Hello all you lovers of smartphone apps and happy holidays. Many of us are ready to travel to relatives abroad or even wait out Christmas alone. Whatever the circumstance, if you have a smartphone—presents came early. We have great apps this week including ways to give your Lumia smartphone touchless superpowers and an even simpler way to do your taxes. It is the best apps of the week. Get ready for some downloadin'.
DeviantArt brings its massive online art library to the palm of your hand. The app opens up into a "Today" view, which delivers content curated by DeviantArt's editorial team. From there, you can explore what's trending, reaching into the untraveled corners of the art community, or browse through dozens of different categories. Once you log into your profile, you have access to your gallery, journal, activity, and a list of work that you've favorited. It's a great way to be an art connoisseur on the go. [Free for Android and iOS]
This may not be the sexiest app of the week, but it's one that will help you immensely come mid-April. Intuit Inc. relaunched its Turbo Tax app for iOS and Android this week. The dev team says all you have to do is snap a photo of your w-2, answer a few easy questions, and that's it. You can even e-file from your smartphone if you desire. Turbo Tax will also store your info securely but grant you access across all your devices. Tax season just became way less of a headache. [Free for Android and iOS]
Have you heard? Esports is mainstream now, and if you want to keep up with all the matches in Hearthstone, Dota 2, League of Legends, and more, you're going to need the Strafe app. You can keep track of news and matches with the app, and if you don't want any of the excitement ruined for you, Strafe also provides a "spoiler-free" mode. The app is simply a list of matches, which you can be sorted by tournament, time, or game, and once you click on a match, Strafe serves up more info such as the team lineup, the format, and previous matches. If you're wired into the esports world, this app is absolutely necessary. [Free]
Action Launcher 3 is an alternative third-party launcher for Android. It comes in a Material Design package but offers customizable options you won't find with Google's standard offering. The coolest feature by far is Quicktheme, which extracts colors from your wallpaper to build a customized color palette for the Quickdrawer, folder backgrounds, and Google search bar. You can give it a test drive for free. [Free]
Group messaging can be a nightmare in iMessages. Hunting for all your contacts, searching for the perfect GIF, pulling it in from your camera roll, etc. Group Text+ makes all that much easier by creating group iMessage or SMS sessions with just a couple taps. Group Text+ also works with other apps and can be launched from the Control Center. If you dig the developer's approach to group chat, you can also checkout Email+ that brings the same level of convenience in a similar package for $3. [$2]
Gestures Beta by Microsoft Mobile adds, as the name suggests, new gesture-based superpowers for Lumia smartphones. This app provides simple actions, mostly surrounding phone calls. You can flip the over face down to mute a call and face up to turn on the speaker. If you have an incoming call, you can just raise the smartphone to your face to answer or just flip it over to ignore. Not exactly groundbreaking, and on low-end phones like the Lumia 530, 630, and 635 it is even less so, but this is an app no Lumia phone should be without. It's simple convenience, free of charge. [Free]