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Airtime

Free, Android and iOS

What is it? Created by Sean Parker (yes, the guy that founded Napster), Airtime is a place to chat with friends in real time using your phone's camera.

It's a like a Google Hangout, but you can also share videos, GIFs and other media to watch together. You create private rooms where your friends can hang out and leave, but no one can get in without your permission.

Why should I care? It's a good way to get face time with your friends when you don't see them often. You can video-chat with them all at once, come and go as you please, and stay connected easily.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshots by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
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Word Flow Keyboard

Free, iOS

What is it? Microsoft redesigned the keyboard on your iPhone into something new. It's a half-circle shaped keyboard meant to be used with your thumb. You can either swipe or tap to get your message out.

Why should I care? Word Flow is for those who love to use their phones one-handed. And if you like your keyboards to have a little flair, you can change up themes for a more interesting look.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshots by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
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Rukkus

Free, Android and iOS

What is it? Rukkus is a ticket-buying app for sports events, concerts and theater. But what makes it much cooler than Stubhub is that you can use its VR-like features in the iOS version to see the view from your seat, where available. Just tap on a ticket price in some venues and then move your phone to get the full view.

Why you should care? It sucks to buy tickets to a concert or baseball game, only to get there and not be able to see much (or worse, get stuck behind a pillar). Rukkus helps you decide where to sit before you buy.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Mitroff/CNET
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TheSkimm

Free, iOS ($2.99/month subscription after free trial)

What is it? Email-list-turned-app, TheSkimm gives you daily news and event updates with a tone so friendly it's as if your best friend is telling it to you. You can see a snapshot of each day, or look ahead to the coming months to see what's happening.

Why should I care? For those of us who can't seem to remember important events (like the State of the Union or a big movie release), TheSkimm helps you stay ahead of it all. Plus, it surfaces thoughtful stories and big news so you sound smart at your next dinner party.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshots by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
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Facebook Messenger (update)

Free, Android and iOS

What's new? Facebook Messenger this month added bots to its chat app. These computer-programmed chat buddies can help you with all sorts of tasks, from buying flowers to getting the latest headlines.

Go into Facebook Messenger and tap the search bar to see some of the bots you can chat with; more are coming soon.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshots by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
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Reddit

Free, Android and iOS

What is it? Reddit is finally venturing into the mobile world with its own dedicated apps for iOS and Android. The apps have all the features of the community site, like upvoting posts, subscribing to subreddits, and interacting with the site.

Why should I care? If you're a fan of Reddit, the pretty apps are a fun, enjoyable way to browse the site on your phone.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshots by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
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