November 14, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
We had another busy week of Android apps and game releases. By now, you’ve likely gotten use to the fact there are going to be more apps that you know what to do with every seven days, so we thought we’d lend a hand in digging through the muck and finding the gems. Here’s a list of some of the new or revamped Android apps worth downloading this week.
Below is a video showing the apps and text for those who prefer not to get a hands-on demonstration (you’re breaking my heart, folks). The latest edition of Android Apps Alert is titled “Warhawks and World Travelers” because there’s a game for fighting, an app for flying, and few features for fiddling away the day. Plus we’re fans of alliteration around these parts, so let’s get to it!
Got somewhere to be next month or in the next hour? The official Orbitz.com Android app will help you in your travels. Orbitz performs search and booking information for hotels, flights, and car rentals. Fans of the online travel search engine will be happy to know that you get the same experience optimized for mobile clients, and there are even added bonuses like tracking your trips booked through Orbitz and checking Flight Status. If you don’t like this particular app, consider Kayak for direct comparison or Worldmate for similar features.
Twidroyd (Free with ads, $3.99 Pro)
For folks always on the hunt for the best Android Twitter app, you may have to double back and give Twidroyd Pro yet another try. The original best app is trying to solidify its position once again with a laundry list of new features, including:
- Mute a user: Temporarily block tweets from people who may be simulcasting an event you don’t like or tweeting about nonsense.
- Recommend users: Get suggestions for people you may be interested in following.
- Tweets around you: see what people are saying based on proximity to your GPS fix.
Twidroyd has also made its full range of features available in the regular version, but it includes advertisements.
YouTube Remote (U.S. Only, Android 2.1+)
Fans of YouTube Leanback will be happy to know that they can now enjoy the stream of videos on their Android device with the YouTube Remote app. And should they feel the need to push the experience to a desktop or Google TV, they can connect through Wi-Fi and control playback directly through the app. YouTube Remote shows recommended video and selected feeds in portrait mode, and then shows the full-screen mode in landscape. To pair with a computer or GTV, log-in YouTube.com and then navigate to YouTube.com/Leanback. Then, log-in on the Remote app using the same Google account and press Menu > Connect. An Android 2.1 or higher device in the U.S. Is required. [Not filmed. View video demo]
Text Widget (Android 2.2)
“Androinica.com Rocks” according to my homescreen. The words are available thanks to Text Widget, a simple app that displays any text string entered by the user. Text Widget can be used to display phrases or reminders of your choosing, and shows text in a variety of font styles, sizes, and colors. It also allows users to change background height, color, and opacity. Android 2.2 is required to use this app. It supports English or Czech languages natively.
Pocket Legends BETA (Android 2.1+)
There are no Night Elf Mohawks, but fans of massive multiplayer online games may still want to start playing Pocket Legends. This 3D MMO follows a sword-wielding bear warrior, bird-eyed archer, or a wise enchantress through several levels of gameplay. Users must go fight enemies and go on adventures that will unlock points and upgrades. The game is still in beta and has some problems to work out – for instance, I’m unable to carry out conversations in early stages – but you can expect many improvements and upgrades in the very near future. Android 2.1 or higher is required for this game.
My Taptu tells users what’s going on in their favorite streams of information. Whether it’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or major news sites, Taptu tracks several channels and feeds. It then provides a brief – some might say disappointinghly so – view of information. My Taptu gives users the option to read full text in their browser app, mark an item as a favorite, or share with others. The app is free and also includes a homescreen widget that shows the latest item from select feeds. The app is “optimised for users in the US, UK, and Canada” according to its developers.
- Angry Birds added 45 new levels and support for QVGA devices. All you little screen folks can access it now, and Bird addicts have 45 new levels to conquer or be humbled. [Read more]
- Evernote applied so many updates that it’s not even recognizable anymore. New interface, new widgets, faster, and offline support for premium customers. [Read more]
- Facebook now supports uploading higher resolution photos, so your images won’t get re-sized too much. You’ll also get improved support for FB Places.
- Speaking of places, Foursquare has been updated to let users manage friend requests in app and filter the widget.
- Swype beta users should install the new version that supports double-tap-to-edit, microphone button, French and Chinese (limited) language support, and several more bug fixes. Navigate your phone to https://beta.swype.com/android/get/
- Rhapsody 2.0 has a new interface, download songs for offline playback, and better radio/artist/playlist management.
- Tango has been improved to support front-facing cameras on Samsung devices and bugs that rebooted the app on the HTC EVO. That was our only complaint with the app, so let’s hope it’s gotten its app, I mean act, together.
- Yahoo! Mail now supports multiple accounts and Yahoo! Messenger has a new add-on that allows for video calling on select devices with front-facing cameras. [Read More]
App Reviews and Releases