App stores are crowded places these days, and because storage space on your phone is often at a premium, you’ll want to find and 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.
Editing photos doesn’t require you to own a supercharged computer dedicated to the task anymore. It’s now one of the most populated fields of mobile apps, and producing images that would have required time to render not too long ago, can now be done on the fly. Perhaps most surprisingly, it’s not the companies who made their name in photo editing on the desktop leading the charge on mobile — it’s companies who came up with simple ideas, and executed them well.
There’s perhaps no more apt description for Layout, the latest photo-editing app from the king of mobile picture taking, Instagram. Just making its way to Android this week, Layout does something incredibly simple: it makes it easy to create photo collages. But in typical Instagram style, it does so with such ease, style, and fluidity that it’s really hard to imagine using anything else. When you want to create a single image that contains multiple memories, it’s the perfect tool for it. And of course, you’ll be able to immediately post your works to Instagram.
You want to go out tonight. What are your friends up to? Finding out isn’t always as easy as it should be. You have to get in touch with everyone, gauge their interest, see what they want to do, and try to line up their schedule with everyone else. Sometimes organizing events with your friends can be about as easy as herding cats. Rally aims to take the pain out of the process by letting you and your friends set statuses indicating if you’re available, what you want to do, and who else might be coming.
We could all probably do with more sleep than we get. It’s one of the most important things that we can do, yet so many of us are bad at it. If you struggle with getting your sleep cycle in order, Sleep Science HQ aims to help. Designed to get you into a sleep routine so you can create a healthier lifestyle, it applies knowledge gained from scientific studies to help make sure you’re getting the rest you need. The app monitors your sleep through the night to make sure you’re getting enough and brings you out of your slumber more gently than an alarm clock will.
Some of the best mobile games are based off of the principles of physics. Simple Machines follows in the successful footsteps of other popular mobile titles, and presents challenging yet simple puzzles that take place in gorgeously designed environments. It’s thought-provoking, but never brain-racking, and educational but never heavy-handed. Simple Machines lives up to its name and makes us wonder why our physics courses in high school seemed so difficult.
You are an astronaut stranded in space. (No, you aren’t Sandra Bullock in Gravity.) Your crew — each with their own unique personality — is scattered about the solar system, and only you can reunite them. This puzzler tasks you with navigating 50 levels, each with its own set of distinct challenges and difficult decisions to make. As you avoid asteroids and make your way to your crew, you’ll have to carefully navigate the vast unknown, while making very sure you don’t run out of oxygen before completing your mission.