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. Russell Holly — Feed Me
Living with indecisive people means you either go to the same places all the time or you do whatever the youngest kid wants to do when going out to eat. Feed Me is a new app that grabs your location and looks for coupons for restaurants in your area, which occasionally makes deciding where to take the family for a meal a little easier. The app is also rocking flawless Material Design UI and animations, and if there aren't a ton of deals in your area the app will offer up a list of local places sorted by distance, which is more often than not a tiebreaker in my house.
2. Phil Nickinson — USA Today Sports
Sometimes you just want the sports news. And to that end USA Today has a dedicated "USA Today Sports" app for Android. It's got a slightly different look and feel than the proper USAT app, and it's a little more graphically intensive (which can occasionally lead to scrolling wonk). But it's a nice addition when you don't want to wade through "Five obvious things you need to know" stories and whatever the latest on the Kardashians is.
USA Today Sports has dedicated sections for all the major sports — including MMA, which is cool to see — and you can get notifications for "hot games" and trending news. And if you just want to get to the scores, there's a big red button front and center (OK, in the upper right) for exactly that.
3. Justin Duino — TypeDrawing
Every once in awhile I come across an application that makes me wish I was more artistic and TypeDrawing is one of these apps. Using TypeDrawing you get to easily create typography art right on your phone or tablet. All you have to do is open the app up, type in whatever word or phrase you want to work with, and draw with your finger.
Do not judge TypeDrawing based off of my drawing of Lloyd because I have seen some talented people create some great looking images. TypeDrawing is free on the Play Store so make sure to go download it and share your best attempts at drawing an AndroidCentral Lloyd.
4. Andrew Martonik — Ready Contact List
While I don't spend too much time in the Contacts and Phone apps on any of my devices, I'm always looking for interesting and well-done apps to replace the stock ones. Ready Contact List is a contact manager and dialer in one, and it's very tastefully done in complete Material Design style so it fits in on Lollipop devices. But beyond just good looks Ready is also functional, giving you quick access to messaging and calls with a single tap in the interface.
You also get a predictive dialer, caller ID functions and a quick contact search. Ready Contact List is free to download so you can get a feel for it, but you'll want to pay $0.99 to remove ads at minimum if you plan on using it permanently. You may also consider other in-app purchases for themes and ringtones — each will set you back $1.99 or be included with an all-in $2.99 (currently 25 percent off) "pro" purchase.
5. Jerry Hildenbrand — Word Academy
Word Academy is a nifty little puzzle game where you find hidden words in a grid of letters. We all know how that works, but Word Academy has a bit of a twist to it.
You're looking for a particular word, or set of words in the grid. Things start easy (too easy), but don't worry it gets tough pretty quickly. The longer you play, the larger the grid becomes, and the word list gets bigger and more complicated. If you're into word puzzles, you'll have a great time playing. If you're not-so-good at word puzzles, you'll be glad there is a hint button you can use a limited number of times as well as a reset button that wipes away the words you picked in the wrong order. It's my favorite button.
Word Academy is free to play, but offers in-app purchases to buy extra hints if you find you can't earn enough while playing. Things start at 99-cents for 10 hints, and move up to $13 for 200. I'm about halfway through the stages, and haven't had to buy any just yet but have a feeling I will need to do so once things get really hard. There are no silly permissions requested or required.
6. Alex Dobie — thetrainline
If you find yourself frequently traveling by train in the UK, thetrainline's Android app is worth checking out. It brings all the functionality of the service's desktop website to phones, while also introducing support for QR code-enabled mobile tickets right within the app. After signing in you can browse and buy tickets for travel on any UK route, and view live departure, arrival and journey information as well. The app's also location-aware, allowing you to track down the nearest station if you're in an unfamiliar part of the country. And for Londoners, the app incorporates up-to-date line information for the Underground as well. Whether you live in the UK or are just visiting, this free app is definitely worth a look.