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Five apps you should download this week

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Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends

App stores are crowded places these days, and because storage space on your phone is often at a premium, you’ll want to fill it with not only the best, but also the most helpful apps out there. Because they come and go quicker than the latest fashion trends, and digging through Google Play, the iTunes App Store, or any of the others is such a mission; a little nudge in the right direction is often very welcome. Here are the apps we think you need to check out this week.

Peace

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When iOS 9 was announced earlier this year, there was plenty of conversation about new features like Apple’s News app and the overhauled function of Siri. One thing that didn’t come up much, but has proven to be one of the biggest draws, is the introduction of content blockers. Similar to the ad blockers you might use on your computer, the feature swats away unwanted ads and prevents nosy trackers from watching your activity.

Peace has popped up as the cream of the crop for this new frontier. Designed by the creator of popular reader app Instapaper, Peace speeds up the web browsing experience by doing away with the invasive trackers housed on many sites. The app draws its block list from Ghostery, a comprehensive and crowdsourced database of web bugs, ad networks, and widgets on web pages. Peace has additional optional blocking abilities if you want to go further, or a whitelist if you trust some sites with your information.

Available on:

iTunes

Mapkin

Mapkin

When it comes to getting directions, there are plenty of apps to choose from. But who knows better: a company trying to record the roads for the entirety of the world or locals who are familiar with the area and what it holds? Mapkin leans on the latter. It’s the first GPS with crowdsourced voice guidance, pulling in audio cues from people who know the lay of the land, and can provide tips for navigating your way around it all.

Available on:

iTunes

Hooked

HookedApp

A great story doesn’t have to be housed between a hard cover; it can exist right on your phone. That’s what Hooked is out to prove. The new app aims to reshape storytelling for the mobile and digital worlds by sharing tales through the familiar form of chat bubbles. The story plays out one message at a time, making it easy to digest the content as it comes without taking up hours of your time to sit, read, and digest it.

Available on:

iTunes

Spherify

Spherify

There is no shortage of photo editing apps out there, but every now and then a truly unique one will pop up. Spherify qualifies for that category. The app offers you a new way to play with your panoramic photos by turning the winding shots into spheres that look like their own planets. Just capture your photo then follow the simple instructions provided by Spherify and you’ll have a photo that looks like you made a new discovery while looking through a telescope.

Available on:

Google Play

Curiyo

Curiyo

The internet is vast and dense with information, and the way it’s organized isn’t always conducive to finding the things you want. When you’re interested in a particular topic, you have to bounce around all sorts of sites to learn about it. Curiyo’s goal is to bring everything the web has to offer on a particular topic straight to you and house it under a single roof. News articles, videos, pictures, social media feeds, Reddit threads, Wikipedia articles, and more all come together under a unified heading for you to explore.

Available on:

iTunes