Apps and New Releases — Oct. 10, 2014

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Apps

B5_SleepioSleepio
Free

This app is personalized for your data to create an ideal sleep schedule and help you fall asleep up to 50 percent faster. It works by issuing a test that determines your sleep patterns before giving you exercises and techniques to perform in order to fall asleep. Developed by a sleep scientist from Oxford University, this app is specifically tailored to the individual and achieves its main goal: helping you fall asleep faster. It is customizable and, most importantly, free to download with optional in-app purchases for those users seeking further help.

 

B5_SnapbyGrouponSnap by Groupon
Free

Groupon is a popular app that provides coupons to countless stores, and their new addition Snap makes shopping even more beneficial by providing cashback rewards every time you use the app. All you have to do is browse the offers, use the coupons and send a photo of the receipt to receive the cashback in your account after purchasing. It even has features such as a built-in shopping list to combine all your grocery shopping needs into one place. The simple user interface makes it very easy to send a picture of your receipt and receive the money back within a few days.

B5_SmartnewsSmartnews
Free

When there just isn’t enough time to read the entire newspaper or gather all the facts from a particular story, this app comes in handy to provide the most relevant details of current events in a simple-to-use layout. It is divided into categories such as business, lifestyle, world and sports. Its biggest hook is that there is no loading time, so the news stories are ready to read as soon as they are opened. Push notifications are also available to send headlines as soon as they come out, up to three times per day, so users are always in the loop. In our fast-paced world, this app comes in handy to keep in the know without using too much time to rifle through a paper.

 

New Releases

B7_AwkwardOrdinaryBoys_MCAmusic“Awkward”
The Ordinary Boys
★☆☆☆☆

Originally broken up in 2008, the English indie-rock band has released its first single since the 2007 song “I Luv U.” While the melodic chorus flows well with the prominent guitar and drum parts, the shorter solo verses become overwhelmed by this repetitive and overplayed section. After returning from such a long hiatus, the band is ultimately unable to show off the talent of its individual singers. The voices blend together and drown beneath their weaker unified vocals and a background of blasting music.

B7_EllaHendersonglow“Glow”
Ella Henderson
★★★★☆

“Glow,” the follow up to Ella Henderson’s debut single, “Ghost,” mesmerizes with its dynamic indie melody. Henderson was a finalist on the UK’s “The X Factor,” and she continues to dazzle with her passion and enchanting indie sound. Part of her upcoming debut album, “Chapter One,” the single builds to a powerful chorus in which Ella Henderson channels both her impressive vocal range and her Ellie Goulding-like vibe. Those who enjoy artists like Lana Del Rey or Florence and the Machine will especially love “Glow,” but the song is appealing to anybody looking for an inspirational pick-me-up and some soulful vocals.

B7_DavidGuettaDangerous“Dangerous”
David Guetta
★★★★☆

DJ David Guetta is at it again after hits like “Without You” and “Titanium” with his new single, “Dangerous,” featuring Sam Martin. The synths of “Dangerous” produce a high-energy melody that makes your heart beat with every chord. Even those who are not normally fans of electronic music will appreciate the highquality electric guitar sound of the synthesizers. Sam Martin’s auto-tuned vocals are the perfect complement to the synths and help bring personality to a dynamic electric song. While this isn’t anything wildly new for Guetta, it still manages to hit the spot.

B7_MakeMeWannaThomasRhett“Makes Me Wanna”
Thomas Rhett
★★★☆☆

Rhett is no stranger to the country scene, and his new song “Make Me Wanna” is a testament to his flexibility as a singer and songwriter. Although he keeps the vocals filled with a country twang and the lyrics follow the stereotypical country love theme, Rhett experiments with instrumentals to produce a unique and appealing song. The typical banjo, fiddle and harmonica are exchanged for a fast disco-synth beat. In the slower section this disparity works against the song, as Rhett’s signature country voice doesn’t mesh well with the more prominent electro beat. However, overall, this contrast provides a bizarre yet somehow interesting combination. While the lyrics will satisfy loycal country fans, the modern twist gives it a satisfying update.

 

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