Readers’ App Reviews – April 2016

Ryan Poolos

ArmadilloSmashThumb

April is here, and that means WWDC has finally been announced! I can’t wait to see the new APIs available and what the fantastic raywenderlich.com community will build with them.

Luckily for us, we don’t need to wait to see great apps from our community. My inbox is packed with great apps just released by readers like you.

I receive more than an app a day from fellow readers, and although I don’t have time to write about every app that hits my inbox, hopefully the few I show inspires you to finish your app.

This month we have:

  • A game where only one armadillo was harmed in the making
  • A photo filter app that gives you more control than ever
  • A guide for beer lovers in or visiting New York City
  • And of course, much more!

Keep reading to see the the latest apps released by raywenderlich.com readers like you!

Armadillo Smash

ArmadilloSmash
Armadillo Smash is an addicting retro themed arcade style game, ready to be your new favorite.

Armadillo Smash kicks off with you launching the Armadillo star of the show into the air.

Keeping your Armadillo in the air is all about timing. Each bounce requires a carefully timed tap to make sure he rolls and performs a perfect bounce.

Armadillo Smash is fully universal offering iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. You can even play on your Apple Watch to influence the game for a second player on the iPhone, making it harder or easier for them to crack the high score.

Filteract

Filteract
Filteract is a must have for those of your looking to make professional looking photos easy right on your iPhone.

Filteract allows you to carefully paint individual filters on your photos wherever your want. Want a black and white with a colorful element still popping? Or maybe you want to make the background tinted. Filteract can help with all of it.

All you have to do is select a filter, then you can paint it onto your photo in one of three ways:

  1. You can paint freeform if you have a steady finger.
  2. Or you can use a special paint-roller tool to fill shapes as you paint. The paint-roller will automatically detect shape edges as you paint and expand the paint for you.
  3. Finally you can also use a magic-paint tool to select objects or fill shapes with a single touch. It works great on main subjects or brightly colored objects for quick flairs of color in a black and white photo.

K’s Challenge

KChallenge
We’ve all been addicted to the physics based puzzle games that exploded on the iPhone. But now you may never put your phone down again.

K’s Challenge is a simple game at the core. There is a yellow ball you need to connect to a yellow square. But how you get it there is by drawing your own objects that interact with the natural gravity of the space.

K’s Challenge is extremely addicting. Its tons of fun to interact with the game on such a fundamental level. Levels aren’t over after just one victory. Because the game offers unlimited creativity its fun to replay levels and try to solve them with different drawings.

Abel – A ride you want to share

Abel
Abel is a ride sharing app ready to take on the likes of Uber and Lyft in their hometown Amsterdam and some surrounding areas.

Ride sharing is something Uber and Lyft are starting to dabble in. Rather than pay for a private car. You can pay less to share a car with fellow travelers on a similar route. It allows Abel to be up to 50% cheaper per ride than Uber X.

For you, Abel still works the same. There is a slick app to set your pickup location and pay the driver automatically. But behind the scenes Abel will group travelers heading to the same or nearby locations and help the driver pick passengers up in the right order at the right places.

Its great to see an indie app from the Ray Wenderlich community taking on the big dogs. If you live in Amsterdam or visit, download Abel and give it a try, it will save you a few bucks and give you a chance to meet some fellow travelers.

Zero G

Zero
Match 3 games are a dime a dozen. But Zero G is a unique take on them that increases the skill level and addictiveness equally.

Zero G rather than moving individual gems, operates like a sliding puzzle. You swipe to slide the entire board. Each gem pops in one at a time between each board swipe. You can see the next gem like a Tetris game so you can try to prepare for it.

It takes some skill and luck to align sets of 3 gems with precision and planning. And it is very rewarding to get a few sets at a time with this more challenging game play.

Of course, being a well made iOS game, Zero G has Game Center leaderboards and achievements as well as Facebook and Twitter sharing.

Muzzle Flash FX

MuzzleFlash
Have you ever taken a video that needed a little more BANG!? You’re in luck!

Muzzle Flash FX is a special effects app that helps you add muzzle flashes, sparks, and bullet hits to your videos right on your iPhone. They have a library of effects covering handguns, sniper rifles, machine guns, and more.

All effects have full visual and audio and offer several angles to make sure its just right for your video. Muzzle Flash also lets you customize your sparks or hits with a full featured particle engine so you can get the sparks just right.

Muzzle Flash FX will definitely add some flair to your next home movie!

Scratchpad

Scratchpad
We’ve all done it. In the digital world TextEdit has become our scratch paper. The problem is, once we close it, we often have lost our notes if you didn’t remember to save it. Or worse we have hundreds of Untitled.txt saved to our desktop. But Scratchpad is here to help!

When you open Scratchpad you get a familiar interface similar to TextEdit. But it’s ready to go. No need to create a new document or find an old on – Scratchpad is ready for your ideas right away.

No need to worry about saving, Scratchpad is always saving. And with a simple scroll you can see your old notes. Scratchpad remembers all your notes, you can scroll back through all the versions along the way.

Call of the Universe

CallOfTheUniverse
NASA takes some amazing pictures of our universe and shares them regularly. Now with Call of the Universe you can get them right on your iPhone.

Call of the Universe has access to over 7,000 NASA images with new ones released everyday. Call of the Universe grabs the latest pictures and their NASA descriptions. You can mark your favorites to find them easily later, and get notified when new pictures drop each day.

Finally, you can easily search for specific dates. I love the photos from my past birthdays! :]

If you’re a space nerd, then this app is a must have for you.

Beer Guide NYC

BeersNYC
Beer Guide NYC is a must have app for any beer lovers in or visiting NYC.

Beer Guide has over 250 curated pubs around the city with reviews, photographs, websites, twitter handles, phone numbers, and more.

You can easily search for the pub nearest to you like you’d expect. But you can also lookup pubs by areas, landmarks, bus lines, or subway stations. Great for planning your night before you even leave.

The database of pubs is stored on your device, so even if you’re offline or limited on data, you’ll have no problem finding a great New York pub to visit.

Honorable Mentions

Every month I get way more submissions than I have time to write about. I download every app to try them out, but only have time to review a select few. I love seeing our readers through the apps submitted to me every month.

It’s not a popularity contest or even a favorite picking contest — I just try to share a snapshot of the community through your submissions. Please take a moment and try these other fantastic apps from readers like you.

Noble Ninja
Pomodo
SDA Hymnal – Free
Retro Formula 3D
Rainbow Burst
Gobi – Send snaps in groups!
Boost My Fund
in lumine
tpg offline
babla
Dot Dodging
Killer interview
Fly Froggy

Where To Go From Here?

Each month, I really enjoy seeing what our community of readers comes up with. The apps you build are the reason we keep writing tutorials. Make sure you tell me about your next one, submit here.

If you saw an app your liked, hop to the App Store and leave a review! A good review always makes a dev’s day. And make sure you tell them you’re from raywenderlich.com; this is a community of makers.

If you’ve never made an app, this is the month! Check out our free tutorials to become an iOS star. What are you waiting for – I want to see your app next month.

Ryan Poolos

Ryan Poolos (@EmperiorEric) is currently CEO of Frozen Fire Studios and subsidiary PopArcade. He builds games and apps exclusively for iOS both internally and for clients. His latest game is Hand Prix. His latest App is Atoll. Get in touch for your next great project.

Ryan has 6 years of professional iOS experience alongside 11 years of part time graphic design experience and 8 years of web development experience. Ryan loves everything tech and tries hard to stays up with the latest and greatest.

If you are a reader of this site and you would like your app reviewed, click here!

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