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
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.