March 2, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Androinica.com recaps the new and interesting apps added to the Android Market each week. Though most of this week’s news was dominated by a torrent of phone announcements, there was news on the app front. Click the title of each app to go its Android Market page.
Android 2.2 or higher required
I’m sure we all wish that we could have been at Mobile World Congress to witness the new Android hotness unveiled in Barcelona. The official app from Google helped attendees find the booths hawking Android wares, but it’s also a shining example of good app design. It also has a list of interesting app developers worth checking out and links to learn more about Google products or partners online.
Android 2.0+ required
One of the companies who made noise at MWC was StumbleUpon, which released an all-new Ice Cream Sandwich UI app that is much better. You’re probably already familiar with StumbleUpon, a link recommendation service where people like articles, photos, and videos centered on a particular interest. This pushes content to others who share those interests and follow channels built around tech, fashion, sports, a celebrity, or other subjects. The new home screen and action bar really make for a better app, and Android 4.0+users can now instantly beam things of interest to each other using Android Beam.
Android 2.2+ required
$0.99 (introductory price)
First person shooters aren’t plentiful on Android, but there are a handful of good ones out there. Today sees the debut of Heist: The Score, a rail shooter from N3V that’s temporarily on sale for $0.99. Heist is set in the 20′s and starts with a bank robbery-gone-bad. As things go sour, you’ll start going on other jobs to make your way through Prohibition era gangster life. I’ve only played a few minutes of the game and found the controls to be okay on my Galaxy Nexus, though the lack of movement kind of takes away from the fun a little bit. Players are mostly stationary and shoot guards, cops, and foes who are on the attack. The Heist features background items that can explode, voice acting, and an array of guns. Grab it now while it’s cheap.
Requirements vary with device
If you’ve ever looked at the Galaxy Nexus with envy because it offered a better camera, you can temper some of that jealousy by downloading Camera ICS. The app doesn’t import all of the features from the Nexus – such as zero shutter lag, which is about more than just software – but it has other highlights: color changes for hipster effects, video stabilization, time-lapse recording, and recording panorama photos. There’s also a feature that can take photos silently with the volume buttons. While it’s not a perfect port, pre-ICS users can still try it out to get a taste of what the 4.0 crowd is using.
Go Launcher was my favorite launcher prior to getting a Galaxy Nexus, and the Go for Android team is out to extend its reach to larger screens. Available now in beta, Go Launcher HD is a tablet-specific launcher with a dock, resizable widgets, and a number of customization options for adding shortcuts or changing wallpapers. The launcher supports Go Widgets and reordering any of the 5 screens, which makes for an interesting appearance. Droid-Life has a nice demo video that you should check-out. The app is clearly not in its final stage, but it’s worth keeping an eye on based on the Go Team’s track record.
Android 4.0+ required
Onavo is an app that monitors your data usage on an Android phone. The new app Onavo Extended takes that one step further and helps reduce data usage by compressing 3G data. Whether browsing the web, reading email, or using news and social networking apps, Onavo Extended can deliver content without using as much data. That comes in handy for users with capped plans, and so do the reports including in the app that shows exactly how much data was saved and which apps consume the most. This is only supported on Ice Cream Sandwich, but you may experience trouble if you are running custom ICS ROM’s. Stock Galaxy Nexus or Nexus S users should experience no issues.
Android 2.2+ required
Scribd is a popular repository for documents. Court filings, financial reports, presentations, judge rulings, full books, and more can all be found on the website. And now those documents can be found on your Android phone. Scribd enables members to download documents, browse the featured section, or search for something in particular. Once the user finds his or her desired reading, the app can zoom in and automatically adjust layout on certain documents. Users can return to that text in the Recent tab and see photos embedded n documents. There are three versions of the app but I’d avoid purchasing the Premium or Pro versions because they don’t seem to offer any real benefits. Scribd Reader’s search is limited and the app needs some refinement. Keep an eye on it if you are a Scribd user.
Android Apps News & Reviews of the Week
- Karma Android app recommends and send gifts to your friends and family
- Dolphin Sonar lets you search the Internet with your voice, to become Android’s Siri
- OnLive Desktop App provides free use of select Windows desktop apps on an Android tablet
- MLB At Bat ’12 arrives in time for Spring Training, adds ICS overhaul
- Audiobooks.com offers unlimited streaming in web app – it’s like Netflix for audio books
- TSF Shell, the TAT Home-based app launcher, lands in Android Market
- Acclaimed retro RPG Ash from Konami hits the Android Market for just $1.99
- Kairosoft releases Dungeon Village RPG, available on Android Market for $4.94
- Official: Another World from DotEmu to hit the Android Market on March 16
- Twitter says Promoted Tweets coming to Android app
- uTorrent app for downloading torrents on Android phones and tablets in the works
- Bell Canada Enhances Mobile TV Experience by QuickPlay Media (and adds March Madness!)