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The Week in iOS Apps: Beatdown

This week's roundup of iOS apps features a bit of the old ultraviolence, as well as innovative ways to make your teen hate you.

Already this week, we brought you reviews of The Room and NBA 2K13, as well as news of a game that co-stars the legendary Danny Trejo and the legendary Steve Wozniak. Here are other new and updated apps that caught our eye this week.

Canary: Teen Safety: Let's be honest here--your kids are going to hate this free iPhone app. But it's not for them: It's for you and your peace of mind. You install the app on their phone, after which it transmits back data designed to show you if the teen is driving while distracted: Is the iPhone used to make a call while your teen is on the highway? Canary will relay that information to you. Is the teen traveling places you've told him or her not to go? Canary will inform. Is the kid breaking curfew? Again, Canary is your friend. You'll need an $8-a-month subscription to use--and the system depends on your child having their iPhone on them at all times--but it might ensure a bit more safety for your family.

Catch Notes/Notes by iBear: Honestly, there are so many good note-taking apps out there these days that you could fill your iPad up with them and not find a single bad offering. Catch Notes is a free app for both iPhone and iPad that's probably most similar to Evernote, in that it lets users organize pictures and voice recordings by color to track their various ideas; this week's update features improvements to the color-coding and voice-recording processes. The $1 Notes by iBear is an iPad app that works more like an old-fashioned paper notebook; just use your stylus to make notes or create drawings with a variety of paper styles and drawing tools. Duly noted.

in:play: The $2 in:play music player for iPhone does all the things that the Music app does, but it looks just a little cooler--doing for music what all those stripped-down weather apps do for the daily forecast. Songs are presented in a spare, type-driven format--no album covers here--and users can tap and swipe back-and-forth to navigate their music library. The app also features specialized themes for optimum viewing in both light and dark conditions. A warning for iTunes Match users--in:play sees only downloaded songs, so you'll need to manually download any songs you want to play from iTunes on your Mac, or via the built-in Music app, before accessing them through in:play.

Lovely: One more amazing thing your iPhone can help you do: Find a place to live. The free Lovely app for iPhone lets you search "thousands" of houses and apartments for rent--some have pictures associated, letting you tour a new home in advance. You can save your favorites, or you can set up the app to alert you when a place that meets your parameters suddenly arrives on the market.

Photos to Art: This free iPhone app from Art.com lets you take the photos on your phone and order them as framed prints for your office or home. Better yet, it even lets you create virtual-reality mockups to help you see how those framed prints will look in your particular office, bedroom, or hallway.  The app even supports the panoramic photos available in iOS 6.

UFC/Real Boxing: If you like beat-downs, there are two new ways to get them. The free UFC app lets users watch fights on-demand from the organization's video library, or live on pay-per-view; this week's update expanded the app from iPhone-only to the iPad. The $5 Real Boxing game for iPhone and iPad doesn't actually feature real boxing, but the big hits and long sparring matches might feel real after awhile.

Other apps of note: Flipboard now lets users browse and buy books from the iBookstore ... Elements, the Markdown writing app, updated with a number of new features including improved Dropbox integration ... and Twitter was updated with revised "Discover" features and the inclusion of photos in search results.


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