This week brings us great new ways to share photos, navigate your devices, enjoy the recent holidays, and even use your Xbox 360 thanks to the top app of our list. Xbox SmartGlass is Microsoft's latest evolution to the Xbox experience, bringing functionality to your tablets and phones. We've also got a neat new way to save time while navigating your device, a new way to edit photos and a new way to send photos to others, and we also get to enjoy the story of the Great Pumpkin once again in app form.
Xbox SmartGlass (Free)
Every year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Microsoft announces a new package of features and services that will continue the ongoing annual evolution of the Xbox entertainment experience. This year, Microsoft blends the convenience of the app-space with their power-house gaming console with SmartGlass. What it essentially does is allow you to browse the Xbox dashboard, message friends, and control movies and music with your tablet or phone. It creates a more convenient controller for all of the non-gaming functions of Xbox Live that have become so popular. Some games will even utilize it in cool ways, like behind the scenes footage or trivia. It isn't available on every device, but if you have an Xbox in your home and a compatible tablet, this is definitely a neat way to fuse them.
Flip Launcher (Free)
Flip Launcher is a new app from AndCreate. It's all about making things just a smidgen faster and more convenient when it comes to navigating your Android device. You can assign a few of your favorite and oft-used apps to the app's "flippers," which reside in small spaces on the side of the screen. It only lets you reach a few apps more quickly, but if you have a few that you use far more than any others, this will save you countless seconds, which could even add up to minutes over time. Enough minutes to enjoy a good stretch! I joke, but not having to go to the home screen as often is a neat idea, considering It's usually for the same apps each day.
This new photo editing app from 3DTOPO Inc is just plain awesome. It's also gimmicky and likely won't replace your usual photo editing apps, but the novelty of it is worth experiencing. Essentially, it lets you take your photos and edit them with very comicbook-themed filters and patterns, adding text and sound effect splashes. You can make and share your own little story in photo form, which many other apps already do anyway, but this is a much more literal take on the idea.
Snapchat sounds like an app that dozens of politicians and inebriated party goers wish they'd had in the past. It allows you to send a photo to someone via text message, but that photo has a very limited life. Like a tape recorded message from Mission Impossible, it will self destruct (or just delete itself from the persons phone) after a timer counts down. The app even lets you know if they managed to get a screen capture in before deletion. Now you can share all kinds of crazy stuff that you did at the office Christmas party and not worry about it coming back to bite you. A simple, but brilliant idea.
Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown ($2.99)
Halloween passed, and the Great Pumpkin may have already come and gone, but it's not too late to enjoy this classic holiday tale before the festivities fade from your mind. Developed by Loud Crow Interactive, the same people behind the highly successful A Charlie Brown Christmas, this app allows you to experience the same story in new and interactive ways using digitally re-mastered visuals, sound, and nostalgic music! Unfortunately, it's a bit buggier than its siblings, force closing or cutting off text, but then, it's also a bit cheaper, so I guess it evens out.