While Android boasts of incredible technical customization, Apple's iOS has a well-deserved reputation for interface design and aesthetics. The small number of devices and screen sizes makes iOS an easier environment to develop for, which leads many apps to debut on the Apple platform first. From news readers to photography, utilities to games, here are 15 of the best iOS exclusive apps in the App Store right now.
Super Mario Run is Nintendo's first proper foray into smartphone gaming, a one-button runner game that has you guiding Mario past familiar obstacles and enemies while collecting coins. The main World Tour plays the most like a traditional Mario game, with players navigating hazards and collecting coins to reach the end of the level in a limited amount of time, while an asynchronous Toad Rally mode has you competing against your friends' scores and collecting coins and Toads for the Kingdom Builder mode, which has you spending Toads and coins customize your own Mushroom Kingdom and unlock more characters like Luigi and Princess Peach. The free download allows you to play the first three levels, while the $9.99 purchase unlocks all 24 levels.
Moleskine may be better known for its notebooks than its mobile apps, but the company's Timepage calendar app for iOS does a good job at being stylish and feature-packed. A smart calendar and day planner, Timepage works with existing calendar providers like iCloud, Facebook and Google, while providing some nifty calendar views and easy event creation. The base view provides a simple timeline of the day's coming appointments, with a date tab on the side for selecting specific days of the week. A month "heatmap" view quickly shows which days are free or busy, with filters surfacing particular events or calendars. Natural language parsing for event creation, maps and weather info, and natural language support are among the other additions. The iPad app provides expanded view modes and split-screen support.
Fresh Air is a minimalist weather app that shows you a seven-day scrollable, minute-by-minute weather forecast graphed out on a line showing data points like temperature, chance of precipitation and additional meteorological data sourced from Forecast.io. In addition, users can get severe weather warnings, weather forecasts for their scheduled calendar events, notifications and a Today widget. An in-app purchase unlocks NOAA radar maps and gets rid of ads.
Ummo is designed to be your personal speech coach, tracking down the times that you use filler words and phrases like "umm," "you know," and the like, while also recording your pace, word power, and clarity. Tap on the mic to start and stop recording, and once you're done, the app outputs the number of words spoken, pace and clarity, while also allowing you to dive deeper with a recorded transcript, with a record of specific filler words used, and a graph of your speaking pace. Users can configure their list of recorded fillers and add their own, and the app supports US and UK English.
iOS's clean, fiddle-free design experience has always made it a favorite for lifestyle apps. A fine example is Day One, a slick digital journal app for the mobile age, allowing users to easily create journal entries that can be as simple or as complex as you want. You can stick with the clean, minimal editing mode or plug in images, location and weather data, or even the music you're playing. Users can go back through their entries chronologically, or search by map data, tags or keywords, as well as share their creations to friends and family.
Overcast is a iOS podcast app by Instapaper creator Marco Ament that features clean design and neat audio and management features that make it a great mobile podcatcher. Overcast covers your podcatching basics for downloading podcast episodes, notifications of new episode releases, offline play and podcast discovery. The secret sauce comes with two nice audio features. Voice Boost normalizes the sound levels of speech, automatically boosting quiet voices and lowering loud ones. Smart Speed automatically cuts away at gaps and silence in the podcast, speeding up play without distorting audio. Some of Overcast's features are locked or limited in the free tier, which can be unlocked with a $4.99 in-app purchase.
Sasha is having a very bad day, emerging in a nightmarish underworld to find her family missing, her left arm a bloody stump, and a mysterious stranger offering her a strange, living sword. Featured among Apple's Best of 2016 apps, Severed has players guiding Sasha through her quest to rescue her family, exploring the netherworld and engaging in swipe-based combat as you cut past the monsters in your way. And harvest their limbs to grant you supernatural powers. Swipes are both attack and defense, parrying enemy attacks and leaving them open to your own strikes. The game spices things up by throwing multiple enemies at you from different directions, making threat management and smart use of special abilities key to surviving and rescuing your family.