Quartz, Anchor, Final Fantasy Ⅸ and more apps to checkout this weekend

Apps to check out this weekend

It’s been a long week of blurry Super Bowl photo talk and 4-inch iPhone rumors, but the wonderful weekend is here at last. And for those of you who find yourself looking for something to do on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon, we’ve put together a great list of new apps and games to check out.



Folks in the market for a new and innovative news app will want to check out Quartz. Brought to you by the publication of the same name, Quartz keeps you up-to-date on current events using a method I’ve never seen before: texting. No, it doesn’t actually text you, but the app is designed to look like a messaging app. So you’re essentially sent “texts” of headlines or news snippets, and then given the option to respond for more details or a new story. You’ll also receive photos, GIFs, web links and push notifications. This all combines to make a news app that presents articles in an extremely digestible format. This app is available for free.



Anchor is an interesting new application that allows you to easily broadcast short audio clips to the world. I look at it as kind of like a Vine-type app for podcasts. Users can post an audio recording of up to 2-minutes, and others can post a one-minute response. All of this then gets stitched together for anyone to listen to, and the end result is something akin to public radio or a community podcast. While the idea of listening to you and your friends debate the latest Star Wars movie may not sound appealing, Anchor has organized its more learned users and topics to help you discover intelligent, educational and entertaining conversations. This app is available for free.



I included Fetch by Microsoft’s Garage division in this week’s roundup because it seemed like a fun/silly app to play around with on a Saturday afternoon. Its purpose is pretty straightforward: take a picture, or load in a previous photo, of a dog and this app will identify what breed it is. Obviously, accuracy will be hit-or-miss depending on photo quality and other factors, but for what it’s worth, it correctly identified my dog Jaxx as a labrador retriever. Don’t have a dog? That’s ok, use Fetch to take a photo of yourself or a friend, and laugh at the results. This app is available for free.



I imagine that Bkstg is what Apple was going for when it introduced Connect for Apple Music last summer. To be fair, I haven’t played with the app much, but it’s being marketed as a way to “get closer to the musicians you love.” Features include real time content, photos and videos from artists and their entourages; exclusive backstage content, merch, tickets, meet and greets, and more; and the ability to search nearby and trending hashtags to get in on the conversations with like-minded fans. This app is available for free.

Final Fantasy IX

final fantasy

This game really needs no introduction. Final Fantasy is easily one of the most popular gaming franchises in history, and episode IX is largely thought to be the series’ highpoint. The story follows a talented young thief named Zidane Tribal, who joins with others to defeat Queen Brahne of Alexandria, the one responsible for starting the great war. The mobile port includes “high-definition movies and character models,” autosave, achievements, and a collection of “game boosters” that let you cheat your way through the story. This game is available for $16.99 (for a limited time).



Prism is described as a “visually stunning journey through a microcosmic galaxy.” That’s a fancy way of saying this is space-themed geometric puzzler with gorgeous graphics. In the game, players are tasked with touching shapes and patterns to unfold sacred geometry and reach the ethereal soul. Each of the 13 levels is a push and pull of cinematic design, mythology, and intuitive touch exploration. And as an interesting side-note, all of the art, code, sound effects and the zen-like soundtrack were created by a single developer: Clint Siu. This game is available for $2.99.

More apps you should check out

These apps have been updated