What were the best nongame apps of 2018 for your iPhone or iPad? They ran the gamut from self-care to the care and feeding of frogs. Here are four of the best as selected by the editors at Apple’s App Store. Next week: Top 2018 Android games.
Fabulous — Daily Motivation
(iOS, Android; free / subscription)
Apple App Store editors said that 2018 was the year of self-care, as health and wellness apps helped harried people feel better mentally and physically. Fabulous, named one of the Best Apps of the Year, says it can help you break bad habits and create “a healthier, happier life.” The app (which is also available for Android) is free to download, but to use all the features a $7.99 monthly subscription is needed.
(iOS; free / subscription)
Shine is another self-care app picked as one of the Best Apps of the Year by App Store editors. Like Fabulous, Shine is a motivational tool that can help you set and reach goals, strengthen relationships or simply feel calmer through meditation. The free app allows you to receive a “Daily Shine” motivational text, but to unlock all features a $9.99-per-month subscription is needed. Developers are working on an Android version.
Procreate for the iPad is an Apple Design Award winner and App Store Essential, and its small-screen spinoff Procreate Pocket brings the power of the illustration app to the iPhone. The app features more than 100 brushes and high-resolution canvasses, so professional artists or anyone feeling a spur-of-the-moment rush of creativity can whip up a sketch or an illustration anywhere. App Store editors selected Procreate Pocket as the iPhone App of the Year.
This odd app from India was a surprise choice as iPad App of the Year. (It is also available for iPhones.) App Store editors liked it because it provides a good example of the iPhone’s and iPad’s augmented-reality technology. Froggipedia is, not surprisingly, all about frogs. You learn everything about the little amphibian — both its insides and outsides —as it goes from tadpole to adult.
Walmart flexes online muscle
Walmart’s aggressive online strategy, including using its brick-and-mortar stores as convenient pickup locations, is paying off. EMarketer says Walmart has passed Apple to become the third-biggest online retailer. No. 1 Amazon still has a whopping 48 percent share of online sales, followed by eBay at 7.2 percent. Walmart, with a 4 percent share, has moved past Apple (3.9 percent) and Home Depot (1.9 percent).
— PETER KING
Screen time, times 2
What are you doing while watching a big-screen TV? Chances are, you’re also glancing at a small screen. A new Nielsen survey found that 78 percent of respondents “always,” “often” or “sometimes” use their smartphones while watching TV. About 71 percent of those using both said they used their phone to look up information related to what they were viewing on the TV.
— PETER KING
Apple and Alexa play nice
Apple Music is now available on Amazon’s Alexa speakers, a new step in the nascent cooperation between the tech rivals. The deal pokes another hole in the garden walls that Amazon, Google and Apple have been racing to construct around their home-speaker ecosystems. Each is building home speaker devices in a bid to get consumers to hand over more of their data and buy the companies’ products.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS