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Tech review: Numbers apps add up to great fun

Apps that help users stay connected.

Apps that help users stay connected. Credit: AFP / Getty Images

Has life's daily stress done a number on you? Perhaps you need some apps you can count on to help you unwind. These number games can relax your body while keeping your mind sharp.


(iOS, Android; free)

The aim of this game is to swipe numbered tiles and join them until they add up to 2048. Sounds simple? It's not. There is hyperinflation when it comes to numbers apps with the same or similar names, and finding the best version of 2048 for your device can be as challenging as playing the game. For Android devices, the version from developer Estoty Entertainment Lab worked best. While Estoty also makes an iOS version, the 2048 app from Ketchapp Games is the most popular and was No. 1 on iOS' free games chart last week.


(iOS, Android; $1.99)

To succeed in Threes! a player must combine tiles to form multiples of the digit "3" in increasing difficulty, so you go from "3" to "6" to "9" and continue upward. Getting to "24" isn't difficult, but after that, good luck. Originally released by developer Sirvo earlier this year as an iOS-only app, Threes! quickly acquired a legion of fans and became one of the most popular paid games at the iTunes Store. The Android version was released last month.


(iOS, Android; free)

Amid the numerous versions of this popular numbers puzzle game available on the app stores, the iOS version from Finger Arts and the Android version from Genina are among the highest rated, most popular and most supported by the developers. Like classic Sudoku, the goal is to fill a 9x9 grid with all the digits from 1 to 9.

Numbers Addict

(iOS, Android; free)

You will need to summon all your mental acuity to conquer this game, which combines the math skills of 2048 and Sudoku and the logic skills of chess. The goal is to line up balls of the same number and make them pop like bubbles. But even as the balls explode, you must anticipate your next move. There are three modes: easy, medium and expert.


Tech bytes


AOL mail hacked

A number of AOL users have had their email accounts compromised by hackers who have gotten access to the account's address book and sent spam to everyone on the contact list. The spoofed email includes a link to a fake news item that may include malware. AOL had no comment on how hackers got access to the address books but said it is "working to resolve the issue."


Dirty secrets

LED bulbs in your home probably make everything look brighter. But your freshly washed white shirt? Not so much. Researchers from Penn State University and LED bulb maker Soraa said chemicals added to detergents are formulated so laundry looks "whiter than white" under incandescent and fluorescent lights. But the "white boost" is not seen under some LED bulbs, which uses different wavelengths of light.

Google boosts Android security

Google is rolling out another layer of security to its Android operating system aimed at ensuring that apps are "behaving in a safe manner" after they are installed. The Verify Apps feature, which in the past checked apps only as they were installed, now continually checks and scans devices for harmful apps and programs.

-- Peter King

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