The best free apps for April 18, 2014

Sections: iDevice Apps, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Originals

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screen568x568-2First up in the best free apps this week is the latest from the makers of RunKeeper. Yes, it’s another fitness app, but this one is even easier to use and probably a lot more laid back. It doesn’t want to map out your runs, it wants to show you how much you’re moving around during the day and motivate you to move even more. If you’re looking for a new game to play, this week’s list is full of them. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a virtual collectable card game full of spells and minions. Plus, the game syncs to the net, so you can play on your iPad or a desktop. Help Me Fly is a very slick looking puzzle game that has you connecting parts to help jumpstart Joe’s airplane. But it won’t be free for ever, so I’ll let you get to the list.

The Best Free Apps:

  • Breeze – I’ve always been a vocal fan of RunKeeper, which is exactly why I’m excited to tell you about a new app from the same folks. Breeze is different than RunKeeper. There’s a lot less effort involved. Essentially, this app turns your iPhone 5s into a step tracker via the M7 coprocessor. It takes this step data and tries to motivate you in real-time to take more steps each day. All you have to do is download the app and carry your iPhone with you everywhere. Sounds like a deal to me. The app celebrates your progress and shows you information to help you understand your daily movements. This app does require an iPhone 5s, so if you have one, you should download it.
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Pick up your cards and throw down the gauntlet! You play the hero in a fast-paced, whimsical card game of cunning strategy. You’ll be casting spells, summoning minions, and seizing control of the ever-shifting battlefield. Yes, it’s another virtual collectible card game. One of the best features of this one is that your card collection is linked to your account, meaning you can switch your play between your tablet and desktop with ease. This is a free to play game, but you will need an Internet connection.
  • Help Me Fly – Propeller Joe’s plane ran out of power again, and it’s up to you to help him jumpstart it through 90 brain teasing levels. You’ll be arranging and rotating the pieces on the board so they connect Joe’s plane to its battery. New gameplay elements are added as your progress through the levels. As an added challenge, you can find path that connects all of the stars. This one looks like a ton of fun, but it’s only free for a limited time, so get a move on it.

The Other Free Apps (some for a limited time):

  • Pocket_DB – This app can help you create tables and then analyze the data you put in them with filters, aggregation, sorting, and even charts. The data are stored in CSV files that you can share. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you need a database in your pocket, this is an option.
  • Globo – What time is it in London? How far is it to Helsinki? What’s the weather like in Hell, MI? This app can tell you, and it does so in style.
  • Dr. Panda’s Airport – Take flight in 10 airport-themed activities that will have you taking part in every part of the process. Stamp passports, direct luggage to the correct airplanes, and help the planes land safely. Everybody can start running their very own airport regardless of how young or old they are.
  • Days+ – Count down the days to your next significant event. Or, if you’d rather feel horrible, you can count how many days it’s been since you started working or some other event.
  • Barcode – This app can read barcodes and QR codes and do useful things with them. It can recognize codes, search Amazon for price comparisons, or just browse the web for more information relating to the product. QR codes can be used to add calendar events, vCard information, open a map to view a location, and more all with a single tap.
  • Runr – If you need achievement-based motivation to get you to do things, this might be the perfect running app for you. The main difference here is that it’s connected to Game Center so that you can compete against your friends to get the most achievements. It even supports real-time multiplayer races against anyone else in the world using this app. It’s definitely a different take on activity apps.
  • Toad Rider – Here’s a super-intense and challenging game for people with split-second reflexes, machine-like focus, and nerves of steel. You play a toad that rides a hover bike in this side-scrolling game inspired by Battletoads. Need I say more?
  • Knights of Pen & Paper – Set out on a grand adventure in this turn-based, retro style, pixel-art RPG inspired by the great titles of the ’90s. But there’s one big difference—you play a character who also plays a character in a traditional pen and paper RPG. How very meta.
  • The Magic Castle – A magical new adventure awaits. Journey to the forgotten land full of mystery and help the spirit of a once great sorcerer return magic to the kingdom. It’s a classic point and click mystery adventure game suitable for the whole family.
  • The Magic Castle HD – The same, for iPad.
  • Horn – Along the lines of Infinity Blade, this is a 3rd person action adventure game with amazing and beautiful graphics. You play as a young blacksmith’s apprentice named Horn who wakes up to find your village and lands overrun by large, fantastic, and sometimes humorous monsters. These creatures are actually the people and animals from the town transformed by a curse that you alone have the power to reverse.
  • Contra: Evolution – Gryzor and Probotector are back in this blast from the past. This is the first official Contra game for iOS, and it has all of the run-and-gun action of the original with 21st century graphics and controls.
  • Contra: EvolutionHD – The same, for iPad.
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