Sway, Meganoid 2017, and other awesome apps of the week | Cult of Mac

Sway, Meganoid 2017, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Looking to get up to speed on the week’s hottest apps? We’ve got your back!

Whether you’re looking for a great “roguelike” platformer, a meditation app from the makers of Monument Valley, or a much-loved calendar app which has finally landed on iPad, we think you’ll find something to entertain you.

Check out our picks below.

Sway — Mindfulness in Motion

The company behind the excellent Monument Valley has just released its latest app and, no, it’s not an M.C. Escher-inspired puzzle game — although it is still a game of sort. It’s described as an “interactive meditation” app, which uses your phone to track movement, and then provides you with feedback to help you gain focus and improve your attention.

The gamified aspect comes in the form of six levels, through which users learn new techniques concerning how to “be mindful in everyday life situations and subtly practise mindfulness anytime and anywhere.”

The app recommends that users play with it 20 minutes per day. Already it’s been tested with EEG brain scanners, and has been shown to help increase relaxation while lowering mental workload levels. It’s certainly an unorthodox approach to relaxation, but if this is the kind of thing you’re interested in (and who would voluntarily turn down the ability to gain improved attention spans?), it’s definitely worth checking out.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: $2.99
Get it from: App Store

Meganoid 2017

Offering more than a few nods to Metroid and other beloved 1980s gaming properties, Meganoid 2017 presents a challenging platformer, in which new levels are generated every time you play.

It’s a reboot of the original 2011 Meganoid game, which has since racked up close to 2 million downloads. There’s more of a roguelike element to the 2017 remix than was present in the original, but this game remains a whole lot of challenging fun. The range of collectible items such as jetpacks and anti-gravity boots just adds to the fun, by giving you whole new ways to explore each level.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: $4.99
Get it from: App Store

Google Calendar for iPad

GoogleCalendar
You can now get Google Calendar on your iPad.
Photo: Google

Google Calendar isn’t exactly some undiscovered indie app you’ve never heard of, but this week one of the most popular digital calendar services finally arrived on iPad.

The Google Calendar app may not be the most advanced option when it comes to calendar apps, but it’s easy to use, and most importantly plays very nicely with Gmail and other Google services many readers may already use.

As with many of Google’s other apps, the most impressive part of Google Calendar is its focus on machine learning for things like smart scheduling — or the ability to set “goals” which your calendar will then work out how to allocate time for.

Available for: iPad
Cost: Free
Get it from: App Store

Facebook

Facebook
Facebook wants to muscle in on that Snapchat action!
Photo: Facebook

From Google to fellow tech giant Facebook, this week the social media leviathan released its biggest app update in years: jumping on the Snapchat-inspired fun photo and videos sharing bandwagon.

The new features let you apply various effects to your photos and videos, ranging from masks to frames and interactive filters. The app also incorporates a new Spachat-like feature called Direct that’s designed for sharing individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time; and Stories, which allows you to view videos and photos from your friends.

No, it’s not the only company to chase after the youth-oriented photo-sharing audience, but if this is one of the features you engage most heavily with when it comes to social media, this is an update you should check out.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: Free
Get it from: App Store