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New Android apps worth downloading: NowThis News, Swarmly, Chip Chain

by Phil Hornshaw

Start your day off with a dose of news from NowThis News app, which brings streaming video about a number of news stories straight to your Android device. We've also got Swarmly, a social networking app that helps users find local places to hang out, and Chip Chain, a strategic match-3 game that's free to play and includes multiple modes.

NowThis News (Free)

What’s it about? Get everything from breaking news videos to entertainment and sports news, streamed straight to your Android device from NowThis News.

What’s cool? NowThis News is a news app that specializes in video. The app includes a number of streaming videos of the latest news stories designed specifically for mobile viewers, providing you the ability to search through them or divide them up by category while you watch. Everything from breaking news to politics, entertainment, technology and more is represented, and you can also share videos and stories that interest you with others through Facebook and Twitter.

Who’s it for? If you're a news junkie who would prefer not to read articles, give NowThis News a try.

What’s it like? Check out Newsy and CNN for more video news stories streamed to your Android device.


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Swarmly (Free)

What’s it about? Social networking app Swarmly helps users find out what's going on around them and where their friends are hanging out, in order to always find cool things to do.

What’s cool? Swarmly bills itself ans “your social sat nav,” and the app helps connect with nearby friends and find local events. The app works without a sign-up and doesn't share your identity. Instead, it just picks up on where lots of people are and lets you know the locations to suggest places for you to go around you, using your device's mapping capabilities.

Who’s it for? Users looking for somewhere to go and something to do should give Swarmly a look.

What’s it like? Try Fourquare and Snapp for keeping up with where friends (and others) are hanging out.

Chip Chain (Free)

What’s it about? Chip Chain is a match-3 title in which players have to use strategy to continually match low-value chips to create higher ones in order to score points.

What’s cool? Chip Chain uses poker chips in its play, but it's not about poker. Each of the chips on a grid on the screen has a value, and each time you match three or more chips of a certain number, a single chip of the next higher value is created. The idea is to try to make chains of chips to create the highest-value chips you can – matching three 1s to get a new 2, which you can then chain with other 2s to get a 3, and so on. You'll also need to budget your space as chips are added to the board, but you can use power-ups in the form of special cards in order to change the value of chips and make other alterations. Chip Chain comes with four modes, including a timed mode in which you'll score as many points as you can, and longer versions for more relaxed play.

Who’s it for? Match-3 fans, Chip Chain is free and worth your attention.

What’s it like? You might also enjoy Pop Words Reaction or that old match-3 standby, Bejeweled 2.