New & Updated Apps and Games – 43/2015
Starting this week, I’ll review the new and/or updated additions to the Google Play store in terms of apps and games. We want to keep you up to date with what new and cool stuff you should look out for. If you have run across other apps that are not featured here, but should be, please let us know in the comments!
- EyeEm – Camera & Photo Filter has been updated to version 5.6.1. The photo sharing and marketplace app with over 15 million users now has a new redesign thanks to Google’s Material Design language. This is a follow-on design protocol of the “card” appearance that was brought on by Google Now and which is currently being used by all major apps. Other changes include a simplified organisation of navigation and news tab, as well as integration with the market function. The latter which allows you to sell your best pictures, retaining 50% of revenue.
- TapDeck – Wallpaper Discovery is one of the coolest ways you can customise your locking screen. I’ve run across it some months ago and it really changes both the appearance and the usefulness of my Google Nexus tablet when locked. Once installed, it provides your device with a neat image and surrounding written, audio or video content, altogether brought as collections made by curators. In version 3.0.0, you can now follow specific topics and get relevant screens connected to that topic, and even join the curator community and create screens of your own. If you want to be able to do cool stuff with your phone even when it’s locked, definitely try TapDeck.
- Boomerang is Instagram’s newest addition to its family of apps dedicated to making photo and video editing as fun and cool as possible, alongside the original Instagram and Layout. Boomerang allows you to create looping mini-videos via a burst photo session it takes via the front or rear camera. The app then automatically sets the speed, and you can share the result on Facebook, Instagram or other social media. My first impression was the videos are only saved temporarily, Snapchat-way, probably as a result of how the UX is built. Turns out Boomerang videos are also saved in your phone, and you cannot delete them directly from the app if you’re not satisfied with the result. An UX aspect probably to be dealt with in later versions.
- Switching to games, Home: Boov Pop is one of the nicest entries this week, at least in terms of design. Although not complex – this is a bubble-pop, x-in-a-row type of game – it can get addicting to advance through different levels and worlds while achieving various target scores or meeting other goals. Home: Boov Pop is created based on a Dreamworks recent animation movie, by Montreal game studio Behaviour Interactive; although the studio has been active for over 20 years, this seems to be only their second Android app published under their own name, as all previous animation-related titles were published by their clients under their own names (such as Disney, for instance).
- One of the editors’ choices this week is Trials Frontier from RedLynx, an Ubisoft subsidiary. Actually, Trials Frontier is not that new, but the feel and touch of the game has changed significantly with this autumn, Halloween-like edition. The game is a multi-level adventure on stunt motorbikes, where you try to either get the best time or outcompete villains. The design absorbs you into the world depicted. Although in-app purchases are ever present, it will take you quite some time before you run out of bike fuel and have to buy some with real money in order to keep the game going.