December 30, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Happy New Year, everybody! This will be the last edition of Android Apps Alert published in the year 2011. It was a prolific year for the Android Market, which underwent more changes than we have time to recount, and we’re happy to see the constant stream of new Android apps available for our phones and tablets. However, the stream was a little soft this week as development has slowed during the post-Christmas, pre-CES lull. Here are a few new and noteworthy apps that you may want to grab anyway.
Old Republic Security Key
Android 2.1+ required
Star Wars: Old Republic debuted this week, and this is probably the first time that you’ve come up for air since you got your hands on the new MMORPG. Fans of Old Republic spend a great deal of time and money on quests in the game, and they want to ensure that their investment remains in tact and secure. With the Old Republic app, users can get a two-stage verification that prevents their accounts from being accessed without approval. The app creates a one-time keycode that acts as a secondary security layer to keep your game info protected.
Winter Wake Up
Android 2.1+ required
Ever woke up at your scheduled time only to discover that there’s a mountain of snow that needs to be moved before you can get your car on the road? Download Winter Wake Up and avoid the weather delays. Winter Wake Up (WWU from here on out) works by taking asking users what time they wake up and how much extra time they would need under heavy snow or frost. The app then intelligently monitors local weather conditions, as determined by GPS, and wakes users up earlier. So if it snows overnight and you need 20 minutes to shovel or de-frost the windshield, WWU rings the alarm at 6:20 instead of 6:40 AM. There’s even a feature that says, “Don’t bother to wake me” if conditions are really bad, but be careful about that one. Your job may still require some sort of notification that you aren’t coming in.
Free New Years Live Wallpaper
Android 2.2 required
I’m sure we’re all hoping that the Mayans were wrong, but either way, it’s time to party like it’s
1999 2012! The Free New Years Live Wallpaper offers glowing live wallpapers with multiple themes and effects to bring in the new year. Your wallpaper may be a purple-and-orange Statue of Liberty one minute, but it could just as easily be fireworks exploding over parties celebrating the new year. Download the free app and get ready for a new beginning (or end depending on what you believe).
Android 2.1+ required
Phone and tablet compatible
Ancestry.com is a popular resource for researching, creating, and maintaining a family tree. The official Android app that debuted recently makes it possible to do that from a phone. Ancestry.com can show your existing tree or start a new one, so users can add or delete people and events (Sometimes, you need to prune your family members apparently.) The app includes zooming in/out, search, profile info for family members, and viewing historical documents that may provide clues about your family history.
Light Flow LED
Android 2.2+ required
Free Lite, $1.99 premium
Light Flow tweaks how the LED notification light operates. So instead of seeing a standard flashing light for all notifications, it shows green when a text message comes in, white when a new email arrives, purple for a calendar reminder, or red for a missed call. Users can customize colors so they know what type of notification comes in. Purchase the premium $1.99 app and you’ll get more notification options for specific apps like Facebook, Foursquare, Kik, Skype, Tweetdeck, Twitter, WhatsApp, and more.
Android 1.6+ required, Google TV required
A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed a free Android app called Able Remote, an interesting remote for Google TV that controls the TV and accessories. (It even uses voice commands.) There’s also a page that bookmarks common apps for easy access. The latest version of Able Remote now allows users to customize that page. After purchasing a $0.99 in-app upgrade, users will be able to select which Google TV apps are bookmarked so they can get to them with a couple of taps rather than going through the entire menu. There’s also new graphics, editable buttons, and improved on-screen caller ID.
Android Apps Reviews & News of the Week
- Add Androinica.com to your Google Currents library!
- Are You Watching This?! sports app lets you swipe and play games on TV
- Papa John’s giving away Samsung Galaxy Nexus and discounts to Android app users
- Gameloft putting Android Market games on sale for $0.99
- Redux TV delivers curated, leanback viewing experience for Google TV [App Reviews]
- Sprint NBA Mobile 2011-2012 hands-on [Video]
- Amazon and Google Music sales yield big discounts