Plates app makes dining out in groups a snap

Going out is fun. Divvying up the bill? That’s not quite so fun. For some reason, no matter how clever your group of diners, there is something about a restaurant bill that makes the collective wisdom go fuzzy.

With the Plates app, users can skip the back-of-the-receipt arithmetic and easily calculate what everyone owes, even with tax and tip. For parties of fewer than 10, Plates will do the division for you — even if a dish was not shared by the party. Just enter the price of all the items on your bill, let the app know who shared what, and you are all set to go.

The app is published by Splitwise, a company devoted to making it easy to split all kinds of bills with friends and family, but no Splitwise account is required to use the app. The company said an Android version of the app is in the works. Free, for iOS devices.

QAR 2 puts players in control

Simple and fun, this Android game puts players in control of a small, floating square called a “quad” to navigate around a grid. The aim is to pick up bonus items on the board by making your way over the grid and avoiding what feels like an ever-increasing number of enemy quads, which can take you out with one collision. Users have the option of controlling by tap or by using gesture controls as they bob and weave between enemies. The game includes three playing modes, including an “experimental” one where every point you earn slows your enemies.

It is not a flashy or terribly sophisticated game. But QAR 2 is mesmerizing and easy to pick up for a “few minutes” that can quickly turn into the better part of an hour. Free, for Android devices.

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