The best 5 apps to download this week

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

Pixty

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 12.52.17 AM

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and as cameras have improved — along with data speed and mobile network coverage — pictures truly have become a means of conversing with people. We’ve all had that moment in the middle of a text conversation where we’ve stopped typing and said, “let me just show you.”

Pixty is a messenger built around photos first. The app allows you to create photo streams with groups of people that you pick. It can be as few as one or as many as 200. Everyone in the group can share what they’re up to by snapping a picture and sending it into the stream. The process takes just three taps. Others in the group can comment or send a picture back. To save data, the photo-heavy app displays a compressed version of the photo until you’re connected to WiFi, then you can access the full resolution image.

Available on:

iTunesGoogle Play

Squad

Squad

Squad is billed as “Tinder for groups,” though you probably should withhold whatever dirty thoughts that concept inspires in your mind. Add your friends to your squad so you can keep track of who’s going out with you, what they’re doing, and when. Then browse through other squads and see what likeminded people are up to in your area. Meet up with the ones you like and maybe make your night even better.

Available on:

iTunes

SelfieX

SelfieX

Taking a great selfie is an art, and one that requires full resolution. While front-facing cameras are getting increasingly better, they still aren’t up to snuff with the high-resolution lenses on the back of the devices. SelfieX is the equalizer, helping you get perfect selfies while using the better camera. The app provides you with directions on where to point the camera so you’re assured to get your best side in every photo you take.

Available on:

iTunes

WeatherIf

WeatherIf

You know what the weather is like right now. You can look out your window and figure it out pretty quickly. But your plans for tomorrow could wind up ruined if you’re greeted by an unexpected hurdle from Mother Nature. If there are any changes in weather on their way overnight, WeatherIf will notify you of what to expect so you don’t step out into a rain storm without an umbrella. If you truly need to know what the weather is like right now, the app widget has you covered.

Available on:

iTunes

Spark

Spark

We’re all looking for a little inspiration. As it turns out, you might be able to find it in an app. Spark exists to jumpstart your brain and get you thinking in creative ways. The app provides prompts and ideas to keep your mind churning and thinking about things in new ways. You can share your favorite cards via Twitter and get feedback and ideas from your connections, making for an impromptu brainstorming session.

Available on:

iTunes

Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.
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.
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.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Smart Home

This device detects when your pet is at the door and opens it for them

Tired of waiting for your dog to come inside, or running home in the middle of the day to let your four-legged friend out? Wayzn automatically opens sliding doors for your dog and gives you remote control.
Mobile

Apple pushing update to iPhone in China in response to legal troubles

Apple has been facing legal issues in China due to alleged infringements of patents from Qualcomm Inc. On Friday, Apple announced it will push a software update in China in hopes of resolving any potential legal issues around the iPhone.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

iOS jailbreak app store Cydia shuts down purchasing

For years, iOS users have been jailbreaking their devices to install software not approved by Apple. But now the popular app store alternative Cydia will no longer be accepting purchases.
News

Lawsuit alleges Apple falsely advertised the screen size of the iPhone X

A lawsuit alleges that Apple was dishonest in the way that it marketed the iPhone X. The lawsuit alleges that despite Apple's marketing campaign, the new iPhone is not in fact all screen because of the notch.