March 27, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
All of the great Android apps that we hunt down took a back seat to all of the great Android phones that we played with this week at CTIA Wireless 2011. Android was device-crazy at the annual wireless conference, but there were still some great apps on display.
Below is a collection of the new Android apps that debuted this week, as well as a look at a few applications that will debut later this year. We’ve separated the coming soon apps from the apps that you can actually grab right now.
Remember that Androinica.com highlights the best Android apps released each week in our series called Android Apps Alert, so be sure to check back every Sunday afternoon to determine what you should grab from the Android Market. You can also tip us on Twitter about new apps.
Amazon App Store
United States only
The biggest Android app of the week – both in content and newsworthiness – was undoubtedly the Amazon App Store. You won’t find it in the Android Market, but you will find plenty of apps. Amazon is running a promotion to offer one paid Android app for free each day, giving users a reason to make daily visits to the App Store. Amazon is also the exclusive store for a number of titles, including the great works from Gameloft, so it has a chance to unseat the Android Market as the desired app market of choice for some people. The Amazon app store is currently available only in the U.S.
Smart Lock Pro ($0.99)
Android 2.0 or higher required
Back in August, we reviewed a privacy-themed Android app known as Smart Lock. The revamped Smart Lock Pro create a special lockscreen that keeps children from accessing non-approved apps, showing only a launcher of games like Angry Birds. Smart Lock Pro also provides a list of websites accessible, so the app will block the browser from loading questionable websites if a child clicks on an in-app ad. The app is temporarily available for $0.99, but the price will soon be $1.99.
Android 1.6 or higher required
There are many instant messaging apps out there: Beejiv eBuddy, Meembo, Trillian, and several others. imo has released a beta app that aims to jump ahead of all those competitors that provide instant messaging for multiple protocols. imo has AIM, ICQ, Facebook, Google Talk, MSN, MySpace, Skype, and Yahoo chat support, allowing users to run multiple conversations while logged-in to any of those networks. There are also voice IM’s, file attachments, and putting favorites to a friend on the homescreen. Most of these features were previously available, but imo beta offers a new design that looks much better and is more functional.
Opera Mini 6 and Opera Mobile 11
Mini – Android 1.5 or higher, Mobile – 1.6 or higher
Still not sold on an Android browser alternative? Check out Opera Mobile, which now supports Adobe Flash and has a design optimized for tablets. While Opera Mini doesn’t support Flash, it does provide a great interface that’s pretty face thanks to its server-side compression. Be sure to watch the short demo we received at CTIA Pepcom.
Angry Birds Rio
Amazon Market only/US only
Amazon and Rovio partnered to make Angry Birds Rio an Amazon App Store exclusive. Angry users and rain forest jokes aside, the app is very fun. It’s the same Angry Birds gameplay that we’ve come to expect, only now there’s even better graphics and some twists on the previous set-up. Instead of committing genocide on pigs, you’re launching birds to save caged birds. The app is temporarily available for free in the Amazon App Store, but it typically costs $0.99.
An upcoming app makes tracking the weather pretty cool. It provides a map view, radar, and alerts users when a disaster is on the way. The app will debut on Android devices later this year. Here’s a quick video demo.
How would you like to snap a photo of friends, upload them to Facebook, and immediately tags them. Viewdle uses face recognition and augmented reality to provide some cool features. See a video demo here.
The best video editor that you’ll see will appear on Android phones later this year. I got a demo of an upcoming app that can edit videos by setting start and end points, applying transitions, and rendering in a matter of seconds. I wasn’t able to film because the company said they fear competitors copying the technology, but the demo I saw made the app look very fast. Expect to see this app pre-loaded on an upcoming Android phone later this year (it will not appear in the Android Market).