Our weekly app picks
Another Appday Sunday is upon us, and we're back with more of our favorites to share. This is the place to find great utilities and productivity apps, or entertainment apps and games. We use plenty of apps of all types on our Androids, just like you do.
Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!
1. Russell Holly — Only One
I'm a sucker for simple hack and slash games and little pixelated dudes, and Only One ticks both of those boxes. The only objective is to stay alive, and you do so by killing everyone else that shows up. Each level gets a little more complicated, but your character also levels up as you collect experience bubbles. It's a fun little time waster with surprising variety to the gameplay, and as long as you can deal with the on screen buttons it'll hold your attention for quite a while.
2. Phil nickinson — Limbo
It's been a while since I stayed up way past my bedtime and ran down a tablet's battery playing a game. But Limbo was well worth it, and it's easily been the best $5 I've spent in a while. If you've yet to play Limbo (and it was new to me, too), you're in charge of a young boy in search of his sister. And the journey will be challenging. The grayscale artwork is mesmerizing. The physics and gameplay are challenging, but not impossible. Basically just set aside a good bit of time, curl up in a dark place (trust me on this), put on some headphones (again, this is a pro tip), and give Limbo some love.
3. Andrew Martonik — TurboTax Tax Preparation
Let's face it, if you live in the U.S. you should really be looking at your taxes right now. Sure you have until April 15th to submit them, but there's no reason why you shouldn't knock it out in February and be done for the year. Most people don't have a complicated enough tax structure to require the services of a true tax prep company, but doing it by hand can be a chore. Of course TurboTax lies in the middle — it lets you fill out everything in an easy question-by-question to get your taxes done accurately and efficiently.
You probably won't be doing all of your tax prep on your phone with this app, but it syncs up with your TurboTax account so you can get it done between your phone and desktop when you have time. I used it for some casual entry when things came to mind on my taxes and I wasn't near a computer, and it gets the job done. The app is free to download and it's free for many folks to file, so it really is a great choice.
4. Justin Duino — AfterShip Package Tracker
I do not tend to receive many packages so I do not normally have a package tracking application installed on my phone. This past week I had three things shipping to me at once so I decided to test out AfterShip. While most tracking apps are the same — they track your packages, who would have thought! — this one stands out to me because it will automatically pull in a tracking number if it is saved onto your clipboard as soon as you open the application.
There are many other features that makes AfterShip stand out but you will have to explorer the app yourself to find out more. The application is free and worked wonderfully for me — my packages even showed up when they were supposed to!
5. Alex Dobie — MNDFCK
MNDFCK — add vowels at your discretion — is a unique take on endless runners by HyperBees, and sees players guiding a colored cube through a series of geometric challenges. As you might expect, the goal is simple — last as long as possible against a series of randomized, increasingly difficult challenges. However what makes MNDFCK different is sense of style — you'll be treated to a psychedelic color palette and punchy audio, backed up by a unique electronic soundtrack.
The game is free to download, but is ad-supported, and also utilizes in-app purchases. But if you want something a little crazier than your average endless runner, MNDFCK is well worth a look.
6. Ara Wagoner — Illustration Watch Face
I'm always looking for new faces, and this one from Virginia Poltrack - who has racked up quite the following doing custom portraits and avatars for many bloggers and enthusiasts - has a certain je ne sais pas and something I wish every watch face had: custom colors for individual graphical elements. There are four illustrated watch faces (for now) and you can change their colors to suit your tastes or your clothes.
While I'm hoping that more illustrations are added in the future - like flowers, a bear cub, or maybe Lloyd - the quirky illustrations and the easy interface of the custom-colored watch faces make it easily worth the dollar purchase. The faces even sport small date and battery indicators, though they feel somewhat mismatched. In a market overrun with brash, macho designs, this watch pack reminds us that there are developers that remember that women wear smartwatches, too.