Five to Try: ak to train your brain, Sling TV to rot it (but in a good way)

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 13 Feb 2015

lcome to Five to Try, our weekly look at the must-download apps games just released for Android devices. If Valentine’s Day has you in the mood for a little self-improvement, this week’s release of ak Brain Training could be just what you need to start bettering yourself.

But if you’d rather spend the weekend beyond enjoying yourself instead, perhaps Sling TV’s streaming channels will the trick, or you might want to grab the amazing, atmospheric mbo for a side-scrolling adventure. A Today Sports Screenp are other intriguing options this week, so pop open the ay Store check out the latest stout apps.

ak Brain Training

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ak’s mini-games scale in difficulty over time, challenging different parts of your brain to help improve mental ability agility alike.

at happens when neuroscientists game designers get in the same room? Brain training, that’s what. ’re several years out from Nintendo’s Brain Age phenomenon, the mobile apps that have followed are sleeker smarter. ak made a big splash on iOS last year, now it’s on Android with 15 games designed to clear the cobwebs from your brain.

You’ll seek words in a jumble draw paths around hidden hazards, but just four games are available free—the rest come with the premium plan, priced at $4.50/month. The app is bright attractive, with some nice Material Design touches, the ability to compare your results by age group or profession is interesting. And if it can help jumpstart your noggin, ak could be well worth a few bucks a month. 

Sling TV

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Your $20 a month unlocks 14 channels, including ES TNT, while additional sports, kids, news channels can be bought in premium blocks.

Afraid of fully cutting the cord? Sling TV is here to ease you away from your bulging cable or satellite subscription while lightening your monthly expenses. It’s effectively a trimmed-down premium TV plan, without the need for a box or contract, letting you pay $20/month for access to live feeds of ES, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, other top channels. And there’s a free weeklong trial.

Sling TV properly launched this week following last month’s invite-only rollout, the Android app lets you watch wherever you are, featuring sharp stream quality over a strong connection. One notable drawback for now: it’s not Chromecast-compatible, so you can’t cast it to a TV. However, it does work with Amazon Fire TV recent Roku devices.


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at’s out in the darkness? ll, this towering eight-legged critter, for starters. And he’s certainly not the only threat along the way.

Easily one of the most distinctive games of the past few years, mbo makes its long-awaited debut on Android this week, delivering a minimal platform-puzzle game set within a haunting, shadowy forest. As a boy wering in search of his sister, you’ll leap over chasms, overcome environmental barriers, deal with surprising threats—like a gargantuan spider.

For a game originally designed for an Xbox controller, mbo hles very well on a touchscreen, letting you slide your thumb to walk jump, or tap hold to interact with objects. The atmospheric presentation isn’t dimmed at all by being on a small smartphone screen, it’s easily one of the most memorable games I’ve ever played on any platform.

A Today Sports

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Most sports apps look act similarly, but A Today Sports has a couple of nice perks—including the contextualized, curated scoreboard.

There’s no shortage of ways to get sports scores, news, alerts, info on your phone, so the launch of A Today’s dedicated sports app may not generate a lot of enthusiasm on the surface. But beyond the clean interface come nice additions that might make you shift away from the ES app, or Bleacher Report’s Stream. 

In particular, I really like the scores section, promoted as the “Best. Scoreboard. Ever.” And it’s not total exaggeration: what sets it apart are context rankings, as it lists the top events throughout the world of sports offers quick details about what’s happening why it matters. Add in trending social topics in-feed video highlights, A Today Sports has strong appeal.

Screenp ckscreen Messenger

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Screenp puts a new image on your lock screen each time you turn on your phone—assuming you have friends to send the images.

nt a surprise every time you pick up your phone? Got friends family that also want that surprise, that you implicitly trust not to send you explicit images? Good—then you might be interested in Screenp.

As its full title above notes, Screenp lets you swap photo messages with other friends using the app, when an image comes in, it’s automatically plastered on your lock screen the next time you power up the display. You can sketch atop a photo or insert text emoji before sending, that’s really the long short of it. Screenp isn’t meant to eliminate your messaging app of choice, but rather supplement it. For the right couple or pair of friends, it could be a cute fun way to stay connected.