Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe tops iOS Apps of the Week

by Dan Kricke

It’s nearly November, but hopefully this week’s top iOS apps won’t leave you out in the cold. Leading off is Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe, a fascinating app for space and science geeks that offers a multimedia tour from earth to the edge of the known universe. Others include a translation app, the iPhone debut of a classic magazine, an update to a music-streaming app and a new automatic task-scheduling app.

Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe ($5.99)

It’s easy to forget there’s a whole universe out there, but with Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe app you’ll never forget how vast and crazy space can be. Wonders of the Universe offers a 3D tour of the cosmos, complete with info on galaxies near and far, going all the way to what the app calls “the edge of the known universe.” The app has more than 200 interactive articles and nearly three hours of videos from the BBC TV series “Wonders of the Solar System” and “Wonders of the Universe.” Finally, the app has hundreds of photographs of various objects in space.

Languages ($0.99)

Translator apps are great, but so often they require an Internet connection – something that can be terribly costly if you’re actually in a foreign country and looking to get some translating done. Languages, an app by Sonico GmbH, eliminates that issue because it works offline. The app offers 12 language dictionaries, including Spanish to English, German to English, French to English, Dutch to English, German to French, French to Spanish and many more. Languages even lists common phrases in case you can’t take the time to fully dive into the app.

National Geographic Magazine (Free)

National Geographic Magazine makes its iPhone debut this week after a sterling debut on the iPad. The app offers digital versions of the print magazine with additional interactive content in the form of numerous videos each issue.  An annual subscription is only $19.99 and back issues from February 2011 onward are also available in-app.

8Tracks Radio update (Free)

8Tracks Radio’s redesign better positions it in the competitive streaming music app market. The new design features  icons on a scrolling top menu bar to bring users from one feature to the next. The app now features full-screen artwork and playlist discovery through music mood and genre. You can also swipe to browse quickly through stations and mixes in this new version of the app.

24me (Free)

24me requires a bit of trust . You  plug in their social networks and financial institutes into the app so it can collect data. However, the payoff is that the app will then notify you of bills that are due, remind you of friends birthdays and even help you outsource some of your errands. You can set a price for how much they’re willing to pay for a person to do a specific task and the app will attempt to locate a person using the TaskRabbit service. Tasks can also be added to 24me manually just like a regular calendar or to-do list app.

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