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New iPhone apps worth downloading: Flipboard, NextDraft, and Bastion updates

by Phil Hornshaw

We’ve got three great app updates today, each of them adding new functionality to old favorites. Flipboard has partnered with Apple to allow you to use the news aggregator to browse iBooks, and curated news app NextDraft is now iOS universal and optimized for iPad users. Finally, well-loved indie shooter Bastion is now universal, bringing it from the iPad to the iPhone for the first time.

Flipboard update (Free)

What’s it about? “Social news magazine” Flipboard is an app that lets you pipe in various streams, like RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and arranges all the articles and images into a dynamic, elegant magazine format on your iOS device.

What’s cool? Primarily, Flipboard makes reading Internet content easy to do with breathtaking presentation, especially on the iPad. Flipboard’s latest update adds more content capabilities, as the app partnered with Apple to offer a new “Books” section. You can find and buy books seen in the iBookstore, which is nice if you’re in the market for e-books. You can’t read your e-books in Flipboard, though, only “discover” new ones.

Who’s it for? If you use the iBookstore a lot and enjoy Flipboard, the new update was designed specifically for you. But even if you don’t use it for book shopping, Flipboard does a superb job aggregating articles from the Internet.

What’s it like? Pulse News also aggregates news in an iOS-friendly layout. Apple’s iBooks app makes finding and reading books pretty easy, provided you want to read them on iOS devices, and Amazon’s Kindle lets you read the massive online retailer’s e-books on just about any device.

NextDraft – The Day’s Most Fascinating News update (Free)

What’s it about? Internet humorist Dave Pell curates a daily list of the most interesting news stories to hit the web, and they’re all available to read in a free, oft-updated iOS app.

What’s cool? The news stories Pell manages to track down and put together, along with his summaries of why they’re interesting and worth a read, are funny and fascinating. NextDraft’s universal update opens the app up to more users. The experience was optimized for the iPad and the iPad Mini, so you should enjoy reading NextDraft on just about any iDevice out there.

Who’s it for? If you like reading interesting articles and news, you should definitely pick up NextDraft. Pell seeks out highly informative content on a variety of topics.

What’s it like? For more quality news articles check out Longform, which specializes in longer articles and makes them easy to read.

Bastion update ($4.99)

What’s it about? Bastion is a top-down shooter that drew critical acclaim when it was released on Xbox 360 and PC last year. It packs an awesome soundtrack and a great art style with its fun, fast-paced gameplay.

What’s cool? The new update to Bastion takes it from being an iPad-only app to making it universal – at least for those who have a newer iOS device. You’ll need an iPad 2, iPhone 4S or newer in order to play.There are a number of weapons you collect along the way, and the story Bastion tells is (somewhat) adaptive to you; there’s even a narrator who explains things you might do in the game, like when you accidentally fall off cliffs.

Who’s it for? If you’re a fan of smart action games, check out Bastion. It’s kid-friendly, but in terms of storytelling and skills, it’s probably a little more for adults.

What’s it like? For a couple of other great games that made their way from PC to iOS, download World of Goo and Anomaly: Warzone Earth.

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