Apps we think you'll want to try
Sunday is app day, and we're back with a list of applications we think are worth a closer look. We use a lot of apps, and when one rises to the top of our recently opened apps list, we like to spread the word here so that we all can give 'em the love they deserve. We've got apps designed for work and play (you can never have too much play) for everyone to check out, so check them out!
While you're at it, be sure to share your app pick of the week with everyone in the comments. There's no way we can try them all, but together we can find the must-have apps for just about everything.
Russell Holly — Offtime
As constantly connected people, there's a good chance you're no stranger to being told to unplug. Whether it's the wife batting the phone out of your hands at a restaurant, your kids climbing on you during family movie time, or you've just decided to step away from the Internet for a few hours, there's nothing wrong with unplugging. Offline is a fantastic tool for either forcing some unplug time by blocking out notifications for set periods of time or just giving you a rundown of exactly how much time you have spent on your phone today. If you have any difficulty unplugging or you're interested in some granular data on your daily usage, this free app is well worth checking out.
- Download: Offtime (Free)
Andrew Martonik — Amazon Seller
I wouldn't say I'm a regular seller of items online, but when I want to offload some old gadgets or somewhat-valuable items around the house I usually end up turning to Amazon rather than eBay. Once you have an account setup it's just as easy and I tend to like the way Amazon brokers the whole thing.
After using the basic website on my desktop and struggling with the mobile view on my phone, it turns out there's actually a pretty competent Amazon Seller app for Android. It just flat out looks better than the mobile website, and while it isn't necessarily more functional you do get the added perks of notifications and a more mobile-friendly view of your active sales.
You can manage your inventory, refresh sales, post items for sale and importantly keep track of messages with your buyers. It may be a bit overkill for the occasional seller on Amazon, but it definitely helps me with the process whenever I'm selling something.
- Download: Amazon Seller (Free)
Phil Nickinson — Clash of Clans
You can't escape Clash of Clans. It's got friggin' prime-time commercials. (Which actually are pretty good.) I didn't want to start playing this. I know it's a big play for in-app purchases. But I also know how much my eldest daughter is enjoying it. And so I've started playing, too. And she says if I work hard enough and build up my clan, she'll let me play with her, too.
So I got that going for me. Which is nice.
- Download: Clash of Clans (Free with in-app purchases)
Ara Wagoner — Celtx Script
Once upon a time, there was a lowly film student, who dreamed of something more...
Back when I was an RTVF major in college, I maxed out on my screenwriting classes and I spent hours writing said screenplays on my laptop in a handy little program called Celtx. Celtx was the first app I paid for in Android Market, using the promotional credit that came with my Nexus 7 2012. The app went free sometime last year, but I'm not sorry I unloaded five bucks on it back then. I got my money's worth, especially as the app has evolved and integrated more current design guidelines.
Now, Celtx is something not a lot of users need, but if you're dreaming of selling the screenplay based on your hopes and dreams to a big studio for big bucks, you can do much worse than Celtx, which also has formatting for stage plays, radio shows, and books. Free cloud storage for your work is also hard to pass up, especially when Celtx has a web editor and programs for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be off writing about malware that absorbs an advanced AI and sets about literally blowing up the world's infrastructure.
- Download: Celtx Script (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand — PlayStation App
We've talked about the Microsoft SmartGlass app(s) before, but there is also a great Android app for your PlayStation.
The app gives you basic control of your PlayStation (for example when watching a BluRay or something on Netflix), "Second-Screen" features like viewing the maps while playing Battlefield 4, and of course, full access to the PlayStation store so you can buy something on your phone and have it start downloading to your PS4 right away. You also have quick access to manuals and troubleshooting guides. But the "must-have" reasons for using the app if you have a PlayStation are the social features.
You can keep track of your friends status and their trophies, but the real jewel (and why I recommend it this week) is the PSN chat features. When you're knee deep in bodies and looking for ammo, the last thing you want or need is a notification telling you to press the PS button because you have a message. Shut all that off on your console, and do it right from the PlayStation App. Your K/D ratio will thank you.
- Download: PlayStation App (Free)