New Android apps worth downloading: Path update, Play to Cure: Genes in Space, WordWarX

by Phil Hornshaw

An update to Path tops today's fresh apps haul, bringing Android users the ability to make and share 30-second videos on the social network.

Path update (Free)

PathWhat’s it about? Social network Path lets users thin out their huge friends lists, instead focusing on 50 close friends and family with whom users want to share their lives.

What’s cool? While friends lists get unwieldy on other social networks, Path is all about focus. The social network keeps your friends list to only the most important people in your life, allowing you to share things like status updates, life milestones and images with a more intimate group. The app provides all the usual social networking capabilities, such as leaving comments on photos and status updates and sending messages, and also includes the ability to journal your life as you go through it, snap photos and apply filters, and cross-post your Path updates to other networks. The newest update to Path adds video capabilities, so you can shoot and share 30-second videos, complete with filters, on your Path network for others to see.

Who’s it for? If you're looking for a social network that's a little less noise and a little more controlled and intimate, try Path.

What’s it like? There also are the tried-and-true bigger social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Play to Cure: Genes in Space (Free)

Play to Cure: Genes in SpaceWhat’s it about? Meet new people and make connections using Aligned Signs, an app that tests your personality based on three different criteria to help you find people you'll like.

What’s cool? Space shooter Play to Cure is a game in which players fly a space craft through rings as they shoot down approaching asteroids, but it's more than just your typical game – it's also a way for scientists to get help from players in analyzing cancer research. Play to Cure starts with players plotting a route through space to collect Element Alpha, a form of space dust that can be used as a resource. The plotting portions double by helping scientists look for patterns in gene data in cancer sufferers and identifying areas where genes occur more frequently in patients. That sort of analysis is easier for the human eye than it is for computers, so the game helps cancer research by enlisting players to look for the densest areas, and that translates into the richest fields of Element Alpha in-game.

Who’s it for? Fans of space shooters who also want their game time to be helpful to the world should check out Play to Cure.

What’s it like? You'll find more fun space shooters (albeit without the cancer research angle) in Razor Run and Galaxy on Fire 2.

WordWarX ($2.14)

WordWarXWhat’s it about? Challenge yourself (and others) to come up with the highest-scoring words you can as fast as you can in WordWarX.

What’s cool? WordWarX is all about combining letters to make words and score points. In each of the app's four game modes, you're presented with six letters, each of which has a certain point value, as in games such as Scrabble. You're then tasked with coming up with the best, highest-scoring words you can, depending on the mode: in one, you and an opponent each try to come up with the single highest-score word you can as quickly as possible; in another, it's a race to pick out as many words as possible from the field in 60 seconds; and in the last, the first player to find a four-letter word wins. You can track your rankings against other players on WordWarX's leaderboards.

Who’s it for? If you're a fan of word games, thinking fast and challenging other players to see who's the quickest, grab WordWarX.

What’s it like? Other similar word games include Boggle and W.E.L.D.E.R.