2012

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the Pattrn app, a simple and elegant wallpaper app for Android that gave you easy access to the vast collection of some amazing wallpapers from the COLOURlovers community. Since then, we’ve received a few emails asking if we knew a similar app for iOS. What we didn’t know was that Mic Pringle, developer of the gorgeous music player app Audium for iPhone & William Szilveszter, a designer from Canada were already working together on something gorgeous for iOS, called Seamless.

Seamless is a beautiful app for the iPhone that brings more than 3 million wallpapers from the COLOURlovers community to your iPhone. Unlike Pattrn, which chose an elegant and simple UI, Seamless goes all out by using a splendid wooden texture for its UI which works great with all the colorful patterned wallpapers in the app. You have 4 tabs at the bottom — Current, Popular, Favorites and About. You get a long list of previews of wallpapers that you can tap to view in full. Swiping from the left to right marks a wallpaper as favorite, which you can then browse in the Favorites tab. When marking as favorite, there’s a lovely page-turn animation as an added touch. When viewing an individual wallpaper, you can use the action button at the top right to share it on Twitter or Facebook, Save it to Camera Roll or view the original on the website.

Seamless is a lovely little app to have on your phone if you’re into patterned wallpapers. It also has a lovely little icon that compliments the app. However, I do wish it had a few more features to go along. For example, there’s no way to view a wallpaper without the app’s chrome. Additionally, I’d have loved to see a preview of how the wallpaper would’ve looked on the Homescreen or Lockscreen, which the Kuvva app does well. But at the amazing price of ‘Free’ on the App Store, I’m not really complaining. Go grab it.

A few days ago, someone teased a link to Static for iPhone — a simple, slick app that displays stats from a few social networks and channels. The screenshots up on the site were enough to pique my interest and a couple of days later, I was playing with the app on my iPhone. Today, Static has been released on the App Store it’s really a fine, neatly crafted app that offers a quick glimpse at the relevant stats from some popular social networks and online services that you may be a part of.

Static for iPhone has been conceptualized, designed and developed by Jayson Lane who like me, was also looking for a simple app to replace Ego for iPhone that had stopped working with most services. A quick look at Static and you’ll realize the design ideology behind the app. It features a slick, clean and minimal UI. Subtle transitions and animations have been included all over the app, so the overall experience that Static offers is just great. The app presently offers support for 5 services in the app — Twitter, Google Analytics, Instagram, Dribbble and Github. When setting up each service, the screens use the color of the respective service, which is a nice tough. It uses the native Twitter integration in iOS, so you don’t have to re-enter your username & password for it. While Instagram and Google Analytics require you to sign in and authorize the app, Dribbble and Github work by just entering the username and thus you can add more than one username for these two. Static uses iOS’s now-default pull-to-refresh animation, but goes further by adding a loading animation to the cells when the app is fetching data for each service. You can tap the cells of each service to shuffle through other stats from the service. Tapping and holding down each cell lets you rearrange the order in the list. Tap the logo of each service and you get the option to remove it or view your profile. Static is clever in the way that it’ll open the profile in a native app if it finds it installed on the iPhone. So if you have Instagram installed, your profile will open directly in the app.

While Static only supports five services today, Jayson is openly accepting requests for additional services from within the app and will keep adding newer services based on their demand. At just $0.99 on the App Store, it’s a gorgeous app to set up on your iPhone.

Fabulously Retro‘s Daniel Nicolae is back with another stunning, skeuomorphically splendid app for the iPhone. We’ve already taken a look at their previous apps — Meernotes and Meernotes 2, here on Beautiful Pixels and looking at their UI you already have a very good idea of what Rollie will be like.

Rollie is an app that offers you an interesting way to house and organize your photos away from the default Photos app on iOS. The Camera Roll on your iPhone slowly starts becoming a cluttered mess as more and more photos keep getting added to it. Sure, you can create albums directly on the phone, but you can only add existing photos to these albums. Every new photo you take automatically gets added to the Camera Roll. Rollie promises to end this mess by letting you create custom Rolls (albums) in the app, that you can then add photos to. You can either choose existing photos, or click new ones directly in the app. This is perfect for albums like ‘Interesting Signs’, ‘Books I want to read/buy’ or even ‘Something interesting I saw on the commute’.

The UI is what makes the app. You can choose from 5 different roll-styles for your albums and name them. These styles look fabulous and nearly real on the screen. The app is spiffy and transitions are nice. A roll can have multiple photos in it and you can easily manually reorder them. The app has Camera+ integration too, so you can launch Camera+ from within the app, take a photo & enhance it and bring it into the app with a few taps. There’s also Dropbox integration so you can easily export your Rolls to a folder on Dropbox, where the photos are stored as individual files. I personally don’t like the fact that Rollie unnecessarily adds an effect to all your photos when displaying them within the app. Thankfully, the source files you export are exempt.

How practical Rollie is will differ from person to person. I have started with a new Roll where I plan to take photos of shapes and objects that resemble an alphabet, so I’ll see how that turns out. Overall, Rollie does have an absolutely stunning UI and at just $0.99 on the App Store, you can’t resist checking it out.

From the Seinfeld episode, “The Betrayal”

Jerry Seinfeld: (Edit) George can never know about this. It’ll crush him.

Elaine Benes: All right, all right; I’ll put it in the vault.

In today’s world, you can never be too careful with your safety and security online. By now everyone has read Mat’s incident which basically shook everyone up. Everyday, people end up trusting other services with more and more of their information. There are also too many services that need you to setup an account with them. Remembering so many passwords is annoying & cumbersome. Having common elements to passwords makes things easier, but that is definitely not the smart thing to do. 1Password by AgileBits has been my go to password manager on my Mac and iOS since June. The app was always amazing to use and it made generating and using strong passwords a joy. Once I migrated to 1Password completely, everything has become simpler. The app was previously available on iOS as an iPhone only, iPad only app, and a universal “Pro” app that costed less than the other two put together. The app has lacked majorly in one aspect — its looks and feel. The app didn’t look good on iOS and it wasn’t even completely Retina ready on the iPad. Everything changed today with the release of 1Password 4 for iOS as a universal app.

Everything from the icon to the settings screen has been redone beautifully. I thought it would be difficult to migrate from 1Password 3 to this but AgileBits have done a bang up job here. 1Password 4 recognizes that the previous version is installed and lets you migrate data from the previous version or import it from the new app depending on which one you launch. The app also now comes with both iCloud and Dropbox sync. I have been using it with Dropbox sync and have not faced any issues at all. After you finish logging in with Dropbox to setup the app, you are prompted to enter your master password. I’m so happy they finally did this because earlier you ended up having to set a passcode for the iPhone app and it wasn’t a great experience having to remember more than 1Password in most cases to access data inside the app. After unlocking the app, you have to restrain yourself from licking your screen because your passwords and personal data have never looked this good. The main view has 4 tabs at the bottom in the tab bar for your favourites, categories, folders and settings. Each tab bar icon looks absolutely gorgeous. There’s a globe on the bottom right that slides in the in-app browser. More on that later. You can add items you access frequently into your favourites making everything easier. Each item also has its own rich icon that can be downloaded that looks really nice. The categories section has the typical categories in 1Password and you should definitely tap the add button on the top right just to see the lovely icons they have for each category. The wireless router one is my favourite. 1Password 4 adds folders to let you organize your items.

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Ramotion, previously known for the Pick’n’Roll app for Dribbble, have just released TurnPlay for iPad. And the app is, in my opinion, the most amazingly detailed audio player app for iPad I have ever seen.

If you’ve seen Ramotion’s work in the past, you’ll know that they go that extra mile with their efforts in adding detailing to their UI, but they just hit the ball out of the park with TurnPlay. You are presented with a turntable UI that almost exactly feels like a real turntable. I have spent a considerable amount of time learning on and playing with a Technics 1200 in the past, so playing with TurnPlay is amazingly nostalgic and delightful at the same time. When you tap the button at the top left, a wooden shelf that holds all your vinyls slides down. This makes use of big, gorgeous artwork from your library and looks great. You can either tap the play button on each vinyl to directly load it onto the drive to start playing or manually slide the cover off and slide down the vinyl onto the player. I prefer the latter.

Hit the on/off switch location at the bottom right and it turns on, along with the red light indicating that it’s now on. There are realistic sounds assigned to each button press and interaction in the app, which blew my mind. Hit the play button below it and the vinyl starts spinning as expected. Once again, the dancing of the dots as the red light falls on the platter blew me away. As with the original hardware, there are tiny 33/45 switches at the bottom too. You can lift the arm and gently place it on the record for it to start playing. If you move the arm a little too in on the vinyl, the app shows you the timestamp where it will start playing from. You can manually push/pull the vinyl or even scratch to your liking. Similar to the original hardware, there’s a +/- 8 pitch control on the right, which again has been executed brilliantly. If the app runs out of the song on the vinyl, it keeps spinning the platter and you’ll hear the analog noise from the head rubbing against the grooves. The app is also smart enough to use your track’s artwork and places it in the center of the record. The overall UX of TurnPlay is mind-blowing.

I could go on and on about the detailing in this app, but it won’t mean anything till you actually experience it. Their promo video gives some idea of it.

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In writing about apps here on Beautiful Pixels, we peruse through dozens of apps & review requests that come in through email, Twitter or the contact form. Today, there is a tremendous amount of talent out there that keeps churning out stunning apps that keeping blowing us (and hopefully you guys) away. But then there’s that one guy, that one single app you come across that makes you realize what a remarkable & fun device your iPhone or iPad are. Using these apps on the iOS devices make makes the whole experience a lot of fun and it makes you come back for more. And that’s exactly what Foldify does on the iPad.

Foldify is a fun new app from the folks at Pixle, a small talented team from Warsaw, Poland. Remember the craft activity we were given as kids wherein you were asked to color and fold hard paper to create tiny 3D objects from it? Foldify brings that Paper Craft to the iPad. You begin by choosing a shape template from a readymade collection of various forms. You are then presented with two views, one that lays down the template flat on a table for you to color on and on the left is a live updating preview of how it’ll look when folded into its 3D form. Using the pencil and brush tool, you can then begin coloring the object and let your imagination run free. The app lets you use ‘stamps’ like car tires, eyes, nose, mouth, hands on the object. Additional Stamp Packs are available for purchase within the app at 99 cents. The preview on the left keeps updating in real-time as you move your brush, so you know exactly how you’re doing. Unlike most other apps that let you increase or decrease the brush size for drawing, Foldify keeps the size constant and instead cleverly lets you zoom in or out on the canvas—allowing you to draw both a thick line or a fine line with the same finger and precision.

Click to Enlarge

Once your art is complete, you can send the template as a PDF or directly print it using AirPrint if you have a compatible printer. You can also share your designs with others using Email, Facebook, Twitter or simply with the Foldify community itself. Using the “Online” tab at the bottom, you can browse the most liked creations shared by different users.

Foldify is a beautifully executed iPad app that fills you with delight when you use it. Creating your own designs on it is a lot of fun and trying to master that perfect stroke is very addictive. Available at $1.99 on the App Store, Foldify is one app we highly recommend you try on your iPad.