TWC

Each week we like to bring you some of the favorite applications we use regularly, and here we are again. Let's hit the break and check out what your favorite Android writers are using regularly, and be sure to let us know in the comments some of your favorites!

Sean Brunett - Goodreads (Free)

Goodreads

If you’re not familiar with Goodreads, it’s a social network for people who love to read and share Goodreadsbooks. The Android app is fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone who is active on the site. With the app, you can search and review any of the books that are in the catalog (which is a lot!), view your stream and updates from friends or people you follow, view and edit your shelves, use the barcode scanner to scan your own books into the Goodreads shelves, and find more friends via your social networks. It’s a well designed app and it’s very functional. If you’re already on Goodreads, it’s a must and for anybody else not familiar, I’d suggest checking it out (if you like to read). [Google Play Link]

Alex Dobie - MX Player Pro ($5.62)

Real Player

Video files come in all kinds of formats, and it can be frustrating when your phone or tablet simply refuses to recognize your content. Unless you're down with codecs and headers and all that stuff, MX PLayerit's not always easy to know what'll play and what won't.

Fortunately, MX Player is a media player app for Android that'll play just about anything you can throw at it. It includes optimizations for the most common Android hardware setups, including Tegra 2 and ARM NEON, as well as a variety of subtitle formats and full ICS support. This allows it to decode files through software that your phone's hardware decoder may not support.

If you're happy to view a small banner advertisement while you're navigating menus, you can grab the free ad-supported version. Alternatively, there's the ad-free MX Player Pro, which sells for £3.44 on Google Play. [Google Play Link]

Richard Devine - Photo Editor (Free)

Photo Editor

We're not short on photo editing software on Android that's for sure. But this week I stumbled Photo Editorupon another simply titled Photo Editor. It comes free and ad supported, but you can purchase an ad free version.

So why do I like it? Because what it does it does very well. One touch I'm quite fond off is the ability to alter your photos using curves. There's also a wide range of tools for resizing, sharpening, drawing and text, frames and various filters and special effects.

Coupled with the camera on my new One X I've really been having a lot of fun with this. I'm no photographer, but for free this is a must try for anyone who likes to edit their phone taken photos on the go. [Google Play Link]

Jerry Hildenbrand - Real Silent (Free)

Real Silent

RealSilent is a nifty little tool that will tie the media volume mute function to the ringer and Real Silentnotification mute settings on your ICS phone. With stock Ice Cream Sandwich, when you drop the volume down via the volume rocker switch, it only affects the ringer and notification volume. I can see why it's done this way, and I can see why people would prefer it that way, but I like everything but the alarm to mute when I crank it down to zero. There's several solutions that do this that work great, but I'm happy to have found one that sits quietly out of the way, doesn't affect anything else, and works just the way I want it to work. You can set the app to work with both silent and vibrate mode, and it runs in the background as a very small service. It's free, and has no special permissions. Give it a look. [Google Play Link]

Chris Parsons - Marvel Comics (Free)

Marvel

Marvel ComicsIf you're into comics then the Marvel Comics app for Android is pretty much a no-brainer. You need it in your life. Whether it be to grab old back copies of comics you once had and have long since lost or if you're a new comic book fan and just want to start out digitally. The app is free, you're required to create a login and from there -- you're off to the races. With plenty of free content available as well as paid downloads, it's easy to get caught up in the Marvel universe when using this app. [Google Play Link]

Kevin O'Quinn - 500px (Free)

500PX

Photography at its finest.  That's what you get with 500px.  It's a simple app, but it works really well.  On the left you have the navigation buttons, which are clearly labeled and easy to understand.  500pxEvery picture that you see is extremely well done.  Just about anything you want is available.  I find myself spending more time looking at random pictures than I'd care to admit, but these are all just so well done.  Swiping left and right will navigate through seemingly endless pages of pictures, none of which fail to amaze me.

You can log in to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and share directly from the app to those services.  Notable absent is Google+, which is a shame.  Another  improvement that I would like to see is support for pinch to zoom. Other than those two things the app is awesome.  Also, it's forgivable given that the app just came out the other day.  I'm sure we'll see some updates, and with those functionality is sure to improve. [Google Play Link]

Anndrew Vacca - TWC TV (Free)

TWC

This week, I finally splurged on something I’ve held out on for the past three years: cable TV. A necessity for most, cable was always my final holdout, until Time Warner introduced its live TV app for Ice Cream Sandwich. With the app, you can watch live television on any Android 4.0 TWC TVsmartphone or tablet, which means that though my TV is in the living room, I can watch most programs from anywhere in my house. As unnecessary as it may sound, I’m completely hooked. I watch the morning news while brushing my teeth, the evening news while taking a shower, and late night talk shows while falling asleep in bed. 

You’ll need at least the standard cable package from Time Warner (which runs around $50/month here in New York City) to use the app, and while the channel lineup is respectable, it isn’t quite as full as what you’ll get on your TV. Oh, and one small caveat: you need to be on your home Wifi network for the app to work, so don’t expect to watch TV while driving to work in the morning. Regardless of the few limitations, TWC TV works flawlessly, with nary a freeze up and quite impressive image quality. If you’re already a Time Warner customer, stop reading this immediately and grab the app from the Google Play store. Now. [Google Play Link]

 
There are 18 comments

If your rooted, TWC will give you the big FU, so head over to XDA for the .apk
http://www.xda-developers.com/android/time-warner-app-now-available-for-...

heres what b00sted had to say after rewriting the .apk
"yep and in teh name file i changed -test-keys to b00sted-keys (lol) and superuser.apk to Fu*KTimeWarner.apk"

Which is exactly why media companies don't want to support Android natively.  Also, I'm pretty sure cracking that app is a violation of at least some ToS.

 

Openness is a double edged sword.  It's awesome, but holds back some things that more "mainstream" users would love to have that other platforms can boast about.

~50% of the people on this forum break their TOS with their carrier when they tether with their rooted devices. This is nothing new, we just want the functionality our phone was designed to be included with and not have to take it from behind from the carriers who are already getting more than their fair share. Time warner is no different, they provide sub-par service and people can't go anywhere. I won't ever feel sorry for them, at least verizon provides good service for the outrageous monthly fee i'm force to pay, TWC does not.

3rdpig says:

What someone's "fair share" is isn't up to you. If the company isn't providing value for the money then cancel and go to their competitor. That's what makes companies change for the better. Breaking the TOS or the law won't make them change, it will only make them worse.

mputtr says:

You're telling me that having a phone that is rooted gives reason to why they should not support Android?
That's bs and you know it. The only reason it was modified was because TWC demanded that your device not be rooted for any reason whatsoever which means that if you decided that you want your tablet with a different rom, then tough luck. You can't.

I don't see making the TWC app not check for root status causing any problems at all.

TenshiNo says:

It's probably all a licensing issue. If you're rooted, then you could record the stream, which would violate TWC's licenses with the content providers. Therefore, they have to be able to tell the content providers that they're preventing people who are rooted from accessing their video stream.

It *is* something of a double edged sword. This is one of the same reasons it took so long to get Netflix on board with Android. The content providers (aka: movie studios and networks) are crazy paranoid about people pirating their content these days. Eventually, they might realize that they can't stop it and all they're really doing is making it hard to real customers to access the content they want.

Maybe... Someday...

IceDree says:

Great selection guys ...

Alex, do you have any problems with MX player?
It runs everything fine , except 720p MP4 video it Plays them outta sync (the Audio & the Video aren't matching) & that annoys me

I can't find a good app that can run 720p MP4 videos properly, always an issue !!!

Edit : My Atrix runs the 720p MP4 I capture flawlessly (even with the stock gallery app)

spacetug says:

The problem is hardware acceleration. (Or, more precisely, the lack thereof.) MX uses software decoding by default, but you can change it to use hardware where available. I have the same problem with my Captivate; the processor just isn't quite fast enough for software decoding at 720p.

cashxx says:

The TV software that Time Warner and Comcast has is crap I thought. Its only live TV while your in your house correct? I wanna be sitting at the coffee shop or something and be able to see my live tv or dvdr.

I have Dish Network and its exactly that, but they bought slingbox out so that might be why they can do it and others can't. And amazingly Dish doesn't charge extra for the service! Only downfall its based on Flash and is buggy. Usually have to reboot my box and wait 5 minutes or so and then it runs pretty smooth.

moosc says:

Have u upgraded to the sling pad? My problem is buffering it just sucks with dish. I stream Netflix and jetflixs real easy.

crxssi says:

UncleMike says:

With so many choices in the Play Store, it's likely just personal preference. I tried both Mobo Player and MX Player and preferred MX. I believe MX was better established at the time and that appealed to my cautious nature.

Are you saying you think Mobo is better? If so, how is it better in your opinion?

crxssi says:

I am not saying either is better, since I have never used MX. Mobo seems to work fine for me, so I just never bothered with anything else.

UncleMike says:

Thanks. I thought maybe I missed something when I checked out MX Player and MoboPlayer a while ago.

Suntan says:

MX player will blank out the lights on the capacitive buttons (or switch them to the little, dim dots if you have ICS) while watching something. To my knowledge, mobo does not.

This is the main reason I prefer MX over mobo as I tend to watch shows on my phone in the dark.

-Suntan

scaots says:

Photo Editor is great. I was looking for something to use last week and selected Photo Editor because it seemed to have the best interface and does everything. You can pay in-app to remove the ads if you don't like those and get a larger editing window.

jebs_14 says:

As far as the Marvel Comics app goes, I'd suggest the straight up Comics app by Comixology (same people who make the Marvel app). Then you're not limited to just Marvel comics.

They're pulling the same crap up here with Rogers. You need to have Rogers Internet to use their Rogers anywhere app.m well the name is completely wrong. Going over the data cap is a big crash grab here.