Five to Try: Facebook etplace opens shop, Giphy Cam gets weird with custom GIFs

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 7 Oct 2016

oking for new things to do ( play) on your Android phone? can help: our latest Five to Try roundup spotlights the most enticing new updated apps games of the week. Facebook’s mobile app might be a known quantity, but its new etplace feature is a big addition, helping to connect local buyers sellers of all sorts of goods. 

As far as totally new releases go, Giphy Cam offers a fun way to concoct share your own strange animations, while Stash smartly sorts your saved links articles for later. Meanwhile, the free-to-play Micro Machines is a fun blast from the past, nic’s frantic action takes the unexpected form of a musical. ad up on some fresh apps to explore over the weekend ahead.

Facebook etplace

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Facebook’s etplace has lots of gadgets … other things, too.

Given Facebook’s 1.7 billion active users, we probably don’t need to recommend the social network’s mobile app—but you might have missed a new addition this week. etplace is the company’s attempt to put its stamp on Craigslist-like item sales service offers, which are already happening all over the site within groups. Now, however, there’s some welcome structure to it.

Simply tap the middle button in the navigation bar you’ll find a grid of images price tags of things for sale nearby. Tapping each brings up more details lets you make an offer or message the seller. sting your own item is a breeze, although payment meet-up details are left entirely up to users, so be careful when finalizing any transaction. ile not a mind-blowing advancement in any way, etplace provides a convenient way to shift some stuff or find a sweet deal.

Giphy Cam

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Meme yourself in mere moments with Giphy Cam.

If you love animated GIFs, but wish your face could be plastered into a lot more of them, give Giphy Cam a download. The latest app from the GIF repository service shifts the focus from picking GIFs to making your own with ease. Simply record a few seconds of video (or a stuttering photo burst), tweak the animation cycle, then go nuts adding things like special effects, frames, stickers.

There’s all sorts of weird, gross, silly stuff in the toolbox, plus Giphy is plugged into Internet culture the meme scene, so you can put confused Travolta from lp Fiction atop your footage, or border it with a classic Star Trek frame. It’s fun, it’s goofy, it’s pretty effortless to boot. Spice up your social media feeds or chats with your own custom GIFs.

Micro Machines

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Yes, the Hungry Hungry Hippos appear too!

Got a sweet spot for Micro Machines, the tiny toy cars other vehicles that were popular in the ‘80s ‘90s—or maybe the great video game adaptations of the era? Codemasters Chillingo are counting on it, as they have exhumed Micro Machines as a free-to-play racer. It’s similar in style to the classic 16-bit versions, with top-down races in comparatively super-sized environments pulled from our everyday lives. 

Micro Machines offers up live online four-player races weapons-based battle events, with an expansive campaign progression that spans 18 courses 77 vehicles. Even G.I. e cars make an appearance. It’s a pretty fun Mario Kart-esque racer, also surprisingly friendly for anyone who doesn’t want to spend money, although you can pour in cash for perks.


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Stash’s main listing doesn’t look like much, but the pop-ups are slick the auto-categorization can help a lot.

Any web browser will hold onto your bookmarked links, services like Instapaper cket do a fine job of collecting the long-reads you want to save for later. But Stash, now available in open beta via the ay Store, finds a middle ground between both apps while adding some smart extra benefits.

Find a link via Twitter, email, or while browsing around? th Stash installed, you can share that link directly into the app, which automatically analyzes the content categorizes it for later. Is it an article, a recipe, or a video link? Stash can sort it out, although you can tag links for your own purposes too. And within the little pop-up, you can even set a quick alarm for when you want to loop back on the link, whether it’s with breakfast or when laying in bed at night. You’ll need to opt into the beta to snag Stash, but it’s a free download.


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The retro aesthetic is attractive, but the theatrical songs really steal the show.

stly, here’s something delightfully offbeat that’s well worth checking out. nic is an original game from Adult Swim, it’s essentially a collection of speedy mini-games in the form of a very goofy musical. You play as , a pixel boy with a song in his heart, who despairs to find his local theatre shut down. Bringing it back to life means working a slew of odd jobs in the city for some very odd people.

nic takes its strongest core inspiration from Nintendo’s great riore series, zipping you through a series of quick-hit games that last only a couple seconds apiece. It’s all about quick reactions: tapping a button at the right instant, sorting papers, or catching falling vases with a box of packing peanuts. The frenzy is fun, but the game’s personality adds a lot to the experience, with several songs written performed by real Broadway talent. nic is free to play in full, although saving progress requires the $3 premium upgrade.