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New iPhone apps worth downloading: Minecraft Reality, CoderDojo, Icon Pop Quiz

by Phil Hornshaw

Minecraft Reality allows players of Minecraft, the virtual world-building action-adventure game, to create objects and use augmented reality to add them to the real world. CoderDojo helps kids interested in computer programming get the resources they need, and Icon Pop Quiz tests your trivia knowledge on various pop culture icons.

Minecraft Reality ($1.99)

What’s it about? Minecraft Reality, developed by 13th lab and Mojang, allows users to add the blocky, pixelated objects created in the hit game Minecraft to the world around them using augmented reality.

What’s cool? If you’re unfamiliar with augmented reality, it’s a technology that uses your iOS device’s camera and screen to project things into the world. With Minecraft Reality, when you hold up your device, you’ll see what the camera sees on your screen, and the app can place digital objects on the image. The result is the ability to add Minecraft-style objects, like cars built of blocks, to real-life parking lots. You can add Minecraft images to whatever you want, and you can even save them and share them with others, so when they aim their cameras at the same locations, they’ll see the Minecraft objects you added to the scene.

Who’s it for? Fans of the Minecraft game will get the biggest kick out of Minecraft Reality.

What’s it like? You’ll want to see Minecraft -- Pocket Edition for a taste of what the game is like, and CamCraft, which pixelates images just like you might see in the game.

CoderDojo (Free)

What’s it about? Educational app CoderDojo, created by Shara Karasic, teaches students who want to learn computer programming, and comes packed with news from the world of coding as well.

What’s cool? CoderDojo is a pretty slick educational resource for kids just starting out in the world of computer programming. It’s tied into CoderDojos around the U.S., which are computer clubs that kids can join to learn about programming. Outside of the clubs, the app is a great way to stay up-to-date on the programming world, and includes access to coding Twitter and news feeds, as well as updates on new coding resources for students and CoderDojo members.

Who’s it for? You’ll get the most out of the app if you’re a member of CoderDojo, but any students interested in computer programming should give the app a look.

What’s it like? Another programming resource for children is Move the Turtle, which teaches some pretty basic skills. For something more advanced, try iProgram.

Icon Pop Quiz (Free)

What’s it about? Icon Pop Quiz is an interesting twist on the traditional trivia game, asking players to identify icons that represent logos, movies, images, characters and more.

What’s cool? As far as trivia games go, Icon Pop Quiz has a different approach, and that makes it fun. The icons in question can be just about anything, ranging from the James Bond scope logo, to Scooby Doo’s collar, but they’re all slightly distorted or truncated by the need to turn them into square icons. You can also earn extra hints and other power-ups and boosts by guessing questions correctly – so if you’re having trouble in a specific category, you can earn some points in another, then return and buy hints or other help. There’s also an “icon shop” that lets you buy merchandise featuring the game’s many pop culture icons.

Who’s it for? If you like pop culture trivia, Icon Pop Quiz will likely appeal to you.

What’s it like? Logo Trivia has a similar idea, and Pop Culture Showdown will help you scratch your trivia itch.

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