Check out the latest and greatest in apps for your Android smartphone with our monthly app roundup.
A multi-faceted puzzle game.
With the sheer number of puzzle games available on mobile devices, Cogs stands out. Why? It ticks all my boxes: the sounds and graphics are attractive, the levels are challenging and the gameplay shifts enough to keep me interested.
It’s based on the ageless tile-sliding puzzle game, but what sets it apart is that it’s set on a 3D board game You’re not just tasked with solving one board -- you also need to (with a two-finger swipe) spin the prism on which the board lies to solve boards on the other sides.
Further to this, the goal of the challenge changes from level to level. On some levels, you need to line up cogs; on others you need to join up pipes; and sometimes both.
There are two game modes available: Inventor Mode, where you have unlimited moves and unlimited time (although there are better awards for more efficient use of those resources); and Challenge Mode -- really, two sub-modes -- where you’re given either limited time or limited moves to complete the challenges.
There are 50 puzzles, with each being reused for the three modes, providing what the developers claim will be 10 hours of gameplay.
$3.07 > Lazy 8 Studios > Available on Google Play
RateBeer for Android
RateBeer is the mobile app for the popular, crowd-sourced beer rating web site www.ratebeer.com. From the app, you can scan a barcode of a beer to see what users think about it. Thankfully, there appears to be enough Australian users that many local beers are covered. If you have a free RateBeer account, you can even leave your own ratings and send/receive messages to/from other beer lovers. If not, you can still view nearby pubs/breweries, events, learn about the many beer styles, or view the best beers by country.
Free > 2312 development > Available on Google Play
Sometimes, the dimmest setting on your phone’s screen just isn’t dim enough. I’ve often been lying in bed, lights out, when an idea comes to me that’s worthy of noting down. Upon unlocking my phone, I’m suddenly unable to take note of my idea, as my eyeballs have caught fire and exploded from my head. Rather than spend countless hours/dollars on eye replacement surgery, I’ve since set Screen Filter’s additional Locale/Tasker plug-in to trigger whenever I plug the charger in at night.
Free > haxor industry > Available on Google Play
Thumb Keyboard (Phone/Tablet)
A nifty keyboard that splits the keyboard up into two sections -- one positioned above the other -- so that there’s plenty of room for each of your thumbs without colliding. If this doesn’t really appeal to you, you can alternatively choose from two other phone layouts. Better yet, if you’re running this on a tablet, you can even choose from several layouts designed for tablets of different sizes. It also includes 29 skins, customisable backgrounds and more options than you can shake a phablet at.
$2.53 > Beansoft > Available on Google Play