Good week? Bad week? Weird week? No matter. You'll be playing with your smartphone all weekend anyway, so here's some cool new apps!
This week's teensy weensy update brings two new features to the free app. Groups lets you create a one-tap way to open a new message to the people you chat with the most, while Forwarding lets you loop someone in if they weren't part of the conversation to begin with. [Android] [iOS]
Yes, yes, you're thinking, "another news tracker app?" It is, but this one's great. Start by creating feeds ("pipes," in the app's parlance) for the things you like—your favorite sports teams, politicians, tech devices, breeding celebrities, whatever. But you're not trapped in your own pipes: a little shake will bring you a pipe of what's trending. [Android] [iOS]
A tiny feature that you'll never know how you lived without, MarkAsRead lets you mark your Gmail messages as read directly from the notification. It's a beta for the moment, and currently it can only supply a single Gmail account, so it might not quite be ready for power users. But it's a nice feature to have if you get a lot of emails and don't always check them the moment they come in. [$1.31]
This handy GPS tracker records where you've walked, ridden or driven, mapping out your path as you go. Handy for exploring new neighborhoods, marking your parking spot in a crowded lot, or remembering a great hike, jog, or drive you took. [Free]
Sometimes what you really want is a doughnut. But how to find one? Forget Google or your navigation app and flip open Doughbot, the all-doughnuts-all-the-time navigator. With integrated Yelp reviews and Instagram galleries, you're sure to be drooling by the time you follow the map to your nearest fried dough emporium. Mmmmmm. [$1]
Tech Block is a great source for the latest tech news from all kinds of sources, and this slick new app makes it easy to find out the latest tech things going on. Nicely designed to be simple to use and easy on the eyes, the app strikes just the right balance between images and text. Check it out! [Free]
This handy app puts an entire encyclopedia of plant info in your pocket. Whether you're out in the woods trying to avoid poison ivy, or you're actively searching out pretty flora somewhere, it's a nice little guide to have. Plus, you can pin locations so you can come back and view gorgeous plants again, and the app has a one-touch flashlight button for identifying plants when it's dark. [Free]