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.
One of the best mobile puzzle games ever is back exclusively on iOS, with beautiful colors and fantastical designs. Much like the original Monument Valley, you're figuring out how to navigate your way through a series of stunningly surreal castles and monuments. Only in Monument Valley 2, you're guiding two characters through this mystical land. You don't have to have played the original Monument Valley to enjoy this sequel, which retains many of the elements — including immersive audio and striking visuals — that made us fall for the game the first time.
When it's time to do some serious photo-editing, you don't need to break out your MacBook Pro. Just turn to Affinity Photo, an iPad exclusive that puts professional photo editing tools right at your fingerprints. Developer Serif Labs says that this iPad app was built from the same back-end as the desktop version of Affinity Photo, only tailored specifically for Apple's tablets. Highlights include full support for unlimited layers, retouching and correction tools, and an advanced brush engine among other pro-focused features. And Serif Labs promises fast performance that can take advantage of tools like the Apple Pencil.
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.
Accompany brings together calendar and contact management features to your iPhone to up your meeting prep A-game. Sign up for the service with your work email account, and Accompany turns itself into your mobile chief of staff, assembling detailed profiles for people and companies in your upcoming events and meetings, all of which you can look up on the fly or consult in an Executive Briefing emailed to you the night before the event. You can look up your last communications with contacts, their social media posts, or news stories featuring them, as well as company profiles, financial reports, and news, meaning you'll never come unprepared. Users can sign up for the open beta in Accompany's site, and the app is available on iOS or through a web interface.
Just Press Record is a versatile one-tap recording app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch that comes with built-in transcription features for easy note taking. Users can record from a long press on the app icon, from a lockscreen or notification widget. (There's also an Apple Watch Complication for Just Press Record if you've got one of Apple's smartwatches.) The app can transcribe speech with support for a number of languages and spoken punctuation commands. Recordings are sorted by date and time, and can be manually renamed. The transcription also allows you to search through recordings for specific terms. Recordings and transcriptions sync to iCloud, and you can share them to a variety of apps.
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.