Alto’s Adventure is the perfect zen iPhone game [50 Essential iOS Apps #26]

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Alto's Adventure on iPad and iPhone
Alto's Adventure is the perfect kind of iOS game for passing time on iPhone or iPad
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Alto's Adventure gameGaming on iPhone and iPad has been something that has often gone overlooked. While big name titles haven’t typically made an appearance on iOS Devices, occasionally a game comes to the platform that is both visually amazing and a joy to play. Alto’s Adventure is incredibly fun, surprisingly delightful, and perfectly addictive, making it a rare gem in the iOS game library.

Turn to-dos into lasting habits with Streaks [50 Essential iOS Apps #25]

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Streaks app completing tasks
Streaks turns your to-do list into a game of success.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: StreaksTo-do lists can be incredibly useful for getting tasks done on time and staying on top of ongoing projects. Unfortunately for some, it’s a source of procrastination, with no reward for keeping up with your daily (or weekly tasks). The Streaks app gamifies your recurring tasks and helps create good habits (or break bad habits) quickly and easily.

Leather case gives iPhone X a racing stripe and a vintage vibe [Review]

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Sena Racer review: An iPhone X case with a vintage rock 'n' roll and hot rod vibe.
If you want to give your iPhone X a vintage vibe strap it into a Sena Racer case.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Best List: Racer iPhone X case by Sena

Even someone who doesn’t suffer from a Jony Ive-style obsession with slimness wants an iPhone case with style. The Sena Racer — a leather iPhone X case with a rad racing stripe running up its back — adds bulk for sure. But its pleasantly puffy profile throws off a vintage ’70s vibe that looks killer and feels good in your hand.

It offers protection, sure. But, more importantly, it makes your iPhone stand out in a sea of svelte sameness.

apeMatrix is the iOS music app you never knew you needed

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Apematrix looks confusing, but is anything but.
Apematrix looks confusing, but is anything but.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The apeMatrix app will excite iPad musicians and leave others scratching their heads. In fact, the concept is even confusing for musicians. But if you ever use mixing and routing apps like AUM and AudioBus, you are going to love apeMatrix, and then come to wonder how you ever worked without it.

GoodNotes 4 is the paper notebook of the future [50 Essential iOS Apps #24]

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GoodNotes 4 notebook with Apple Pencil on iPad Pro
GoodNotes 4 is perfect for writing notes, regardless of the topic.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: GoodNotes 4 The iPad has become a workhorse in the last few years. Since the introduction of the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, the transition from pen and paper to digital note-taking is more feasible than ever. GoodNotes 4 is one of the best digital note-taking and document-annotation apps available on iOS.

Go the extra mile with Nike+ Run Club [50 Essential iOS Apps #23]

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Nike+ Run Club app run tracking
Nike+ Run Club offers detailed run tracking whether you're new to running or an experienced marathon runner.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Nike+ Run ClubRunning is a great form of exercise, regardless of your fitness level. Getting motivated to run is a different story. Some running apps are designed for run tracking, others offer training, or make exercise a game. Nike+ Run Club blends all three to get you started and keep you moving, from your first run to your thousandth mile, and beyond.

Avoid road hazards and slowdowns with Waze [50 Essential iOS Apps #22]

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Waze on iPhone in a car GPS mount
Waze provides clear turn-by-turn navigation and alerts you to potential hazards.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Waze map and navigation All across the country (and the world), people depend on cars to get from place to place. Unfortunately, not knowing where traffic is slow, or where a police officer is hiding, can cause serious delays. The Waze navigation app takes out the guesswork.

It tells drivers where traffic, construction or the 5-0 might turn a drive into a total bummer. Better yet, the navigation app’s huge user base means real-time data that lets you change course to avoid slowdowns.

Amp up your Apple Watch with these tire-tread silicone bands

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Tire tracks all across your band mean all kinds of fun.
Photo: Carterjett

Best List: Tire Tread Sport band by Carterjett

Apple’s Sport band is the basic bro of Apple Watch straps. If you want something a little more rugged — and a lot less forgettable — strap on a Tire Tread Sport band from Carterjett. These sturdy silicone bands come in brilliant colors, with extra-large sizes and surprisingly small price tags.

They’re a perfect option for revving up your Apple Watch collection.

Protect your photo collection with Google Photos [50 Essential iOS Apps #21]

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Google Photos library backup on iPhone X
Google Photos is the photo and video backup app we all wish Apple would give us.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Google Photos Photos and videos are some of our most important mementos, helping us recount our fondest memories. The thought of losing those keepsakes shouldn’t be something that keeps you up at night.

With Google Photos, every photo and video on your iOS device can be safely backed up to the cloud, accessible even if your iPhone or iPad goes up in flames. Even better, Google Photos can help you free up space on your iOS device, so there’s always room to take more pictures.

PDF Viewer supercharges the native iOS 11 Files browser [Review]

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PDF Viewer uses iOS 11's Files browser to do its work.
PDF Viewer uses iOS 11's Files browser to do its work.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A month or so back I was searching for a PDF app that would use the native Files browser on the iPad, but add features not available in Files app’s built-in PDF viewer. The result of that search was PDF Viewer, an app that is almost impossible to find on Google, but which is simple enough to be perfect for many people.