The Download Blog

Romantic apps for Valentine's Day

Romantic apps for Valentine's Day

To those who don't celebrate Valentine's Day because they think it's more about consumerism than romance, I say that's why you're on your way to a lonely life at the convalescent home. Valentine's Day isn't just about gift-giving or an expensive night out. What matters most on February 14 is what these gestures represent: love and appreciation. With that in mind I've collected five Valentine's Day-themed apps to help you express affection without sacrificing any of your convictions or all of your money.

Be Mine

Even if you're not artistic, … Read more

Tales of Phantasia gets a US release on iOS

Tales of Phantasia gets a US release on iOS

Originally released for the SNES in Japan, in 1995, Tales of Phantasia steadily gained a cult following both in its home country and abroad for its creative gameplay system and storyline. So much so that fan-translations of the game became widely famous due to the lack of an official English release. It wasn't until 2006 that Namco Bandai finally released an English voice and text port for the Game Boy Advanced. Eight years after that, we finally see a mobile release on iOS; but the direction they chose to take it in is sorely disappointing.

From a design standpoint, … Read more

Build your own dream game console with SteamOS

Build your own dream game console with SteamOS

With the flood of Steam machines introduced at CES, both casual and hardcore gamers have plenty of console options. But gamers with maxed-out hardware -- or those who just don't want to shell out for a Linux system in a pretty case -- can build their very own Steam box using the beta build of SteamOS. Here's how to set up your Steam machine.

What You Need

Processor: Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor Memory: 4GB or more RAM Hard drive: 500GB or larger disk Video card: Nvidia graphics card (Sorry, AMD and Intel graphics folks AMD and … Read more

Keep alien invaders at bay in Ziggurat

Keep alien invaders at bay in Ziggurat

Ziggurat is an 8-bit-inspired survival game for iOS, set during an alien apocalypse. It's the project of Action Button Entertainment founder and director Tim Rogers, a Bay Area transplant recently nominated the Most Interesting Man at PAX Prime, and a regular contributor to geek-centric content farm Kotaku.

The story: Aliens have just wiped out humanity, and you are the last man standing. Literally standing: You're atop a ziggurat, above the clouds, armed with one BFG-like firearm, making a last stand. You shoot by tapping, charge by holding the lower portion of the screen, and fire when releasing. The … Read more

Apps for keeping New Year's resolutions

Apps for keeping New Year's resolutions

A new year brings new goals, new aspirations, and new opportunities to grow financially, physically, and mentally. Instead of breaking your resolutions as soon as you make them, start the year off strong with these helpful apps -- and make the most out of 2014.

"The humblest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them."

Any.do

Android/ iOS

Any.do tops the list for any productivity enthusiast, thanks to its ease of use, powerful autofill, and clean design. Any.do digs deep to integrate your task with your phone's capabilities. For example, if your task is … Read more

Download's merriest music apps

Download's merriest music apps

Your in-laws are criticizing your carving skills, Grandma Edith's guzzling the port, and the tree's catching fire. Yes, Christmas can feel so predictable. Take a break from the melodrama with Download's favorite festive music apps.

Bjork: Solstice ( iOS)

Bjork is far out, and that's why we love her. Based on the track "Solstice" from the Icelandic singer's "Biophilia" album, this free app allows you to pull rays out of a sun to create harp strings that are then plucked by orbiting planets. With a tilting motion, your creation morphs into a … Read more

The 10 best Christmas songs of the last 40 years

The 10 best Christmas songs of the last 40 years

It'll be more of a blue Christmas than a holly jolly holiday if you're stuck suffering through the same old songs that your parents have been playing on the gramophone for as long as you can remember. So spice up your next holiday get-together with Download.com's list of our 10 all-time favorite holiday hits from the last 40 years.

Some of our picks, such as "Frosty the Snowman" and "We Three Kings," are perennial classics that have been reinvented in interesting ways by some of our favorite artists. Others, like "Christmas … Read more

10 shopping apps to add to your arsenal this holiday season

10 shopping apps to add to your arsenal this holiday season

As Turkey Day approaches, so does the the much-dreaded shopping season with its onslaught of store "deals" and half-sales competing to pry you away from your hard-earned cash. But if you're anything like me, then you probably haven't gotten your Christmas shopping strategy together yet. That means venturing off into the unknown and hoping that you won't get ripped off too badly.

But this year I made a commitment to get my act together and shop sensibly. Armed with my trusty iPhone 4S, I compiled a list of apps to find the best deals on … Read more

Getting Down

Getting Down

Bang bang, you're dead

As you may already know, Bang With Friends was forced to change its name this past summer, following a trademark infringement suit won by gaming giant and "With Friends" franchise developers Zynga, best known for titles such as Words With Friends (iOS, Android) and Scramble With Friends (iOS, Android).

Up for the Down stroke But trust, in the end, it was to Bang With Friends' benefit. In early November, the popular Facebook game relaunched as the Down ( iOS, Android) app. After testing the iOS beta version, I am already convinced that it's … Read more

10 apps to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

10 apps to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

Whether you're hosting your first Thanksgiving or are an old [chef's] hat, entertaining on T-Day is often fraught with fires, both literal and figurative. What should you prepare? Which wine should you serve? How should you get the word out? What are some good conversation topics? Which games can you play to de-stress, and how can you keep tabs on the big games during the big feast?

OK, we sense your anxiety. But before you grab another Xanax and call your mother or mother-in-law for cooking advice, try out these 10 lightweight, highly rated apps, guaranteed to keep … Read more