With news swirling around Twitter’s most recent earnings and CEO Dick Costolo’s comments about taking on trolls, you may have overlooked some of this week’s best new apps. Luckily, each weekend, we round up our favorite new and updated apps, so you won’t miss out. This week’s list includes SwiftKey’s latest update, an eye-tracking app to help improve your concentration and an app to help Windows Phone users customize their home screen.
This clever app takes advantage of iOS 8’s notification center widgets in a unique way. Download NC, and it automatically detects the Twitter account associated with your device. Then, enable the NC widget from your notifications menu (scroll to the bottom and tap edit -> NC); this adds a quick preview of the most recent tweets from your timeline to your notifications menu. It’s not a full-fledged Twitter client, but rather a simple way to get a quick look at the latest tweets without launching another app. The $0.99 app is available for iOS.
One of the best apps for iPad artists, Paper, made its suite of in-app drawing tools completely free this week. Previously, the free app charged for its Draw, Sketch, Outline, Write, Color and Mixer tools — all of which are now free with the latest update. The sketching app is optimized for use with FiftyThree’s $49.95, Bluetooth-enabled Pencil Stylus, although you can also use the app without it. Paper is available for iPad.
Keyboard replacement SwiftKey rolled out a major update to its iOS app, adding 11 new languages and improvements to its iPad version. iPad users can now take advantage of the app’s “Flow” feature, which allows people to type by swiping their finger across the keyboard. But best of all, SwiftKey’s text-predicting abilities can now be used for emoji; the keyboard can learn from your habits to predict which emoji you plan to use. The free app is available for iOS and Android.
uHealth uses eye-tracking technology to try to help you improve focus and concentration (the thought process behind this is that concentration can be tracked by detecting small eye movements). The game challenges you to concentrate on specific objects on the screen, and uses your device’s built-in camera to check that focus is maintained. You can also track your progress over time to keep tabs on how your abilities improve. The free app is available for iOS. Read more…