Today in the App Store — the best free apps, new apps and app updates.

App Store

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

DropTask – Visual To-Do List HD [iPad; Now free, down from $4.99] With an emphasis on simplicity, DropTask’s vibrant and colourful interface delivers an enjoyable task management experience.

DropTask – Visual To-Do List [iPhone; Now free, down from $2.99] With an emphasis on simplicity, DropTask’s vibrant and colourful interface delivers an enjoyable task management experience

Haunted Manor – The Secret of the Lost Soul FULL [iPhone; Now free, down from $3.99] Legends of ghosts, blood and murders spread suspicion and fear around town.

Haunted Manor – The Secret of the Lost Soul FULL HD [iPad; Now free, down from $3.99]Legends of ghosts, blood and murders spread suspicion and fear around town.

PAC-MAN Friends [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $3.99] PAC-MAN Friends is a new, original fast-paced game using classic PAC-MAN characters!

Reflection – Create Water Reflection Photography Arts [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] Reflection, a photo app which can easily add a realistic water reflection and ripples to any photos.

Spite & Malice [OS X; Now free, down from $1.99] Play against your phone with our new version of Spite & Malice for the Mac (also know as Skip-Bo).

Gold Rush [OS X; Now free, down from $2.99] Introducing the first, the only, casino, race, and sports book PC game.

New and Notable Apps

Night Sky Pro [iOS Universal; #2.99] Night Sky Pro™ is the ultimate stargazing experience. From the creators of the original Night Sky™ app comes an all-new powerful and immersive encounter with the sky above!

Dr.Cleaner – Disk Clean [OS X; Free] Dr.Cleaner helps you to remove gigabytes of unneeded files from your disk.

Sumptus – Personal Expense Tracker in Your Pocket [iPhone; $3.99] Sumptus – a personal finance assistant in your pocket.

Woah Dave! [iOS Universal; $1.99] The critically-acclaimed retro-styled arcade neo-classic is here!

Drift’n’Drive [iOS Universal; $1.99] Follow your destiny to become the ultimate racing driver!

Updates you don’t want to miss

Flipboard: Your Social News Magazine [iOS Universal; Free] Flipboard is your personal magazine. Version 3.0 brings the following changes:

  • The third generation of Flipboard offers topic tags that create a highly personalized experience filled with precisely what you like. There’s also a new morning news magazine called The Daily Edition, and a fresh new phone design that quickly brings the stories that matter most to you front and center.
  • Choose from over 30,000 topics to follow. Each topic is powered by the best stories across publishers, websites and the 10+ million magazines made on Flipboard.
  • Explore topics through search or by tapping on topic tags at the bottom left of articles.
  • Start your day with The Daily Edition, featuring articles selected by our team, ready at 7 a.m. every day.
  • Follow people to stay up-to-date on everything they’re collecting into their magazines.
  • Enjoy an overall design refresh, including full-bleed magazine covers, new typography, and more prominent comment displays and attribution.
  • On the phone only: A brand-new look and feel: use the new tab bar to quickly navigate between your Flipboard, everything you’re following, search, notifications and your profile.
  • On the phone only: Share, like or flip your favorite stories into magazines more quickly from easier-to-access buttons.

Skype for iPhone [iPhone; Free] Stay in touch with free messaging, voice or video calls on Skype. Version 5.7 brings the following changes:

  • Save and delete photos from chats
  • Chats load faster, especially when opened from a notification
  • Avatars for all chats now stay in sync across platforms
  • People list filter (all contacts, Skype contacts, online contacts) usability improved
  • General improvements

1Password – Password Manager and Secure Wallet [iOS Universal; Free] 1Password creates strong, unique passwords for every site, remembers them all for you, and logs you in with a single tap. Version 5.1.1 brings the following changes:

  • Did you catch the awesome 1Password shout out during the Apple keynote on the 16th? If so, this release includes the Touch ID lock screen you saw on screen as well as a number of other fixes and improvements.
  • The lock on the lock screen now moves out of the way of the Touch ID prompt so you can enjoy our beautiful design work and Touch ID at the same time, just like Craig did on stage.
  • Speaking of our lock screen, it was starting to feel a tad sluggish, so we gave it a few shots of espresso and it pepped right up.
  • We noticed that the keyboard was making it impossible to see everything when editing an item so we fixed that.
  • We also fixed up a problem where folder contents weren’t being synced properly via iCloud.
  • Did you notice how 1Password had a tendency to dismiss what you were working on when you left the app? That annoyed the tar out of us so we made sure to exorcise that demon with this release.
  • Many more fixes for the most popular issues and crashes
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iOS 8 jailbreak Pangu now comes with Cydia installer, English support coming for the masses.

Cydia Installer Pangu

When the iOS 8 jailbreak tool Pangu was released earlier this month for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, it still had some rough edges such as no one-click solution to install Cydia or support for English. Fortunately, the Pangu app now includes a Cydia installer, while English support for the jailbreak tool is coming in the next 24 hours.

The jailbreak tool is available for Windows as a free download and takes just minutes to install. Cydia can then be installed through the Pangu app. Thankfully, the jailbreak is untethered rather than tethered, meaning that you do not need to reconnect your iOS device to a Mac or PC in order to reapply the jailbreak after every reboot.

Pangu for Windows version 1.1 will include English support and the option to install Cydia directly within the tool when it is released within the next 24 hours, according to a tweet posted by the Chinese team behind the jailbreak.

The list of compatible devices with the Pangu jailbreak include any iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models capable of running iOS 8 – iOS 8.1, including the recently released iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 3 and iPad mini 2 alongside the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, fifth-generation iPod touch and certain older iPad models.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 2.41.48 PM

Jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad allows you to install third-party applications, tweaks, mods, themes, utilities and other useful packages from Cydia, the jailbreak equivalent of the App Store on stock iOS. In layman’s terms, jailbreaking enables you to further customize and enhance your iOS device beyond the limitations that Apple imposes.

While jailbreaking is considered legal in the United States, keep in mind that the process of modifying your device violates your End User License Agreement (EULA) with Apple and thereby voids any warranties that you may have. There are also certain risks involved with jailbreaking that could require restoring your device.

How Apple Pay handles a canceled credit card.

Update: OP on Reddit adds that the cards was already registered. Womp womp.

Apple Pay is easy, convenient, and instantly popular enough that its rivals are already trying to kill it through collusion. Of course that’s when you’re making purchases. How easy is it to deal with things like canceled credit cards? Apparently, very easy, thanks to this story from Reddit user aiken.

In a post on Reddit’s Apple forum aiken_ described exactly what happened when a card on your Apple Pay account gets canceled. Apparently the card gets updated with its new number.

This morning, I had three Citi cards in Apple Pay: two credit, one debit.

This afternoon, I got the dreaded fraud detection call and confirmed that it was not, in fact, me that was simultaneously using the card at several Best Buys in several states thousands of miles away.

On the phone, the Citi rep canceled the affected card and ordered a new one to be FedEx’d. So far so good.

Immediately upon hanging up, my phone had a notification saying “Apple Pay: your default card has been switched to [non-stolen Citi credit card].” Pretty smooth, and really good attention to detail in the EMVco and/or Apple Pay design.

Rather than make you enter the new card number, Apple Pay will be automatically updated to replace the lost, canceled, or stolen card number for you. It’s stressful enough to have to replace a card, but in this case Apple Pay makes is so you can start using your new card, even before the physical version arrives at your house. Especially for travelers this is a feature that makes Apple Pay a killer app in the mobile payment field. No wonder their competitors are worried.

Apple Pay’s biggest competitor has already been hacked.

Apple Pay's biggest competitor has already been hacked. Photo: MXC

Apple Pay’s biggest competitor backed by major retailers has been hacked before it even launched.
Retailers like Walmart, BestBuy, Gap, and CVS are waging a war against Apple Pay with their own mobile wallet solution, CurrentC, but the pending doom of their QR-code solution is looking even more obvious now, as the company just alerted customers that they’ve been hacked.

Customers who signed up to use CurrentC were notified today via email that hackers have “obtained the email addresses of some of you.”

Email addresses were the only information the hackers stole (because CurrentC isn’t even out yet), but we doubt this is going to make shoppers eager to share their social security number and bank account info with MCX’s partners, once the app launches next year.

Here’s the email:

currentc-hacked

To add a funny twist to the hack, MCX – the company behind CurrentC – published a blog post this morning reassuring customers that their data is safe, because they  don’t store sensitives data in the app, it’s up in their super-secure cloud.

“We want to assure you, MCX does not store sensitive customer information in the app. Users’ payment information is instead stored in our secure cloud-hosted network. Removing this sensitive information from the mobile device significantly lowers the risk of it being inappropriately disclosed in a case that the mobile device is hacked, stolen or otherwise compromised.”

Twelve South announces the BookArc Stand for Mac Pro.

Twelve South BookArc Stand for Mac Pro
Mac Pro owners now have another choice at how to position their beautiful cylindrical powerhouse on a desktop. Twelve South today announced the BookArc Stand for Mac Pro (US$59.99), a shiny little chrome-plated rack onto which you gently place your computer on its side.

What’s nice about the design is that by placing the Mac Pro on its side, it takes up only 7.5 inches of vertical space rather than 14 inches when it is placed upright. That means that you can place the Mac Pro inside a studio rack if you want, getting it out of the way, yet cradling it securely atop other gear.

The BookArc Stand for Mac Pro joins Twelve South’s other useful and stylish stands for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iPad. It’s available immediately, and I’m sure that any of your friends or co-workers who own Mac Pros would appreciate a BookArc Stand for the holidays.

iOS developer makes our iOS Apple Watch home screen concept a reality.

Last week, we saw a concept of what the iPhone’s home screen could look like if influenced by the Apple Watch’s design ideas. Inspired by that concept, iOS developer Lucas Menge has made the concept a reality (above), creating a functional app that simulates the Apple Watch UI adapted for the iPhone. Very neat.

Now available on Github.