Consumers have been lining up worldwide to buy Apple's new iPhones, which run on new software, the iOS 7 operating system. If you are among the 9 million people who bought a 5S or 5C or have just updated your old device's software, you will want to try some apps that make the most of the new capabilities.
One of the best tests for the new iPhones is the graphically intensive game Infinity Blade III. It's a 3-D fantasy battle game in which you fight your way through a mystical world, slashing with a sword controlled by finger swipes. The $7 game is exciting, and the graphics are highly detailed and are about the same quality as graphics on a gaming PC a few years ago.
For editing photos or adding special effects such as filters, try Aviary's Photo Editor app. This app is one of my favorites for photo tweaking, thanks to its straightforward interface and powerful effects, such as blurring images or adjusting their contrast. The app's interface has been improved to align with iOS 7's clean, simple look. A few improvements have made it easier to use, such as putting the special filters, photo frames and customizable stickers in one location — the new "Supply Shop." Best of all, the app is free, although many effects add-ons are not. It's about $2 for a pack of filters.
For an unusual way to read the news, try Flipboard. This free app aggregates news items from many sources. It presents items in a graphics-heavy display controlled through finger swipes to "flip" the screen to the next article. You can explore news items more deeply by tapping on them and then share what you've discovered over email or Twitter. The app is customizable by news sources and categories, and it has been updated to look at home on iOS 7 — including subtle animations of the images when you tilt your iPhone.
Apple's own music-playing app is built into iOS, but for a different experience, check out the free Soundwave. This app is about discovering new music via a social network. For example, it can show music that your Facebook friends have played recently. More exciting is the "music map" feature, where you draw a circle on a map of your current location, and the app tells you what people are listening to in that area. You can even hear snippets of music, so that you can decide whether you'd like to buy it later.
To show off the geo-location and processing powers of your phone, try the $1 app Night Sky 2. It will show an image of the stars and planets above your head, along with data on each one as you hold your phone up to the sky and move it around. It's fun, educational and futuristic.
. Social networks
Finally, Twitter has long been one of the best social-networking apps for communicating with friends. It's also a great way to keep abreast of the news in real time. The Twitter app has just been updated to suit iOS 7's look, so it's visually clean and simple. The iPhone's voice-controlled digital assistant, Siri, can now search within Twitter's messages, making it easier to find information. If you're new to the iPhone or haven't yet tried Twitter, now's a great time. It's free. Remember to check out the "near me" tab in Apple's App Store app, which may uncover many more cool new apps that people nearby have downloaded.