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5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring an app to discourage smartphone use while driving, a locator service for free device charging, and a photo-sharing app with a difference.

driving Pictured: Naughtiness Source: Moment & Focus

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 an app to combat smartphone use while driving, a locator service for free device charging, and a photo-sharing app with a difference.

Focus 

For: iOS
Cost: €9.99

- This is an original one. Have you an issue with checking your smartphone repeatedly when driving? Be honest? Well, a lot of people do, and it’s an enormous hazard for all road-users (not to mention against the law)
- Focus has a simple concept – it tracks the amount of time you spend with your screen activated when driving
- Everything is tracked, but crucially, there’s punishment also…
- Which comes in the form of verbal admonishments and, terrifyingly, emailed report cards to anyone you choose the moment your trip finishes. We could see this one leading to fights
- At €9.99 the app is not cheap to put it mildly, although, if it discourages phone use by drivers, it’s a small sum to pay in comparison with the cost of a wrecked car


Source: Moment & Focus/Vimeo

David 

For: Android (new release), also on iOS and Windows Phone
Cost: €2.20

- Not a new game (David has been available on iOS and Windows for some time), nevertheless it’s only now making its debut on Android
- An abstract puzzler / shooter, David defies easy description. You play the titular hero (despite ‘his’ name, David is basically a square that can shoot), trapped by forces unknown in a visually alluring, polygonal maze.
- What is certain is that the game is extremely addictive, and pretty original to boot
- With lots of surreal / pretentious dialogue and some insane boss battles – David is certainly memorable. A great way to kill some time

David Source: Google Play Store

Powize

For: iOS / Android
Cost: Free

- Smartphones are great aren’t they? But if you had one complaint, it would probably be their insatiable need for power. Oh for the days of one-charge-a-week Nokia unbreakables
- Yes, charging your phone at least once a day is now the norm, meaning that running low on power at a crucial time is a pain we all know too well. Powize aims to alleviate the problem via the power of crowdsourcing
- The idea is very simple – businesses / individuals register with the service and charging stations show up in the gps-dependent app when you’re trawling for a convenient power outlet, even checking the compatibility of your device with the charging dock
- The crowdsourcing nature of the app means that people can add stations to the database as they go, in theory meaning a vast network of available power should be built up
- Just launched, the list of stations in Ireland is miniscule at present (compared with Britain or the app’s native France), but that could change very easily given the app’s crowdsourcing roots. One to watch

Shoto
For: iOS / Android
Cost: Free

- Photo apps have been done to death, but the concept behind Shoto is an interesting one
- When groups of people meet up a lot of photos tend to get taken. Shoto dispenses with having to request dropbox links or even trawl through Facebook albums by automatically detecting what friends were present at an event
- The app trawls through your photos to see where you’ve been, when, and with who (which can be a little disconcerting when it finds photo albums from many years ago!)
- It then prompts you as to whether you want to request the photos taken by the other people involved, among other things
- A simple idea but a very clever one

shoto Source: Google Play Store

Seedling Comic Studio
For: iOS
Cost: Free

- Another photo app, but one carried off with great panache
- Seedling lets you customise your photos with an array of comic book backgrounds, themes, speech bubbles and effects
- The interface is exceptionally simple, particularly when it comes to cropping people out of photos for stapling into a cartoon creation
- Aimed at the younger generations, but realistically is just as much (guilty) fun for adults

Seedling Source: seedling.com

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 19th Sept

Read: The wait is over: Apple fans sleep out and queue to get their hands on new iPhones

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