5 can’t-miss apps: Google Spotlight Stories, Vizo, Vervid and more
Luckily, every weekend, we round up our favorite new and updated apps. This week’s list includes a social news app, a relaxing game centered around a tree and Google’s immersive Spotlight Stories app making its iOS debut.
Check out the gallery, below, to see our top picks. If you’re looking for more, take a look at last week’s roundup of can’t-miss apps.
Google is finally bringing its immersive Spotlight Stories app to iOS. The app allows you to get a full 360-degree video experience with just the display of your device. Rather than watching a video with your phone directly in front of you, the display acts as a sort of viewfinder for the spherical videos: as you move the device around, you can see new areas of the frame.Keep an eye on: Google has managed to tap quite a few notable names to create videos for the app over the years, including Justin Line, who debuted a new story called “Help” for the app earlier this year.
Pro-tip: It’s easiest to get a full sense of the videos while standing up, that way you can hold the device over your head, behind you and move around quickly as the story unfolds.
Prune ($3.99: iOS)
This tree-themed game is much more than meets the eye. The premise of Prune is simple: Plant a tree so that it will grow toward the sun and flourish while avoiding harmful obstacles. Keep an eye on: The angle at which you plant the seed at the start of each level plays a big role in the trajectory the branches take.Pro-tip: Use two fingers to zoom in on the trees to trim the exact branches you want. If you get stuck on a challenging level, the game lets you skip ahead to the next one.
Storyline (Free: iOS)
This Twitter app from celebrity investor Mark Cuban takes a different approach to sorting tweets in your timeline. Rather than reverse chronological order, the app sorts tweets by account so you can find the accounts you’re most interested in seeing updates from, and see all their most recent tweets at once. Keep an eye on: After you view a tweet, it disappears from your feed forever to help keep you from seeing repeat content.
Pro-tip: Use the app’s search if there’s a particular account you want to view. While you can’t compose new tweets from the app, you can retweet, favorite and reply. The app is a beta right now so there are likely more features on the way.
Vervid (Free: iOS)
A video platform completely dedicated to vertical videos, Vervid allows users to share and edit vertically-shot video clips. Part Vine, part Snapchat and part YouTube, its creators say they are trying to create the “YouTube of vertical videos.
Keep an eye on: The app’s social features, which make it easy for users to follow one another and comment on each other’s videos. The app also has quite a few editing tools so you can shoot or edit existing clips right inside the app.
Pro-tip: Don’t forget to record a burst — 8-second video clips anyone can view from your profile. The app’s users tend to be very creative with the feature so it’s worth checking out.
Vizo takes a highly visual approach to the daily news digest format. The app curates the biggest news stories of the day and breaks each one down into a bite-sized summary of the most important facts using a number of sources.Keep an eye on: If you want to dig into a particular story more, tap the book icon in the bottom right corner to see a list of all the summary’s sources, with links back to the original articles.
Pro-tip: The app will also read the news to you; hit the play button at the top an article to begin the audio.