New Android apps worth downloading: GymPact, Skitch update, ShaqDown

by Phil Hornshaw

Today’s fresh apps kick off with GymPact, an app that can help keep your New Year’s workout resolutions by charging you for all those workouts you miss (but you get paid when you make it to the gym). We’ve also got an update to image annotation app Skitch, which allows you to write on images and send them to others. Finally, there’s ShaqDown, a running game in which former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal battles zombies.

GymPact (Free)

What’s it about? Fitness app GymPact makes getting to the gym a financial decision – if you make your scheduled workouts, you can get paid a little money, but if you miss them, you agree to pay more for skipping.

What’s cool? The idea behind GymPact is that you schedule set workout times and “check in” to your gym when you perform them using your Android device’s GPS capabilities. The “pact” part of GymPact is that everyone who uses it bets a little money on themselves for motivation. If you miss your workout, you pay a little money into a giant pot of cash collected from all users who missed their workouts, and that pot gets divvied out among the people who did work out. The app also works in tandem with RunKeeper, so you can still get rewarded for running or biking even if you don’t regularly attend a gym.

Who’s it for? If you’ve got a New Year’s resolution to keep and struggle to motivate, GymPact might be able to help.

What’s it like? Fitness nuts should look into downloading RunKeeper or Edomondo Sports Tracker.

Skitch update (Free)

What’s it about? Evernote’s app for drawing on and annotating images has a new update that makes it work a little better and includes some new features.

What’s cool? Skitch is all about communicating visually with others. Instead of encouraging you to send text messages or explain verbally what you mean to friends, family and coworkers, the app allows you to draw and write on images in order to get your message across – meaning you can circle a particular destination on a map, for example, or draw an arrow to the particular part of an image that makes it inappropriate for Facebook. Skitch’s new update makes its Pen tool flow a little more smoothly, adds a Hold and Lock features that prevents an image from shifting if you turn your device, delivers better content scaling so your annotations actually fit the image they’re on, and adds new tool tips to make the whole app easier to use for newbies.

Who’s it for? For users who feel drawing on an image would make explaining things a little easier, Skitch is a solution.

What’s it like? For more note-taking and annotating, try the primary Evernote app.

ShaqDown (Free)

What’s it about? It’s been years since basketball star Shaquille O’Neal was in a side-scrolling beat ‘em up, and this time he stars in the endless runner ShaqDown.

What’s cool? Yes, it’s an endless runner, but ShaqDown is actually a bit of goofy fun. Players taken on hordes of mutant zombies Shaq, dishing out everything from punches to flying basketballs to the face, to special energy blasts of superpowers (to the face). It’s a campy, Saturday morning cartoon style helps sell the whole experience as well, and ShaqDown sits comfortably among other endless runner titles that are good for killing a few minutes, as well as easy to learn and hard to master.

Who’s it for? Running game enthusiasts and fans of 1994’s Shaq Fu definitely need to check out ShaqDown.

What’s it like? For more solid running titles, try Rayman Jungle Run and I Must Run!.

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