(WZZM) The Apple Developers Conference was this past week and USA Today got to go. See below for their best apps of the week. If you need some love on the internet and have some time to waste, check out www.thenicestplaceontheinternet.net.
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— Breeze (free, Apple only). A fitness tracker that runs in the background to monitor steps, calories and miles. "It knows when you go from a walk to a run," says Kelly Shelden of Minneapolis, an app developer for medical device manufacturer Medtronic. The key to Breeze is that you don't have to turn it on. "I use it instead of my old applications where you had to go in and manually press start and stop."
But is it a battery hog? Breeze says no. "We harness the phone's built-in motion chip so battery drain is 1 less thing you have to worry about," says its web site.
— Noon Pacific ($1.99; Apple, Android). A curated playlist of ten great songs, as discovered from music blogs and the online music service 8 Tracks. "It's the coolest music that's happening," says Lea Marolt Sonnenschein, a computer science major who attends Grinnell College. "So you don't get out of the loop."
— Two Dots (free, Apple). This week's new No. 1 most downloaded free app on iTunes is a connect the dots game. "You play it with different dots and combine the colors," says Michael Sayman of Miami. The 17-year-old is a longtime app developer whose 4 Snaps app debuted at WWDC in 2013 and was then discovered in iTunes by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who offered Sayman a summer job at the social network. Of Two Dots, Sayman says "It's one of these interactive games you don't expect to be so addictive and enjoyable."
— Wisely (free; Apple, Android). The anti-Yelp, with customer reviews that are tied to their credit cards, to ensure that they actually went there. "The problem with Yelp is that people can spam it," says Aaron Grider,a student at Seattle Pacific University and a member of the tech support team there. Wisely + credit cards "keeps down fake reviews," he says.
— Waterlogue ($2.99, Apple). A photo app that brings a watercolor effect to your camera phone photos. Instead of the usual collection of photo filters available on many different imaging apps, Waterlogue "actually changes (the image) in an interesting and unique way," says Barrett Clark, a software developer for Dallas based Sabre Holdings, which makes the popular travel app TripCase. "That's more interesting to me than 'now it's a sepia photo'."
— Blek ($2.99, Apple). No. 1 on Apple's paid iTunes app chart is a line game. "It's very simple," says San Diego based software developer Rick Good. "You draw a gesture on the screen and you try to knock out dots. It sounds dumb but it's very addictive."
Readers: What's the coolest app you downloaded this week?