New Apps to Consider

Joel Howell

Article by Joel Howell Newsletter Editorial Board


One of the best features of iOS devices such as iPads and iPhones is their interfunctionality. This month has some new Apps well worth looking at.

With every new model, the cameras on Apple products get increasingly better. Although those cameras take great pictures, the apps you can download significantly enhance the product. Paper Camera is one such app. It converts snapshots to hand-drawn/painted pictures. Paper Camera's free collection of cartoon, sketch, comic book, and many more effects can be painted directly into these in real time. You can then tweak and adjust as desired.

Another photo app with graphic effects is Litely. With it, you can edit your photos and customize your masterpieces, as it transforms your photos from average to dramatic and dreamy. Watch out though, as this may require additional in-app purchases for some enhancements.

Darkroom is a new iOS photo editing app that's a cut above many of its peers. While some other apps offer basic photo-editing options, Darkroom has Photoshop-like powers such as adjusting the RGB (red, green, blue) curves for precise color control. It's free, but there is a three dollar fee to access curves editing.

Don't have time for games during the business day? Try Epic Zen Garden, which gives you a 3-D animated environment that you can explore and interact with, as well as relax into your happy place. It contains stunning visuals of textures, reflections, cherry blossoms, swimming fish, flying birds, and much, much more. You can discover surprise areas where you can rake the sand or play with the fish.

Not using Evernote yet? You should try it to store notes, photos and voice memos, for retrieval later on any Web-connected device. The service offers a fair amount of free storage, but you can skip the limit for a fee.

Instead of covering your wall or desktop with sticky notes, you can take them with you. Post-it Plus allows you to do just that, as well as share and collaborate with others via services such as Dropbox and Tumblr. You can name, tag, and rearrange individual sticky notes, up to fifty per snapshot.

During the month, do you wonder if you're in danger of overrunning your data allowance? There are handy apps just for that. DataMan Next is one. Just enter the basics (data allowance and payment due date). The main screen shows the percentage of data allowance used, and sends a text alert when you're getting close. It also proves a tally of how much data you've downloaded via Wi-Fi. This little fellow costs two dollars.

An alternative is My Data Manager, and it's free. This one works on iOS and Android devices. It provides more detail than DataMan, including daily usage with graphs. An interesting tweak is a map showing where your data usage is most frequent, including helping you notice places where you think you're on Wi-Fi but aren't.

Onavo Count also works with iOS and Android. It works much like DataMan and My Data Manager, but also shows how much of your data usage is for categories such as music and movies.

Data Usage, free but for Android only, is more text-based. You can customize it to show day to day usage, among other variables. Finally, your cellular network provider may have its own app.

As cyber-hacking becomes more of a threat in the modern computer era, strong passwords and logins become necessities. 1Password lets you store all of your vital information in one secure vault. It lets you log in to websites without having to remember your password, while still keeping your information safe and protected.

Questions or comments? Drop me an email: