Welcome to another week and another roundup of apps. We've got software that's going to make your trips around town quicker, spice up your emoticon-laden texting conversations, keep track of your favorite eSports team, track all your quirky habits (smartphone or otherwise), and seriously step up your Instagram game.
Get that download finger ready.
Urban Engines is billed as the ultimate public transportation tool to help shave wasted minutes off of your commute. The app uses information from "billions" of commutes to aggregate the best routes. The app uses a pretty neat AR feature which overlays your destination and points of interest over the map. This makes Urban Engines not only great for figuring out the best public transit route but also a handy pedestrian companion. Right now, the app is only available in these North American cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. [Free]
Ikea makes our furniture. Why not our emoticons? A new app brings Sweden-designed apps to your iPhone and Android device. At first glance, it looks like there are a lot of IKEA-ish icons, mainly furniture, but a deeper dive reveals all kinds of different pictorial choices. I mean, you can never have enough emoticon keyboards, right? [Free]
Last week, I was completely glued to Twitch, watching Apex 2015, the world's most massive Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament. Although the concept of watching other people play video games may seem foreign to some, well, you just don't get it. If you feel the way I do then theScore is a must have in your Android app drawer. The app only has one function—making sure you stay up on all the eSports scores, which with soooo many games and streams out there, can feel like a chore. TheScore wants to make it less so. It's done wonders on iPhone and now it makes the journey to Android. [Free]
Think of ScreenPop as a Snapchat that works right from your lock screen. Take a photo without opening your phone, add text and whatever you want and send it your friend and the photo will pop up on their lock screen. I can picture hilarious scenarios if you were to ever lose your phone and some creeper got a hold of it, but you'd probably have bigger worries at that point anyway. ScreenPop is a pretty fun idea, but it goes up against Snapchat, whose popularity cannot be overstated—so ScreenPop might have a tough go of it. [Free]
The quantified self is the movement where everything we do—sleeping, walking, running, sitting, eating, etc—is recorder and stored. But in order to get the big picture of all that data you're capturing, you're probably slinging at least a handful of apps. Instant wants to make it one complete app for everything. But this isn't just health-focused (though it is integrated with Google Fit). Instant also keeps tabs on your mobile diet, how much time you spend in certain applications, and how much you unlock your phone, for instance. If you want to learn more about your habits, this is the app to help you do it. [Free]
On its surface, Nutshell just animates photos — giving them a type of Ken Burns' documentarian pan and zoom. But if you dig a little deeper, there's a lot going on here. You can also capture video and overlay animations to give you a little more excitement than your average Instagram photo. The best part is that these creations don't just live within the Nutshell app, you can share via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Really, it's another way to help step up your 'gram game. [Free]
Windows Phone development seems to be on a downtick. Maybe developers are busy working on Windows 10 builds, but recently there seems to be more news surrounding certain apps leaving the Windows Phone store than new ones coming. That doesn't mean some great software isn't popping up in the store now and then. AppLock is one such app. We all have photos that we don't want people to have access to. If it's of your family or...something else (I don't know, your employer?), AppLock puts an extra layer of security between would-be intruders and your sensitive images. The best defense against embarrassing leaks is to not put yourself in such a vulnerable position in the first place, but hey, that's no fun. [Free]