Notable apps and app updates for October 9, 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

Blue Jeans (free, service charges may apply) -- sounds comfortable, doesn't it? This app is really made for work, though, allowing iPhone and iPad access the video conferencing systems from Polycom, Cisco, LifeSize, Tely, Microsoft Lync and more. It's possible to host or join a meeting from literally anywhere with Blue Jeans. The app has been updated to version 2.2.5, and participants can now join directly into meetings with their phone. There's also a Watch app available for keeping track of upcoming virtual meetings. 

Since we're on the topic of work on this Friday before a nice fall weekend, let's talk about project management. One of the favorite apps of Apple fans for managing those complex projects of any size is OmniPlan 2 (US$49.99 with in-app purchases). Version 2.3 brings 3D Touch launch shortcuts to the OmniPlan app icon for those of you who have the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. The previous update for iOS 9 brought multitasking and Spotlight support, the latter function letting you use iOS Spotlight to search for tasks or resources in your project plan.

Our last productivity-related app is one of my personal favorites, Workflow (currently on sale for $3.99). This amazing universal app (iPhone, iPad, and Watch) lets you create complex workflows that you can start with a single tap. One of my fave features right now is adding workflows to my iPhone's Notification Center so I can run 'em without even launching the app.. 


Mac OS X Apps and Updates

If you're worn out being all productive from those iOS apps listed above, perhaps it's time to grab your Mac and relax. Well, maybe don't relax TOO much, because you'll be going into Middle-earth and have the opportunity to slay a bunch of Uruks. The game is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition ($49.99). You get to pay Talion, a Ranger of the Black Gate who is killed, yet comes back to life on a quest for vengeance and discovery. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, you'll need to have a pretty powerful Mac to run this app, so be sure to check out the detailed system requirements (it's 57.16 GB in size). 

On a much more family-friendly note, but still related in one odd way to Lord of the Rings, is Broken Age ($12.99), which is appropriate for kids age nine and up. It's a hand-animated and puzzle-filled adventure with an all-star cast including Elijah Wood (see, I told you it was related to LOTR). Oh, and it has barfing trees and talking spoons. That sounds like it is worth the price of admission alone!

Another fun game that's been around since 2011 and is still fairly popular is Braid ($9.99), a progressive platform/puzzle game that features gorgeous animation. The puzzles get progressively harder as time goes on, so be sure to not get frustrated. Have fun manipulating time, and if you find a way to make the weekends longer, please tell us all the secret.