Every week, the editors and writers at iMore carefully select some of our favorite, most useful, most extraordinary apps, accessories, gadgets, and websites. This week's selections include a few games, an app feature unicorns and robots, a cool calendar, a weather app, and a fun, collaborative game for kids.
Fantastical - Chris
This week I decided to look for a new calendar app as the built in app is becoming really boring and in desperate need of a refresh. I took the plunge and I bought Fantastical and I have to say it is a beautiful calendar app.
The user interface works really well and the app's color schemes make it elegant and sophisticated yet very simple to pick up and use. Add in the excellent real language understanding and it makes entering new appointments a breeze. Putting that simply, it understands regular text, meaning you don't have to enter individual fields. For example, you can simply enter Lunch Meeting with Chris On Tuesday and Fantastical will take care of the rest. It really works just like that even when entering events using Siri.
If you are bored of the iPhone’s built in calendar and want something that is both easy to use and looks fantastic; do yourself a favor and get Fantastical. It really is the best calendar app that I have ever used!
- $4.99 – Download now
Conditions - Joseph Keller
When I check the whether, I don’t need a lot of information. I don’t need maps, I don’t need radar. I just need the temperature and general conditions. That’s what makes the simple app Conditions so nice. It just displays the current weather conditions in your area. The background changes from white during the day to black at night, and if you need a five-day forecast, just the screen to get a general idea of what your week will look like. Conditions also has pull-to-refresh, complete with a nice little thermometer animation, to update current weather information.
Conditions focuses on simplicity, so if you want or need a lot of weather information, look elsewhere. But if you just want the current weather right now, and maybe get a preview of the week ahead, Conditions is what you’re looking for.
- $0.99 - Download now
Puzzle Craft - Simon Sage
I always found the casual city building games kind of mindless - you win just for showing up to collect resources. Puzzle Craft is an awesome new spin on the formula where you have to (gasp!) actually do something to collect your rewards. Puzzle Craft is basically a 50/50 split of resource management and puzzle solving. Yeah, the title of the game is thoroughly apt. When you tap on a section of your town, you're given a set number of turns to trace lines through identical resource icons on a grid. The longer the line, the more bonus points you get. If you've ever played Triple Town, the resource hierarchy will make plenty of sense to you. Carrots only spawn on the puzzle grid after you line up a certain number of grains, for example. As you build your town using the resources you gather in these games, you gain access to new specialist workers which can make reaching those rich resources easier. Over time, you unlock new kinds of resources and build consumable power-ups to use through the gathering process. A big update is coming next week with archaeology-themed content, so get warmed up now!
- Free - Download now
Robot Unicorn Attack - Ally Kazmucha
Robot Unicorn Attack is probably one of the most silly games you'll ever play but it's entertaining and hilarious all at the same time. It's made by Adult Swim so you probably should expect no less.
The premise is that you gallop, dash, and jump to your dreams. Mainly, you're avoiding obstacles by jumping over them or barreling through them. Is there necessarily a huge point to the game? No. But just like titles like Fruit Ninjas and Tiny Wings, it's a great time waster and what's better than unicorns? Yep, nothing!
- $0.99 - Download Now
123D Creature - Rene Ritchie
I'll keep this short and sweet, because… well, I have to get back to using 123 Creature. It's an app by the renowned Autodesk and what it lets you do is something no less nor more wondrous than create three-dimensional biological models on your iPad. You can articulate them, mold them, paint them, and even print them out afterwards if you have the right equipment. There's also social sharing, an a community whose models you can try out.
It's like having Weta Workshop or Industrial Lights & Magic at your finger tips.
Now if you need to know more, watch the video up top. I have a Jedi-eating monster to finish!
- $7.99 - Download now
The Travel Channel Layover Guide - Chris Parsons
I have a wee bit of a secret. I really don't like traveling. Sure, I like the stuff that happens when I get where I am going but the whole getting there process is just absolutely dreadful to me. Cancelled flights, delays and of course those layovers. Luckily, I discovered The Travel Channel Layover Guide and should I get caught somewhere I'll be better prepared to handle it. The Layover guide supports 20 different major cities around the world 20 major including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Chicago, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, New Orleans, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, San Francisco, Sao Paolo, Seattle, Singapore, Taipei and Toronto and offers up plenty of tips, information, maps and visuals to help you enjoy the best of the worst time. All that said, it's quite handy if you're simply just traveling to those areas as well. The app is free to download though, we're not making any promises that Anthony Bourdain won't follow you around should you use it.
- Free - Download now
The Electric Company Party Game: Lost on Prankster Planet - Leanna Lofte
The Electric Company Party Game: Lost on Prankster Planet is a collaborative game for 5-9 year old children by PBS Kids. The premise is that Marcus and Jessica are stuck on Prankster Planet and they need the help of 2 to 4 players to complete physical challenges, silly brainstorms, and math questions.
Lost on Prankster Planet is a multiplayer board game and each team member takes turn doing the challenges. Some challenges are for the individual player and some are for the whole team. Topics include geometry, addition and subtraction, data analysis and graphing, telling time, coin value and recognition, and more. The goals are part of 1st and 2nd grade math and literacy curricula.
What I really like about Lost on Prankster Planet is that it's a multiplayer game for kids that focus on collaborative play. Some healthy competition is also good for kids, but playing as a team is also great. PBS did a great job with this game and is a fun way to let your kids play with you iPad while still being social with their siblings or friends.
- Free - 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!
Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.
By Tammy Rogers