Readers’ App Reviews – March 2017

Ryan Poolos

I don’t know about you but I’m eagerly counting the days to WWDC. Fingers crossed we get some amazing new APIs this year & maybe they’ll even blow our minds with a new Mac Pro.

While we wait, I’ve got some new apps from your fellow readers I’d love to share with you.

This month I want to share:

  • An app that sends messages in a real bottle
  • A game that will have you laughing over the seven seas
  • An app that makes picking a cat as easy as online dating
  • And of course, much more!

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

Tidings


Have you ever wanted to send a message the old fashioned way but were worried it might not make it?

I’m talking of course about a message in a bottle. Its normally such a hassle. You have to find a bottle and drink whatever is in it. Write out your message on a tiny scrap of paper and squeeze it into the bottle. Then you’ve got to find the good sand and the perfect shell. The whole thing can be exhausting.

Good news, Tidings is here to help! Tidings lets you prepare your perfect message right on your iPhone. Then they’ll pack it up just right. They use hand crafted bottles, perfect white sand, and a handpicked seashell to set it off. Then they carefully package it and ship it to your intended recipient. Best of all, this is all a mere thumb print away thanks to seamless Apple Pay support.

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet


We all play games to be entertained, but its not often we play one as entertaining as Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet.

This hilarious adventure game follows the pirate heroine through a perilous and laugh inducing adventure. She takes on the evil Baron Widebeard. But its the cast and events along the way that will make your day. Throughout your mission you’ll complete puzzles and fall in love the characters.

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet features full voiceovers in both English and German. A great script thats sure to charm and delight you “whether you are 9, 19 or 90. (But ONLY those ages.),” as said by the authors themselves. Beautiful art and animations that look great on an iPhone, iPad, or even Mac. There are more than 45 unique characters in 35 locations.

If you need a fun game to pick up, this one is well worth a try.

ElCrab


Imagine you’re a crab. Now imagine you and a crab buddy found a treasure map. Whats the first logical thing you’d do? That’s right, dig so deep you pop out of the earth on the other side!

Thats exactly what happened to ElCrab. Now one of you is on one side of the planet while the other is on the other side. Naturally the rest of the animal kingdom is very upset with you both for leaving a hole in the planet and they’re trying to hunt you down. Your job is to help both crabs evade them as long as you can.

As you evade your captors, collect coins and extra lives. You can use the coins to buy powerups to give you a little extra help or gems to give you a second chance at getting away. See how your stack up on the GameCenter leaderboards against friends and the world.

Feline Finder


Feline Finder is an app with a purpose. Feline Finder helps you find cats at nearby shelters to adopt. Their goal is to get more cats adopted while making sure those new adoptions are built one more than just a cute face.

Feline Finder lets you answer a few questions about the cat you might like. It ask things such as how much energy do you want your cat to have, how playful of a cat do you want, how independent of a cat you’d like, and if the cat will be inside or outside most of the time. It uses these answers to suggest breeds that might better fit the type of cat you’re looking for.

You can also skip the questions and go straight to breed library. There is information on almost every breed including histories, temperaments, pop culture references, and more. Each breed also has statistics on various traits like grooming needs, attitude toward children or other pets, energy level, and much more.

After you’ve picked out the perfect breed either from the library or the suggestion quiz, you can find cats of that breed currently up for adoption nearby. If you’re looking for a new cat, download this app and consider adopting your new friend.

Retromines


Retromines is exactly what you think it is: Minesweeper right on your iPhone!

We’ve all spent far too long playing Minesweeper when we should have been working on something else. I personally spent too long playing Retromines when I should have been writing these reviews. ;]

Retromines is a beautiful tribute to the classic Minesweeper. It recreates the entire pixelated experience down to the hilarious Windows 95 style box. The controls are pretty simple. Tapping clears a block. Long press to mark a bomb. Tap a marking once to change to unknown. Tap it again to clear the marking.

Give yourself a little break today and enjoy some nostalgia, I did. :]

FSM | football betting predictions and live scores


The FSM app is tailer made for avid football fans.

FSM app starts with realtime news from various football organizations and historical leaderboards dating back to 1994. But it builds on that with current team information like health and fitness, statistics, analysis, and forecasts. Using various algorithms FSM will predict match outcomes between individual teams based on their fitness, season stats, and previous games.

You can also check bet values and results. You’ll get tips on making the right bets from football gurus. You can even chat with other GSM users. FSM is a must download app for avid football fans.

Oslo


Oslo is a beautiful native client for the popular website Unsplash.

Unsplash provides tons of beautiful high resolution photos with a do whatever you want license. Its great for backgrounds, inspiration, or even commercial work like book covers and stock art.

Oslo takes the wonderful Unsplash photos and packages them into a great native app perfect for flipping through on the go. The photos look fantastic on the iPhone’s amazing screen. You can login with an Unsplash account to favorite the ones you like the most.

Oslo also makes it easy to download photos to your phone for wallpapers or other users. And you can easily share them to other services and apps as well. You can also easily check Unsplash stats like downloads and likes. Oslo will even show you camera information for each shot like exposure, aperture, camera model, and more.

If you enjoy Unsplash, download Oslo for a great native experience.

Balloonimal Stickers


Sometimes you need a little whimsy in your life. This time, its Balloonimals!

Balloonimal stickers is a fun set of iMessage stickers featuring over 70 ballon animals. There are elephants, butterflies, swans, and more. Each in a variety of colors.

Spend the $1 and add a little fanfare to your iMessage conversations this week. You’ll no doubt be happy you did. :]

MakeIcons


One part of building iOS apps that is never fun is making all those icons for the home screen. I know each one is important but once you’ve put all the work into your app, needing 20 icon sizes just feels like punishment.

Enter MakeIcons, a Mac app that can take your fullsize icon and generate all the sizes necessary with the proper names to make Xcode happy.

MakeIcons just takes your fullsize app icon and will generate every other necessary size in one click. It handles iOS, watchOS, and MacOS including 1x, 2x, and 3x copies. You can also do custom sizes if necessary. Great for websites and promotional materials or future Apple sizes that pop up without waiting for MakeIcons to update. It will even help you size our Tabbar icons at proper sizes based on Apple documentation.

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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