Our weekly app picks
Appday Sunday is upon us and as we do every week, we have a handful of great apps to share with everyone. This week we have a good mix of apps for phone and watch alike, from old standard-bearers and new favorites developers.
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. Russell Holly — Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0
My kids are huge fans of Toys to Life games, which means the shelves of my living room are covered in a motley assortment of Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and Nintendo Amiibo figurines. These games are all fun to play and watch my kids enjoy, but Nintendo and Activision figured out a long time ago that offering a way for kids to play somewhere that wasn't the living room TV was a good thing.
Now it's Disney's turn with the update to the Toy Box, and I'm not ashamed to admit I've already logged more hours flying around as Iron Man then all of my kids combined. Making the game mobile was a smart move, and with Avengers: Age of Ultron happening this weekend the game is sure to get a lot more play than usual in my house.
2. Phil Nickinson — SwiftKey Clarity
Auto-correcting words is easy. (OK, it's not easy, but it's not exactly a revolutionary idea at this point.) But auto-correcting entire phrases? That's the new hotness. And one of the best keyboard and predictive text companies around is tackling this very thing. SwiftKey Clarity is the first release from its incubator, and this beta app intends to take not just a single word of your gibberish multiple pieces of muck and turn them into something recognizable. And it's a great idea. The keyboard itself is pretty sparse at the moment — so if you're looking for all the bells and whistles of SwiftKey proper, this isn't for you. But it's a really cool idea, and probably the future of predictive typing. Give it a whirl.
3. Justin Duino — Illustration Faces 2 by VA
The incredibly artistic Virginia Poltrack at Fat Russell has made an entirely new collection of Android Wear watch faces that look great on any wrist. The four new watch faces include "Headphones", "Scooter", "Cuda" and "Super Bee." Each of the designs have been hand drawn by Poltrack and several of them also include animations that play in the background.
You can edit the color of the watch face backgrounds as well as the objects in the foreground. All four of the Illustrated Faces are fully customizable from inside the Android Wear application and for only $0.99 this is a must buy app to spice up your wardrobe.
4. Andrew Martonik — Amazon Local
Amazon likes to launch new apps — like Fresh, Prime Now, and the Appstore — that do things somewhat-related to its core business but aren't worth putting in the main Amazon Shopping app. Amazon Local is one of those, and it's a weird combination of an apps like Foursquare, OpenTable, Yelp, Groupon and Eat 24. Amazon Local is a conduit to ordering food — either for delivery or take-out — from local restaurants, but also shopping for deals for trips, hotels, events, vacations, services and goods.
It's an interesting and somewhat confusing mash-up, but if any of the other "local" apps from the aforementioned companies haven't quite interested you, you may want to give Amazon Local a try — it'll have something to offer you if you live in the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, or the Northeast.
5. Ara Wagoner — 1Weather
We're into severe weather season in Central Texas — and across much of the United States — and since you can't always be watching the weather, you can at least use a weather app with a good alert system in place. I especially like the alerts on 1Weather, which pop up on both your phone and your Android Wear device. The wear alerts also feature nice backgrounds, specific to each type of alert. And if you swipe over, you can read the entire NWS alert right there on your wrist. And then either break out the popcorn or run. Run for your lives!
6. Alex Dobie — Google UK Election
As the UK prepares to go to the polls next Thursday, May 7, Google has published a dedicated app on Google Play to help British Android owners find information on their local candidates and constituencies through Google Search. Google's official UK election app lets you look up your candidates based on constituency name or postcode, and see the national balance of power as well. And as election night kicks off, Google promises up-to-date information with just three minutes latency. It's a simple, free app that'll hopefully help people stay informed ahead of the big day. Naturally, it's available as a free download on Google Play.