The Platter: iOS 7 Special
Apple officially released iOS 7 on September 18th, 2013, less than a week ago. Love the icons or hate them, the OS as a whole feels much more refined and much better to use (as long as you’re not on an iPad) and is already seeing great adoption statistics. This week has been huge for tech and gaming in general, and you are probably taking a break from playing GTA V right now as you read this. We decided to break away from the regular and are serving up an extra long, extra delicious Platter this week that covers some of our favorite iOS 7 apps that got updated with some refreshing iOS 7 special pixels. Without further ado, here’s the this week’s platter.
Evernote has always been at the forefront of great app designs. They even won an Apple Design award at WWDC this year. Their apps are always easy to use and look great on almost every platform. With iOS 7, Evernote hit 7.0 as well in a huge update that made the app beyond stunning. It not only looks breathtaking now but also feels great to use and has a boatload more of functionality. Evernote 7 supports parallax effects on the app homescreen as well and all the elements in the app are very responsive. The iPad app has a very nice live blur effect when you access the sidebar. There’s a great video showcasing the new app over on their blog. Evernote 7 for iOS is available Free on the App Store.
Clear for iOS 7
Clear generated a lot of buzz when it launched and is one of the best and unique apps ever. Users have been asking for an iPad app for a long time and in a recent iPhone app update, Realmac Software promised they were working on one. Meanwhile, iOS 7 was nearing release and the developers announced that the new version of Clear would be iOS 7 only. This new version is a universal app and not a free update to the old app. The old app still works but will not be receiving any more updates. The new Clear does a great job of fitting in with iOS 7 and the iPad app in particular works really well in its multi-pane layout. The iPhone app also has a translucent status bar and themed colors look great behind that as you scroll. Clear for iOS 7 syncs with iCloud, so transferring your tasks is a non issue. Clear is available as a universal app for $2.99 on the App Store.
App In The Air
There have recently been loads of apps that help you track your flights. Many of them look great. App in the Air is a lovely app that has some really great animations throughout. It helps you do everything you need and tries to provide all the necessary information you need for your flight. The app has a simple look to it and has loads of features like syncing with TripIt, among other things. The app has an in app purchase that enables some nifty features like notifications for your flight and text messages sent to up to 3 people. App in the Air is available Free on the App Store.
PUK for iOS + Android
PUK is easily one of the best mobile games you will play. We featured it a few months ago and it was recently updated with 2 new modes. There’s now a dark hard mode as if the game wasn’t hard enough and a light mode. The new modes have their own sounds and unique levels. The app now sports a nice iOS 7 icon. PUK is available on the App Store and Google Play for $1.99.
Instapaper is one of the most popular apps of all time. Betaworks just released Instapaper 5.0 that sports a gorgeous iOS 7 look. The update is available for free to existing users on iOS. Instapaper always looked great on iPad and now even the iPhone app is amazing right from the launch image. Reading in the app has always been a joy and it continues to offer one of the best reading experiences on iOS. Instapaper is available on the App Store for $3.99.
Write for iPhone 2
Write was featured here in May and it has only gotten better since then. Write introduced some features that almost feel essential in any apps involving text entry like the scroll button. Write has always had a great interface and you will love the animations in it. It now syncs with iCloud or Dropbox and the new iOS 7 update is great. It has 2 new themes to match your new phone and also has full rich text Markdown editing. It even supports landscape text entry now. Write for iPad 2 will be arriving in a few weeks and you can get Write for iPhone 2 right now on the App Store for $1.99.
Felix for App.net has always combined elegant looks with features before any other app. It evolves as fast as, if not faster than, the App.net API. Felix 3 for iPhone and iPad is a true embodiment of what iOS 7 brings. It makes use of the parallax effect for its puck navigation and also features a brand new customizable menu for it. Felix makes use of a nifty live blur on profile pages using the cover image as the background. Felix is now faster as well with quicker response and the transitions have a very lively feel to them with the bounce effect and button animation dynamics used. The themes have been improved and there really isn’t much to not like about the app barring the slightly sluggish performance on iPad. Felix for App.net is available on the App Store for iPhone and for iPad for $2.99 each.
DataMan Next and Pro are by far the best looking data monitors for iOS right now. They both got major updates supporting full background checking and updated themes with some new typography. DataMan Pro also received a very nice new look to its App breakdown page. Unfortunately the app breakdown feature that has been added in iOS 7 is more detailed right now because the latest version of DataMan Pro only offers an hourly usage with a list of apps instead of a proper breakdown forcing you to visit the device settings usage screen to view individual app usage. DataMan Pro is available for $2.99 on sale right now and you can pickup DataMan Next for free as of this writing. The sale is on till Sunday night.
Some wallpapers that looked great on earlier versions of iOS don’t fit in with the new look of iOS 7. Blur. helped with that to some extent. Apple included a few gradient wallpapers in iOS 7 but you can never have enough of those. Grad is a dead simple app that allows you to create gradient wallpapers for your iOS device by tapping and dragging a few color wheels and tapping the arrow pointing down. Grad just has 2 dots and 2 arrows on the screen that is a generated gradient wallpaper. Tapping the left arrow takes you to your previously generated gradients. Grad is available on the App Store as a universal app for $0.99.
Next has always been about simplicity. It simplified how you track your expenses when it released in February and now it just hit 2.0. The new version not only has an updated look but also fixes a lot of the issues I faced when I used the app. It also now has inline editing and some great subtle animations. If you enter a large amount compared to the average of the category, the icon bounces and even the surrounding icons bounce giving it a sense of liveliness as is present in a number of newly updated apps. Next 2 is available as a free update to existing users and it can be purchased on the App Store for $1.99.
The updated TED app is clean, fast and puts content first. TED is one of the apps that embraces iOS 7’s focus on color and text instead of buttons. The majority of interactive areas are covered in the iconic Red color you see in TED’s logo which gives the app a sense of familiarity. Free of skeuomorphism, TED is a delight to use. The app is Universal and available Free on the App Store.
Primary for Instagram
Primary (formerly known as Gramatica) is a universal, feature-packed app for viewing your Instagram feed. The app recently received full support for iOS 7 and looks gorgeous. The icons used within the app follow the design used throughout iOS 7 and will fit right in on your updated iOS 7 device. Primary supports multiple Instagram accounts and has some neat features such as the ability to create filters and lists. As a bonus, you can also choose between light and dark themes within the app. Primary is available on the App Store for $1.99 and is worth the price just for the filters.
Couple is a lovely little app for sharing your life’s precious moments with that special someone. The guys at TenthBit have done an amazing job redesigning the app’s UI for iOS 7 while maintaining familiarity with the old version of the app. The app uses translucency in a fun yet beautiful way and is an absolute delight to use. Couple lets you share texts, voice messages, photos, videos, stickers, locations, calendars, to-do lists and more with your partner. The app is available for Free on the App Store and is a no-brainer for couples.
Scratch — the quick-input notepad has gotten an absolutely beautiful iOS 7 redesign this week. Not only does it have a lovely new icon, the interface is now cleaner, lighter and works brilliantly with the rest of iOS 7 aesthetics. It still works just as well & comes highly recommended from us if you want to quickly jot down something. Scratch is a Universal app and is $2.99 on the App Store.
Vimeo is one of our favorite online services & communities on the web. People spend hours watching videos & shorts posted there. The Vimeo iOS app was updated with a glorious design that puts these videos in front & in focus. It also syncs your videos for offline playback, although this worked a little wonky for us. The new design lets you enjoy watching videos, all through a familiar iOS 7 styled interface. If Vimeo is your thing, there's no reason why you shouldn't have the iOS app. It's a Universal app & Free on the App Store.
Byword has been a fantastic text-editor available for iPhone & iPad for quite some time now. The developers have continued to add features with every major release and make it a better app overall. Right on cue on Sep 18th, the devs were ready with the release of a refreshed iOS 7 design for Byword, one that vastly improves the look of the UI. We love how, in the new UI, elements that you can interact with have a golden tint to them. Byword is a Universal app and is $4.99 on the App Store.
Filibaba's Recipe Apps
The Filibaba team makes delicious apps. Smoothies, Spreads, Weekends & Meals were all updated with stunning iOS 7 pixels this past week. The new design has edge to edge photos of the recipes, along with some neat animations, transitions and blur effects. All of their apps now have scrumptious contents in a lovely little package. You can check out all the four apps here.
It's been over three years since we last wrote about Momento — the Diary/Journal app for iPhone. While the app has added a few features since then, it's most notable update came in the form of an iOS 7 redesign, beating Day One in the race. The new design is a lovely coat of paint on the app, although it still lacks companion apps on iPad and the Mac. The app has a new icon and is Free on the App Store.
The FitBit is a superb little device that you can carry around on you, see some important stats about your activity & is also pretty great in motivating you to keep yourself fit. The iPhone app, however, was boring and still carried an old design. Thanks to the release of iOS 7, the app has undergone a major redesign and looks nice & refreshing. The developers have also improved the menu so that it's easier to navigate around. The app is useless if you don't have the device, but you can still check out the app on the App Store here.
We’re huge fans of Contrast (formerly App Cubby) here at Beautiful Pixels. They solve problems and make things much quicker for you on iOS. They recently launched a new weather app called Perfect Weather, that is insanely useful and it provides detailed information with radar imagery. The only drawback right now is the app is US only. It has a nice cards interface and each location is represented by a card than can be tapped or swiped up for viewing. The small tab below the name can be expanded by pulling down for more weather information. The app has been built from the ground up to look amazing on iOS 7 and it shows. The app has you covered for a 7 day forecast, hourly temperature forecast and great radar animations on the map. The developers have put together an excellent video showcasing the app. It has the right amount of bright colours and elegance to it. Perfect Weather is available on the App Store for $2.99.