5 Great New Apps For Your Phone

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
The App Store can feel like an overgrown jungle sometimes; every day, it seems like there are a hundred new apps to filter through. While you want to check them out, it's hard to know what's worth your while (and your precious home-screen space). Refinery29 is here to help. Each week, we're going to highlight the five best new apps, on any major mobile platform.

This week, Android users can jot down notes in a jiffy using a new app from Microsoft. And we've got two apps that are perfect for Halloween weekend. L'Oreal's latest lets you try on different hair colors, and offers styling tutorials — perfect if you wanted to switch up your hair color in tandem with your costume. There's also an amazing new Walking Dead game that is, of course, filled with zombies.

For details on the rest of our picks, you'll have to click through — you could find your new favorite.
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Photo: Courtesy Microsoft.
Everyone has moments when they need to jot down important information — fast. Parchi (free on Android) is a note-taking app perfect for capturing small bites of info, even from the lock screen. You can color notes, make lists, or just write down timely information. You can also pin your notes to the lock screen, add tags so you can find them later, and group multiple notes together. Whether you’re a grad student, a new mom, or basically anybody else, this sounds incredibly useful.
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Photo: Courtesy Run Mo Run!.
Run Mo Run!
Next month is November, but among the men in your life, it may be better known as Movember. The Movember Foundation, which promotes growing a mustache to raise awareness for men’s health charities, created an app, Run Mo Run (free on iOS and Android), to go along with its month-long facial-hair-growing effort. In the app, your mustachioed character runs and jumps through various mustache-themed worlds as you collect coins and turn regular bros into “mo bros” (yep). If the idea of a whole Tom Selleck-style-mustache world tickles your fancy, you should check out this game; in-app purchase proceeds go towards charities.
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Photo: Courtesy Vidku.
We love sharing videos on Snapchat, but sometimes it’s a bummer when you see or capture an amazing Snap, and then it’s gone forever. If you feel the same way, you may want to try Vidku (free on iOS and Android). It’s a video-focused social network that lets you share clips up to 17 seconds long with your friends. If you don’t want the video to linger forever, you can remove it anytime you want; otherwise, it exists in a discussion stream with your group of friends. You can make groups based around an event or around specific people.
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Photo: Courtesy L'Oreal.
Matrix Color Lounge
One time, this author advised a friend, “Yeah, you should totally dye your hair that color; it will look great!” And she was wrong. Don’t be that friend. You can use an app like Matrix Color Lounge (free on iOS) to test-drive exactly what you’d look like in a particular hair shade (of, in this case, Matrix Colour products). In addition to letting you virtually try on colors, a craft-education feature offers how-tos on the latest hair-color trends. You can also follow up with which hair-care products you need to maintain that look.
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Photo: Courtesy AMC.
Walking Dead: No Man’s Land
Just in time for Halloween, you can get spooky with a zombie-riddled survival game. Walking Dead: No Man’s Land (free on iOS and Android) takes you into the world of the AMC show Walking Dead. You’ve got to make tactical life-or-death decisions, including fighting hordes of flesh-eating zombies, training, hunting walkers, and choosing who of your survivor group gets to live or die. No pressure! The app has fantastic reviews, so if you’re a fan of the show, a zombie-genre obsessive, or are just looking for a quality game to add to your repertoire, you should check it out.
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Photo: Courtesy Stitch Fix.
Stitch Fix
Your favorite personal-styling website just became your favorite personal-styling app. With Stitch Fix (free on iOS), you fill out a questionnaire about your personal fashion preferences, and then the company’s stylists send you a box with five clothing or accessory items. You keep and pay for the items you want and send back the rest. With the app, it’s easier to schedule a fix (a delivery) when the need strikes and to send feedback to your stylist when you see something awesome or don’t like what they sent. You can also upload a selfie, so your stylist can get a better sense of you and your personal style. If you’re a regular Stitch Fix user, this is a must-download.
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Photo: Courtesy Instagram.
Photos are so yesterday. If you want to share a moment in time, nowadays, you’ve got to do it with some motion. Instagram’s new app Boomerang (free on iOS and Android) captures five burst shots in a one-second time period and turns them into a video that it then plays forwards and backwards. It makes for a cool “going back in time” effect, depending on what you capture. The app is separate from Instagram, but lets you share your GIF-like creations to the platform (as well as Facebook).
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Photo: Courtesy CycleCast.
Your 5 p.m. meeting ran late, and now you’ve missed your favorite spin class. You could hop on a gym bike, but the monotony is almost unbearable. Why not get a high-quality indoor-cycling workout on your own time? With CycleCast (free on iOS), you can take 20-, 45-, and 60-minute classes from multiple instructors. You can try out the app for free for 30 days before a $10-per-month fee kicks in. For tunes, choose from playlists ranging from pop hits and EDM to ‘80s jams and hip-hop. The app also keeps track of stats such as an estimate of your calories burned and your heart rate (if you wear an Apple Watch or heart rate monitor), so you know you’re getting a quality workout.
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Photo: Courtesy Phhhoto.
Phhhoto (free on iOS and Android) is a fresh photo-sharing platform dedicated exclusively to choppy, stop-motion-style GIFs. The iOS app has been around for a while, but the Android version is new this week. Unlike other platforms, like Instagram’s aforementioned Boomerang app, this one actually does make GIFs (and makes it super-easy to create them) that you can save and share to any other app where GIFs shine. If you want a feed of all GIFs, all the time, Phhhoto could be your new favorite app.
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Photo: Courtesy SessMe.
Messaging apps aren’t in short supply, but while they all focus on connecting with friends, family, and your latest squeeze, they don’t always focus on security. SessMe (free on iOS and Android) aims to give you true control over what you send. All text is sent as encrypted text, so third parties trying to digitally listen in on your conversation can’t see what you’re saying. If a conversation gets a little too racy, you can delete the whole thread from everyone’s phones with the touch of a button. And if someone takes a screenshot, you’re notified with exactly what the screenshot is of. So if you send a photo and then decide that wasn’t such a good idea, you can delete it — and know for sure that it’s not secretly saved on the recipient’s handset. Pretty cool.
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Photo: Courtesy Stash.
Investing in the stock market can be a great way to increase your net worth — and make way more money than if that same cash was just sitting in a bank account. But, the whole process of getting started… Well, how do you get started? Stash (free on iOS) makes the process simple and accessible, even if you’ve only got a handful of change to spare.

After signing up with the app, a process that takes just a couple of minutes, you can invest as little as $5 in various stock funds that fall into three different categories: “I believe,” “I want,” and “I like.” The first rounds up stocks based on causes they support, like LGBT equality; the second focuses on what you hope to get out of your investment (do you want to park your cash for years, or just make more money than you would at the bank?); and “I like” is companies you experience personally, such as Internet companies like Amazon and Facebook. The app is filled with descriptions, glossaries, and graphs so you can understand what’s happening, and track your progress. Once you’ve made some investments, it costs $1 a month to use.
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Photo: Courtesy CloudCal.
Calendar apps are highly personal. What works for your friend or colleague may not be how you like to see your day laid out. CloudCal (free on Android) offers a new, at-a-glance view for checking your daily availability called “magic circles.” The app syncs with Google Calendar, Outlook, and Exchange, and has flexible reminders that you can snooze for later if needed. You can also hail an Uber straight from the app, as long as you’ve got Uber installed, that is. With an in-app purchase, you can get other features such as the ability to share documents and photos in calendar events, and the ability to drag-and-drop appointments around the calendar interface.
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Photo: Courtesy ShadeScout.
ShadeScout Nails
Wedding season is supposed to be over now, but you still have one more bridesmaid’s dress to don… and your current Halloween-flavored nail polish isn’t going to cut it. If you need to match your nail color to anything in the real world, from that dress to an ocean blue, you can use ShadeScout Nails (free on iOS). Aim your phone’s camera at your object of choice, and the app pools from thousands of colors from 25 different brands to show you what coordinates. You can also aim at a multi-color image, such as a balloon arrangement, to pull up an array of hues that match. When you’ve found something you like, you can even buy it in app. This is way more convenient than going back-and-forth with a picture on your phone in the nail aisle at Walgreens.
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Photo: Courtesy True Caller.
True Caller
You’re busy, you’re in the middle of your work day, and you get a random phone call. Do you answer it? True Caller (free on Windows Phone) is a call blocking app that, thanks to input from its 150 million global users, also lets you know if that unknown call is part of its spam list. You can block any call, whether it’s a contact or a hidden or private number. Now, you can relax knowing that if you answer a phone call, it’s going to be a real person — and then you can add them to your contacts list in a snap.
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Photo: Courtesy Appamics.
Portrait Play
Who says your selfie isn’t a work of art? Portrait Play (free on iOS) takes your selfie and styles it in the strokes of famous painted self portraits, such as Marc Chagall’s Self-Portrait (1914) and Edouard Manet’s Head of a Woman (1870). The app was developed to promote an exhibition of masterworks from Switzerland at DC’s Phillips Collection museum. It’s a fairly basic app, but it’s fun to play around with your photos, and you learn a little bit of art history in the process. You can also learn about Switzerland and the city of Basel, in case you’re planning a trip to the Alps any time soon.

Read on for last week's top apps.
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Photo: Courtesy Sunshine.
If the weather where you live is as indecisive as your Justin Bieber or Harry Styles preference, Sunshine (free on iOS) is an app that you need to download. Sunshine doesn’t just use satellite and airport-based weather reporting that most major weather services rely on. It uses additional data sources (including your personal feedback) to provide 36% more localized reporting. You can set locations like “home” and “work,” and, thanks to the app’s daily morning summaries, you’ll never be caught finishing your morning commute and wishing you’d brought that sweater after all. You can also teach the app to learn where your temperature comfort zone is, and it will subsequently be able to better recommend whether you should wear a jacket that day or not.
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Photo: Courtesy Adobe.
Adobe Photoshop Fix
Celebrities don’t really look that good in their Instagrams; many of the best and most popular ‘grammers rely on clever photo editing. And now, the king of photo editors is available in a super-easy-to-use package on your phone. Photoshop Fix (free on iOS) is the ultimate photo-retouching app. You can virtually “liquify” on-screen elements to reshape an area. You can also fix blemishes or other imperfections in the image (we’re looking at you, photobomber in the background) by blending in the content from the surrounding photo area. You can lighten, darken, add blur effects, and smooth or sharpen areas, among other editing effects. We don't think your selfies need ANY editing, but nobody wants to look like the lone red-eyed demon in the family photo.
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Don't get us wrong; we love shopping, but sometimes, we just don't have the time to sort through link after link to find the perfect purse for this weekend's outfit, or the right gift for a friend's housewarming. Scratch (free on iOS) aims to solve that problem by using human shoppers who help you find what you're looking for. You start a chat with a shopper, telling him or her what you had in mind and your budget, and then the shopper starts scouring hundreds of boutiques to find unique solutions for your dilemma. If you like an option the shopper found, you can purchase it through the app. This should make the holidays a lot easier.
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Photo: Courtesy Google.
One of the benefits of Android phone ownership: the infinite number of ways you can make your home screen work for you. To that effect, Google just made a new helpful, interactive wallpaper you can download called Meter (free on Android). The app gives you three minimalist geometric visualizations of important data points of your phone: your battery life, your WiFi connection, and how many notifications you have. Every time you unlock your phone, it cycles through one of these graphics. It’s a creative (and visually pleasant) way to make your home screen a little smarter.
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Photo: Courtesy Simple Timesheet Pro.
Simple Timesheet Pro
Whether you’re a freelancer or you just need a better way to keep track of the many projects you’re working on simultaneously, Simple Timesheet Pro ($1.49 on Windows Phone) is a great option for mobile timesheet and expense-keeping. You can enter time spent on various projects, set a timer so you don’t accidentally spend all day on one task, and get detailed statistics on how you spend your time — including commute hours. For desktop compatibility, you can back things up with Dropbox or Skydrive, or export timesheet reports to Excel. Now, to actually file those invoices...
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Photo: Courtesy Warner Bros.
Psych! Outwit Your Friends
Ellen Degeneres has a knack for coming up with (or at least backing) fun mobile-based party games you can play with friends and family. Heads Up! was her first app, but now she’s back with Psych! Outwit Your Friends (free on iOS and Android). It’s a play on the game “Three Truths and a Lie” — your friends come up with fake answers to a trivia question, and it’s your job to suss out the real answer from their fakes. You can choose from a variety of categories, and the app keeps score of each player’s success, so you know who won in the end. The only thing (maybe) missing is a multi-player mode, so you can play with strangers when you’re by yourself.

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Photo: Courtesy Tweetbot.
Tweetbot 4
True Twitter addicts — and social media mavens — often need a few more pro features than Twitter’s free mobile app offers. On the iPad in particular, there's been room for improvement. Tweetbot 4 ($5 on iOS) offers a clean, two-panel landscape design for managing your Twitter account. You can check what’s happening on your feed on one side; on the other side, show either your account stats or a handy activity feed that collects your mentions, retweets, favorites, and more in a single stream. The app supports iOS 9’s newest features, like multitasking, so you can keep Tweetbot pinned to a portion of your screen while you browse the web or check email in the other half. The app also has custom-swipe navigations for quickly replying or favoriting tweets, and a low-light night mode for last-minute Twitter checking before you head off to dreamland.
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Photo: Courtesy Weebly.
Maybe you're starting your own business, or maybe you want to give your personal brand an online home — either way, you need a website. But...isn't that complicated? No worries: Weebly (free on iOS and Android) lets you create a free website, blog, or online store in minutes using a drag-and-drop, mobile-optimized interface. The app comes with a variety of built-in themes (the same ones available if you were to use Weebly on a desktop) and lets you easily add photos, text, and other design elements from your phone's Photo Library. You can also manage your already-built site using the app, or publish new blog posts from it.
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Photo: Courtesy Instasnoop.
The only thing worse than browsing the backlog of your ex’s Instagram photos is getting lost in the moment and whoops! accidentally Liking an image he or she posted 39 weeks ago. With Instasnoop (free on iOS), you can Instagram-stalk to your heart’s content, whether it's someone you know or a guilty-pleasure celebrity, without fear of accidental hearts or comments. The app lets you view Instagram profiles and images, but takes away the ability to Like them (if you change your mind, you can tap an icon to head back to the actual Instagram app). Just add people to “Your Snooplist” to quickly check out their profiles quickly. You can also add individual photos to your Snooplist — perfect for when you didn’t really like that Tinder date, but man, those abs. You can also zoom in on photos, which you can’t do in the Instagram app. (There's definitely a potential creep-factor here, so try not to go overboard.)
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Photo: Courtesy Scratch.
Don't get us wrong; we love shopping, but sometimes, we just don't have the time to sort through link after link to find the perfect purse for this weekend's outfit, or the right gift for a friend's housewarming. Scratch (free on iOS) aims to solve that problem by using human shoppers who help you find what you're looking for. You start a chat with a shopper, telling him or her what you had in mind and your budget, and then the shopper starts scouring hundreds of boutiques to find unique solutions for your dilemma. If you like an option the shopper found, you can purchase it through the app. This should make the holidays a lot easier.
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Photo: Courtesy Inkboard.
Now that phones are so powerful, you can do way more than just share photos: You can edit and customize them up the wazoo. And if you'd rather gussy up a photo with virtual markers or crayons than with filters and stickers, you should try Inkboard (free on iOS and Android). Inkboard is an easy-to-use sketching and drawing app. You can color photos to add silly or surprising Snapchat-esque doodles, like the example here, or you can sketch out ideas on a blank canvas. The app even has its own accompanying keyboard, so rather than typing a "Heck yeah!" to your friend or sending a thumbs-up emoji, you can harness your creativity and draw out your response.