Five iOS Apps Worth Checking Out - February 2018

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,391
8,477



Over on our YouTube channel, we're continuing on with our new monthly series that highlights new, interesting, and useful apps that we think are worth checking out.

Because there are so many apps available on the iOS App Store, it can be hard to find new content, and it's also easy to overlook great older apps. Our app lists are designed to include apps -- both new and old -- that we personally recommend and have used over the course of the month.



- Hooked (Free) - Hooked is actually a book app that offers up short stories in a unique format -- chat messages. Hooked stories are all presented as text message conversations, so it's a little bit like you're reading someone else's chat history. With Hooked, you can read little bits at a time in moments when you have a free minute or two, and the stories are always engaging. Hooked is free to download with a free trial period, but unlimited access costs $14.99 per month.

- App in the Air (Free) - Whether you're a frequent or infrequent traveler, App in the Air is a useful app that serves up details like real time flight status, airport maps, security wait times, walk time to your gate, airline point tracking, and more. It works with more than 1,000 airlines around the world, and key information like gate changes and updates to flight status are delivered via SMS. The app is free, but there are premium features like real-time flight status updates that require a subscription, which is priced at $34.99 per year.

- Timepage (Free) - Timepage is a calendar app from Moleskine, the company that makes those handy notebooks. Timepage combines data like events, maps, contacts, weather and more into a simple interface that's easy to parse at a glance. There are monthly, weekly, and daily views, along with a heat map that lets you know when you're busiest. Timepage is a free download, but only on a trial basis. A monthly subscription is priced at $1.99, or you can pay $11.99 for the year.

- Confide (Free) - Confide is a private and secure messaging app that's a great way to communicate with people when you want to keep your messages entirely private. Messages sent through Confide use end-to-end encryption and disappear after a set period of time, plus there's screenshot protection so no one can snap an image of what you've written. Confide is a free download, but access to features like unlimited attachments and themes requires Confide Plus, priced at $29.99 for three months or $59.99 for a year.

- Alto's Odyssey ($4.99) - Alto's Odyssey is the highly-anticipated sequel to popular 2015 game Alto's Adventure. Like the original, Alto's Odyssey is an endless runner with gorgeous graphics, but this time it takes place in the sand instead of the snow.

If you're looking for great Mac apps that are worth downloading, make sure to check out our February list of essential apps for the Mac. And if you have favorite iOS apps, make sure to share them with us -- we'll be highlighting interesting, useful iOS apps on a monthly basis.

Article Link: Five iOS Apps Worth Checking Out - February 2018
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mefisto

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2015
1,051
1,155
The North
I can’t believe how many developers want money for subscriptions. I guess that model is here to stay.
I'm really not fond of the direction this is going. Then again perhaps I'm just a dinosaur who needs to get with the times and stop moaning.

I get the subscription model with services like AM/Spotify, Netflix etc., and maybe apps count as comparable services nowadays, but I'd still much rather pay a one time fee. Maybe even paid updates, but the whole subscription model in this case bothers me.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,270
3,338
I can’t believe how many developers want money for subscriptions. I guess that model is here to stay.
So annoying, I can't stand monthly subscriptions but I put up with them for services like cable, spotify, netflix,etc... but now they're popping up everywhere.
 

orangebluedevil

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2010
322
17
[doublepost=1519856690][/doublepost]
I can’t believe how many developers want money for subscriptions. I guess that model is here to stay.
I'm really not fond of the direction this is going. Then again perhaps I'm just a dinosaur who needs to get with the times and stop moaning.

I get the subscription model with services like AM/Spotify, Netflix etc., and maybe apps count as comparable services nowadays, but I'd still much rather pay a one time fee. Maybe even paid updates, but the whole subscription model in this case bothers me.
So annoying, I can't stand monthly subscriptions but I put up with them for services like cable, spotify, netflix,etc... but now they're popping up everywhere.
Are you all talking about App in the Air? You realize they have to buy that flight data, per flight, forever, and it's not cheap, right? The alternative is monetize you via ads and selling your data and pray for an acquisition. Or only last 6 months.

EDIT: I didn't realize Timepage and Confide were also subs...that's....aggressive.
 

UndefinedxJoker

macrumors newbie
Apr 22, 2014
11
63
NJ
I know apps have to make money somehow but the subscription based model is getting ridiculous. Hooked is charging $15 a month to read text message stories? Ridiculous.

I always judge these absurd prices against a Netflix subscription to see if they provide equal or higher value and they never come close. I doubt I’m wrong when I say at most hooked should be $1 a month if not just a flat fee.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BlueParadox

Mefisto

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2015
1,051
1,155
The North
Are you all talking about App in the Air? You realize they have to buy that flight data, per flight, forever, and it's not cheap, right? The alternative is monetize you via ads and selling your data and pray for an acquisition. Or only last 6 months.

EDIT: I didn't realize Timepage and Confide were also subs...that's....aggressive.
I'm in no way whatsoever opposed to paying devs for not only their work, but also towards the resources an app needs to function. I guess it's just a bit jarring to see a list of five apps where four of them are subscription based. And again, might just be a me-problem.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
4,738
11,030
New England
I'm really not fond of the direction this is going. Then again perhaps I'm just a dinosaur who needs to get with the times and stop moaning.

I get the subscription model with services like AM/Spotify, Netflix etc., and maybe apps count as comparable services nowadays, but I'd still much rather pay a one time fee. Maybe even paid updates, but the whole subscription model in this case bothers me.
I'm with you, but I think the nature of the software business has changed. People expect updates rapidly, and not on any kind of cycle. Updated have to include new features. Developers can't just delay features until the next major annual revision. I think that is why they are going more often for the subscription model - it allows them to have a rolling and predicable cash-flow to support ongoing development.

However, it does make me a lot more stingy with paying for apps. Whereas before I would think spending $5 was no big deal, now I am thinking, do I want to pay for this in perpetuity?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mefisto

DaveTheRave

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2003
597
168
Confide: $60/year subscription for a messaging app from an unknown company that says "trust us". Yeah right. Prevents screenshots? Big freaking deal. Just take a picture of the screen w another phone.
There’s no way this app is better than Signal.
 

illmatic41

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2012
149
71

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,581
1,022
I'm really not fond of the direction this is going. Then again perhaps I'm just a dinosaur who needs to get with the times and stop moaning.

I get the subscription model with services like AM/Spotify, Netflix etc., and maybe apps count as comparable services nowadays, but I'd still much rather pay a one time fee. Maybe even paid updates, but the whole subscription model in this case bothers me.
To be honest, I would be would be more likely to use apps that have a subscription, especially ones that uses some kind of cloud storage. Apps like Day One or Evernote. 60 dollars per year for the messaging app is a bit excessive, but as a general rule apps that have a small recurring fee tend to be better supported in the long run. I have had way too many paid apps that were abandoned over the years.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,454
7,083
Silicon Valley, CA
Surprised that so many comments are surprised about subscriptions being requested. Certainly everyone by now understands that a pipeline of recurring revenue is preferable to one-time payments that may or may not materialize in the form of upgrade fees? Devs need to eat as well, and if they provide a quality product then people will subscribe. If not, people won't.

I prefer it a lot more than "freemium" IAP nonsense where you are nickeled and dimed to death, or the "AAA" apps the developer has no real incentive to keep up to date with the latest and greatest. They buff out the rough edges and keep some things supported, only to expect you to then get the REAL new features in a completely new $49+ app a'la Fantastical 2, Things 3, Banktivity 6, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DaveOP

Mefisto

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2015
1,051
1,155
The North
Yep, I fully understand why devs do it. I don't necessarily like it, but it makes perfect sense and if I knew how to even code my way out of a wet paper bag I'd probably do the same thing all day long. Which may sound hypocritical to some, but I prefer to think of it as being pragmatic.
 

SoulCloud

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2016
63
129
I can’t believe how many developers want money for subscriptions. I guess that model is here to stay.
We will see about that. It’s kind of a gold-rush for developers at the moment. Apple encourages the model because of their juicy cut, and developers are loving it because if they hit a sweet spot then that’s a salary for life without doing almost anything after the initial days.
I believe many of the ambitious clerk-wannabes will crash like the way cocky birdies mush themselves on all-glass balconies. It will take at least two more years until we get there but I reckon we will get there. Lamb-boys of the great green plains will certainly claim and passive-aggressively defend their choices until the obvious times but this will change nothing. The subscription model is for services at its core where you have to deliver value constantly. Making sure your app works okay with iOS 11 or iOS 12 or 13 isn’t one. Do you have costs? Charge an optimisation fee. Being a decade old markdown-based 15MB app and expecting $50 for bug-fixes isn’t a proper value as well. Neither breaking your app in one update and fixing what you break in the next one. I don’t know where to stop at this point. Opportunities are endless. Let’s not forget the ones who charge $120-$130 annually for service concepts that don’t work but promise to get there eventually. Guess what, some of them didn’t even bother to change a thing in 3 years. Amusing thing is that they still don’t work. Changing the tone of theme colour as a major update, experimenting like there’s no tomorrow because who cares about already lured sugar-daddies... I’ve seen almost all. At the end of last year I had reached €600 mark in terms of annual subscription payment. One of them was in so bad situation that app worked one week and messed my all workflow in the next. Wrote them more often than I texted my girlfriend. Occasionally they had managed to fix it, then again the same circus act. Small indie developers who charged a dollar was more responsive and responsible than a 30-clown-large app circustry. The model will probably stay but not gonna work for haymonkeys. Hopefully.
 
Last edited:

AppleInLVX

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2010
1,059
471
I'm with you, but I think the nature of the software business has changed. People expect updates rapidly, and not on any kind of cycle. Updated have to include new features. Developers can't just delay features until the next major annual revision. I think that is why they are going more often for the subscription model - it allows them to have a rolling and predicable cash-flow to support ongoing development.

However, it does make me a lot more stingy with paying for apps. Whereas before I would think spending $5 was no big deal, now I am thinking, do I want to pay for this in perpetuity?
It's switched my thinking from "do I want this app" to "do I need this app". I am far, far, FAR less likely to go anywhere with a subscription unless I absolutely can tell myself that my day-to-day would be adversely impacted without it. I still haven't done the math, but I think that this means I spend less in the long run, which is nice, but I loathe the idea of being beholden to a monthly fee to keep my life going smoothly. I get it for things like, say, the water bill. But software? That's a damned hard sell. It makes me think of developers as more a necessary evil than a reason I love the whole Apple ecosystem. Where I used to advocate for Ulysses to everyone I could tell, I now don't recommend it because it's just another damned expense, and who wants that added to the power bill? In a lot of ways, subscription models have killed the very reason the Apple ecosystem was so awesome to begin with.
[doublepost=1519927040][/doublepost]
Surprised that so many comments are surprised about subscriptions being requested. Certainly everyone by now understands that a pipeline of recurring revenue is preferable to one-time payments that may or may not materialize in the form of upgrade fees? Devs need to eat as well, and if they provide a quality product then people will subscribe. If not, people won't.

I prefer it a lot more than "freemium" IAP nonsense where you are nickeled and dimed to death, or the "AAA" apps the developer has no real incentive to keep up to date with the latest and greatest. They buff out the rough edges and keep some things supported, only to expect you to then get the REAL new features in a completely new $49+ app a'la Fantastical 2, Things 3, Banktivity 6, etc.
But then there's the *******s like Jesse Meecham (YNAB) who not only went subscription and blew off all the people who loved the software with his "my way or the highway" philosophy of software design, he then upped the price a year later by nearly 80% because "he felt that the software was worth more than what he was charging". If subscriptions breed that level of megalomania, then all of them can stuff it. Sure they need to eat, but they don't need to treat their customers like some kind of endless spigot of cash the minute they produce something worth using.

//no, not bitter at all.
 

cknibbs

macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2012
204
430
[doublepost=1519856690][/doublepost]





Are you all talking about App in the Air? You realize they have to buy that flight data, per flight, forever, and it's not cheap, right? The alternative is monetize you via ads and selling your data and pray for an acquisition. Or only last 6 months.

EDIT: I didn't realize Timepage and Confide were also subs...that's....aggressive.
I can guarantee you I would have bought the calendar one if it was $0.99... maybe even $1.99. If I didn’t like it I can live without the $1. But I don’t see an app like the calendar one as a long term subscription. It’s just getting ridiculous.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BlueParadox

MichelleFromCirkus

macrumors newbie
Mar 2, 2018
2
2
Cirkus is a new task management / project management tool with a native Mac and iOS apps.
Some pretty nice workflows available and lots of customisation.
It's totally free. Early stages, but the interface is clean and simple, and a lot of pro features on other apps are available for free here - project templates, custom workflows and statuses. Definitely worth a look.
On the App Store https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cirkus/id1157319715?ls=1&mt=8

iOS and Mac versions also available, from https://cirkus.com and the Mac App Store.

- Full disclosure I am a part of the Cirkus development team, so my post might be biased -