Staff picks: Most entertaining mobile app


Tyler Hotz loves checking Knoxville’s weather on the Star Wars app, even though it doesn’t involve bananas.

When most teenagers get a free moment, they turn to their phones. After checking social media for what seems like the millionth time, a new form of entertainment is necessary to keep teens engaged. In order to do so, companies and individuals created millions of apps to occupy time. If the same old boring game apps are losing their appeal, turn to one of these picks that are sure to entertain…at least for a few hours.

Most of the apps on my phone fall into two categories – sports or news. In contrast, my favorite and also newest app to my phone is the official Star Wars app. After the new Star Wars craze gripped the nation, I like many got more involved and more nerdy about some of my favorite movies. The app has everything from gifs and emojis to even weather forecasts that line up with different conditions on the planets from the films. It is a must for people who love Star Wars as much as I do. [Tyler Hotz]

Apps generally have a short life on the average smartphone. Let’s be honest—you can only play 2048 so many times. The best apps have a long-term value and can be used for a variety of purposes, so for my app pick, I present Pic Collage. In a world inundated by a constant maelstrom of photos, Pic Collage is an easy way to put your pictures in a nice format within 10 minutes. It provides numerous backgrounds, color schemes, and the ability to use any picture from the Internet as well as your own photos. It also allows you to add text in a variety of fonts and edit your photos as you add them to the collage. It’s not the most advanced photo editing software out there, but for a quick design, it’s the perfect choice. [Madison Chan]

A week ago, I had a horrible habit of drinking a whole five drops of water a day. What changed, you ask? Well, I found this app called Plant Nanny. You get to pick a plant, put it in a pot, and name it. You then pick a cup size that is easy for you to keep track of and fill up the cup every time you drink that amount of water, which in turn waters the plant. In order to keep my plant, Fran, from dying, I am now forced to drink 12 250 mL cups of water a day, which I guess is healthy. [Danielle Fannon]

Mr. Crab is one of those mindless games you play when you just need to chill. The point of the game is to guide Mr. Crab up a spiraled course to pick up his baby crabs. You will encounter enemies and buffers along the way. I love this game after a rough day; it helps me just calm down.  [Cassidy Bailey]

I’ve kept extra care of my photos ever since my phone rebooted and deleted a year’s worth of pictures, but then Google Photos came to save the day. Google Photos connects to your phone’s camera roll and backs everything up to your Google account. It’s “assistant” arranges select photos into stories, slideshows, and even gifs. Also, the search feature is highly accurate and creates files for every location, subject, and face in your photos (you can even search a friend and find all your photos of them). When I downloaded it, I was astonished by how intuitive and convenient it is. [Allie Gruszkiewicz]

Being an art-obsessed, photography-exploring individual, my app is of course Adobe Photoshop Mix. You can use so many different types of effects and utilities that most other collage and photography apps don’t offer. I’ve created visual supplements for school projects using this app as well. [Kira Suerth]

Due to my extensive photo library and the subsequent lack of space on my phone, the only app that I keep instead of Snapchat and Instagram is Flappy Bird. I still play it religiously, and I am not ashamed. [Maggie Kimber]

Art is my life, so it really isn’t all that surprising that my favorite app is one that involves art. The Daily Art app not only gives you a beautiful masterpiece for you to look at everyday, but it also teaches you about the symbolism, themes, and techniques used in the art work. It also gives fun facts about the artist. For anyone who also loves art history this app is the best. [Madison Tenney]

Need to tell someone you’re almost home, but don’t want to text and drive? The app If is perfect for these situations. The app creates several “recipes” that involve chain reactions. For example, if you get close to your house, the app will direct message someone from your Twitter account. If is not limited to just social media interactions; it also connects to the weather app to send an alert every morning with the forecast for the day. The “recipe” options are endless thanks to the app’s cooperation with several other apps and programs to provide an easy way to set off chain reactions that are beneficial to everyday activities. [Katie Matthews]

I only have one game on my phone, but that’s all I need. Madden Mobile is the perfect app for all the NFL fans out there. It’s essentially the same thing as Madden for the Xbox or PlayStation, except for the fact that it’s on your phone. Whether it’s joining a league with your friends, playing season mode, or conquering the live events section of the game, Madden Mobile will keep you busy, and is an app you need to have. [Wyeth Wilson]