December 13, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Looking for the best Android apps? Good luck finding them on your own. But if you do stumble across apps people will love, let the world know. Androinica.com encourages users to tweet great apps with the #androidapps tag on Twitter, and we plan to incorporate that into our weekly notifications of new, updated, or recommended apps. Get to downloading and keep telling us about those exciting #androidapps.
In the ninth edition of Android Apps Alert, we’re missing video but getting some cool additions. A frustrating error prevented me from editing a video in time this week, but I can still share a few apps tell us what we’re seeing, convert what we saw, and entertain us enough to look at or listen to them. Below is a text explanations and QR codes for this week’s apps.
SnapIt ($1.99 USD)
I’m often in Barnes & Noble reading magazines or previewing books that I’ll buy, which often leads to snapping photos of passages. SnapIt allows me to take a picture and instantly convert the words in that image into editable text. I can then send the message as an SMS or Email message, or even have it translated online. Read a step-by-step and see the video demo I did earlier this week.
FRG ($3 Deluxe, FREE Lite)
Is it crazy if you sometimes just want to walk around shooting things? Probably, but that won’t stop me from doing it in FRG Lite. This shoot ‘em up game requires players to control a robot in a field of enemies. From an overhead view, guide the robot through several levels of gameplay to unlock new weapons and upgrades for your robot along the way. FRG is an ADC2 Finalist and a throwback to classic arcade games. A $3 Deluxe edition is also available, but I haven’t purchased it yet, so I can’t say what’s the difference between the two (I’d wager that it’s more levels).
Tubaloo is an app that enables VoIP calling through an Android phone. With it, users can make free calls to other Tubaloo users, international calls for a small price, and route an incoming international call as a local one. I’ve used the beta version a few times, and call quality is strong in Tubaloo. Sounds nice, right? Well, it sounds better when you realize that calls placed through Tubaloo over Wi-Fi or 3G will not affect your monthly minutes plan.
Podcast and radio streaming apps are obviously plentiful on Android, but not many combine both features like Stitcher Radio. News, sports, culture, and talk-radio are available in this app, which streams audio files from a wide tent of sources. ABC News, Air America, BBC, Bloomberg, ESPN, Fox News, TWIT – the list goes on. Stitcher comes with one of the largest built-in list of audio sources I’ve seen on Android, and it includes a Search function to find specific episodes that include that keyword. There is also support for Favorites and Topics.
As if we needed yet another app to tell us where to go to eat, Yelp is here to provide location-aware recommendations on food, shopping, and other businesses in your area. This GPS-based app taps into the popular Yelp! website/directory of businesses across the country and will provide ratings and reviews based on your location. However, be advised that the app is missing some key features like adding reviews from an Android phone.
Google is hell-bent on controlling all aspects of search, and they’ve managed to offer a new way to use visual search. Google Goggles is an app that searches based on images or showing information based on your location and camera view. Snap a photo or look at a business and Goggles will provide an answer. For more information on Google Goggles, read our post announcing the new app.