April 6, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
At the end of every week, Androinica.com chronicles the best Android apps and games that were released recently. These recommendations are a recap of great Android games and apps that you should try out. Click the icon to be taken to Google Play to download the apps.
Programming note: Instagram’s Android arrival was among the biggest news of the week. To celebrate, we’re running a contest with CanvasPop that allows users to print their photos on 12 x 12 canvas to decorate their home or office. Click here for more info.
Android 2.2+ required
Hipmunk is an excellent – I repeat, excellent – travel search app. A recent update makes me want to turn into Mr. Burns again because the app can link with a calendar to offer better suggestions for flights and hotel accommodations. Hipmunk can link with Outlook, Google Calendar, or iCal and then see the when and where of your upcoming events or appointments. It then knows which flights will get you to a conference on time and which hotels you might want to book based on where you are meeting clients or vacationing.
I regularly bounce back and forth between my email, calendar, and flight search windows when booking travel, but this new link allows me to take out all the guesswork. Congrats Hipmunk, you just got yourself a new dedicated user.
MLB At the Ballpark
Android 2.2+ required
Major League Baseball delivered its MLB At Bat app to give fans another avenue to watch, listen, or follow a game when they couldn’t be there. Fans lucky enough to be at the ballpark to experience the action can grab this companion app to add an extra layer to the game. At the Ballpark features a schedule for home games and stadium information. The A to Z Guide provides critical details on parking and dozens of other things, videos show the history of the venue, a map with directions to the ballpark, and a map to help locate seats or services once you’re inside. Fans who check into a game get special offers like discounts on team gear, and the app also lists special promotions held for each game. Best of all, this is available for all Major League franchises and ballparks.
Dungeon Hunter 3
Android 2.2+ required
Gameloft’s Dungeon Hunter II was one of the best games around for the phones that were able to run it. It’s tougher to say that about the sequel, but DG3 is a solid slash and adventure game for higher end mobile phones. The game asks players to assume the role of 1 of 4 class of fighters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Sounds pretty much like every adventure game right? Well it will be especially familiar when I tell you that players face waves of evildoers and earn points for the efficiency of their attacks. The better players handle the wave of intruders, the more points they earn for weapons, health, and armor upgrades.
I’m not a fan of the freemium model that gives the game away for free but then requires real world money to have a reasonable shot at winning. However, that strategy is working for some games, so dive in if that doesn’t bother you. The game play is fairly simple but fun for a slash and hack. I could easily see myself losing hours to the journey of protecting this fictional realm.
Android 2.1+ required
Part personal analytics tool and part digital assistant, Phonedeck analyzes your contact activity and puts your phone in reach even when it’s not nearby. The app links the phone and web apps so users can make calls on the desktop or send and receive text messages. It also provides follow up reminders and auto updates your database when friends change their contact information.
Phonedeck tracks how many calls you place and messages you send, which contacts you communicate with most, and has a full call log. These features come at a price. The android app is Spartan at the moment, you’ll have to trust Phonedeck with your personal info, it’s often at server capacity, and the phone app does little more than enable the desktop features.
Android 2.2+ required
Instagram managed to grab more than 1 million android users in less than 24 hours, but I heard from a few people who weren’t impressed. In their mind, eyeem offers the better filter-happy photo sharing community. That community is much smaller, but they enjoy a solid app that builds photo albums around events, topics, and places.
An eyeem member can browse a friend feed or follow a tag like landscapes or black and white, or even use geo-location to see photos posted nearby. eye em is a good looking and stable app that works very well for its tight knit fan base, offering 12 photo filters and a good social platform.
Scramble With Friends is an addictive multiplayer word search game that allows players to challenge friends or random opponents in time-based rounds. The free version is ad-supported, but Zynga has released a $0.99 version that removes ads and delivers tokens twice as fast.
Marvel AR is an augmented reality companion app for fans of Marvel comics. The app lets users scan special pages in some comics and open 3D videos, recaps, commentaries, character bios, new art, and script excerpts. No word yet on what Comic Book Guy thinks of it.
Woot! Check is a must-have app for Woot.com shoppers. The app provides an ICS-based UI that shows items on sale on Woot, Wine Woot, Shirt Woot, and Sellout Woot. Users get notifications each day of what’s on sale and are alerted when there’s a Woot Off. (Users can disable notifications and just launch the app at will.)
Android App Reviews of the Week
- Friendcaster 5.0 is the best Facebook app for Android [App Reviews]
- Generate ALL the memes is a funny meme generator for Android [App Reviews]
- Fast Facebook is a beta app that’s already 2x as fast as Facebook for Android
- Instagram Android: photo sharing reaches new heights or new hype? [Video App Review]
- SmartShift Lockscreen automates lock screen profiles based on time, location, or events [App Reviews]
Android App News of the Week
- Instagram fixes import and camera crashes, custom camera apps can improve experience [TIPS]
- Plume Twitter app switches to ICS design and adds new features
- Next Issue is Netflix for magazines: read multiple mags on Android tablets for $9 a month
- London Underground now providing live updates on Google Maps
- Perfect Keyboard provides custom Android text entry, and we’ve got 20 copies to giveaway