Apps of the week

Apps. Apps everywhere.

We can't get enough of all the great Android apps out there. You can't get enough of all the great Android apps out there. Here's where we meet up and you get your chocolate in my peanut butter, and the result is way better than things would be otherwise.

Seriously. We pick some apps to recommend each week. The comments are wide open for you to do the same. In the end, we all hear about more apps, try more apps, and find more great apps. What's not to love, right?

Ara Wagoner — Battery Widget Reborn

Battery Widget Reborn

I'm not gonna lie, I'm someone who tries to pay attention to my battery. Not that I really do much about it, but at least so I can grab a charger or external power pack for a quick boost. I'm someone who looks at the graphs on a frequent basis, especially on my newest replacement X, so I look at my battery widgets a lot, and I'm very, very happy I have Battery Widget Reborn for it.

Battery Widget Reborn is a well-designed, full-featured battery tracking app with both a home screen and notification widget that are fully customizable. The battery graph, as well as the long-term statistics such as how long it takes to charge and how long my battery is going per charge are quite useful to me. This week, Battery Widget Reborn updated to Material Design, but because they're understanding of users to appreciate Holo Dark, they're maintaining the old one as well under the new app title Battery Widget Reborn Classic. Gotta love an app team that gives us choices and helps us track what is quite possibly the most important spec of our phones: battery.

Download: Battery Widget Reborn (Free)

Russell Holly — Chop Block

Chop Block

Our beloved Google Play Store has no shortage of endlessly scrolling games where you stand absolutely no chance of survival, but Chop Block stands out in the crowd as something uniquely fun. It's visually entertaining, as you play a block of wood with eyeballs against simple white sawblades against a flat black background. The game is immersive, challenging, and the sound you head when your character hits a sawblade is oddly satisfying. Plus the game is free and brand spanking new, so give it a shot and see if you can get a score higher than 246.

Download: Chop Block (Free)

Phil Nickinson — Uber


I'm only a couple years late to the party, and I know I'm opening this one up to all sorts of arguments about business tactics, but I finally gave Uber a shot last week in New York City.


That's not to say I won't ever take cabs again. If I'm walking out of a hotel and there's a cab just sitting there, I'll absolutely take it. But I quickly learned last week that for the times I do chose to have a car waiting on me, Uber might well be quicker — and cheaper. My ride to and from the Newark Airport was a good bit lighter on the wallet than the usual black car I've used, and way more clean and comfortable than a cab.

The app itself is very well done. You immediately see how many cars are in your immediate vicinity, how long they'll take to get to you, and you can watch your path while en route. And I'm loving the Google Wallet integration, which makes it extremely simple for me to switch between business and personal credit cards. And the app makes it simple to split fares, too.

If you haven't given Uber a shot yet, do it. And if you're just signing up and want to help a brother out (Warning: Shameless promo plug ahead), hit up, and use promo code d71rr. We'll both get credits for rides.

Download: Uber (free)

Alex Dobie — Subway Surfers

Subway Surfers

For me, Subway Surfers is something of a guilty pleasure. Like the best endless runners, it's shallow, mindless, reflex-testing fun. Select a character and help them escape a bumbling guard (and dog!) across subway tracks, collecting power-packed and coins as you go. Things get faster and trickier as you progress, and there are items you can discover (or buy) to lessen the challenge. But this isn't one of those games that's super-obnoxious about in-car purchases. They're there, but by no means essential. (You will want to turn off the notification reminders in the Settings, however.)

Subway Surfers is available for free on Google Play, and in time for Halloween the game's "world tour" has rolled around to New Orleans.

Download: Subway Surfers (Free, in-app purchases)

Andrew Martonik — Recordense Voice Recorder


I always keep a voice recorder app installed on my phone for those few times I need to take down an audio note or record a conversation during an interview or a conference. I bounce around between them, and one I've been trying out is Recordense Voice Recorder.

It has a pretty basic interface that simply lets you record, save and categorize voice conversations, but the big thing Recordense offers is ease of transcription if you happen to need that kind of service. Recordense has its own manual transcription interface (both in app and on the web) that helps you quickly skip through your interview or voice note to transcribe on your own, but there's also integration with a professional service called Quicktate that can automatically transcribe it for a price.

Most people will simple use Recordense for a regular recorder, and maybe manually transcribe a short conversation on their own — but the one time you need to record and transcribe something longer it may be a good choice for automatic transcription as well. The app is free to use with ads or $3.35 without — not a bad deal for a useful utility.

Download: Recordense (Free, $3.35 for Pro)

Richard Devine - Blinkbox Music

BlinkBox Music

At risk of being unpopular, this week's choice is one for only the Brits. Sorry. Anyway, Blinkbox. It's a music service provided by supermarket chain, Tesco, available for free and it's really good.

I really like Nokia MixRadio but since that hasn't properly come to Android I've been looking for an alternative. Blinkbox is similar in that it's a radio style service giving you music to listen to based on different channel settings. And it helps when it comes with a nicely done Android app, too. Simple, very few music controls to worry about, but nicely done.

Certainly worth a look for the music loving Brits out there. Try out the Air Guitar Anthems channel, you won't regret it.

Download: Blinkbox (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand — Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

Dude, this effin' game! The only way it could be more frustrating is if you had to flap in some capacity. But I can't stop playing it. Tap the screen to move one leg. Tap again to move the other leg. See how far you can walk. When you see it wasn't very far, and Simon Sage is way out in front of you on the Play Games leaderboard because he has some sort of voodoo hack (has to be!), you try again.

And again.

It's hard, and addictive, and free. This makes for a dangerous combo that you have to try.

Download: Daddy Long Legs (Free)