Here are the 5 apps you need to download this week

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App stores are crowded places these days, and because storage space on your phone is often at a premium, you’ll want to find and 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.



iOS, Android

Now that we do more of our conversing through text, we end up trusting our most intimate secrets and private information to messaging services. The problem, if one should arise, is if it turns out they don’t have our best intentions in mind. You may have someone eavesdrop on you in person, but your text messages could be intercepted by all sorts of different people, none of whom do their listening just to keep your secrets safe.

Call it paranoia, but there’s no reason not to take an extra precautionary step. That’s what Bleep, the super-secure messaging service from BitTorrent provides. Messages sent through the app are encrypted on the device, making them harder to crack and intercept. Whisper mode, which takes its inspiration from Snapchat, makes messages self-destruct after being viewed so you never have to worry about a text hanging around for too long. To prevent against screenshots, BitTorrent has applied an ingenious blur over the sender’s name that has to be revealed separate the text. If you need to chat in a secure fashion for any reason, Bleep is the app you want to use.




Connected devices and the gradual adoption of the Internet of Things has made home security easier and more affordable than it used to be—no mess of wires and thousands of dollars to invest in equipment required. Alfred simplifies the process even further. All you need is a pair of smartphones or tablets and a Google account. Alfred turns your old, unused smart devices into cameras that keep an eye on your house. Log into the app and you can access the live video feed to check in while on the go.




When you’re looking for a restaurant or cafe, there are three important things you want to know beforehand: What are their hours, what’s on the menu, and do they have Wi-Fi? WiFiMapper makes it easy to find an open network to which you can connect. It crowdsources the information, provided through OpenSignal, to map out where you can find an unrestricted network. With over 500 million hotspots located already, you’ll have plenty of choice.


Spotter iOS

One of the benefits of online news outlets is they can fill niches that are otherwise underserved. This causes an issue though: there’s just too much information out there to parse on your own. Spotter realizes the internet newspaper is far denser than your Sunday paper, so it helps out by bringing just the news that is of interest to you. The app, created by two former Google executives, analyzes hundreds of news sites and finds the news you care about by utilizing artificial intelligence. The more news you read, the more it’ll learn about you and improve its suggestions.


shuffle iOS

One of the problems of doing most of your dealings online are other people. When you want to sell or buy something or go on a date, you have to trust the person your connecting with is on the level. If you’re not so trusting, Shuffle is a nice layer of protection to add. Instead of giving out your phone number or email address, Shuffle lets you craft temporary “burner” accounts that you can use to connect with people. Once you’re done with that interaction, just erase the information and it’s gone for good.


The Google Photos iOS app gets a bit better, now has depth control

Google updated the iOS version of the Google Photos app to now take advantage of the depth data that can be captured by the iPhone's camera in Portrait Mode. The new feature is already available in the Android app.

Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 

You can now message businesses straight through Google Maps

Google has been updating Maps with a ton of new features over the past few months, and now it's back with another one -- the ability for users to message businesses directly through the Maps app.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

Keep your phone organized with one of the best file managers for Android

Your smartphone has a limited amount of storage space and all sorts of files tend to accumulate if you let them. To keep things in order and find what you need, you should snag one of the best file managers for Android.

Upcoming Honor View 20 may forgo the notch for new display technology

Nearly a year after Honor released the spectacular Honor View 10, the Chinese smartphone giant appears to be hard at work on its successor, the Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about the upcoming midrange powerhouse.

Apple confirms it’s collecting data on foot to improve its Maps app

Apple has been using cars and satellites to improve its Maps app, and it's now confirmed it's also using tech-laden pedestrians to collect data from the streets in a bid to provide better walking directions.

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…

T-Mobile-Sprint merger could close as early as first quarter of 2019, exec says

T-Mobile and Sprint are finally merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. Once it's complete, the new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Social Media

Why an American named John Lewis gets lots of Twitter hassle from Brits

Spare a thought for Twitter user John Lewis. When he signed up as @johnlewis soon after the app launched in 2006, little did he know what he was letting himself in for. Clue: There's a U.K. department store called John Lewis.

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…

Selfie-mad Meitu phones are now made by Xiaomi, may be sold globally

Meitu, a Chinese brand best known for its selfie and beautification software, has handed over its smartphone business to Xiaomi. The company now has the global license to produce phones using the Meitu name.

Huawei's folding smartphone reportedly will launch at MWC 2019

Huawei will release a folding smartphone with 5G connectivity in 2019, according to the CEO and executives for the company. Rumors are also spreading to take away some of the mystery surrounding the exciting device.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…