As much time as we spend creating the best apps we can for our own partners, we are constantly on the lookout for other fun, creative and innovative apps on the market today. We like to consider ourselves mobile experts, so here are a few of the apps we’re loving right now, as reviewed by our own Conor Dawson, Dan Sullivan and Paul Miard.
Reviewed by Conor Dawson, Software Engineer
Citymapper is an urban area focused mapping app that incorporates all forms of transportation available in that city. It has replaced Google Maps on my phone as my go-to for getting from place to place in NYC. Citymapper has all the information you need to traverse your city of choice. When I am in New York, it gives me route information for walking, biking, Citi-Biking, driving, taking the subway, taking the bus, and taking the LIRR. These options are all shown on one convenient result page with times for each option, allowing me to quickly access the best option. If you are walking or biking it also gives you the number of calories that will be burned on your journey. As an avid Citi-Biker, the biking directions are especially handy. Not only does it plan out a route for me, but it also shows me where the closest available bikes are, as well as the closest dock to my destination. This saves me a ton of time and prevents me from using multiple apps to get directions and locate bikes. Driving directions are also useful, providing a cab fare estimation that can help you decide if taking that cab to avoid the rain is really worth it. Additionally, Citymapper has subway maps built into it so you can navigate those routes even without a network connection. It also pulls in service information to help better plan your subway route, preventing you from getting stranded somewhere because the F isn’t running, for example. The app also allows you to quickly share directions, making meet-ups with friends really easy.
Currently, the app is only available in New York, Boston, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Madrid, Paris, Barcelona, and Berlin. However, they are working on adding new cities all the time. You can even vote for which city you would like them to add next! Overall, it is a useful and good-looking app that has made navigating NYC a breeze.
Reviewed by Dan Sullivan, Director of Design
Flickr 3.0 for iOS is the first major refresh for the company’s mobile app. Sporting a complete visual redesign and new photo and video shooting features, Flickr is looking to join the ranks of other media sharing apps, namely Instagram. Feature set aside, I was drawn to the app’s modern visual design and its well-thought-out UI animation.
The onboarding screens are really well done. The detailed illustrations combined with the parallax swipe effect create a unique experience that sets the stage for other unique visuals.
The view refresh loader has a two-part animation which plays nicely off the Flickr logo. Transitioning from grid to full image view is seamless, and the outlined icons and white text look sharp on the metadata view.
Even the follow buttons have an interesting transformative animation when activated and deactivated.
This is just a sample of the well-thought-out and detailed UI that Flickr 3.0 for iOS has to offer, which is refreshing to see from a company who hasn’t had much of a presence in the mobile space.
Reviewed by Paul Miard, Senior iOS Engineer
Umano is the best way to listen to the web. It’s your perfect hands-free companion when you’re looking to listen to something other than music or a book. Think about it as the Audible of news articles and other blog posts.
Umano features a virtually unlimited amount of articles from the web, all narrated by professional voice-actors. You can find articles via the “Stories” or “Popular” tabs, or you can subscribe to channels of your choice for a more personalized feed.
Both the narration and the app’s design and UX are high quality, and the overall experience is very enjoyable. The app easily allows you to set up a playlist (based on your interests or time available), access original articles, share them with friends or review your activity, such as “likes” or “listen history”. I personally use it when commuting, whether I’m on the subway or on my bike. It even features a slick car mode that helps you keep your eyes on the road rather than on your phone.
The app works on both iOS and Android, and you can even listen to articles directly from your web browser. In case you find an article you’d like to listen to later, it also comes with a great browser extension. If the article has already been narrated it will be automatically added to your playlist. Otherwise, it will be submitted to Umano and you’ll be notified when it’s ready! Umano in its free version is very enjoyable, but if you want to create a bigger playlist or listen to articles while offline, you can subscribe to Umano premium for $3.99 a month. Whether you want to be thankful to Umano for their great service or are interested in those features, it is definitely worth it in my opinion! You can download it here.