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5 apps worth downloading this week

Featuring a way to message through your lock screen, an adorable puzzler that’s all about rotating worlds, and a powerful photo editor.

Image: Twisty Planets/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 a way to message through your lock screen, an adorable puzzler that’s all about rotating worlds, and a powerful photo editor.

ScreenPop
For: Android
Cost: Free

- Instant messaging pretty much dominates the app stores, but one messaging area that hasn’t been tapped into is the lock screen. So far, we’ve LokLok but that’s really it.
- ScreenPop is looking to jump into this area as well, allowing you to send an image to a person’s lock screen.
- Simply take a photo, write or draw whatever you want, and send it off to a friend of yours.
- The app acts as a layer over your regular home screen so you unlock that screen to access your lock screen. It’s easier to understand in practice.
- If your friends communicate mostly with photo messages, then you may enjoy this.

ScreenPop Source: ScreenPop/Google Play

DarkRoom – Photo Editor by Bergen
For: iOS
Cost: Free (€2.99 for curves)

- There are photo editing apps and then there are comprehensive photo editing apps, and DarkRoom very much falls into the latter (provided you’re willing to pay for it).
- On first glance, it looks like it’s every photo editing app that’s ever been released. Filters, temperature and lighting are all covered, but there’s more to it than that.
- The real star is Curves, which gives you access to raw RGB editing features. It’s incredibly handy and gives an extra layer of control similar apps don’t have.
- If you like the setting you created, you can save it as a filter and refer back to it at a later stage. Handy if you know what you want from it.
- Those with experience with Photoshop and other image editing tools and want to bring the same customisation to the small screen will love this.

Source: Bergen Co./YouTube

AppLock – Hide Photos and Videos
For: Windows Phone
Cost: Free

- No matter who you are, there will always be a few photos or videos you would like to keep to yourself. You don’t know what nosey friend will try to look through them when given the chance.
- That’s the purpose of AppLock, which allows you to hide and lock certain photos and videos away and encrypts them.
- It’s simple to use. Just set your password and choose the photos you want to be hidden away and that’s it.
- You can restore the photos and videos to their original place if you want or get rid of them entirely.
- The use case is pretty obvious so if you have a number of photos you want to keep private, you know where to look.

AppLock Source: AppLock/Windows Phone

Peak
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

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- Peak enters a crowded field, there are more than enough brain training apps out there, so it relies on clean visuals and bright mini-games to separate it from the rest of the pack.
- Like all good brain training apps, Peak combines a number of different training games (15 to be exact) to help keep your mind in good shape.
- You do have to go through five menus first though as you tell the app what it is you want to work on. It could be everything or nothing, depending on how much improvement you feel you need.
- Once you’re through. you can jump into the mini-games straight away, solving word puzzles or sorting out images.
- For those who want to keep their mental abilities in tip-top shape.

Peak Source: Peak/Google Play

Twisty Planets
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €0.99 (Free on Android)

- Think of Twisty Planets as a cross between Super Mario Galaxy, Qbert and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and you’ll have a decent idea of what to expect here.
- The premise is the classic ‘collect three stars and reach the end’ gameplay, but the controls and mechanics separate it from other competitors.
- Tapping helps you move Qub, but swiping up and down or left and right rotates the planet to help you move. You have to keep an eye on where Qub is otherwise he’ll fall off.
- The visuals are great, if not amazing, and while the controls may cause you to misstep, the levels are too concise for this to be a real issue, even when extra elements like moving platforms are added in.
- A fun and charming puzzler that’s much smarter than it looks.

Source: FirstSight Games/YouTube

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 7th Feb >

Read: Apple is rolling out a small but important security update for messaging >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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