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. Jared DiPane — Promo Codes V2
Promo Codes was originally released to everyone through Google Play, and it appears as though it grew a bit to quickly with little understanding. The developer had to end up changing the app and has released a second version. The concept is still the same, you try and win promotional codes for paid apps or in-app purchases, but this time you need an invite to download it.
The idea behind the invites is to help grow the right type of user base, as you now need to know someone using the app to get in. The more that people spend as a result of discovering a new app from Promo Codes will ultimately help the developer bring other developers with promo codes on-board. If you want a chance to win some free apps, be sure to try this out. And remember, if you don't win it doesn't hurt to pay for an app if it looks great. Support developers!
2. Jerry Hildenbrand — Stack
Stack is a beautiful and simple game where your goal is to try and stack blocks as high as you can. The blocks come in from the right and the left, and you need to tap the screen when they are perfectly aligned with the top of your stack. Any overlap gets cut off, and the top of your stack gets smaller.
It's addicting. I'm OK with that, because the simple graphics are absolutely gorgeous and the one-touch controls are perfect for a game on a phone. Even the audio is oddly satisfying. What I don't like are the ads that randomly pop up, so I paid the $1.86 for the ad-free version. That's $0.13 less than the cup of coffee I bought this morning, and well worth it.
3. Russell Holly — Galactic Nemesis
There's nothing quite like a well made arcade-style game to suck up all the time you should be spending doing other things. Galactic Nemesis is straight out of my childhood, only with a finger on the screen instead of on a cabinet in a dark room full of quarters and cheap pizza.
Shoot the bad aliens, upgrade your ship, shoot the bad aliens some more. It's simple, straightforward, and more fun than it probably should be. Enjoy!
4. Jen Karner — Neko Atsume
There is no reason I should enjoy playing a game where all I do is try to collect cats. Yet, that's exactly what Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector is. You play by luring kitties to your yard with a variety of treats, food, and toys for them to play with. When they show up, all you really do is take pictures of them being cute. It's ridiculously small, and simple...and yet after two months it's still on my phone.
You'll quickly realize different cats are lured by different things. Put out the right kind of lure and you'll see special cats show up, like Ramses the Great. When cats enjoy visiting your yard they'll leave you gifts of normal fish or goldfish. Those fish are the currency you'll use to buy expansions on your yard, food for the cats to eat, and of course toys.
5. Andrew Martonik — MLS Soccer 2016
I get to talk about the latest iteration of the official MLS Soccer app but once a year, and the week before the season kicks off is a perfect time for it. Being a young league with a young following, MLS does a pretty great job with its digital strategy — in its website, match streaming, social media presence and its official app.
Each year the app gets better, and in 2016 it's basically just refined and improved from the big overhaul last year. The new News & Videos section has a much friendlier layout, the sidebar sorts things in a simpler way so you don't have so many options and the individual articles don't seem to have a format that gets broken with complex posts.
Perhaps most importantly, the app retains its great functionality as a way to get notifications about your favorite clubs, see match details for the entire league and even watch full matches streaming to your phone or tablet. There's still Chromecast support (with an MLS Live subscription) here, too, which I use on a weekly basis every year.
This app will obviously only appeal to those who want to follow local league soccer in the U.S., but if you do it's a no-brainer to have it on your phone and tablet.
6. Phil Nickinson — MultiWindow Toggle
I've grown to enjoy Samsung phones more over the last year or so, mostly thanks to the Galaxy Note 5. What I'm not a fan of is grabbing the top of the screen to extend the notification area and instead shrink whatever app I'm in down to multi-window status. I just don't use multi-window at all. I don't want to use it. And Samsung doesn't give us a way to turn it off.
This app does. And that's all it does. OK, it also lets you put a toggle in the quick settings. But that's it. No muss, no fuss, no more multi-window. Hersey, I know. But it's my heresy.