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New Android apps worth downloading: Flipboard, InstaDM, Royal Revolt!

by Phil Hornshaw

Flipboard kicks off today's fresh apps selection with an update that adds audio to the high-quality content reader, piping in audio from SoundCloud, National Public Radio and more. InstaDM comes next, allowing you to send messages easily to Instagram users. Royal Revolt! is today's games selection, pitting players against medieval soldiers as they fight to take back their country from usurpers to the throne.

Flipboard (Free)

FlipboardWhat’s it about? Marrying a beautiful design with a lot of usefulness, Flipboard is a news aggregator that lets you pipe in feeds from various news sites and social networks. The app then lays out the stories to look like a magazine or newspaper design, which helps greatly with readability.

What’s cool? A new update to Flipboard brings a new kind of content to the app: audio. You’re now able to listen to a lot of cool audio content, from places such as National Public Radio and Public Radio International, as well as other sources. You can also link to a SoundCloud account and listen to music, plus see what your friends are listening to and recommending.

Who’s it for? Anyone who uses the Internet for a lot of reading. Flipboard is like having a personal newspaper filled with just content that interests you, from wherever you want to get it. And now it’s like having a personal radio station as well.

What’s it like? One notable app is Pulse News, which does a lot of the same cool stuff as Flipboard and also features a really clean, easy to use design. Taptu offers some audio news stylings, and Google Currents pipes in news feeds from a variety of sources to a magazine layout as well.

InstaDM ($0.99)

InstaDMWhat’s it about? Instagram is a great social network for seeing your friends (and others’) photos, but it’s not necessarily great for connecting with those people. InstaDM works to change that, allowing you to quickly and easily send messages to Instagram users.

What’s cool? The ability to send direct messages to Instagram users isn’t incredibly new, but InstaDM makes it easy to do and makes the entire network a little more social, which is nice. In essence, you can use Instagram to meet new people, much like you might on Facebook or Twitter.

Who’s it for? Instagram junkies, primarily, are going to get the most mileage out of InstaDM. Consider the app if you follow folks on the social network whom you don’t actually know but would like to meet.

What’s it like? Try Tagged, which is geared specifically toward meeting new people through social networking. Sonar: Friends Nearby is also handy for the same reason, and helps you find people you know from social networks like Twitter when you’re at events, such as conventions.

Royal Revolt! ($0.99)

Royal RevoltWhat’s it about? Having returned to your kingdom after the death of your father, the king, usurpers have taken over the country. You’ll need to raise your loyal army and take it back, one castle at a time. Royal Revolt is something of a mix between a tower defense title and games such as PC’s League of Legends.

What’s cool? Your job is to march on enemy targets, and you play the heroic prince to do that. As you spawn soldiers to help you, your job is to fight alongside them and to use abilities and magic to keep them alive and make them more effective. Meanwhile, enemy soldiers are charging you and defenses must be destroyed in order for you to reign victorious. Royal Revolt is a cool take on games that usually appear in the MOBA genre, in which players take each other on with minions to fill their ranks; this game is single player instead of featuring online multiplayer, however.

Who’s it for? Royal Revolt is part action melee title and part strategy game, but it’s easy enough that even casual gamers should be able to pick it up and do well. The controls are simple and the gameplay easy to learn, so just about anybody should have a good time with this one.

What’s it like? Try Pocket Legends and Star Legends, games that play somewhat similarly but are members of the massively multiplayer online genre. Anomaly: Warzone Earth also features some reverse tower-defense gameplay.

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