Shadows Remain, Duolingo, and other awesome apps of the week | Cult of Mac

Shadows Remain, Duolingo, and other awesome apps of the week

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

A brilliantly spooky, story-driven augmented reality game in which you search for your missing child in a new house is just one of our picks for this week’s “Awesome Apps of the Week.”

In addition, we’ve got a great app for teaching you Mandarin, another ARKit title that lets you get a closer look at some of the world’s top supercars, and a brilliant photo app for getting the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Check our selections below. You won’t regret it!

Duolingo

Duolingo Chinese
The best language learning app is now even better.
Photo: Duolingo

Language learning app Duolingo added a new language to its collection this week: Mandarin. While Chinese languages are among the most difficult to learn for native English speakers — approximately 88 weeks, or 2,200 hours, of in-class study, experts suggest — Duolingo at least makes this process easy and fun.

Its Mandarin course teaches the language’s four main tones, Chinese characters, and more than 1,000 words. You’ll start by learning numbers and greetings, and then advance to thematic lessons based on things like food, occupation, location, and phrases. You’ll also learn business and finance, since China is a major business and financial hub, and internet slang.

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

Shadows Remain

Blending first-person adventure, hidden object puzzles, and horror elements, Shadows Remain is one of the most intriguing — and ambitious — ARKit augmented reality games we’ve come across so far.

It places you in the role of a parent who moves into a new home, only to find that their kid has gone missing. You’re then tasked with searching the strange new house for young Alex, who may or may not have somehow slipped into another dimension. This search involves numerous creepy flashbacks to previous time periods.

This is the first episode of a series, with additional episodes to follow. If you want to find out when they are released, you can sign up for alerts over at ShadowsRemain.com.

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

RAW Power

iOS
Harness RAW Power with your iPhone or iPad.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

For those who are unaware, RAW images are unprocessed photographs containing raw data recorded by a digital camera’s sensor. They provide photographers with greater levels of flexibility in adjusting exposure, white balance, and color.

RAW Power is the work of developers Gentlemen Coders LLC, founded by 14-year Apple veteran Nik Bhatt, formerly Apple’s Senior Director of Engineering for the Aperture and iPhoto teams, and later the Chief Technical Officer of the Photo Apps group.

It aims to give photographers on iOS a lot of the tools which would normally be available only on desktop. The app includes eight slider tools for photographers to process a RAW image, and also accommodates hundreds of other RAW camera formats, helping make the iPhone or iPad into a powerful photo editing tool.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
Get it from: App Store

CSR Racing 2

One of the most popular racing games in the App Store, CSR Racing 2 got a nifty ARKit-friendly update this week, adding an augmented reality showcase mode that lets you place a range of supercars into the real world and then explore them in 3D.

While the racing itself doesn’t get an augmented reality overhaul (although it’s still a lot of fun), if the idea of being able to pop the trunk, hood and doors of numerous real life supercars in, well, less than real life appeals to you, this is a great tech demo.

Available for: iPhone, iPad
Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
Get it from: App Store