There’s been all kinds of new mobile devices announced recently. No matter what operating system or company or size of device that you prefer, there’s been a device shown off to make you start reaching for your wallet. Of course, there’s Apple’s iPhone 5S and 5C, but Microsoft followed right behind with new versions of its Surface tablets and Amazon rolled out its own updates to the Kindle Fire line. No matter what device you’re eyeing, though, you have to load it up with awesome apps. Check out our favorites new apps and updates from this week.
Crowded Fiction, iOS (free)
Tablets might share in the design of ebook readers, but they’ve blown them away in terms of capabilities. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a book on your tablet, though. In fact, you can enjoy them in all new ways with Crowded Fiction. It’s a choose your own adventure style book that allows you to deal with conflict within the book and shape the main character with the choices you make. The story Crowded Fiction has launched with is a mystery/thriller that would engage if it wasn’t literally engaging with you.
Instagram update, iOS (free)
You guys hear about this Instagram thing? It makes your pictures look all different and stuff. Okay, we’re probably not going to introduce anyone new to Instagram, but we do want to point iOS users to the latest update for the app. It’s the big change to iOS 7 and gives Instagram a look that fits in with the rest of the operating system’s design qualities. Images go edge to edge on the screen, buttons have been flattened and most importantly for people who can’t stop snapping pictures, high resolution uploads are now available.
Infinity Blade III, iOS ($7)
Infinity Blade isn’t made by Apple, but it has become synonymous with the launch of a new Apple device. It’s the benchmarking tool for mobile gamers who want to see exactly what the hardware inside Apple’s latest creation is capable of. As always, the latest installment of Infinity Blade is a beautifully designed game. You can explore a huge, dynamic 3D world with one of two playable characters and enjoy the insane visuals that are displayed throughout every battle you come across.
You can learn just about anything that you could want to from the Internet. There’s tons of guides and how-to videos explaining how to do whatever it is you may want to do. Learnist takes this knowledge from various platforms and remixes the information to show the various approaches and ways to learn. It makes the entire process interactive. You can even upload your own guides right from your phone or tablet and help contribute to the conversations. Learn something new or help someone else learn something you already know.
Gmail update, Android (free)
Gmail already works pretty wonderfully and is weaved well into the Google product ecosystem, but Google is never done tinkering with its apps. The latest update to Gmail for Android brings a new style to the app. Google has taken its card-based layout that is present in the Google Search and Google Maps apps among others and applied it to your Gmail conversations. There’s also improvements to the multiple message selection tool, making it easier to handle more than one message at a time. Incremental additions to an already solid app. Google’s pretty good at that.
It’s a little shocking just how big the fan base for Angry Birds really is. One would hate to say that it rivals that of Star Wars, a franchise that has been around more than 35 years and spawned far more content and fandom and odd excuses for wearing costumes than one could imagine. But there’s definitely crossover appeal between the two worlds, as evidenced by a second installment of Angry Birds Star Wars. With a story based on the Star Wars sequels – though with a decidedly Angry Birds themed makeover – players will launch their way through tons of levels and interact with over 30 characters within the game. It’s a huge adventure, though we’re pretty sure it’s not official canon.
Guys, it’s never hurt anyone to dress up a little bit. Ditch the jeans and a t-shirt and get yourself some fashion sense with the help of Frank and Oak, an app that brings you some solid fashion choices at affordable prices. You can learn about what trends are in and how to find the right clothes for you with the help of the in-app magazine, then head over to the store and get some great clothes for under $50. There’s free shipping and in-home try on so you never end up with something you don’t want.
Sometimes we wonder if Pocket (formerly Read it Later) should have just stayed as Read It Later, especially since it just keeps using its old name along side its new name. The latest update to the app does no reinstate the Read It Later title, though. Instead, it improves Pocket by adding in some iOS 7 specific touches as well as improving speed and performance, fixing minor bugs and issues, and adding an instant background sync. Your favorite reader app with two names has gotten even better.
Riddle Me That, Windows Phone (free)
What’s better than a riddle? We can’t tell you the answer to that, but Riddle Me That probably can. The game was popular on iOS and has made the jump over to Windows devices, allowing those users to get in on the head-scratching action. There’s hundreds of riddles that will presented for you to solve and guess at with a Words with Friends style guessing system. Earn power ups that will help you get through the especially challenging questions. Just try not to get frustrated and throw your phone when you can’t solve one – that’s never the answer.