Android News

Android Apps Alert #57: Location lockdowns and NFL lockout edition

April 24, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Apps

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Ah. How great it was this week to be able to take a breath and not have as much Android app news to cover. The Android Market is already bursting at the seems with options, but the apps on apps on apps pace of what’s joining the ranks was becoming increasingly difficult to track. Of course, you want as many app options as possible, so maybe that’s not so good after all?

Whatever the case, there were some new editions to the Android Market and a couple changes to some familiar faces that you ought to see. Androinica.com presents a weekly round-up of the best Android apps and even a slow news week or holiday weekend won’t keep us from scouring the market to find some recommendations for you. This week’s theme is Location lockdown and NFL lockout because we have a couple of location-aware apps and a new offering from the NFL. Here’s Apps Alert #57.

Bump 2.0

Android 2.1 or higher required

Bump is known for wirelessly sharing data between two phones. The latest version of the app, Android phones can bump to exchange, photos, contacts, app recommendations, and info. However, you no longer need to be within the same room to exchange that information. Users can send batch files, see the past history of shared data, get notifications of new files, and send information to past people you have bumped with. So you can meet someone at a conference, establish a connection, and continue to bump even when you’re back in your home cities.

Install app

Location Cache Viewer

Android 2.0 or higher required
Rooted phones only

There was a big stink this week because the iPhone is secretly tracking every user’s move and storing it in an unencrypted file. That immediately led to “OMG, what about Android?” posts, even though Google explicity tells users that it’s tracking their data and provides an option to not consent to sharing the information.

One cool thing did come out of the latest non-controversy, controversy: Location Cache Viewer, an app for rooted phones that visualizes the location data. Cache Viewer maps out the cell towers and Wi-Fi access points that you have visited since your last data wipe and plots it over a Google Map. Users can even tap on a specific access point and see the date and time they were at that location. There’s not much else to see here, but if you want to see where you’ve been – or snoop on a loved one who is rooted – here’s one way to do it.

Install app

NFL ’11 Lite

Android 1.6 or higher required
Premium version available but stick with Lite version

The NFL lockout makes the 2011 NFL season look less likely to occur with each passing day. But since the NFL is still hosting a draft without securing a new CBA, and ESPN insists on promoting the thing like nothing’s wrong, and you’re probably going to be wasting away in front of the screen as Mel Kiper and Todd McShay debate Cam Newton’s work ethic, why not have an app to get you through it all? The NFL 2011 Android app is a great draft companion. It features a quick rundown of the top 62 draft prospects, combine results, profiles and analysis of players, and news about prospects and team comments.

NFL 2011 highlights what positions teams most need to address, and offers an Alerts function that notifies fans whenever a certain team makes a selection. Turn on for just your team or all 32 franchises, but try not to throw your Android phone across the room when you’re not pleased with your team’s pick (I’m looking at you, Jets fans!)

Install app

Kernel Manager (Free Lite, Pro $3.99)

Android 2.0 or higher required
Rooted phones only

One of the best things about having full root access to an Android phone is that you can load unique apps, custom ROM’s, and Flash kernels that can optimize performance on your phone. But perusing through XDA to find kernels and load them on your phone can be time consuming, so Team Win developed Kernel Manager to alleviate some of the hassle. Kernel Manager is “like ROM Manager, but for kernels,” allowing users to browse a list of kernels available for their phone. The app lists the name, author, Android flavor (AOSP, CM, Sense, etc.) and download totals, then provides an ability to download and flash the kernel directly from their phone. Users can then rate the stability and performance, which helps informs other Android users of which kernel is worth loading. The app supports a number of phones, and pro users can even filter through the list to see only a certain type of kernel. That option will set-up you back only $3.99 and it will also remove the ads in the app.

Install app

CNN App for Android phones

Android 2.1 or higher required

This is CNN…for Android. The official CNN Android app has finally arrived, freeing users from the crappy third-party “apps” that were really just wrappers or poorly designed. After conquering the Android Honeycomb space with its tablet edition, CNN has refocused efforts on a phone app that performs fairly well. The Headlines section looks excellent and provides top stories with links to photos, videos, and text news reports. Users can also filter according to topic (World, U.S., Tech, Entertainment, etc.), or browse through the Radio and Video section to hear/see short news clips. The “social news” trend also comes into play as CNN includes features for iReport clips, a list of assignments that viewers can participate in, and a way to submit photos or videos from their phone for inclusion in CNN reports. Download this app to get your news fix, and turn on the 4×1 widget or Breaking News notifications options to get it even sooner.

Install app

 

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