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5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring YouTube for the younger generation, journaling your thoughts through music and a soul-crushing game.

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 features YouTube for the younger generation, journaling your thoughts through music and a soul-crushing game.

YouTube Kids
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

- YouTube has been going all out with standalone services. It has YouTube Gaming, Music, Red but all of them are US only and will take time before they arrive here.

- YouTube Kids is another one and while it was originally launched earlier this year, it has only made its way to Ireland this week. It’s split up into four sections: shows, music, learning and explore and is aimed towards younger children.

- The layout is very simple. Bright, big images, sounds when you interact and you can cast it on the TV if you own a Chromecast. Parents can lock settings, set timers and clear watch history if they don’t like the recommended videos.

- The recommendations themselves are generally good and there are ads on the service – the ones we saw were all ads for children shows or other videos series and YouTube say there is no consumer-related ads – but like all things, it encourages parents to be using the app instead of just handing their child a tablet.

- One for parents who would like some peace of mind whatever their children are watching.

Source: YouTube Spotlight/YouTube

Cove
For: iOS
Cost: Free

- There have been a number of relaxation apps that encourage you to express yourself or relax through interaction or exercises. Minute did this recently and now Cove is doing the same.

- Cove is a similar app although it based around music and journaling, expressing how you feel in a different way.

- You have six different moods to choose from (calm, longing, playful, clouded, gentle, and struggling) before you add in your own base and melody to it by using water and stones to symbolise it.

- You can change the musical pattern by dropping stones in the water, change the overall sound and then save it. If you want, you can share it with others.

- If you need a way to express what you’re feeling but have no other outlet, it’s good to have this.

Cove Journal app Source: Cove/App Store

Toolkit Pro
For: Windows Phone
Cost: Free

- You can never have enough tools and features on your phone. You never know when you come across a situation where you need to convert money or measure something.

- Toolkit Pro fills up some of the blanks with Windows Phone by offering a number of small features under the one roof.

- There are 16 tools featured on the service like compass, ruler, noise meter, unit converter, and speed meter to name a few. They work better than you would expect, although the app itself can suffer from some slowdown here and there.

- The other handy part is quick settings which throws in a few other small additions like checking your SIM settings.

- A very handy app to have downloaded on your phone for future use.

Toolkit Pro Source: ToolKit Pro/Windows Phone

Mile Mapper
For: iOS
Cost: Free

- If you like to go out and about but have difficulty picking out a good route, this app from Irish developer Stephen Laide could be for you.

- Mile Mapper is a random mapping tool that will pick out routes for you to walk, run or cycle. You just put down the distance and it will calculate the best route starting and finishing from where you are.

- Not all of the routes created will be perfect (they are randomly created after all), but the level of details on it like seeing elevation and weather and saving ones you like are good additions.

- The interface is nice and simple although the free version limits you to five randomly created routes. A donation system removes both this limitation and ads.

- Handy for creating new running or walking routes.

9k= Source: Mile Mapper/App Store

Boxy the Box
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

- There is no shortage of endless runners out there, but do many of them contain a box that’s destroys anything in its path? The answer is this one from Irishman Eoin Duffy, a former animator turned game developer.

- Boxy the Box is a simple but soul-crushing game (literally) where you squash souls while trying to make it as far as you can. The procedurally generated runs means you won’t get the same game twice.

- You can increase the speed you travel – if you don’t, the normal version speeds up gradually – and you have to weigh up whether to crush and who to ignore as you can find yourself failing very easily. Like all endless runners, this is just as frustrating/addictive (remove inappropriate word) as others like Crossy Road.

- The art style and animation deserves a mention. There’s something charming about the souls and box you control and the way souls sway side-to-side and the ink blot they leave when crushed adds to the fun.

-  It’s free and there are no ads so download if you want an endless runner that’s a little bit different.

Source: Eoin Duffy/YouTube

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 14th November >

Read: Think 3D Touch is good? How about a touchscreen that knows the angle of your finger >

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