June 19, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Androinica.com scours the Android Market each week, looking for what’s new, what’s hot, and what’s been updated. At the end of the week, we put all of those things together into the Android Apps Alert, our collection of the latest and great released into the Android Market over the past 7 days. It may not always be compatible with your phone, but it’s a good look at what you can load on your Dream Android device.
In the 63rd edition of Apps Alert, music and multimedia plays a big role in the selections. There are two new music streaming apps and a new app that streams movies and television episodes directly to your device. But we’re not all slacking on entertainment. We’ve also got you covered with a couple of clever utility apps available now. Follow the download links to get to your soon-to-be favorite Android apps listed below.
Android 2.1 or higher required
Photo-taking, sharing, and storing just got a little better with Lightbox, an Android app that we first showed you last month in a hands-on demo at Google I/O. After overhauling and quickly improving the beta app that I told you was pretty slick, Lightbox is now available for Android 2.1 and higher. Lightbox can take a photo and apply 1 of 10 filters, and then store it online in a personal account.
Lightbox also posts to linked accounts (Facebook, Twitter, or tumblr) with descriptions and location info, but don’t think this is yet another camera app. Lightbox also is a central source for viewing photos from friends on linked networks, popular flickr photos, and large images from major news sources. Best of all, this app works great on your phone and even greater on your tablet.
Android 2.2 or higher required
Australia, Canada, USA, and UK only
You may have noticed that Sony Pictures’ entire movie library disappeared from Netflix this week because of a dispute between Sony and Starz, which sub-licenses films to Netflix. In what I’m sure is a completely unrelated bit of news, Sony Pictures-controlled Crackle just so happens to offer those same movies in the Crackle app. For free. Crackle now streams movies and and television shows from Sony, Columbia, Tri-Star, etc. using an ad-supported model.
If you can stomach a pre-roll advertisement and edited versions of movies that make space for short commercial breaks, you can watch full movies or episodes from Crackle’s large entertainment library. This is somewhat of a silver lining for all of us Android users still without access to Netflix, especially those of in Australia, Canada, U.S.A., and the UK, the only countries with access to the app. Note: A tablet version is coming soon.
Call Reminder ($2.00)
Android 2.1 or higher required
Remember that thing you were supposed to discuss with that guy you met at that other thing? Of course not, and that’s why you might enjoy Call Reminder. This is a nifty little add-on that brings up notes whenever you communicate with certain people.Create a note saying “Tell John to bring engagement ring,” and tie it to John’s number (or his wife). The next time you receive a call from, or place a call to, either person, Call Reminder brings up the note.
Call Reminder is a nice little memory aid that can be assigned to multiple contacts and changed or deleted when necessary. It may not be very sensible to pa $1.99 if you only plan to use this once or twice. But if you are someone who frequently needs to remember a certain something when communicating with others, a couple of bucks will pay for itself in no time.
More for Me
Android 1.6 or higher required
Keeping track of all the LivingSocial’s, Goldstar’s, and other daily deal sites out there isn’t very exciting. T-Mobile will do that for you with More for Me, a daily-deal aggregator that makes it easy to track discounts and special offers from retailers, restaurants, and shops in your area. Surprisingly, there’s no Groupon available (could just be my area, but I’m not seeing it in NY, San Fran, other places at the moment).
More for Me lists coupons and deals from various websites, organizes by category, and narrow offers to your nearby location. Users can bookmark deals or share them with friends, so spread the savings with everyone. You don’t have to be a T-Mobile customer to enjoy these deals, so download the app now. Note: Usefulness will depend on your area, so you might not find any deals if you live in the boonies.
Play by Yahoo! Music
Android 1.6 or higher required
With what might be the least original app title ever, Yahoo released a new music streaming service called Play. There isn’t much else original about this app because Play is basically a re-skinned version of the Instinctiv music player app for Android. The app has a minimalist design, a nice 4×2 home screen widget, Last.fm scrobbling, and provides a shortcut to Yahoo! Music for news on the current song’s artist (provided that the song has proper ID3 tags).
There’s also a Shazam-like feature that can listen to a song from another device and identify its name and artist. Play doesn’t stack up against more popular apps from PowerAMP or WinAmp, but if you want a simpler interface and music identification in one place, this is a great Android app to grab.
Qriocity Music Unlimited
Android 2.1-2.3.3 required
Monthly subscription required
Music Unlimited offers millions of songs available for streaming to your device. The app supplies on-demand streaming of your cloud-stored music collection, radio stations based on your genre or mood, and lets users create custom playlists. There are also charts for most popular songs and SensMe for charts geared toward the user.
Sound familiar? Of course, that’s pretty much every streaming service in a nutshell. The thing that might give Music Unlimited an advantage over other options is that you can also access it on your Sony Bravia TV, Blu-Ray player, or PlayStation 3. Sign-up for a 30-day trial and see if that extra benefit is good enough to draw you away from the many other music streaming services out there.
News & Reviews of the Week
- eBay Android app updates with better seller options
- DualWeb gives Android Honeycomb a 2-for-1 split-screen web browser [App Reviews]
- Starbucks Android app lets you pay for your caffiene fix, manage your rewards account
- Lookout adds browser protection to fight malware and phishing scams on Android phones
App Update Reminders
- Angry Birds Rio and Angry Birds both got several new levels added to the game this week. Download the latest versions to complete your monkey and pig genocide. Shame on you murderers. [Market 1, 2]
- Most of the Go Apps – Contacts, Launcher, SMS Pro – were improved this week. Changes were small (UI and bug fixes mainly), but be sure to update and use some of the best communication apps around.
- TuneIn Radio is one of my favorite Android apps, and it was improved to address buffering issues for certain devices. It even added a homescreen widget for quick controls . [Market]