App Recap: 'Usage' System Activity, 'Backdrops' Wallpapers, and Major App Updates

In this week's App Recap, we've highlighted two apps worth checking out. We've also compiled a list of apps that received major updates this week.

App Recap Usage Backdrops e1589661652158

Apps to Check Out

  • Usage: System Activity & Info (iOS, Free) - Although not a particularly new app, Usage recently received a major update with version 3.0 in which the app was completely redesigned using SwiftUI. Complete with a sleek and modern design, Usage now features both an extended functionality with device and battery information and deeper, more detailed view of metrics.The app creates metrics based on network activity, connection speed, data usage, and more. Usage also allows users to customize the app to their own likings through six different color options, options to order the various metrics, and four customizable today widget options. Usage is free to download and features no ads, but users looking for the most functionality can purchase the app's compare feature for $1.99, which provides a detailed hardware breakdown of your device and allows you to compare it with any other iPhone. It is also worth pointing out that users can unlock the premium compare feature for one day by simply sharing the app!
  • Backdrops (iOS, Free) - Backdrops is a new wallpaper app that features original, high quality designs by the Backdrops team. The app features a wide variety of different wallpapers themes including abstract, scenery, geometric, dark AMOLED friendly, and more. Users can also upload and submit their own wallpapers to be featured in the Community tab. Although free to download, the app does feature a Backdrops Pro in-app purchase for $3.99 which removes ads and unlocks exclusive wallpaper collections. Backdrops also supports Sign in With Apple, so users who sign up for an account using an Apple ID have the option to mask their personal email address.

App Updates

  • Apple Store - The Apple Store app was revamped this week with Dark Mode support. Apple has continued to add ‌Dark Mode‌ support to all of its apps after first introducing the feature in iOS and iPadOS 13.
  • Logic Pro X (Mac) - Apple this week released Logic Pro X version 10.5 with a new Live Loops feature first introduced in GarageBand for iPhone and iPad, a completely redesigned sampling workflow, new beat-making tools, and many other new features. In addition, the app received several performance improvements, and Apple has referred to the new update as being the "biggest update to Logic since the launch of Logic Pro X."
  • Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (iPad) - Microsoft this week updated its Word and PowerPoint apps with Split View, which now allows users to open two documents simultaneously side-by-side. Split View can be accessed by touching and holding on a document in any file view and then dragging it to the left or right side of the screen.
  • Norbyte (iOS) - Developer Norbyte this week updated its painting apps HuePaint and iPastels with support for Apple's universal purchases feature, so buying the app once will allow you to have access to it across all of your devices.
  • Slack (iOS) - The Slack iPhone app this week was updated with both a redesigned interface and a new navigation bar. In addition to these new features, some of the app's swiping gestures have improved.
  • Spark - The Spark email app this week received an update with full mouse and trackpad support for iPadOS. In addition, users who participate in Spark for Teams are now able to react to emails and chats of shared conversations with emojis.
  • Spotify - Spotify this week updated its app with a new Group Session feature, which allows two or more Premium users in the same location to share control over the music that's being played. The new feature can be used after the person in charge taps the Connect menu in the bottom left corner of the Play screen which shares the scannable QR code with additional users. Once connected, participants can play, pause, skip, and select tracks to add to the queue with Spotify's controls.
  • Twitter - Twitter this week announced a new feature that makes it easier for users to recognize retweets with comments. On Twitter's iPhone and iPad apps, all retweets with comments are now shown in a list that can be accessed by tapping on a tweet and then choosing the "Retweets" option.

Top Rated Comments

Siriosys Avatar
27 weeks ago


Not sure what the purpose of that Usage app is on iOS, but I guess it's pretty

You summed it up right! It lacks substance of any kind - it appears even the paid version doesn't provide much additional info.


Processor Stats - There's no way to see which process or App is causing spikes or continually high processor usage
Storage - It doesn't provide any way to tell what's taking up all the space on your device
Memory - You can't see which Apps are hogs
Network Stats - Doesn't show which protocols, ports, or Apps are uploading / downloading / using mobile data
Battery - Just repeats the stuff you can get from the top of your screen, with some additional static info about the battery which will never change, unless you change the battery.


Thankfully however, it's free.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dmylrea Avatar
27 weeks ago
4 bucks for Backdrop Pro? The wallpapers look, sort of, average (at best).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sideshowuniqueuser Avatar
27 weeks ago
Who in their right mind willingly downloads a backdrop app that comes with ads?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EM2013 Avatar
27 weeks ago
Downloaded wallpaper app and deleted right after.

Barely browsing for a minute or two and my xs Max starting heating up. No app or game I use does this.

Wallpapers are poorly optimized.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
braddick Avatar
27 weeks ago
I miss my iTunes back in the day I could simply download them to my computer and then download them to my iPhone. I used to enjoy reading the descriptions of the various apps. Now it's a bit of a chore to do.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Internet Enzyme Avatar
27 weeks ago
Not sure what the purpose of that Usage app is on iOS, but I guess it's pretty
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
xlK6MS4MLqVFaskl

iFixit Shares iPhone 12 Pro Max Teardown Revealing L-Shaped Battery and Bigger Camera Module

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:53 am PST by
In the last of its iPhone 12 series teardowns, iFixit has published its iPhone 12 Pro Max disassembly, which reveals some unique differences in the design of the internals, including the full extent of the larger camera system responsible for the improved low-light performance on Apple's largest iPhone to date. On opening the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the first obvious difference compared to the...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...