Readers’ App Reviews – December 2016

Ryan Poolos

HelpSanta

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas with friends and family. Hopefully a pair of AirPods was under your tree. ;]

I received the gift of apps! Readers like you stuffed my stocking with their latest apps. I’ve downloaded them all and picked a handful to share with you.

This month we have:

  • An app that will teach you songwriting
  • Apps for your New Year’s resolutions
  • Games that will keep your fingers busy
  • And of course, much more!

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

You Must Help Santa

HelpSanta

Santa needs your help!

There is a Super Moon out and all his reindeer have fled. He needs you to help fuel the sleigh with Christmas Spirit before he goes down and Christmas is ruined.

Santa has to deliver presents, angels, and of course coal. Drop the presents down the chimneys without a fire. If the chimney has a fire, they get coal. And if you see a tree, top it with an angel. Each successful delivery will help fuel the sleigh a little longer before it crashes.

Christmas is in your hands.

To Russia With Love

RussiaWithLoveI have a soft spot in my heart for text based strategy games. To Russia With Love scratches that itch today.

To Russia With Love pits four world nations against each other in a world domination struggle. America, England, Russia, and China are fighting for control of the planet. Now you’re in control of one and its your job to lead your nation to victory!

You start with a little money and a daily income. You can invest in various economic boosters or you can invest in a military to conquer the world. You’ll have to choose just the right balance to make sure you’re ready for the earliest invasions with a quick military but prepared for the long battle with a strong economy. One is an investment in the now while another is an investment in the finale.

You’ll be sure to play this one more than once. Its a great reminder that complex graphics and powerful consoles aren’t required for addictive gameplay.

QuantiFocus – Multipurpose Tracker

QuantiFocusQuantiFocus will help you track all kinds of time.

QuantiFocus has stopwatches, timers, and incremental counters all in one dashboard. You can create multiple of each for different purposes. Use stopwatches to record how long you perform individual tasks. Use timers to limit yourself. And use incremental counters to keep track of anything you need to count. Each type of tracker can be created with a name and purpose. You can use the once or keep them for ongoing tracking.

You can see interactive usage statistics for each tracker. So if you’re using the same stopwatch daily for a specific task, you can see if you get faster or slower. You can even leave yourself comments after each session. Looking back at the statistics you can also see your comments. You could use this to see which changes you make improve you by making you faster or more consistent.

QuantiFocus is a multipurpose tool that is sure to fit into your life and help you improve your time management.

Finances – Money Tracker

FinancesIt can be hard for all of us to keep to a budget. Thankfully Finances will help you keep track of your income and expenses.

You can quickly add your transactions with a very fast keypad. You can organize transactions by categories like groceries or entertainment. You can also create your own custom categories.

Throughout the month you can see how much you’re spending in each category to help you make better decisions as your budget fills up. You can monitor your current financial status in the monthly summary. Finances also has a great section of detailed information in monthly, yearly, and longer time frames. You can get detailed, per-category breakdowns to see how your spending has changed month to month.

You can try it free for the first 150 transactions, then unlock the full app. The full app even allows multiple accounts if you’d like to manage separate finances such as personal and business.

Departed

Departed

Departed is a game thats one part puzzle and one part strategy.

You control a robot that must escape a series of 3 dimensional mazes spanning multiple floors and dimensions. As you floor hop and teleport around you need to find the exit. There are over 140 levels available in arcade mode. Full leaderboards and achievements so you’ll have to work to solve these mazes fast if you want to be the best.

Departed also has some awesome multiplayer modes. You can race to find the exit in a multidimensional world or you can play tag with friends across the maze. Powerups like freeze rays or snail times give you the upper hand.

Departed is like a competitive game of 3D chess mixed with labyrinth. Its a ton of fun.

Waay: Music theory for songwriting

WaayWaay is a powerful music theory teaching app that will make you a better songwriter. Waay teaches applied music theory so everything you learn you can take right to your instrument and try.

Waay takes you through a combination of short videos and interactive lessons in two courses. The first course is free with the app and covers Melodies. You’ll cover notes and steps, intervals, keys, scale building, and more. Throughout the course you’ll learn what notes sound good together. You’ll cover how scales can help your music flow. All this will come together as you create memorable melodies for your own music.

The second course covers Chords. You’ll learn about the building blocks of chords, thirds and fifths. Waay will go over how chords mix with melodies to create a song. You’ll learn the magic formula for which chords go great together and naturally create good progression in your songs.

Waay is a fantastic app for anyone looking to get into songwriting. Whether you’re a beginner or expert musician, you can jump into songwriting and start creating your own works of art on your instrument of choice.

Bounce Finger Soccer

FingerBounceBounce Finger Soccer is like playing hacky sac on your iPhone and its surprisingly addictive.

All you do is try to keep a soccer ball bouncing as long as you can using your finger. There will be various trophies appearing on the screen that you need to knock the ball into. The physics feel great. The ball bounces on your finger and you can give it a little push if you want it to bounce higher. You can move your finger in just the right place to help steer the ball any direction.

You can compare scores and challenge your friends. But perhaps my favorite feature is the store full of custom soccer balls. And oh boy do I mean custom. There is a pig ball, watermelon ball, vinyl records, tires, Captain America shield and more!

This game is super simple to try and a ton of fun to keep playing.

Protect+ Audio Recorder With Encryption

ProtectProtect+ is an audio/voice recorder with full encryption available for your recordings.

First Protect+ is a great audio recorder. You can record in MP3 or WAV with settings to control quality and filesize. Each recording has space for notes or comments. Protect+ can automatically remove silent seconds in recordings. The app even has a button to flip the screen upside down so you you can hold the microphone facing your subject.

When you’re finished recording, Protect+ really earns its praises. Protect+ can fully encrypt your recordings with ZIP compatible AES (256bit or 128bit varieties). Your files are encrypted on device in storage and stay encrypted when you send them. You can send them through email or messages. You can also store them in iCloud, Dropbox, or even an FTP site.

If you’re looking for a great app to record your thoughts and protect them, Protect+ is the app for you.

Chopping Jack

ChoppingJackWinter is coming and its gonna be a cold one. You need to help Jack chop as much firewood as possible to stay warm all winter.

Jack is strong enough to get the job done but there are too many pesky beavers. No one wants to chop a beaver and Jack needs your help. You’ve got to help Jack only chop the the logs of wood and avoid all the beavers.

Chopping Jack couldn’t be simpler to play. There are two log flumes with Jack in the middle. You tap the side you want Jack to chop. Don’t chop the beavers and don’t let any logs go unchopped. We need all the wood we can get this winter.

My Scorecard

MyScorecardMy Scorecard is a great app for golfers. It will help you become a better golfer over time.

You can create individual courses for each of the places you frequently play. Then each time you play you keep score on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Over time you can track your progress on each course and see how you’ve been improving your game. You can perform hole by hole analysis for each course to compare how you played on various days.

You can use your iPad back at home to dig through the data on a bigger screen. And it is easy to share your scores to Twitter, Facebook, or iMessage for those days when you play a really great game. :]

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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