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. Jen Karner — The Walking Dead: No Man's Land
When it comes to games based off of movies or television shows, I tend to steer clear. It isn't that these games aren't fun or well made — although some of them really are just terrible. Rather, I prefer a game where I don't already know the story. So when I downloaded No Man's Land in a fit of boredom induced pique, I wasn't expecting what I actually got, and that is a really good thing.
You play a new group of survivors who escape from Terminus and are initially helped by the one and only, Daryl Dixon. You play through a variety of missions to gather supplies, and kill the undead while also protecting your new home along the way. You'll need to build and upgrade your settlement, attract new people to come and live in this little haven, upgrade your settlers-and their gear- all while making sure the zombies don't eat all of you in the process. It's plenty of fun, and exists within the The Walking Dead world, without having you recognize all the characters, or settings along the way.
2. Russell Holly — Fast like a Fox
Time wasters are the bread and butter of mobile gaming, and I seem to get sucked into a new one every couple of days. Usually I need something with a good puzzle element to hold my attention for particularly long, but Fast like a Fox has held my focus with its unique movement mechanic. Instead of on-screen joysticks or tilt to move functions, Fast like a Fox asks you to tap the back of your phone with your index and middle fingers, and the pace you create with that drumming is what sets the pace for the little fox that is now running across your screen.
Collect the gems, get the best time, win the points. It's fairly standard stuff, but the speed controls through your rhythmic tapping adds a dimension of control — or sometimes lack thereof — that makes this side scrolling game a ton of fun to play.
3. Andrew Martonik — RAD Boarding
Another simple casual game from me this week — this time the latest from Noodlecake called RAD Boarding. It's a side-scrolling snowboarding game that's easy to pick up and smash through levels on. Just a few different mechanics for moving about, doing tricks and beating levels. It's easy to get stuck in for just a few minutes or a half hour if you get really into it.
As is the case nowadays it's a freemium game with a store for some in-app purchases, but you can get through it without them if you wanna stay on the cheap. Noodlecake does some great work with graphics and mechanics, and the game plays well.
4. Phil Nickinson — WeChat
WeChat is one of those uber-popular messaging apps that I mostly have no reason to use. But when in China … And so I gave it a look last week, and there's a good reason why it's been downloaded from Google Play more than 100 million times — and who knows how many times outside of Google Play. It's a solid messaging app, period. Plus it's cross-platform, sports a good design and, yes, works inside China.
So if you've been looking for something that works pretty much on anything and anywhere, give WeChat a go.
5. Jerry Hildenbrand — A Twofer: Manual Camera and Snapseed
A picture of a Nexus 6P, taking a picture of a microphone, taken with Manual Camera on a Nexus 5X and edited in Snapseed. Streams were crossed.
It's a two-for-one special from me this week, in a package specially built for everyone who bought a new Nexus phone.
The Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X have a really good camera. Hooray! But the Google Camera app is pretty basic, and plenty of us are looking for alternatives. If you're the type who loves photography or loves to fiddle with things, Manual Camera is an app you'll probably love.
It leverages all the cool parts of the Google Camera APIs for complete manual control of the shutter speed, the ISO, the focal distance, white balance and exposure compensation, and it does it all in an app that's fast and easy to use. As a bonus, Manual Camera also can capture RAW images in DNG format, which takes us to the second part of our double feature.
Snapseed is a light and powerful little photo editor for smartphones. You can tweak things like sharpness or brightness, apply filters or frames, and make all manner of minute adjustments so that your pictures look better than they did when they came out of the camera. The UI is clean and easy to navigate. Snapseed also brought support for DNG format images in a recent update, so it's perfect to fix all those pictures you took with Manual Camera! Non-destructive RAW editing on the go is easier than you think, and not every picture needs the full Lightroom treatment.
Snapseed is free, and works with any Android phone running 4.1 or higher. Manual Camera will cost you three bucks, and requires your phone support the Android Camera2 APIs. You can check if your phone meets the requirements with the free compatibility app.