You can make like an intergalactic outlaw or keep in touch like a pro with two of the new apps and updates featured in the week’s roundup. And the other two featured apps show off the growing versatility of macOS Big Sur and CarPlay, two Apple platforms that deserve a little extra love.
Get the scoop in this week’s edition of Awesome Apps of the Week.
With The Mandalorian burning up Disney+, the official Star Wars app got an update this week that ties it to the hit show. A new background in the free app’s selfie feature lets you look like you’re the unlucky quarry in a bounty hunter’s holopuck.
“Inspired by the tech seen in The Mandalorian, this new Selfie backdrop will make you look like the galaxy’s most wanted,” according to the Star Wars blog. “Just be careful — hunters can bring you in warm, or they can bring you in cold.”
The update also adds new stickers based on the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special that you can use to adorn your photos.
“Choose from Rey, ugly-holiday-sweater Poe Dameron, a joyful Lando Calrissian, and many more to decorate your photos for the most festive time of year,” says the press release. “But act fast, as these Stickers will be available only until January 1. Not even a mystical Jedi portal will bring them back!”
Download from: App Store (iOS)
Sponsored: Remember business cards? Those seemed outdated even before COVID-19 kicked in-person meetings to the curb. New app HomePage — part business card, part living Yellow Pages and part constantly updated contact list — is here to bring your personal and business connections into the 21st century.
Simply give friends and associates your unique (and permanent) HomePage QR code, and they’ll gain access to your contact info, which is stored in the cloud so you can update it any time you change your phone numbers, employers, etc.
You control which information you give to people in two tiers — close “Contacts” get full access to the data you provide, while “Connections” receive limited access. Plus, HomePage doubles as a closed-group social media platform: You can share photos, videos and updates with your most personal acquaintances.
OmniFocus for Mac
The Mac version of well-regarded task manager OmniFocus just added support for Notification Center widgets. A new feature in macOS Big Sur, these widgets work like they do in iOS 14 — and they actually make the Mac’s Notification Center a lot more appealing and useful.
The OmniFocus update adds two types of widgets.
“This update brings Forecast and Perspective widgets — quickly becoming a popular feature in OmniFocus for iOS — to the Mac for the first time,” says The Omni Group’s blog post.
If you’re already using the popular time-management app, which is designed to work seamlessly across the Apple ecosystem, you should grab this update to take advantage. If you don’t yet use OmniFocus, and you want to ramp up your productivity as you head into the new year, now’s a good time to give it a test spin.
Price: Free two-week trial, with in-app purchases
If you use CarPlay, you know how cool it is to have your favorite apps on your car’s touchscreen. With iOS 14, Apple allowed several new categories of CarPlay apps: parking, EV charging and food ordering. Now we’re starting to see more third-party additions.
New to the CarPlay party this week: SpotHero. The app lets you reserve (and pay for) parking in garages and with valet services in major cities. And now you can do it all straight from your car’s console. See it in action in the promo video above.
Download from: App Store (iOS)