Giphy Keys (iOS)
As an avid user of the Gif keyboard, I have but one complaint. To send a gif I have to stop typing, switch to the keyboard, pick my gif, and then switch back to my normal keyboard. In the words of our infomercial forefathers, “there’s got to be a better way.” And now there is, in the form of Giphy Keys. Giphy Keys allows you to search, send, and even create gifs, directly from your keyboard. No switching around. Just whimsy and dancing cats with pizza heads.
Beyond making your text messages that much more fun, Giphy Keys works with Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat. Interestingly the app also introduces Giphy’s hashtag system. Type #weather and your zip code and it’ll tell you the weather. Enter #sticker and it will create a random animated sticker. There’s a surprising amount of power in this little keyboard, and an alarming number of Beyonce gifs.
You may have never considered how auditory sensations impact the way you feel, but what we hear can affect us, for better or worse. Hear aims to make the sounds you experience a more pleasant part of your life. Like Instagram allows you to filter your pictures, Hear filters the sounds around you.
Different filters are useful for different situations. The dreamy fog of the Relax filter has a legitimately psychedelic effect, while Auto Volume helps block out distracting ambient noise while still letting you hear when people talk to you. In total there are seven filters to try. You can manipulate each filter to meet your own needs, so take a little time to play with the settings. Half the fun is seeing all the different ways sounds end up being manipulated. You can read more about Hear from our previous coverage of the app.
Model 15 by Moog (iOS)
The mad geniuses at Moog aren’t content making space sounds with their keyboards, so they made an app. Model 15 is the end result, a modular synthesizer that puts $10,000 worth of synths into a $30 iOS app. It features four controllers: a traditional Moog keyboard, 1150 ribbon controller, 8-step sequencing arpeggiator and the award-winning Animoog keyboard, along with 160 unique presets. Tutorials are also included to help musicians old and new get a head start.
For experience synth users however, this app is a steal. It supports 7 and 14-Bit MIDI, Bluetooth LE MIDI controllers, Ableton Link, real-time looping, and more. Whether you’re learning to play Hot Cross Buns or you’ve got a gig in a goth club, this $30 app is a wonder.
Start isn’t an app many people will want to talk about, simply because Start deals with depression. Depression is something everyone deals with at some point, but can become a serious burden depending on your personal chemistry. That’s where Start comes in, giving you a place to track your symptoms, possible side effects of medication, and pill reminders. It can also be connected to HealthKit to track your steps and sleep.
Once Start has helped you organize your health regimen it gets to your head, allowing you to set goals for things you want to accomplish or feel better about and tips from doctors and other people dealing with depression. Periodically the app will provide progress reports of how you’ve been doing. Sometimes we all get sad. Start may just be the beginning of your journey towards happiness.
The Infinite Arcade (iOS)
If the success of Minecraft and Super Mario Maker have taught us anything, it’s that gamers like expressing their creativity. We like torturing ourselves with seemingly impossible levels and wacky designs. That’s why you can probably expect to hear more about Infinite Arcade in the future.
Infinite Arcade lets you make a staggering array of games: platformer, adventure, pinball, paddle games, text puzzles, and mazes. Fill them with colorful traps, magic, enemies, and even dialogue. Build a world and tell a story, then share it with your friends. Sadly there currently isn’t a cloud store for players to share their creations with the world on, but given it’s a new app maybe that function will come in the future. In the meantime there’s hundreds of thousands of options to build your own worlds. Get building for just $2.99.