The week in iOS accessories: Yippee-ki-yay!

The best iOS accessories this week


One of our favorite action heroes is back, but we're not just about blood, guts, and violence. We've got apps for music, keeping a diary, and making meetings more efficient.

Die Hard

John McClane--MCCLANE!--is back in movie theaters this weekend with the latest installment of the Die Hard series, which these days also means he's back in the gaming universe with the $1 Die Hard for iPhone and iPad. You travel to Moscow, kill a bunch of terrorists, and what else is there to say. Yippie-kay-yay, Meester Falcon!

Grid Diary

Want to keep a diary but don't have the self-discipline? The $2 Grid Diary app for iPhone simplifies the process, giving you a simple grid of customizable questions to answer at the end of the day. It won't make for scintillating reading, but it should help you track your activities, your spending, and even help you make goals for yourself. Not a bad way to start, Bridget Jones.


Kickstarter has led the way in the still-young field of do-it-yourself indie financing, and now the new free Kickstarter app for iPhone takes the experience mobile. You can't create new projects on the app, but you can track the progress of your proposal, search for projects to fund, and follow projects that you've given money to.


Readers will enjoy some of the new tools on Amazon's Kindle app for iOS: Readers can now highlight books and magazines using four different colors, helping organize their thoughts along the way. The updated app also lets users notify friends on Twitter and Facebook when they've finished a book; and Kindle's brightness setting can now be saved between uses.

Public Radio Player

The free Public Radio Player app for iPhone was actually one of the first great audio apps for iOS, letting users listen to NPR stations and programming from anywhere in the country. The updated app has a completely redesigned interface, and includes more of a listen-on-demand focus: Users can download episodes of shows for later, offline listening.

Rock Runners

The new $1 Rock Runners game for iPhone and iPad seems to have elements in common with the famous Tiny Wings game: Both rely on completing a course quickly, using momentum to help swing you along at key points. But Rock Runners, released this week, is more frenetic--and pretty popular, already landing near the top of the App Store's sales charts.

Slacker Radio

Like the Public Radio Player, Slacker Radio is a well-regarded audio app that has received a massive overhaul. Aside from a revamped user interface, the app now features more options for discovering stations, music, and other audio content. Bonus: The overall platform is said to be more stable as well.

Tempo Smart Calendar for iPhone

From the folks at SRI International--who created the Siri voice assistant technology later acquired by Apple--comes the free Tempo Smart Calendar for iPhone. It's less a calendar and more an actual business conference app--one that remembers teleconference passcodes and dials in for you, or can alert other members of a meeting if you're running late. It'll open related documents and even help you research other attendees using LinkedIn. In a world of "360-degree" offerings, this is one that really tries to fulfill the description.

Other apps of note

Cloudier is a new client for the CloudApp online sharing service ... Dropbox (pictured) has been updated with a PDF viewer and other new features ... HBO GO now includes AirPlay support ... and Wunderlist 2 has expanded to fully service both the iPhone and iPad.

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Tags mobile applicationsSRI Internationalamazon.comKickstartermobile

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Joel Mathis
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The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

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I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

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As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

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I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

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