This week, Apple celebrated the fifth anniversary of its App Store by making a handful of favorite apps free. Popular games and apps had their price tags slashed to give you the opportunity to get your hands on apps that you were holding out on purchasing. If you got lost in your newfound freebies, you may have missed some of the best apps and updates that were released this week. Fear not. We’ve collected the best ones and put them together for you to enjoy.
Walking Dead: 400 Days (iOS, free)
The Walking Dead game could have been just another poorly made tie-in to get more people interested in the TV show and comic book series, but it holds up on its own, as proven by its award-winning first season. As players continue to wait for the second season to become available, they can now play through a series of stories that tell the tale of five survivors fighting their way through the first 400 days of the zombie apocalypse.
Just.me (Android, free)
Just.me itself isn’t new, but this is the fist time the service has ever made an appearance on Android. This messaging system meets social network allows users to send text, photos, videos, and voice messages, even to those that don’t use the service. When communicating with other Just.me users, they can like, comment, and reply to your messages in the style of a social network post. It’s a new layer of communication.
Google Maps (Android update, free)
After promising big things to come with Google Maps back in May, Google started making good on its promise this week. It rolled out an update to Google Maps for Android that included plenty of new features including live traffic updates on the map, dynamic rerouting if a quicker path becomes available, Zagat location rating information, and plenty more. There’s also some cosmetic changes and improvements to how you get around in-app that you’ll notice before even playing around with the service itself.
(Read our full Google Maps for Android Review.)
IFTTT (iOS, free)
IFTTT (If This Then That) allows you to get the most out of all of your favorite apps and services by creating recipes to get them to work together. All you have to do is activate your channels, the services that you want to use, and then start playing around with different ways to get them to communicate with one another. You can do things like have the weather texted to you every morning, add Foursquare check-ins to Google Calendar, and more. You just have to play around with it and see what you can get it to do – or steal other people’s recipes.
QWOP (Android, $1)
The game best known for being impossibly difficult has made its way over to Android. QWOP challenges you to help a track and field star accomplish his goal of competing in five different events. Unfortunately, you’re almost definitely going to fail because of the game’s ridiculously complicated physics engine. You won’t be using your keyboard like on the browser-based version of this game, but instead touch controls on the screen of your device. Things aren’t any easier, though.
TheScore (BlackBerry update, free)
If you just can’t get enough sports or are stuck in a place where you can’t watch a game live but still absolutely must know what is happening, TheScore is your solution. Now updated for BlackBerry 10, TheScore include new leagues like the ATP and WTA and box scores from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and more. You can now also hold your device horizontally to get a different view of the action and see more information at a new angle.
If you’ve seen the previews for Pacific Rim the film, you know that it’s an over-the-top, action heavy film that will be full of ridiculously awesome looking moments as giant creatures duke it out on screen. Pacific Rim the game does its best to capture that, and though it may be a bit of a knock off of Infinity Blade, there’s really nothing that suits it better than that style of game. A total beat-em-up, the game will get you your monster-fighting fix until you can make it to the theater.
Thunderspace (iOS, $1)
Sometimes you need a little extra help relaxing. Thunderspace is designed to give you just that. This app utilizes the work of an Emmy Award winning nature sound recordist and combined with some lighting effects that are made to replicate the look of lightning to create an environment that will help you find some comfort and get some rest. After all, you’ve had a stressful day downloading all the apps that we listed here.
Soundtracking is a popular music discovery and sharing service that makes it easy to show others what you are listening to via social networks or email and text. In its latest update, the process is made faster and easier than ever. You can ask friends what they are listening to or dedicate a track to them. There is now hashtag support so you can link your music posts to a particular topic or trend. Finally, the song recognition of the app has been improved to work almost instantly.