New apps for every platform
THE TECHLIFE TEAM REVIEWS THE MOST INTERESTING NEW APPS FOR iOS AND ANDROID.
OmniFocus 3 A FLEXIBLE, POWERFUL TASK MANAGER Free with IAP | omnigroup.com
WHAT DO YOU need to do today? Are all your projects on track? OmniFocus answers these questions and many more besides, but then so would Wunderlist, and that’s the problem. At $30.99 for the Standard edition and $46.99 for the Pro, OmniFocus is easily one of the more expensive iOS apps. Is it worth it?
OmniFocus’ power lies in the way it slices and dices your data. Tasks can be tagged, put into projects and given due dates. You can mark which tools they’ll require, where they should be performed, and even how motivated you need to be to tackle each one.
The more of this metadata you add, the better OmniFocus performs. So, when we found ourselves with 15 minutes to spare we filtered out any longer jobs and those for which we didn’t have the necessary tools to hand. If we were by the phone, we could switch to our tagged calls; when online, our emails. OmniFocus helps us fill the otherwise wasted pockets of our workday — and you don’t need to fill many to start recouping the cost; particularly not if you work for yourself.
Your tasks feed into a home screen with four key views: projects, tags, flagged jobs and anything that needs to be done close to your current location. These are ‘Perspectives’, the name that’s given to the app’s sorting and filtering features. You can build your own by combining tags, durations, dates and so on, and save them for easy access, but this can only be done if you’re using the Pro edition. Pro also lets you customize the sidebar, but otherwise its feature set mirrors the Standard build.
Whichever version you decide to buy syncs your data between your iOS devices, but syncing with a Mac requires a separate purchase. Version 3 for macOS is in the works, but buy version 2 today and you’ll get a free upgrade when it’s released. 14-day trials of the Mac edition are available from the OmniGroup site, and the iOS versions don’t require payment — in the form of an IAP — during the first two weeks’ use. Used in the right way, it can make you more productive. [ NIK RAWLINSON ]
PDF Viewer Pro VIEW, ANNOTATE, AND COMMENT ON PDFS Free with IAP | pdfviewer.io
PDF VIEWER, DESPITE its name, does a great deal more than just allow you to view PDFs on your phone. You can annotate and comment on PDFs, sign them, fill in forms, and even perform some basic editing functions.
The Pro version adds a few extra features for a fee ($16.99 for a year), allowing you to annotate JPEGs and PNG files, password protect PDFs, combine multiple documents into one, and reply to notes that others have made.
PDFs can be imported from email, from a cloud storage service like Dropbox or iCloud, or via your smartphone’s file app. Once open, PDFs are searchable, and you can bookmark them or create a table of contents. Annotating PDFs is surprisingly easy, and you can have multiple PDFs open at once due to the tabbed interface.
There are plenty of customisation options too, from a choice of themes, to choosing how to display and navigate multipage PDFs, and even how pen marks and highlights will work. It’s a real pleasure to use. [ KENNY HEMPHILL ]
AN APP THAT COULD MAKE YOU EVEN SMARTER Free with IAP | elevateapp.com
ALTHOUGH VIDEO GAMES were a staple of my youth, I have little interest in them as an adult. Most are overly complicated compared to the classics, and cause family stress as kids hound parents for virtual currency to feed their latest addiction.
While not technically a video game, Elevate is the cure for those suffering from Fortnite fatigue. Using playful graphics and a barrage of brain games, this app challenges players to hone their skills and become a better, more intelligent person every time they use it.
Every day, Elevate presents a handful of mental workouts designed to sharpen your mind. Exercises are tailored to the user, based upon your answers to a pre-signup introductory quiz. The app was smart enough to identify strengths at reading and writing, and picked up that math is our Kryptonite.
The app is comprised of more than 35 games, each carefully designed to tickle a particular cognitive skill like comprehension, precision, memory, and focus. Aside from five daily challenges, players can bone up with individual writing, speaking, reading, or math activities.
Like most games, you unlock achievements as you go, and Elevate ranks activity and