Best apps of the week: Tumblr, NowThis News, Ridiculous Fishing, and more

Best apps

This week was filled with a ton of great new apps – or at least great ideas for new apps – down in Austin, TX at SXSW. Some apps from the big event are already available on a smartphone near you, but plenty are still in the concept stage and won’t see the light of the app store for some time. But you want great apps and you want them now. We’ve collected the most noteworthy new apps and important updates from the week of March 10-16, 2013 that you’ll want to use up your bandwidth downloading.

Cobook (update for iOS)


Though the name seems like someone left off a few letters in “cookbook,” Cobook is one of the better contact management systems around. With version 2.0 now available for iOS devices, it’s getting even better. The big addition in this update is LiveCards, a contact card that automatically fills in information for your contacts. It pulls in all relevant contact data and updates the card without requiring you to take the extra steps yourself. Now you won’t ever have to print new business cards.

Ridiculous Fishing (new game for iOS)


Any time a game puts an adjective like “ridiculous” in its title, it comes off a little forced. Ridiculous Fishing is a beautifully designed 8-bit-esque title with gameplay that requires players to catch fish and destroy them with a variety of weapons ranging from chainsaws to shotguns. It also has the subtitle, “A Tale of Redemption.” Alright, the game earns the use of the word “ridiculous.” It also has earned the attention of gamers, receiving high remarks from everyone – except fish. They probably don’t care for it.

Field Trip (new app for iOS)


Ever find yourself feeling bored and thinking there’s nothing to do, even though you know there are tons of places worth checking out around you? Field Trip, Google’s latest app, aims to cure your apathy by pointing you in the direction of interesting stuff. Check out what’s nearby that might be worth a visit, or drive around until the app tells you you’re near something special. It’s an app that can give you a new appreciation for the city you’re in, whether you’re traveling or at home.

Givit (update for iOS)


Givit is one of the easier ways to make and share videos. It allows you to make notes of certain moments you’l want to take a look back at while you’re recording it. Now in version 3.0, you can take those shareable moments viral. A new user interface is in place to highlight the new social aspects, which includes managing people you follow, browsing and sharing by category, and a comment system that lets you tell others in the Givit community what you think of their work. (Try to be supportive.)

NightSky (new game for iOS and Android)


A lot of mobile games appear rather simplistic in comparison to, say, console or PC games. But there is innovation abound in many mobile titles as they utilize unique gameplay aspects. NightSky is the perfect example of this. It has a simple – but gorgeous – aesthetic matched up with physics and puzzles to create a clever and challenging game. Unlockable vehicles and levels will keep you playing. Android users can only get this title from the Humble Bundle at the moment, but it will likely be available in the Google Play Store soon.  

NowThis News (new app for Android)


Available for some time on iOS, NowThis News has made its way to Android. It’s a news network built for the social generation. Rather than just curating the latest headlines from other sites, NowThis News offers its unique take on the biggest stories of the day from a variety of different categories that matter to its users. Get quick, concise commentary and entertainment that is designed to be consumed and shared so you can stay informed and amused. 

Tumblr (update for iOS)


By this point, we’re all familiar with Tumblr for one reason or another. Maybe it’s huge collection of .GIFs or its obsession with Benedict Cumberbatch, or it’s surprising amount of porn. Whatever your reason for visiting Tumblr, its update for iOS is making it even more usable. Double tapping posts now functions as a “like,” copying a URL will automatically fetch the title, and the camera has been improved as well: You can now create photo sets right from within the app.

Earn to Die (new game for Android)


Earn to Die has gone from an online hit to mobile hit – or more specifically, hit and run. There might be a bit of undead over-saturation in the marketplace at the moment, with zombie themed, well, everything, but Earn to Die has a unique twist on the zombie apocalypse. It puts you behind the wheel of a car that you’ll get to upgrade as you play. The more zombies you mow down and crush under your four tires, the better vehicle you’ll be able to assemble. Stop signs don’t matter in the apocalypse so keep going til there’s no zombies left.

Swarmly (new app for Android and iOS)


Ever get the feeling that you’re missing out on something awesome? Miss the memo from your friends and end up staying in while they’re having a blast out on the town? You may just have crappy friends, and there’s no app for that. But Swarmly will make sure you don’t miss out on a good time. You can see what your friends are up to, what local hot spots are having events worth attending, and just see where the party seems to be. If something interesting is happening in your area, Swarmly makes sure you’re in attendance.


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

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Tumblr for iOS vanishes from App Store, possibly due to inappropriate content

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You can now message businesses straight through Google Maps

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Social Media

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Here’s how Uber plans to improve its service for riders in wheelchairs

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Google Play Store offers big movie and game discounts for Thanksgiving

With the holiday season upon us, Google has unleashed a torrent of tempting deals in the Play Store. You can snag top games for up to 80 percent off, rent any movie for just 99 cents, and get discounts on books and apps.

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