Android News

Android Apps Alert #98

June 15, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Apps

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Android is activating more than 900,000 devices each day according to Android head Andy Rubin. That’s a lot of phones and tablets, and a lot of people looking for solid apps to put on those devices. Each week, Androinica.com does a recap of new and updated apps released into the Google Play Store. If you have a suggestion for an app to add, drop us a line on Google+ or Twitter.

QUICK HITS

Aviary is a excellent photo editor for Android that can adjust lighting, apply effects and props, crop, and improve the appearance of the app. As I stated in my review, the only thing wrong with it is that it was a plug-in rather than a standalone app. That’s no longer the case as you can now jump directly to Aviary from your home screen or app drawer.

Pocket is an excellent bookmarking service that build a queue of articles, photos, and videos that you want to read/view at a later time. I personally think it’s the best service of its kind, and the app has been updated to support a darker black background, page flipping/rotation can be turned on/off, and improved delete/copy access in the UI.

Amazon Mobile was treated to a big update that changed the UI to provide faster access to your shopping cart. The app also gives online/offline shoppers a chance to search for products, scan barcodes to compare prices, add items to their wish list, and filter results. It’s a far better experience than the previous version.

Amazon Kindle, the reading app from Amazon, also got an update. Tablet owners can now set their margins and spacing, see a two-page view in landscape, and find that the app has been improved to squash out bugs.

Pulse News is now more than just a news reader; it’s a news watcher as well. The most recent update to the popular Android app has added more support for video, including dedicated video feeds from brands like Allrecipes, Chelsea Lately, CollegeHumor, ESPN, FOX Sports, Meet The Press, National Geographic, Reuters, Rachel Maddow, Today.com, and the Wall Street Journal.

Monster Mail

Android 2.0.1+ required
Install app

Every developer wants to create the next Angry Birds, but most fail to make their game simple but require a little bit of thinking. That’s not what you get with Monster Mail, a fun physics-based game that asks players to get a heart into a box so it can be retrieved and shipped from a warehouse. Players will have to destroy boxes, trigger explosions, bounce off a flubber-like substance, and perform other activities to accomplish the goal. Monster Mail is all about working the angles and quickly recognizing how to clear obstacles to put the heart in a box. The game has dozens of levels and rewards players for speed, so fast thinkers and puzzle-hunters will enjoy playing this game. The Lite version features 25 levels, but the paid $1 version offers an additional 40 levels.

Woven Photo Viewer

Android 2.2+ required
Install app

There are dozens of photo sharing apps and websites, meaning there’s a good chance that the photos you’ve taken aren’t all stored in one place. If you’ve ever wanted a single browser for them all, you might want to check out Woven, which acts as an aggregator for your photos. Woven displays albums imported from Facebook, Picasa/Google+, Instagram, flickr, Photobucket, Dropbox, Shutterfly, Windows Live, and SmugMug. It then combines that with the photos stored on your phone to offer a central gallery for all of your content. Browsing photos can be a little slow initially, but images cache and speed improves over time (on WiFi at least). Woven has a nice interface and can be useful for someone looking to see or show their many photos stored in many places.

ESPN Soccernet

Android 2.1+ required
Install app

The Euro 2012 tournament is already underway, but there’s a lot more football/soccer to be played in the coming weeks. Follow it all with Soccernet, the official app from ESPN’s global soccer news portal. The app features the standard news stream coming from the ESPN football website, but it also has GameCast, which provides live summaries, scores, and commentary on game action. (This same info is available after the game as well.) Soccernet has custom tabs to monitor your favorite club/international teams, leagues, and tournaments. The app offers a personalized view of tables & stats, fixtures and scores, news and feature stories, and sharing articles to Facebook or email.

Samo Coloring for Kids

Android 2.2+ required
Install app

Coloring is a universal past time loved by all children, and Samo Coloring for Kids makes that helps nurture that interest on Android. The app features vector drawings of animals and shapes, and children can tap on any section to have a specific part of the animal filled with 1 of 30 different colors. There’s also a drawing mode that allows for kids to finger paint within a shape (kids are forced to stay within the lines). Samo can undo the most recent change and save an image of the finished product once your child is done. The app is remarkably simple and easy for kids to grasp but somewhat limited. For the right age child, it can be fun to use their imagination or play with the app, but older kids may not find it as enjoyable. The app is free but you can unlock more coloring sets for $2.50.

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