Android Apps

Android Apps Alert #33: Cats and Quick Scans

September 19, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka



How many apps are in the Android Market? More than 80,000 according to figures recently provided by Google. How many of those apps can actually fit on your Android device? Far less than 80,000.

Android Apps Alert is a weekly feature of that highlights the latest and greatest apps to hit the Android Market. Based on user recommendations with the #androidapps tag on Twitter, we help find new titles worth downloading. This week’s edition is entitled “Cats and Quick Scans” based on apps that promptly relay information, and one that delivers a faithful feline.

*Spark (BETA)

The latest app attempting to be all things to all Androids is *Spark, a sometimes home screen replacement (optional) and all the time channel aggregator. Spark displays feeds from Facebook and Twitter in a limited capacity, shows a weather forecast efficiently, and provides quick access to three important apps. The app is still in beta and needs some optimization, but it looks really nice. Once developers improve response and processing time, Spark could prove to be a better version of Executive Assistant. The beta application is available at SparkMyPhone.


Traveling so much over the past eight months has made me dependent on apps that make sense of a hectic schedule. Worldmate is such an app, similar to TripIt, that takes airline/hotel confirmation and creates a travel schedule. It also tracks a custom itinerary, provides contact information for the airline and hotel, has map data, converts currency, books hotels, forecasts the weather, and provides travel notifications for changes. Worldmate is a great travel companion and can be upgraded to have premium features.

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Talking Tom Cat (Free Lite, €0.79 full)

Need a good life?  Download Talking Tom Cat, an Android app that focuses on a pet cat that purrs when pet, topples over when smacked, and parrots my foul language. TomCat is a virtual pet that can provide some silly fun and even record videos to upload to YouTube. It’s also fun to harmonize cats if someone else nearby has the app installed, so download it now and have some harmless fun. The free version has ads and the paid version for €0.79 ($0.99 USD) has cymbals, cake, bird, farting and no ads.

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Mini Info (Free Lite, $2 full)

My battery is down to 60 percent, brightness is set at 35 percent, and Bluetooth is enabled. With Mini Info, users can quickly scan their phone’s primary settings and adjust them. The application shows the levels for memory, disk usage, and battery charge. Users also change Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, Brightness, and Ringer volume. Other apps like My Settings provide similar functionality, so give that a try if things don’t work out here. Mini Info is available for free with ads or a full version with more features for $2.

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bTunes ($1.49)

Everyone who loves iTunes as much as he or she loves Android will be happy to know that they can now have both worlds intertwined. bTunes is a shameless port job (or a rip-off more precisely) of the iTunes mobile interface for music playback. Though I’d recommend media players like doubleTwist, Mixzing, or MusicMod, this exists for people who crave familiarity. bTunes has a very polished interface, downloads album artwork and ID information, targets only one folder to prevent ringtones from appearing in the library, and has an optional lock screen. (If you can’t get paid apps, try the demo version of aPod Lite that is far less polished but similar and free).

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Users with Android 1.6 should download from this link