Best iOS Apps of Spring 2014

CIO.com blogger James A. Martin picks his personal favorite apps from among those he's reviewed this year, including one that creates its own social network and another one that helps amateur iPhone videographers.

The first three months of 2014 didn’t bring any ‘wow’ Android apps, at least not among those I reviewed. But three iOS apps stood out as my personal favorites of the year so far:

Yahoo News Digest (free)

Yahoo has been on a roll lately, introducing attractively designed apps that add a little something different to their category. Yahoo News Digest is a prime example.

Unlike other news aggregator apps, this one updates itself just twice a day: in the morning and afternoon. While some might find this limiting, I like this approach. I get notified when there’s an update, and I can check it out then or wait until later. With other apps, there’s the temptation to fire it up off and on throughout the day, which isn’t necessarily good for your productivity.

The app’s editors do a mostly good job of picking the eight stories included in each update, though some choices, such as a story about Disney’s Frozen breaking animated movie box-office records, lack a bit of gravitas. 

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Horizon ($2)

Just yesterday, a friend pulled out his iPhone and began recording a video of the roller skaters in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Halfway through, he switched the phone’s orientation from landscape to portrait. Here was yet another person who needs the Horizon app (but didn’t know it existed).

Horizon is a video recording app that enables you to record a video while holding your iPhone or iPad in landscape or portrait mode, with no discernible impact on the video itself. In other words, you can switch modes and your views won’t have to tilt their heads sideways to keep up.

Most skilled videographers know not to switch orientation while recording a video, as you get a better overall video always recording in landscape mode. For everyone else, there’s Horizon.

Findery (free)

Findery adds intriguing context to maps by linking articles, personal notes, video clips, historical background and other content. The result is a crowdsourced map that helps locals and tourists alike get a better feel for a city as they travel through it.

Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake developed Findery, and there’s been a Findery website around since 2012 — otherwise, the app would have launched with little-to-none user-generated content.

Findery is among the best new apps that also create their own social network. It’s worth adding to your iPhone before heading off to a new city, or to help you explore your own.

Your Favorites?

What have been your favorite iOS or Android apps of the past few months? Please share them in the comments below. 

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