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New Android apps worth downloading: TomTom U.S. & Canada, Pictoreo, League of Evil

by Marty Gabel

Here are three great Android apps to end the week on a high note. While Android users are blessed with the fantastic navigation features of Google Maps, it’s always nice to have an alternative, so welcome TomTom U.S. & Canada to Google Play – providing it’s compatible with your device. We’ve also got Pictoreo which helps you to create fun cinemagraph (animated photos) and share them with friends. Finally, we’ve got League of Evil, a fun and frantic quick-fire 8-bit style platformer which is well-regarded on iOS and which we’re glad to see ported over to Android.

TomTom U.S. & Canada ($49.99)

What’s it about? The trusted navigation service makes its transition from standalone GPS device and onto your smartphone.

What’s cool? You’ll have constant access to the same maps, technology and world-class navigation as the company’s GPS devices and you won’t always need a mobile signal to use it. In addition, there are free maps for life, so despite the high initial cost of entry, it might work out good value. You can choose the quickest route and use the advanced lane guidance feature to avoid tricky intersections. There are millions of handy points of interest along the way, too.

Who is it for? For people looking for an alternative to Google Maps & Navigation, TomTom’s app is worth a look (providing you can spare the $50 and the 2.3GB of storage space). However, it’s worth noting that the app isn’t compatible with many newer devices – if TomTom expects their solution to take off, they’re really going to need to fix that.

What’s it like? Maps is pretty great, especially bundled with Android, but there are other alternatives like Waze, Navigon USA, CoPilot Live Premium USA and many others.

Pictoreo (Free)

What’s it about? Pictoreo is a great way to bring your photos to life with animation.

What’s cool? Get some inspiration from the featured feed, then try it out for yourself. Pictoreo creates images a bit like cinemagraphs (and if you’re wondering how cool they can be, check out these examples). You need to shoot a short, steady video clip then ‘paint’ motion with your finger on the screen. It’s easy to share your creation once you’re done, or embed it on a website.

Who is it for? Pictoreo is perfect for people who like to get creative with their photos. Some of the examples within the app are great, and it’s hard to see exactly what you can do by just viewing the still shots within the app’s description, so check it out for yourself – it's free!

What’s it like? Fotodanz is another app which allows you to create animated photos. I guess there’s some similarity to the numerous GIF creator apps out there like GifBoom, but cinemagraphs are definitely more subtle and require some creativity to get them to work effectively.

League of Evil ($0.99)

What’s it about? Noodlecake Studios have finally ported over this popular iOS 8-bit style old-school platformer, and it was worth the wait.

What’s cool? The game focuses on bite-size levels which sometimes take just a few seconds to complete. But with 160 of them coming at you thick and fast (and with ever-increasing difficulty) they present quite the challenge. You need to save the world from evil scientists, double-jumping and flipping your way to safety, and it’s all wrapped up in cool retro-style, pixelated graphics.

Who is it for? You’ll need skill and precision to get through these levels, but fortunately the controls are sharp. It’s certainly not a game for casual players because it’s very tough. However, hardcore gamers will certainly find getting through this game very satisfying.

What’s it like? A free version of the app is available to try first so you can get a feel for the action. Noodlecake have another fun retro platformer called Commander Pixman and fans of these types of games should also check out Super Bit Dash and Stardash, too.

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