Reading, Writing, & Saving the World

Gather round your lawn chairs and break out the coolers. Summer isn’t over yet, but we still have plenty of new apps to check out—text editors, a different kind of news reader, an even more different kind of to-do list (no, really), and, of course, games.

New on the App Store


One of my favorite text editors for iPhone and iPad (and Mac) got one heckuvan update. Byword 1.1 now supports folders in iCloud, Dropbox, or good ol’ fashoined local storage, and you can now enable both iCloud and Dropbox to be used simultaneously. You can also export your documents to PDF and search full text inside your docs. See why it’s one of my favorites? It’s just $2.99 and I’m using it to write this post right now.

Drafts for iPad

If you’re one of those people who occasionally has ideas but rarely a place to jot them down, Drafts feels like one of those “aha!” apps. Its iPhone version has been a great scratch pad for saving ideas before you forget them, drafting your latest social post, and even sharing to a myriad of other apps and services. Now Drafts is on iPad for just $2.99, and it naturally syncs with its little brother.

Textastic for iPhone

Long a popular text, code, and markup editor for iPad, Textastic has finally come to the iPhone to let you make quick edits on-the-go. It supports a boat load of languages, features plenty of custom text editing tricks, and will set you back only $4.99.


Newsreaders haven’t evolved much in a while, so the developers behind Prismatic are taking a crack at moving the needle forward. Toss in your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or all three, and Prismatic starts learning about the types of news and topics you care about. Then it starts doing the hard work of finding news you care about for you. News can even be broken down by region and city. Not bad for a free app, eh?


I’ve been looking for a task manager like Well for a while. Wait! Don’t just scroll by because you heard “yet another task manager” in your head; it’s not what you think. Well is a free app for collecting, collaborating on, and sharing the things you want to do—a movie to see, a restaurant to try, a trip to take. You can create lists to categorize the things you want to do, follow other people’s lists, and leave comments and recommendations.


An award-winning game originally published on the Xbox Live Arcade has come to the iPad, and I can’t wait to give this one a try. In Bastion you are The Kid, and you really want to figure out what the heck this Calamity was all about and why it had to cause so much ruckus. It’s a beautiful game featuring a gorgeous soundtrack and a “reactive narrator” that plays off your actions and helps reveal the story. A real gem can be yours for $4.99.

Lost Cities

I’ve been looking for more turn-based games to play with friends and family, and Lost Cities just might fit the bill. You and a friend are on an expedition to find one of the five lost cities and perhaps even score a little something along the way. You know the folks who made Carcassonne? They struck again in Lost Cities, which is $3.99 for iPhone.