Google Maps tops iOS Apps of the Week

by Dan Kricke

It was  tempting to turn this week’s best iOS apps list into a 500-word salute to Google Maps. We’re leading off with an app that will be a lifesaver to anyone sick of using the default iOS Maps app. Our other selections this week include an app for crafting, an update to the default Twitter app, an app to get your little ones some more musical culture and an app to order food ahead of time!

Google Maps (Free)

Finally, the king is back. Google Maps returns as an app to iOS not a second too soon. It may lack the visual charm of Apple’s Maps app but it actually works, and there’s something to be said for function over fashion. Google Maps has all the same features of the former version that was built into iOS with a few added wrinkles. Now users can use a voice navigation system within the app to get to their destination. And city dwellers with access to public transportation can breathe a sigh of relief as Google Maps app still packs transit directions into its app.

Craftsy (Free)

Would-be crafters should enjoy Craftsy, an app that provides online video-based tutorials on a variety of crafting subjects. Everything from knitting to cake decorating to photography and gardening, if it’s crafty, it’s probably part of Craftsy’s educational program. Users can take notes on the videos as they watch them and join a community to ask questions to the app’s interactive classroom with thousands of other students. And Craftsy classes never expire, so they can be reviewed each time a new project calls.

Twitter (Free)

Acknowledging its split from Instagram, the on-board iOS Twitter app has updated with new photo sharing and editing features powered by Aviary. Twitter promises that users can apply one of eight new filters to their photos and that photos can be edited for light, color, size and scale. While serious Instagrammers may bristle at the notion they’ll have to use a different embedded photo service to edit their photos if they’re using the default Twitter app, there’s enough similarity between the two services to make the switch as painless as possible.

Little Mozart App ($3.99)

The Little Mozart App suggests a full multimedia immersion in order to get young Johnny or Suzie into some of classical music’s greatest hits. The app combines the music of Mozart with narrated text that describes the song and animated illustrations that are suited to each piece of music. Little Mozart App comes with 17 different songs including The Marriage of Figaro and Symphony No. 40. Users can bookmark favorite tracks to return to them quickly and a progress marker shows which songs have been listened to and which have not.

OrderAhead (Free)

Similar to GrubHub, Order Ahead allows its users to place orders at their favorite restaurants (in the Bay Area only, currently) so they can walk in a short while later and pick up their food without waiting. While the app doesn’t support online delivery at this time, anyone who is out and about who doesn’t want to waste time waiting for their food may find it useful. The app also saves past orders so they can be quickly re-ordered at a later date.

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