April 10, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Android apps for productivity or fun gaming. Free apps or paid. The Android Market is full of them and the number grows each week. That’s why Androinica.com does a weekly round-up of what’s available, what you may have missed, and what you need to put on your phone right now.
But since no two Android phones are exactly alike, certain apps will not be available to every phone and user. Browse the list below and see what apps interest you. If things don’t work out with a particular app, there are likely alternatives hiding away somewhere in the Android Market.
This week’s theme is Fake Out Foursquare and Bash Baseballs edition because of a tricky app that plays with location and a couple of apps centered around baseball. Enjoy!
9 Innings Baseball
Android 2.1 or higher required
Android has a couple of fun baseball-themed games, the most familiar being com2us’ Homerun Battle 3D. But for people looking to take both sides of the field – pitching and fielding as well as batting – 9 Innings Baseball is a more appropriate choice. Also developed by Com2us, 9 Innings is a free game that features real life MLB players throwing sliders and running bases. The graphics are a little disappointing because they are the same that you’ll see on a Java feature phone, but the controls are easy to manage and can provide some simple fun. There are no real MLB teams (licensing issues) but real player names are used. Players also can buy new items, change their lineups, and start a league campaign or play an exhibition.
ESPN FLB 11
Android 1.6 or higher required
Speaking of baseball, anyone interested in fantasy baseball ought to download the official ESPN app. Similar to the fantasy football app released for the NFL, this app allows users to manage their fantasy lineup. However, this app is available for free if you just want to change your starting line-up, make trades, and claim people off waivers. A premium version for $4.99 provides those features and the ability to get alerts about the disabled list, more ESPN news, and advice from the network’s fantasy baseball experts. I hope they offer that option for the football app next year, but baseball fans can enjoy having a choice right now.
Android 1.5 or higher required
If you’ve ever wanted to trick your phone into thinking that you are somewhere else, CatchMeIfUCan will get it done. CMIUC is an app that spoofs your Android phone into changing the location data, so someone could use it to check-in to their favorite deli in New York even if they are in Atlanta at the moment. Why would someone want to do that? Because they are a dirty cheat in a hotly-contested battle for mayor, obviously. Other potential cases for CMIFUC include making demo videos without revealing your home address or using Google Maps to search for a coffee shop near your destination rather than your current location. CatchMeIfUCan could be used for good or evil, but make sure to disable GPS before launching the program to make sure that it works accurately.
Android 1.5 or higher required
As annoying as those Microsoft “to the cloud” commercials may be, they are a great reminder of how convenient it can be to have your files automatically backed-up to the cloud. Since Dropbox is one of the best cloud storage services, members with Android phones should consider downloading DropSpace, which facilitates automatic storage of files stored on your SD card. DropSpace can be set to automatically upload files in a specific folder to your Dropbox, so one could take advantage of that by having all of their camera phone photos sent to Dropbox minutes after they are taken. The app doesn’t provide two-way sync – it only sends files already on your SD card. Until the official Dropbox Android app adds this feature, DropSpace is a good solution for backing up your files.
Google Apps Lookup
Android 2.1 o higher required
Google Apps customers have a new way of contacting people in their online rolodex. Google Apps Lookup will search the contact database and provide all of the known options for reaching that person. If “Shared Contacts” is enabled by your Apps administrator, users can do a voice search to find anyone through voice search and reveal his or her accounts. An Apps for Business or Apps for Education account is required to use this app.