The World Series is in full swing, and seeing as it’s America’s favorite past time we’re sure to get sucked into a few games. So why not occupy all the time spent on balls, strikes, pitching changes, substitutions, runners left in scoring position, argued calls, adjusting batting gloves, and commercial breaks on your second screen? We’ve picked out our favorite apps and updates of the week for you to download and use as you wait for something exciting to happen.
There are plenty of messaging apps, but none that have the legacy of BBM. Perhaps the last beacon of hope for BlackBerry’s name to be carried on into the next generation of mobile devices, BBM is now available for Android and iOS. By all accounts, it’s been a popular pick this week, racking up over 10 million downloads by BlackBerry’s count. Not just for business types, BBM is a fully functioning messaging service with group chats, multimedia messaging, and more. If you’re a recovering BlackBerry user moving over to a new device and want to keep your contacts, it’s a must have.
Quixey, Android (free)
If you find the Google Play Store a little overwhelming and have a tough time browsing through it in hopes of finding an app for a particular purpose, Quixey may be the solution. It allows you to search for apps based on what you’d like the app to do. This means no more guessing the name and browsing the “similar apps” menu hoping to stumble upon the right choice. There’s even a trending section so you can see what apps are popular right now and make sure you’re in on whatever the next mobile craze will be.
RebelMouse, iOS (free)
As nice as it is being able to access your social networks on the go with your mobile device, it can be a pain switching from app to app to check statuses on Facebook and updates on Twitter and invites on LinkedIn and so on and so forth. RebelMouse brings your feeds all into one app and presents updates and content in a way that feels unified and cohesive. It’s much more appealing to look at and convenient for those who just can’t stop updating all their news feeds.
Parama Math 1 update, iOS (free)
Have a kid that needs a little help outside of the classroom? Parama Math 1 can help. Designed to take children through an adventure as they problem solve, the app makes learning basic math skills feel less like homework and more like a game. The latest update to the app introduces international support, because math is math no matter where you are. Let this app walk your child through the lessons he or she absolutely need to learn and let them have fun while they’re learning. It’s a win-win.
Spotify has finally gotten an iOS 7 update. With it comes some subtle style changes that make the app fit in a bit better with the iOS 7 interface. And of course, there’s a couple of bug fixes, too. As for Android, users on that platform can now browse for new music using the sub-genre filter and will be able to explore new sounds further than before with the extended new releases section.
Microsoft is still struggling to sell its devices in the mobile market, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t still present in the world of phones and tablets. The Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0 app for iOS and Android both debuted this week. You’ll be able to access your Windows machine on the go through the app, including giving you remote access to resources on your home computer, enjoying the touchscreen experience through your tablet or phone, streaming video or sound, and secure data transfers.
Vein Rush, Windows Phone (free)
The problem with most mobile games is that the stakes are too low. Sure, you can pump money into some of them, but you’re not risking anything with that – you’re just paying. You want to put something on the line. Vein Rush gives you a little extra motivation: You’re playing to save a man’s life. Okay, not a real guy, but a virtual one. Take control of the immune system of John, who’s body is constantly under attack by disease, and keep him safe. There are 32 levels with challenging puzzles and intense strategy throughout. If only John could get on to the health care exchange website, he wouldn’t have to stay healthy by completing an elaborate strategy game.
The Occupant, iOS (free)
It’s almost time for Halloween, which means it’s time to sit back and watch all our favorite horror classics. But by this point we all know the scary moments by heart and see them coming a mile away. We need to turn somewhere else to get a scare. The Occupant is sure to produce a couple screams. Explore the abandoned halls of a 13th story hotel as you try to complete as many goals and discover as many objects as possible. Just don’t get caught by the Occupant. You’ll be up playing all night because if you stopped, you’d be too afraid to sleep anyway.
Here’s the scenario: Nuclear war has broken out and expedited the process of global warming by melting the polar ice caps. You’re in charge of naval command, mostly because everything is water now. You and your fleet must fight off onslaughts of enemy combatants as you battle to secure the last few supplies of oil. All of this plays out in an impressive 3D environment and across various mission types that will have you adjusting your strategy and changing your tactics to accomplish the task at hand.