Best apps and updates of the week: The Orchestra, Grand Theft Auto, and more

 Take a break from shopping for gifts for all your favorite people – and least favorite people that you have to suck up to – and do some shopping for yourself in your favorite app stores. Tons of great apps got updates and some very noteworthy apps made their debut this week. We’ve collected all of the best offerings out there that will bring some downloadable joy to your day. Check out this week’s best new and updated apps from December 2-9, 2012.

Updates

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 zite

Zite (iOS)

The digital magazine that learns from your likes and interests and customizes content for you has been re-imagined for version 2.0. Now with a new, slicker look and some fresh features, Zite has entered into the zeitgeist as a more than capable news aggregator. An Explore page will deliver you new content you may have missed otherwise, while Your Top Stories has been redone to give an expanded look at the headlines that matter most to you. An added Facebook connection will also pull in articles based on your likes for improved personalization.

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 gmail2

Gmail (iOS, Android)

Gmail has taken the jump from totally replaceable to totally redeemed with version 2.0 on iOS. A whole new layout that incorporates things like profile pictures and message lists. The ability to manage multiple accounts also makes its first appearance, a feature that has long been requested by Gmail users. Integration among Google’s other products, like its Calendar and Google+, are also available right in the app, making managing your information across platforms easier. The Android version has its functionality improved upon as well, adding a pinch-to-zoom feature and the ability to swipe to delete messages. 

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 twitterrific5

Twitterrific (iOS

Twitterrific has been around since the dawn of time in Twitter client years. It has reinvented itself along the way a bit, but perhaps none have been as big as this update to Twitterrific version 5. Rebuilt from the  ground up, the new Twitterrific still has everything you expect from your Twitter client. That is unless you wanted push notifications, because it doesn’t have that – though they are said to be on their way. But the Windows 8-esque user interface and pretty animations between actions may distract you enough from this to make the update worthwhile. An improved in-app browser and a feature that allows you to save long articles in Pocket-like fashion are definitely welcome additions.

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 kindle

Kindle (iOS)

Amazon may have its own tablets but it wouldn’t miss out on an opportunity to deliver books to the non-Kindle owning masses. As such, it has updated its Kindle app for iOS to include its X-Rays for books feature. The X-Ray feature offers an extra look at the work you’re reading, providing information about the characters, setting, and story. It’s like having Cliff Notes built right into your books.

New Apps

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 thisisnotanapp

This is Not an App (iOS)

So the name might be a little misleading, but the concept is cool. This is Not an App is actually an app, and a unique one at that. It contains 50 prompts that will challenge you to do things in a new way, think about a something you haven’t before, and create something new that you’ve probably never thought about before. It’s definitely a quirky download, but it’s something we haven’t seen before and offers users a new look at the world and themselves. Points for creativity.

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 falconpro

Falcon Pro (Android)

We mentioned the Twitterrific app update for iOS earlier, but the popular Twitter client still remains absent on the Android OS. Have no fear, because Falcon Pro is here to fill the void. Fitted perfectly with a slick look and equally slick functionality, Falcon Pro is jumping head first into the Twitter app pool and making quite a splash. An in-app browser and easy to manage slide navigation round out a list of features that make this app work just as good as it looks.

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 theorchestra

The Orchestra (iOS)

The iPad is designed to be an all around performance product, but one probably wouldn’t expect it to perform as a full-blown orchestra. With The Orchestra, that’s exactly what it will do. Anyone with the least bit of interest in classical music will be well-served by the wealth of information that is housed within this app. Listen to full performances of some of the timeless classics, then slow it down and go instrument by instrument and watch as every note lights up, showing you how the sound is created. Extra facts about each piece are included, rounding out this musical app that will teach you in more ways than one. 

New Games

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 gtavc

Grand Theft Auto Vice City (iOS)

It’s hard to believe that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City made its debut ten years ago. It’s even harder to believe that it’s just ten years later and now the game is available for a phone. Could you imagine going back in time and telling 2002 you that in ten years, you’d be playing console and PC games on a device with a five-inch screen without losing any performance? Then again, could you imagine telling 2002 you that a black president was elected – twice? This is exactly the game you remember but without the controller. Go backto Vice City and do it 80’s style all over again.

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 allodsadventure

Allods Adventure HD (iOS)

A fortune has been lost and its up to you to find it. Head into a mythological world filled with crazy puzzles and equally crazy cast of character as you work through tons of puzzles to reach the legendary lost treasure of June. A full story plays out in comic book style as the narrative unravels with each puzzle solved. A total of 29 islands to work through and 48 critters to help along the way makes for tons of combinations and an equal amount of fun.

best apps and updates of the week 12 9 2012 heroesorderchaos

Heroes of Order and Chaos (Android, iOS)

Though it’s been available on iOS for a little longer, Heroes of Order and Chaos just made its debut on Android this week. Built in the style of the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games that are dominating the PC gaming market at the moment, Heroes of Order and Chaos brings the popular genre to mobile platforms. Take on challengers with friends or go at it solo as you improve your hero’s skills and battle every baddie that is thrown your way. Thirty different characters are available to play right off the bat and the game utilizes the same free-to-play style that has made it so easy to pick up on the PC.

Mobile

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Mobile

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Deals

Amazon slashes price of 2018 iPad to under $250 in time for Christmas

Whether you love Apple or prefer Android, this 2018 iPad 32GB tablet deal is rather tempting. If you're still on the hunt for gifts, then this deep discount from Amazon makes now an excellent time to pick one up.
Wearables

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Mobile

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Mobile

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.