Our weekly app picks
It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.
Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!
1. Justin Duino — Robinhood
Robinhood is a commission free stock trading application that has finally come to the Android ecosystem. This beautifully designed app makes it easier than ever to buy and sell stocks right from your phone or tablet. Simply link it to your bank account, transfer money to the app, and start buying stock. While there are waiting periods for money to be transferred between your bank and Robinhood, the moment you buy stock, you will be able to track it in real-time and sell it without worrying about paying a company any sort of commission.
Check out Robinhood on the Google Play Store for free. The only way to make any money is to spend a little money and as long as you invest smartly, you could be thanking a simple Android app for your fortune.
2. Phil Nickinson — Fallout Shelter
This is another one of those games that I don't totally get (because I'm old and played the original Wasteland on an Apple IIc, but I've never played Fallout), though its impressiveness is obvious. Fallout Shelter puts you in charge of — wait for it — a fallout shelter, and the refugees therein. You have to build rooms and assign the right people to the right rooms, keeping everyone alive and everything up and running in the process.
I'm loving the graphics. I'm mostly enjoying the gameplay. I'm wondering how long this one's going to stick with me. We'll see.
3. Andrew Martonik — NBC Sports Live Extra
The English Premier League has started back up, and that means the NBC Sports Live Extra app is back on the home screen of my phones and tablets. NBC has the rights to play every EPL game for the season (and plenty of other sports, too), so every weekend I'm waking up early in the morning (time zones really kill me) to watch games — usually just reaching over to grab my tablet and watch in bed.
The app isn't the best in terms of interface, but after a recent update that brought a fresh design the usability of it has greatly improved. The whole thing is smoother and lighter, meaning you don't have to deal with so much cruft just to get to the game you want to watch. You'll need a cable subscription (or know someone who does) to take advantage of live gameplay, but that's worth dealing with if you just have to watch games live — and I definitely do.
4. Russell Holly — Lego Fusion: Battle Towers
Our house is full of Lego blocks, but the ones that get used most this week are whatever can be used to build the best castle turret for Lego Fusion: Battle Towers.
Like all of the Lego Fusion games, this game takes your physical creations and puts them on your Android phone or tablet. From there you conduct grand battles against the other Lego castles, adjusting your design as you go through either new physical designs or upgrades earned in the game. It's a ton of fun, especially once you add you existing Lego blocks to the kit you get to start the game.
5. Jerry Hildenbrand — Poweramp
Any time I'm checking out a phone with good dedicated audio components inside (currently jamming with the ZTE AXON) I do two things — install Poweramp and grab some of my favorite lossless files.
There are some apps for Android that just define their category, and Poweramp is one of them. It plays your audio files (almost any format) has a great set of EQ and tone controls, and while slightly complicated, the library functions are robust and fully configurable. The best part is you can ignore all that, and just tap and play music right from your file browser if you like — and chances are it will sound good.
If you like listening to offline music, especially high-quality files, give Poweramp a try if you haven't yet.