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New Android apps worth downloading: Flint, My Alphabook, Massteroid

by Phil Hornshaw

Our first fresh app today is for merchants and business owners out to sell things even when away from their stores – it's Flint, an app that lets your Android device scan credit cards and complete transactions without the need of a secondary device. For parents, we have My Alphabook, an app based on helping kids make associations that will help them learn letters and numbers. Finally, for casual gamers comes Massteroid, a game in which you direct an asteroid around the screen, sucking up as much space junk as possible so that when it finally collides with Earth, it can inflict maximum destruction (and gain maximum points).


Looking for even more finance apps? Try these.

Flint (Free)

FlintWhat’s it about? Flint is an app for scanning credit cards that allows merchants to complete transactions quickly and easily on the go or when away from their stores.

What’s cool? Lots of merchants often need to be able to make transactions even when they're not at a cash register, and mobile technology has started to make that possible. Flint is one of those apps that can turn your Android device into a mobile credit card scanner, and can do the job without having to have a peripheral device to actually swipe cards through. Instead, the app works by securely scanning the numbers and information on the card's face and using that to complete transactions, making it easy for merchants to sell their wares at fairs and conventions without a lot of hassle.

Who’s it for? If you're a business owner who could use a means of conducting credit card transactions wherever you are, give Flint a try.

What’s it like? Square is also a popular app for reading credit cards (though it requires a separate scanner device), and you can get a lot of similar functionality from Paypal.


Is your child learning the alphabet? These apps can help.

My Alphabook ($0.99)

My AlphabookWhat’s it about? Educational app My Alphabook helps kids learn letters, numbers and reading skills by giving them images and sounds to associate with them.

What’s cool? Teaching a child to read or count is best done using the sorts of things they understand, and who knows them better than their parents? My Alphabook puts the teaching power in the hands of parents by providing them with an app that's filled with letters and numbers, in which each letter or number has an image and audio recording to go with it. The interesting part is, you can put in images and make recordings yourself – so when a kid taps the “B” letter in My Alphabook, the app might display the picture of the family pet bird with a recording of Mom saying, “B is for bird.” The idea is to help young children make associations, but if you don't want to customize your recordings or images, you don't have to.

Who’s it for? My Alphabook is aimed specifically at parents or teachers and young children just learning letters and numbers.

What’s it like? Booksy and Kids ABC Phonics are two more useful apps for helping kids learn to read.


Looking for even more space games? Try these.

Massteroid ($1.99)

MassteroidWhat’s it about? Grow an asteroid to the absolute hugest it can be and use it to devastate Earth in the high-scoring arcade title Massteroid.

What’s cool? You're an asteroid in Massteroid, and that means your job is destruction. Though you start out relatively small, you have big ambitions for the planet with which you're about to collide, and so you need to become as big as possible. That means using either tilt or touch controls to move your asteroid around in space as it approaches the planet, sucking up bits of rock, junked satellites and even alien spaceships to become even more huge – all the while scoring points. You'll also need to avoid incoming missiles and nukes in order to maintain your mass. Your score in each round is determined by how big you are when you collide with the planet, and Massteroid includes multiple difficulty settings and game modes to keep you engaged.

Who’s it for? If you like casual games with a side of planet-ending devastation, check out Massteroid.

What’s it like? You'll find some similar ideas in games like Super Mega Worm and Tilt Arena.