Android News

Android Apps Alert #48: “It’s finally here!” Edition

February 6, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Apps


The Android Market Web Store is no longer just something to lust after and wonder when Google will release. Now it is someone to complain about and wonder when Google will improve! Seriously, though, we are very happy to see that the folks in Mountain View have made it possible to browse the Android Market and install apps directly from the web. We’re going to give the Android Market links a trial run during a few episodes of Android Apps Alert to see if it proves a better option than the AppBrain links that we previously shared.

Oh, did I forget to mention why we’re here? Every week, highlights the newest and truest, latest and greatest apps to enter the Android Market. In this edition, we celebrate the arrival of the Market web store with several new and updated apps, as well as a recap of some long-awaited iOS titles finally coming to Android soon. They’re finally here! Almost.

uTorrent Remote (2.1+ only)

I’m sure all of you know about the legal and moral issues associated with torrents, so let’s just skip the fun stuff: BitTorrent has released an official remote for its torrent manager uTorrent. The new remote app can start, pause, or stop downloads; monitor or manage dowload queue; use RSS subscriptions; and even add new torrents through search. The app requires Android 2.1 or higher and uTorrent 3.0 Alpha, so upgrade if you want to be able to manage your torrents remotely.

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Al Jazeera English (Live)

The uprising in Egypt has grabbed the attention of many in the western world, but much of the early, first-hand coverage of this event was done on Al Jazeera English, a network unavailable to many U.S. cable subscribers. AJE is available through an unofficial app that shows the network’s live news feed, giving Android owners a chance to watch issues as significant as protests or simply to get an update on cricket tests. There is a rather annoying ad banner on the top right screen, which you’ll have to put up with if you want to see AJE’s live feed. (Other apps are available, but I’m unable to get them to work.)

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Honeycomb Live Wallpaer (2.1+ only) was on-hand when Google unveiled its Honeycomb software, so you know – based on our coverage of the event – how excited I am about experiencing the tablet OS. Anyone sick of waiting can check out this Honeycomb-inspired live wallpaper from Wolf Labs. Floating bubbles float, the Honeycomb logo flies, and date, day, and time are featured in this wallpaper. Users can change animation speed or purchase the donate version for even more controls.

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Easy Answer Button

One thing that I don’t like about my phone is when I have to press and slide to answer an incoming call. It’s a tiny, small annoyance, but I prefer to just tap a button to respond. That’s what Easy Answer Button does. This app will create two very large options to “Accept” or “Decline” a call, which may be better for some people. There’s also an option to make buttons smaller if your phone does not display the options correctly.

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Fast Burst Camera Lite ($1.38, Android 2.2)

A slow camera is unforgivable, so a fast camera can come in handy when attempting to take several photos at once. Fast Burst Camera allows users to snap several successive photos in a short amount of time, so you can capture funny faces or take multiple pictures and choose the best from the bunch. This is something I love to have in actual cameras, so having one on my mobile phone is fine by me. Sadly, there’s no flash, focus, or zoom unless you are willing to buy the $1.38 version. Grab this app if your phone’s camera is too slow and you’re willing to spend some money. Android 2.2 is required to use this app.

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NCAA March Madness Fan Zone (Android 2.1+ only)

Conference tournament time is near, which means the NCAA Tournament is fast-approaching. AT&T has released Fan Zone as a way to track favorite teams, but it’s really just another outlet for people to talk smack. If you already get your fill of that elsewhere, skip this app. But if you want to join groups for Duke or Oregon, post on fan message walls, and see schedules or results, download Fan Zone.

Note: It will probably not work the first time you launch the app. Accept TOS agreement, then relaunch once or twice.

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App News of the Week

It’s a tablet invasion! We saw several demos of upcoming apps this week, so don’t be afraid to check each of them out. Now pictured is an yet-to-be-released version of QuickOffice that looks pretty slick from what I saw. More info will be released later this month.

App Launches and Updates of the Week

Fring has uploaded a new version that improves audio quality even more than the update released last month. It also supports Gingerbread/Nexus S, has an activity log, and shows up in the notifications tab when you miss a call/IM. [Install app]

Firefox was updated o be “2x or 3x faster” than the stock browser. At least that’s what Mozilla says. I find it hard to believe because the app was dreadfully slow when I tried to use it over the past few days. [Read more]

Angry Birds has 30 new levels in the latest update. There’s also a special hidden level that can be unearthed based on a code shown during tonight’s Super Bowl. Keep your eyes open! [Read more]