Beautiful Pixels http://beautifulpixels.com An Unhealthy Lust for Design Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:45:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Shifts — Work Calendar for Shift Workers http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/shifts-work-calendar-shift-workers/ http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/shifts-work-calendar-shift-workers/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:45:38 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=14541 Shifts app for iPhoneShifts is a brilliant new iPhone app for anyone who works in, well… shifts. The app has been designed, developed and built by Snowman, popularly known as the developers of apps like Checkmark, Circles & Super Squares. Just like their previous apps, Shifts ships with scrumptious pixels. Shifts...


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Shifts is a brilliant new iPhone app for anyone who works in, well… shifts. The app has been designed, developed and built by Snowman, popularly known as the developers of apps like Checkmark, Circles & Super Squares. Just like their previous apps, Shifts ships with scrumptious pixels.

Shifts allows the user to create custom shift types and then apply them directly to the calendar days. These shift types are customizable using color, name & a gorgeous collection of icons. Once shift types have been set up, users can either manually add up to 2 shifts per day depending on their schedule or automatically set up shift rotation. The app makes it super easy to add your shifts to the calendar, but also makes it easy to take a glimpse at what your schedule is going to be like over the next few weeks. You can even share your schedule with your peers just as easily. There’s a nifty reminder functionality built into the app, so you are alerted about your shifts when one is about to begin.

When adding your custom shift types, if you have specified your hourly rate, the app can even show you your monthly estimated earnings. Shifts also has calendar integration, allowing you to view events right within the app. All your upcoming shifts can be viewed via a Today widget, so you almost never have to launch the app. The app has been polished to perfection and every action and interaction in the app feels great. Shifts is available for iPhones running iOS 8 at an introductory price of $1.99.

App Details:

Website | Download URL | Price: $1.99

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Next Keyboard — A Phenomenally Better iOS Keyboard http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/next-keyboard-phenomenally-better-ios-keyboard/ http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/next-keyboard-phenomenally-better-ios-keyboard/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 22:30:15 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=14537 Next KeyboardWhen iOS 8 was announced at WWDC ’14, one of its notable features was the ability to install third-party keyboards and use them in various apps in place of the stock iOS keyboard. Since its release, we’ve seen a lot of third-party keyboards being launched on the App...


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When iOS 8 was announced at WWDC ’14, one of its notable features was the ability to install third-party keyboards and use them in various apps in place of the stock iOS keyboard. Since its release, we’ve seen a lot of third-party keyboards being launched on the App Store, including the likes of SwiftKey, TextExpander and Themeboard. However, Next Keyboard is one third-party keyboard that I’m most excited about.

Next Keyboard aims to be “the Perfect Keyboard for iPhone” and boasts some amazing features that easily set it apart from the rest. The developers of Next, who’ve previously brought apps like Wake Alarm to the App Store, have been running a Kickstarter campaign for it for the last month or so and the project has already reached almost 6x its original goal of $10,000. The developers had hooked me up with a very early, pre-beta version of the keyboard for me to try on my iPhone 6 and Next definitely shows a lot of promise.

Next features some innovative and essential features that make it a phenomenal keyboard option for iOS. For example, Next includes a feature called “Quick Cursor Swipe” that lets you move your cursor by swiping on the spacebar. This makes editing any typos a breeze. Next also manages to implement word predictions much better than other third-party keyboards I’ve tried. Other features include the ability to swipe to type, a better Shift key implementation and an integrated, custom Emoji keyboard so you don’t have to change keyboards to type a single Emoji. Next also features the option to customize the look via themes, all of which are beautiful to look at. There are many more features that Next will ship with and the list is available on their Kickstarter campaign. While the early build of the keyboard that I tried was obviously riddled with bugs, as there’s plenty of development that’s still left, but it still showed a lot of promise.

There are still 3 days left to go before the campaign ends, so you can (and should) back the campaign here. I hope Apple manages to fix the iOS 8 bugs related to keyboards till the time Next Keyboard is ready for prime time.


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Squares — A Challenging Puzzle Game http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/squares-challenging-puzzle-game-ios/ http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/squares-challenging-puzzle-game-ios/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 01:30:45 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=14524 squares-game-mastheadUnlike Mikhail who is a huge game nerd, I only like and play a few simple games. I love games that I can play by pulling my phone out of my pocket, playing for a few minutes and then getting on with what I was doing previously. Games...


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Unlike Mikhail who is a huge game nerd, I only like and play a few simple games. I love games that I can play by pulling my phone out of my pocket, playing for a few minutes and then getting on with what I was doing previously. Games like these are also super fun when you’re waiting in a queue or for waiting for someone to arrive. Squares is one-such game. It’s a brilliantly minimal puzzle game for iOS developed by Matthias Hochgatterer, the indie dev behind the My Finances app.

Gameplay is incredibly simple. You are presented with colored blocks on your screen, along with colored dots. You win the game when the blocks are moved to their respective dots. The blocks move around in set directions and can also push other blocks in the same direction. Arrows on the play area can change the direction of the blocks when they’re over them. The gameplay gets a lot more challenging are you progress through the game, and stays just as addictive. There are tons of levels for you to dive into and Squares does a pretty good job of keeping you hooked. The game is inspired by this HTML5 game.

There’s a nifty option dedicated to color blind folks. Enabling the Pattern Overlay option in Settings ensures that color blind people can distinguish the blocks and dots and enjoy the game. Squares is available for $0.99 on the App Store.

App Details:

Website | Download URL | Price: $0.99

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Due 2 for iOS http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/due-2-ios/ http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/due-2-ios/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 22:00:14 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=14510 due-2-masthead-bpWhen I first used Due a few years ago, it was the greatest reminders and todo app ever for me. The app was easy to use and the auto snooze functionality that nagged you with notifications till you marked them as done was great. iOS 6 didn’t have...


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When I first used Due a few years ago, it was the greatest reminders and todo app ever for me. The app was easy to use and the auto snooze functionality that nagged you with notifications till you marked them as done was great. iOS 6 didn’t have background sync, so when iOS 7 hit, everyone including myself was curious about an update to Due that would hopefully add a new look and background sync. Due 1.10 did bring a new look, but no background sync. I’ve always used multiple apps together for getting things done. OmniFocus is the best project management app, but it isn’t great for immediate menial tasks or lists. Clear is the best list management app out there. Similarly, Due 2 is a near perfect update to Due and saying I’ve enjoyed using it for the past few months will be a huge understatement.

Due 2 is a major update to Due. It is also an update to the existing app you probably own by now and not an all new app that needs to be bought again. More on the pricing model a bit later. Due 2 adds full support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes. The app has been completely rewritten and the new look is beautiful. Due 2 supports two themes out of the box and I hope more themes are added soon. I’m a big fan of the Ash theme. My only real complaint with the look is the shadow separator on the iPad app. It looks out of place.

Due 2 uses great typography and supports dynamic text size. The main reminders interface now has headers indicating time frames for when reminders in the future are due. Each time frame section also has a nice colour highlight indicator. The Timer view is similar to the Reminders view, with the addition of a play button next to each timer. Pulling down in the Reminders or Timers view reveals the search bar and there are some nifty gestures within the app. Swiping reminders to the left lets you mark them as completed and swiping further lets you delete them. Timers can be swiped to the left for deletion.

Due 2 has an all new compose window and editor for reminders and timers. Tapping the + on the top right slides in the new composer that gets pushed up by the keyboard. The rest of the app is blurred behind this composer and the keyboard, and it looks remarkable. The composer has a customizable set of quick access times. There are 5 buttons above the compose window that let you quickly cancel, change auto snooze, set repetition, change alarm tone and confirm the reminder. You can also flick the compose window to either side to set the reminder. Tapping any reminder brings up the same composer with buttons below as well that let you share the reminder to another app or delete it. For timers, the composer has the same buttons, but features a time picker instead and has an optional title field.

Due 2 is a thorough iOS 8 app. It makes great use of actionable notifications, allowing you to snooze or mark a reminder as completed right from the notification or lock screen. Having 5—10—15—30 minute auto snooze options is awesome. Background sync with Dropbox works perfectly and is almost instant. Due 2’s progress bar now resembles that of the official iPhone Twitter app while uploading media. There’s no refresh button in Due 2 and it uses a status bar overlay to display the sync status. Everything is handled quite elegantly, but I did have some sync issues in poor network areas and having a refresh button would be nicer than having to relaunch the app to initiate a forced sync. The settings section lets you change sounds, quick access times, default snooze and adjust Dropbox sync settings. You can also change the app theme from here and import iOS reminders from the Reminders.app. Due 2 does almost everything right. It has an amazing new look, excellent alert sounds from Cleartones, and supercharged functionality. I really wish it had more themes though.

Pricing

The pricing for Due 2 is interesting. Existing owners of Due v1 get a lot of the new features in the app for free with this update. The features like background sync, pausing and resuming timers, auto snooze times and new alert sounds can be unlocked for $2.99 (40% Off) for existing owners. On the other hand, if you’ve never purchased the app before, Due 2 is available on the App Store for just $4.99. It is an absolute steal at that price.

App Details:

Website | Download URL | Price: $4.99

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Infuse 3 for iOS http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/infuse-3-ios/ http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/infuse-3-ios/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:32:59 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=14463 infuse 3 mastheadBefore the release of iOS 8, I used It’s Playing Pro for anything video on iOS. The app played almost everything I threw at it and basically worked well. Back then, Firecore, the team behind the Apple TV jailbreaks, had a video player for iOS called Infuse. I’ve...


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Before the release of iOS 8, I used It’s Playing Pro for anything video on iOS. The app played almost everything I threw at it and basically worked well. Back then, Firecore, the team behind the Apple TV jailbreaks, had a video player for iOS called Infuse. I’ve had my eye on this for a long time but only bothered with it when the major iOS 8 and iPhone 6 app update hit a few months ago. Infuse 3 brings support for more video formats, DTS HD audio, and more streaming options.

Infuse 3 impressed me from the start. Everything about the app from transferring media through to actual playback and navigation is done well. The app has an orange highlight throughout and a light and dark theme. Infuse’s media transferring interface is pretty damn great as well. It looks a lot like the actual app in a browser and lets you quickly add media. The main app screen has thumbnails for your videos and in most cases, Infuse fetches metadata from the internet so your library looks great. It also lets you manually search through its database for information if the automatic sync fails. Tapping a video will bring up this lovely movie ticket esque view with a blurred background. All pertinent information about the file is displayed here and you can even share the video through the native iOS share sheet. The playback interface is minimal and there’s a settings gear on the top right that lets you adjust the audio, subtitles, or video settings. Infuse supports downloading subtitles from OpenSubtitles as well. Infuse also boasts support for all the wireless drives like Mophie Space Pack and Seagate Wireless Plus.

Infuse is the best video player on iOS right now with amazing functionality and a gorgeous interface. Some features I hope they add in the future are support for styled subtitles and proper playback of advertised formats like Hi10P video. The only app on iOS that has managed to get styled subtitles right so far is VLC and that gets pulled more often than weather apps release on the App Store. Infuse 3 is available for free on the App Store with a $9.99 in app purchase that unlocks AirPlay video streaming, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS® and DTS-HD® audio, a few more video formats. Infuse Pro is also available on the App Store with everything unlocked from the start for $9.99. Upgrade pricing for previous owners is available as well.

App Details:

Website | Download URL | Price: Free

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Reuk — Manual Camera Controls for iPhone http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/reuk-manual-camera-controls-iphone/ http://beautifulpixels.com/iphone/reuk-manual-camera-controls-iphone/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 17:02:13 +0000 http://beautifulpixels.com/?p=14459 ReukReuk is a super simple camera app for iPhone that lets you take complete control of your camera’s settings. It puts the camera settings at your finger tips so you can tweak them to get the photo to appear just the way you want it to in the...


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Reuk is a super simple camera app for iPhone that lets you take complete control of your camera’s settings. It puts the camera settings at your finger tips so you can tweak them to get the photo to appear just the way you want it to in the final result.

With iOS 8, Apple opened up a few APIs that developers could use to adjust settings like the camera exposure, ISO, Shutter Speed, White Balance, Focus, etc. Reuk makes it extremely easy to tweak these settings for every shot you take through the app. These settings are placed just below the viewfinder and changing them is as easy as swiping on the screen. You can also set a 5 or 10 second timing and take photos using the iPhone’s volume buttons. There’s also a handy horizon level indicator to make sure your photos are always leveled correctly. From the app’s settings, you can toggle the Grid, Level, Geotag and ‘Flash on Countdown’ settings.

Reuk is really as simple as it gets. It’s available on the App Store for just $0.99.

Giveaway

Thanks to the developer @manolosavi, we’ve got five promo codes of Reuk to give away. To stand a chance to win one, tweet us a link to your favorite photo taken from an iPhone (or iPad) and we’ll pick the winners on January 15th, 2015.

App Details:

Website | Download URL | Price: $0.99

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