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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring a survival adventure set in space, a minimalist glass smashing game and an app that makes sure you never forget where you left your car ever again.

Image: Out There/App Store

EACH WEEK, WE highlight five apps that are worth downloading for your smartphone and tablet. There are a lot of apps released on a daily basis, but not all of them are worth paying attention to.

This week includes a survival adventure set in space, a minimalist glass smashing game and an app that makes sure you never forget where you left your car ever again.

Smash Hit
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free, (€1.84 for premium version)

- We’re going to argue that smashing stuff is both therapeutic and fun, but it’s something that few of us get to do.
- The appropriately named Smash Hit makes good use of its physics engine when you’re progressing through levels. Tap the screen to throw metal balls and break any glass obstacles that gets in your way.
- The music adds to the atmosphere by syncing with your progress. The speed you’re progressing, the environment you’re in and the obstacles you face dictate the tempo and music playing.
- It’s minimalist, but it requires a lot of concentration to get right. Honestly, the video below makes it look a lot easier than it actually is.
- In case you’re wondering, the premium version unlocks extra features like restarting from checkpoints, cloud saving, and in-game statistics.



(Video: mediocregamestudio/YouTube)

Auto Finder
For: Android
Cost: Free

- Ever park your car somewhere in the city and completely forget where you left it? Admit it, it’s happened to us all at one point or another.
- Auto Finder marks where you’ve parked your car, so you don’t have to retrace your steps.
- The app users your Android device’s hardware sensors to figure out when you’re getting out of your car, and doesn’t require you to activate the app.
- It syncs with Google Maps (naturally) so directions back to your car are provided, as well as previous parking spots – useful if you found a reliable space that nobody knows about.
- It’s handy for both large car park spaces or if you park in a unfamiliar place.

image

(Image: Auto Finder/Google Play)

viaProtect
For: Android
Cost: Free

- You can never have enough privacy settings when it comes to your phone. Apps can leak info that can be intercepted by third parties.
- viaProtect shows you just how much of your data is being leaked by analysing your your device.
- The focus is on finding potential risks or problems, instead of just checking for malicious apps. If it finds anything suspicious, it flags it.
- It also shows you how your data is being sent, whether it’s secure or insecure and where it’s being sent, so you’re always in control.
- Essential for those who want an idea of just how their data is being used and what access they have.

image

(Image: viaProtect/Google Play)

Photolab
For: Windows Phone
Cost: Free

- Windows Phone is awash with great camera and photo editing apps so you’ll need something special to separate yourself from the pack.
- Photolab keeps everything simple and to the point. It’s very unlikely you’ll get confused or frustrated using it at any point.
- You can select from 19 different filters and combine them to get different effects should the one filter alone not do the trick.
- You can also activate live tiles, which will let you access the last nine edited images from the word go.
- There are probably better photo editing apps out there, but PhotoLab is perfect for those who want to edit images without the fuss.

image

(Image: PhotoLab/Windows Phone)

Out There
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €3.59 (also includes in-app purchases)

- Survival adventures aren’t that common on mobile, probably because creating games that frustrate people isn’t seen as a good business model. That hasn’t stopped Mi-Clos Studio from putting one together though.
- Out There is a cross between a graphic novel and a choose your own adventure book. As an astronaut stranded in the middle of nowhere, you have to visit planets, mine for materials, stock up on supplies and generally stay alive long enough to reach home.
- It’s not the most accessible game out there, it’s quite tough, random events can either make or break a game and you will die. A lot.
- But the desperation involved with it is what makes the game fun. You’ll find yourself breathing a sigh of relief anytime you discover fuel/oxygen when you’re running out or when you make a significant decision that works out.
- It might be difficult to get into at the start, but give it a chance and you’ll find an engrossing adventure.



(Video: MiClosStudio/YouTube)

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 1st March >

Read: Shaq wants you to fund the sequel to one of the worst games ever made >

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