Our favorite phone apps right now

Every week we ask a question around the office to see what CNET folks think. This week: What app are you using most on your phone right now?

Jason Parker
1 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET

Blendoku 2

Editor's note: Every week we ask a question around the office to see what CNET folks think. This week we asked which app they were using the most on their phones right now.

My favorite app is the addictive and free Blendoku 2 (iOS/Android), basically a game in which you construct color gradients from increasingly difficult sets of colors. It's a huge drain on my HTC 10's battery -- to play properly you've got to crank the screen brightness all the way up -- and I've finished every game, but it still gifts me with a new one every midnight. I'm frequently late to work because I get sucked in while having my morning coffee and lose track of time.

Lori Grunin - Senior Editor

2 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET

A Color Story

I'm a sucker for a good photo filter app and A Color Story (iOS/Android) is so Instagram-ready it hurts. The free presets have that high-key look that brings out all the detail in your phone photos, plus there's tons of other packages you can buy if you want to move beyond the basic presets. Using it on the Google Pixel and iPhone 6.

Lexy Savvides - Senior Editor

3 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET


WeatherScope (iOS/Android) is my new favorite weather app because I can watch live streams from around the world from other users in 4K, and it tells me the weather. A great example is the screenshot I included because I could see what the weather and waves (!) were like at the beach in Pacifica, California when I was thinking about going surfing.

Andy Altman - Associate Editor

4 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET


If I have to choose just one I am going with Strava (iOS/Android). I use it on my iPhone 6 to track my runs and hikes. It is great especially for runs because I can see my progress. It is easy to keep motivated and try to compete against yourself that way. Also against other people, I guess, but I'm not much into that, and I only have six followers/people who I follow. My favorite feature is the little map of the area where you ran that you can see on your Feed. It's addicting. I'm especially proud of my runs in Tokyo being immortalized that way (even though it was hot and humid and I really wanted to quit running and just go eat something).

Patricia Puentes - Editor

5 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET

Baby Pics

I wanted to make my son's monthly photos really cute and found that Baby Pics (iOS/Android) has lots of features in the free version, and even more in the paid version. What has transpired since is I've been using this app for doctoring up almost any photo I post. Basically I look super artistic without doing much.

Danielle Ramirez - Senior Production Manager

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Who says no to free money? Or should I say... Refunds! SIFT (iOS only) automatically tracks your Amazon and online purchases. If the product goes on sale within three months, the app will automatically alert you to submit a claim via your credit card. Submit an application with your details and the app will take care of the rest. Within two to three weeks, you'll get the difference!

John Kim - Video Producer

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I know Hearthstone (iOS/Android) has been out since 2014, but every time I think I'm out, Blizzard releases a new expansion that pulls me back in. If you haven't tried it yet, it's a trading card game in the vein of Magic: The Gathering that's fast paced and a perfect time killer for the commute.

Donovan Farnham - Roadshow Social Media Editor

8 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET

Sibley eGuide to Birds

I've become hooked on the Sibley eGuide to Birds App (iOS/Android), the $20 electronic version of David Sibley's top-notch bird identification book. The paper book is great, but it's bulky and almost always stays at home even when I'm out with binoculars or camera. The app includes illustrations, text, range maps for 810 species, and unlike the book, can play immensely useful audio recordings of bird calls, too.

Stephen Shankland - Senior Editor

9 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET

Galaga Wars

I'm a big fan of video games and have been since I was a kid. I play plenty of modern games, but the game that has my attention right now is a remake of a classic. Galaga Wars (iOS/Android) uses one finger control to move your ship as you blast away at waves of enemies. I really like that I can just play for a little bit during my commute without a lot of commitment. Fun game!

Jason Parker - Senior Editor

10 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET


I know this is probably pretty common, but my favorite app lately is Spotify (iOS/Android). Yeah, sure, I can listen to a crap-ton of music, especially since I'm a premium member ($9.99/month), but it also comes in handy for blocking out the horrible robot-passing-a-kidney-stone squealing that attacks my ears any time I'm on the train.

Jeff Sparkman - Senior Copy Editor

11 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET

WhatsApp Messenger

My favorite app at the moment is WhatsApp (iOS/Android) because it allows me to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world. We have video conversations, we share documents and do some old fashioned phone calls. I know that Messenger from Facebook works too, but WhatsApp is more stable. It's also been very popular in Mexico from the beginning so everyone has it. My only complaint is that we should have a way to move our archived conversations from iOS to Android.

Tania Gonzalez - Audience Development Manager

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Clash Royale

Clash Royale (iOS/Android) is an awesome mobile MOBA game that pairs you with a random opponent for a intense three minute battle. It's free to pay with in-app purchases, but it's not required to make any purchases to have a great time!

Justin Cauchon - Product Manager

13 of 17 Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET

Design Home

If I had a house, it would be filled to the brim with designer chairs (and dogs), but since I don't, I live vicariously through my current favorite app, Design Home (iOS/Android).

It's a game where you get to decorate the interiors of different rooms with specific motifs (ie: "luxurious living room", "modern dining room", "contemporary bedroom") and submit them to be evaluated by your peers, AKA fellow Design Home designers.

If you get a good enough rating on your design, you're rewarded with free in-game furniture (for future designs) or in-game currency. I may not own a Mies Barcelona chair IRL, but you bet your ass I do in Design Home.

Xiomara Blanco - Associate Editor

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I've wasted far too much time in recent weeks playing Reigns (iOS/Android), Nerial's quirky kingdom-building app. You play a young king guided by competing advisors, messages from pigeons and mysterious voices. Swipe left or right to fulfill the various needs of your empire, but don't let any group become too powerful. Even once you've settled into the game's rhythms, this charming little game has plenty of surprises and secrets to discover.

Sarah McDermott - Associate Editor

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Google Play Newstand

I feel weird saying this, but I'm enjoying Google Play Newsstand (iOS/Android). It was revamped a while back into a news reader app with a smooth design that provides a digest of articles it thinks you'll find interesting, and a few ways to look for more. It's customizable ("Recommend fewer articles about Julian Assange") but simple and pretty intuitive. It does take several taps to switch to reading the original article in a browser, though, and I worry about whether I'm depriving those writers of my clicks.

Kelsey Adams - Senior Copy Editor

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Well, tell me if I sound too prude or old, but I've rediscovered Flipboard (iOS/Android). We're already oversaturated with news, but after going through CNET's Tech Today (seriously! Not a shameless plug) I go to Flipboard to catch up on everything from the latest on Trump, the Cubs, music and everything else in between. It keeps me informed and helps pass the time, especially during elbow-to-elbow crowded train delays getting to San Francisco.

Terry Collins - Senior Reporter

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Snapchat (iOS/Android) on my iPhone 7! I know it's kind of lame, especially since I turn 30 this week, BUT it is 100 percent the easiest way to stay in touch with my 19 year old sister. It's like leaving her a text/voicemail that she has to reply to because there is a puppy filter on it. The possibilities are endless.

Liza Maloy - Product Manager

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