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It’s been a big week for updated apps in the iOS world. Three of our top five apps this week are updates rather than brand new releases, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Spotify, Tumblr, or Waze apps before, here’s your chance. Meanwhile, our two new selections, one for dedicated couples and another for dedicated radio show fans, should please as well.
Spotify has been a pleasure to use on the iPhone since it made its mobile debut, but its latest update will officially make it a contender to knock off long-time streaming apps like Pandora. Spotify now features a radio button on the app where users can start stations based on a playlist, genre, album, artist or track. As songs on the custom station play, users can influence its content by voting songs up or down and you can even save songs that play on your radio station for quick reference later on.
Tumblr’s new facelift also gets some love in this week’s Apps of the Week thanks to a terrific looking new dashboard and a host of other additions. High-res images will make everything look just a bit better in the app, and a new system for notifications and posting forms should make actually using the Tumblr app easier than ever before. Tumblr has also received a few handy swipe shortcuts for using the camera and posting text. If you weren’t a fan of the Tumblr app before this update, it might be time to check it out again.
Our trio of updated apps rounds out with Waze, which has a new feature that car-owners will love. While Waze’s earlier updates focused on the app’s ability to handle real-time traffic data in order to give drivers the best route home, the latest update to Waze also finds the cheapest gas station along a route (in the U.S. only). Waze users can also redeem Waze-specific specials on gas at participating stations, meaning the app could be the source of some big savings for those long summer drives.
Avocado for iPhone (Free)
Avocado might seem unnecessary on the surface, after all, if you really need to message your significant other couldn’t you just call them? But there’s more to this app than initially meets the eye. Avocado makes it easy to share lists that you can both edit so grocery shopping and other chores become easier than ever. The app also has a “Quicknotes” feature so you can send your partner a pre-written note (that can be edited, as well) if you don’t have time to type out a whole message. Essentially, Avocado is like a private line right to your beau with no outside interruption from the rest of the social networking world.
New York Public Radio fans will probably recognize the title of this app as one of the more interesting shows on the air. The show calls itself an “elixir of science, philosophy, first-person storytelling and radio theatre,” and now it’s at your fingertips in app form. Every episode of Radiolab dating back to its very beginning is available to podcast within the Radiolab app. Users can also read blogs from the show and create custom audio effects based on requests from Radiolab’s hosts and upload them via Soundcloud.