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Image: Cover for Android/YouTube

5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring a new and intuitive lock screen for Android users, a native Gmail client for Windows Phone users and a classic PS2 game arriving on the small screen.
Dec 14th 2013, 10:30 AM 36,978 14

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.

We’re going to assume that you already have a lot of the most popular apps, so let us do the hard work for you and pick out the latest apps that are deserving of your time.

This week features a new and intuitive lock screen for Android users, a native Gmail client for Windows Phone users and a classic PS2 game arriving on the small screen.

Cover (beta)
For: Android
Cost: Free

Why should I care?

- One of Android’s strengths is that you can customise both the lock screen and extra screens, but most of the time, you will want to access the app proper.
- Cover is currently in beta mode, but is a very intuitive app allowing you to switch between apps without unlocking your phone.
- Replacing your current lock screen, it learns what apps you use the most and sets it up so that they’re only a swipe away.
- Switching to and from apps is also handy.  All you have to do is swipe down from the top-right hand corner when you’re in an app.
- If you use your smartphone or tablet for work, it can present you with relevant apps suitable for each place.

(Video: Cover for Android/YouTube)

12 Days of Gifts
For: iOS
Cost: Free

Why should I care?

- If you’re an iPhone user and you haven’t been availing of Apple’s Christmas app, get on it now.
- 12 Days of Gifts offers you paid apps to download for free between 26th December to January 6th.
- The apps offered are only free on the day so having notifications switched on so you don’t miss them is a good idea.
- Quality of apps can be hit and miss, some days you get something like Broken Sword or Toy Story short movies, other days you’ll get songs from Maroon 5.
- Still, you’re getting paid apps for free so there’s very little to complain about.

image(Image: 12 Days of Gifts/iTunes)

For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Cost: €0.99 for iOS, €0.75 for Android, Free for Windows Phone

Why should I care?

- If you’re the kind of person who loves creating collages, there are many good apps out there but Diptic is probably one of the more consistent examples out there.
- Diptic provides both a large number of layouts, and a vast number of adjustments so that your collages look perfect before they’re published.
- Using it is a breeze and it manages to cram a lot of features in without overwhelming users, which is impressive in itself.
- You can purchase additional layouts, but unless you’re very particular about how your photos are placed, the basic ones are more than enough.
- It just arrived on Windows Phone, where users get it for free. iOS and Android users aren’t so lucky.

image(Image: Diptic/Windows Phone)

GTA: San Andreas
For: iOS (Android & Windows Phone out next week)
Cost: €5.99

Why should I care?

- Vice City is usually the favourite GTA game, but San Andreas is wacky and never takes itself too seriously which makes it fun.
- It was released in 2004 meaning it’s almost ten years old. Let that sink in for a moment.
- On the game itself, it’s been modified for touchscreen players, meaning there’s two separate control systems for driving and moving as well as a more forgiving checkpoint system.
- Probably the exciting part is that for iPhone users, it’s compatible with iOS controllers. We’re going to assume/hope that the Android and Windows Phone version will get similar treatment.
- Only iOS version is out now, Android and Windows Phone will be out next week.

(Video: PlayscopeTimeline/YouTube)

For: Windows Phone
Cost: €1.49

Why should I care?

- If you’re heavily reliant upon Gmail, either for work or personal reasons, MetroMail brings the experience to Windows Phone.
- A lot of work has been put into the app, It’s been built from the ground up, meaning it integrates with WP perfectly.
- Pretty much every major feature associated with Gmail can be found here.
- It’s only the first version, with the developer hoping to add extra features like drafts and attachments support.
- The native mail app is still good, but if you use Gmail for work or personal use, you should give it a go.

image(Image: MetroMail/Windows Phone)

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 7th Dec >

Read: Smartphone users are 33% more likely to fall victim to identity fraud >

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Quinton O'Reilly


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