Five iOS Apps Worth Checking Out - February 2018

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.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

  • 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.



Top Rated Comments

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20 months ago

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.
Rating: 6 Votes
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20 months ago
Heads up, none of the FREE apps are free at all.
Rating: 6 Votes
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20 months ago
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.
Rating: 3 Votes
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20 months ago
I can’t believe how many developers want money for subscriptions. I guess that model is here to stay.
Rating: 2 Votes
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20 months ago
The only app on that list worth getting is Alto’s Odyssey. It’s actually the total opposite of the rest of that list as it’s a one time purchase and there are no IAP whatsoever now or later.

Here’s an interview with the developers of the game and they address the whole IAP on Android vs the one time pay on iOS in the first game.
https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/02/the-creators-of-altos-odyssey-on-how-to-make-a-mobile-game-thats-actually-good/
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
20 months ago

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?
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 months ago
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.
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 months ago

[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.
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 months ago
I don't mind paying a subscription for a quality app that is kept up to date, and one where I can get good developer response.

Confide is not one I would pay that price.
Rating: 1 Votes
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20 months ago
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.
Rating: 1 Votes
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