your camera used. $3
Summbot summarizes the news for quick reading. That is, it takes a link as input, parses the page and gives you a processed summary, a short version. I can think of a few sites I’d like to try this on. The problem is that you need to paste a link into the app for every page, easily wasting any time you might save from reading the condensed view. With any luck, this will be turned into a fuller-featured app in a later version. $1
Matter is a 3-D version of Pixite’s other amazing photo apps. Instead of adding stripes and patterns to your pictures like LoryStripes or Tangent, Matter adds 3-D objects to your 2–D photos. You can even animate them, and the objects reflect the lighting around them. I don’t often add strips and patterns to my photos, but when I want to, I reach for the Pixite folder on my iPad or iPhone. $2
If you’re already in the (minimum $10-per-month) world of Celtx screenwriting apps, you’ll want to take a look at the new Celtx Cards, an ultra-simple index card app for the iPhone and iPad. Each card gets a title, a big text field and tags. You can color code the cards, and drag to rearrange them. And – if you have a Celtx account – you can sync them with your other Celtx apps. Seeing as sync is the biggest hurdle for all other index card apps I’ve tried, the fact that this integrates closely with other apps is a huge selling point. Free
August is a new kind of social network, kind of a hyper-focused Tumblr or an Instagram without the cute cats. With added music and film. The idea is that artists posts their photos, music and videos to their August streams, and followers can either save that stuff to their own streams or share to other places (Twitter and Facebook etc.) Thus you might follow someone who has great taste, but produces nothing of their own. The service is currently accepting requests for invites.
Islander is Norwegian musician Jarle Bernhoft’s new take on the music album for 2014. The app contains 48K 24-bit versions of the tracks, but that’s not all. You can also interact with the music using a virtual mixing console, and even add your own percussion. This combines with liner notes and all the other ephemera a music nerd could want. Plus, if every musician goes in this direction, you will have the added problem of finding an album on your iPad – just like finding a vinyl record in a stack on the floor. It’s so damn authentic. $20
Calling itself a social networking app for just two people, Avocado has long been one of the favorite apps of me and my wife. For everything from sending little reminders of affection in the form of digital hugs, to letting you know when your partner’s phone is about to die, it’s a fantastic Swiss Army knife of tools for people in a relationship.
With Avocado’s 2.1 update, though, that Swiss Army knife has gained one more tool: Google Calendar sync. And it’s about time.
Nifty free voice call and instant messaging service Viber has upgraded to iOS 7.0 with its latest update — incorporating the flat design we’ve come to expect across all iOS apps.
With more than 100 million monthly active users, and having been recently acquired by e-commerce giant Rakuten for $900 million, the upgrade was definitely in order, and it looks great.
That’s not all the update brings, however. It also adds new features to the app — including the ability to send multiple photos at once, as well as the option to create a list of blocked numbers/contacts.
The new image-centric app is gaining a ton of traction with this highly-coveted target demographic, breaking the 25 million user mark and pulling in over a million new users monthly.
CEO Ranah Edelin spoke with Cult of Mac on the phone, and attributes this incredible growth to one thing: We Heart It is a safe space.
“Social networks mimic what happens in the real world,” he said. “There is a ton of bullying on them and they mimic popularity contests. Our users tell us they love We heart It because they can express themselves authentically without having to brag or worry about getting bullied.”
Bang With Friends has returned to the App Store after a three-month hiatus. The app has shifted its tone and is now called “Down,” a name which still needs little explanation.
BWF has had problems staying in the App Store since its initial release earlier this year. Apple banned the app shortly after it became available in May, forcing the its creators to rebrand it into something a tad tamer.
This post is brought to you by INTERDOM, creator of Mylifepaper.
We are constantly reading and watching news reports about other people in the newspapers and on TV. Well that may be interesting, but unless you happen to be a celebrity, politician, newscaster (or bankrobber), there is one person usually missing on the daily news: You. Mylifepaper is a new iPhone / iPad / iPod touch app devoted on every page to reporting news about you. Here is the news….
Path is a social network for our more private groups of friends and family, distinguishing itself from services like Facebook and Twitter in two ways. One, it’s not on any website, as it’s only accessible from your iPhone or iPad. Two, while it can be connected to those services, it does not have to, allowing you to keep things as private as you’d like, depending on the number of people you invite to the service as connections.
The new update, which went live just a few minutes ago, brings a new option to the app settings, allowing you to hide yourself in global search, which will keep even your friends from finding you or your activities if you don’t connect to them directly. This seems like a direct move to help Path feel more private, adding to a previous update, which brought private messaging (and stickers) to the app itself.
If you’ve been around on the internet for any length of time, you’ll have probably heard about a site called Xtranormal, which converts text you enter into a simple little video starring cute animal characters. (If you haven’t heard of it, go and have a play there now, it’s fun.)
Tellagami is a new free iOS app that does something similar. I say “similar”, but the two are not in the same league. Tellagami is very simple, and its features limited. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it, though.