April 20, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Android Apps Alert is Androinica.com’s weekly round-up of new, updated, and under the radar apps. Each app is plucked from a list of candidates found by browsing the Android Market and developer/user submissions. To suggest an app for review, drop us a line on Google+ or Twitter.
Dell Voice updated to provide visual voicemail. Canadians can use Dell Voice to get a new number that forwards to more phones and provides online features for controlling or monitoring accounts. It’s basically Google Voice for Canadians.
Google Offers got itself a snazzy new appearance. Now you can get a Holo look when trying to get daily deals, and so much faster. The app was also prated to better manage notifications and access deals in more cities.
Draw Something was updated to allow users to speak with other players, undo a single move, refresh, and get notifications. It’s easier than ever to write, I mean, Draw something.
Physics and puzzle games rank among my favorite past times on Android, and Galaxy Pool is a fun member of those genres. The game is sort of like pool (billiards) but has a space theme where players must bounce a ship off beams into a planet. Along the way, the ship should cross stars in order to earn points. The more you hit, the more you earn sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is initially, but as the game progresses, it becomes tougher and tougher to master all 50 levels. Galaxy Pool requires that players reposition multiple in beams on each board in order to unlock just the right combination to land on the planet, and you only get maximum points if all stars are touched. It reminds of the games my middle school teachers used to trick us into learning geometry – only this is actually fun.
Android 2.2+ required
Gorgeous, stunning, breathtaking, and throw in whatever other beauty-based adjective you can think of – that’s how you can describe some of the photography featured in 500px. The popular photo-sharing site has made its way to Android, available now for phones and tablets to browse through the thousands of images upload to 500px. The app features a simple gallery that groups images in four tabs: Popular, Editor’s Choice, Upcoming, and Fresh. Users can also search for a specific term or browse their own photos. 500px can zoom in on a photo by double-tapping, shows ratings and comments, view a slideshow, or share a link on Twitter/Facebook. Download this app if you are a shutterbug or appreciate good photography.
Android 2.3.3+ with OpenGL ES 2.0 required for Lenses
Path has managed to grow as a social network because it has focused on remaining small. Not as in total number of users small, but small as in the number of people who are in a member’s given circle. The app and the network are designed to keep communication within a close-knit group of people you wish to connect with, but there are options to push content out to Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. In the latest version of Path, sharing photos got an upgrade thanks to a change that saves photos on the device as well as online, and a new Lenses feature. Lenses lets Path members apply filters to their photos similar to Instagram and a host of other apps. There are seven filters available, and users get a live view of them through camera, so you can select the right effect before taking a photo.
Hotmail is still the email service of choice for millions of web users, including many who have opted for Android phones. The Hotmail Android app, which has been downloaded more than 5 million times, has been updated to improve support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. ICS users can now check their email without issue, as can HTC Desire users who were experiencing problems when pressing the Back or Menu button. Microsoft also claims to have improved the way the appp handles calendar/meeting requests, fixed meeting description and acceptance sending, and “optimized battery usage on Android 2.1″ devices. Grab the app now to get these improvements and the ability to set updated frequency or use multiple Hotmail accounts.
One of the most frustrating things about using Chrome as my default Android browser is that I’m constantly running into situations where I need to play Flash video. Despite how much you “HTML5 is the future” naysayers call for the death of Flash, the people who matter haven’t gotten the messages yet, so I need access on my phone and tablet. That’s why I was happy to get a note Flashify, an app from Nightshade Labs that provides an easy switch to another browser. The way it works is that if you come across Flash content in Chrome, select More > Share > Flashify. This will then bring up a list of installed browsers that can open the same URL. This has proven to be a much better solution for me than copying and pasting from one app to another. Download this app if you have the same problem, if you just want to send URL’s from one browser to the next for any reason.
Android News & Reviews of the Week
- Wave Control controls your favorite music player without having to touch your phone [App Reviews]
- Frostwire updates torrent search app to support gestures for music playback controls
- Spotify completely redesigns Android app, adds 320kbps streams, speed, and Holo
- Google TV updates TV & Movies app to support favorites and trending
- PlaceMe is the always-on location memorizer you never asked for [App Reviews]
- Google Play actually has a phone help line for tech support [TIP]
- Chrome for Android goes global: adds languages, supported countries, and new features
- Read It Later is now Pocket, a gorgeous and free app for cleaner reading on Android