Apps: 9/11 Museum Audio Guide, Google Search 4.0.0, Haunted House + Swarm by Foursquare
The National September 11 Memorial Museum is set to open next week in New York City, and the museum has released the free 9/11 Museum Audio Guide app ahead of the opening. The guide offers themed audio tours, with stories from 9/11 and the recovery at Ground Zero. The Witnessing History Tour is narrated by Robert De Niro, with other stories offered by those who experienced the tragic events of that day. There are also audio tours for younger children and those interested in the architectural aspects of the World Trade Center and the museum. It’s a well-designed app, but some may find the memories too raw and unsettling.
Google’s free Google Search app has been updated to version 4.0.0. Users can now use the voice search feature for associated questions—for example, “What’s the weather like?” followed by “How about this weekend?”. Google Now has added cards and loads faster, and it will also now tell users when there are new articles on their favorite topics, trips, authors, and blogs.
The original Haunted House by Atari was one of the first console games with scrolling graphics, as you moved a pair of eyes — yes, a pair of eyes — through Atari 2600 corridors, picking up items and avoiding enemies. It seems like a fantastic title for an update, which is what Atari has done with its new free Haunted House game. Unfortunately, the new Haunted House is a forgettable, frustrating ... endless runner. Sigh. You guide the boy character through the environment by eliminating obstacles in his way with screen swipes. It’s an uninspired effort when considering the possibilities of reviving the franchise.
Swarm by Foursquare (free) is a new Foursquare app that puts a focus on which of your Foursquare friends are nearby. It’s not completely dissimilar to Apple’s Find My Friends in that way, but it’s also not quite as accurate — that’s on purpose, and some will welcome it. And of course, Swarm offers key Foursquare features, including check-ins and messages. Some Foursquare users might find themselves flocking to Swarm.
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