App Weekly: Medium, Duolingo, PixWings and more for a balance of productivity and gaming

This week, there is a bunch of weird and wonderful apps for you to check out. Read on for our recommendations for must have apps for working and relaxing.


We know how difficult it is to maintain a balance between being productive all the time and lazing on the couch. We all know what we should do, and we also know what we end up doing instead could have been avoided.This week, our collection of apps for work and play should help you maintain a semblance of that balance! The first section covers apps to make you smarter and more creative while the next has a bunch of games to check out.

 App Weekly: Medium, Duolingo, PixWings and more for a balance of productivity and gaming

Productivity and Gaming. Image Credit: Reuters

This week, our collection of apps for work and play should help you maintain a semblance of that balance! The first section covers apps to make you smarter and more creative while the next has a bunch of games to check out.

Work Hard!

Medium

Medium is a blogging app which just got an update. The new design of Medium resembles newsprint more than it does slick blogs, and that may not be a bad thing. If you haven’t used Medium before, it is pretty much like other blogging apps but with simpler design across all users so the focus stays on the content. If you like to write and want to get your content out there fast, this platform will serve you well.

Image Credit: Medium

Image Credit: Medium

Creative inspiration may not strike you so often and spending time on picking the right theme and combination of fonts may have you running out of breath before you even get to the writing. Medium does have a niche audience (imagine Silicon Valley: tech, start-ups and management advice) but the overall quality of user content is better, too. You can also create a Publication on Medium which is a way for a number of writers to contribute to a single blog.

Duolingo

Image Credit: Google Play

Image Credit: Google Play

If you have ever wanted to spout out perfect French, Mandarin or Klingon, Duolingo is the app for you. With the Klingon update coming later this month, the app will become the perfect opportunity for you to show your love for Star Trek. The format that Duolingo uses to teach languages is games. Through a number of quizzes, flashcards and pronunciation tasks, you’ll see measurable improvement in your language skills. While this may not be as thorough a study of the language as some people might like, it will familiarize you with the basics of what you're trying to learn in only a few minutes a day. The only challenge in your quest of becoming a polyglot is how often you use the app instead of watching Youtube.

Futurism

Image Credit: Google Play

Image Credit: Google Play

If you’re someone who loves technology, you have probably given a lot of thought to how the future of tech will look like. Futurism’s app is devoted to that very exercise. It has a collection of cool articles, videos and infographics to bring the future to you. The app looks gorgeous and the articles are well written. You could easily yourself in this app, doing all of the arbitrary reading you do on Facebook here. The weekly tech review and accompanying graphic will keep you up to date. The ad-free version of Futurism is for $1.99 per month but the free app should serve you just as well.

Learn inFact

Image Credit: Google Play

Image Credit: Google Play

Learn inFact is a beautiful way to fill your head up with interesting facts. Presented as a series of cards, these facts cover everything from Michael Jordan to the Berlin Wall. All the facts are connected to sources if you want to find out more about them. The sources are mostly from reputable sites so there may be a greater reason to believe these than you do 8Facts or your relatives’ Whatsapp group. Even the more dubious sounding psychological facts are linked to psychology journals so you can read for yourself whether ‘people who try to keep everyone happy are the loneliest’. The collection is thoughtfully curated and the facts will help if you’re into quizzing. Sharing these tidbits is easy and you can also filter them by topic. There is also a trending section where you can read the most liked facts.

Play Hard!

PixWings

Image Credit: Google Play

Image Credit: Google Play

PixWings is a fabulous game based on flying planes through wonderful landscapes. You can control your plane through the gyroscope or onscreen controls. The tasks include flying through aerial hoops and collecting goodies on the way. The game has really great graphics and is an example of pixelated art done right. PixWings also displays a calorie counter for all the calories you burned while manoeuvring your plane using the gyro controls, giving you a legitimate excuse to tell your parent/spouse when they find you engaged in the game at 3AM. The freeroam version is awesome and there are four beautifully designed environments to explore, including a castle and a volcano. The game also has a roster of flying crafts and creatures to unlock.

SleepWalker’s Journey

Image Credit: Google Play

Image Credit: Google Play

A man once left his bed, and he hasn’t quite woken up till now. You must act as his subconscious and lead him on through rooms and puzzles that he is oblivious to. He has a limited number of steps and you must strategize how to use them before walking. The graphics are gorgeous and look like they belong in a storybook. The puzzles are challenging enough to keep you hooked till you fall asleep.

Cat Bird

Image Credit: Google Play

Image Credit: Google Play

Once upon a time, a pet cat wandered out of the house and saw a beautiful bird. It was so beautiful that instead of eating it, the cat wanted to spend the rest of her life with him and thus, Cat Bird was born (or so we presume). Cat Bird lived on a planet which looked like a cat until a tremor hurled him across the layers of the atmosphere to outer space. He landed on a planet with platforms and booby traps built into it. Now, you must guide Cat Bird on his vividly coloured journey through alien planets. The graphics are great and the mechanics of the flying cat are unique. Play this game if you like cats, birds, or platformers!


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