Being a mobile news connoisseur as you no doubt are, you were probably hitting refresh all week to pull in all the updates from Mobile World Congress 2013. The information came in fast and furiously and you were likely trying to fill out your wish list with all the great new devices that will be coming out soon. But in that swirl of updates, we didn’t talk about apps much. Here’s our picks for the best apps and updates from this week.
Spotify (Update for iOS)
You’re probably already using Spotify to stream your favorite music and sing in the shower. This update won’t change anything about the content itself, just how you interact with it. A new interface makes it easier to navigate the extensive library of tunes that Spotify offers, and a new “Now Playing” bar makes what you’re currently listening to always available. Lock screen and shuffle issues in the previous version have also been paved over to improve your all-around experience.
Pocket Casts (Update for Android)
If music isn’t your thing and you’re more into podcasts, then make sure you get the newest version of Pocket Casts for Android. This app got an overhaul this week with a load of new features, then got a second update to add in a new widget. Check out all the additions like the slick, overhauled interface, the improved playback speeds, and the new sync feature which will keep your podcasts lined up across multiple platforms.
Hooked (Update for Android
Looking for some new games to play (other than the ones we suggest in this article, of course)? Hooked will help you find the best game for you. With a rating system based on your interests in the style of Netflix, Hooked will get you hooked on a new game that is designed for you. Its algorithm got an update that will take a look at your currently installed games and spit out suggestions based on your play history. It’s also becoming more friendly for developers and gamers alike.
Amazon Cloud Player (New app for iPad)
Amazon Cloud Player isn’t exactly a new app on the scene, but it is new for the iPad. Version 2.0 of the music player makes the app compatible with iPads big and Mini, meaning you can now listen to your virtual music stash on a device with a slightly larger screen. Take your collection of tracks and upload them to your Amazon Cloud account, then don’t worry about clogging up memory on your iPad because all your music is available for streaming without the need for taking up hard drive space. If you want to purchase music, however, you’ll have to do it on the Web due to Apple’s current in-app purchasing policies, which would force Amazon to give the Cupertino company 30 percent of its music sales.
Adobe Photoshop Touch for phone (New app for iPhone)
An app that is going the opposite direction of the Amazon Cloud Player, Photoshop has been available for the iPad but is making its debut on the iPhone. If you have some photo editing you need done and the 16 default filters of Instagram isn’t cutting it, pop those pictures into Photoshop and modify to your heart’s content. Tons of tools ranging from layering, text, filters, brushes, and more are all available on the go. You also get a free membership to Adobe’s cloud so you don’t have to worry about sizable pictures taking up space.
Radio Reddit Pro (New app for Android)
While Reddit isn’t always great for original content (looking at you, reposted memes on the front page), Radio Reddit is one of the shining stars of user creativity from the “front page of the internet.” A collection of music made by Redditors is available for your listening pleasure. Using a system familiar to those who regularly visit Reddit, you’ll be able to “upvote” and “downvote” tracks based on your taste and will be presented with a constant stream of independently made music.
Cognition Episode 1 (New game for iOS)
If you’re looking for a game with some story telling cred, Cognition is up your alley. It’s an adventure game in the style of the point-and-click classics that will have you searching your screen for clues that are the key to an important case. Play as FBI agent Erica Reed through this episodic adventure that tasks you with solving four murder cases. The game comes from some notable indie game makers, so there’s plenty of credibility backing it if you’re having any doubts.
While the Alien franchise hasn’t been getting along with gamers lately, maybe a mobile based revisit to the world of Aliens vs. Predator can stabilize the shaky relationship. Impressive graphics, familiar environments for fans of the series, and tons of customization options should suck you into the world of AVP. Play as both sides and get a unique spin on the same story as you try to either save the Aliens from being enslaved or save the race of Predators from extinction.
Here’s a slightly more kid-friendly option for people looking for a movie-turned-mobile game option. Toy Story: Smash It! brings back the beloved main characters of the Toy Story series, Woody and Buzz, and puts the player at the helm of their latest adventure. 60 levels of puzzle-based gameplay will keep your mind working while reacquainting with the gang from the films will provide some comforting familiarity.