Hot new games for iOS

The stars lined up just right this week (read: gift-giving season is here!) to have a number of awesome game sequels and new releases launch all at once. Frankly, there are so many new games that there is no better time than the present to check out what the App Store has to offer.

Rick Broida already wrote about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City earlier today, but there are plenty more that would make nice additions to your iOS gaming collection.

This week's collection of apps is a group of excellent games released over the course of this week. … Read more

Top streaming-radio apps for iOS and Android

There are tons of music-listening apps in both of the big app stores, but when you want to find new music, there's nothing better than a streaming-radio app. These apps are set up for browsing through stations and genres so you can get a fresh dose of new options based on the music you like.

The obvious choice here is an app like Pandora (free - iOS|Android), but there are a few I like that have other options that might appeal to different types of music listeners.… Read more

Top travel apps for iOS

Between crowded airports, winter delays, and luggage loaded with gifts, holiday travel can be stressful. But with a little planning, you can make your trip a little easier from start to finish. So rather than gathering up a collection of apps that help you book flights, we decided to make a different kind of travel collection.… Read more

Top holiday cooking apps on iOS

Are you hosting Thanksgiving or bringing a dish to a potluck? If so, plans are probably already in place for the turkey, side dishes, and desserts, but there might be a chance to take your recipes to the next level -- if you have the right apps.

There are several cooking apps for both iPhone and Android that are great year-round, but they also often have special featured recipe collections around the holidays. If you want to kick your green-bean casserole (or any other holiday dish) up a notch, I suggest you take a look at what these apps have to offer.… Read more

Top Black Friday apps for iOS

Black Friday is rapidly approaching and we all know that means people are going to be hitting the stores both online and at brick-and-mortar locations to grab gifts for friends and family. But if you want to find the best deals, you're going to need a little help, and I have just the right apps for the job on iOS devices.

Whether you plan to brave the crowds on Black Friday or stay home and shop online, these apps will get you the best deals and hopefully make your gift shopping a little easier.

Editors' note: For Android shopping … Read more

Great local search apps for iOS

I was going through the app listings the other day and came across LocalScope, a unique local search tool that helps you find things near your current location. Obviously, many people already use Google Maps (no current version for iOS) for this purpose, and the Yelp-powered Apple Maps gets better every day, but after looking at LocalScope (reviewed below), I went on a search for other apps that tailor their results just for what is right around your area.

This week's collection of apps is all about searching for services around your location. The first gives you tons of listings and a surprising bonus feature for finding your destination. The second offers a slick radial interface and tons of categories to pick from. The third is LocalScope, and uses social data to find places, videos, and images from people around your location.… Read more

Modern platform games for iOS

Despite the realistic 3D graphics of today's first-person shooters, RPGs, and other games, platform games continue to thrive on iOS. There's something about jumping through levels, solving puzzles, and collecting coins that keeps gamers entertained. Also, the capability to play through a single level while on the go makes platformers perfect for short bursts of play on your iOS device.

While a console controller is probably the ideal way to play these sometimes precise running and jumping games, iOS game developers have come up with unique ways to make them work.

This week's collection of iOS apps is all about modern platform games. The first is the most traditional platformer, but adds an interesting twist for passing levels. The second has an uncommon control system, but a unique art style and fun, varied gameplay make it a great option. The third is the most polished of the collection, with challenging puzzles and a somewhat grotesque storyline.

Note: There are no Android versions for any of these games.… Read more

Flashy photography apps for iOS

I've written about a lot of photo apps here in my weekly iOS app collections because it's always fun to add a little pizazz to your images. But rather than dragging out the Instagram (iOS | Android) clones and retro photo makers, I wanted to try something a little more "out there."

If you know where to look, there are several image effects apps in the App Store that give your photos some really drastic changes using overlays and unique neon lighting effects. Not every photo will benefit from these apps, but with a little creativity, I think you'll find that these apps can produce great results.

This week's collection of apps is all about adding drastic effects to your photos. The first uses several types of bright overlays to add strange effects to your photos in a couple easy steps. The second adds more features letting you add multiple effects on the same image. The third lets you add multiple overlays as well, but you can also adjust opacity and use masking tools and filters to really trick out your photos.… Read more

Word games you may not know about for smartphones

Most games on my iPhone keep my interest for awhile, but then they enter a state of sitting on my home screen until I remember to revisit them. If they sit long enough, I'll delete them knowing I can always redownload if the urge strikes me. But there is one category of games I never stop playing.

When I get a moment, I'm always catching up with word games on my iPhone. I constantly have a Scrabble (iOS|Android) game going along with both Scramble with Friends (iOS|Android) and Words with Friends (iOS|Android). When I have … Read more

Next-gen 3D runners on iOS

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post comparing older running games to new ones, to see how the genre that works so well on the touch screen was evolving. But even since then running games have gotten much deeper, with more 3D entries than just the popular classic Temple Run (iOS|Android).

I'm a big fan of these types of games because they're so easy to pick up and play for a short time and I'm never too worried about turning them off when it's my turn at the DMV or my bus has reached my stop -- there's always another run.… Read more