Five to Try: YouTube Kids curates children’s content, while the minimal iA iter keeps you productive

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 28 Feb 2015

lcome to Five to Try, our weekly look at the latest Android apps games you need to check out. YouTube Kids should be a godsend to parents going forward, as it highlights appropriate content within a child-centric interface. Conversely, the long-anticipated iA iter serves a very different task: encouraging productive writing via a smartly spartan interface.

On the gaming front this week, Magic Touch: zard for Hire will challenge your gesture-drawing skills, while Highrise rd Heroes puts an offbeat, entertaining spin on typical letter-connecting games. And when you’re done watching, writing, playing, you can help further cancer research by running Folding@Home while you sleep. Sounds like a full, productive day, so be sure to scope out all five apps! 

YouTube Kids

fivetotry feb27 youtubekids

YouTube Kids is much easier to navigate than the full app, because it points users towards selected content. You can still search, although the results are limited.

YouTube has become a go-to destination for parents looking to educate enlighten their kids—or simply entertain them for a spell— the new YouTube Kids app aims to create a safe space on the service for younger viewers. Right from the start, you’ll find an array of familiar television shows to watch, including Sesame Street, Thomas & Friends, Yo Gabba Gabba, along with music learning channels.

You can still search around, although a content filter keeps adult stuff out of reach, you’ll never see risqué ads along the way. rent-friendly features like timers the ability to block the search functionality entirely are hy, but older kids can easily overcome the lack of personalized passwords. Still, this is by far the best way for young minds to experience YouTube.

iA iter

fivetotry feb27 iawriter

It’s long overdue, but iA iter is finally on Android. The simplistic UI is focused on getting you to dump out all those words in your brain with minimal distractions.

Years after its celebrated iOS debut, ultra-minimal text editor iA iter finally made its Android debut this week. As you can surmise from the screens, the $4.99 app thrives on simplicity: There’s no fiddling with text format, no font selections, no hovering UI elements to clutter the screen or take you away from your writing. It’s just your words an ideal canvas to house them.

You can use down to easily tweak your text without tapping or fumbling through menus, the Focus Mode hones in only on your latest sentence so you can concentrate on current thoughts. iA iter lacks Drive support for now, but at least Dropbox support is here. For writers on the run, it’s a great option.

Magic Touch: zard for Hire

fivetotry feb27 magictouch

It’s based on an old Flash game, but Magic Touch: zard for Hire plays so well on a touchscreen. Nitrome really nailed it here.

It’s always refreshing to play a mobile game that just feels so perfectly designed for touch platforms, that’s the case with Nitrome’s Magic Touch: zard for Hire. You’re the titular sorcerer at the bottom, you have to fend off a bevy of angry-looking robots that try to storm your castle from above. To stop their advance, you pop their balloons using magic spells, which means frantically replicating the gestures that appear on them.

You’ll draw all manner of dashes squiggly lines as enemies arrive in bunches, the game gets gleefully chaotic in a hurry. It’s a freemium affair, so you’ll have opportunities to spend on boosts (or to permanently kill ads), but the free core experience remains a blast.

Highrise rd Heroes

fivetotry feb27 highrise

A disaster-themed word game just wouldn’t be complete without a monkey a robot. Highrise rd Heroes is a bit odd, but it’s a lot of fun.

at do you do when an earthquake strikes while you’re on the top floor of a skyscraper? y, you match letters to create words, of course! Highrise rd Heroes has a silly premise, but it’s an entertaining little free-to-play word game that’s high on both variety personality.

Subsequent levels rarely feel the same, as there are plenty of variations in the game design. Sometimes, you’ll have to match oxygen tiles to characters to keep them alive; other times, you may just need to rescue everyone on the board before you run out of turns. You’ll find many more level objectives, each character has a special ability that can shake things up. It’s a nicely unique entry in a very crowded genre.


fivetotry feb27 folding

Folding@Home isn’t much to look at, but that’s the point: it ideally runs while you sleep, using your phone’s computing power to help disease research from afar.

Smartphones pack a ton of power into increasingly tiny devices— that processing ability mostly sits around unused while you sleep. y not put it toward something meaningful? That’s the idea behind Folding@Home, a free app from Sony Stanford University that furthers a program previously seen on the ayStation 3.

ug in your phone connect it to -Fi overnight, the app will simulate the complex act of protein folding relay the data back to researchers, who use it to look for cures for things like cancer zheimer’s disease. The app is now compatible with non-Sony llipop devices, distributed computing costs you essentially nothing—so consider lending a h while you snooze.