It's the weekend, and after the crazy week we've had what better way to kick back and relax than with another fine selection of apps from the iMore writing team. We've got a good bunch again this week covering both iOS and OS X, so let's dive in and take a look!
A really novel puzzle game made its way from Mac to iOS this week called Strata. I guess you could say it's a weaving game, but it's not as lame as it sounds. Players have a grid of colored squares, and they have to layer different colored ribbons along every row in a way that the top-most ribbon's color corresponds to the square beneath it. Players earn perfect status on puzzle if they manage to get through it without any undos. The sharp user interface reminds me a little bit of Trid, namely in that it's got the tilted square aesthetic going on, but the stylish transitions between screens, smooth animations, believable textures, and classy soundtrack make for an altogether polished game. There are hundreds of challenges to chew through, so this should keep you occupied for awhile - especially the larger 6 x 6 grids.
Dots is simple, insanely addictive, and extremely fun. With recent updates that have added even more game play modes, I've spent more time playing this stupid game than I really should.
The object of dots is simple, collect as many dots as you can. In timed mode, you have 60 seconds to collect as many dots as you can. You can also play 30 move mode which isn't timed but only gives you 30 moves. For a limited time there's also a gravity mode that gives you a boost to let you shuffle all the dots around.
If you haven't tried Dots, you're missing out. Or maybe you're just a lot more productive than I am since I discovered it.
Two-factor authentication is one of the ways many people use to make their various online accounts more secure. I used to use Google Authenticator to hold my authentication keys, but then it hit 2.0 with a bug, deleted my data, and I immediately went looking for a new solution. What I found was Authy. It's fairly straightforward. You link your accounts to Authy, either through a QR code with your phone's camera, or by manually entering a code. Each code lasts for twenty seconds before a new code appears. Use it for things like your Google account, Dropbox, and Evernote.
Authy also has a Mac app, which connects to the iPhone app via Bluetooth. The connection lets you copy keys from the phone app using the drop down menu on the Mac. Authy also backs up your accounts in case you need to restore your phone or redownload the app. Enter your backup password to have your authentication information restored. If you're new to two-step authentication, or searching. for a new app, take a look at Authy.
Have you ever sat down watched Iron Man and wished your phone had Tony Stark's JARVIS AI in it? I have. Honestly, I wish Apple would allow add-on voices for Siri so I could simply replace it with the voice of JARVIS but since I can't see that happening any time soon, I'll take what I can get. Marvel has released JARVIS, their second screen app for Iron Man 3, but they've added in some spiffy extras and with it JARVIS can give you the current date, weather and temperature and even function as an alarm clock. Plus, JARVIS can also set reminders for you and has a few awesome 'notification' tones built in for free. It's not as feature as I would like but it's a good start and hopefully Marvel will keep updating it a bit and make it even better. It's a free download so, no money wasted if you're not really feeling it.
Trine 2 is a classic sidescrolling action game with a big twist - you play as three different heroes who must make their way through a fantastic land on a quest. Each of the heroes sports different capabilities - the Wizard uses spells to levitate objects and create fireballs; the Knight inflicts damage with his sword and hammer and uses his shield to great effect; and the Thief can get to locations the others can't by using her grappling hook. The game looks absolutely gorgeous - the level of detail is stunning, with particle effects, realistic physics and a nice soundtrack to round out the gameplay experience. Much of Trine 2 involves solving puzzles using each of the characters' innate abilities, manipulating magic or using the physics of the Trine world to your advantage. Trine 2 lets you save anywhere (I hate save points), and you can also play cooperatively (on the same computer) with another player.
Trine 2 is available this week as part of the Humble Indie Bundle 9 - a collection of independently produced and published games (all Mac-compatible) whose price you decide yourself. The other games are great.
Sometimes, I really need a 16:9 photograph out of my iPhone 5. The reasons aren't important, but what is important is that I often need them quickly, and don't want to have to manually crop them. Since the default camera app won't do that, I needed to find one that did. Full Screen Camera Plus does is exactly what the name implies. It allows you to take full screen, 16:9 format images. I know there's going to be some reduction in quality overall, but I'm OK with that for the convenience it gives me when I need it.