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 — Cartwheel by Target
Who doesn't like to save a little bit of extra money, right? We often shop at Target, whether just to grab some quick household stuff, or looking for a new movie. Cartwheel by Target is a free program that gives you the chance to save even more money from Target, with the use of a simple app. They send out emails, and load the app up with a bunch of savings from different departments, and you add them to your account if you are interested.
The savings range from food to clothes to electronics, and the deals vary. Once added to your account, all you have to do is show the cashier your mobile coupon from the app, and all the savings come off. That's right, one scan, one coupon, and it gives you all the savings that you loaded to your account.
2. Russell Holly — Weber Grills
After opening my first smoker as an early Father's Day present, I found myself standing in front of a giant metal tube with no real clue what to do next. Smokers and smoking on a grill are wildly different experiences. It turns out the folks at Weber make an app just for folks like me. While part of the app is an ad for Weber products, the core of the app is everything from setup to recipes for grilling and smoking.
It's a solid free app, even though the UI is a little clunky, and gets you well on your way to making some amazing food.
3. Justin Duino — Movies by Flixster
When you want to see what movies are playing in theaters or you want to find a showtime for that movie you have been dying to see, it is easier to open up an app than navigate to the movie theater's website. I have found that the best all around movie application is Flixster. In one simple to use app you are able to see what movies are playing, what times they are being shown in theaters near your location, and even buy tickets for a movie. Additionally, you are able to stream your Ultraviolet movie collection right from inside of Flixster to your phone, tablet, or Google Cast supported device.
Flixster is an ad supported free app but the ease of use more than makes up for any inconvenience when looking to find a movie to watch.
4. Andrew Martonik — SignalCheck
Most people don't need to know all of the gritty details about their network connection, but then again sometimes that information is cool to have at your fingertips. SignalCheck is a neat and simple app that shows you all of the details about your current Wifi and mobile data connections, including signal strength, carrier, and plenty of other metrics.
I've been using SignalCheck to keep an eye on my data connection while testing Project Fi, but there are certainly other applications such as when you're trying to troubleshoot your data connection or if you're just curious about how your phone is connecting in an area.
The free version will do the job for most people, but you can also pony up $1.99 for the Pro version to get a widget, notifications and other features.
5. Alex Dobie — QuickPic Gallery
For all the focus on Google's own Photos app lately, it's worth remembering that the Play Store is full of great Gallery replacement apps. The best I've come across is QuickPic — a veteran Android gallery app that's grown over the years to incorporate a host of features beyond simple picture viewing. In addition to grouping together pics from your device's internal storage or SD card, QuickPic brings in support for photos from a wide range of cloud services — Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Photos (Picasa), and Flickr, to name a few. And it's also possible to transfer photos between devices using a Wifi connection, to save hunting out transfer cables. Best of all it's lightweight, fast and free, supporting all devices right back to Android 2.0 Eclair.
6. Phil Nickinson — MAYDAY! 2
MAYDAY! 2 (Terror in the sky!) is not what I'd call a particularly great game. It's a little overloaded with in-app purchases that extend the basic gamplay, which is this: You have to guide a stricken aircraft to the ground. A series of circles points your way, and you deal with speed and altitude, and try to land with the optimal pitch, roll angle and speed, with the goal of having 100 percent of your passengers survive. You get a small handful of airports for free, and you're limited to five landings every 30 minutes. Standard freemium junk.
But it's also another one of those games that just lets me turn off my brain for a few minutes at a time. The graphics are decent, as is the sound, and it's easy to pick up and put down without much thought. And so it's worth a few minutes of my time every now and then.