Archive for the ‘ App Round Up ’ Category

App Round Up – Updated Apps

Android apps are being updated all the time and since we started Android Apt back in October 2010 we’ve reviewed over 40 apps that have been getting their fair share of improvements (or otherwise). For Android Apt newcomers or anyone who missed these first time around, here’s a few updates worth pointing out.

Audiogalaxy – An excellent app for streaming your desktop music to your phone whether over wi-fi or your phone network. Recent updates include bug fixes, an improved UI, a genres tab, voice search, a better landscape mode and Last .FM scrobbling (yay!).

Grooveshark – Our review of Grooveshark has garnered it’s fair share of attention seeing as we were quite daming about the application. A newer version of the app has appeared since that review which claims improved application responsiveness, improved album art downloading and improved playback across most devices. There’s also fixes for playlist and favorites syncing.

Homepipe – I loved the idea of Homepipe but I just couldn’t get it to work. No word on how well the updated versions work but it’s now a ‘limited-use’ free app (10 uses a month).

Pulse News Reader – This slick RSS feed app has had a few improvements since our review the best of which is the facebook feed integration. Pulse can now go through your Facebook newsfeed and create a stream of any links posted by your friends, genius!

Rocket Bunnies – A new update to the number one Space Rabbit Simulator has doubled the number of levels with a new set enemies and obstacles to avoid. More importatntly there are now collectible hats! Yeah I knew that would grab your attention. A great game just got even better.

Skyfire Browser (Beta) – Now in version 3.0 (and out of Beta by the looks of things) this web browser may well warrant another look. Recent changes include a new search box for easy access to the OneTouch Search feature, enhanced video search with more content providers, a speedier browsing experience and some fine tuning to ensuring stability.

Winamp – The superb Winamp has had a few additions since our review, SHOUTcast Radio (2.2 & above) is now available, there’s improved Wi-Fi sync and iTunes library import and the number of widgets has increased.

App Round Up – Doing It For The Kids

I love how versatile the Android platform can be. Thanks to the countless apps in the marketplace your Android handset can facilitate all kinds of situations. Something I could never do with my previous handsets was get my young children involved but now there’s all kinds of apps that your children can enjoy to help stimulate their co-ordination and spark their imaginations. For this App Round Up I have highlighted a few apps suitable for your kids to enjoy, even if you don’t have kids some of these are definately worth a try just to enjoy a change of pace from all that stressful Angry Birds action.

Ethereal Dialpad (Synthesizer) – Whilst not being strictly aimed at kids this excellent musical app is great for for messing about with whatever your age. Simply drag your finger across the screen to create flowing musical tones whilst the screen reacts to your movements. It really has to be seen to be fully appreciated and at a tiny 32kb install there’s no reason not to try it out. Recommended.
Kaleidoscope – Draw simple or complex multi-coloured Kaleidoscope images with this simple app. You can actually create some surprisingly cool results with this.

MagicMarker – A simple touch paint app that creates neon images on a black background, kinda retro but also cool. You can share your results online or save your creations as wallpaper for your android handset homescreen.

Talking Tom Cat – Over 250,000 downloads and counting. It’s a large install but it’s worth it for at least a few minutes of fun if you have room (since I installed this it would seem that install to SD is now possible). Your on-screen pet cat ‘Tom’ will respond to your voice and touch. You can pet him, grab his tale or poke him and when you speak to him he repeats what you say in a high pitched voice. You can also disable the slightly more violent animations (although my kids think they’re hilarious) as well as record videos of him in action to upload to Facebook or YouTube.

xPiano – An effective Piano app that boasts 4 octaves, 12 instruments, multitouch and a record/play function. The free version is no longer being updated but it’s still has plenty of features to make it worthwhile. There’s also a more featured stacked paid version.

Zebra Paint – Colouring in, Android style. Pick a template and start adding colour using the touch screen. Simple but great for younger children.

Hope you find some of those useful. Do you have any other suggestions? If you do, feel free to add them in the comments section.

App Round Up – Quick & Useful Apps

Among the many applications on the Android Marketplace there are a number of apps that exist purely to perform one simple task. These are the kind of apps that you either use only occasionally or they become a part of the furniture to the point that you think they came with the phone in the first place. In most cases these apps can be an essential part of your day-to-day Android experience. Due to their small size and simple purpose it’s a bit of a stretch to write a comprehensive review on each of these apps so instead here’s a rundown of a few of the best ones that I have found in the last few months of using Android.

AppRemover – Essential. A quick and easy way to uninstall apps on your handset. Faultless.

 

Analytics Widget – A bit niche this one. If you have a website or blog this widget will keep track of how many hits you’ve had that day. A simple and effective ego massage, lovely.

Fast Reboot – When you run this, all your apps will shut down and then restart again as if you’ve just powered up. It’s not a proper reboot but it’s a fast way to help free up memory or kickstart an app back to life when your handset is being sluggish.

Quick Settings – Another essential app. Get quick access to all your main settings wherever you are via the drag down status menu. All it takes is a  simple swipe and a press. If I were Google, I’d add this function to all builds of Android from now on.

SDMove – A quick and easy way to see what apps take advantage of the ‘move to sd’ functionality of Froyo and then move them to your SD card.

 

Silent Boot – I have a HTC Desire, it very much likes to make a song and dance when it’s switched on which is highly annoying. This app silences the tone that plays on start-up. I cannot praise this simple app enough.

SMS Backup & Restore – Simple backup & restore of your sms messages. Doesn’t get more simpler than that.

 

URL Shortener – A godsend for sharing url’s on twitter ,facebook, etc. Long click a url in your browser’s address bar and share it with URL Shortener, it will shorten the link via your chosen service and copy the shortened URL to your clipboard. You can then paste the shortened link wherever you need it. Excellent.

 

Do you have any other suggestions? Add them in the comments section.

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