Android News

Android Apps Alert #50: That’s Right, 50!

February 27, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Apps, Video Reviews

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50. That’s a big number, and it’s also the number of Android Apps Alert editions that we’ve done since May 2009. In a little less than two years, we’ve highlighted hundreds of apps. I hope that you’ve enjoyed most of them as it hasn’t always been easy to wade through the muck of the Android Market.

Androinica.com does a weekly wrap-up of great new Android apps, as well as some titles that you may have missed along the way. For the 50th edition, there’s no unifying theme like we typically have. Just a video showcasing the apps and download links should they pique your interest. Let’s go!

AirAttack HD Lite (Android 2.0.1+)

This game speaks for itself. Shoot down the enemy in this airborne adventure game that features missions, weapons upgrades, and a live soundtrack that’s pretty exciting. There’s only a Lite version available, but this demo should serve well enough to wet your appetite for the main course that should arrive in the near future.

Install this app

Big Camera Button (Android 2.2+)

Taking self-portraits without a front-facing camera can be a nightmare. But users don’t have to do the song and dance of trying to find the on screen camera button and ending up with a blurry or useless photo. Big Camera Button eliminates the need for pinpoint accuracy and turns the entire screen into the camera button. Being able to tap anywhere on screen means it will be easier to take photos of yourself and a group of friends.

Install this app

Lookout Plan B (Android 2.0+)

Always install some type of phone tracking software on your Android phone. Always. But there’s still hope in recovering it if someone loses their phone prior to installing tracking software. Lookout already offers a great phone back-up and locator app, and now it has Plan B for installing the software remotely. The steps are simple: Lose a phone, install Plan B from the Android Market website, and then check your Gmail to see the Google Maps link revealing your phone’s location.

I experienced some trouble installing the app, but a second attempt worked. I urge users to install tracking software ahead of time, but this is great to remember as a last-minute search tool. Please be aware that this app is not available on every carrier in the U.S.

Install this app

Pinball Deluxe (Android 2.1+)

Everyone loves good game of pinball, so everyone must love Pinball Deluxe. The game is simple to describe: imagine a virtual pinball machine and that’s it. The game can get a little annoying because the ads pop-down and may distract you. You’re still likely to have fun play Pinball Deluxe and you’ll get a chance to compete against others on a global leader board, so give it a go if you have Android 2.1 or higher.

Install this app

ESPNcricinfo (Android 1.6+)

The Cricket World Cup is taking place right now. We reviewed an app earlier this week that monitors the action, but several people mentioned that ESPN Cricinfo is an app that ought to be considered as well. Cricinfo offers notifications for scores and wickets, live game reports and commentary, audio and video podcasts, and all of the news and fixtures you could need. Cricket fans ned to grab this app right now.

Install this app

App Updates of the Week

PES 2011 has dropped its price for US customers to only $2.99. Considering that I spent nearly $7 when I purchased the euro-based soccer game just two weeks ago. Read the PES 11 review and decide if its worth purchasing. [Download]

Google gave Gingerbread users a new version of Gmail that fixed bugs, enabled long press to copy text, and provided custom label colors. Apply the update in the Market. [Download]

Twitter for Android got a nice little upgrade this week. It now maintains stream position and picks up right where you left off, as well as opening up full-page maps. Consider this if you ditched Twidroyd recently. [Download]

Firefox Mobile updated this week, once again promising to be faster than previous versions. I never found it to be very fast, but maybe this is the version that finally lives up to the hype. [Download]

USA Today released a Honeycomb version of its app for tablets. It’s very similar to the web app seen on Google TV and is a great tool if you read USA Today. [Download]

Widget Locker adds widgets to a user’s lockscreen. The latest version adds custom grids and sliders, resizable widgets, and themes. It’s a great app for only $1.99. [Download]

Angry Birds will be ad-free soon. I’ve stopped playing the game completely because the advertisements made it unusable. Rovio will soon release a premium version that allows users to escape them once and for all.

App Reviews & News of the Week