On the lookout for some cool new apps? We're back with another round of our favourites for you to download this December...
Whatever you’re doing this month – and however you spend your holidays – make sure you take some time to enjoy yourself. Luckily, with millions of apps right at your fingertips from Google Play and the App Store, there’s plenty to keep you entertained when doing exactly that.
And, as per usual, we’re here to help you find the hidden gems; this month’s collection of new and updated must-have apps should keep you busy through Christmas and beyond. Time to take a look…
ChillScape – Sonic Meditation | iOS, £0.99
Let’s start this hectic month with a little chill, courtesy of new app ChillScape. A meditation and mindfulness app, ChillScape creates peaceful musical soundscapes using artificial intelligence, accompanied by beautifully hypnotic graphics to help you de-stress.
Each chill session starts with a pleasingly low tone, designed to mimic the sounds babies hear in the womb. Use your finger to pop the onscreen bubbles, and as you do the soundscape will evolve into other calming melodies. What’s more, the underlying beat gradually slows from 60 to 50 beats per minute, as it tries to trick your breathing into matching the reduced speed. Calming stuff.
While it’s practically impossible for us in the 21st century to boldly go where no man or woman has been before, you can try your hand at cruising around the stars in new mobile game, Star Trek Fleet Command. Be warned, though: it’s not all smooth sailing; there are epic battles to be won!
You’ll need to master combat, diplomacy, and strategic thinking to survive as you take on the small quest of saving the entire galaxy from the bridge of a fleet of powerful ships like the Enterprise, the Romulan Warbird, or Klingon Bird of Prey. Of course, this wouldn’t be Start Trek without James T. Kirk, so he’s along for the ride, as are Spock, Uhura, and other recognisable characters. The best bit? The game is played out in an open galaxy with millions of other players who you can help, fight, or negotiate with.
Wonderscope | iOS, FREE + IAP
It’s amazing how much of an impact stories can have on a child, but they don’t need to be paper-bound tomes. Wonderscope is all about modern storytelling, using augmented reality to better engage your kids. Still in its infancy, there are currently two stories available from the app – A Brief History of Amazing Stunts by Astounding People, and Little Red the Inventor.
The joy here is that, instead of just reading, each story is told using 3D models that appear onscreen and look like they’re in the room. The accompanying voices are engaging, and your child is actively encouraged to take part by talking back, so that they feel like they’re an integral part of the story. It’s a fantastic use of technology that should make story time much more fun.
Another storytelling app here, but keep this one away from the little ‘uns. Again though, this is storytelling with a difference: these tales are what unrd’s developer calls ‘real-time chat stories’.
The app replicates a chat messenger on your phone, with the stories delivered through IMs. The kicker? The phone in your hands isn’t actually yours. It belongs to a missing woman, a death row inmate, a hostage victim; these are just a few of the umpteen fictitious characters who feature. You’ll read their messages, watch ‘live’ videos, hear voice messages, and discover how events unfold in each story in a wholly modern manner. It’s a totally gripping concept, and the latest update adds another new story: The Big Question. It’s the app’s romance debut, so is obviously a little different to the other terrifying tales. Or is it…?
The thought of sitting back, putting your feet up, and watching a quick video on your phone may sound easy, but the reality is that you often spend more time browsing than watching. Never fear: Neverthink to the rescue! The app boasts a team of people watching and handpicking videos that they know people will love. The result is over 40 channels filled with top-quality online videos that you can watch whenever you want. Select a channel, press play, sit back and watch – it’s really that easy.
Neverthink’s recent update has added some much-requested customisation to the virtual remote control, so you can drag and drop channels, or remove them entirely if you want.
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