Tag Archives: Ios Downloads

Sherbit Visualizes and Interprets All the Data Your Online Services Collect

Sherbit Visualizes and Interprets All the Data Your Online Services Collect

iOS: You use a lot of online services that track a lot of data, but how much do you really know about it all? Sherbit puts all that data into one place so you can quickly understand how it all relates through attractive visualizations.

Do I spend more money on gas or on Lyft rides? How much time do I spend working compared to fooling around on social media? Are my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter posts getting more likes on average? These are the sorts of questions Sherbit can answer by taking data from various services you use and visualizing that data to create a comparison.

Creating a visualization requires only a few simple steps. First you choose a service you want to use, then a trackable metric, and then you repeat that process with another service and metric. For example, if you wanted to find out if you were less active on days you worked more you could figure that out by adding steps counted by your FitBit and productivity hours tracked by RescueTime. You’ll need to log in to each service the first time you request data, but after that Sherbit will remember and pull the data in automatically.

After you create a visualization you save it by tapping a heart icon in the upper right corner and then it’ll appear on your dashboard. If you don’t like the visualization you created, just go back and change it up. Once you’ve saved a few, you can just check your dashboard now and again to find out the data you’re looking for.

Sherbit’s new so it still has more services yet to come (and HealthKit is only sort of supported through an optional toggle in the settings), but it still offers quite a few options already. If you’re looking for a way to make sense out of the data you’re already tracking, you can grab the app for free on iTunes and see what you come up with.

Sherbit (Free) | iTunes App Store

Morning Mail Sorts Your Inbox with Tinder-Like Swipes

Morning Mail Sorts Your Inbox with Tinder-Like Swipes

iOS: You already know that archiving, deleting, or reading emails is an effective way to get through a flooded inbox full of unread messages. Morning Mail for iPhone quickens this process with Tinder-like swipes, apart from being a decent email client.

Each email shows up as its own card, which you can preview the beginning of, or read in its entirety by tapping it. If you don’t need to read it, use one of the swipes:

  • Swipe left to delete the mail
  • Swipe right to archive the mail
  • Swipe down to mark the mail as read

Each card also has those three options as tappable icons. And once you tap to read a mail in its entirety, you can still sort it accordingly.

At the moment, Morning Mail lets you add Gmail, Yahoo, and iCloud accounts to import messages. No support for Outlook, which funnily is our pick for the best iPhone email client. One account is free, while additional accounts costs a buck each. You can unlock unlimited accounts for $4.99.

Morning Mail for iOS (Free, $4.99 Pro) | iTunes App Store

Adobe Spark Lets You Create Beautiful Images, Web Pages, and Videos Easily

iOS/Web: Most apps that automatically generate things like images or web pages end up looking like crap. Adobe’s new free app Spark can do a bit better job than most.

The app lets you quickly design nice-looking images for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or your own blog with a handy selection of presets. Pick a size, color palette, and title themes. You can also choose from ready-made templates to design videos and web pages. Spark will guide you through each step, doing all the heavy lifting behind the scenes. Most of the themes are stylish and modern, which gives it a leg up over most of the competition. It also allows a lot of flexibility, if you want to avoid making a cookie-cutter image just like everyone else using the same app. On iOS the app is split into three parts for posts, videos, and web pages, which you can find here.

Adobe Spark via Adobe

The Best System Monitor for iPhone

The Best System Monitor for iPhone

At a glance, system monitors might not seem as useful on your iPhone as they are on a desktop computer, but they can pack in a lot of good data. This includes detailed battery life breakdowns, storage space, data speeds, and more. For the average user, our favorite system monitor for the iPhone is Omnistat.


Platform: iPhone (and iPad)
Price: $1.99
Download Page


  • Customizable Notification Center widgets let you decide what data is shown and where it shows up
  • Universal app for iPad and iPhone. Also includes Apple Watch support
  • Shows activity and stats for: device name, device model, current OS version, current OS build number, device uptime, Wi-Fi details, mobile carrier data usage, download and upload speed, storage information, CPU usage, battery details, and more
  • Choose when your data plan resets so you can always track mobile data usage accurately
  • Estimates remaining battery time

Where It Excels

Omnistat’s biggest strength are the Notification Center widgets. A system monitor is something you want quick access to, and Notification Center widgets are a clever way of doing that. With Omnistat, you can customize which stats appear as widgets, and any time you want to take a glance at them, just pull down on the Notification Center. Omnistat gives each activity its own widget, so you can customize the layout in Notification Center easily.

Beyond that, Omnistat provides the details most people want. This includes battery life, including estimations for remaining talk, text, and data time. You can also easily track Wi-Fi and cell data usage. For data usage, Omnistat supports creating an automated reset date for cell data so it’s always in time with your data plan. If you’re running on a 16GB iPhone or you’re just always against the wall with remaining space, the storage widget is extremely helpful for keeping your remaining storage space in check. Omnistat has plenty of other widgets, from network details to device CPU usage, so it should have the data you need access to the most.

Where It Falls Short

Omnistat excels because of the inclusion of Notification Center widgets. However, Omnistat is not the most extensive system monitor available. While it does track most activities the average user wants, it’s missing a lot of data for anyone looking for a more granular approach. Likewise, Omnistat gives a lot of overview data, but you can’t focus on more specific information, like what hours you tend to use more data, a history of Wi-Fi networks, or anything else like that.

The Competition

Omnistat is great for the average person looking to glance at a few broad bits of information, but if you want to dig really deep into data, it’s not the app you want. Thankfully, the system monitor space is pretty packed full of solid apps.

For those who love massive amounts of system details, System Monitor Ultimate (Free) is worth a look. System Monitor Ultimate displays a ton of data about your CPU, GPU, network, active connections, and plenty more. System Monitor Ultimate is not exactly the best looking system monitor around nor is it packed with features, but it’s free and displays just about every bit of data you can track on an iPhone. There’s no Notification Center widget support, but if widgets aren’t your thing, System Monitor Ultimate is the app you want.

If you’re looking for the same amount of data as System Monitor Ultimate with more interactive features, then System Status ($2.99) fits the bill. On top of monitoring a number of data points, network information, battery, and memory, System Status also shows you file statistics, detailed page statistics, tracks three minutes of background activity, and allows you to export all those charts over email. If you love to look at and save activity monitor data, but don’t care about the widgets, System Status does the job.

Finally, Omnistat isn’t the only system monitor with widgets, Usage Widget (Free/99¢) and SnapStats (Free) both include Notification Center widgets alongside basic system monitors. Unlike Omnistat, both apps display all the stats in a single widget, so you can’t move them around or customize them quite as much. That’s a preference thing though, so if you don’t mind all your data being jammed into one spot, both apps are worth a look.

Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.

Google Translate Adds Offline Mode on iPhone and “Tap to Translate” on Android

Android/iPhone: Google’s rolling out big updates for Google Translate apps on Android and iOS. Most notably, the iOS version now supports an offline mode, but Android also gets a handy new Tap to Translate button.

The iOS offline mode means you can now translate text when you don’t have a data connection. If you’re traveling, this is incredibly useful since you likely aren’t paying for an international plan. In the Google Translate app, just tap the arrow next to the language name to download the package for that language. Android’s had this for a while, but the offline mode will also now work with the new Tap to Translate feature.

The Tap to Translate feature integrates Google Translate everywhere in Android. When you copy text from any language, a Google Translate button will pop up and you can paste the text to translate it right there without leaving the app you’re in. Finally, Word Lens, the feature that allows you to point your camera at text to translate it, now supports both Simplified and Traditional Chinese.


Google Translate (Free) | Google Play via Google
Google Translate (Free) | iTunes App Store via Google

The Most Useful, Niche, and Wonderfully Weird iPhone Keyboards

The Most Useful, Niche, and Wonderfully Weird iPhone Keyboards

iPhone custom keyboards were a welcome surprise back when they first launched, but over time, it seems like most people abandoned them. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some useful keyboards out there though, and it turns out the more weird and niche they are, the better.

When third-party keyboards arrived in iOS 8, we covered some of the most popular and useful ones. Keyboards like Swype, SwiftKey, and Fleksy are all still great if you’re looking for a replacement to the stock iPhone keyboard. But not all keyboards are meant as replacements. Some are just oddball little additions that make using your iPhone a little more fun. Sometimes they’re useful too, but more often than not they’re just accessories for the stock keyboard. This isn’t a bad thing at all, and arguably these weirder niche keyboards are more useful than replacements because they just do one useful little thing, really well.


Slash Keyboard Integrates Tons of Other Apps Into Your Keyboard

Slash Keyboard (Free) is an interesting tool that makes searching through a variety of services like YouTube, Spotify, and Google Maps, easy to do from your keyboard. With Slash, you don’t have to leave the app you’re currently typing in to do basic research.

Tap the slash icon on the keyboard, select the service you want to search through, and then type out your search. When you find what you’re looking for on the keyboard, tap it to send it off. Most obviously, you can search Google or look for videos on YouTube. Perhaps a little more niche, you can also hunt down a New York Times article, grab a song from Spotify, look through nearby locations on Foursquare, and more.

If this idea sounds familiar, the previously mentioned ReBoard is a similar app, but Slash does it better. Slash is most useful if you tend to send a lot of links to friends, but there’s a broad enough toolset here that people should be able to find all kinds of uses.

iTranslate Translates Text Right From the Keyboard

The Most Useful, Niche, and Wonderfully Weird iPhone Keyboards

If you’re texting with someone whose primary language is different than yours, then you know flipping between your text message app and a translator app sucks. iTranslate (Free) makes that a little easier by including a custom keyboard in their basic translation app.

To translate a block of text, type a phrase, choose the languages you want to translate, then tap the translate button. When iTranslate is done with the translation, you can paste that phrase into your text box. Sadly, it’s a bit of a convoluted process to translate anything you’re sent (you’ll have to copy, paste, and translate in reverse), but for on-the-fly translations of text you’re typing, iTranslate works great. It’s also nice that unlike most iOS keyboards, there’s a full-featured app aside from the keyboard. This way, if you want to do more complex translation, or translate by voice, you don’t need to download a separate app.

Giphy Keys Puts Every GIF At Your Fingertips

The Most Useful, Niche, and Wonderfully Weird iPhone Keyboards

GIFs are one of the greatest modern forms of communication and expression. After trying out a number of options, Giphy Keys (Free) is my favorite keyboard for searching for GIFs to add to text messages.

The beauty of Giphy Keys is in its simplicity and its overall usability. Tap the search bar, type in the type of GIF you’re looking for, scroll to find the GIF you want to use, then send it off with a quick copy and paste command.

You’ll find some cool advanced features packed in Giphy Keys too. For example, you can bookmark GIFs you use a lot or create custom animated text GIFs on the fly. Giphy Keys is incredibly robust considering it’s a keyboard just for GIFs. If you’re hopping between apps to copy and paste GIFs into conversation a lot, then Giphy Keys is the app you want.

Microsoft Word Flow Makes Typing One-Handed Easy

Microsoft’s Word Flow (Free) seems pretty well loved on the Windows Phone, and the iOS keyboard does a reasonable job of bringing that experience to the iPhone. At a glance, Word Flow’s swipe-style character selection doesn’t seem different from keyboards like Swype or SwiftKey. The character selection isn’t really what makes Word Flow special though. It’s the one-handed mode.

When one-handed mode is enabled, Word Flow arcs the keyboard across the bottom portion of your screen. This makes it considerably easier to type with one hand, especially on larger devices like the iPhone 6s Plus. It’s a fantastic solution to the problem of typing one-handed on bigger phones. If you find yourself multitasking with your phone in one hand a lot, then Word Flow’s worth a look.

Hemingboard Puts Tons of Puns at Your Fingertips

The Most Useful, Niche, and Wonderfully Weird iPhone Keyboards

Love puns? Then Hemingboard ($3.99) is a keyboard made for you. Hemingboard is a keyboard that packs in a thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, and most importantly, a dictionary of puns. Yep. Puns. Just type in a word and you can search for similar words to pun off from it.

The synonyms and rhymes are useful for obvious reasons, especially if you tend to send a lot of emails that need spicing up or you record song lyrics on your phone. Make no bones about it though, the puns are the main show here. The beauty of the puns is that they still require a bit of thought on your part. This isn’t hand-delivered dad jokes waiting for a polite chuckle from anyone in the room. Hemingboard simply displays words that include your search term in them, like “cat” in “catastrophe” or “catalog.” It’s still up to you deliver that pun with the flourish required to make a room full of people roll their eyes.

Most of these keyboards won’t replace the iPhone’s stock keyboard on a daily basis, but that’s not really the point. They’re wonderful additions that make texting a little more fun and sometimes even a little bit easier.

Netflix Adds Data Usage Controls to Mobile Apps to Cut Down on Data Consumption

Netflix Adds Data Usage Controls to Mobile Apps to Cut Down on Data Consumption

Android/iOS: Netflix started testing a data saver feature last month to help you control the quality of a video stream when you’re on a cell network so you don’t eat through your data plan. Now, it’s available for everyone.

The new setting allows you to pick from a number of options for the video quality of your stream, from low to unlimited. Each transmits a different amount of data per hour. Low eats up around 1GB per four hours of video and high eats up around 1GB for one hour. The “automatic” option is enabled by default, which means Netflix will automatically cut the the quality when you’re not on Wi-Fi. So, if you prefer a higher quality stream, you might want to hop into the app’s settings and change that toggle now.

Netflix (Free) | Google Play
Netflix (Free) | iTunes App Store

SoloLearn Teaches Coding Basics In Bite-Sized Lessons Every Day

Android/iOS/Windows/Web: Learning how to code is normally a time-consuming process. SoloLearn aims to make it easier by breaking down programming concepts into quick, digestible daily lessons.

The site offers courses on a range of programming languages including C++, Java, Javascript, Python 3, PHP, C#, CSS, and more. Each language has a dedicated set of apps just for that course. So, for example, if you want to learn Java, you can download just the Java apps for iOS, Android, or Windows. Each course comes with a selection of lessons and quizzes to help you learn. Best of all, its free. You can check out the site below to find the apps for the course you want to take.

SoloLearn via MakeUseOf

Google Photos Adds Easier Search, Movie Editing Options, and More 

Google Photos Adds Easier Search, Movie Editing Options, and More 

One of the best things about Google Photos is that it’s easy to find a photo by searching, but today the service made it even easier to find that specific shot you’re looking for. They’ve also added editing tools for Google’s auto-generated movies that let you use your own music and add photos to them, and more.

From the Google Photos team, posting at Google+:

Rolling out now, the latest Google Photos update helps you find your photos faster with a new search bar. Start searching in one tap, or scroll down after tapping on the search bar to see faces, places, and photo types from your library.

In addition, Google Photos now offers the ability to customize automatically created movies with your own music, photos, and videos, so it’s easier than ever to make the perfect video after a holiday or trip. It’s also perfect for Mother’s Day – which you knew was coming up on May 8, right?

Some of this sounds like the same search we’ve come to know and love in Google Photos, but in addition to the usual search bar, now when you tap the search bar, you can type and look for something or see specific faces you often photograph, or choose specific media types (like video, movies, or animations) you can search through.

The new search tool even suggests specific places you’ve been to recently, so you can jump right to all the photos you’ve taken at that location.

In addition to the search upgrades, Google’s auto-generated movie recaps are always great, but you could only choose music they offered and you couldn’t really edit them—now you can use your own music in those brief movies, and splice in photos from other trips, or add shots from the same trip Google didn’t think to include. All in all, some nice improvements.

The update is rolling out now to all users, so keep an eye out for the latest version for your device. Hit the link below to read the full announcement.

New redesigned search experience, customizable movies, and more | Google+

Aurora Finds Interesting New Podcasts for You to Enjoy

iOS: There are hundreds of great podcasts, which is why picking the best is tough. That’s where Aurora, a new app dedicated to floating the best and most interesting podcasts, comes in. Each suggestion is curated by real people who have listened to the shows in question before they recommend them.

Aurora is by the same team behind Opinion, a podcasting app we’ve highlighted before. The app presents curated podcast playlists packed with episodes of recent shows that have been all listened to and curated by the team behind the app, and you can listen to as many episodes as you like.

While the featured playlists and episodes have been human curated, Aurora takes a more machine-based approach to suggested shows. As the app learns what you’re listening to and subscribing to, it’ll suggest other new podcasts and episodes to you based on that, and what’s popular on the web. Best of all, it gives you all of this in a beautiful, visual feed that’s interesting to look at as well as listen to.


To be fair, Aurora doesn’t have the sheer features and options that other podcast catchers have, like Overcast, our current favorite podcast manager for iPhone. While you can use it as a podcatcher, it’s best suited to help you find new things to listen to that you can then go and subscribe to in your favorite listening app. Hit the link below to try it out.

Aurora (Free) | iTunes App Store