App Recap: Voice Dream Reader, SmartGym, BIAS FX 2, and Major App Updates

In this week's App Recap, we've highlighted three apps that are worth checking out. We've also compiled a list of apps that received major updates this week.


Apps to Check Out



  • Voice Dream Reader (iOS, $9.99) - Voice Dream reader, a text-to-speech app featured in the Today section of the App Store, has been one of the most popular accessibility apps since its launch eight years ago. The app supports the reading of PDF files, Web articles, plain text files, and more. Upon purchasing the app, users are welcomed with both 36 built in iOS voices in 27 languages and one premium Acapela voice, and over 200 other premium voices are available through in-app purchases. Voice Dream Reader also features several tools such as bookmarking, text highlighting, and annotations. There are several different reading styles that can also be customized to the likings of the user such as contrast, font size, auto-scrolling, and more. Outside of the accessibility space, the app's reading style can also be set to one of several unique settings.

  • SmartGym: Gym & Home Workouts (iOS, Free) - SmartGym, a popular fitness app, is being updated soon with several new features. The app lets users create and manage workout routines, view over 250 pre-installed exercises, view many pre-made workouts tailored to the interests of the user, and more. In addition, the standalone Apple Watch app can be used for tracking the health data of the user. It's worth noting that the free version of the app only provides access to two routines, 10 histories, and two measures. To access unlimited routines, measurements, and histories, users have the option to subscribe to monthly or yearly plans, which start at $4.99 and $29.99 respectively. The app's update will feature a new Smart Trainer feature which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to create personalized workouts for the user, plus additional exercises, a new design, and more.

  • BIAS FX 2 (iOS, Free) - BIAS FX 2, the successor to the popular Guitar Amp and Effects app BIAS FX, was recently released with an updated library of amps and effects. The updated library features new versions of pedals, HD studio rack effects, and effect modelers, which gives users a multitude of options when creating their own unique sound. In addition, the Looper feature was introduced as part of the update, which is a songwriting tool that allows users to practice and record directly from an iOS device. The app is free to download, but additional effects require in-app purchases.




App Updates



  • Copilot (iOS) - Subscription based finance and budgeting app Copilot this week announced support for importing Apple Card data directly into its app. Apple Card users are now able to take advantage of Copilot's budgeting and transaction monitoring tools without having to copy over the data manually into the app.

  • Google - Google this week updated its Google Search app with Dark Mode support. It is also worth noting that users still running iOS 12 can utilize the feature by enabling the setting within the app.

  • Photoshop (iPad) - Adobe this week updated its Photoshop app with two new features. Curves allows users to adjust several aspects of an image while preserving its quality. Users with an Apple Pencil will also notice new pressure sensitivity adjustments that allows for more precision when using brush-based tools.

  • Twitter - Twitter this week announced that it has starting testing new settings that allow users to control who can reply to a tweet. Users can select everyone, people you follow, and only people you mention as options for who can reply to a specific tweet. The feature is currently being tested within a small number of users globally, and Twitter plans to roll the feature out to all users should testing prove successful.


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App Recap: ‘Usage’ System Activity, ‘Backdrops’ Wallpapers, and Major App Updates

In this week's App Recap, we've highlighted two apps worth checking out. We've also compiled a list of apps that received major updates this week.


Apps to Check Out



  • Usage: System Activity & Info (iOS, Free) - Although not a particularly new app, Usage recently received a major update with version 3.0 in which the app was completely redesigned using SwiftUI. Complete with a sleek and modern design, Usage now features both an extended functionality with device and battery information and deeper, more detailed view of metrics.The app creates metrics based on network activity, connection speed, data usage, and more. Usage also allows users to customize the app to their own likings through six different color options, options to order the various metrics, and four customizable today widget options. Usage is free to download and features no ads, but users looking for the most functionality can purchase the app's compare feature for $1.99, which provides a detailed hardware breakdown of your device and allows you to compare it with any other iPhone. It is also worth pointing out that users can unlock the premium compare feature for one day by simply sharing the app!

  • Backdrops (iOS, Free) - Backdrops is a new wallpaper app that features original, high quality designs by the Backdrops team. The app features a wide variety of different wallpapers themes including abstract, scenery, geometric, dark AMOLED friendly, and more. Users can also upload and submit their own wallpapers to be featured in the Community tab. Although free to download, the app does feature a Backdrops Pro in-app purchase for $3.99 which removes ads and unlocks exclusive wallpaper collections. Backdrops also supports Sign in With Apple, so users who sign up for an account using an Apple ID have the option to mask their personal email address.


App Updates



  • Apple Store - The Apple Store app was revamped this week with Dark Mode support. Apple has continued to add ‌Dark Mode‌ support to all of its apps after first introducing the feature in iOS and iPadOS 13.

  • Logic Pro X (Mac) - Apple this week released Logic Pro X version 10.5 with a new Live Loops feature first introduced in GarageBand for iPhone and iPad, a completely redesigned sampling workflow, new beat-making tools, and many other new features. In addition, the app received several performance improvements, and Apple has referred to the new update as being the "biggest update to Logic since the launch of Logic Pro X."

  • Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (iPad) - Microsoft this week updated its Word and PowerPoint apps with Split View, which now allows users to open two documents simultaneously side-by-side. Split View can be accessed by touching and holding on a document in any file view and then dragging it to the left or right side of the screen.

  • Norbyte (iOS) - Developer Norbyte this week updated its painting apps HuePaint and iPastels with support for Apple's universal purchases feature, so buying the app once will allow you to have access to it across all of your devices.

  • Slack (iOS) - The Slack iPhone app this week was updated with both a redesigned interface and a new navigation bar. In addition to these new features, some of the app's swiping gestures have improved.

  • Spark - The Spark email app this week received an update with full mouse and trackpad support for iPadOS. In addition, users who participate in Spark for Teams are now able to react to emails and chats of shared conversations with emojis.

  • Spotify - Spotify this week updated its app with a new Group Session feature, which allows two or more Premium users in the same location to share control over the music that's being played. The new feature can be used after the person in charge taps the Connect menu in the bottom left corner of the Play screen which shares the scannable QR code with additional users. Once connected, participants can play, pause, skip, and select tracks to add to the queue with Spotify's controls.

  • Twitter - Twitter this week announced a new feature that makes it easier for users to recognize retweets with comments. On Twitter's iPhone and iPad apps, all retweets with comments are now shown in a list that can be accessed by tapping on a tweet and then choosing the "Retweets" option.


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App Recap: Edison Mail, Here Kitty!, Whisk, and Major App Updates

In this week's App Recap, we've highlighted three new apps that are worth checking out. We've also compiled a list of apps that received major updates this week.


New Apps



  • Email - Edison Mail (Free) - Popular mobile app Edison Mail is now available on Mac App Store for the very first time. With its fast and simple user interface, the app touts the ability to make your email experience both fast and better organized than ever before. Some of its notable features include the ability to block email read receipts, convenient shortcuts and gestures, and a built in AI powered search. This week, Mac users gained a new primary inbox which focuses on important emails and an option to mute email notifications from selected senders.


  • Here Kitty! (Free) - Here Kitty! is a new interactive game that will children will love to play while at home. The game works by hiding an iPhone face down in a good hiding spot. Children can then try to find the "Kitty" either by calling out for it or by clapping, and the "Kitty" will respond with a meow. The app also records the amount of time it took to find the "Kitty," so it can even be played competitively. In addition, a new character will join the game each Saturday, so kids will enjoy getting to meet a new friendly creature each week.



  • Whisk (Free) - Whisk is a web page editor with a live preview that updates as you type. The app, formerly named HyperEdit in its first version, was recently revived after several years and brought to the Mac App Store for the first time. Some of the app's main features include the ability to render HTML and PHP as typed, previewing to other browsers, and live HTML W3C-based validation. Whisk can be used for crafting HTML, writing blog posts, running and debugging JavaScript, creating entire websites, and more. Although the app is free to download, it is worth noting that the initial download only contains a document viewer mode and a 14 day trial of the full version, so users looking to gain access to all of the app's functionality must pay a one-time fee of $29.99.



App Updates



  • Google Drive - Google this week updated its Google Drive app with a new Privacy Screen feature that allows users to enable either Face ID or a passcode authentication whenever the app is opened on their device. The app gives users the options to activate the new Privacy Screen feature either immediately when the app is opened or 10 seconds, one minute, or 10 minutes later.


  • Microsoft Outlook - Microsoft this week updated its Outlook app with a new Ignore Conversations feature that allows users to remove repetitive multi-reply email threads from their inbox. Although the feature has been available on other devices for quite some time, the feature was just added to the Outlook app for iPhone and iPad.


  • Stack - Stack, a popular web browser, released version 3.0 of its browser this week. The update introduces a subscription based pro version of Stack, a full redesign of the sidebar, and more. Stack's isn't like a traditional web browser, as its main purpose is to separate web apps from less important web pages and organize them in one place to enhance efficiency.



  • Twitter - Although not a specific update, Twitter announced this week that it would be testing a new threaded conversations layout for some iOS and web users. Twitter mentioned that users who do see the change will notice new lines and indentations to make it clearer as to who is replying. Additionally, the change will allow for more of a conversation to be displayed at once.


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App Recap: Views 4, CleanMyMac X, MacTracker and Major App Updates

In this week's App Recap, we've highlighted two new apps that are worth checking out. We've also compiled a list of apps that received major updates this week.


New Apps



  • Views 4 ($4.99) - Views 4 is a news and podcasts app that presents content tailored to the interests of the user. Upon downloading the app, users are presented with a series of screens that allow for the selection of popular interests, fonts for an optimal reading experience, and six color themes that can be used around the app. The app's easy to navigate interface is complemented with the integration of Haptic Touch when tabs and in article arrows are tapped. Aside from the ability to read articles from a personalized feed, Views also allows users to search, favorite, and download podcasts directly. The podcast interface is simple and even allows users to set a sleep timer. Views 4 is one of the latest apps to take advantage of Apple's universal purchases feature, so buying the app once will allow you to have access to it across all of your devices.


  • CleanMyMac X (Free) - Popular desktop cleaner app CleanMyMac X this week made its debut on the Mac App Store. Previously, the only way to use the software was to download it directly from its website. It is worth pointing out that the Mac App Store version of CleanMyMac X does not have all of the features available from the version available directly on its website. The Photo Junk, Shredder, Updater, and Maintenance features are only available from the website version of the app. Although the app is free to download, a yearly subscription fee of $34.99 is required to get access to all of the app's features.



App Updates



  • Apple Support - The Apple Support app was revamped this week with a new customized user interface with support for Dark Mode, guided step-by-step troubleshooting, new and improved chat and call experiences, and more.


  • Mactracker - Mactracker is an app that provides detailed information on every Mac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone ever made. The app also details specific information about each product such as processor speed, memory, graphic cards, price, and more. There's also a tab that allows users to obtain information about every software version issued by Apple for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and more. Mactracker received an update this week with the addition of Apple's new Magic Keyboard, an updated support status for Apple's vintage and obsolete products, new GeekBench 5 performance scores, and general bug fixes.


  • Pandora - Pandora this week updated its Apple Watch app with Siri support. Siri can now be used to play stations, songs, albums, and podcasts. The app also now allows asking Siri to dislike or like a song to help in tailoring songs to the likes of the user. Pandora has also updated its iOS app with a new Shuffle Stations feature, a more personalized discovery for better music recommendations, and more.


  • Ulysses - Popular writing app Ulysses was updated this week to add native support for Apple's iPad trackpad and mouse support which was first introduced in iOS 13.4. Along with the ability to embed external folders from the Files app and edit the contained files with Ulysses 19, the app has introduced several other new features that are worth checking out.



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App Recap: Cosmicast, Incognito, Pager, and Major App Updates

In this week's App Recap, we've compiled a list of several apps released recently that are worth checking out. We've also compiled a second list highlighting some apps that received major updates this week.


New Apps



  • Cosmicast ($7.99) - Cosmicast, a new semi-skeuomorphic podcast player available for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, has a very simple and intuitive interface. As podcasts are playing, podcast artwork spins in the center of a digital vinyl record and easy speed and play/pause controls are conveniently located at the bottom of the screen. The app also features an adjustable sleep timer and chapter markers that makes using the app even easier. Users can also have the option to change the app's icon with tens of different choices. Cosmicast is one of the latest apps to take advantage of Apple's universal purchases feature, so buying the app once will allow you to have access to it across all of your devices.


  • Incognito - Private Browser (Free) - Incognito is a new browser built for ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ with user privacy in mind. After each session, all cookies and web data are discarded. The app touts having no ads, no third-party trackers, and the ability to keep your web history and bookmarks locked with a passcode or disabled altogether. Although the app is free to download, it can only be used for 14 days under a free trial before users must pay a one-time fee of $1.99 to have lifetime access to the app.


  • Pager: Alerts for Reddit (Free) - Pager is an app available for both ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ that allows to you create and set custom alerts for content on Reddit. The app allows users to create monitors that match post titles and usernames, so you can be notified when your favorite artist releases new music or be alerted when a news story is released within seconds.


App Updates



  • Darkroom - Darkroom, a popular camera editing app for ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, was updated this week with a new feature that allows users to edit videos as well as photos. With the new update, all of Darkroom's photo editing tools can now be used with videos. Video editing is a feature that is included in the app's Darkroom+ subscription option, which is priced at $3.99 per month, $19.99 per year, or a one-time fee of $49.99.


  • GameClub - Subscription-based iOS gaming service GameClub last week brought open world RPG Aralon Sword and Shadow back to the App Store. The game has received substantial upgrades to graphics since its early days on the ‌App Store‌, so fans of the original version will definitely enjoy the improvements.


  • Messenger Kids - Messenger Kids, a Facebook app available for ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, was launched in over 70 new countries this week and debuted several new features. Among the new features is Supervised Friending, which gives parents the option to allow their kids to accept, reject, or add or remove contacts. Additionally, Facebook is now allowing parents approve other adults to connect their child with other children through group chats.


  • Twitter - Twitter this week updated its Mac app to let users set timelines to automatically stream new Tweets, thus removing the need to manually refresh. To enable the new feature, users just need to simply enable the "Pin to top" toggle in their timeline settings.



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App Recap: New or Updated iPhone, iPad, and Mac Apps Worth Checking Out

Several apps were either released or updated recently. We've compiled a list of some of these apps that are worth checking out.


iOS Apps



  • Content Creator (Free) - Content Creator is an app that allows you to create collages, images with text, and squared images perfect for content creation. The app also lets you produce and export videos straight to several social media platforms.


  • Lugo - See Who's Listening (Free) - Lugo is a new that visualizes simultaneous music listening worldwide. It is pretty interesting to see where around the world people are listening to certain songs. Although the app currently is limited to work with Apple Music, Lugo says both Spotify support and a chat feature is in the works.


  • Gentle (Free) - Gentle is a new social media app that is currently in its beta testing phase. The app allows users to write anonymous requests they may be worried about, and others can reply to requests with kindness and compassion. The developers have spam filters and report features to help establish a safe sense of community on the platform. Those who are interested in joining can enroll in its beta program here.


  • Climb - English Vocabulary (Free) - Climb is a language-learning application that boosts your vocabulary by helping you to discover and memorize new words. It is worth noting that while most of the Climb's functionality is free (adding words, GIFs in the dictionary, GIF of the day), users will be subscribe to the service to continue practicing. After a seven day free trial, Climb offers monthly, quarterly, and yearly subscriptions priced at $9.99, $19.99, and $59.99 respectively.


  • Discard - A Memory Card Game (Free) - Discard is a new app that features a memory game with a twist. Users are given three seconds to memorize a set of playing cards, and then they must tap the correct cards to advance to the next level. Haptic feedback is also available to enhance the overall quality of the game.


  • Colorful Memories (Free) - Colorful Memories is a photo app that can transform old black and white photos into their natural colors in a matter of seconds. The app uses AI to recolor all sceneries and images into their original and natural color and even enhances colored images to give them a striking effect.



iPadOS Apps



  • LiDAR Scanner 3D (Free) - Those with the new 2020 iPad Pro can make 3D models of objects and export them into several filetypes (USDZ, OBJ, STL, PLY). The app even allows users to take 3D scans of their own homes - a neat demo showcasing the app's capabilities can be found here.



Mac Apps



  • Wallpaperer for Reddit (Free) - Wallpaperer is a neat app that can automatically set your Mac wallpaper to the top rated images from your favorite Reddit communities. The app also allows users to set how often they would like the wallpaper to change and from which subreddits to get wallpapers from.


  • FitaDo - Calisthenics Workouts (Free) - FitaDo is a fitness app available for Mac, iPhone, and iPad that allows users to create and customize any type of workout. The app also allows users to track progress over time. There is a premium version of FitaDo available as monthly or yearly priced at $3.99 and $29.99 respectively.


  • theBin (Free) - theBin is an app that integrates directly with your Mac's trash to create a new user experience. There are several features of the app worth checking out including auto-cleanup, a feature where the trash will empty every so often, and the auto-compression feature to automatically compress trash files to save disk space.



In addition to the many apps above worth checking out, it was also announced this week that Facebook would be launching a dedicated gaming app to take on Twitch and Youtube in a new report by The Verge. The report mentions that most of the app's content will focus on the streaming community, but a small mix of some casual games will be included as well. The app is set to debut on Android devices on April 20 and iOS support will be coming as soon as "Apple approves" the app.
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