apps of the week

It is the time of the week when we share some of our favorite applications. These are the apps we find ourselves using right now, and the ones we want to recommend that everyone try. This week, we have a couple beta apps that are worth installing, and some old favorites that have seen great updates.

We also want to hear about your favorite apps, so use the comments to let everyone know about the apps you think are the best and we all should try. It's application discovery at its finest when we all work together!

Ara Wagoner — iMDb (beta)


I'm a TV/film lover. Hulu and I are besties, though at times I cheat on it with Netflix and Crunchyroll. And as someone who still is in love with going to the movies (at the right theater and time, anyway), I'm very much a fan of the iMDb app. This app was stagnant for a long time, but with renewed efforts the last year and an open Google+ beta community, the Internet Movie Database has been keeping up with changing guidelines and user preferences.

With the latest beta update, iMDb is now not only a functional app that I can turn to while checking Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but an app that makes me genuinely excited with the littlest details.

Take for instance this: when you enter a film or TV show entry, you will get a random still from that film or show to appear at the top of the page, much like the graphics at the top of Google Play Store entries. These images have been spot on in exciting me for the film I want to see, and if I rotate my device, a new one will pop up. It's a taste of the material design they're hoping to bring to the app, so if you're into betas or just into Material Design getting into as many apps as possible, feel free to check it out and leave feedback.

As a small reminder, yes, these are betas and thus there may be bugs, but iMDb has been one of the more stable betas I've participated in.

iMDb (beta) - Google+ Community, Beta opt-in (Free)

Andrew Martonik — HERE Maps Beta

HERE maps

I really don't think there's any better mapping software out there than Google Maps, that is for everything except offline mapping. Nokia has brought its HERE Maps to Samsung phones via the Galaxy Apps store, and while it isn't quite up to par with the visuals or recommendations of Google Maps, the one thing it offers is true offline map support — and it's free.

Whereas Google Maps will only let you temporarily download a small portion of a city or area, HERE Maps lets you download entire states, countries and continents for offline use so long as you have enough space on your phone. The U.S. comes in at just over 4GB in size, while all of North America is about 7.5GB.

I've been using HERE Maps from the Galaxy Apps store on my Samsung devices, but Nokia also has the beta available for download for all phones from their website.. I know I won't be using it on a daily basis, but when I know I'm going to be offline it's going to be worth having.

Download: HERE Maps Beta; Download from Nokia (Free)

Richard Devine — Todoist


I'm always looking for new ways to streamline my productivity and just recently I've found myself using Todoist to do just that. The basic app is free though with a yearly subscription to the premium service you do unlock additional features. It's a simple looking app, yet a very powerful tool that works great on both phones and tablets.

Everything centers around getting things done. So you set out your tasks and projects, date them, add notes and so on. Todoist can give you daily digest emails and notifications to keep you up to date with what you need to get done and when, also allowing you to set priorities to your tasks in the process.

But one of my absolute favorite things is that you can get Todoist pretty much everywhere. Android, iOS, Chrome, Mac, Windows, you're never more than a few clicks away from your task list. And integration with Sunrise Calendar (if you use that) is the icing on the cake. Definitely worth looking at if you're hunting a great productivity tool.

Download: Todoist (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand — Knights of Pen and Paper +1


One of my favorite games just got better with a new expansion. Knights of Pen and Paper is an old-school role playing game, with old-school pixel graphics and sound. You create a party of adventurers and battle the forces of evil, and quest your way to glory. There are classes and items to unlock, skills to level, and everything else you remember from those table-top games of yesteryear. It's done very well, and is a load of fun.

The new expansion (an in-app purchase of $1.99 USD) brings more treasure, a new class and new adventures. It's well worth the two bucks.

My one issue with this game, and something I need to warn everyone of, is that there is no cloud save incorporated. Your progression and your characters won't transfer from device to device, and more importantly, neither will your purchases. The game is so much fun, I recommend it anyway.

Download: Knights of Pen and Paper +1 ($4.99)