Best apps of the week: Swarm, Thomas Was Alone, Afilter, Hyper Square, and AskForTask

It's another week and another batch of great new apps and games for iPhone and iPad. We've got a healthy mix of games, including one very well-respected indie title, some photography, and a bit of social stuff. Ready to load up on the best iOS titles of the last 7 days? Dive in!


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Swarm for iPhone

Foursquare's new app, Swarm, is taking the reins of the location-based check-in, leaving the original core app for venue recommendations and reviews. The biggest addition Swarm has to offer to the Foursquare experience is planning. Now you can indicate which spots you're going to in the near future, and ping your nearby buddies to see if they're interested in doing the same. Mayorships are now only relative to your group of friends, but stuff like badges and check-ins are still very much the same. It's great to see a veteran in mobile apps take a chance at redefining itself, and we suspect the change will be for the better. Currently, Swarm is built for iPhone.

Thomas Was Alone

Thomas Was Alone is a critically acclaimed minimalist platforming game. Despite the game's simple graphics, Thomas Was Alone has rich narrative whereby all of the shapes you play as have their own insecurities and personalities. Seeing that much emotion in a little rectangle is pretty interesting. Even with the lack of any real textures, the game's shadow and lighting effects are quite well done. Even if you're not that big on platforming games, Thomas Was Alone is worth it for the story alone.


Afilter app for iPhone

Afilter is a surprisingly polished and complete filter and photo editing app that is completely free. While many photo apps try to up-sell users with filter packs, Afilter offers all of the usual editing options (like contrast, saturation, and brightness) and a staggering 245 effects for free. The user interface is highly polished, and every effect allows you to scale intensity up or down. Final products can be easily shot out to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, or just your local photo album. If you don't have many photo editing apps already, and you're not willing to feed into in-app purchases, Afilter will suit your needs wonderfully. Currently, Afilter is built for iPhone.

Hyper Square

Hyper Square is a surprisingly addictive indie game where players have to move and shift squares into target areas as quickly as possible. Every stage is a barrage of miniature challenges whereby players need to shrink, expand, drag, rotate, and drop shapes to their appropriate locations. Though the premise makes it sound like something you'd get a baby to do, the accessible gameplay just lets the game get really, really hard. Hyper Square is intense and a ton of fun.


AskForTask is an interesting new odd job matchmaking service. Users place postings for tasks like cleaning, deliveries, office work, or doing remote electronic jobs. Established prices, fellow user reviews, and current location helps to hire the right people, Payments can be done through PayPal for ultimate convenience. Though Fiverr (opens in new tab) is also out on iOS now, AskForTask is a promising alternative for those either looking for a bit of help, or those wanting to make some extra cash.

Your favorite iPhone and iPad apps and games released this week?

Special shout-outs to Sonos (opens in new tab) and Shazam (opens in new tab), which got sizeable update this week. What did you download this week from the iOS App Store? Anything brand new catch your eye, or maybe an old favorite with a fresh update? Let us know in the comments!

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

  • New SONOS app is great. So is the new Podcast app and iTunes Connect app from Apple. Thanks Simon!
  • Afilter seemed pretty good at first and I thought 'This is definitely a keeper". I did however soon discover that some filters, lightleaks for instance, turns the image incredibly unsharp. Until this gets fixed the app is pretty useless in my mind. A real pity.
  • The askfortask app is only for Canada? Really cruddy app too!
  • Going to get Thomas Was Alone for my iPhone/iPad. As well as Hyper-Square. I found out that Thomas Was Alone was free for the PS Vita with a PlayStation Plus Membership so I downloaded it as one of the first games I got for the system.