Apps Unleashed: Top 5 new and updated apps this weekJake Christiansen - Contributing Editor
1. Spotify Update -Windows Phone -- Wait no more Windows fans, this week Spotify version 3.0 is now live and ready for download in the Windows Phone Store. The update includes features like a refreshed interface, along with Browse, Discover, and Spotify Radio options, all of which focus on music discovery and personalization. Users will aslo enjoy the new sidebar navigation menu and a whole new Now Playing screen. While these features have been implemented in the Android and iOS versions for some time, it's always better late than never when it comes to app updates. Good job Spotify, we knew you'd make time for Windows eventually!
2. Google Search Update -iOS -- Good news for all of those Google lovers rocking an iOS device these days. A new update for the oft-download Google Search app rolled out earlier this week. The update includes various performance enhancements along with more intuitive and conversational search options. Users will notice smarter and more personalized information cards and more fluid and pleasing image results as well. While there should be no surprise that Android's Google Now has had these features for a while now, it's a real comfort knowing that Google is still taking care of their users on iOS devices.
3. Twitter Update -Android and iOS -- Earlier this week, Twitter received an update that now allows users to mute other users. What does that mean? Mute someone, and now their tweets will no longer show up in your timeline. The new update is said to be available for Android and iOS devices, along with the standard Twitter.com interface. Although one could argue that other third-party twitter apps have utilized mute features for a while now, the update is still appreciated and welcomed.
iPad users also get a small extra bonus update on top of the mute feature. This week Twitter enhanced the iPad's user interface for the social network along with including in-line previews for photos and vines, and easier access to direct messages. #Awesome!
4.Swarm -Android and iOS -- If there was ever any question as to whether the mobile focused social network Foursquare is here to stay or not, there isn't any more. This past week the "check-in" experts at Foursquare have made it easier, more reliable, and more convenient to keep up with your connected friends with their new app Swarm. Swarm places the focus on friends and community rather than just location. In Swarm users can see which of their friends are nearby, what they're up to, and even make plans to meet up through an easy messaging system. The new app is meant to be used alongside Foursquare to help enhance the overall experience. Let's all try not to be too creepy when we use this, okay everyone?
5. Yahoo News Digest -Android and iOS -- Are you a news junky? Do you use apps like Play Newstand or Flipboard? Yahoo's readers and followers are in luck this week as the company recently released its new mobile app: Yahoo News Digest. With the new app, readers can enjoy the highlights of the Yahoo news page that's updated twice a day to include related articles, beautiful images, and popular tweets that all focus on the day's top news. I must say that the app is very fluid and great to look at, making it one of the top news app launches in recent memory. It will be interesting to see if the app can further distinguish itself from the plethora of similar news apps on the market, and really stand out in the weeks and months to come.