Apps of the Week: Napkin, Mextures, Glassboard, and more
Every week, the editors and writers at iMore carefully select some of our favorite, most useful, most extraordinary apps. This week's selections include several games, a Mac app for making fancy screenshots, a music app, a great Mac app for cleaning up cashe files, a private messaging service, and a texture-filled photography app.
Kingdom Rush HD - Joseph Keller
Kingdom Rush HD is a very well-done tower defense game where players endeavor to halt massive armies of fearsome creatures such as goblins, trolls, and giants. Picking from four base tower types, soldier, archer, mage, and artillery, players strategically place their defenses along the enemy’s path, blasting away as waves of them move through the level. When towers hit the fourth upgrade level, players have two options, each with their own advantages and special abilities. Mix things up by choosing from several hero characters to place on the battlefield to become one-person wrecking crews against your enemies. Defeating monsters earns you gems, which you can use to buy a number of one-use advantages like extra money for towers, more health, and even an atomic bomb that clears a wave of enemies. While Kingdom Rush does have in-app purchases available, they are in no way necessary, allowing you to buy things that certainly help, but are not required to progress through the campaign. With ever-present humor, an engaging campaign, and massivley addictive gameplay, Kingdome Rush HD is well worth a look.
- $2.99 - Download Now
Sugu - Simon Sage
Sugu is a really neat asynchronous multiplayer game where each side takes turns placing tiles that span six colors and six symbols. The goal is to create solid lines that are either all the same symbol or all the same color. Up to two tiles can be played at a time, and wily players will be able to contribute to a horizontal and a vertical line at once for big points. More points are awarded for placing the sixth tile in a line or for placing a tile on a multiplier square.
Sugu almost plays out as a cross between Scrabble and Sudoku, which is pretty interesting. The only downside is that it's only on iPhone for the time being.
- Free - Download now
World War Z - Chris Parsons
A deadly pandemic is sweeping across the world and you must race against time to save your family and loved ones. A typical game plot, no doubt about it. But what sets World War Z off a bit from the all the other zombie like games out there is the level of detail put into the game. It's not just a 'shoot as many people as you can' game, it's in-depth with 28 levels incorporating challenging puzzles with the shoot em up style and pretty stellar graphics. Shut off the lights, play in the dark and fight for your survival!
- $4.99 - Download Now
Napkin for Mac - Ally Kazmucha
I get tons of questions every week via email and Twitter about what I use to make screenshots extra fancy for how to's so here it is: Napkin for Mac. It's an extremely handy little program and I highly recommend it for anyone who needs to mark up virtually anything.
Using Napkin is super easy and a lot of commands are exactly what you'd expect. To insert an image, just drag and drop. That's all there is to it. To create a callout, simply draw a circle and drag the focus over what you'd like to emphasize. It's the best image annotation app I've ever used, point blank.
Napkin is a great tool for any teacher, professor, lecturer, or employee trainer that wants to make much richer directions and more customized presentations.
- $39.99 - Download Now
TuneIn Radio - Richard Devine
TuneIn Radio has been around for as long as I can recall, but this past week saw a nice little update that makes it worth mentioning all over again. The new TuneIn Live for iPhone adds album art and show titles that changes every time something new starts, you can now add show reminders to the calendar on your device and share what you're listening to with Google+. Since that's basically where I live on the Internet that's a big addition for me.
Besides all this new stuff, TuneIn Radio is probably the best Internet radio app I've used on any platform. The catalog is so packed and diverse, it always comes up with something good to match my somewhat strange tastes. It comes to the rescue when a sports fix is required, or just when I want to listen to something new.
- Free - Download Now
OnyX for Mac - Peter Cohen
OS X's UNIX underpinnings give users a tremendous amount of power, but navigating the command line interface using Terminal can be daunting even for experienced users. Enter Titanium Software's OnyX, a utility that unlocks functionality that you'd otherwise need to have a terminal window open to access. OnyX helps you clear dozens of cache files that can cause problems - everything from DNS and browser caches to system caches and log files. You can also use OnyX to read the complete contents of the manual pages of your Mac, so you know what each UNIX command does, what its parameters are and how to execute it. You can extensively configure parameters of system processes and the way key apps like Safari, Mail and iTunes work, and much more. And what's best of all, you can pay what you can afford (and what you think the utility is worth).
- Donationware - Download now
Glassboard - Rene Ritchie
I've picked Glassboard before, and I'll pick it again. With WWDC 2013 just around the corner, Glassboard will be doing a lot of the conversation heavy lifting for me, as it does at many conferences. Sure, there's Twitter and iMessage, and Google Hangouts, and a host of other options, but Glassboard is private to begin with, and I can easily set up or join very specific rooms with very specific people. That makes a huge difference when a) I'm roaming on data and may not want to leave Hangouts or Skype running for everyone and anyone to ping me on, and b) I'm hella busy and need to triage who I'm talking to and where.
(We're also using it to share beta test notes on the next generation iMore app, a trick I picked up from some very smart people.)
It's a very specific app that fixes a very specific problem, and sometimes you really do need the right tool for the right job. It's also by Brent Simmons, and it's hard to go wrong with anything he writes.
Glassboard offers both a limited, free accounts, and premium accounts. I instantly paid for the latter.
Mextures - Leanna Lofte
Mextures is my new favorite photo editing app for iPhone. It includes over 70 different textures that you can mix and layer onto your photos do give them an artistic look. You can apply a different blending mode to each layer and even save your favorite combinations as formulas. I've used other apps that let you add textures, but never one as good as Mextures. If only it let you mask out sections of each layer, it would be perfect. I'll probably do a more detailed review of Mextures next week, so stay tuned!
- $0.99 - Download now
Now that we've chosen our favorites for the week, we want to hear yours! Did you pick up a killer app, accessory, or game this week? Let us know in the comments below!