Apps for Words and Phrases

 

dictionary appReverse Dictionary

Developer: Mihca Ceylan

Rating: Everyone

Price: Free

 

You ever get stuck for a word that’s on the tip of your word apptongue? You can describe it, but you simply can’t put a name, person, or place to it. Reverse Dictionary is a very useful app to help you with this dilemma. It functions like a search bar and there are no tricks to it. The app screen is a search engine where as you can select from the following options: Reverse Dictionary, Sounds like, or Spelled like. The Reverse Dictionary option entails an input of a brief description. For example, I typed in “white whale” and about fifty different words populated the search. I guess a beluga is white whale of sorts. The “Sounds like” and “Spelled like” options are pretty self-explanatory. If you need help or suggestions, tap “Examples” from the menu button (three vertical dots), and you will be given some constructive criticism on how to refine your search.

For the simplicity of this app, it is actually pretty amazing and offers a useful app to people who already know English or even those learning the English language which can be very complex at that.

 

idiom appIdioms and Phrases App

Developer: Rishabh

Rating: Everyone

Price: Free

 

The English language is apparently a difficult language to learn compared to those of other major nationalities. I speak from the opinions and not experience, but even as a blog writer, I struggle with grammar at times.

idiom dictionaryThe Idioms and Phrases app helps identify the hidden meaning behind all the sayings and expressions we tend to speak and hear every day. For anyone who might not understand one of these idioms, this app will be nice resource. So before you start throwing around this phrase, look it up on this app and make sure you sound like you know what you are talking about before using it out of context. The home screen contains a lengthy list of idioms (and an advertisement every so often). You can use the search feature to find a specific phrase or simply scroll down. If there is a particular expression of interest, you will find an example used in a sentence below the phrase, and you can even hear it pronounced by pressing the speaker/volume icon. Save it to your clip board or “star” it as a favorite.

Make a game out of it and test your knowledge with the quiz option. It is a timed quiz consisting of fifteen questions. You can review your results thereafter by which you will also be greeted with an ad. You can purchase the pro upgrade for $2.49 to eliminate the ads and allow you access to pro features in the future.

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Mini Golf King – Multiplayer Game

best mini golf appDeveloper: Bluehole PNIX

Rating: Everyone

Price: Free download and play with in-app purchases

 

When you think of mini golf app, you probably think putt putt app. Well, I would classify Mini Golf King as putt putt on steroids, in a good way. It is a multiplayer, online format where you can compete against others worldwide. If you think Golf Clash is awesome, well, this golf app is trending up!

Playing Mini Golf King

As with most games, you will be given a quick tutorial and unlike your typical putt-putt, your golf bag comes with a driver, iron, sand wedge, and putter. Slide your finger back, aim, and let go. The obvious objective is to sink the ball in less strokes than your opponent, but also try to aim for gems to collect along your ball’s travel path. If you “push” the hole, the tie breaker is your gem point total for the hole.

putt putt appThe game is structured in stages whereas you gain experience by outdueling your opponents allowing you to advance and play more courses. The courses are very unique and offer a lot to take in. As I mentioned before, make an effort to collect gems but be wary of the many obstacles. There are bunkers, water hazards, and even dynamite bombs to make the holes a bit more challenging. You can even hit or get hit by your opponent’s ball. If you prevail, you will awarded coins and trophies. You will need coins to play holes, and trophies will help work towards chests and advancement to higher stages. Chests will contain coins and equipment upgrades which will only elevate your game.

If you want to expedite your status from beginner to pro, take advantage of the in-app purchases in the form of currency offered which is gold bars. Gold bars range from a handful (80) to a vault (16,000) with a price tag of $.99 to $99.99, respectively. Some things come with a price so if you are serious about this game, break out your wallet. Much like real golf, this “sport” isn’t cheap. Don’t fret if you are as cheap as I am and don’t desire to fork out the funds, but your progression up the ranks will just be gradual and patience is encouraged.

best putt putt gameLast Hole

As you have probably already gathered, this app comes highly recommended, and it didn’t take long for me to become enamored with this great game. This game is absolute enjoyment and entertainment, and I have a feeling Mini Golf King will be a “hole-in-one” for the app world.

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Spades – Classic Card Game

best spades appDeveloper: Jogatina.com

Rating: Everyone

Price: Free

Most people enjoy playing card games of some sort and usually, we have our favorites. In my case, I thoroughly enjoy the game of spades. It’s one of those games which creates the competitive atmosphere of card games, but doesn’t really necessitate betting. With this being said, I have chosen to download Spades – Classic Card Game. This is the best spades app I have come across to date.

Playing Spades

Even if you aren’t spades player, this app has a great tutorial to get you started. Basically, you are given two choices of game play as your opponents, “bots” or multi-player online. I chose “bots” first just to refresh my memory of how to play and to not embarrass myself with the real people online. All the typical rules apply. You have place a bid of how many “tricks” or “books” you expect to win and be mindful of what your partner is bidding as well. “Nils” are in play, and if you are desperate or just simply willing to take the risk, blind “nils” can be bid without even looking at your cards. The risk may be worth the reward as you will be awarded extra points if you achieve a “nil” or “blind nil” bid.

free card game appsA few simple taps of the screen will allow you to play your card. Do your best to “cut” your opponents while achieving your bid. If one of your opponents do not get their number of “books” per their bid, they will lose points and likewise for your team, of course. This also applies to the aforementioned “nil” bids. Strategy is key, and just because you don’t win the majority of the books, doesn’t mean you lost the game. The default game is set to 500 points which allows for several decks to be played out. Once all thirteen books are accounted, the next screen will tabulate the scoring. Regardless, of the hand you are dealt, there is always an approach keep yourself in the game.

Final Deal

This spades app is available for both iOS and Android devices. It’s a free game and if you don’t mind a few ads here and there, it can be enjoyed at your leisure. As I stated earlier, it is the one of the best spades apps I have played and will continue to play. Good Luck!

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HQ Live Trivia – Win Real Cash

 

HQ Live Trivia

Developer – Intermedia Labs

Price – Free

HQ Live Trivia Rundown

HQ Live Trivia is a new app and just like the title, you play trivia with thousands of others in real time for real money. HQ Live Trivia was founded by Rus Yusupov, who was the cofounder of the former social media site, Vine.  Yusupov is starting a new idea with HQ Trivia making an app real time based and interactive.  Every day at 3:00 EST and 9:00 EST, they perform a rapid fire 12 question trivia game hosted by comedian Scott Rogowsky.  Get lucky or just be plain smart enough to answer all ten questions correctly, and you win the jackpot.  The jackpot is split equally among all winners. The price pool is always increasing as revenue increases.  The first jackpot was only one hundred dollars. The app first launched 3 months ago and the jackpot has already increased to $10,000 for tonight’s event (12/10/2017).  We are playing for real cash here, and it is paid to you through PayPal instantaneously if you win.  The questions are all general trivia with varying difficulty.  It does not appear the questions increase in difficulty as the game goes on.  You have only ten seconds to answer each multiple choice question (3 answers only).  The host Scott Rogowsky delivers each question with excitement and ending most with a little joke.  While playing or after you get eliminated, you can comment and join the live conversation below the game.  The app just started a cool and smart marketing tool which gives players an extra life for each person who signs up for the app and enters your username in the referral section.

HQ Live Trivia Final Thoughts

Not only do I find this app new and exciting, I even allowed the app to send me push notifications for when games are starting. I think this is the first app that I have allowed push notifications to interfere with my life.  The questions are a good variety of topics and not out of the world difficult.  Remember regardless of the outcome, HQ Trivia is giving away the money so they don’t have a motive to keep people from winning.  I would hope in the future the questions would include video or audio or possibly even add guest hosts to change it up a little bit.  I do believe the app will get better and more interesting as the developer Rus Yusupov has publicly stated his goal is less about monetizing the app and more about creating a good user experience with the ultimate goal of creating million dollar jackpots.

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Rush: Arcade Game App

rush app gameDeveloper: Ketchapp

Rating: Everyone

Price: Free download and play with premium upgrade option

Game apps are a plenty in the world of downloading free apps and it’s been a while since I reviewed a free game for apps so today’s feature app is Rush. It’s a hot, trendy app so I had to download it to see what all the “rush” is about.

Rush Game Play

rush app for androidThere is really no laborious registration process required in order to play. The tutorial is straightforward. Tap the screen to change lanes. “Change lanes for what?” you ask. Well, the game entails a sphere rolling down a roller coaster like road whereas you have to avoid obstacles and to dodge such obstructions you have to tap the screen to move from lane to lane. Don’t slide your finger! It takes too much time and makes the game play harder. The game requires quick thinking and patience as it is challenging at first. Don’t be distracted by the techno music in the background and become riveted by the neon color theme as it only enhances Rush. As you navigate the sphere through the roller coaster- like road, your speed will increase and your reaction time is tested. The first couple times I played this, I literally made it past three or four obstacles. Pitiful! Luckily, restarts are unlimited.  Advice: look ahead along the road as if you were driving a vehicle. This seemed to help me elevate my game after my first failed attempts.

Collect gems for extra points to rank up. You will receive daily rewards to unlock different roads and different types of spheres like an 8-ball for example. Once you get the hang of it, compare your high scores with players across the world. I am not at that level yet. The free version does contain ads, but if you upgrade to the premium package for $1.99 you will lose the ads and earn gems two times faster.

Final Take

Simply put, the controls are easy and the game play is addictive, yet challenging. It’s one of those games you can set down and come back too. I would advise taking a break every once in a whiles as staring at the screen with bright colors and the general pace of the game becomes hypnotic. It’s available for both Android and Apple so give it a try.

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Clarity Money – Personal Finance App

best finance appDeveloper: Clarity Money, Inc

Rating: Everyone

Price: Free

When it comes to money management, it’s always nice to have a useful tool to help track and budget your finances. The Clarity Money app is just that and will help keep your financial world organized and could be one of the best personal finance apps out there for your iPhone or Android device.

How It Works

best budget appThis finance app is easy to get set up as long as you have online banking with a financial institution. Register your email address and personalized password. You will then be prompted to enter the name of your banking institution and the associated online banking information like username and password, and the app is even able to interface your actual security questions to validate your account. Once everything is legitimized, your account information will be populated within the app. You will notice a personalized screen indicating the cash, credit debt and investments (if applicable), what you spent, and all other transactions pertaining to your account. You can tap the transaction “window” to expand it to a more detailed list of daily, sorted best money apptransactions. If you keep scrolling down you will notice other pertinent account information or “tiles” such as a monthly spending pie chart based on categories like entertainment and ATM withdrawals, or you can even check your credit score. The app will also recognize subscriptions like Netflix you are automatically deducting from your account whereas you can even unsubscribe if you desire. There are tiles to help you establish a savings account, check your credit score, and review your credit card accounts and transactions.

If you have additional accounts with other banks, you can link these as well. It’s a simple as tapping the bank icon on the bottom of the screen, and then pressing the “+” sign on the following screen. You can then transfer money amongst accounts as necessary. Additional features include the ever popular search option (magnifying glass) if you are looking for a specific transaction, and best financial appthe personal settings tab which looks like a stick figure torso of sorts. (Sorry, I don’t know of a better way to describe this icon, but you will figure it out). The personal settings tool will allow to you change personal information, add and delete accounts, refer friends, ask for help, view the security/privacy policies, log out, and set up notifications. My current online banking app provided by my institution won’t even let me establish notifications so this is a major plus for this app. Inherently, I will be able to track my wife just by monitoring my account with this feature, and believe me, she is by no means a frugal person. Furthermore, if you input your monthly income the app will offer recommendations to improve financial health. Don’t expect stock tips, or tracking of Bitcoin yet, but rather simple suggestions to save you a couple bucks here and there.

Final Thoughts

A mentor of mine once said “Nothing says I love you like money.” As greedy as this sounds, there is a lot of truth to this statement and managing your money is not only key to supporting your everyday life style, but can also lead to financial success. This might be one of the best budget apps we have come across so it gets “two thumbs up” from the ReviewThisApp staff.

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Coinbase – A Bitcoin App

Coinbase – Buy Bitcoin & More

Developer – Coinbase

Price – Free (Coins a lot more)

Coinbase – Join the Currency Craze

Anyone who has been following Bitcoin or Ecurrencies (cryptocurrency) in general know 2017 has been an explosive year for the digital currencies. Bitcoin has increased from $756 at the first of the year to the astonishing amount of $11,137 (On December 3, 2017).  This craze has created an abundance of third party processing and storage companies looking to capitalize of the 21st century gold rush.  We will skip over the basics of what Ecurrencies are and whether you should be investing in them, and rather we will focus on the bitcoin app.  I won’t suggest taking financial advice form a few computer nerds.  The Coinbase app is basically an exchange where you can purchase currencies.  They also serve as a Ewallet, which stores or tracks your currency transactions.  Currently you can trade Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin, Ethereum, (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin2X (B2X) is accepted to be serviced shorty.  United States customers can fund their Coinbase account (fees associated with the deposit method are shown in parentheses) with bank transfers (1.45%), credit cards (3.99%), debit cards (3.99%), and bank wire (free).  Beware that not only are you hit with funding your account, you are also subject to cashing out with the same fees.  In addition to the funding options, PayPal is also available for withdraws at a 3.99% free. On top of cash in and cash out fees, Coinbase hits you with transactions fees.  The fee for buying coins is complex and based on total volume the exchange has, expect to pay .25% on purchases, unless you plan on trading large quantities.  Currently selling Bitcoin is not subject to any fees.  Coinbase does service other countries and you can find the supported funding options here.  First time customers are subject to $5,000 limits. These limits can be extended after successfully performing transactions and applying for a limit increase.  One Bitcoin trades above $11K so if you are sitting on $11K to invest in a new currency that you might not know a lot about, don’t worry. Unlike stocks, currencies can be bought and sold in fractional units.  Coinbase offers a typical wallet and coin vault for your storage.   Think of a wallet similar to the term whereas you keep money in it that you expect to use really soon, and the coin vault is like your bank account and provides additional safety measures.

Using the Coinbase App

The app is really easy to use and provides all your transaction history. You can create price alerts to make sure you don’t miss those great buying opportunities.  You can set passwords to access the app to add another level of security which we recommend.  The price tab provides up to date pricing for all three supported currencies and allows you to easily look at historical pricing.

 

Coinbase App – Terms of Use

I know most of us just click “agree” when presented with the terms of the dialogue box, but this is one you will really want to read.  It is long and a difficult read but absolutely needed.  We will hit upon the major points in laymen terms and our understanding of the terms of use.

  • You are responsibility for paying any taxes based on your local and government tax law on all investments.
  • If you use their Coin vault and lose your credentials, they can’t restore them. You are basically screwed.
  • Coinbase is not responsible for hacked accounts. They even state accounts are susceptible to hacking. Remember Mt Gox? If not, it was an exchange where 450 million dollars of bitcoins was stolen.
  • If your account is inactive for some time, and Coinbase has no way of contacting you. They have to report the funds as unclaimed.
  • They aren’t responsible for any losses or gains. Basically, investing is complex and you should do research or consult a financial planner for advice prior to investing.

 

Coinbase Bitcoin App Final Thoughts

If you are interested in investing in Ecurrencies, Coinbase is one of the larger and more respected exchanges available and they offer many forms of deposit and withdrawal. They are heavy on the fees (setting up wire transfers will remove the funding fees) and your investment isn’t guaranteed to be safe.  They currently only offer trades in the three big coins, but I expect them to pick up more as they become more creditable.  The market for currencies is very volatile, so really research or speak to a professional prior to investing.

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Project Foodie – Be Your Own Iron Chef

Project Foodie: Cooking Videos – Buy & Sell

Developer – IPC Mobile LLC

Price – $2.99 per month

Project Foodie and Why You Need It

My culinary career started in college cooking 10 cent Roman Noodles twice a day (Chef’s hint, drain all the water and then add the seasoning. You will change that bowl of bland soup into a delicious pasta).  I quickly graduated to mac and cheese when my daughter was born.  After learning the basics, I started actually cooking and quickly realized cooking a lobster bisque from an index card with my great grandmother’s recipe scribble on it in broken English was quite difficult.  I know Project Foodie isn’t the first to the market place with video cooking tutorials but they are the first which provides video tutorials actually slow paced enough such that you can actually follow the directions.  New York renowned chef and owner of the Meatball Shop, Daniel Holtzman, walks you through each step of the way.

Project Features

Project Foodie does offer a limited amount of free content, but if you do like to cook, I would recommend skipping the free material and paying the $2.99 for the first month and really dive into the content and recipes. I chose three separate meals from their extensive library. New content and menu items are continually being added and usually follows the time of the year or is a seasonal theme.  The first thing I noticed when starting out was the ability to select how many people I am cooking for, and the app will customize the ingredients for the quantity of people you are cooking for.  This is great!  If I am cooking, I am drinking, and don’t need to be slowed down with simple multiplication.  The app really takes the time to walk you through the cooking process and provides you culinary tips which you will use for future meals. For example, I learned out to properly cut and deseed an avocado.

Project Foodie Conclusion

The app is easy to use and does offer a lot of unique recipes. I recommend watching the cooking tutorial on your phone as it is extremely helpful. It is slow paced and you can always pause, rewind the video, or watch it in slow motion.  The cost is very reasonable at just $2.99 per month.  Try it for one month and if you don’t find it helpful or useful, just quit and try another app.

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