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5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring short films shot in 360-degree, a service designed around vertical video and pruning trees (seriously, it’s far better than it sounds).

Image: Prune/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 features short films shot in 360-degree, a service designed around vertical video and pruning trees (seriously, it’s far better than it sounds).

Google Spotlight Stories
For:  iOS, Android
Cost: Free

- Google is really throwing its hat into the 360-video ring. YouTube supports it and the number of videos is only going to increase as more users adopt it.
- Spotlight Stories is one of those experiments containing four stories shot in 360-degrees.
- They’re downloadable although they vary in size (Help is 964MB while Buggy Night is 43MB) so make sure you check first before you start saving.
- The tracking is perfect and even if you don’t have access to Google Cardboard, the stories and visuals are great, allowing you to look at different parts of the same story to see what you missed first time around.
- It’s limited but if you want a taste of VR storytelling, this is a nice introduction.

Z Source: Google Spotlight Stories

For: iOS
Cost: Free

- Private messaging on Twitter has improved a little in recent times but you might feel it’s lacking in places.
- Popsicle is a messaging app that’s based entirely around Twitter. Sign in through your Twitter account, and chat to those friends who also have the app.
- It’s a clean and simple app to use. It’s very similar to iMessage in a sense and it’s pretty straightforward to use.
- The only annoying part is you obviously need friends to have the app to properly use it and inviting them is done through public tweet.
- If you ever wanted Twitter to have a separate app for DMs, this is the app for you.

Z Source: Popsicle/App Store

For: iOS
Cost: Free

- We’re not exactly short of apps that offer video in vertical mode, let alone video apps, but it’s always good to see one that tries something different.
- Vervid says it’s the first immersive platform for 9:16 HD videos (read: vertical videos) and uses a high .
- You can create bursts, 8-second videos which act as a kind of profile page of sorts
- You can also import videos from other apps like from Snapchat and Periscope (provided you save them onto your camera roll).
- It may have some competition from the likes of YouTube which introduced vertical video support this week, but it does have a number of nice touches both in design and execution.

Z Source: Vervid/App Store

For: Windows Phone
Cost: Free (Premium version costs €1.18)

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- Yes, we know your phone already has a calculator app but what about those who want to do more than add and subtract?
- 10Calc is probably one of the more comprehensive apps out there, and does it without complicating anything. The display is clean and easy to make out, even on smaller screens.
- It has a number of incredibly handy features like a unit converter, scientific calculator, a programmer’s calculator, mortgage calculator and a loan calculator to name a few.
- While the free version is great, there’s also a premium version which removes ads from the app.
- Definitely worth the download so you can replace the standard calculator app on your phone. It’s not going to change your world, but for a calculator app, it’s as good as it needs to be.

2Q== Source: 10Calc/Windows Store

For: iOS
Cost: €3.99

- Some may look at this and scoff at the idea that this is a game, but it’s much more than that
- Prune is all about planting a tree and helping it grow. You tap a place to plant your seed and you help it grow by directing it towards the light. It’s almost zen-like in its concept and execution.
- Starting off in a barren landscape, there’s no direction, no time limit and no penalty for failing. At the beginning, you won’t understand why exactly what you’re trying to do but it gradually begins to make sense.
- It’s far cleverer than you may give it credit for initially. The minimal narrative and graphics help drive it forward (think of the likes of Monument Valley) and once you get to the last act and see the fruit of your actions, then it really impacts you.
- A truly magnificent experience that is well worth the asking price.

Prune iOS Source: IGV IOS Gameplay Videos/YouTube

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 18th July >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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