The Must-Have New Apps This Week

Photo: Courtesy of MyIdol.
The App Store can feel like an overgrown jungle sometimes: Every day, it seems like there are a hundred new apps to filter through, and while you want to check them out, it's hard to know what's worth your while. Well, Refinery29 is here to help. Each week, we're going to highlight the five best new apps (on any platform). 

This week, we've got new apps from major players Microsoft and Facebook, as well as offerings that will help you zero in on must-have new looks and fashions. 

Click through for our picks — you never know, you could find your new favorite. 
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Photo: Courtesy MyIdol.
You’ve probably seen these crazy videos popping up in your Instagram feed. MyIdol (Free on iOS) is a fun, completely silly way to turn yourself into an a singing, gyrating popstar. You take a selfie using the app, and it creates a customizable, animated version of your visage. Once you’ve made your virtual doppleganger, you can choose different dance moves for it to perform (including some impressive pole-dancing moves), and songs it can sing (“Let it go!”).

The app isn’t in English, but it’s intuitive enough (okay, it’s actually kind of confusing to guess your way through the app, but that’s part of the challenge and the charm). And, the results are absolutely amazing. Be careful: You might find yourself spending way too much time with MyIdol.
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Photo: Courtesy Microsoft.
Outlook For Android
After being in beta for a few months, Outlook for Android (free) is now available for your emailing pleasure. Outlook “triages” your inbox, so your most important emails end up at the top and your less-important emails end up in an “Other” inbox. It works with Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, and other Microsoft accounts (Exchange, Outlook, Hotmail, and Office 365). Microsoft released an iOS version of Outlook back in January. We love that Outlook has a built-in feature that lets you schedule emails to be re-sent to your inbox at a later time — super-handy if you read something you need to deal with later.
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Photo: Courtesy Clear.
Clear (Free on iOS) is here to help you take control of your online image. The app goes through your social media accounts, identifies potentially offensive messages, and lets you delete them, saving you from the awkward future scenario of your employer or the press — because obviously, you’ll eventually be famous — discovering your sordid social media past. Clear is the brainchild of Jeb Bush’s former chief technology officer Ethan Czahor...who resigned after backlash against his old offensive tweets (case in point).

After scanning your accounts, the app assigns you a score (a measure that’s a work in progress, according to TechCrunch) and shows the most recent potentially offensive posts you’ve made. Caveat: Clear just launched and has a huge wait list, so if you download it today, don’t expect to be able to wipe your profanity-laced tweets from existence quite yet.
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Photo: Courtesy Moneygraph.
Hey there, Windows Phone users, we’ve got an app for you today: Moneygraph, a delightfully clean, straightforward, and free money-management app. It has useful tools for freelancers, business owners, or anyone who filed for an extension on their 2015 tax return (no judgement here) — such as the ability to create spending reports for a custom date range. The app also makes it easy to copy individual transactions into multiple reports. Like Mint, Moneygraph also lets you view your spending habits via a pie chart that’s split up by category.

We like that this financial-management app doesn’t try to pull anything fancy; it just gives you exactly what you need to monitor and report your expenses.
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Photo: Courtesy Relo.
Switching from Android to iOS? Relo (Free on iOS and Android) aims to make it super-easy to transfer all your contacts, photos, videos, and apps from your old device to your new one. You need both devices on hand, both with Relo downloaded and connected to the same WiFi network in order for the app to work.

Relo’s most useful feature, though, is that it automatically goes through the App Store and finds the iOS version, or a suitable alternative, of all the apps you had on your Android phone — saving you a ton of time.
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Photo: Courtesy Shadescout.
Wish you could find a lipstick that’s the same shade as your favorite flower? Shadescout (which is free on iOS and Android) helps you find makeup that matches an exact color you love. It has a database of more than 10,000 lipsticks, glosses, eyeshadows, and more from more than 40 different drugstore and luxury brands. You can build and save a list of products you like, to purchase later — or you can buy through the app.
Another cool feature: You can virtually try on the makeup in the app (or give friends a makeover) so you can get an idea of what you’d look like in that teal eyeliner, or with deep-purple lips. We love that this app lets you explore more daring beauty looks without the commitment of actually buying a product. And, while other apps — like Makeup — also let you try on new makeup products, Shadescout lets you find a color in the real world, in a photograph for example, and then find makeup that matches that.
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Photo: Courtesy Google.
Google Handwriting Input
If your thumbs are tired of tapping out texts, give Google Handwriting Input (Free on Android) a shot. This new app from Google lets you use your finger or a stylus to write out words on your phone or tablet. When you’re ready to type, rather than a keyboard popping up at the bottom of the screen, a blank space appears where you can physically write words. Autosuggest options appear above this field.

Based on the reviews, this app seems to work flawlessly with all kinds of handwriting, from barely decipherable pigeon scratch to perfect cursive. It works with 82 languages, and on top of that, it will input emoji if you draw them. The app is compatible with any phone or tablet that runs Android 4.0.3 or higher.
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Photo: Courtesy Pancake.
Sometimes, you just need a fun, mindless, and utterly silly way to pass the time. That’s Pancake (which is free on iOS). After downloading, all this “game” involves is trying to flip a pancake as many times as possible without tossing it out of the pan. To flip the pancake, just tap the screen. Eventually, you miss, the game ends, and it’s time to start over again. We have to warn you: It’s easy to get lost in this game, as simple as it is.
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Photo: Courtesy SlidePick.
I don’t know about you, but my camera roll is utter chaos. There are so many pictures — and so many I don’t need — hogging up space on my phone. It makes it difficult to sift through and find the shots that are actually good. SlidePick (free on Android) aims to tame the mess of mobile-photo disorganization. The app aggregates all the photos you have stored on your phone, on social media, and in cloud storage, and, like Tinder, lets you swipe through to organize them into albums, or toss them on the cutting room floor. The app also lets you create new albums and share them on Facebook, if you choose.

This could be a useful tool for Android phone owners who are running out of space on their handset, or who just want to get their photographic life more organized.
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Photo: Courtesy Doodle.
This app isn’t new, but it just got an update that refreshes its look and adds more features — and if you haven’t heard of it before, it’s worth some space on your home screen. Doodle (which is free on iOS and Android) is a group-scheduling app. Say you’re trying to plan a dinner date with six of your friends, but you’ve got all got crazy, hectic schedules. Create a Doodle poll of a handful of possible dates and times; then, send the poll to your friends. They check off which dates they’re available, and from there, you can see when the best option is for everyone to meet up (something that would have required 100 texts or emails to figure out otherwise). Doodle also offers a premium version that syncs your calendar with the app, so it’s even easier to see when you’re available.

Read on to see the the best apps from earlier this month!
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Photo: Courtesy HBO.
HBO finally released its standalone streaming app, HBO Now (Free on iOS). The app download offers all your favorite HBO shows (current and past titles) as well as on-demand movies, for a reasonable $15 a month subscription.

The app organizes its offerings alphabetically and by genre, with IMDB-like information on each title. When you’re watching something, it conveniently offers Back 10 seconds and Forward 10 seconds buttons for minute rewinding and fast forwarding adjustments (otherwise difficult on a touchscreen status bar).

Now you can finally forget your old roommate’s cousin’s mom’s HBO Go password and pay for streaming access yourself.
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Photo: Courtesy SoulCycle.
We know some of you are big into spinning. For those that ascribe to the SoulCycle way of life, the SoulCycle app (Free on iOS) is a must-download. The app makes it incredibly easy to find and book a class, as well as check out the studio layout so you can pick which bike you want. It can then add the class to your calendar. If a class you enjoy fills up fast, you can bookmark it for speedier sign up each week. And if you’re traveling or looking to change things, you can browse upcoming rides at any studio, learn about SoulCycle’s instructors, and even listen to their music playlists.

If you’re a SoulCycle devotee, scheduling upcoming rides with this iOS app will be even easier than using the process on its website.
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Photo: Courtesy Polyvore.
Polyvore Remix
Polyvore Remix
(Free on iOS) is an addictive new fashion app. Using Polyvore’s global community, the app helps you explore new trends; get styling suggestions for a particular clothing or accessory item; and buy pieces you love through the app. When you come across a top you like, you can tap it to see a sample styling scenario. If you don’t like it, or want to see how else it could be paired, you click the “Remix” button to shake up the look, almost like pulling the handle on a slot machine. You can fave looks, and individual items, to save for reference later.

We found the app super useful for coming up with possible outfits for a recent sweater purchase, and a polka-dot pair of Keds.
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Photo: Courtesy Microsoft.
Microsoft Office Remote for Android
Office Remote (Free on Android) serves a single purpose: It lets you control PowerPoint presentations for Office 2013. The app won’t just magically work with any computer and any version of Office, though (unfortunately). You have to have Microsoft Office 2013, your computer needs to be Bluetooth capable (if it was purchased within the last two to three years, it likely is), and you need to install this Office Remote desktop add-in. Once you’ve done that, you can use this app to use your phone like a remote control-slash-laser pointer. It lets you view and advance slides, control an onscreen pointer, get next slide previews, control embedded audio and video files, and view speaker notes.

While this isn’t the sort of app you’re going to use every day, we think Office Remote is a smart download for Android who frequently give PowerPoint presentations, or anticipate any big presentations in the future.
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Photo: Courtesy Highball.
Highball (Free on iOS) is going to be the latest addition to your at-home wet bar. The simple, stylized app is for collecting and sharing drink recipes. Recipes are stored on colored drink cards, complete with a custom drink illustration. Once you’ve added a card for a favorite cocktail, or a new concoction you’re itching to try, you can edit the recipe card if you discover tweaks that make it even better.

We think this app could really come in handy if you have a well-stocked cocktail party. Just make sure your phone isn’t within spilling distance of any martini glasses.

Continue on for our 5 favorite new apps from last week.
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Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
This week, Facebook introduced Riff (Free on iOS and Android) for collaborating on videos with your friends. The app was inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge. First, you film a roughly 20-second clip of something and give it a topic. Then, you pass it off to friends, who can tack on their own videos following that theme. As the creator, you can delete clips if someone posts something off-topic or inappropriate.

We think Riff will be an awesome choice for commemorating events like birthday parties or weddings; everyone can share their well-wishes in a single, collaborative video.
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Photographed by Ashley Batz.
(Free on iPad and Android), whose launch we covered earlier this week, is a new app that lets you shop online the way you would in person: By building outfits. You swipe up or down on columns of tops, bottoms, outerwear, and accessories, tapping to select items you want your mannequin to wear. You can then save outfits as style inspirations for later, or tap to buy the pieces through the app.

Lovelooks is sourcing trends from a growing number of designers and retailers, and is adding photography of new apparel items on a weekly basis. As its inventory gets more robust, we think it'll be a convenient destination both for shopping and style discovery.
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Photo: Courtesy Spylight.
Spylight (Free on iOS) helps you ID fashions spotted in TV shows and movies — instantly. It can often identify exact matches (the app works with studios of currently-running shows such as New Girl and Empire), or products that are a close match. You can also search past silver-screen looks by show, season, or character; the app has a broad selection of clothing. It's never been easier to dress like your favorite onscreen personality.
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Photo: Courtesy Infinit.
There are a dozen ways you can share files with friends and coworkers — Dropbox, Google Drive, and Airdrop, to name a few — but when speed is key to your file-transferring needs, you may want to give Infinit (Free on iOS and Android) a shot. Infinit, which also has a desktop counterpart, promises file downloads up to 30 times faster than existing solutions (roughly four-second downloads). Plus, disconnecting from the Internet during a transfer won’t disrupt it. You can send anything, from a vacation photo album to an HD movie, and files are securely encrypted.
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Photo: Courtesy Microsoft.
Microsoft Office Lens
Microsoft Office Lens (Free on iOS and Android) is a handy app that acts as a pocket scanner for receipts, notes, business cards, menus, and more. The app then crops and enhances the image so it looks tidy, and uses optical character recognition (OCR) so that later on, you can go back and search the text in your images — no more digging through mounds of receipts or sticky notes. It can automatically generate a contact card you can add to your phone, and it converts other images into Word docs, PDFs, and PowerPoints, which you can save or share with contacts.

Lens isn't the first document-scanning app out there, but its OCR capabilities, paired with the way it cleans up images, are really slick. The full app is available on iOS and Windows Phone, and a beta version is available on Android.

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