Got anything planned this weekend? We have.
We intend to fill our days off by watching some top films (American Sniper), checking out some great apps (Musixmatch, Implosion), listening to a top new album and reading a fascinating book about UFOs.
And you can be just like us by reading this week's Stuff Weekender. Enjoy.
Album to listen to: The tallest man on earth / Dark bird is home
Mobile game to download: Implosion: Never Lose Hope
Implosion developer Rayark aims to bring AAA console gaming to mobile. It’s a lofty goal, but this is certainly a fab-looking slice-and-dice action title with seriously impressive production values. The audio and controls are great and the visuals shine on smaller displays (although they’re a touch blurry on iPad). It’s tough, premium and lasts well over a dozen hours: it won’t replace your PlayStation but the gap is closing.
Stuff says ★★★★✩
App to download: Musixmatch
The world's best lyric-syncing app is a must-have app for music lovers, allowing you to recognise songs by searching for lyrics and also working like Shazam to recognise the song that's playing.
The good news is that it's recently had a significant UI overhaul: its Floating Lyrics feature is now more powerful, popping up in Spotify or your lock screen, and there’s an Apple Watch extension too.
5-minute hack: Go on a smartphone diet
You and your Android phone are best buddies, but sometimes you need to know when to unplug and maintain your other tech friendships. Let’s introduce some QualityTime:
1. Download QualityTime (free, Android). On its own this app will give you breakdowns of how long you’re spending in each app, brutally exposing the extent of your Trivia Crack addiction.
2. Now go to ifttt.com/qualitytime and activate the QualityTime channel. This will give you access to various recipes, such as logging excessive smartphone binges on a Google Spreadsheet or Calendar.
3. To treat hardcore addiction set up a trigger, such as a notification when you exceed your daily time ration.
Book to read: How UFOs conquered the world
Smartphone cameras haven’t exactly sparked an explosion of convincing UFO videos. Could it be that flying saucers and their ilk are a 20th-century human syndrome that reflected the pop culture of their time?
That’s the argument of this fascinating book by Dr Clarke, a childhood believer-turned-UFO journalist. Critical without belittling its many eyewitnesses, it revisits major UFO events to show how films such as Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and the Cold War primed Western minds for the idea of being watched over by shy aliens. It’s a fine read – even for Mulder types who still want to believe.
Stuff says ★★★★★
Blu-Ray to buy: American Sniper
It’s more patriotic than an overweight bald eagle driving a Mustang with a stars’n’stripes paint job but, some dubious and overly simplified politics aside, American Sniper is a gripping tale of the US military’s deadliest marksman.
In all honesty it's unlikely to change your life and it’s difficult to shake the feeling at times that there’s a more interesting story to be told, but if you just want to be entertained for a couple of hours, it'll get that job done with aplomb.
Stuff says ★★★★✩