August 22, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Every week, Androinica.com attempts to highlight the best Android Apps. Using tips from the #androidapps tag on Twitter and recommendations to @androinica, we try to find something you may have missed. This week’s theme is Chat up a storm, think ’til morn. We’ve got apps for chatting with friends, an app to discover interesting things worth thinking about, and a game to test your puzzle-solving skills.
You may also notice there are no QR codes in this edition of Apps Alert. That’s because we have adopted AppBrain’s great new way to install applications directly from the web or link to the Android Market page if browsing from a phone. This will be a much easier way for me to share links with you all. Find out more information here.
No one wants to have Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, Google Talk, and Facebook Chat apps running at the same time. They want an app that supports multiple instant messaging protocols and multiple conversations with contacts. They want Trillian, which is now available in beta.
Trillian is a multi-protocol IM client that supports the aforementioned platforms and ICQ, Jabber, MySpace, ad Windows Live Messenger. There are some annoying force close errors, as to be expected with beta apps, but it has a dead simple interface that makes chatting across platforms easy to do.
Recommended by: @beautiverse: #Trillian for #Android is now out, beta version. #AndroidApp #DellStreak #AndroidApps
Sharing interesting articles and blog posts is something you’re probably interested in, so I’m guessing you’ll get a kick out of StumbleUpon. The link sharing website recently launched an Android app that does a great job of recommending articles, photos, websites, and videos that may interest you.
Users rate and comment on content, then the app uses a recommendation engine to that selects the next page/video based on ratings you previously assigned. Stumbleupon then gives enhanced discovery options by seeing what others have said about content, using Android’s “Share” feature, or browsing by category.
Game or gadget much? Then you probably want to grab G4, the official app from the technology channel of the same name. G4 features a feed of news related to gaming, geek-friendly movies, and more gaming. The short news stories are good but they often simply point to the website if users want additional content like included video associated with that news post.
G4 performs well in other sections with game reviews, videos from the G4 network, and cheat codes available within the app. Download if you’re heavy into gaming and can’t get enough G4 on your TV.
You’ve probably seen this before: rearrange a group of tiles, or in this case blocks, in order to free one designated tile from the board. Unblock Me follows that model by creating a puzzle of wooden blocks that you must move in order to clear a path for one red block.
Unblock Me has Beginner and Intermediate levels that become increasingly difficult, as well as a bonus section that unlocks even more levels. Those who like to sharpen their minds on puzzles will get plenty of use from this game.
SMS Backup +
I’ve wiped my phone three times in the past two weeks to load new ROM’s, and each wipe made me lose text messages. That won’t happen if I have SMS Backup+ installed on my phone.
SMS Backup+ does exactly what the name implies. A backup of your messages is created and stored in your Gmail under the “SMS” label. Messages are available to restore should you wipe your phone or accidentally delete a text. The app also includes an option to auto-backup new messages and sets a maximum number of stored/restored messages.