New iPhone apps worth downloading: Stephen Hawking’s Snapshots of the Universe, GlassesOff: Read Without Glasses, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Dec 13, 2013
Tech

Expand your mind and learn about the universe with our first app worth downloading today, Stephen Hawking’s Snapshots of the Universe. Based on the writings of the famous astrophysicist, the app brings users information and experiments that help simplify and teach hard-to-understand concepts about the universe. We’ve also got GlassesOff, an app meant to help […]

Expand your mind and learn about the universe with our first app worth downloading today, Stephen Hawking’s Snapshots of the Universe. Based on the writings of the famous astrophysicist, the app brings users information and experiments that help simplify and teach hard-to-understand concepts about the universe. We’ve also got GlassesOff, an app meant to help users train their brains to make their vision sharper and stronger, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a classic entry into the crime game series, set in a fictional version of 1990s Los Angeles.

Stephen Hawking’s Snapshots of the Universe (iPad) ($4.99)

What’s it about? Learn about how the universe works from one of the world’s leading scientists in Stephen Hawking’s Snapshots of the Universe, which includes simple experiments and animations that make tough concepts easy to grasp.

What’s cool? Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking is great at making the complex workings of the universe easy to understand for people without Ph.D.’s, and that’s the goal of Stephen Hawking’s Snapshots of the Universe: explain the universe so anyone can understand it. Based on Hawking’s writings, the iPad app includes fun, simple illustrations and animations that demonstrate a number of the key concepts that keep the universe together – things like how planets orbit stars, the fact that time is not the same for everyone, how gravity and acceleration work and more. Snapshots of the Universe is also full of interactive but simple experiments to help users understand its broad, sometimes abstract concepts.

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Who’s it for? Snapshots of the Universe is probably best enjoyed by students, but the app is made so that adults will find it fun and educational as well.

What’s it like? Check out the NASA App and The Night Sky for two more offerings that will teach you a bit about the universe.

GlassesOff: Read Without Glasses (Free)

What’s it about? Work to increase your brain’s image processing power, allowing you to potentially eliminate the need for reading glasses through brain exercises.

What’s cool? As your age, your eyes often will get worse – but it’s possible in some cases for people to improve their vision through exercises. You can’t make your eyes better, but you can train your brain to make better use of the information your eyes are giving it. GlassesOff has its users doing daily exercises for about 15 minutes per session and has been shown in studies to help certain participants reduce their need for glasses. Sessions are adaptable to the users and are also modeled after games, so they should also be interesting for users giving GlassesOff a try.

Who’s it for? If you need reading glasses or are anticipating your eyes getting worse soon because of things like age, try the exercises in GlassesOff.

What’s it like? Get different kinds of vision improvement and help with eyesight and Relearning to See.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ($6.99)

What’s it about? Experience a satirical version of 1990s California in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a Playstation 2-era entry into the well-loved and controversial crime game series.

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What’s cool? After Grand Theft Auto 3 on Playstation 2, developer Rockstar Games created two period piece takes on the series. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is set in the early 1990s in a video game version of California known as San Andreas, where players take on the role of CJ, a man quickly finding his old neighborhood is a hotbed of problems. Like other GTA games, players can steal cars, participate in tons of crime-based missions, and generally explore a huge open world. The game also includes elements like a weight gain system that requires players to keep Carl in shape, and remastered graphics to compliment the more than 70 hours of gameplay.

Who’s it for? Fans of the Grand Theft Auto series should grab this series fan-favorite title, especially if they intend to revisit Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto V.

What’s it like? Don’t forget to check out Grand Theft Auto 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for more classic GTA action.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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