The New Essential Apps August 2011

iPhones. iPads. Android. Windows Phone 7. We've updated all of our essential apps lists to include a few forgotten favorites, some long awaited arrivals and, as always, even more amazing apps. Check them out!

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The New Essential Apps August 2011

The Best iPhone Apps August 2011

The end of the month is here, and that means it's time to do a little housekeeping on our list of the absolute best iPhone apps. Who will be inducted?

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The New Essential Apps August 2011

Facebook Messenger: Think of it as a cross platform messaging service that enables you to easily talk to people on any platform-Android, iPhone, Facebook, SMS and everything in between. It's not dissimilar to Kik or WhatsApp in this aspect. If your friends are on Facebook, they'll get your message in the Messages (or on their Android or iPhone). If they're not on Facebook, it'll be re-directed as a SMS message.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Ness: A quickfast and beautiful way to figure out where you're going to go eat. It's a whole lot like Netflix recommendations, but for restaurant suggestions. You rate places you've been and it'll spit out places you might like—without the annoying reviews you might run into elsewhere.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

MiniMash: It takes your songs, analyzes them, and lets you mash them together. The layout is way stripped down; it looks like a DJ game on Super Nintendo. Which, over here, is great! All the heavy lifting is done in the background-tempo and pitch matching-so that you can create smooth transitions and mixes for most of what you throw at it. $2

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Luminance: What makes Luminance stand out in the increasingly crowded space of photo editing apps is that it's great at handling layers. Each effect-vignetting, tweaking exposure and white balance, etc.-is a layer that you can re-arrange to see how the picture changes and delete to see how it looks without the effect. Editing like a pro.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Mega Mall Story: It's like Tiny Tower which was like SimTower but instead of building a skyscraper you're outfitting a mall. And just like those games, it's as crack-addicting as ever with the added benefit of pretending to re-live your mall hanging out days.


The New Essential Apps August 2011

The Best Android Apps August 2011

A pretty great month of apps for Android, we have Pano, the awesome panoramic picture taker and Pops, a new take on notifications along with a notification light tweak, GIF wallpapers and more.

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The New Essential Apps August 2011

Pano: A panoramic picture taking app for your Android phone. Basically, you snap a series of side-by-side individual shots together and Pano automagically stitches them together to create one super long seamless photo. You can even merge together 16 pictures into one humungo 360 degree photo if you wanted!

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Tumblr: Tumblr has been graced with a brand new interface that makes it brainless to use. Everything about 2.0 is smoother, simpler, and all around better. Writing an entry is easy—be it a photo post or just a reblog—and switching between multiple blogs is handled gracefully.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Pops: Pops makes notifications ridiculous. You can flip your email, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, etc. notifications into VIDEO or ANIMATED notifications. Nyan Cat, Android Robot, anything. Think of it as the next evolution of ringtones. Free

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Videos: You can use Google's official Video app to watch videos you store on your phone or flicks you got from the Market. It streams over Wi-Fi and supports offline viewing too

The New Essential Apps August 2011

AnimGIF Live Wallpaper 2: A wallpaper "app" that lets you use any GIF you find on the world wide web as your phone's wallpaper. I put app in quotes because its actually more like a settings option, the app is only visible as another option when you want to change wallpapers. It gives your phone depth with a brand new moving personality.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Light Flow: It doesn't work for every phone but you can take control of the notification light on your Android light. You can change colors, cycle through 'em all, program apps to work with it and a whole ton of other customization. It's a small tweak but one that makes your phone, yours.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Facebook Messenger: Think of it as a cross platform messaging service that enables you to easily talk to people on any platform—Android, iPhone, Facebook, SMS and everything in between. It's not dissimilar to Kik or WhatsApp in this aspect. If your friends are on Facebook, they'll get your message in the Messages (or on their Android or iPhone). If they're not on Facebook, it'll be re-directed as a SMS message.


The New Essential Apps August 2011

The Best iPad Apps August 2011

The headliner this month for iPad apps is Speakeasy Cocktails. It's one of those apps that feel like a book and really extends the tablets-are-the-future ideology. Other apps like Instamap and Rdio filled in gaping holes this month.

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The New Essential Apps August 2011

Speakeasy Cocktails: It's a cocktails recipe book app that will transform the way you see, judge and drink cocktails. The info is on par with the best cocktail books. There's a consistent narrative to the app, the chapters are set up to teach you the basics first and then branch out to show you each alcohol's different recipes. You'll learn to drink with it. $10

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Rdio: If you're not familiar with Rdio, just know that it was our favorite streaming music app because of its combination of selection, social aspects and quality music apps. The iPad app double downs on that with an easy way to check your friend's activities, offers up gigantic in-your-face album artwork and has a music player that is clearly influenced by the stellar iPod App on the iPad.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Skype: Skype. For iPad. Finaleffingly. It works over 3G or Wi-Fi and you can talk to anyone using Skype, which is pretty much the de facto standard for video chatting these days. There's also features for IM, emoticons and support for both front and back cameras.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Instamap: Instamap is an Instagram browsing app on your iPad that lets you check up on your stream, see popular photos and even subscribe to particular tags and locations. It's wonderfully designed and though you can't take pictures, it's as good a way to peek at Instagram on your iPad.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

Luminance: What makes Luminance stand out in the increasingly crowded space of photo editing apps is that it's great at handling layers. Each effect-vignetting, tweaking exposure and white balance, etc.-is a layer that you can re-arrange to see how the picture changes and delete to see how it looks without the effect. Editing like a pro.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

The Atlantic: The Atlantic, excellent in all three of their mediums: their magazine, their website, and their blog of sorts, The Atlantic Wire, has finally merged all their content into one app. It's available for free. If you're not a subscriber to The Atlantic magazine, you can still access all the website content in the app without paying a dime.


The New Essential Apps August 2011

The Best Windows Phone Apps August 2011

It's a slower than usual month for Windows Phone 7 as everyone's gearing up for Mango. Still, a new way to discover apps and the best RSS reader we've seen on WP7 were released this month. But we want Mango. Bad.

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The New Essential Apps August 2011

Fuse: A gorgeous RSS reader that transforms boring ol' feeds into windows of information. It supports Google Reader, Instapaper, Read It Later, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. There's way to customize the look of the app but any way you spin it, it's probably the best looking RSS reader on Windows Phone 7.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

WikiPanda: It's the best Wikipedia app for Windows Phone 7. WikiPanda lets you easily search through the Internet's Encyclopedia and offers a featured article and an "on this day" factoid too.

The New Essential Apps August 2011

AppFlow: It's kind of backwards to need an app to find more apps but with the relative newness of Windows Phone 7, it's the sorta thing that helps a lot. AppFlow shows "new and impressive" apps along with "forgotten legends", those that were once really popular but no longer register a blip (cause everyone has it). It's a neat way to discover more apps.