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You can take flight with these apps

Take a flight past the city's great landmarks

Take a flight past the city's great landmarks with New York Flight Simulator. Credit: Tri One Games

Thirty-five years ago this month, Microsoft did something almost unheard of. It released a game for the burgeoning PC market, where computers running Microsoft’s operating system were used mainly for business purposes. But Microsoft Flight Simulator became a huge hit and a launching pad for PC gaming. Microsoft Flight Simulator is no more, but these four sims for mobile devices are worthy descendants.

Flight Pilot Simulator 3D

(iOS, Android; free)

The most downloaded mobile flight sim, Flight Pilot Simulator 3D has been through numerous iterations and keeps improving. There are numerous missions to complete, so the game never gets boring. The 3-D graphics are superb on high-end phones. The free download offers limited but enjoyable gameplay, and in-app purchases let you unlock a wide array of craft and additional missions.

X-Plane 10

(iOS, Android; free)

Another highly popular game — it has been downloaded more than a million times — X-Plane 10 Flight Simulator is the mobile version of the well-regarded desktop flight sim. The cockpits of the planes are amazingly realistic, with hundreds of working controls. Especially well done is the beautifully rendered airports and scenery on the ground. In-app purchases offer several additional aircraft.

New York Flight Simulator

(iOS, Android; free)

Want to get a bird’s view of Manhattan and other local sites of interest? This flight sim provides that and more. The free download lets you fly a small propeller plane or helicopter, but in-app purchases unlock several more planes, including jets and military craft. To really enjoy the view, you can swing out over Long Island before landing at JFK or LaGuardia.

Extreme Landings

(iOS, Android; free)

When you’re in a real airplane, the last thing you want to experience is an extreme landing. But in a simulation, the more danger the better. Extreme Landings pretty much describes the game: You must land your plane while facing a variety of risky scenarios. The free download offers limited missions and a randomly chosen airport, but in-app purchases widen the choices considerably.

What’s up, Docs?

Some Google Docs users were surprised recently when they found they were denied access to their files. Google explained in a blog post that a “short-lived bug” incorrectly flagged some files as violating the company’s terms of service. But the incident left users worried that Google is spying on them. Google said it uses automatic security precautions to scan Docs files for “abusive content,” but doesn’t technically read them.

A good cry

If you’re an iPhone or Mac user, you may be so happy you can’t keep from crying. According to statistics released by Apple, the most popular emoji among its users is the one commonly known as “face with tears of joy.” The next most-used emojis were the big red heart and the one known as “loudly crying face.”

Razer’s edge?

Computer peripherals maker Razer is entering the crowded smartphone market hoping to snare hardcore gamers. The Android-based Razer Phone has unmatched specs for playing games, including Dolby “cinematic audio” with dual amplifiers and a 120Hz UltraMotion display. It also packs 8GB of RAM. (The iPhone X, by comparison, has 3GB.) The phone is scheduled to go on sale Friday, costing $700. — PETER KING

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