Android News

Android Apps Alert #60: It’s All in the Details Edition

May 29, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Apps

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It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you – without some great Android apps to bless you. Despite missing a couple of weeks due to event coverage and a hectic schedule, Android Apps Alert is back once again with recommendations for great new Android apps to test. Androinica.com highlights the best and brightest from the Android Market each week, and we’re back after a brief hiatus.

The theme this week is “It’s All in the Details” because the Android apps featured in this edition of Apps Alert are all about the small things. Some apps provide extra context for daily activities, some require paying special attention, and others provide the details that you need when using your phone. With that said, let’s look at some new apps in the Android Market. Click the “Install App” button to be taken to each app’s Market page.

Guidebook

Android 1.6 or higher required

Not every app can be as great as the one released for Google IO 2011, Guidebook can be more than adequate when attending a trade show, convention, or fan expo. Guidebook lists an events schedule with information on sessions or parties (that can be bookmarked) and background information on special guests. Users can also get notifications when that event starts, see maps of the event layout, or add exhibitors to a to-do-list to plan their day. Between sessions, you can even see the official Twitter stream supported by the event.

Guidebook is a crisp app that allows event organizers to supply information and build downloadable guides within the app. I highly encourage anyone attending a major gathering to download this app and see if a guide is available.

Install app

NewsRepublic

Android 1.5 or higher required

There are a million ways to get Android news, so why not try out method number one million and one? News Republic imports stories from the Associated Press, AFP, Press Association, and dozens of blogs based on the topics that interest readers. NewsRepublic, available for phones and tablets, has a “My News” section that gives users more control. So you can add a tab for football, gossip, Android, or enter any search term and see if a feed is available for that topic, person, or place. To put it simply, NewsRepublic is one of the best news readers for Android users.

Install app

BBC NEWS

Android 1.6 or higher required
Available only in the United Kingdom

The BBC News Android app has been a long time coming. While the BBC iPlayer app has pleased many with its streaming of live television and radio, Android users still want a text-based source for breaking news. That’s exactly what BBC News offers, delivering top stories from the United Kingdom and major events throughout the world. BBC News organizes stories according to category, and gives users the option to customize which topics get promote on the main screen. It also includes video, live streaming of the BBC News (Android 2.2+ and Flash required), and the ability to share with friends.

Install app

SwiftKey X Beta

Android 2.1 or higher required

Anyone who doubted SwiftKey’s placement among the best Android keyboards needs to try the new X Beta. SwiftKey was already incredibly accurate when predicting what someone means to type, and the inclusion of Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter makes it even better. After linking accounts, SwiftKey learns more about the user, so “Did you remember to walk…” will make the keyboard to suggest “Spot” since it knows that you are referring to your dog. SwiftKey also supports two themes and typing modes geared for accuracy or speed. Though SwiftKey is a paid app, a free beta version is available in the Android Market.

Install app

Contract Killer

Android 2.0 or higher required

How’d you like to kill someone? Digitally, of course. Contract Killer is a Glu game in which you play the role of an assassin, taking down high-profile targets through a scope. Players accept missions use controls to take accurate shots at drug dealers and other sorts of bad guys. Be patient and precise or you may take on fire or watch helplessly as the target escapes.

The action in Contract Killer is limited but still fun thanks to moving targets, henchmen who shoot back, and the need to acquire new weapons and ammunition. In-app billing can provide a shortcut to those upgrades, but it’s more fun to earn them on your own in this simple but fun game.

Install app

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