APPS

01.10.14

This Week’s Hot Apps: Jelly, Confide, Yahoo News Digest, Lumosity Mobile

From an ask-and-you-shall-receive app to a new way to get your news, these are our hot apps this week.

Jelly

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Have a question? Biz Stone, a Twitter co-founder, wants to help you find an answer. His new app Jelly, which launched this week, is a question-and-answer tool that taps the power of your network to answer just about anything. Users post a photo, add a question, and send it off into the ether to be answered. I tested it with my boots (“Are these waterproof?” The answer: Nope.), seltzer water (“How many of these can I drink a day?”) and with a photo taken of President Obama at the White House. I got answers to all three questions in just a matter of minutes. While I waited, I answered a few questions asked by friends of my friends. The algorithm seems to tap into a wider pool of people than those I directly follow on Twitter or Facebook, which makes for the likelihood of getting good answers far more reliable. Available for both iOS and Android, Jelly is definitely worth playing around with this weekend.

Confide

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Depending on who’s doing the talking, Confide is an app that helps you cheat on your spouse, or a medium for confidential business discussions. Created by a co-founder of local news site Patch and the CEO of marketing software company Yext, Confide lets its users send private, end-to-end encrypted messages to one another that disappear after being read. It even has a feature that requires the receiving user swipe-to-reveal a message, which the company claims will prevent any unwanted screenshots. With five stars just one day in on the App Store, the future is bring for Confide—so long as it doesn’t self-destruct. Get Confide for iOS.

Yahoo News Digest

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Yahoo News Digest, a new mobile app from the new new Yahoo, promises to surface “the most important need-to-know news” by collecting what it deems are the best pieces from around the web and combining them into a story. A typical experience goes something like this (which was mine, yesterday): you open the app. Greeting you is the date, overlayed on a giant photo of, say, Dennis Rodman. “He’s sorry: Rodman apologizes for comments about N. Korea detainee.” That’s the day’s big news, at least according to Yahoo. Like Circa, which came months before it (Update: Many months. Circa was released in October 2012), Yahoo News Digest breaks each major news story up into little nuggets, or atoms, however you may call it. This is nice for those of us who don’t have time to read a full story, and yet want to know what’s going on in the world at some level of comprehension. The Digest comes your way twice a day, at 8am and 6pm, meaning this isn’t the kind of app you check into when you’re bored. This is an app that checks on you. And for that, it’s worth trying out to see if this kind of news consumption fits with your daily media diet. Get Yahoo News Digest for iOS. The company says an Android app may be in the works.

Lumosity Mobile

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This sleek, beautifully-designed app will let you train your brain when you have a few moments of downtime during the day. Said to be designed by neuroscientists by its creator, Lumos Lab, Lumosity Mobile’s mini games are fun—but backed up by real concepts meant to sent your brain to mini boot camp. Get Lumosity Mobile for iOS.

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Oh, and if you’re a Spotify and/or Kindle user, you should make sure to download the latest versions of your apps. They both got updates.