See the apps that made it onto our phones and tablets this weekend
Saturdays bring a lot of great things, but one of the best (at least for us) is the Apps of the Week column where we get to show off the apps that we're using every day. Each of the writers here at Android Central does their best to write a bit about a single app that's been on their phone or tablet in the last week, giving you the chance to see what we're all using.
The list is usually pretty varied, with a grouping of games, utility apps and a few off-the-wall choices now and then, but that's what you'll find if you look hard enough throughout the entire Play Store. Hit the break to see how this week's picks line up with the rest.
Simon Sage - Sorcery!
A great interactive fantasy game Sorcery! hit the Play Store this week. It's based on a series by Steve Jackson, and is full of polished writing, meaningful decisions, and a bit of combat to boot. Players take the reins of a bold adventurer exploring a rich fantasy world. Just about every step comes with a new choice that has long term repercussions on how your story ultimately unfolds. Each of those decisions are highlighted in a novel-style narrative that pops up every now and then. There are also more decidedly game-y elements, such as stamina points and a light combat system, but by and large it's your decisions and not your stats that will determine the story's outcome.
Though the game leans primarily on text, I was particularly impressed with the way the overworld map was rendered. From a static distance, it looks like an illustration you'd find in a weathered old paperback, but with a little panning and zooming, the entire topography comes alive through 3D modeling and shadows.
Even if you've never read a Steve Jackson book, Sorcery! is an enjoyable, polished, and unique title.
Download: Sorcery! ($4.99)
Alex Dobie - Crazy Taxi
To promote the launch of Crazy Taxi: City Rush, the original Crazy Taxi is now free on Google Play for a limited time. SEGA's arcade classic — also a hit on the Dreamcast console — comes to mobile with tilt or touch-based controls. The concept is simple — race through the city picking up passengers and getting them to their destination before the clock runs out. Crazy Taxi offers original and arcade modes, depending on which version of the game you want to relive, complete with licensed tracks from The Offspring and Bad Religion — though if you want, you can play your own music in the background.
Crazy Taxi for Android is free until March 19, so now's the time to grab it if you want to bring some early 2000s nostalgia to your weekend.
Download: Crazy Taxi (Free until Mar. 19)
Richard Devine - IMSA
The Tudor United Sportscar Championship is well underway with this weekends second round, the 12 Hours of Sebring. And this, the official IMSA app is something you'll want to keep close at hand. It's also handy if you're a fan of the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that this is actually a pretty decent app, too.
Besides all the news, results, standings and team and driver information from the two series that you can shake a stick at, it also comes in handy on race day with constant timing updates and live standings. With over 64 cars on track at Sebring alone, keeping an eye on them all is a tough ask, but the IMSA app has you covered. There's also a pretty nice IMSA TV section with plenty of video content, but it'd be good if the videos were part of the app, not just YouTube embeds. It's going to be a fantastic season, and you'll want this one if you're a fan.
Download: IMSA (Free)
Andrew Martonik - Silence Premium
A few weeks ago I highlighted a great app called Do Not Disturb that simply silenced your phone completely on whatever schedule you set. After the short trial period ended I thought I'd be able to get by on just the basic set of features, but after a week or so I finally decided to pony up the $2.50 and buy the premium version to get control over all of the bells and whistles (see what I did there?).
Silence Premium lets you silence your phone based on calendar events, do "instant" silences for a set period of time — incremented in minute or hour intervals with a few taps — and most importantly have better control over who can actually get ahold of you at night. You can let "emergency" calls in, auto respond to calls with an SMS or only allow calls from certain numbers at certain times of day. It's a great tool for having a better night's sleep for those of us who sleep with a phone (or four) within arm's reach every night.
If you already have Do Not Disturb you'll have to uninstall it and buy the paid version (which has a different name, interestingly) to install separately, which is a pain, but the interface is the same and you'll feel right at home with the upgrade.
Download: Silence Premium ($2.50)
Phil Nickinson — Threes
All those iOS users — and folks on Android who have been playing the Fives clone — aren't wrong. Threes is a simple and addictive puzzle game. Slide the 1s and 2s cards around to make a 3. Then slide them around some more to make more 3s. The slide them around some more to make 6s. Slide them around some more to combine the 6s to make 12s. And the 12s to make 24s. Get the idea? Be sure to pay attention to what card's coming next, too.
Download: Threes ($1.99)
Jerry Hildenbrand — beeCam Light Meter
If you're like us, your phone is always in your pocket. That means when you find a way it can replace yet another thing you might need to carry around, you jump on it. That's why I use beeCam Light Meter. It can measure exposure without influence of how reflective things around it are, by using the light sensor on the front of your phone. This makes it quite the handy tool for folks who use manual modes on their DSLR camera. Walk over to your subject, whip out your phone and tap, and you'll have a great starting set of numbers to determine exposure values. This means less fiddling with the camera and trying to check the images on the tiny screen, which nobody enjoys. You also get a fairly accurate Lux reading, so you can convert the numbers to PAR (Lux ÷ Constant = µmol·m2·sec) when fiddling with your high-light aquariums. It's free and ad-supported, and I've found it to be more than accurate enough to suit my needs.
Download: beeCam Light Meter (Free)
One of the best Windows laptops is $550 right now — and stock is limited
Buying a laptop isn't an easy decision, but it's one that's slightly easier on weeks like this — on Black Friday. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has been heralded as one of the best laptops on the market by practically every site that ranks these kinds of things, ourselves included, and there's a brand new reason to pick it up. Today only, the XPS 13 2-in-1 with Intel 10th Gen CPUs are up to $...
Why it’s worth spending more on faster SD cards on Black Friday
To make the most of any camera, whether it be the one on your phone or one in a security cam or even a drone, you'll want to buy a fast SD card. Here's why.
Cards against Humanity and Exploding Kittens on sale for Black Friday
Some of the best card games and board games are on sale today for Black Friday. If you don't have them already, you should definitely check out Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens.
The Xperia 1 II is our favorite phone for shooting video
If video recording is your thing, then look no further than the Sony Xperia 1 II — it offers a large screen, three great cameras, and extremely robust manual video controls.