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Fresh Android Apps for May 20: PrivacyStar, Apparatus LITE, Paper War for 2 Players

by Ian Black

Did the news about the iPhone logging users whereabouts jangle your nerves about mobile phone privacy? PrivacyStar aims to batten down your phone’s hatches by blocking unwanted calls or texts and allowing you to perform local searches without tracking or selling your location.

For fun, check out the clever contraption game Apparatus LITE and the two-player Paper War.

PrivacyStar (Free)

The sad reality: Telemarketers have discovered our cell phones. You probably already receive unwanted calls or texts from “unknown” sources. You may also be harassed via mobile by exes, stalkers, or potential serial killers. No worries, PrivacyStar to the rescue.

The service claims to have blocked millions of calls and filed thousands of complaints with the FTC. In addition to blocking calls, the service just added the ability to look up a text message’s originating phone number and then block future messages from it. Another new feature is Directory Assistance. Users can find places and directions to them without worrying that the phone is tracking and selling their location data.

This app provides access to the service free for a 7-day trial.

Apparatus Lite (Free)

Want to build your own Rube Goldberg contraptions? This is the app for you.

The idea seems simple enough. Get the blue ball into the blue box. But, to accomplish the mission, you’ll need to construct a clever mechanism out of wood planks, wheels, and other components to roll, flip, and bounce the ball to its intended destination.

Each level ratchets up the puzzle difficulty and adds more challenges. You’ll need to use a hammer and wrench to connect objects together before letting the force of gravity start things in motion.

This free version of Apparatus LITE provides access to six different levels but for more levels and additional features – like saving your contraptions in a sandbox – you’ll need to purchase the paid app.

Paper War for 2 Players (Free)

Rock-Paper-Scissors be damned! You don’t need your hands to decide who wins between two people – you only need your fingers. Paper War provides three separate mini-games in one free app that will settle any score between you.

Two players use the same phone at the same time --- to fire cannons at each other, shoot each others planes out of the air, or smash aircraft from above. Each game tracks the scores and tells you the winner. The doodle style graphics and paper background make it fun.

Use the app to decide who drives, who decides where to go for dinner, or who buys the next round.