Downwell, Paper, and other awesome apps of the week

Downwell, Paper and other awesome apps of the week


Yep, it's that time of the week again!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

How do weekends go by so quickly? It’s already halfway through the end-of-week break but — don’t worry — we’ve got the app hookup you need, whether you’re planning on a lazy game-playing Sunday, or a day of out-and-about photo-snapping action.

What have we picked as the best apps of the past seven days? Read on to find out.

Live GIF

Live GIF lets you share your Live Photos with people otherwise incapable of viewing them.
Photo: Priime, Inc.

Live Photos were one of the big features Apple was playing up for the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. It lets you capture a second-and-a-half on either side of the pictures you take, which allows your captured moment to truly come to life. It just has one problem — the fact that you can’t share your awesome and heartwarming Live Photos with anyone who doesn’t have the latest iPhone.

Live GIF is here to fix that. It’s a $1.99 app that will convert your Live Photos into sharable, animated images so that you can disperse them not only to your friends with older Apple handsets, but also to Android users and social media.

Now you don’t have to worry about who’s using which platform when you want to show everyone your cool mini-movie. You can just toss it into this app and share it with the world.

Available for: iPhone (6s and 6s Plus only)
Price: $1.99
Get it from: App Store


dropbox paper
Paper is Dropbox’s response to other collaboration tools like Google Docs.
Photo: Dropbox

Remote collaboration is nothing new; we here at Cult of Mac communicate using Slack and share files with Google Docs. But that wasn’t good enough for online-storage company Dropbox, apparently, because it’s getting into the game with Paper, a new, web tool that hopes to combine the strengths of both competitors with the ubiquity and giant user base of its existing platform. Paper is currently in beta, and you have to sign up for an invite on the website.

We reported earlier this week that the online app is currently pretty sparse, but that’s what betas are for. It looks like it’s already pretty good at letting you share a ton of different content, including YouTube videos and SoundCloud players with other Dropbox users. And the system sounds smart enough to handle anything you throw at it, even if it’s lines of code. Of course, it also provides a quick way to toss in files from your Dropbox account to save you the trouble of grabbing a link from your Public folder.

And that’s pretty good news because it would be super lame if Dropbox’s own app wasn’t compatible with Dropbox. We’re looking forward to seeing how Paper develops and whether it can stand up alongside the titans it’s challenging.

Available for: Web
Price: Free
Get it from: Dropbox


The photo app you need in your life.
The photo app you need in your life.
Photo: Cocologics

If you’re serious about iOS photography, then ProCamera is an absolute must-have — being a powerful photo editor which offers DSLR-level control of your photos, a night camera mode, broad range of filters, Apple Watch integration and, with its latest update, 3D Touch integration.

This means that iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users can now easily use 3D Touch’s quick shortcuts to open up ProCamera in a variety of different modes, including video, HDR, regular photo, or night mode. It’s a minor tweak in some ways but, as with so much about 3D Touch, once you get used to it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without.

It’s no secret that the iPhone 6s camera is the best that Apple has ever created. ProCamera is the photo app worthy of it.

Available for: iPhone, Apple Watch (3D Touch is only for 6s and 6s Plus users)
Price: $4.99
Get it from: App Store


The best way to describe Downwell is a retro-style downward endless runner. Created by 23-year-old Tokyo-based developer Ojiro Fumoto, it’s incredibly quick to pick up, but amazingly difficult to put down — with a debt of gratitude owed to previous games like Spelunky and the original Metroid.

At its most basic, the idea of the game is that your character leaps down an incredibly deep well and has to dodge enemies and assorted traps. You can move left and right, but also have the ability to jump — which has the effect of firing downwards from your, erm, gun-boots.

There’s the usual ability to upgrade weapons and a range of baddies to dispose of, but despite the familiarity of parts of it, Downwell is a title which harkens back to the glory days of 8-bit gaming — and is all the better for doing so. One of the best mobile games I’ve played this year.

Available for: iPhone/iPad
Price: $2.99
Get it from: App Store

Super Sharp

There are 120 puzzles in all.
There are 120 puzzles in all.
Photo: 1Button Sarl

I love a good iOS puzzle game, and Super Sharp more than qualifies. Every level features a puzzle comprising of a few geometric shapes and a square goal you have to hit. Your aim is to ensure part of the correct shape comes into contact with its corresponding goal by “slicing” it with a well-chosen swipe — then allowing the well-implemented gravity dynamics to kick in and help you.

Added complexity comes courtesy of anti-gravity shapes and an assortment of other mind-bending conundrums, which makes the game’s easy premise altogether less straightforward.

It’s tough to explain exactly why all of this is so satisfying, but take my word for it when I say that it is. Actually, don’t take my word for it. Go download it for yourself and find out!

Available for: iPhone/iPad
Price: $1.99
Get it from: App Store


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  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.