Reviews

Android Apps Alert #73: 10 Interesting Recent Android Apps

September 16, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android App Reviews, Android Apps, Android Games, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Tools

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Let’s just get down to it: there are a lot of Android apps and not enough time in the day to grab them all. That doesn’t mean  there’s no fun in trying. Each week, Androinica.com recaps the latest and greatest, truest and newest apps in the market. (Though to be honest, it’s been semi-weekly a few times recently.)

There’s usually a unifying theme that ties all the apps together, but this time around, we got straight to the point. There is no unifying theme, but these are 10 interesting apps released in the past few weeks that we thought might catch your eye. Feel free to make your own recommendations to us on Twitter.

Manilla

Android 2.1+ required

Imagine having four credit cards, two store card accounts, travel rewards programs, and monthly bills to track. All of those numbers and dates can be tough to track, so Manilla aims to do it for you. Manilla puts all of a user’s accounts in a central location, allowing them to monitor balances and know when it’s time to pay. And when it comes to time to pay your bills, the app is set to deliver automatic monthly reminders via the app, text, or email. Manilla works with over 1,200 different services like American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Comcast, Sprint and even your local utilities companies. Authorizing the app will allow it to show balance and payment date, so you’re less likely to miss a due date and be forced to pay late fees or a higher interest rate. (All your information is stored securely and password-protected.)

Install app

106th & Park

Android 2.1+ required


Back in high-school, I always watched BET’s 106th & Park to see the daily countdown of the top videos as voted by the audience. Ten years later, 106th & Park has its official Android app for fans of the show. While I no longer watch the show, this is the type of app that television shows should be building – interactive, informative, and delivering content in interesting ways. Users can scroll through a list of videos and vote for their favorites by scratching a virtual turntable. The 106th & Park app also provides information on Freestyle Friday contestants, a tweet wall around a trending topic, video clips from the show, video clips and photos from the show, and info on the artists who appear on the show.

Install app

Meporter

Android 2.2+ required

Have you ever seen something interesting in your town and wanted to share that information with others? That’s the idea behind Meporter, a “location-based news app” that is somewhat of an informal community journalism project. Users are able to attend events and take pictures or video and then upload it to Meporter with a written descriptions that others in your city can follow.

Not every story makes it to the evening news, so this is an interesting way to learn about a great concert series being thrown in your city, major accident nearby that affects traffic, or something as inane as a funny incident in a mall (all actual things I saw posted this week). Meporter lets users connect with others and follow certain meporters, share reports to other applications, comment, mark favorites, or even get directions to the place where a report was filed. It’s a pretty cool app that supports both phones and tablets.

Install app

Thuuz Sports

Android 2.2+ required

Thuuz Sports is an app that helps users decide which of the many sporting events on television any given night should be watched. Once a user selects a television provider, the app lists the time and channel that the games will appear. And to help wade through the muck of West Central State Tech vs. Who Cares University, Thuuz ranks games according to excitement level. So this week’s clash between Oklahoma and Florida State, two Top 5 teams, has an 85 while Texas vs. UCLA gets only a 65.

Thuuz supports listings for the college basketball and football, the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, cricket, and all of the major European soccer leagues. The app also supplies alerts for live game information. Download for the phone version is on the left; click the right image to install the tablet version.

Install app -Install app

The Guardian

Android 1.6+ required

The Guardian made its Android app available. The well-known British paper delivers a ton of news organized by section, topic, or author. The app features all of the stories from The Guardian, as well as audio and video reports for select issues. What’s interesting about the app is that users can download entire issues in case they may not always have a reliable connection or they just want to access content faster. Users can even set their phone to download the issue at a certain time, so all of the day’s news is ready as you drink your morning tea. The Guardian lets users share content to other apps, mark articles as Favourites to be read later, and customize what types of stories appear on the homepage. If you’re a fan of the paper, you really should give this app a try.

Install app

mobli

Android 2.1+ required

I’m sure you’ve already seen the many Instagram rivals out there. I’ve lost track of how many we’ve covered, but it can never hurt to add one more to the fray. Mobli is a new app that has filters and effects for your photos, but it’s built around the concept of photo-sharing and “social,” something a few of the other Instagram alternatives forgot to include. What’s cool about mobli is that users can take a picture and then apply a litany of effects, then upload it to a Channel. Think of Channels as tags that other users can browse and see the interesting things associated with a topic – like 9/11 remembrances or architecture. The filters can change based on location or date, and users can narrow their focus to photos shared near them. Users can also link their Facebook or Twitter accounts, follow other mobile users, and watch certain users.

Install app

R- Type

Android 2.1+ required

You may remember R-Type as an arcade game from many moons ago, and the classic arcade game now has a home on Android. R-Type gives players control of a space ship that flies through the galaxy shooting down enemies on 8 different levels. The players have to beat back waves of opposition by moving up and down to shoot, avoid projectiles, and pick up bonuses necessary to kill bosses and henchman. Weapons upgrades make it possible to survive the more difficult levels, and the controls are simple. The game is optimized to work with the SE Xperia Play controls as well.

Install app

Breaking Bad: The Cost of Doing Business

Android 2.2+ required
Adobe Air required

I’ve finally started watching Breaking Bad after hearing so many great things about this show centered on a drug-dealing school teacher and his sidekick Jesse. The highly acclaimed show has its own casual game in which players take on the role of Jesse. In a graphic novel world, users are put in situations and asked to make decisions that affect the outcome. Make the right decision and you’ll survive; make the wrong one and you’ll be dead or in jail.

Install app

Phone Story

Android 2.2+ required

Rarely do you see a guilt trip about phones delivered through a game about phones…on your phone. But that’s what happens in Phone Story, an “educational game about the hidden social sots of smartphone manufacturing.” The retro-style graphics show the smartphone journey from resource gathering to retail delivery, telling users about the horrors of what goes into making a cool device. The game was banned from the iPhone App Store because of that but is now available on Android with proceeds from the app supposedly going to charity. I didn’t find it to be all that interesting, but you can pay $1 if you want to see what the fuss is about.

Install app

Locai

Android 2.2+ required

You may have heard about Locai because the developers didn’t realize that a brand that purposely misspells a common word in the English is susceptible to auto-correct, which inevitably leads to people being unable to find your apps. Crazy, right? Well, those who do manage to locate Locai will learn that this is an app focused on more detailed crowdsourcing. We’ve all seen apps where people looking for a restaurant or bar can see that others have rated Grill X as a great place to eat. But what should you eat once you get there?

Locai lets users ask a question and then start a conversation about an establishment or general area and get feedback from the people who know them best. It’s like a Foursquare-meets-Quora recommendation source. The app also advertises that it has some social games and rewards built into it, though I didn’t see enough activity in my area to be able to test or notice either. You can connect with existing friends and start conversations about live events as well, but you’re probably better off using Facebook, G+, or Twitter for that.

Install app


Android App Reviews & News of the Week

Cheetah Sync delivers simple, stellar 2-way sync for Android and computers
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SpeechTrans – A dream app for international travelers [App Review]

Google Goggles adds optional auto-search feature from new images

8pen Wordcup is a clever game that tricks you into relearning to type [Game Reviews]

OrbLive enables streaming video, including Hulu and Netflix, to Android phones

NFL ’11 for Android Tablets is your new best friend on Sundays