Notable apps and app updates for October 29, 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/Updates

The Weather Channel is a huge source of information and forecasts for anyone who is interested in weather, and today it updated its free (with in-app purchases) iPhone app. Note that the in-app purchases take away ads in the app for a year, probably a worthwhile purchase if you use this app a lot. 

Now, I'm one of those people who uses Siri dictation to enter a lot of messages and text on my iOS devices, but if you insist on using a keyboard, you might want to look at Swype (US$0.99 with in-app purchases). It replaces tapping with swiping from letter to letter, and includes powerful gestures and predictive word entry. Want more than just a boring keyboard? In-app purchases give Swype a number of distinctive looks. 

Swype has been touted as one of the fastest ways to type on your iOS device, and the universal app is quite popular with a lot of iOS users. 


So you want to get into shape but you say you just don't have the time? How about 7 minutes? The 7-Minute Workout Challenge app ($1.99 with in-app purchases) provides workouts that can be done anytime, anywhere. You get full instructions on how to do the exercises (complete with videos), can monitor your progress, and there's even an Apple Watch app companion (see image above). Is your health worth $2? I think so.

Mac OS X Apps/Updates

Don't let the nasty reviews fool you; OS X Server ($19.99) is Apple's answer to expensive Windows servers, and it does a pretty good job. It's not necessarily for the timid; I'd recommend that only those who are planning on setting up a server for a small business give it a try, and then only after reading and understanding OS X Server Essentials 10.10 ($69.99), an iBook version of what Apple Consultants Network members study in order to get certified on OS X Server. Once you have mastered the basics, you can do some amazing things for a workgroup. 

Are you writing a script for a movie, TV show, or play? The entertainment industry has standards for how they want the scripts to look, and one of the best apps in the business for the job is Final Draft 9 ($169.99). It's not cheap, but then good tools seldom are. No less of a user than actor/director Tom Hanks loves the app, and Aaron Sorkin -- screenwriter for "Steve Jobs" uses Final Draft for his work. Highly recommended... and if you win a screenwriting Oscar (both winners this year used Final Draft), be sure to mention Apple World Today during your acceptance speech. 

Our final pick for today is another app for professionals -- pro photographers, that is. When you're taking a pile of high-resolution photos your disks can fill up very quickly. JPEGmini Pro ($149.99) provides up to an 80 percent saving in file size while retaining the quality of your photos. It's equipped with powerful workflows to speed up the process. If you'd like to give it a try without spending $150, "Diet" JPEGmini is only $19.99 and provides a lot of the power but doesn't include the pro photography workflow features.