With all the new phones and tablets that come in at GadgetGuy, you can bet that we’re forking out for apps and games regularly, across a range of devices. That’s why we’re trying something every month, with our “App Wrap,” a quick look at the apps we’re using a lot on our devices over the past month.
This past month, we’ve been playing a few games, waking ourselves up, and doing a spot of work, not necessarily in that order.
Doubletwist Alarm Clock
Every smartphone comes with a clock, and every smartphone clock comes with an alarm, but while you can set them up, they’re not very interesting.
Doubletwist offers an alarm clock that you can tweak in different ways – snooze duration, fade in time, tone, alarm volume – and even show a really nice clock face.
It comes with a clock live wallpaper too, so you can always keep your watch with you on whatever Droid you’re using.
Price: Free, $1.99
With Windows Phone 8 coming out in the next few weeks, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about.
Instead of plonking down the money for a new handset and learning how to use the Windows OS from scratch – it’s not hard, by the way – you can always install Launcher7, a home screen replacement tool that makes your phone look and feel like Windows Phone devices from this year with WP7.
Sure, it’s not the same as Windows Phone 8, which will have different types of live tiles and more of them, but if you’re interested to see what Windows is like without buying a new phone, this is one way to do it.
Your native camera offers a simple snapshot, Instagram makes that snapshot retro, and Paper Camera can turn a snapshot into a work of art… sort of.
This app channels your inner artist, turning your camera into a cartoonist or sketch artist, interpreting scenes as if they were drawn by pen, printed in an old comic, or even if Andy Warhol had printed them!
Rayman Jungle Run
Ubisoft’s Rayman is like a modern version of Mario, although after well over a decade of being in games, we still can’t work out exactly what Rayman is.
Regardless, he’s back in a new adventure for Android that looks amazing, and makes you question why you would ever want a portable dedicated console again when games can look this good?
The graphics are colourful and like out of a cartoon, the gameplay is minimal and appeals to a casual audience, and the price certainly seems right.
Over Angry Birds? Give Rayman Jungle Run a try.
Flight simulators seem like a perfect app for a phone. If you have time to kill, you can pretend to fly an aeroplane, and using the motion controls every smartphone has, it seems logical.
Laminar Research’s X-Plane has long been considered one of the most realistic flight simulators in the world, and it’s available now on Android devices. Fly from inside the cockpit, or take a third person view and look at your jet from the outside: it’s your choice.
iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)
Google’s Chrome has been on iOS for a few months now, but we’re completely in love.
The browser syncs up nicely with desktop versions of Chrome, logging into your Google account and allowing you to access bookmarks and use passwords, plus you can load more than nine tabs.
Now if only Apple would let us make it our default browser instead of Safari…
You can get a lot of writing done on the iPad, especially if you have one of those keyboard accessories, and Daedalus is one of the tools we recommend.
While we’ve written about it before, a lot of the writing we’re doing is being done inside this app, and with automatic Dropbox syncing, an easy finger swipe controlled page-by-page navigation, and word count shown per project, it’s better than ever.
The European soccer season has just started and EA has released its latest version of the long running FIFA franchise on iOS.
FIFA 13 includes licenses from soccer leagues around the world – including the Australian A-League – and you can play Sydney FC against soccer giants Manchester United or Barcelona.
Controls are more fluid than they have ever been, the interface is easier to navigate, and the addition of the special moves controller is brilliant. A must have for soccer fans.
Blending the addictiveness of Tetris with our love of word games like Scrabble, SpellTower is one of those titles you won’t be able to put down.
Think of it as the most advanced word search that really likes to play with your mind. We can’t put it down, and now that it has a multiplayer mode, suspect it will replace board game night in the home.
The Walking Dead
Price: $5.49 per episode
There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of zombie games lately, and The Walking Dead – inspired by the comic, not the TV show – is possibly the best we’ve played.
Running with a highly stylised comic look, an adult script that will appeal to gamers 15 and over, and different ways for the game to play out based on how you play it, The Walking Dead is an easy recommendation.
The developers are currently releasing it episode by episode – currently, episode one and two are out, with three more to come in the next few months – and while the total price will come to about $25 by the time we’re done, it’s easily worth it, as the game is one of the more interesting, intriguing, and repayable titles we’ve played in ages.