Apps & New Releases — Oct. 3, 2014

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Apps

fitscreeennnnFitStar Personal Trainer
Free

Has the stress of midterms led to excessive delivery pizzas? Already starting to worry about the freshman fifteen? Keep healthy and active using FitStar Personal Trainer, a free app that gives you access to hundreds of workout routines that will fit into your busy schedule. Users can also take advantage of the fact that the FitStar Personal Trainer app works in conjunction with the MyFitnessPal app, a highly rated calorie tracker. There’s nothing wrong with a weekly trip to Wisey’s, but this app will help you squeeze in a few extra crunches whenever possible.

gif keyboardGIF Keyboard
Free

GIFs have countless possibilities. Already widely used to jazz up otherwise boring emails, these famous images can now be smoothly added to your texts. When words or emojis just won’t cut it, turn to the new GIF Keyboard app to amp up your messages. This app allows you to select from categories of emotions and offers millions of short clips, ensuring that you will always have the perfect response. GIF Keyboard is compatible with iMessage, WhatsApp, Twitter, Messenger, SnapChat and Email, which means that the right GIF is literally at your fingertips.

ebatesEbates Cash Back & Coupons
Free

College gives you the freedom to buy things on your own, but most of us are on a pretty tight budget. Save some money with this new, free app. Ebates Cash Back & Coupons basically pays you to do what you already love and find very convenient – online shopping. With various offers and discounts, you can save up to 26 percent on your purchase just by creating a free account with the app. You even get an automatic $5 bonus when you make your first purchase. The app syncs with hundreds of popular retailers: from JCPenney to the Home Depot to Sephora. Beyond rebates, Ebates also helps you find great coupons, special offers and free shipping from the stores you already love.

New Releases

carrie-underwood-something-in-the-water“Something in the Water”
Carrie Underwood
★★★★★

Ten years after winning American Idol, Carrie Underwood is still swimming in fame with her fabulous country sound. Her new best-of album “Greatest Hits: Decade #1” comes out Dec. 9. Underwood celebrates this achievement with her passionate, upbeat single “Something in the Water.” The song begins with a fast beat that transitions into a pleasantly slow verse that highlights Underwood’s powerful vocals. The rest of the single picks up momentum and succeeds in capturing the singer’s classic country sound.

Lorde-Yellow-Flicker-Beat-iTunes“Yellow Flicker Beat”
Lorde
★★★☆☆

Taken from the upcoming The Hunger Games soundtrack, this single initially succeeds in delivering a shivering, memorable intensity. Lorde’s famed, sultry voice is complemented by a buzzing chorus that fades into a similarly gripping beat. Unfortunately, the single never challenges Lorde’s vocal range, and it lacks the melodic variety of her hit song “Royals.” The buildup drops into a mediocre chorus, leaving the listener largely unsatisfied.

One_Direction_-_Steal_My_Girl“Steal My Girl”
One Direction
★☆☆☆☆

The infamous boy-band is back with sass in anticipation of their latest album, “Four.” “Steal My Girl” has all of the essentials that make up this pop group’s signature sound. The single begins with a slightly more techno feel than most of the group’s other songs, incorporating staccato vocals with a strong bass-and-piano riff that is topped off with a layer of synthetic beats. It builds into a perfectly harmonized chorus that, while not musically inaccurate, is disappointingly unoriginal: the same standard One Direction package. Loyal One-D fans will immediately swoon, but new fans should beware.

jaden-smith-blue-ocean“Blue Ocean”
Jaden Smith
★★★★☆

Posted on his sister Willow Smith’s SoundCloud account, Jaden Smith’s new song is a surprise to all. The song begins with simple, rather weak vocals that are accompanied by a piano. The next segment of the song shifts into synthetic beats and slowly rapped lyrics that are surprisingly profound for the brother of Willow, whose hit “I Whip My Hair Back and Forth” caused quite the controversy. While some parts of the 7-minute song are stronger than others, it possesses elements of raw experimentation and youthful emotion that somehow manage to captivate the listener.

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