Drop Everything and Get These Apps #1

There is an inspiring number of delightful and truly useful iOS apps out there, and they aren’t coming from the Facebooks and Microsofts of the world. They’re built by small, motivated teams with a vision, independent developers, your friends, my friends. This new, somewhat regular series will help you find these developers and support great apps.
Before we dive into my first Drop Everything post, a side note: many, perhaps even most, of these apps will be paid. Some might be free, but I make no promises. If you have a problem with paying for and supporting great apps or complain about pricing, please keep it to yourself and read a different site.

Rego

Rego for iPhone is an app from MakaluMedia for bookmarking places. You don’t have to sign up for an account or share anything with anyone, you just search and create as many place lists as you want. I recently helped Matt Henderson at MakaluMedia test Rego’s new Foursquare import, so now I use it as a replacement for the only Foursquare feature I cared about: saving restaurants, stores, doctors, and other things I like and need in daily life.

Since I’m a hobby photographer, I also have a couple Rego lists for locations I want to shoot such as abandoned places in Chicago. One of Rego’s best features, especially for this kind of use, is it can show all locations from a selected list at once. If you choose, you can sign up for an account to publicly share lists, such as my list of Chicago rooftop bars.

Rego is great, useful, and and just gained some handy features like folders for lists and smart collections. Buy it.

Newsify

I went on the hunt a couple weeks ago to find a newsreader that supports Feedly and iOS 8’s new app extensions. I’ve also always kinda liked Feedly’s default magazine-ish layout, so I’ve been curious about finding it in an app, too. A bunch of Twitter followers recommended Newsify for iPhone and iPad, and I am so happy with it that it’s my new default reader.

Newsify’s default features and design are great, but it offers a whole bunch of customization if you’re the type. If you’re not into magazine layouts you can switch to the utilitarian list of headlines. Newsify also took a unique approach for sharing options: out of the box, it presents a custom sharing sheet (with its own pros and cons, such as not needing an app installed just to add things to it), but you can disable it in favor of iOS 8’s Action Sheet or even choose to combine the two.

Newsify is fast, designed well, powerful, and apparently updated quickly for great new features like app extensions. Get it and buy the in-app purchase to disable ads.

Albums

Albums for iPhone is a brilliantly simple app from Caleb Thorson and Louie Mantia for listening to your favorite albums as albums. You can search your entire music library, mark albums as favorites, then tap one to start playing it from start to finish.

Favorite albums appear on the start page, one of the only two screens or views in the entire app (the other being the list of search results). There are no controls for skip or volume, you can do that with Control Center (swipe up from the bottom of your display). It doesn’t even have a landscape view.

The release of Albums was a funny coincidence for me, as I have recently started listening to entire albums again. I grew up loving whole albums (flaws and all), got swept up with the single-song bite-sizeness of iTunes and its store, then developed a longing for that whole album experience. When I’m in the mood for an album, having to open the Music app and deal with the largeness of its UI just to find that one album now feels like a chore.

Albums hits the spot, buy it.