Another week and another major phone unveiling. Motorola showed off its new Moto X handset on Thursday. When these announcements happen, it’s easy to get caught up in looking at the specs of the device and all of the promises that the company makes for it, but once you have the phone in hand there’s really only one question that you want answered: How do your favorite apps run on it? If you’re planning on picking up a new mobile device to round out your summer experience, test out what it’s truly capable of with the best apps and updates from this week.
Google Play Games (Android, free)
If you hate intermixing your apps and games because you take games seriously, then Google Play Games is a godsend for your mobile gaming experience on Android. Promised during Google’s I/O 2013 event, Google Play Games became available this week and will give gamers their own dedicated app for playing and discovering games. The app also brings new layers to Android gaming, including the ability to join multiplayer sessions, better connection with friends, scoreboards, achievements, and more.
Splyce (iOS, free)
There are already a lot of options for listening to music on your phone or tablet, but there aren’t many that will DJ your entire listening session for you, complete with automatic mixing of your favorite tracks. Splyce calculates the BPM of all the songs in your music library, matches the tracks that have a similar speed, and mixes them together to provide a DJ-at-the-turntables style sound right in your ears or over the speakers at a party. The app will even turn your phone into a light show while playing if you want, using your screen light and camera flash to produce lighting effects to go with the tunes.
Boinc (Android, free)
Here’s an app that will make use of your phone when you aren’t. Boinc kicks in when your phone is plugged in to a power source and is connected to a Wi-Fi network. What Boinc does is take advantage of the down time for your phone by using its power to transfer computing power to scientific studies taking place at academic institutions. Your device will be given tasks to help out with and will make you a key part of the computations taking place to do things like study diseases, research climate changes, discover pulsars, and plenty more.
wpTorrent (Windows, free)
Lots of mobile apps like to advertise their social features, the ability to share content between friends. But there are other things worth sharing other than pictures of your cat. For those who prefer to pass around things like full programs, sizable PDFs, and other big content items, wpTorrent is probably more your speed. This full-featured torrent app is built for file sharers. It includes file priorities, upload and download rate controls, integrated video and music playback, search engine management, a file manager, and much more. It’s the ultimate app for torrenters on the go.
Cobook Contacts (iOS, free)
Your phone is all about communication, so having the people you want to talk to in order is important. Cobook Contacts takes care of that for you, and with its update to version 3.0, it’s feature set is only getting better. Most notably in this update is the inclusion of Mailbox-style gesturing that improves your ability to navigate in app. The look of Cobook Contacts got a makeover as well, which has readied the app for the transition to the world of iOS 7. Support for sorting contacts and contacting multiple contacts has also been added.
Burpple (Android and iOS, free)
If you consider yourself a foodie, Burpple is a must-have app. It’s a social food guide that not only lets you track your own dining experiences but get recommendations and ideas from others in the community. Version 2.0 of the app is now available for iOS and Android devices and sports a new, simpler design. Social menus will help you decide what to eat based on others’ experiences, a new section focusing on places that include an impressive view or enjoyable ambience, and wish lists will keep places you’d like to visit at some point on deck.
Guess Where (iOS, free)
Instagram is easily one of the most popular photo sharing app and consists of millions of pictures of places all over the world. But if you were shown a picture, would you be able to identify where it was taken? Guess Where takes the collection of Instagram photos, tagged with #guesswhere, and challenges you to figure out what you’re looking it. See how sharp your geography skills are while enjoying the great looking snapshots that others have taken. It’s part social photo sharing, part game, all fun.
Double Fine is a well known name in the world of gaming, with notable titles like Psychonauts and Brutal Legend on its resume. It’s also made smaller but equally playable games like Dropchord. Originally released for PC and OS X, this music-driven puzzle game is now available for Android and iOS. Packed with an impressive spectrum of visuals, a trance-inducing soundtrack, and challenging on screen activities, Dropchord is sure to keep players tapping and swiping to manipulate the on screen items in attempts to collect notes until they achieve victory.
Rymdkapsel (Android, $4)
Some of the most popular mobile games have catchy names that are easy to remember. Rymdkapsel is lacking on that front. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be successful. Branding itself as a “meditative strategy game,” Rymdkapsel strips out the tedious parts of strategy games like unit management and intrusive enemies and challenges you on just building up your base to be the best you can make it. Take control of a group of minions to create your station and explore the world around you.