Now that classes are over and we approach the beginning of summer in about a week, the type of apps I use on a daily basis shift from productivity and utility to apps geared toward traveling or gaming — apps that promote a bit more relaxation, if you will. The top five apps I’ve been using as of now fall mostly within that category, but they can be utilized from a variety of different perspectives.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in to the current list.
This is probably the most unoriginal app on the list because millions of people use it, but I wanted to point Foursquare out because of its recent redesign. The design looks better than it ever did before and does a superb job of combining check-ins with location-based search and discovery. I find that since the update, I’ve been using the app even more and I even convinced a few new friends to sign up. I also get a bizarre satisfaction from being at the top of the check-in leaderboard among my friends, earning new badges and becoming the mayor at different venues. Foursquare is social, productivity and fun bundled in a single package.
Logos Quiz (free)
I love this evil, addictive game. I use the word “evil” because you download Logos Quiz from the App Store expecting to be a champion. You’re constantly surrounded by brands and logos so this shouldn’t be a problem right? Wrong. After the first couple levels, it gets pretty damn difficult; maybe it’s just me. No, the Apple logo isn’t one of the options either. I have actually found that it’s a perfect game to beam to the Apple TV in the living room via AirPlay mirroring and play with the family. It sounds boring at first, but when everybody knows a logo is at the tip of their tongues but can’t put it into words, it gets quite amusing.
Scorekeeper XL (free)
While playing Logos Quiz on the Apple TV, I tried pairing the app Scorekeeper XL and the two worked harmoniously. Scorekeeper XL is a simple app for keeping track of scores for just about anything. It could work with games on the Apple TV, board games, charades, etc. The interface is simple — you just punch in the names of the players and give everybody their own unique color. The plus/minus buttons next to each name are for adding/subtracting points and the buttons at every corner are for adding players, rearranging the order of the names, toggling sound and resetting the scores.
A good portion of Waze users (or Wazers, as the app likes to call us) probably just use Waze because it’s a free solution for the lack of turn-by-turn directions in the iOS Maps app. That’s the sole reason why I downloaded it, but I’ve also come to appreciate the other features Waze has like the social integration. You can report traffic live on the rode, take pictures of an accident or even just drop a quick “Hello!” on nearby Wazers. Everyone in the community works together to help improve the driving experience. iOS 6 may deliver the turn-by-turn GPS, but even then I’ll always consider Waze a unique travel companion.
Calcbot is the odd one out on this app list because it doesn’t fit the theme of traveling or relaxation, but I want to point it out anyway because it’s something you’ll wind up needing to use at any given moment. Plus, the Clock app lands on the iPad in iOS 6, but the tablet still doesn’t ship with a native calculator app. Enter Calcbot, from the makers of Tweetbot. It’s a sophisticated standard/scientific calculator app with Tapbots’ signature robotic design technique. Turn the iPad into landscape mode and you can see a full history of your calculations. Calcbot is universal so it installs on iPhone and iPod touch at no extra charge if need be.
The app landscape is constantly changing and as a result, so are my own preferences. As it stands, I can easily recommend all five of these apps. Plus, it just so happens that most of them are free, so getting all five will only cost $1.99.
If you have any apps you’d like to share, I’m always open to suggestions, so leave it in the comments below.