CES 2013 filled up the news feeds of most mobile followers this week, with new devices, services, and concepts being announced regularly. We all get excited for the possibility of new things to come and it might make us forget what’s happening right now. While you start to save up for the new phone or tablet that will be here sooner or later, don’t neglect your current device. Load it up with some of the great apps and updates that likely flew under the radar of most users during the week of January 6-13, 2013.
Have a little expendable income after the holidays? Well lucky you, eBay just rolled out some updates for its iPad and iPhone apps that would be happy to make it easier for you to spend that cash – or sell stuff for some more money if the budget’s a little tight right now. A faster checkout experience will get you through the buying process quicker and improved features for selling will make things like adding images and setting an appropriate price considerably easier than it previously was. A search feature upgrade will also make finding items much less of a hassle.
Evernote (Windows Phone)
Evernote would like you to stop messing around and get down to business. At least, that’s what it’s latest Windows Phone app update would have us believe. The biggest additions to the app are features specific for Evernote Business users, giving them an overall better experience. Other improvements include a PIN lock option for premium users, the ability to create numbered or bulleted lists within the app, and note editing features for notes with styled text. Don’t let a font keep you from keeping track of your thoughts. Unless you’re using Comic Sans; Then your notes probably aren’t worth remembering.
Staying in shape can be a real challenge. If you find yourself able to play through video games for hours and improve your character’s stats but can’t get off the couch to go for a jog, Fitocracy may be your solution. By turning you into the hero in a real life video game, you’ll earn experience points and level up as you accomplish exercise goals. It’ll better you in real life and in-game, as you complete quests – certain workout goals – and are able to brag about your latest leveling experience via social networks.
For a while, filters were all the rage with photos. Mobile phones and apps made it easy to apply those image adjustments on the fly. But what about videos? How many times have you captured some film on your phone or tablet while at a family reunion or a wedding and thought, “This video has far too few UFOs and random explosions?” If you answered “All the time,” then FXGuru is for you. Easily add movie style special effects to your videos, turning the mundane into the insane.
Another day, another streaming music app. Bloom.fm does actually do its best to differentiate itself from the popular options for listening to music on the go in a new way: By switching up the payment method. Currently available in the UK, listening to music on customized radio stations is free. If you’d like to keep a couple tracks around for listening to on a regular basis, called borrowing in the app, you can pay anywhere from about $1.50 to $15 a month. Depending on your subscription, you can borrow anywhere from 20 to an unlimited number of songs. A borrowed song is yours for as long as you’d like to hold on to it, essentially until you decide to replace it with another.
Paragraph Shorts (iPad)
There are apps that specialize in long form articles that are tailored to your interests. It’s great for long commutes or a situation where a significant amount of time can be sunk into a single read, but what about those times we want some entertainment in short bursts? Paragraph Shorts has a solution. Offering a digital magazine in the style of Flipboard, Paragraph Shorts collects some of the best pieces of short storytelling in text, audio and video form and gives it to you in one fluid form for your consumption.
Steampunk Racing 3D (Android)
The continuing expansion of the popularity of steampunk has reached into genre specific games on mobile devices. Seriously, how niche can we get? Steampunk Racing 3D brings the world of high-paced road rage to your portable screen. A four wheeled free for all, the game puts players behind the wheel of cars that could only exist in a steampunk style world. Fire off attacks to get ahead of your opponents, hop online and put the pedal to the metal against real competition, and trick out your car with customization options that will give you an edge and a hint of personalization.
Noble Nutlings (iOS)
From some of the former Rovio employees that help build the Angry Birds franchise comes a game that stars lovable, cartoony creatures. Go figure. Noble Nutlings is a physics-based racing title that puts you in charge of creating a cart to carry your squirrels across the finish line. Play through 36 levels where you’ll be tasked with making the most out of the pieces you’re presented. Funny enough, the concept is very similar to Rovio’s own Bad Piggies title. We are sure there’s no chip on the shoulders of the Noble Nutlings guys to make a game that lives up to the standard of their previous employers.
Death Golf (iOS)
You know what’s always been missing from golf? The risk of the life of the golfers. There’s a way to improve your ratings, Golf Channel. This game puts that concept to action by taking miniature golf to the furthest extreme imaginable. Sand traps and the beloved windmill that is present on nearly ever mini golf course ever are replaced with heat hazards that will melt your chances of hitting par and enemies that want to keep you from the hole and from living any longer. Use combos and special powers to counter the attacks and upgrade your golfer to protect yourself against obstacles and enemies.