Readers’ App Reviews – July 2016

Ryan Poolos

Review-2016-July-feature

I’m sure many of you are hard at work on your iOS 10 releases. Hopefully a couple of you are also working on MacOS Sierra and watchOS 3 releases as well. Remember, although iOS is king it’s not the only platform! ;]

Here at raywenderlich.com, we’re updating our books and tutorials as quickly as we can. And I’m sure all of you are rushing to update your apps as well!

Of course, some of you are are saying “Who has time to wait for iOS 10?!” and are releasing awesome apps today. My inbox has been full with new app submissions and I’ve picked just a few to share with you. Sadly, I never have time to write about them all so be sure to check out the honorable mentions at the end.

This month we have:

  • An app says “keep running – or else!”
  • An app to keep track of your children’s funny quotes
  • An app to help you bask in Github vanity
  • And of course, much more!

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

Read

read
Read is an app for children aged 4-8 that is designed to making learning the alphabet and reading skills fun and progressive.

Read is packed with 20 lessons, 120 exercises, and more than 150 interactive stories. Read is aimed at children learning to read for the very first time and can take them all the way to a 2nd grade reading level.

The neat thing about Read is it focuses on teaching in practical ways. For example, letters are introduced in order of frequency in the English language instead of their order in the alphabet. Read also includes educational tips and detailed contextual help for parents and teachers for each lesson.

Activities include Letter Tracing, Spelling from sounds, Pick the word by listening, Listen and write, Interactive writing pad that reads words aloud, stories and questions, and many many more.

Read is great on the iPhone and even better on the iPad. If you have a young child, definitely download it and give it a try.

FinCalc

FinCalc
FinCalc is an easy to use financial calculator that will help calculate car loans, home loans, and retirement savings.

FinCalc is designed to be very easy to use. Rather than a blank form, each calculator is made up of sliders with relative ranges to what you’d expect. Adjusting any of the sliders results in a live update of the totals and graph.

On the home and auto loan calculators the graph shows both the principle and interest so you can see visually how much interest you’re paying as you adjust the parameters like the rate and repayment term. You can also see a schedule for individual payments with principle contribution amounts.

The retirement calculator makes it easy to adjust your starting and retirement age as well as expected raise and investment return rates. Watching what your retirement nest egg grow or shrink as you adjust the parameters can be very enlightening!

PowerRunner

PowerRunner
Lots of apps help you listen to your music while you run, but only PowerRunner will keep you running.

After you select your preferred music from your iTunes library, you can set your targeted pace for each run. If your current pace drops under your goal, PowerRunner will pause the music. It won’t resume until you get your current pace back over your target. This is a great way to give you direct feedback on your running and help you maintain a solid pace while you run.

PowerRunner will also save each of your runs including a map of where you ran, your average pace, overall distance, and total time. It will even color code your path based on your pace to give you a really cool visualization of your entire run.

Tower of Tasks

toweroftasks
Tower of Tasks is a todo list with personality.

Tower of Tasks helps you get things done like any todo list. However Tower of Tasks includes various graphics and animations to give you a little extra motivation.

By limiting the total number of high priority tasks, Tower of Tasks will help you focus on whats important. And you can set timed reminders on a per task basis.

In addition, the app includes a today extension for high priority tasks, an Apple Watch app, and even iCloud support. Somebody’s been reading their tutorials! :]

Circlestouch

circlestouch
Circlestouch is an addictive reaction game that has a calming effect as you play.

In Circlestouch, various colored circles appear randomly placed on the screen. Some colors are safe to touch, others are not. You need to tap as many of the safe colors as you can while avoiding the dangerous colors.

In each level, those colors change. The colors are on a similar spectrum such as shades of green or red. It can take a little more time than you’d think to mentally process which are safe to touch. There are also various power-ups that will help change the game as they appear.

And of course, Circlestouch supports GameCenter so you can challenge your friends to make it further than you.

Upside Offers

UpsideOffers
Upside Offers brings great coupons right to your phone.

Upside Offers is like your own personal coupon booklet based on your preferences and location. The app makes it easy to discover deals for your favorite brands, find the nearest place that accepts the coupon, and quickly redeem the deal with a barcode. No longer do you need to find, cut, and save coupons to save money. Upside Offers makes it quick and convenient.

Upside Offers is based on your Facebook likes. It uses likes on popular brands to only show you deals you care about. You can easily customize it right in the app by searching for your favorite brands and adding them to your list. Best of all, the manufacturer coupons are already accepted at places you shop like Walmart, Kroger, 7 Eleven, Publix, Fresh Market, and tons more.

Quoties

Quoties
Kids Say the Darndest Things. Quoties is an app for parents to help remember all the crazy things that kids say.

Quoties allows you to save a quote quickly and easily right on your phone. Its easy to have multiple children and make sure quotes are attributed to the right child. Searching is easy with full quote text support. You can easily sort them by date and filter by child.

Quoties also supports native sharing functionality making it super easy to share with all your favorite social apps from Twitter to iMessage.

Octopodium

octopodium
Octopodium is a Github stats app that surfaces all sorts of cool metadata on Github.

Octopodium will show top users for each language based on stars. You can easily filter by country or city as well to get a local look. Its quite fun to check out your own city to see who’s the top. You can also use Octopodium to see trending repositories filtered by language and timeframe. Octopodium also makes it easy to search developers to see details about them such as repos, languages, stars, etc.

Perhaps coolest of all, Octopodium is an open source app. So you can take a peek to see how its built and help improve it on its official repository.

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.

Catch the Gnat – Augmented Reality Game
Cricket Darts Chalkboard
Fun With Letters
TripTic
RaceRunner – A Run-Tracking App for Runners Who Race
My Smart Album – The best album for your pictures
Shifter Solitaire
Draw & Guess!
XDrops – Color Matching with a Twist!

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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