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5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring a way to use your Android phone on your desktop, a multitasking keyboard for iOS, and a new twist on a classic series.

Image: Lara Croft Go/Google Play

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 a way to use your Android phone on your desktop, a multitasking keyboard for iOS, and a new twist on a classic series.

For: Android (Chrome)
Cost: Free

- This is a bit of an odd one. It’s for Android, but it’s a Chrome app that’s still in beta (it was leaked before it was ready), but we’re including it since it’s useful.
- Vysor projects your Android screen on your desktop and allows you to interact with it like you would your phone, but with your mouse.
- Once you install the Chrome app (and enable USB debugging on your phone), you connect your phone to your computer and it will present your Android screen as its own window.
- Why would you want to do that? For one, it’s handy if you use a messaging app that isn’t available on the web, or maybe you’d like to keep updated with notifications/messages while you carry out other tasks.
- So long as you’re prepared for some teething issues – the video quality can be a little jerky – it’s relatively easy to set up and use (If you use Samsung, a similar app SideSync does the same thing).

Vysor Source: Vysor/Chrome

Crumbles – Video Clip Mashups
For: iOS
Cost: Free

- Text messaging is pretty straightforward to begin with. While the tools we use are different, we still resort to text because it’s the best way to get a point across.
- Crumbles aims to liven text up a bit with video, but not just picking one to send over. Instead, it creates one based on what you wrote. You have 25 words to play around with through so it’s for short messages only.
- It creates a mashup video where each word is a clip from a tv show or film. If a word doesn’t exist for whatever reason, just record your own clip and add it.
- The real draw is how you can share it. SMS is the obvious one, but you have the option of sharing via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, email and other services.
- Certainly more fun than just sending a straightforward text message.

2Q== Source: Crumbles/App Store

For: iOS
Cost: €1.99

- Keyboards tend to be more about efficient typing. Naturally, it’s about increasing your texting speed so you make fewer mistakes.
- ReBoard doesn’t actually do that. Instead, it has a relatively basic keyboard with some nice features. For example, swiping up on the delete button removes whole words, and moving on the space bar moves your cursor.
- Its main purpose is not actually typing but multitasking. The space above the keyboard features different apps, allowing you to complete actions without switching apps.
- Want to schedule something on your calendar while in Twitter? Find out more about a word in Wikipedia? Or search for a file in Dropbox to share with others? Those are some of the actions you can carry out.
- A great app that saves you time, but not in the way you would expect a keyboard to do.

Z Source: ReBoard/App Store

For: Windows Mobile
Cost: Free

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- More apps are focusing on doing one thing right instead of trying to be a jack of all trades, meaning you’ve more specific apps to choose from.
- One such example is Instablurrr. All it does is adjust the blur in a photo in a simple way. No more, no less.
- Depending on the photo’s orientation, the blur effect will be added to the top and bottom or to the sides in which case you adjust it.
- The drawback is it can only edit existing images so you’ll need to switch to another app if you want to take photos.
- A niche app that’s useful if you place huge importance on blur effects.

9k= Source: Instablurrr/Windows Mobile

Lara Croft Go
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €4.99

- Those of you who remember Hitman Go from a year ago will be familiar with the concept of Lara Croft Go, but there are a number of improvements to the formula that makes it worth a look
- Lara Croft Go has you exploring temples, avoiding traps and dangerous wildlife, and solving puzzles. The graphical style is reminiscent of Monument Valley (although not as imaginative).
- The structure of the game is more straightforward and the controls have improved. You can move by swiping anywhere on the screen and the puzzles are more logical and direct.
- You can’t skip levels like in Hitman: Go, but the stages are well-designed and places the focus on exploring and set pieces.
- A step away from the traditional Tomb Raider experience but a welcome one that suits the series.

Lara Croft Go Source: Lara Croft Go/Google Play

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 22nd August >

Read: Facebook is testing out its own Siri-like service, but what is it? >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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