Friday app roundup: language learning, fake friends and calorie counting

Welcome to the weekend, one that *fingers crossed* includes no filthy, white snow whatsoever. We’re here to discuss our four favourite apps that we’ve seen this week and would recommend to you our readers. We’ve got a little bit of something on this list for everyone.

This week’s app roundup includes: a popular computer language learning program in app form; an intelligent automatic photo editing tool; a fake friend in chatbot form; and a quick and easy way to count your calories.

App: Rosetta StoneRosetta Stone universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? If Duolingo, isn’t your thing for language learning, feel free to try Rosetta Stone. That’s right it’s not just an ancient program you can order from your copy of National Geographic that will arrive on a disk. It can teach you one of 24 languages through hardcore immersion. It even has an offline version, so you can take it off-roading to the country of your choice.

Best review quote: If you have a Rosetta Stone subscription, you can navigate to the menu within the app and select “Extended Learning.” There you’ll find the new tools. Phrasebook provides you with all the need-to-know phrases, like greetings, navigation questions, and more. It’s a nice thing to have on hand if you’re learning a language while you travel. The Audio Companion feature has a library of audio lessons you can listen to you while you drive, cook, or do anything that requires your hands. The lessons can all be downloaded for offline use.

Lastly, the Stories tool lets you read and record stories in the language you’re learning, then get feedback on your pronunciation from Rosetta Stone’s advanced speech-recognition engine that samples your voice with 16,000 data points per second. – Lifehacker

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: MendrMendr iOS app


What is it? Mendr is photo-editing for people who don’t want to edit their photos themselves. Just submit the photo you want to improve and the app does the editing for you. It’s like a photo-editing is a take out restuarant instead of a meal you make yourself. It’s an image editing app that does the heavy lifting for you, it makes the decisions and then shows you the best possible edited version of the pic you submitted.

Best review quote: Mendr is great for people who are not adept at or have no access to Photoshop, but need professional edits for photos and can spare some bucks to have someone else do the job. Want to remove a photobomber from your otherwise lovely family photo? Need to swap out the background of your kid’s pic? Want to add a friend to a photo taken when she wasn’t around? Need to make promotional images look more enticing for your business? All that and more you can let the pros do for you with Mendr. – AppAdvice

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: ReplikaReplika iOS app


What is it? This not at all creepy app, is the best AI friend that you create that learns from interacting with you. It’s kind of like a personal chatbot that masquerades as a human person that is your friend. So if you’re so lonely that you a made up robo-buddy sounds like a reasonable alternative to a live human friend-thing. Just give it a name and start chatting with the false personality that will soon become your bestie. The only downfall of this app is that app’s can’t physically hug you. (Also, don’t let this sympathetic chatbot replace your living, breathing friends.)

Best review quote: Can an app be your friend? The makers of Replika (free, iPhone) think so, promising that Replika’s artificial intelligence “loves you and cares for you.” It asks questions about your preferences, helps you “discover your personality” and “takes friendship to the next level.” Helpful? Or creepy? – MacWorld

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: Calorie Mama AICalorie Mama AI universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? Calorie counting is a necessary part of dieting, but it’s not easy. This app takes the guesswork out of calorie counting. Just take a picture of your meal and the app will figure out what you’re eating and how many calories it thinks you’ll be ingesting per serving. That’s a pretty powerful tool to put at your fingertips, making it so much easier to try to eat healthy.

Best review quote: Aim the iPhone camera at your meal, take a picture, and the app A) figures out what you’re eating, then B) tells you how many calories you’re consuming per serving. It can recognize fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains, as well as complex dishes. – MacWorld

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

Sources: LifehackerAppAdvice, MacWorld

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