April 17, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
How many apps have been downloaded from the Android Market? I use to ask that question until Google shed some light on the answer earlier this week – more than 3 billion. That’s a whole lot of apps to put on a whole lot of phones, and the insatiable thirst among Android users is pushing that total higher with each passing second.
Androinica.com highlights some of the cool apps that help the Android Market get closer to 4 billion apps each week. This time around, we’re taking a look at your home apps – a homescreen replacement, homescreen widget, and a few excellent apps to use once you get outside of your home. Click the install button to be taken to each app’s page on the Android Market.
Regina 3D Launcher
Android 2.1 or higher required
The number of Android homescreen replacements has exploded to include every launcher you could imagine, right? Not quite. Joining the fray this week is Regina 3D, a homescreen app that uses a 3D cards effects when moving between panels. The app can then be enhanced by downloading add-ons like a to-do-list manager, weather service, or themes (extremely limited selection at the moment). ADWEx and SPB Shell are better launchers, but Regina can be a decent replacement for people looking for something free.
Android 2.1 or higher required
Whatever homescreen launcher you use, a good widget can go a long way in making it more useful. Sony Ericsson has just released a nifty little widget that will make it easier to reach your most frequent contacts. The two most-contacted people command large squares on the left and right, while seven other frequent contacts fill-up the grid. Tapping on a contact will launch a pop-up to call, text, e-mail, or see contact file. Possible settings include excluding certain people from appearing and putting brightness or overexposure settings on the photos. Users can also be notified via email if thy receive a text message or have a missed call. There’s also a 4×1 widget that shows the top 5 contacts.
Android 2.0 or higher required
MeetUp.com has long been a place where people have gone to organize around their shared interests. Before Twitter created tweet-ups and Facebook launched its “Who else is here?” function, MeetUp was the place to find other people interested in LARPing or hanging-out to discuss the tragedy of All My Children getting canceled. Now folks can do that directly from their
phone with the official app. Members can see a map of nearby events, search for a meet up based around a topic, or access the meetups they’ve already bookmarked online. The app also supports comments and uploading photos.
Android 1.6 or higher required
Go Score cannot be considered the best sports app available, but only because it only supports two sports – soccer and basketball – at the moment. However, several more sports are slated to arrive in future updates, and it will be tough to not consider GO Score among the elite once that happens. Dozens of leagues are trackable with GO Score, which shows live scores, league standings, gambling odds, bookmarked matches, and notifications for in-game updates. That’s available in practically every app. However, GO Score has a unique feature that shows past history between two teams and a wealth of statistics, which can help decide which side to bet your money.
Cell Phone Coverage Map
Android 2.2 or higher required
How good is cellular coverage where you live or work? Carriers like to show their coverage maps but you never know how reliable is that information. Cell Phone Coverage Map seeks to provide a third-party measurement of network performance independent of carriers. Users of its Android and iPhone app can run quick network tests that report on performance in that area. Multiple tests from multiple users then help build a coverage map to show problem areas and how successful AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are in delivering a quality wireless network. Results may vary depending on area, but you will see signal strength for calls and download/upload data speed results.
APP NEWS & REVIEWS OF THE WEEK
- Cooliris LiveShare adds comments to awesome photo sharing app
- Little Photo is a free camera app with stylish filters
- Sprint now accepting Android Market purchases directly to monthly bill
- Because iTunes hasn’t won yet, Sprint launches Music Plus Store
- Rovio adding device sync to Angry Birds