New iPhone apps worth downloading: NextDraft, 2012 US Open Tennis Championship, The World Ends With You: Solo Remix

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great iPhone apps to enjoy. NextDraft is the app version of Dave Pell’s daily news digest which is essential reading for anyone who likes to be informed, surprised or entertained. We’ve also got The 2012 US Open Tennis Championship app is a worthy companion to the big Grand Slam which began yesterday. Lastly, there’s The World Ends With You, an epic $18 RPG from Square Enix, creators of the Final Fantasy series.

NextDraft (Free)

What’s it about? This is Dave Pell’s witty and entertaining look at ten of the most interesting news stories in convenient app form.

What’s cool? We’re big fans of Dave Pell. He’s a technologist and startup investor whose Twitter feed is invariably full of hilarious and snarky observations about technology and politics. Now, his daily newsletter showcasing news stories you should be reading (or may have missed) is available in convenient app form as well. It’s a great way to digest Pell’s witty offering.

Who is it for? Even if you’re a big news junkie, there are always things you may have overlooked. NextDraft has you covered. It links to both the important and the irreverent, and if you’re a fan of tech news especially, you’ll appreciate Pell’s sardonic comments about Silicon Valley, parenting and culture in general.

What’s it like? As strange as this may sound, Pell’s newsletter combines the serious journalism you find in NYTimes or The Atlantic with the satire of The Daily Show, mixed in with the best bits from Buzzfeed.

2012 US Open Tennis Championship (Free)

What’s it about? The major Grand Slam tennis tournament began in New York just yesterday. This official app offers a great way to keep up on all the action.

What’s cool? If you want to track the latest scores at the U.S. Open, this app is as good as any. Even better, it will stream live video coverage on Labor Day and Finals Weekend – we’re just disappointed they didn’t go all-in and live-stream the entire tournament. Still, there’s also on-demand highlights, live radio coverage, the schedule of matches, photos, push alerts and more.

Who is it for? Naturally, this app is great for tennis addicts who are away from a TV when the matches air. Even better, if you find yourself out and about on Labor Day or during the finals themselves, being able to stream the matches live to your iPhone is pretty cool. There’s a dedicated iPad version of the app, too.

What’s it like? Sportal US Open Live also covers the tournament, and there are numerous tennis news/score apps available. The WatchESPN app is another way to view live tournament coverage, providing your cable provider is covered.

The World Ends With You ($17.99)

What’s it about? This is an epic role-playing game from Square Enix, makers of the popular Final Fantasy series. It’s an enormous game for an enormous price, but offers an incredible depth rarely seen in mobile gaming.

What’s cool? You take on the role of Neku, a boy who finds himself abandoned in Shibuya, Tokyo. Soon, he’s thrust into a life-and-death game as he attempts to unravel its riddle. With intuitive, addictive combat and impressive touch controls, this is a huge game that offers a full story, plenty of replay value, and the ability to explore a vast city. The full HD Retina-display graphics are beautiful and players can expect plenty of surprises along the way.

Who is it for? Fans of role-playing games are sure to get a kick out of The World Ends With You, despite its high price of admission. An iPad version is also available for just two bucks more.

What’s it like? Japanese developer, Square Enix, have successfully ported some of their big titles to the iOS platform like Chaos Rings ($12.99), Final Fantasy ($8.99) and Final Fantasy II ($8.99). These are still cheaper than their console counterparts and offer huge amounts of gameplay for RPG fans, even on a small, handheld device. Ain’t technology great?

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