This has become the summer of the flagship phone. An entire new line of Droid handsets that will headline at Verizon, the much awaited Moto X, and now LG’s G2 have all debuted over the past few weeks. All of the phones promise some impressive processing power that will make your phone really feel like a handheld supercomputer. The best part about that is no matter which phone you choose, it’ll be able to handle all of the great new apps and updates that made their way to market this week. Check out all our favorites and line them up in your download queue.
MixBit (iOS, free)
Instagram and Vine are fighting for the top spot for mobile video maker, but you know who knows a lot about online video? The guys who made YouTube. Now they’ve moved over to mobile to try out their new video-based service, MixBit. The app allows users to record their own video, then take clips of your own captures or bits from others and combine them into a new piece of video content. Think of the videos as songs and yourself as a DJ, mixing content to create something brand new.
(Read our MixBit app review.)
GIF Chat (iOS, free)
Conversations take place across all kinds of mediums now. You can instantly message your friends with text, photos, video clips, emoticons, stickers, and all kinds of other odd things that add an extra element to your conversation. Now with GIF Chat, you can communicate back and forth with, you guessed it, GIFs. It’s one part text messaging service and one part Snapchat for GIFs, as all of your short videos are temporary and disappear after viewing. The app also promises privacy and when your GIF is gone, it’s gone for good. Finally, you can talk to your friends in repeating loops of private video, since we all know you were waiting for it.
Minutely (Android, free)
If you live in a place where the weather can get a little unpredictable, you’ve probably had the experience of looking down at your phone to check the weather, then stepping outside and experiencing something totally different. Minutely aims to fix that by crowdsourcing its forecasts. It tells you what the weather should be like according to standard sources, but if you or someone in your area is experiencing something different, you can correct the weather. Now you’ll never step out into an unexpected rainstorm again, though to be fair, you should probably start looking out the window rather than just at your phone.
Netflix (Android update, free)
Have you guys heard of this Netflix thing? You can stream movies and TV shows on your mobile devices. You don’t even have to get a DVD attachment or anything! Android users, specifically those running Android 4.3, of the streaming video service had an update made available to them this week. The app was broken in the latest version of Android, but now should be working properly thanks to bug fixes and optimizations performed in this update. It also fixes issues that were occurring on the Nexus 7, all just in time for Chromecast. Would’ve hated for that service to debut and the best app for it to be unusable.
There is plenty happening in the news these days, and it can get hard to keep up with it all. You can count on the Today Show to bring you breaking national events, international happenings, human interest stories, and a little bit of fluff to break it all up. Now the show’s mobile presence has gotten much better thanks to a huge overhaul of its apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8. You can save stories, share things of interest, and check out videos while reading other stories at the same time with the Multi-Tasker split screen feature.
Infuse (iOS, $5)
If you are a digital media freak, you probably have files of all shapes, sizes, and types. If it could possibly entertain you, you’ve got it. Infuse is one of the best options for iOS when it comes to handling the various files that digital video can come in. It can handle 14 video file types, and, with its most recent update, it can broadcast any of those videos over AirPlay. You can also transfer them via Wi-Fi, go fullscreen with HDMI/VGA out adapter, rate your content, and more.
Road Trip (BlackBerry, $2)
Need a way to kill time during your commute to work (or while you’re sitting at your desk pretending to do work)? Utilize your BlackBerry for more than business and try out Road Trip. This game from Slightly Social features tons of unlockable cars and upgrade items for your vehicle. Get behind the wheel and take to the road where you’ll be challenged to dodge traffic, collect coins, and pull off stunts as you try to make it through challenging missions. The more you play, the better your car gets and the better the tricks you can complete.
Lub vs Dub (iOS, $1)
It’s not too often that a multiplayer game on a mobile device actually lets players sit in the same room and play against one another, but Lub vs Dub is one of those rare exceptions. A competitive “endless runner” style game with the added twist of having you and your partner run at the same time on the same screen, Lub vs. Dub is sure to make any friendly competition that much more intense. You can play single player as well, but why not invite a friend over to take advantage of this great, minimalistic game that will keep you challenging one another over and over again.
Mikey Hooks (iOS, $2)
Mikey Shorts came out last year for iOS and was able to capture the unique feel of an old school platformer on modern devices. Now the team behind the game are looking to duplicate the magic they created the first time around with a sequel, Mikey Hooks. Mikey, a master of running, jumping, and sliding, has added a grappling style ability to his arsenal as he heads into six different environments to collect coins, jump on baddies, set time records, and earn achievements. And, of course, the crazy unlockable outfits from the first game are back and in full effect for Mikey Hooks, as well.