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Speed Ask the Editor
mobile apps

Mobile Apps: Cool apps for Android and iOS

Free up your mobile phone’s and tablet’s storage to give space to these cool mobile games and tools.



Platform: iOS
Price: P149

One factor in getting the perfect shot is finding the right location. Easier said than done, of course. You need to do some legwork to scout your potential places, not just for good lighting spots and angles, but also if it’s still, well, standing. Fortunately, an app called Pixeo does the said legwork so you don’t have to, thanks to its crowdsourced database of prime photo spots.

Pixeo is always up to date, thanks to its community of photographers. When you pin a location on the app, aside from the gratuitous hero shot, Pixeo also displays its distance, weather conditions, feedback, and images from other users to help you decide on whether or not to give that spot a go. You can also contribute your own photos and feedback, and your submitted snaps could even be chosen as a location’s hero shot for bonus credibility.



The app is, unfortunately, free for just 30 days before you need to pay to stay, but seeing as the Pixeo team actively reviews all submissions for quality control and keeps the app ad-free, the P149 fee is a seemingly small price to pay.


Obscura 2

Platform: iOS
Price: P249

While the built-in camera of the latest iOS devices is stellar and powerful, we all know hardware is just part of the equation; software also plays a big part. It’s not surprising, therefore, that a lot of camera apps try to outdo Apple’s stock app with additional controls and enhancements you won’t find anywhere else. In the case of Obscura, it stands out of the crowd by keeping its accessibility simple and intuitive, without compromising on delivering advanced and professional results.

Touting an interface that encourages using just your thumb on either hand, taking one-handed shots in Obscura 2 is effortless, as is making manual adjustments with the multifunctional control wheel. Obscura 2 even lets you save photos in a variety of formats (including RAW and Apple’s dynamic Live Photos), add filters and effects, and use tools such as flash control and a spirit level. Settings are heavily customizable, and you can even set Obscura as a widget on Notification Center for easy access from the lock screen.


Google News

Platforms: Android, iOS
Price: Free

Google News has been around for a while now (the beta started in 2002 and was officially released in 2006) and has undergone major revisions since then. This year’s most recent update overhauls not just the user interface but also how it works in the background, resulting in a more intimate, optimal, and improved news reader experience, whether you’re on desktop or mobile.

For starters, Google News is now more personal, prioritizing developing news stories on topics you follow before shifting to top headlines and themed sections, such as sports, technology, and business. News sources are collected into what Google News calls Newscasts, to give a better overview of the subject at hand that can then be expanded for an even deeper dive.

Google News is also making use of artificial intelligence/machine learning with natural language processing to help filter and deliver relevant news from reputable sources—an obvious effort to squash fake news. Google News has also removed some old options for publishers, such as tagging and editor’s picks, which should
remove biased sources and skewed relevancy results, resulting in an objective reading experience that fits your best interests.

Words Erik Paolo Escueta
First published in Speed July 2018

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