Notable apps and app updates for October 15, 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 Mac OS X:

iOS Apps and Updates

To start off with, we look at a new numbers and logic game for those who have mastered Sudoku and want to really give themselves a challenge. It's Rudoku ($1.99) from developer Cerebral Gardens, and they've fortunately gone the premium app route and done away with annoying in-app purchases. Looking for a long, relaxing game? Put the game into Relaxed Mode and see how long it takes to complete the puzzle. Feel like getting your pulse pounding? Get into Race Mode and solve the puzzle before time runs out. Or play Endless Mode and solve increasingly difficult games as long as you'd like. 

Yep, Crossy Road has -- for better or worse -- spawned a seemingly endless number of similar apps. The latest is one called Smashy Road: Wanted (free, with way too many in-app purchases). You need to master and unlock all 60 vehicles, some of which are in secret locations. It's making a huge amount of money, so it must be popular!

Since we're looking at iOS games today, I'll end with a personal favorite that is not only a mind bender that would make M.C. Escher proud, but also a beautiful feast for the eyes and ears: Monument Valley ($3.99, universal). There's a single $1.99 in-app purchase that gives you additional chapters to solve, and it's well worth the money. 

Mac OS X Apps and Updates

Instagram is great for getting your images out to friends and followers quickly, but when you're working on a Mac it can be annoying to have to dig out your iPhone or iPad to see what's up or to send out new photos. App for Instagram is free for checking your Instagram feed from your Mac menu bar, and you can use an in-app purchase ($4.99) to get the ability to search and post. The app is not associated with Instagram, but until the company decides to create a Mac client, it's your best bet for keeping up with your Instagram fix while working and not having to fire up Safari to do so. 

The Iconfactory has many amazing apps, Twitterrific and xScope to name two notable examples. Back in 2002, the company launched iPulse, a tool for keeping a close eye on the performance of your Mac. Now iPulse ($9.99) has been updated for El Capitan and works beautifully on your Retina display Mac. Monitor CPU activity, system load over time, network bandwidth and activity, memory activity and usage, battery and wireless signal strength, and disk usage... Oh yeah, and it will tell you the time and date, too. 

And hopefully, you saw our note about the update to Pixelmator this morning. It's a powerful image editor for Mac that has now been updated for OS X El Capitan and can add new Metal-based Distort tools to the Photos app. Pixelmator ($29.99) is the choice of a lot of Mac graphics professionals who don't want to be tied to the Adobe Photoshop cash register.