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5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring a service which shows you how exactly you’re spending your time, an opportunity to block out distracting apps, and a homage to classic Game Boy games.

Image: Harmonix Music Systems/YouTube

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 service which shows you how exactly you’re spending your time, an opportunity to block out distracting apps, and a homage to classic Game Boy games.

Record Run
For: iOS
Cost: Free

- If we said that Record Run was made by Harmonix, the studio behind Guitar Hero and Rock Band, would that convince you to download it.
- Record Run is like a more musical version of Temple Run, the only difference is levels are created from music tracks instead of being randomly generated.
- While it comes with its own tracks, the real fun comes from importing your own tunes into the game. It has its moments but don’t expect a deep experience.
- As you probably guessed from the free tag, it’s focused mostly on in-app purchases which feels forced (you only get a limited number of songs to import before you have to pay for them) and takes the sheen off it.
- It’s not the best game ever made, but that being said, it’s a fun distraction if you want something a bit different.

Source: HarmonixMusic/YouTube

Focus Out Distractions
For: Android
Cost: Free

- Let’s face it, apps are distracting for the most part. How many times have you checked the same app only to find no updates has occurred.
- That’s the basis behind Focus Out Distractions, letting you lock yourself out of certain apps for a select time, without forcing you to delete it entirely.
- You can block as many apps as you wish for a select length of time.
- You can reverse the process, but you have to type in a long block of text to do so.
- In case you really need to concentrate on something but keep getting distracted by the urge to check for updates.

Source: Dev Mav/YouTube

Time of my Life
For: Windows Phone
Cost: Free

- Time management is probably a skill we could all be better at. How often do you find yourself spending longer than expected at work or elsewhere?
- Time of My Life comes from Microsoft research and aims to help you track your progress and help you manage your day better.
- By using GPS and your known locations, it figures out where you spend your time most.
- After a few days of tracking, it will begin generating graphs showing you how you spend your time and where you spend it, but you’ll need longer than that to notice any real patterns.
- A curious app but fun to see how varied (or predictable) your weekly or monthly schedule is.

Time of my Life Source: Time of my Life/Windows Phone

Swarm
For: iOS, Android (Windows Phone coming soon)
Cost: Free

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- Remember Foursquare? It’s still very much around, but the makers behind it has split it up into two apps. This is one of them and it focuses on where you are.
- The concept of Swarm will either appeal to you or bore you. In a nutshell, it’s another way of finding out what your friends are doing and how far away they are.
- If your friends are close by, it will say roughly how far away they are and their last check-in, if they’ve checked in.
- There’s also a messaging feature included (what app doesn’t) in case you all want to meet up.
- This is an app that’s really designed for those living in cities and large towns. Although you may want to keep an eye on battery life as it does require regular use of GPS.

Swarm Source: Swarm/Google Play

2-bit Cowboy
For: iOS
Cost: €0.89

- Those of you who want to hark back to the days of the Game Boy will love this retro offering.
- 2-bit Cowboy has the feel of a retro game, simple mechanics and gameplay but manages to throw in a few modern elements.
- Each mission is done in bite-size chunks, taking roughly a few minutes to complete.
- If going from point A to B isn’t enough to keep your attention, the game offers a number of other missions to complete, getting you to explore each level.
- Definitely worth downloading and enjoying, even if you’re not a retro fan.

Source: Crescent Moon Games/YouTube

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 10th May >

Read: What happens when you try out Oculus Rift for the first time? >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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