Check out these top five apps of the week

best new apps 08 14 2016
Looking for new apps to try? You’ve come to the right place. This week we’ve got a strategy board game app, where the goal is to build the longest path; a messaging app that makes texting more interactive; an app that turns your photos into works of art; and more.

Tsuro ($5)

After launching on iOS earlier in the year, the award-winning puzzle and strategy boardgame Tsuro has found its way to Android. The premise of this well-designed game is to place a tile to create a path to move your stone along — but other player’s paths can lead you astray, or off the board. You can play with up to eight people on one device, or online. The goal is to see who can build the longest path.


Google Play


Text messaging has been around for so long, but it hasn’t changed too much, except for emoji additions. Cola wants to change that by reducing the amount of back and forth when trying to plan things with groups or individuals. The iOS messaging app lets you choose one of six bubbles to send out to get a faster, hassle-free response from people. For example, you can send out a quick poll for people to vote on something — like a place to eat for lunch. There are also bubbles you can send to ask people their location, best times they are available, and a to-do list. If you send someone that doesn’t use Cola a bubble, they’ll still be able to receive it since Cola uses SMS.



Invite-only social networks always make a buzz when they launch, and Swell doesn’t seem to be any different in that regard. Swell lets you snap and post two pictures, in order to receive quick feedback from friends or strangers nearby. You’ll see people posting two different outfits, for example, asking what they should wear tonight, and the expectation is to receive an immediate response so you can make your decision and get on with the day. You can check the company’s twitter account @swellwtf if you want to try and grab an invite into its network.



Pikazo may have been around for a few months, but that hasn’t stopped it from offering a ton of fun every time you use it. The app lets you turn your photo into an artistic masterpiece — but it’s no simple filter. It uses next-generation neural networks to “rip apart and assemble image details into something new and extraordinary.” You can choose the style you want your picture to turn into — whether you want to mimic Van Gogh’s brushstrokes, or Picasso’s cubic style. Since it’s actually a complicated process, it can take a while for your picture to be processed, and Pikazo says sometimes it may not work at all — so be wary.


Google Play


South By Southwest has officially kicked off, and it will run until March 20. If you’re lucky enough to be at the annual cluster of conferences and festivals, consider picking up the official SXSW app. After all, it gets incredibly packed and busy, and you’ll need all the help you can get to navigate and find interesting events that you want to attend. You can browse the lineup in the app and create your own personal schedule, and there’s also a recommended section that offers similar events to those you have already favorited in the app.


Google Play


Apple resurrects the iPhone SE with brand-new units starting at $249

Apple quietly started selling the iPhone SE again, at even lower prices than when it was discontinued four months ago. Brand new units of the 32GB version are on sale for $249, while the 128GB version is going for $299.

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.

The Cat S48c is the phone designed for construction workers (or the clumsy)

The Cat S48c is a rugged smartphone that's available from Sprint. It mixes midrange specs with a huge battery wrapped in an extremely tough and protective body. If you need a phone that can survive the construction site, then this is it.

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.

Do these case images confirm a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the S10 E?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.

Verizon 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

The best iPhone 6 cases for style and protection

No one likes a bruised Apple. Scratches, scuffs, and cracks on a new iPhone 6 are enough to ruin anyone’s day. Check out the best iPhone 6 cases and get some protection on that shiny new smartphone.
Home Theater

Report: Spotify preparing to launch $100 in-car streaming device

According to a report, people familiar with Spotify's plans say the company is readying a dedicated in-car music streamer that will cost $100. It will work with any Bluetooth-enabled audio system and can be controlled by voice.

Here's how to convert a Kindle book to PDF using your desktop or the web

Amazon's Kindle is one of the best ebook readers on the market, but it doesn't make viewing proprietary files on other platforms any easier. Here's how to convert a Kindle book to PDF using either desktop or web-based applications.