Facebook’s latest Snapchat clone, Barbie’s Sparkle Blast and Astro’s AI powered email
We’ve kept up for you. Each week, we round up the latest app news, along with a few of our favorite new and updated apps, to keep you in the loop with everything coming to your phone.
Here’s what caught our eye this week. If you’re looking for more, make sure to check out last week’s look at top apps.
Facebook launches yet another Snapchat Stories clone
While Snapchat’s parent company was having a a milestone moment at the New York Stock Exchange—with some special lenses, of course—Facebook rolled out its latest take on Snapchat Stories: Facebook Messenger Day. One would think that after Facebook’s numerous attempts to take on Snapchat via Poke, Slingshot, Instagram and WhatsApp, the company would have nailed the format. Alas, Messenger Day has been received by users with much confusion.
One interesting part of Messenger Day is that you have much better control over who can view your story. You can exclude people from being able to view your story, or you share it with a few specific people. Either way, the people who can view your Messenger Day have no way of knowing whether they’re the only people you’ve shared it with, or one of hundreds. Mashable‘s Rachel Thompson explains why this makes Messenger Day the perfect app for flirting with your crushes.
Tinder for the rich, hot & famous
Everyone’s favorite dating app is reportedly testing an invite-only version. Tinder Select is a section of the Tinder app only available to invited users—you know, the ones who are more smoldering than us plebs.
Barbie celebrates her 58th birthday
Barbie is turning 58 and celebrating with a new game called Sparkle Blast. The app, which is similar to Candy Crush, combines gem-matching puzzles with collecting new outfits for Barbie. The game requires you to think strategically and is surprisingly addictive. Sparkle Blast is available for Android and iOS.
Instagram added yet another Snapchat-inspired feature: geolocation stickers. For now, the stickers are only available in New York City and Jakarta. Tapping on the sticker will take you to the page for that location.
Google’s Gboard has added GIF and emoji suggestions to Android along with instant translation, which is a nifty feature when typing in another language.
Pinterest‘s Lens wants to be Google for the real world. By using your Camera as a search bar, Lens will help you identify the products around you, shop for what you see and even find cheaper or related items.
Astro is a new app that wants to simplify your email with an AI chatbot. “Astrobot” intelligently detects when an email may need your attention, when to unsubscribe, helps set reminders and more. The app is currently available for Mac and iOS and is coming soon to Android and Alexa.
And finally, Capital one is letting you text your bank with emoji 👍🏻