Apps for old-school gamers and our brave new future [Awesome Apps of the Week]

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A handful of new and updated apps for your perusal.
A handful of new and updated apps for your perusal.
Image: Cult of Mac

We’ve got a mix of “new” new and “old” new in this week’s roundup of the best apps for iOS devices and Macs.

A new scoring app frees board game players from pesky pens and pencils, and a new avatar app gives users a futuristic way to establish and secure their online identities. Meanwhile, upgrades to well-known apps Brave (a fast web browser for privacy freaks) and Carrot Weather (a sarcastic weather app for masochists) gain interesting new features. Image-editing app Photo Sense and Luna Display also got big upgrades.

Scorecard

Scorecard app: Only Luddites use pen and paper to keep score.
Only Luddites use pen and paper to keep score.
Screenshots: Lickability

If you love playing board games but hate scrounging for a notepad and a pencil that’s not broken, Scorecard could win you over. This new point-tracking app “lets you start new sessions with a single tap,” according to developer Lickability. “While you’re playing, you can group players into teams, start new rounds, total up your scores, and even AirPlay the scoreboard to your TV.”

The app also boasts features that a shabby notepad never could. You can uses photos or avatars for each player, but that’s just the start. You can use the built-in calculator to help you with stubborn math problems, and even sync your games to iCloud to see them on all your devices. The app works on iPhone and iPad.

Price: $4.99

Download from: App Store (iOS)

Liquid Avatar

Liquid Avatar gives you a customizable and secure online ID.
Liquid Avatar gives you a customizable and secure online ID.
Screenshots: Liquid Avatar Technologies

Sponsored: With new app Liquid Avatar, users create custom avatars they can use to represent themselves online. But they’re more than just Memoji clones. Powered by blockchain and biometrics, Liquid Avatars let you safely share public and private info.

“We want to make online identity authentication as simple and trustworthy as showing a passport or driver’s license,” said David Lucatch, CEO of Liquid Avatar Technologies, in a press release announcing the app. Each Liquid Avatar is a multi-layered, visual icon or token that contains information that can be linked to the user, authenticated and securely shared.

Liquid Avatars can look as serious or as outrageous as you like. But they utilize a self-sovereign identity approach to digital identity authentication that puts users in control. So they’re fun, useful and totally futuristic.

Price: Free

Download from: App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android)

Brave

The privacy-centered Brave browser adds an interesting new feature.
The privacy-centered Brave browser adds an interesting new feature.
Screenshots: Brave Software

Privacy-focused web browser Brave added a new Playlist feature this week that lets you save media for later consumption. “As you browse the web on Brave and come across videos or audio, music or podcasts, you can add them to your Playlist and listen/watch them later,” says the developer. “It is a little like bookmarks for your media and we hope you enjoy using it.”

Available for both Macs and iOS devices, Brave is based on Google’s open-source Chromium. It blocks ads and trackers, and offers other interesting features for those interested in online privacy. Plus, it’s fast.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Download from: App Store (iOS) or Brave (macOS)

Carrot Weather

Hilarious weather app Carrot Weather gets big customization tweaks.
Hilarious weather app Carrot Weather gets big customization tweaks.
Screenshots: Brian Mueller

Sarcastic weather app Carrot Weather got a big upgrade this week. Developer Brian Mueller said he gave the app’s popular customization capability a big overhaul, so now it’s easier to tweak the layout to your heart’s desire. He also added new Maps and Alerts sections, additional fonts and text sizes, and tide data. (Note: Some of the new features are available only to paid subscribers.)

Carrot Weather offers apps for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, so you can take its snarky (and accurate) weather info anywhere.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Download from: App Store (iOS)

Photo Sense

Photo Sense adds tools to make photographers' lives easier.
Photo Sense adds tools to make photographers’ lives easier.
Screenshots: VeprIT

Got gigabytes of photos to sort through? Automatic photo enhancer Photo Sense just got an update that turns the Mac app into a “complete lightweight photography workflow app for enthusiast photographers,” according to developer VeprIT.

It gives photogs handy tools for quickly identifying their best shots from the inevitable lesser images, and then tweaking them (non-destructively) to make them even better. It works with images on your Mac, syncs with your Photos library, and offers loads of tools that can make the arduous process of sorting your pix less painful. There’s a free trial. And if you like it, the subscription costs a lot less than something like Adobe Lightroom.

Price: Free trial, with in-app subscriptions ($4.99 per month or $29.99 per year)

Download from: App Store (macOS)

Luna Display

Luna Display's Mac-to-Mac Mode now works with physical connections.
Luna Display’s Mac-to-Mac Mode now works with physical connections.
Photo: Astropad

Luna Display is a handy dongle that lets one Mac use another Mac or an iPad as a second screen. Previously, the connection between two Macs had to be wireless. But this week’s update to the Luna Display app makes Ethernet and Thunderbolt connections possible, bringer faster connections and even shorter delays between the Mac and what’s shown on the second screen.

The macOS software is free. But Mac-to-Mac Mode always requires the Luna Display wireless dongle ($99.99). — Ed Hardy

Price: Free

Download from: Astropad (macOS)