Beautiful Pixels http://beautifulpixels.com An Unhealthy Lust for Design Mon, 17 Aug 2015 18:44:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Our Favorite Apps for the Apple Watch http://beautifulpixels.com/featured/our-favorite-apps-for-the-apple-watch/ http://beautifulpixels.com/featured/our-favorite-apps-for-the-apple-watch/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:21:03 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15606 Apple Watch MastheadThe Apple Watch has been out in the hands of the users for just about 4 months now and Apple has already demoed watchOS 2 at WWDC 2015, due to be released in a few weeks. We haven’t been able to cover Apple Watch apps properly since April since we hadn’t managed to get our hands on the Watch yet. That changed a couple...

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The Apple Watch has been out in the hands of the users for just about 4 months now and Apple has already demoed watchOS 2 at WWDC 2015, due to be released in a few weeks. We haven’t been able to cover Apple Watch apps properly since April since we hadn’t managed to get our hands on the Watch yet. That changed a couple of weeks ago and we finally got our ourselves an Apple Watch (with a second one on its way). Thanks to this, we decided to put together a list of our favorite Apple Watch apps so far. We’ve tested loads of apps and while some were pretty poor implementations, like Instagram and Twitter, many apps like Fantastical and Deliveries managed to easily prove the utility of the Apple Watch. We’ve restricted this list to apps that function well so Yahoo! Weather, while elegant looking, didn’t make the cut because of unreliable performance during our testing.

Here are our favorite Apple Watch apps out there today:

Fantastical

With Fantastical for Apple Watch, instead of taking the easy way out and just shrinking the iPhone app to the watch screen, Flexibits has gone the extra mile and properly built an app that is both functional and beautiful. The UX on the little screen is still delightful. Using Force Touch on the screen allows you to add an event and scrolling through your existing events is an absolute joy. We definitely recommend this.

Fantastical

$4.99 on the App Store

Deliveries: a package tracker

Deliveries by Junecloud is another app that is perfect for Apple Watch. It displays all your deliveries in the Apple Watch app and has a lovely little detailed view for each one. It is one of our favourite iOS and Mac utilities and we’re happy to see it on Apple Watch.

bp-fav-watch-apps-deliveries

$4.99 on the App Store

Due

Due for Apple Watch makes sure you’re up to speed with the things you need done. The Apple Watch app has lovely custom cells that match the iOS app and it supports all reminders and timers from the phone app. Due is another app that really justifies owning an Apple Watch.

bp-fav-watch-apps-due

$4.99 on the App Store

FlightTrack 5

FlightTrack has always been ahead of the curve in terms of user interface and features. With the Apple Watch, FlightTrack 5 proves itself as an essential app that deserves the real estate on your wrist. Without losing its functionality, FlightTrack 5 makes the transition to the smaller screen beautifully, with lovely typography and iconography to display information about your upcoming flights.

bp-fav-watch-apps-flighttrack-5

$4.99 on the App Store

Things

While we’ve switched to OmniFocus as our preferred productivity suite, Cultured Code continues to impress us with their great, albeit infrequent updates to Things. Things for Apple Watch is one of the best implementations of a getting things done (no pun intended) app we’ve seen. It has everything from being able to create a new task to viewing everything you need to do for the rest of the day.

bp-fav-watch-apps-things

$4.99 on the App Store

Filibaba Quartet

Filibaba released Apple Watch apps for all 4 of their popular cooking apps. Filibaba Smoothies, Veggie Weekend, Filibaba Spreads, and Veggie Meals all have gorgeous Apple Watch apps. What sets these apart from the competition is the stunning typography and iconography used, coupled with the utility. We aren’t fans of the use of real photographs on the timer view, but great use of force touch and the overall feel of the apps make Filibaba’s suite an easy recommendation.

bp-fav-watch-apps-filibaba

Get the Filibaba apps from the App Store

Microsoft Outlook

Unlike when Google buys an email app, Microsoft actually doesn’t kill products after acquiring a team. The acquisition of Accompli led to Outlook on iOS, which is easily one of the best email apps ever. Outlook for Apple Watch supports everything we love about the iOS app. It has custom notifications, with the ability to schedule emails and also supports quick replies with pre-written content.

bp-fav-watch-apps-outlook

Free on the App Store

MiniStats

iOS 9 added the ability to view your watch battery percentage in Notification Center as a widget. MiniStats for Apple Watch allows you to view information about your phone, on your watch. Why even pull out your phone from your pocket when you can swipe up the clock on your watch to see network conditions, battery percentage, and more? MiniStats for Apple Watch is a great little utility that every Apple Watch owner should get.

bp-fav-watch-apps-ministats

$0.99 on the App Store

Atmos

Even though there’s an abundance of weather apps out there, Atmos is the one we’d recommend. It has already managed to blow our minds for the iPhone and their Apple Watch app is just as good. The simply & elegant typography, coupled with the colors used in the UI make it stand out from the rest.

bp-fav-watch-apps-atmos

$2.99 on the App Store

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve explored the App Store for Apple Watch apps and we are happy with what we’ve seen so far. We can’t wait to see what developers make possible on watchOS 2 with its native capabilities and all the new APIs available for them. This year’s Highlight will have a separate feature for Watch apps that will cover Android Wear and Apple Watch apps, so stay tuned for that.

Masthead Artwork by Matthew Stephens.

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Solid Explorer 2 for Android http://beautifulpixels.com/android/solid-explorer-2-android/ http://beautifulpixels.com/android/solid-explorer-2-android/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 18:03:03 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15639 solid explorerWith the advent of Material Design, a lot of my favourite Android apps got major updates while others have been put on ice. I had mentioned Clean FM in the second edition of The Platter over 2 years ago. Up until last month when Solid Explorer 2.0 released, Clean FM was the best looking file manager on Android. Solid Explorer 1.0 was one of...

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With the advent of Material Design, a lot of my favourite Android apps got major updates while others have been put on ice. I had mentioned Clean FM in the second edition of The Platter over 2 years ago. Up until last month when Solid Explorer 2.0 released, Clean FM was the best looking file manager on Android. Solid Explorer 1.0 was one of the most functional & useful apps I have ever bought, and it does a damn fine job of even basic things like photo management that are now absolutely painful thanks to Google Photos. Solid Explorer 2.0 makes the app look just as good as it works and it is easily one of the best apps you will use on any platform.

Solid Explorer has always been about a great user experience, with features like the ability to drag and drop across folders and work with your SD card data. With version 2.0, you now have a lovely dual pane layout that allows you to work in 2 folders simultaneously. There’s also support for more cloud services than there are clouds above you right now. The Material Design philosophy applies not just to the look of the app, but also to animations, customization options, and even the icon. Everything has been given a Matias Duarte approved coat of paint and it is quite worthy of your homescreen. The app has a great first launch walkthrough, making sure it manages to delight you from the very beginning. The customization options let you tweak the main colour scheme or use preset color schemes that include a few paid options and the ability to use a few icon sets. I’m not a fan of most custom icon sets on Android as they are all inconsistent in some form, so I don’t think it is worth investing in any of those in the app. The app ships with some Free color schemes while some are available for $0.99 each. I love this trend of new Material Design apps that allow you to pick the primary and secondary highlight color for the UI from a set of colours. There are a few add-ons for Sold Explorer available on Google Play like FTP support or support for the cloud service MEGA.

There’s no ifs and buts here. This is an app every Android user needs for their device. Stop using the other file managers and upgrade your experience on Android with Solid Explorer 2.0. While the app itself is available for Free on Google Play, it is merely a two-week trial and you will need to unlock the Full Version for $1.99. I own the previous version (the unlocker) of the app, which is now dubbed Solid Explorer Classic, so Solid Explorer 2.0 unlocked as a full app automatically for me.

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Squarespace Launches Free Skillshare Class for Makers and Small Businesses [Sponsor] http://beautifulpixels.com/web/squarespace-launches-free-skillshare-class-for-makers-and-small-businesses-sponsor/ http://beautifulpixels.com/web/squarespace-launches-free-skillshare-class-for-makers-and-small-businesses-sponsor/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 18:49:24 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15634 SquarespaceA lot of products and services available today offer the tools that make it super simple to create your own website. There’s all kinds of designs and layouts that your website can sport today and modern web technologies have long push the boundaries of what’s possible. However, all this still doesn’t help if you’re in a rut or just don’t know where to begin....

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A lot of products and services available today offer the tools that make it super simple to create your own website. There’s all kinds of designs and layouts that your website can sport today and modern web technologies have long push the boundaries of what’s possible. However, all this still doesn’t help if you’re in a rut or just don’t know where to begin.

Thankfully, our friends at Squarespace have teamed up Skillshare to released a free, online video class called ‘Creating a Website to Build Your Online Brand‘. Lasting just an hour, you can learn how to create and maintain a beautiful & solid online presence & learn to achieve your business goals, from instructor George Denison.

The lessons in the course take you through topics such as growing your site over time, 5 essential pages on your website and the best practices for them, how to optimize your images & content in the best possible way and the value overall that a site adds to your brand.

This Skillshare class is great for anyone who’s either looking to build their first website or looking to revamp their existing one with better tools & support.

Check out the class here and Enroll for free.

Our thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring us this week.

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Equal Helps You Easily Track Your Group Expenses http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/equal-helps-you-easily-track-your-group-expenses/ http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/equal-helps-you-easily-track-your-group-expenses/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:53:25 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15621 Equal AppEver found yourself in a position where you’re with a group of people and there’s a payment to be made? Keeping track of who’s paying how much and who’s paying for someone is not an easy task. There are quite a few apps out there on the App Store that let you split your bill equally with friends, but Equal is one app that...

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Ever found yourself in a position where you’re with a group of people and there’s a payment to be made? Keeping track of who’s paying how much and who’s paying for someone is not an easy task. There are quite a few apps out there on the App Store that let you split your bill equally with friends, but Equal is one app that we’ve come across that does a superb job of keeping track of group expenses and debts.

Equal sports a beautiful UI and allows you to split your bills with friends, share the costs and at the same time, makes it easy to keep a track of everything. It essentially asks you a simple question. Who is paying how much for whom? Simply let Equal know these details and it does all the hard work for you. Equal keeps track of exactly how much you owe someone and how much your friends owe you. Once you’ve added a transaction, you can also add annotations and locations to it, so you can organize your transactions. It uses your contacts list, so if they’re also using the app, they’re notified when you’ve added a transaction in the app and they can track it on their own device. Of course, you can add transactions for friends even if they’re not using the app. In the list that Equal maintains, you can dig down and know exactly when a transaction took place and who paid how much. I really love how easy things are with Equal.

Equal is available for Free on the App Store and I urge you to definitely give it a try.

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Adobe Stock: Shaking Up The Stock Content Market [Sponsor] http://beautifulpixels.com/rss-sponsors/adobe-stock-shaking-up-the-stock-content-market-sponsor/ http://beautifulpixels.com/rss-sponsors/adobe-stock-shaking-up-the-stock-content-market-sponsor/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 19:49:05 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15609 adobestock-sponsorshipAdobe Stock has introduced a stock content service that’s directly integrated into creative tools and workflows. Approximately 85% of creatives who buy stock use Adobe tools; and over 90% of stock sellers use Adobe’s tools to create their images. Adobe is working with buyers and sellers to create a streamlined experience that makes the flow of content more efficient for buyers and increases the...

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Adobe Stock has introduced a stock content service that’s directly integrated into creative tools and workflows.

Approximately 85% of creatives who buy stock use Adobe tools; and over 90% of stock sellers use Adobe’s tools to create their images. Adobe is working with buyers and sellers to create a streamlined experience that makes the flow of content more efficient for buyers and increases the opportunities for sellers.

For stock buyers, Adobe Stock reduces the friction of buying and using stock content.

  • First, 40 million pieces of content for print, web and mobile app projects are available—photos, illustrations and graphics, covering virtually every subject.
  • Next, they’ve integrated Adobe Stock into the Creative Cloud desktop apps creatives use every day—such as Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe InDesign CC and more. Any stock image selected for preview or purchase in Adobe Stock are instantly available within the desktop and mobile apps, and any edits made to watermarked images are automatically applied whenever that image is purchased, saving hours of rework.
  • Finally, Creative Cloud members can rollover unused images from month-to-month. But there are options for non-members too. Stock images can be purchased, downloaded and sold directly on stock.adobe.com.

For stock contributors, Adobe is committed to increased commissions and straightforward and transparent pay out options. Not to mention reaching a growing audience of global stock creative users through Creative Cloud and marketers through Adobe’s Marketing Cloud.

And they’re just getting started. In the months ahead Adobe Stock will be adding new content types, integrate access more deeply into creative workflows and at the product’s core: do whatever it takes to bring content buyers and sellers closer together.

You can check it out here


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Introducing The Platter http://beautifulpixels.com/featured/the-platter-dot-io/ http://beautifulpixels.com/featured/the-platter-dot-io/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 19:39:02 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=15594 theplatterio-masthead“Wait, again? Didn’t you just…” “Yes, we know!” Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working on a new project — sort of an auxiliary site to Beautiful Pixels and today, we’re incredibly excited to announce The Platter. The Platter is a site that features exceptional content related to apps in the form of links to new app releases, notable updates to existing apps,...

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“Wait, again? Didn’t you just…”
“Yes, we know!”

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working on a new project — sort of an auxiliary site to Beautiful Pixels and today, we’re incredibly excited to announce The Platter.

The Platter is a site that features exceptional content related to apps in the form of links to new app releases, notable updates to existing apps, price drops, apps on sale, links to interesting product announcements, articles from app developers, quotes & other miscellaneous content that you might typically be interested in. And if you’re reading this, we’re positive that you’ll love The Platter.

Many of you already know that The Platter originally began as a weekly series of posts on Beautiful Pixels back in 2013. Our goal from the very beginning has been to bring our readers all the interesting news and content from world of apps. The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive and it helped us shape The Platter into what it is today. However, we put the series on hold when we started working on the new design for Beautiful Pixels. In February this year, we reintroduced The Platter in the form of a weekly newsletter, with the same spirit and goal of telling our readers about interesting apps. However, this format wasn’t really working out for The Platter and we also wanted to do a lot more than just a newsletter.

Moving to a standalone website now allows us to post a lot more frequently, without our own restrictions, and does not limit us to a once-a-week schedule. We have chosen a very minimal, responsive design for the site and the post links are color coded depending on what platform they’re about.

For those curious, nothing about Beautiful Pixels is changing. We’ll continue to showcase all the gorgeous examples of good UI design in apps and on the web just as we have been doing since 2009. The Platter is our way of covering the ‘everything else’ related to beautiful apps.

You can head over to http://theplatter.io to check it out and Subscribe to The Platter using the buttons below:

Subscribe via RSS
Subscribe to The Platter

Subscribe via Email
Right here

Follow us on Twitter @theplatterio

Launch Partners & Giveaway

A huge thanks to our launch partners Squarespace and Pixelmator for their support.

As part of the launch, we’re giving away four promo codes of Pixelmator for iOS & Mac as well as 10 BP Vinyl Stickers to our readers. All you have to do is share a link to The Platter on Twitter or Subscribe to us using any of the options listed above, and we’ll pick the lucky winners in a week.

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