CareKit, Word Flow Keyboard, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome-Apps-of-the-Week2
What are this week's hottest apps?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Looking to get up to speed on the week’s hottest apps? We’ve got your back!

Since my colleague Evan Killham has already covered the latest hot iOS games, I’m focusing on non-gaming apps this week: whether that’s an all-new custom keyboard, relaunched Q&A platform, or an update to an existing live-streaming favorite. Check out our picks below.

CareKit

CareKit is designed to put health in the hands of patients.
CareKit is designed to put health in the hands of patients.
Photo: Apple

I’m breaking with the usual one-app-at-a-time coverage for this entry, since I wanted to highlight the four new medical-tracking apps currently using Apple’s newly-rolled-out CareKit integration.

CareKit, for those unfamiliar with it, is Apple’s latest mobile health initiative designed to help patients manage their own healthcare in collaboration with teams of doctors — from logging symptoms to track the success of medication to sending images to doctors for analysis.

Starting this week, CareKit was integrated within four iOS apps, including Glow NurtureGlow Baby, depression medication-monitoring app Start, and diabetes tracker One Drop. More will follow over time.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: Free
Get it from: App Store links above

Periscope

Periscope got a nifty update this week.
Periscope got a nifty update this week.
Photo: Twitter

Twitter’s live-streaming Periscope app got a significant update this week, bringing improved broadcast stats and a nifty new live sketch feature — allowing you to draw, Snapchat-style, onto the screen while broadcasting in a way that it is visible to all of your viewers.

The improved broadcast statistics, meanwhile, let you delve into the analytics of live-streaming, by viewing a graph of your viewers over time to find which moments and videos have the widest reach.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: Free
Get it from: App Store

Jelly

HEADING
A new type of search engine?
Photo: Jelly Industries

The work of Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Q&A service Jelly originally launched a few years ago, although it failed to gain much momentum. This week the app got a big 2.0 refresh — with a total ground-up rewrite that lets users ask questions anonymously, without requiring an account to do so.

The app relaunch also now incorporates aspects of AI in addition to human intelligence, as Stone described in a recent Medium post. In a lot of ways, Jelly is reminiscent of Quora, although hopefully the addition of artificial intelligence will help make it stand out on its own. Either way, if you’re looking for a new alternative to traditional search engines, it’s definitely worth a download.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: Free
Get it from: App Store

Word Flow Keyboard

A nifty new custom keyboard for you to explore.
A nifty new custom keyboard for you to explore.
Photo: Microsoft

If you’re a fan of custom keyboards, you might want to check out Microsoft’s new Word Flow Keyboard, which promises the usual next word predictions and faster typing capabilities, but with a novel on-handed typing system that looks very different to any keyboard I’ve used before.

It came out of Microsoft’s Garage research lab — which also created this year’s Hub Keyboard for iPhone — and is definitely worth investigating. One word of caution: it’s not available everywhere yet, so users outside of the U.S. may have to wait before they can get their hands on it.

Available for: iPhone
Cost: Free
Get it from: App Store