Hey, hey, it’s Friday – but it’s not just any Friday! Yup: it’s Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving start of the race towards Christmas, and the day that the preparatory shopping kicks off in style.
So, in the spirit of mass consumerism and instant gratification, why not treat yourself to some brand new apps? We’ve rounded up the best of the new releases and major updates to save you valuable time and energy – you’ll need those when you hit the high-street sales….
What is it? Well, its full title is The EA Sports Football Club Companion App for FIFA 14, which should give you a clue; it’s an app that lets you keep up your FIFA 14 shenanigans when you’re on the move.
Why we love it? For FIFA fanatics (and there are a lot of you out there) this feels like it’ll quickly becomes indispensible. It’s a companion app, of course, so you’ll need an Origin account hooked up to FIFA 14, and you’ll want to have an FUT club in-game (that’s an Ultimate Team, for newbies) but if you’re all signed up, it will let you remotely access your stats and manage your team, work out transfers and check your alerts. 24/7 football? This little gem has you covered.
Who it’s perfect for: Football nuts
What is it? A note-taking app
Why we love it? It’s all about handwriting – no typing in sight! Customise the paper size and style (wide or narrow ruled, various types of graph paper) and the colour and thickness of the pen, add images, and pinch to zoom. People with larger phones like the new Nokia Lumia 1520 will find it a particularly intuitive and attractive app, but it’s still nifty for those of us with smaller screen. It costs nothing, too, if you think the deal’s not sweet enough already…
Who it’s perfect for: Old school note-takers who’d rather not mess about with virtual keyboards.
What is it? An app that lets you explore photos taken nearby.
Why we love it? Around Me reads the EXIF data of digital photos (the metadata stored with the picture – specifically, the location data) so that you can see what other photographers have made of your area or any other area you care to key into the search tool. It checks Flickr, 500px, Instagram and Panoramio for relevant photos, so you know there’s already a huge database of images out there. The app might be very new, then, but it’s already content-rich. For a minor amount of cash you can get an ad-free version, but the freebie’s decent too.
Who it’s perfect for: Holiday-makers, house-hunters, armchair-based global explorers…
Hill Climb Racing
What is it? A racing game
Why we love it? It’s a cross between a driving game and a physics game; with a brake and an accelerator at your disposal, you have to get your car from A to B without flipping over. It’s set up like a platform game, all scrolling action, and it’s the physics of the hills you encounter that makes it challenging: balancing gas and momentum is harder than it looks! The cartoony graphics are cute, and there’s actually a fair bit of techy vehicle customization options for car-geeks to enjoy (all of which involve earning in-game coins, of course). The music and ads are a little annoying, but far from irksome enough to stop us playing: this is truly addictive.
Who it’s perfect for: All sorts of gamers – fans of driving, platform games and physics puzzles will get hooked.
What is it? A game where you get to smash a load of cups
Why we love it? It’s straightforward, but considerably harder than you’d expect very fast-moving and a total time-suck. A pile of cups are stacked high and you have to keep adding more to the pile; get three that match in a row and those three break. Some of the cups are explosives and some will freeze and shatter the surrounding crockery. The aim is to smash the lot. It’s like Tetris, but the gesture-based gameplay is more like Fruit Ninja. This makes the Mad Hatter’s Tea party look civilized!
Who it’s perfect for: Gamers
That’s this week fab five from us, but what about yours? Any new or updated apps caught your eye? Then let us know down below.
Image credit: Andreas Cappell