I’m sure you’re experiencing the lull that sweeps us a month before a new Apple Event. With the iPhone 6s event probably taking place at September 9, I find myself urging my friends to just wait a month before buying a new iPhone. The lull affects us in the tech writing biz too. There’s no new information. Only rumors (that we mostly try to stay away from).

wildcard header

Frankly, I’m just waiting for the September keynote and the flood gates to open. iOS 9. El Cap, new iPhone, Force Touch, hopefully a big new iPad Pro.

But as always, there’s no dull time in iOS apps world. The first two weeks of August saw some great updates it established apps. And finally, there’s a new news reading app in town. And this one is trying to charm us with its stylish looks, as well as its intelligent curation.

1. Wildcard

If you’ve got an iPhone and you like catching up on the news or just reading the best journalism from the web, you’ve got to checkout Wildcard. The 2.0 app update is a redesign from the ground up. If you’re the kind who likes to know about the small UX details that went into making the app, check out the Khoi Vihn’s (he’s the VP of UX over at Wildcard) excellent blog post about it.

wildcard app

The gist is this. Wildcard works like the late Circa. It presents news stories in card format. So each story has multiple cards. And each card is one article. The big different here is that unlike Circa (and much like other news apps), Wildcard isn’t actually writing the content. They’re just curating it in a matter that makes most sense. And that itself is really helpful. Open a card and the web page will load up. Here as well you can switch to the Card view to take the formatting out of the page. This makes for a pleasant reading environment.

2. Status Board

Status Board, a previous paid app has been updated with a new UI and has gone free with in-app purchases. You know how news stations and sometimes companies have those big screens in the background that cycle through information? Like performance charts, news, weather and more.

status board

Well, now you can create your own, right on the iPad. And you can project it to your TV using an Apple TV or an HDMI cable. Yes, no expensive software needed.

Status Board lets you create unlimited “boards” (free account is limited to 1 board) and each board can have resizable panels. The free app gives you access to 6 panels. Weather, clock, calendar, RSS feeds, Twitter and email.

But power users will want to pay $9.99 to unlock the expansion back. This would allow you to create panels that project custom made graphs and tables. There’s also an HTML panel. This means you can literally write your own panel as a web object. Oh yes, the spiritual successor of Dashboard widgets is here my friend.

3. Darkroom 2

Darkroom, the popular photo editing app was recently updated to version 2. The update brings a boatload of new features. Chief of which are granular (crazy specific) controls over editing color and tone in an image.

While the app is free, most of the additional features in this update are only available for “Pro Mode” users. You can unlock access by paying $3.99.

4. Equal

equal app

Equal is a new expense splitter. It’s a minimal app that only does a couple of things, but gets them right. If you go out with friends, you know how hard it can be to split the bill sometimes. Sometimes it’s as simple as dividing by N, but of course, there are caveats. Someone will pay later. X owes Y 5 dollars and so on. In these cases Equal will help you make sense of it all. Just input every detail in Equal and let it do its thing.

5. Slide

Slide is a new photo sharing app that focuses on hyper local sharing. What this means is you can send photos to anyone around you that’s also using the app (within 200 feet). The app uses Apple’s iBeacon technology to connect with users and for the transfer process.

slide app

Slide can be a great app to have when you’re on a trip with your friends. Because of the way slide works, it’s not merely a photo transfer app. When you share photos, you can view them in a feed, like Instagram.

From The Web

Moodnotes: Moodnotes ($3.99) is a journal for tracking your mood and feelings. Amanda Connolly over at TNW has written a piece about how Moodnotes can very well replace your therapist.

Plex Redesign: Plex recently got a much needed UI update. The app is now also free. Plex is one of the best media center solutions around.

Twitterrific’s iOS 9 update: I’m currently running iOS 9 beta on my iPad and thanks to this new update Twitterrific is now my default Twitter client (on my iPad). The update brings native support for the fantastic San Francisco font. But more importantly, it support’s Safari View Controller. So now the web pages open using Safari’s web view right within Twitterrific. It’s awesome to use.

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is a freelance technology writer. He's always trying out new apps, tools and services. He is platform agnostic. You'll find an iPhone 5 and a OnePlus One on him at (almost) all times.