June 23, 2024
A great new game, camera controls and a better budget app [Awesome Apps of the Week]

A great new game, camera controls and a better budget app [Awesome Apps of the Week]

The last time we published an Awesome Apps of the Week roundup, I asked for you (or your friends) to email me or tweet at me with new apps (or app updates) worth checking out. And, as evidenced here, some of you came through. Also, it seems like there have actually been some cool/interesting new apps coming out lately. Thanks to the combination of those two things, we’re back with a great camera app, a super-fun new game, and an app that’s helping me budget better!


Knotwords (and really, every game by the app’s developer) is a game that’s familiar, but with some ridiculously fun twist.
Photo: Zach Gage

If you’ve followed these Awesome Apps posts in the past, you likely know that I have a thing for puzzle games. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt seen the trend of clever word games. Knotwords smashes those two ideas together into a game for iPhone and iPad that is fun and unique, but also surprisingly familiar.

The basic concept of Knotwords is inspired by the tried-and-true crossword puzzle style. What makes it different is that instead of clues about each word or direction, you’re given a selection of letters to choose from to fill certain sections of the puzzle. This means that as you try different letter combinations, you can dramatically increase (or decrease) your chances of solving the remainder of the puzzle.

With Knotwords, a new puzzle is released every day, along with the monthly puzzle book (partially free), unique puzzle variations called Daily Twists (included with purchase), and a massive archive of past daily puzzles (included with purchase). Honestly, the only thing missing from the app is syncing between devices.

If you’re a fan of puzzles or word games, give Knotwords a try.

Download from: App Store

Price: Free (with $4.99 per year subscription or $12 for lifetime access)

Obscura 3 camera

Obscura 3 is the camera app that Apple should make (but never will)
Obscura 3 is the camera app that Apple should make (but never will)

Several years ago, I wrote about Obscura 2 and praised the simplicity of the iPhone camera app’s manual controls, the brilliance of its user interface and the overall delightful experience it provided. With Obscura 3, you get all those same great features, plus a few new tricks.

With Obscura 3, you get a brilliantly designed camera app that is both lightning-quick and incredibly robust. Obscura 3 makes it fun and easy to manually control the camera’s settings, or edit and stylize your photos. What sets Obscura 3 apart from previous versions is that you get those same features for capturing video!

From simple control over focus or exposure or to quickly switching resolution and frame rate, Obscura puts the controls on your iPhone screen. As someone that takes tons of photos and videos, having a camera app that is as simple as the iOS default camera app, but with “Pro” camera features makes Obscura 3 a must!

Download from: App Store

Price: $9.99

Copilot budget app

Copilot budget and money app surrounded by animation drawing of city
Whether you want to be better at sticking to your budget, or simply like to see how your money is being spent, Copilot is right there next to you.
Photo: Copilot.money

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not great at budgeting. In my head, I know what’s coming and going. But more than once, I forgot a subscription or automatic payment. Fortunately, when I recently started using Copilot on my iPhone, it helped me to understand what charges to expect, and what I can afford to spend on slightly less necessary purchases.

Copilot works by ingesting transactions from your bank account(s), credit cards and other sources. From there, it analyzes those transactions to help create a rough budget, as well as identifying recurring transactions. This helps in estimating when transactions will hit your account. It also makes it easy to understand how well you’re sticking to your budget.

The final great thing about Copilot is the brand-new Amazon integration. When you buy things from Amazon, Copilot can detect and split those transactions across different categories. This means you can better track specific purchases to your budgets without the usual hassle. No more using “other” for everything on Amazon, or misattributing transactions to the wrong budget category.

Download from: App Store

Price: Free, with paid subscription (get one month free with code: 4VU7J4)