Our weekly app picks
It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.
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. Jerry Hildenbrand — Blacksmith for Destiny
I love a console game with APIs that let other developers tap into things like statistics. Destiny is one of those games, and this new app is perfect if you find yourself re-rolling a lot of weapons. Blacksmith for Destiny can grab your equipped weapons, then give you a list of possible perk rolls for each slot. You no longer have to try and remember which weapons have which perks available, and you can see at a glance if it's worth the motes and parts to reroll those two great perks away to try for a trifecta.
You can also search for any weapon in the game if you don't have what you're looking for equipped. It's an easy and quick app to use when you need it, which is what I think a "second-screen" app needs to be.
2. Jared DiPane — Strava Running and Cycling GPS
I have a confession to make — I suck at keeping on a workout schedule. I make an effort, I set an alarm, I do it for a little, and it just stops. Lately, I have been trying to make a better effort, and put my bike to use a little more. I used to run quite frequently, and had a lot of great data in Nike Running, but unfortunately it doesn't track bike rides. Strava on the other hand, tracks both rides and runs, making it a great solution.
With Strava I can see tons of information about my activities as well. From time and distance to splits, there is great detail. You can also 'race' vs. other people who have rode similar segments as you, as Strava will show you their paces vs. your own. The app itself is free to download and use, though Strava does offer some paid options as well. If you are looking for more details, and all of the goods that Strava has to offer, that will set you back $5.99 a month, or $59.99 per year.
3. Justin Duino — Songkick Concerts
I have always been an avid fan of listening to my favorite bands live in concert, but it's sometimes hard to always know when they'll be playing in a town near me. With Songkick Concerts, you are able to input your favorite artists and your location and anytime one of these artists is touring in a town near you, the app notifies you.
The first time you launch Songkick it will automatically analyze any music stored on your phone or tablet and adds the artists it finds to your list of favorite bands. Additionally, if you have certain music streaming apps installed such as Google Play Music, it will be able to see what artists you have in your library and track those bands as well. Songkick Concerts is free in the Google Play Store so make sure to go download it and never miss another concert again.
4. Russell Holly — This War of Mine
Games about war usually make you the main character in a heroic battle for one side or the other. This War of Mine is not one of those games. Instead, you run a small household of ordinary folk trying to survive the hellish realities of war. You have to scavenge for food and supplies to keep your group alive while navigating the town safely and without incident.
Battling illness, break-ins, and deciding whether you really want to try and rob the elderly couple two streets down is all part of the experience, and one wrong move can leave you without a teammate and having to work even harder to keep morale up. It's an interesting challenge, an now that it's on Android you can bring your group with you everywhere.
5. Andrew Martonik — Microsoft Hyperlapse
I never actually signed up for the beta version of Microsoft's Hyperlapse when it was announced a few weeks back, but when it went out into the Play Store for a full release I finally gave it a try. The app is pretty darn basic, but it does what it says it does — makes really solid time lapse videos with adjustable speeds and gives you a plain movie file that you can then share out to any app. It doesn't have the best stabilization in the world, which may matter to you if you're on the move, but it does a pretty solid job stitching everything together for me.
And because most camera apps pre-loaded on Android phones today don't include a time lapse mode (though the iPhone camera app does and it's great), it'll be worth keeping Hyperlapse around for me.
6. Alex Dobie — Onca Clock Widget
I've been looking for a new, minimalist clock widget lately, and after trying out a few of the popular options on the Play Store I've settled on the simple but highly customizable Onca clock widget. At its core, Onca is a clean circular widget that shows the current hour in its center, and the minutes as a ring around the outside. But this, like everything else about this widget, is all customizable. The basic widget is free, with a handful of customization options; if you want to fine-tune things you'll need to pay £1.06 (around $1.60) for the "Pro" upgrade.
While there's certainly no shortage of clock widgets for Android, Onca looks good and does everything it needs to without any needless cruft. It's well worth checking out if you're looking to bring some minimalist cool to your home screen.