Apps of the week

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!

Ara Wagoner — Tasker


It's been a while since we've mentioned Tasker, I know. In fact for most of the last six months I haven't even had it installed on my daily driver, but back in late March I decided I was tired of manually enacting silent mode during showtimes, and that I missed my favorite alarm in the world: Tasker + Google Play Music. Kinda like root, some of the things I use Tasker for are getting replaced by Android system functions (like Do Not Disturb, which I apparently seem to be the only Android nerd that likes it) or made unnecessary by system improvements (like Doze).

It's fun playing with Tasker again, and I'll get into some of the fun ways Tasker figures into theming and home screen customization soon. While IFTTT has gotten a lot more attention in recent months, Tasker still has a lot to offer. Like letting me automagically start my Disney playlist when my phone re-connects to the car stereo.

Download: Tasker($2.99)

Russell Holly — 5217


It's super easy for me to sit down at my desk, throw on a pair of headphones, and write for hours. Unfortunately, that's not particularly healthy. There's a ton of research that suggests breaking up your work day with movement is good for personal health and productivity, but forcing myself to do it is often a challenge.

5217 does exactly this, and looks really nice in the process. You get 52 minutes of productivity, and then a notification tells you to take a break for 17 minutes. Repeat as necessary, and in theory your day will be better and more productive. As is often the case with these things, your mileage may vary.

Download: 5217 ($1.14)

Jen Karner — Waze

When it comes to getting where I need to go, I am forever using a navigation app to help me get there. While I love using Google Maps for the most part, I've had some issues with it when driving in the city. Namely Google Maps like to take me the most circuitous route to get me where I'm going. So I figured I'd give Waze a shot, and see if I had a better experience.

I did. Waze gets me around within the city limits in a much easier, and overall faster. It's got some nifty features you won't find on Google Maps, namely choosing who is giving you directions, which can be a lot of fun. If you're looking for a navigation app that will help you get around the city, then Waze is definitely worth a download.

Download: Waze (Free)

Alex Dobie — Tripit


Although Google Calendar and Gmail do a decent job of tracking flights, hotel reservations and other travel-related essentials, there's no substitute for a dedicated service, especially when planning a complex, multi-leg journey. Tripit is my journey planner of choice, and the Android app for the service is pretty full-featured, giving you one easy place to track your entire itinerary, any related info you might need (light delays or gate changes) and what's going on with others in your network.

As for Tripit the service, it easily integrates with Gmail to pick up details of flights, train journeys, hotels, AirBNB reservations and other stuff as it arrives, which saves you manually setting things up. The basic service (and app) is free, and there's a paid Tripit Pro option available for a $49 annual subscription. (Similarly, a payment of just a dollar gets you an ad-free experience in the Android app.)

Daniel Bader — Distiller


Once you enter the seemingly-endless world of scotch, bourbon, Irish, Canadian, American and Japanese whiskey varieties, it's difficult to wrap your head around — and unkind to your wallet.

Distiller is an app that attempts to curate some of the best whiskeys from around the world, filtered by geography, taste profile and, most importantly, price. The company behind the app employs a number of full-time whiskey critics, offering a full flavor profile, tasting notes, and a rating out of 100. But perhaps more important is the ability to keep track of your own purchases, building a personal list of bottles and their unique traits.

Distiller divides your personal shelf into three tiers: Top Shelf, for the cream of the crop; Collection, for the everyday tipples; and Wishlist, for the bottles too expensive, or too rare, to acquire just yet.

If you're into whiskey (or whisky!) and don't know where to start building your collection, Distiller is a great first step.

Download: Distiller (free)

Andrew Martonik — Square Cash

Square Cash

I'm a huge proponent of Google Wallet when it comes to transferring money among friends and family, especially when it comes to being able to quickly attach money to a Gmail message. But unfortunately, it just hasn't caught on with most of my friends in the way Square Cash has.

The idea behind Square Cash is simple ... and basically the same as Google Wallet. Connect your debit card to the app, and you can then send and receive money instantly with anyone by using their email, phone number or $cashtag (basically a Square Cash username). Money you receive is available instantly for deposit to your bank, or you can keep it in Square Cash to quickly send back out to someone else in the future. You can also see a history of money transfers so you know where the money has gone.

The interface just couldn't be simpler, and it's pretty incredible how many people are using it on a regular basis to send money around. Whether you're trying to pay someone back for dinner last night, giving someone money in advance for a favor or whatever, Square Cash is increasingly the way to go for the service.

Download: Square Cash (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand — Toca Kitchen 2

A friend's kids were playing this crazy looking game on their Samsung Tablet, so I had them show it to me for a few minutes. Toca Kitchen 2 is one of the best kids games I've seen. Invite goofy looking characters into your kitchen, make stuff for them to eat and watch the reaction. It's funny, it's fun and it was engaging to the 6 year old and 8 year old in the room. And the 40-something kid in the room. Kids have a lot of fun both pleasing the diners and cooking awful concoctions so they can watch a yeti freak out because you put too much hot sauce on his deep-fried broccoli. They explained to me that this was one of their favorite games because it was cool to cook food and fun to watch the people eat it.

There are no ads, there are no in-app purchases and the permissions don't touch anything like contacts or messages — something very important for a kids app. If you have kids who like to play on Android, Install this one and give it a look. If it meets your approval (I don't see any red flags, but they're your kids and my discretion doesn't count) let them see if they like it as much as these two (OK, three) rascals do.

Download: Toca Kitchen 2 (Free)