From puzzle games to productivity boosters, there are a lot of interesting apps blowing up in popularity right now. It can be a little overwhelming in trying to decide which ones to check out first, which is why you should read our list of recommendations…
Frustrated by the pain of typing on your Android device? Particularly on those smaller screens, it can sometimes feel like we spend as much time correcting typos as writing the message itself. The relatively new ‘Swype’ option for typing remains less than perfect too. The SwiftKey Keyboard is an ‘input method’ app that allows you to customize your keyboard both visually and logistically. Using a form of artificial intelligence, the app studies your past messages, vocab choice and phrasing to better predict your next word. Based on this, it can also offer improved autocorrect. Furthermore, it gives instant emoji suggestions based on what you are writing – removing the need to go into the emoji bank and search for it yourself. Overall, SwiftKey is fast becoming an app that the most of us take for granted. With over 40 million downloads and raving reviews, SwiftKey is without a doubt the best app for effortless and mistake-free typing.
Appeak Poker (Free)
Though Appeak is far from the only poker app available on android devices, it’s fast becoming the most popular due to its slick layout and multiple language options. The app focuses on low-stake and fast-paced Texas Hold’Em which lets you play against others from around the world. It’s perhaps most appropriate for beginners, or for those just interested in a quick and casual poker game on the commute home. You don’t have to pay to use the app as 7,000 chips will be deposited into your account daily – however there is the option to buy more chips after a bad beat.
Are you a musician who likes to jam? Vampr is the new app for you – a kind of Tinder for songwriters, singers and instrumentalists. Create a profile whereby you let others know your favourite musical genres, the instruments you play and the type of music you want to create (you can even upload samples of your own recordings!). Then, match with nearby musicians through swiping left or right. The purpose of Vampr is to bring musicians together so they can influence each other, start a band, or just have a fun jamming session on a lazy afternoon.
The Room 3 ($5)
The latest installment of the hugely successful mystery game franchise is proving as popular as its predecessors. Both ‘Room’ and ‘Room 2’ were BAFTA-winning games, so it’s no surprise the next sequel is also living up to the hype. What makes these games so addictive? The premise is based around having to find clues to solve mysteries, or escape a place by solving puzzles. Add to this the creepy settings and atmospheric sound effects, and The Room 3 becomes one of the most immersing Android games out there. Unlike other games with linear story arcs, The Room 3 also offers alternative endings based on your gameplay. That means you can play the game twice with a different outcome each time.
Focus Timer Reborn (Free)
This app is based on the so-called ‘Pomodoro technique’ of increasing productivity. Created in the 1980s, this time management method is one of the most commonly used tricks by those who otherwise struggle to stay concentrated on a task. The time you set aside for work will be divided into two parts – time dedicated to the task at hand (usually around 25 minutes in each interval), and short breaks (usually around five minutes). The app enables you to keep track of how much you achieved in each work interval, thereby keeping track of when you are most productive during the day, which also gives you an accurate estimate for project completion going forwards. The technique isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth a try if you feel like you could be increasing your productivity in some way.
Doodle Bowling (Free)
The Doodle Bowling app is relatively simple – it just mimics arcade-style bowling that you can do with the tap of your finger on your screen. What makes the app so addictive is the wide range of lanes that players can choose between. They’re visually entertaining and themed, such as the Halloween lane, psychedelic lane or cartoon lane. The app basically combines bowling with a ‘Doodle Jump’ twist, and will keep you glued to your device for a long time.
Are you an avid list maker? Some people like to detail every mundane little objective of their work day and personal lives, incorporating them into long, neat lists so that they can tick off tasks as they day progresses. Others don’t even bother making a grocery list. If you belong to the former group, the Wunderlist might be the app for you! The best thing about Wunderlist is its option to make categories and sublists. Divide your lists into categories such as ‘work’, ‘family’, ‘packing’ and ‘movies to watch’, then organise accordingly. This app also gives a tremendous sense of accomplishment when the lists invariably shrink throughout the day. All in all, it’s an excellent tool for the organised individual who derives satisfaction from list making.
This is one of the most impressive apps of recent years and an absolute must for anyone interested in space and astronomy. Redshift gives you a complete overview of the constellations and planets currently visible in the night sky from where you stand. It gives an observation planner for the sun, moon and bright planets. You’ll also have access to a comprehensive database with information on over 200,000 stars, comets, moons, satellites and deep sky objects. Redshift is also a great educational opportunity for kids, as the app gives detailed 3D representations of celestial objects in the sky.