This week on the App Store, there are some major updates to popular apps like WhatsApp, Microsoft Office and Opera Mini. In our selection of games, you’ll get to collect and evolve historical warriors from around the world, relax while piecing together a long-forgotten story, and play Batman in a new Doodle Jump title.
Can’t get enough of the beat? Keezy Drummer is a simple, beautifully designed new app that turns your iPhone or iPad into a programmable drum machine. It features 12 percussion sounds, and lets you add up to nine layers of sound at a time. Using simple swipe gestures, you’ll also be able to adjust the beats per minute, in increments from 0 to 300. To listen to your jam, you can plug your iOS device into a speaker, or stream it via AirPlay.
WhatsApp received an interesting new feature yesterday as a behind-the-scenes OTA addition rather than an app update. So far, the app only displayed a grey double tick when a message had reached the recipient. With the new feature, the double tick turns blue when your message has been read. For group chats, WhatsApp now displays a grey double check mark when all the members have received your message, and a blue double tick when all of them have read it.
Microsoft has made some major changes to its Office suite of iOS apps. Earlier, iPhone users had access to a limited range of features via the now-defunct Office app. With the new update, the three standalone apps – Word, Excel and PowerPoint – which were previously only available on the iPad, have now gone universal. Plus, they are available free of cost. Users can still opt for an Office 365 subscription to get access to advanced collaboration features, improved formatting tools and unlimited OneDrive storage.
Popular fitness tracking app Runtastic has launched Sleep Better, a new app that seeks to improve your sleep quality. The app tracks your sleep duration, cycles and efficiency, even when your iPhone is in airplane mode. The Smart Alarm function wakes you up at the ideal time, while your sleep history offers a better insight into your sleeping habits. You can also enter daily variables such as caffeine and alcohol intake, exercise, and stress levels to determine how they affect your sleep. The app integrates with Apple’s HealthKit so you can view all this information alongside other data in the Health app’s unified dashboard.
Opera Mini, the popular web browser, has received a major update in version 9.0. The updated app introduces a data compression feature for videos, shrinking them into a more compact size so you don’t have to worry about exhausting your monthly data limits. The compression feature also reduces buffering and stalling of videos to create a more seamless experience. To activate the video boost feature, you’ll need to turn on video optimisation under the Opera Turbo mode.
Selected as the coveted Editor’s Choice this week, World of Warriors is a combat and adventure strategy game where you’ll get to travel and explore the world, collecting historical real-life warriors like the Romans, Vikings, Knights and Samurai. Each warrior features their own back-story and special moves, and can be trained and evolved to their maximum potential. The game also features intense combat, a crafting system and the option to compete with players around the world.
The Sailor’s Dream isn’t a game in the conventional sense. The developers, who are responsible for other story-based apps like Year Walk and Device 6 call it “a peaceful narrative experience”. The object of the game is to satisfy your curiosity, by letting you explore various locations such as a lighthouse, a cottage or a forgotten island, accessible by navigating a calm sea. You can rummage through the various objects in each location, occasionally uncovering forgotten memories which are part of a greater story.
Bitcoin Billionaire is an idle tapping game where you’ll have to tap the screen to collect bitcoins, using them to grow your fortune. You’ll start off in a rundown old office with broken furniture, and use the wealth you amass to upgrade it with entertainment centers, works of art and the latest technology. You’ll also get to invest your bitcoins in interesting ventures like robot butlers and virtual reality. Plus, you’ll get to customise your character, collect bonuses, unlock achievements and if you’re lucky, adopt a kitten.
In this new Doodle Jump spinoff, you’ll get to play as different DC comic superheroes in a series of themed episodes. In the first epidode, you’ll play Batman, facing off against iconic villains from Gotham City like The Penguin, Mr Freeze, The Joker and The Riddler. You can use various gadgets like a batcopter and bat jetpack to climb higher, collect crystals to level up your gear, and stop yourself from falling with a bat grappling gun.
Disney has launched Big Hero 6: Bot Fight, a game based on its upcoming Big Hero 6 animated movie. The game combines role-playing elements and match-three puzzles, requiring you to match power cells to unleash attacks on enemy robots. You’ll also get to collect and evolve bots to create a powerful team, and play with friends to complete missions and unlock achievements.
This week, the popular Swype keyboard is available for free, courtesy Apple. The gesture-based keyboard is known for its word-prediction technology, and with its latest update, brings emoji support in six languages, as well as an improved iPad layout.
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