Notable apps and updates for December 4, 2015

On a regular basis, Apple World Today posts a list of notable new apps or app updates that have been released. They may not necessarily be new, but they're popular and deserve mention. Here are today's picks for iOS and OS X:

iOS Apps/Updates

In case you missed our post about it the other day, one of the best award-winning games ever for iOS -- Monument Valley -- is temporarily available for free. It's hard to describe this game, other than to say that it requires you to maneuver a character around Escher-like worlds to solve puzzles. That sounds easy, but just wait...

While this isn't an app, it is available in the iTunes Store... it's the great soundtrack to Monument Valley ($9.99). It's ethereal and fascinating. If you love the background music in the game, you'll be able to enjoy it even after you've finished the puzzles.

Rayman Adventures has made it to iOS (free with in-app purchases), and if you enjoy the game on your Apple TV, you'll really like it on your iPad or iPhone. Join Rayman and his Viking companion Barbara in search of the Incrediballs' eggs!

Perhaps you want to get some Christmas shopping done but don't want to fight the traffic? Transit Directions by Moovit's updated app (free) now provides live directions for your transit ride, including notifications that tell you when your next stop is approaching. The app is usable in over 750 cities around the world, showing just about any form of transportation, how to walk to nearby stations, and more. There's even an Apple Watch app for notifications at a glance.

OS X Apps/Updates

Leo's Fortune ($6.99) is popular on the Apple TV right now, and would you believe that this WWDC Apple Design Award winner is now available on Mac? That image above shows you just how beautiful the hand-crafted levels are, and you'll spend hours helping Leo find the thief who stole his gold. It has an average five star rating on the Mac App Store right now and Apple'N'Apps says "could be called the best game on the platform." 

You may not travel to exotic realms to take the kind of HDR photos that photographer Trey Ratcliff takes, but High Dynamic Range photography app Aurora HDR ($39.99) can make just about any photograph -- taken with an exposure bracket) look good. Choose from a number of Ratcliff-designed presets, or adjust the controls until your photo looks just the way you want it to. We'll have a full review of Aurora HDR soon.

I can't say enough good things about Day One ($9.99), a cross-device journal app that I've used since the first version was in beta testing. Whether you're keeping a journal for your children to read some day after you're gone, or just want to keep a running tab on what you do every day, the app has a gorgeous and easy-to-use UI, allows you to input photos, links, and even weather conditions, and even has a menu bar app for quick status updates. The newest version allows you to use Day One in Split View on El Capitan.