Qz.com does a great job of presenting the most important news of the day. The Quartz app might be even better. Instead of making you scroll through a list of headlines, it tells you what's going on in a conversational way, letting you interact with its well-informed robots like you would a buddy, and uses your responses to guide the action. For Apple Watch aficionados, it has a complication that shows you the current state of the market via emoji, and quizzes and haikus to enjoy when you're finished digesting current events.
New Year's resolutions, health goals, and normal fitness trackers not enough to get you up and active? Use shame as your motivation by downloading Cakewalk. This humorous app uses the sensors in your iPhone to track your movement, and sends you a message each morning telling you how much you moved — or how little — the day before. Built-in challenges and a friend-based leaderboard give you added incentives, an Apple Watch app lets you keep track of your progress on your wrist, and if all that isn't enough, you can set the app up to publicly shame you on social media. It's fitness tracking for the lazy.
Our phones are great communication tools, but the traditional phone call is terribly inefficient — both people have to be available, and productivity grinds to a halt while you're talking. Roger lets you keep in touch with friends and family on an on-demand basis. Built by the people behind Spotify, you simply enter the person's phone number, tap to talk, and then tap to listen when they reply. It's a modern-day walkie talkie, no unsightly antennas required.
William Wilkinson & Deepak Mantena did a great job developing Manual, one of our favorite photo apps for the iPhone. With Slide, they've done so again. Unlike any photo app we've seen, it lets you take "3D" photos using nothing but the built in camera. Using it is dead simple: just compose your shot, move your device smoothly across your body, and tap the subject to watch it appear in 3D. The resulting GIF loops continuously and is ready to share on nearly any platform.
Mixing accurate forecast information with hand-drawn illustrations, Wild Weather is a delightful way to keep tabs on the conditions outside. It uses Forecast.io to provide accurate local weather, with a 3-day forecast available with a simple swipe up, along with precipitation, wind speed and direction info. The rest of the time the screen is taken up by animated landscapes depicting the current conditions, with a brief description and the current temp at the top. Even when it's nasty out, it'll have you wanting to check the weather.