These are the apps we love, and we think you'll love them, too
Everyone loves apps. With a million or so available in Google Play, finding the good ones can be hard. Allow us to help a little bit.
We spend all day digging through apps and end up trying most of them. It's a tough job (really) sorting out the best, but we love doing it. Here are the ones that tickle our collective fancy this week. Have a look, try them, and let us know which ones you love, too.
Russell Holly — Lettrs
Just what we need, another social network. Lettrs does a fantastic job taking your thoughts and adding a bit of style. Instead of just posting your 140 characters into the same stale system everyone else is using, Lettrs provides you with an environment where you control the font, paper, and whatever else you'd like to add. Your posts on Lettrs can be as long as you want, or they can just be a couple of words and a picture. At the end of each Lettr you are invited to sign with your finger, and then you can either post publicly or to groups you have created. It's a fun, free app that lets creative people do their thing.
Download: Lettrs (Free)
Phil Nickinson — Sky Force 2014
I'm a sucker for a good top-down airplane arcade-style shooter. (I spent hours playing Tiger Heli on the NES.) And I'm killing more than a few minutes this week playing Sky Force. It's got some stunning graphics mixed in with some good old-fashioned 8-bit stuff — sort of a weird mix, but it works. The pacing feels a little slow at first — and you can speed things up some with in-app purchases, if you want. (They're not totally spammy, though, which is nice.) Toss in a good soundtrack and a whole bunch of levels, and this one's going to keep you occupied for some time.
Download: Sky Force 2014 (Free with in-app purchases)
Andrew Martonik — VSCO Cam
I installed VSCO Cam last week to take a look at it for a full app review, and it's one that's stayed installed on my phone since. The way I see it, VSCO Cam is kind of like Instagram without all of the cruft and spam. The editing tools are tougher to pick up but are far more powerful, giving you fine manual control over all aspects of your images. You're also not restricted to a 1:1 crop on your pictures, and you're free to post and do whatever you want with your pictures once you've edited them.
VSCO Cam is a pretty standout photo editor, and it's actually quite powerful in its free version before you make in-app purchases for additional editing presets. I expect to keep it installed for a good while as one of my go-to photo editing apps.
Download: VSCO Cam (Free with in-app purchases)
Ara Wagoner — Tasker
While I'm very quick to champion Tasker it's many uses, part of why I love Tasker is that it's an app you can just set and forget to a degree. That said, Tasker is a constant for me, the first app used every morning, since it's my alarm clock. And while I'll be spending more time in it in the weeks ahead as I try to get more users cooking up recipes of their own, this week's achievement in Tasker was getting an AutoNotification event to properly trigger a more intense Driving task off of Moto Assist's more battery efficient driving mode detection. The trick? Set it as the exit task.
Download: Tasker ($2.99)
Alex Dobie — Zoe (Beta)
HTC's Zoe video-sharing app finally launched this past week, available first in beta form for a handful of devices. It takes HTC's video highlights — now simply called Zoes — onto the cloud with many more music options, and the ability to remix your friends' Zoes. After signing in with your Google account, you can find your friends and start populating your Zoe feed, or start creating your own based on the photos and videos on your device. Zoe is still in beta, and as such a little rough around the edges. But if you have a compatible device — any HTC phone on Sense 6, the Nexus 5, or leading Samsung phones like the GS4, GS5 and Note 3, it's well worth checking out.
Download: Zoe (Beta) (Free)
Richard Devine — Yahoo Fantasy Football
This weekend sees the return of the English Premier League after the summer break. That means getting your various fantasy football teams in order and one of the nicer ways I've found to do that is with Yahoo Fantasy Football. I'm not interested in playing manager for cash prizes, but Yahoo's app will at least let you and your friends compete against each other to see who comes out on top.
It's just a nice app to use, as is the case with many of Yahoos Android offerings. Choosing a team is simple and you'll even get notified in the app of anyone who's currently injured so you're not fielding them. To compete against other people you'll need a Yahoo account, sadly, but it's a great little app to keep you entertained throughout the new season.
Editor's note: This app is called Yahoo Fantasy Soccer in the U.S. Go figure.
Download: Yahoo Fantasy Football (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand — Fallopian Frenzy!
This game is pretty silly, possible sexist, and maybe not safe for the kids depending on your views and values (we never judge). But it's also fun as heck and I can't stop playing it.
You're a happy little "guy" who is taking an epic journey through the fallopian tubes. It's an endless runner (erm, swimmer?), and your goal is to see how far you can make it before one of the various methods of birth control wipe you out. The controls are Flappy Bird style — tap to rise, let go to fall — and dead simple. The game comes with leaderboards and achievements if you're the competitive type, and when you finally get eliminated, you get a tiny sex ed. factoid along with your score and progress.
You'll have fun playing this one, even if you hate it.
Download: Fallopian Frenzy! (Free)