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iOS App Store Editor’s Choice: Applications You Didn’t Know You needed

With about 2 million applications for iOS on the App Store, there’s definitely one for every specific use. From making the most of the stellar cameras on iPhone, or getting your life a little more organised, your device’s true potential can only be reached with the right apps.

1. Vivino [Free]

I know next to nothing about wine, but I do fancy myself a tipple from time to time. If you’re just like me, chances are that the wine aisle is a revered, yet dreaded time sink on grocery day.

What difference do those wine-words make? Are we to judge a wine by its label? Vivino takes the guesswork out of your wine buying by granting you swift access to a large repository of wine reviews by everyday users and self-professed wine connoisseurs alike.

All that data, easily accessed by scanning the label of the wine bottle in question using the camera on your iPhone. Wine reviews are averaged to provide a rating on a five-star scale, along with useful information like taste characteristics which are also aggregated from reviews. Whether the wine is light or bold, if it is dry or sweet, and if it is soft or acidic, Vivino prescribes wines to your taste, while providing easy-to-understand indications of taste elements: fruitiness (like citrus vs apples), or cheese, vanilla, nuttiness are also indicated based on reviews.

Perhaps my favourite feature – the average price and ranking is provided, meaning you can make quick, cost-effective decisions on your choice of wine for that party to impress your friends.

2.Brawl Stars [Free, with in-app purchases]

Game developer Supercell of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale fame is responsible for Brawl Stars. First launched in a limited release on iOS, the game has since seen expansion over to Android, months ahead of its global launch just weeks ago.

Supercell’s latest update to Brawlstars made great improvements in look and feel of the game. Image: screengrab from Brawlstars

I don’t usually game, but Brawl Stars makes a great exception. It’s a great multiplayer game that’s easy to pick up, but has quite a high skill cap. This means that effort is rewarded in the long run as you crush your opponents in its many game modes. 

In terms of game modes, there are four main ones: three ones which pit two teams of three against one another. These are Gem Grab, where you compete to hold on to ten gems for 15 seconds, Heist where they compete to destroy their opponent’s safes within a set time limit, and Bounty, where the teams compete to rack up the highest number of kills. If team gameplay isn’t your cup of tea, Brawl Stars sports a Showdown mode which plays right into the battle royale-style of gameplay popularised by PUBG and Fortnite. Available in Solo or Duo modes, players compete to be the last player (or pair of players) alive.

Gameplay in Brawlstars is highly competitive, giving a high skill cap to dedicated gamers while maintaining ease of play for casuals. Image: screengrab from Brawlstars

With currently 22 brawlers in the game, players can unlock eight as part of the League Reward structure which come as you progress through the game. Playing the game also gives players keys which enables them to unlock different tiers of boxes which, amongst other things, also gives varying probabilities to yield different tiers of Rare, Super Rare, Epic, Mythic and Legendary brawlers.

This means anyone can play this game, and if you so choose, spend some money on obtaining boxes for a greater chance of unlocking that one elusive brawler you can’t seem to obtain.

My favourite part of this Supercell title is the social nature of the game. Despite the lack of communication capabilities while actually playing, and a reduced emphasis on in-game chat with the latest update that came with the global launch, Brawl Stars does provide the opportunity to connect with your peers. Connecting your Facebook account allows you to view when friends are online, and you can compete together in its game modes.

3.Spendee [Free, with paid upgrades]

Even if your memory is better than mine, it’s difficult to keep track of all your expenses. The smaller expenses snowball out of control, and the only way to closely monitor your spending habits is to track it daily.

Spendee gives a handy visual breakdown of your spending habits, enabling you to understand and make better budgeting choices in the future. Image: Screengrab from Spendee app

Spendee is one of the best apps to achieve this, while allowing you to categorise your expenditures, income and transfers in visually striking ways. By accessing the overview, you can even see which categories you spend the most on, allowing you to adjust your budget goals and improve your spending habits more effectively. 

Secured with FaceID or TouchID, users are also able to set daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or yearly budgets, and even choose to specify a category the budget applies to.

The app provides geotagged spending logs and information of expenditure over time. Image: Screenshot from Spendee app

With Spendee Plus (SGD 2.98/mth or SGD 22.98/yr), users are also able to create multiple wallets for different expenditures, bank accounts, or even businesses. Families can collectively monitor spending habits by adding members to a particular wallet. The higher tier, Spendee Premium (SGD 4.98/mth or SGD 35.98/yr), even allows automatic categorisation and bank account sync, making savin

4.Fitbod [Free, with paid upgrade]

Just in time for the new year and the, this handy app aims to take the place of your personal trainer. Fitbod allows you to log your workouts in the app, listing a whole variety of machine, free weight and bodyweight exercises.

The Fitbod app, free on the App Store with paid upgrades. Image: screengrab from Fitbod app

The app allows users to select available equipment in order to best tailor exercise routines to your unique circumstances. This works with inputs on your personal fitness goals – toning, strength, muscle mass, powerlifting, or even just an introductory programme to utilise the most number of machines available.

The true capability of Fitbod is in a subscription plan for Fitbod Elite (SGD 61.98/yr), which allows users to receive a personalised workout plan everyday, visualise fitness achievements and muscle fatigue with a body heat map. 

Fitbod prescribes a litany of exercises to do as a set for your next gym session based on your preferences and limitations. Image: Screenshot from the Fitbod app

However, without paying, Fitbod still allows for adequate fitness monitoring, giving indications about fatigue levels and fitness progress. Most importantly, Fitbot free acts as your personal trainer, prescribing exercise circuits complete with superset for your gym sessions.

5.Lumafusion [Paid, SGD 30]

Perhaps one of the most impressive applications on this list, Lumafusion is a powerful video editor for iOS. On the iPad Pro 2018, Lumafusion has most of the capabilities of more powerful desktop applications like Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple’s Final Cut Pro. 

Lumafusion allows for multitrack video and audio, enabling budding videographers to churn out quality projects with ease. Image: Apple App Store

Personally, I do most of my video editing on a fully-specced Mac Pro desktop unit, but the iPad Pro 2018 allows me to do on-the-fly video editing practically anywhere.

With three video and three audio tracks, Lumafusion also allows you to make application is more than adequate for small-to-medium projects, which is great for budding YouTubers and marketing folk alike. Transitions and title cards too are available, allowing you to add your own touch to your video project.

The app allows access to transitions and effects otherwise only available on full-fledged platforms like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. Image: Apple App Store

While this costs money, there are options that are completely free. Splice is an application that gives a single video, audio and narration track and works on your mobile phone. Even more impressively, Splice gives you a variety of complimentary, royalty-free music tracks to overlay on your video project.

Ian Ling
http://uncommontragedy.com
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

3 thoughts on “iOS App Store Editor’s Choice: Applications You Didn’t Know You needed

  1. Vivino is pretty awesome. Now one can watch all apps for free on Android and iOS devices using TopStore app store.

  2. Brawl stars is really a great game.

  3. iOS App Store Editor’s Choice: Applications You Didn’t Know You needed, All you don’t need to use premium apps through Apple Store when you have third party apps like tutuapp and tweakbox.

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