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posted: 2/1/2014 8:21 AM

App reviews: Trove, Level Money

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By Hayley Tsukayama , The Washington Post

Trove: It's today's news, according to you

A new competitor in the social news space comes from Trove, a company formerly known as WaPo Labs and formerly a sister company of this newspaper. Trove has applied its expertise in the news business to come up with a namesake app for the iPhone and iPad. The app relies on curation -- both automated and personal -- to deliver relevant stories on topics of interest, or troves. But these aren't just robots picking your news. Expert curators, such as celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, offer their picks, too. Curators can add a small comment at the top of shared stories for some additional context. You can also create a Trove account to link with your Facebook or Twitter account.

The real beauty of the service is that anyone can become a curator on any topic and gather followers. So, whether your passion is sitcoms from the '90s or the mountain flora of West Virginia, you start picking stories to share the benefits of your expert knowledge with the world. Free, for iOS devices.

Level Money Stay in the know; budget on the go

Balancing a budget is never easy. But Level Money can keep you on the straight and narrow. With a stunning layout, the app helps visual thinkers see their personal balance sheet and monitor spending by day, week or month. It reviews information from your bank account to identify income, regular bills and whatever is left over. It won't move the money for you, but it provides a good guide for those trying to improve their financial health.

Level Money asks users to link bank accounts to the app for easy monitoring, which may make some uncomfortable. To ease concerns, it offers the option of setting a PIN code and promises to encrypt all data. If you're okay with that, this is a great way to keep an eye on the monthly budget. Free, for iOS and Android.

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