Tag Archives: Iphone Downloads

Paper, the iOS Drawing and Notes App, Simplifies Navigation and Adds Search

Paper, the iOS Drawing and Notes App, Simplifies Navigation and Adds Search

iOS: Paper is easily one of the best drawing apps on iOS, and recent updates have added in the ability to write to-do lists and other notes. Those new features were welcome, but made it a little tough to navigate the app. Thankfully, a new and improved sidebar fixes that.

http://lifehacker.com/paper-the-fant…

Paper has gone through a lot of iterations since it first launched, and eventually ditched the notebooks in favor of “spaces.” Now, those spaces are called grids, and you have access to all of them from the sidebar. The sidebar is a nice improvement over the the previous interface. You can also now search from the sidebar, which is pretty useful if you have a lot of different notes. If you haven’t used Paper in a while, it’s worth another look, and this update makes it a bit easier to use in general.

Paper (Free) | iTunes App Store

Swysh Is a Motion Gesture Controlled Music App for iPhone

iPhone: If you’re on the move a lot, controlling the music on your iPhone by tapping buttons isn’t always easy. Swysh is an iPhone app that lets you use simple motion gestures to switch between songs.

With Swysh, you can flick your phone to the left or right to switch between songs, or flick it down to play or pause. There’s also a pocket mode so you don’t accidentally switch between tracks just because you’re walking. You can adjust the sensitivity of those gestures, but even still, I occasionally had trouble getting Swysh to recognize movement, usually when I was trying to pause the music. Regardless, while Swysh might sound a little silly, it’s actually pretty convenient when you’re driving, especially if your car doesn’t support controlling your music from the stereo itself. Right now, it only works with the music app, but third-party support is supposedly on the way.

Swysh (99¢) | iTunes App Store via MacStories

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter

There are dozens of Twitter clients for the iPhone, but the official Twitter app and the third-party Tweetbot are two of the most popular. One’s free, the other’s pretty expensive at $9.99. Let’s dig into the main differences between the two, and see if the difference in experience is worth the difference in cost.

The Contenders

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter
Tweetbot (left) orders your timeline, y’know, by time whereas Twitter (right) does whatever it wants

Because of the way Twitter works, developing a Twitter app is a pain. It’s expensive for developers because Twitter charges them for keys to access the site, which means developers tend to pass that charge over to you, and then revoke access when you get too popular. Subsequently, most good Twitter apps tend to be on the pricey side, Tweetbot included. Let’s start with a quick look at both apps:

  • Twitter (Free): When it first launched, the official Twitter app was a bit of a joke, but over the years it’s improved quite a bit. That said, it’s basically just a mobile version of the web site, which means it’s built more for the everyday user than for power users who use all of Twitter’s features, or manage multiple accounts. It’s straight-forward to use and doesn’t feature any bells and whistles.
  • Tweetbot ($9.99): Tweetbot has been our favorite Twitter client for iPhone for a very long time, but $10 is a steep price to pay for most users. Tweetbot isn’t really made for most users though. It’s made for the type of person who spends the bulk of their day on Twitter, whether it for work or out of a deep-seated obsession with the social network. Tweetbot has a good amount of customization options for the interface, alongside a handful of ways to get a better Twitter experience by tweaking the content of your feed.

Assuming that the $10 price tag on Tweetbot isn’t enough to turn you away outright, picking between the two really depends on how you use Twitter.

http://lifehacker.com/5809798/the-be…

Tweetbot Has Better Customization

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter
Don’t like the tabs on the bottom? Tweetbot (left) lets you change them up

The official Twitter app is about as vanilla as an experience as you can get. Open it up and you’ll find an interface similar to the web site, with tabs on the bottom for your notifications, moments, DMs, and your profile tab. Functionality in the app is the same as the site as well. You can’t alter any of this. You can’t change the tabs, the colors, or even adjust the font size. With the Twitter app, what you see is what you get.

Conversely, Tweetbot has a variety of customization options. For example, the bottom tab bar has two buttons on the right that you can swap out for whatever function you want: activity (which includes mentions, replies, favorites, and new follower information), search, profile, likes, mute filters, or lists. If you use lists to tame your Twitter feed, having access to them in the tab bar makes your life easier. The official Twitter app tucks those lists behind several taps. If you’re using Tweetbot on an iPad or a iPhone 6 Plus, you also get support for columns in landscape mode, which lets you see two tabs side-by-side. Tweetbot also allows you to chose between a couple fonts, swap between username or full name for your timeline, alter the image size in your feed, and even customize the avatars. There’s a dark mode included if you prefer to do your tweeting late at night in a dark room.

Tweetbot also has extremely customizable notifications, so you can tweak them so you only get the notifications you want. Tweetbot has options for links too, allowing you to open links in Tweetbot, Chrome, or Safari, and even includes a reader view that strips away the visual styling of an article.

In the end, if you want an app you can customize, Tweetbot’s the one you’re looking for. The official Twitter app doesn’t allow you to change anything.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-clean-u…

Tweetbot’s Mute Filters and Lack of Ads Make Power User’s Days Better

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter
Tweetbot’s mute filters let you get rid of any part of Twitter you don’t want to see

Twitter is a noisy place. People tweet dozens of times a day, publications don’t seem to ever stop, and there’s always a chance for spoilers if you’re anticipating any type of media at all. Tweetbot has ways around this.

Tweetbot has a powerful set of mute filters. You can mute keywords, phrases, users, or hashtags. When you do so, any tweet that contains those things will not show up in your feed. This is great during sports playoffs when you’re not a fan, election seasons, or if you’re avoiding spoilers for something. If you do mute something, Tweetbot’s also smart enough to still show you replies that might mention those things, so you’re not totally cut off from the world. The downside is that these mute filters don’t carry over to the web version of Twitter, so it really only works inside the Tweetbot ecosystem (which includes the $10 Mac app). If you only use the Tweetbot iPhone app, it’s great, but if you’re also using the web version on your desktop computer, it’s a bit annoying.

Plus, like pretty much all third-party Twitter clients, you won’t see ads in Tweetbot. Considering how often those annoying sponsored posts seem to pop up, it’s a nice little addition if you’re not a fan of advertisements.

http://lifehacker.com/5887230/how-to…

Twitter Keeps You on the Cutting Edge

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter
While Tweetbot lets you take a close look at what’s happening in your feed, Twitter likes to show you a more global view

The one area where the official Twitter dominates Tweetbot is in support for new features. The folks behind Twitter love to introduce new little features all the time, whether that’s fun stuff like polls or weird features like Moments. If you’re using the official Twitter app, you will almost always see an update in the app to support these new features immediately.

Tweetbot doesn’t do this at all. Heck, Tweetbot still doesn’t support polls. For whatever reason, many of the cutting edge features that Twitter decides to roll out don’t end up working on third-party clients. Of course, that’s also a feature of Tweetbot if you like a simpler Twitter experience as a whole.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-take-yo…

The Verdict: Tweetbot’s the Better App, but Twitter Is Free, Still Does Enough for Most People

Let’s be honest here: the general population who just glances at Twitter a couple times a day doesn’t need a $10 Twitter app. If you only manage one account, don’t mind seeing a bunch of extra garbage like ads and obnoxious hashtags, and it doesn’t bother you when Twitter adds some half-baked new idea to the app every week, then the official Twitter app is all you need.

If you spend a lot of time on Twitter during the day, then Tweetbot’s the best app for making that experience better. The mute function alone is worth the price of admission for some people, but the customizable toolbar and activity menu make it much easier to manage large scale accounts.

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter

There are dozens of Twitter clients for the iPhone, but the official Twitter app and the third-party Tweetbot are two of the most popular. One’s free, the other’s pretty expensive at $9.99. Let’s dig into the main differences between the two, and see if the difference in experience is worth the difference in cost.

The Contenders

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter
Tweetbot (left) orders your timeline, y’know, by time whereas Twitter (right) does whatever it wants

Because of the way Twitter works, developing a Twitter app is a pain. It’s expensive for developers because Twitter charges them for keys to access the site, which means developers tend to pass that charge over to you, and then revoke access when you get too popular. Subsequently, most good Twitter apps tend to be on the pricey side, Tweetbot included. Let’s start with a quick look at both apps:

  • Twitter (Free): When it first launched, the official Twitter app was a bit of a joke, but over the years it’s improved quite a bit. That said, it’s basically just a mobile version of the web site, which means it’s built more for the everyday user than for power users who use all of Twitter’s features, or manage multiple accounts. It’s straight-forward to use and doesn’t feature any bells and whistles.
  • Tweetbot ($9.99): Tweetbot has been our favorite Twitter client for iPhone for a very long time, but $10 is a steep price to pay for most users. Tweetbot isn’t really made for most users though. It’s made for the type of person who spends the bulk of their day on Twitter, whether it for work or out of a deep-seated obsession with the social network. Tweetbot has a good amount of customization options for the interface, alongside a handful of ways to get a better Twitter experience by tweaking the content of your feed.

Assuming that the $10 price tag on Tweetbot isn’t enough to turn you away outright, picking between the two really depends on how you use Twitter.

http://lifehacker.com/5809798/the-be…

Tweetbot Has Better Customization

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter
Don’t like the tabs on the bottom? Tweetbot (left) lets you change them up

The official Twitter app is about as vanilla as an experience as you can get. Open it up and you’ll find an interface similar to the web site, with tabs on the bottom for your notifications, moments, DMs, and your profile tab. Functionality in the app is the same as the site as well. You can’t alter any of this. You can’t change the tabs, the colors, or even adjust the font size. With the Twitter app, what you see is what you get.

Conversely, Tweetbot has a variety of customization options. For example, the bottom tab bar has two buttons on the right that you can swap out for whatever function you want: activity (which includes mentions, replies, favorites, and new follower information), search, profile, likes, mute filters, or lists. If you use lists to tame your Twitter feed, having access to them in the tab bar makes your life easier. The official Twitter app tucks those lists behind several taps. If you’re using Tweetbot on an iPad or a iPhone 6 Plus, you also get support for columns in landscape mode, which lets you see two tabs side-by-side. Tweetbot also allows you to chose between a couple fonts, swap between username or full name for your timeline, alter the image size in your feed, and even customize the avatars. There’s a dark mode included if you prefer to do your tweeting late at night in a dark room.

Tweetbot also has extremely customizable notifications, so you can tweak them so you only get the notifications you want. Tweetbot has options for links too, allowing you to open links in Tweetbot, Chrome, or Safari, and even includes a reader view that strips away the visual styling of an article.

In the end, if you want an app you can customize, Tweetbot’s the one you’re looking for. The official Twitter app doesn’t allow you to change anything.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-clean-u…

Tweetbot’s Mute Filters and Lack of Ads Make Power User’s Days Better

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter
Tweetbot’s mute filters let you get rid of any part of Twitter you don’t want to see

Twitter is a noisy place. People tweet dozens of times a day, publications don’t seem to ever stop, and there’s always a chance for spoilers if you’re anticipating any type of media at all. Tweetbot has ways around this.

Tweetbot has a powerful set of mute filters. You can mute keywords, phrases, users, or hashtags. When you do so, any tweet that contains those things will not show up in your feed. This is great during sports playoffs when you’re not a fan, election seasons, or if you’re avoiding spoilers for something. If you do mute something, Tweetbot’s also smart enough to still show you replies that might mention those things, so you’re not totally cut off from the world. The downside is that these mute filters don’t carry over to the web version of Twitter, so it really only works inside the Tweetbot ecosystem (which includes the $10 Mac app). If you only use the Tweetbot iPhone app, it’s great, but if you’re also using the web version on your desktop computer, it’s a bit annoying.

Plus, like pretty much all third-party Twitter clients, you won’t see ads in Tweetbot. Considering how often those annoying sponsored posts seem to pop up, it’s a nice little addition if you’re not a fan of advertisements.

http://lifehacker.com/5887230/how-to…

Twitter Keeps You on the Cutting Edge

iPhone Twitter App Showdown: Tweetbot vs. Twitter
While Tweetbot lets you take a close look at what’s happening in your feed, Twitter likes to show you a more global view

The one area where the official Twitter dominates Tweetbot is in support for new features. The folks behind Twitter love to introduce new little features all the time, whether that’s fun stuff like polls or weird features like Moments. If you’re using the official Twitter app, you will almost always see an update in the app to support these new features immediately.

Tweetbot doesn’t do this at all. Heck, Tweetbot still doesn’t support polls. For whatever reason, many of the cutting edge features that Twitter decides to roll out don’t end up working on third-party clients. Of course, that’s also a feature of Tweetbot if you like a simpler Twitter experience as a whole.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-take-yo…

The Verdict: Tweetbot’s the Better App, but Twitter Is Free, Still Does Enough for Most People

Let’s be honest here: the general population who just glances at Twitter a couple times a day doesn’t need a $10 Twitter app. If you only manage one account, don’t mind seeing a bunch of extra garbage like ads and obnoxious hashtags, and it doesn’t bother you when Twitter adds some half-baked new idea to the app every week, then the official Twitter app is all you need.

If you spend a lot of time on Twitter during the day, then Tweetbot’s the best app for making that experience better. The mute function alone is worth the price of admission for some people, but the customizable toolbar and activity menu make it much easier to manage large scale accounts.

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

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.

Omnistat

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

Features

  • 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.

The Roll Automatically Categorizes and Picks the Best Photos On Your iPhone’s Camera Roll

The Roll Automatically Categorizes and Picks the Best Photos On Your iPhone's Camera Roll

iPhone: If you have a big photo library on your iPhone, you know it’s a bit of a pain to track down specific photos or pick out a good one. The Roll can help with both of these problems.

The Roll’s main feature is automatic organization similar to Google Photos. The app scans your photos, then tags them with keywords based on what it thinks are in the photos. These are keywords like nature, cats, selfies, or whatever else. It does a surprisingly good job at this, but it can take a little while to scan your library (up to five or six minutes if you have a lot of photos).

Perhaps more interesting is the app’s algorithm that scans for quality. The Roll scans photos using a number of artistic principles like composition to generate a score for each photo. If you’re curious about how it works, they lay out the process over on Nvidia. Of course, it’s not perfect and aesthetics are a matter of taste, but it is useful if you have a lot of photos of the same thing. Since it’s limited to iOS, I don’t really see it replacing anything else for organization, but it’s still a useful addition for the scoring system alone.

The Roll (Free) | iTunes App Store via Gizmodo

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.

http://lifehacker.com/google-transla…

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

Opera Releases a Free and Unlimited VPN for iPhone

iPhone: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are often a costly affair, but Opera, the company best known for its browser, released a free, unlimited VPN for iOS today that allows you to access the internet securely from a variety of locations.

http://lifehacker.com/5940565/why-yo…

Opera VPN works just like any other VPN app on iOS, and connects using SurfEasy VPN. You can connect to the internet in the United States, or route your traffic through Canada, Netherlands, Germany, or Singapore. Alongside giving you a new region, Opera VPN also blocks ads and trackers. Opera’s promising the VPN will be free for life and according to The Verge, Opera’s not planning on serving up ads for the time being. We haven’t put Opera VPN through its paces, and the desktop version was leaking user’s IP addresses at launch, so if you’re especially worried about security, you might want to hold off a bit. Otherwise, as far as simply changes regions goes, Opera VPN does the job as its supposed to.

http://lifehacker.com/stop-opera-s-n…

Opera VPN (Free) | iTunes App Store