Our weekly app picks
Appday Sunday is one of our favorite parts of the week, because it means we can share something from our phone that makes us happy in one way or another. Sometimes it's a game one of us can't stop playing, other times it's an old app rediscovered due to to a new feature. Whatever the reason, each of us offers up something cool each week for you to consider checking out.
Here's what we've got for you this week!
1. Jen Karner — Hill Climb Racing
I'm a sucker when it comes to fun and silly games I can play on my phone. Hill Climb Racing is actually one of my favorites. You play as a driver in one of several vehicles, and your goal is to climb hills. It sounds easy and it is, right up until it isn't. You have to gauge your gas, especially when you're dealing with ridiculously steep hills. There are over a dozen levels, and vehicles available, and each vehicle can be upgraded to make it more effective. During each level you'll earn coins, and those coins allow you to unlock new levels, and vehicles, along with upgrading your current ride.
Hill Climb Racing is a fun physics based game, and I shudder to think of how much time I've spent with it at this point. I've never 'beat' a single level, and the upgrades or changes in vehicle make each level more challenging as you go. While you can spend real money to buy coins for your upgrades, I've never needed to. Grinding through a level a few times will give you plenty of coins to purchase what you'll need. As far as physics based games go, this is one of my favorites — and it's absolutely free.
2. Jared DiPane — Mopar Drag N Brag
I'm not a huge gamer, and when I do find something that strikes me it's usually something I can pick up and put down, without having to really put much thought into it. I don't want to have to hit a save point, or worry about needing to stop and my progress disappears. Mopar Drag N Race is a drag racing game, that is quite simple.
You warm up the tires on the way to the start line, then you try to react as quick as possible when the light turns green, and keep your car in your lane. There isn't much to it, but it is filling the void of my 10 minutes of downtime here and there. Like most car games, you earn money, buy mods, and things get harder as you go along. Give it a shot, and let us know what you think.
3. Andrew Martonik — Samsung Level
If you're using any of Samsung's Level Bluetooth audio products, you'll want to have the simple Samsung Level app installed. While it isn't required — you can can just use any of these accessories as regular Bluetooth devices — you get lots of extra features from the app.
You can use the Samsung Level app to manage connections between multiple Level devices, as well as determine how notifications come into the headphones when in use. You can set the headphones to read your notifications, vibrate (when available) and select only essential apps (calls, texts, alarms) to come through. You also get notifications when the headphones are connected or disconnected, and a battery status indicator.
A final feature is a neat one — with headphones connected, you'll get a permanent notification with up to four of your favorite media apps to launch quickly. It'll disappear once your headphones disconnect.
4. Alex Dobie — Star Music Tag Editor
If you juggle between streaming music and good old-fashioned MP3s, chances are you've encountered the need to change your files' ID3 tags — the metadata that holds album and track names, genres, album art and more. It's easy enough to do this on a PC or Mac, but that involves plugging in, transferring over files and other headaches. Star Music Tag Editor is lets you do all this directly from your phone. You can easily find files by location, album or even time, and change things to match the rest of your library. Best of all, it's free, though there is an option to remove ads through an in-app purchase.
5. Russell Holly — Khan Academy
Every day is a school day for me. I never stop learning something. Surrounded by all of the other AC editors all the time, that's not surprising, but beyond the daily dose of Android there's always something new to be learned. It's one of the big reasons I've always enjoyed Khan Academy. It's something simple my kids and I can use together, and the sheer volume of segments you can pull from makes it an impressive resource for anyone. On my phone, however, it means I can read while waiting in line for something instead of getting sucked in to yet another game.
6. Richard Devine — Weather Timeline
Weather apps are plentiful and I'm the first to admit I'm a kind of addict. I've tried so many and never once stuck with any of them for very long. Weather Timeline night finally be the one to put a stop to all that.
The data comes from either Forecast.io or a selection of other sources, and it's one of the nicest looking weather apps I've seen. It's a fully Material Design look and feel, displaying all the important data in a clear, concise timeline. As if that's not enough it also has an Android Wear watch face to tell you the time along with your full weather information.