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5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring lighthouse puzzlers, keyboard shortcuts and vibrant emails.

Image: Beneath The Lighthouse/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 lighthouse puzzlers, keyboard shortcuts and vibrant emails.

Texpand
For: Android
Cost: Free

- Remember how we mentioned how handy it is to create shortcuts by using your keyboard’s dictionary. This is an expansion of that idea.

- Texpand lets you create shortcuts for repeat phrases. So for example, if you wanted to type in your email quickly’ you could just create the shortcut ‘@email’.

- The great thing is it doesn’t require you to use a custom keyboard. Instead, shortcuts are presented with a floating bubble and will either autofill or wait for you to choose one.

- There is a pro feature for €3.35 that removes the phrases limit (if 10 isn’t enough) and import text expansion data from other keyboards.

- If you find yourself writing the same phrases over and over again, this is handy to have.

Source: Isaias M. Teweldeberhan/YouTube

Unroll.me
For: iOS
Cost: Free

- Considering it’s been around for so long, it’s probably no surprise that the primary way to sign up for services is through email

- Unroll.me is designed to help clean up your email account of unwanted emails, subscriptions, and other things that fill up your inbox.

- Once you’ve signed up, you can cycle through all the email newsletters and updates you get. Swipe left to remove, right to keep and up to throw it into a daily digest and there are many you will likely have forgotten about.

- The digest is some of your favourite emails updates brought together. You can have it sent to you in the morning, afternoon or evening.

- A handy way to get rid of most of the dead weight in your email account.

download Source: Unroll.Me/App Store

Kicknotes
For: Windows Phone
Cost: Free

- You probably guessed it, but this is another note taking app for Windows Phone. There are a lot in fairness, but bear with us here.

- Kicknotes is quite a useful app. You can type, draw and save voice recordings of any notes you might want to take, and create categories.

- Another  handy aspect is it comes with some security features like an in-built password generator, and it can be password protected.

- Unlike other services such as Evernote, there’s no option to sync your account across devices, this is just Windows Phone only.

- It’s still one of the better note taking apps out there, and its security features mean it’s worth trying out.

Kicknotes Source: Kicknotes/Windows Store

Alto Mail
For: Android
Cost: Free

- There is certainly no shortage of apps that promise to clean up your email inbox once and for all, but not many can make email more bearable.

- It’s best to think of Alto Mail as a cross between Mailbox and Google Now. That’s a good thing by the way as it’s nicely animated and quite pleasant to use.

- It’s split up into a number of different sections. Mail can be aggregated, there are cards for notifying you about reminders, and you can read mail based on the content of your messages. So if you want a stack that’s just mail from one person or images only, you can do that.

- The only criticism is that compared to the likes of Gmail, it’s a little slow in loading up mail, but there are enough customisation settings and experimental feature to keep you going.

- A nice, refreshing change from the other straight-laced email apps out there.

Alto Mail Source: Alto Mail/Google Play

Beneath the Lighthouse
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

- Nitrome has the simple but addicting formula down to a fine art at this point. If you’ve played any of their games before, you’ll know it specialises in short, simple but addictive games.

- Beneath The Lighthouse has you controlling the level instead of your character. You rotate the level to ensure your character – who happens to be a ball, by the way – makes it to the end of the level.

- Thankfully you do this by swiping the screen and as you progress, things become more complicated as you move items around the screen, deal with crumbling platforms and various sharp hazards like spikes.

- It not exactly easy though. It doesn’t take long for the difficulty to shoot up and you’ll be left frustrated as you fail a level because you swiped too fast. But it’s fair and there are enough twists and ideas here that keep you coming back.

- An intelligent puzzler that is a delight to play.

Source: Nitrome/YouTube

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 31st October >

Read: The Nokia 3310 is going to get its own emoji soon >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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