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Android Central

The never ending hunt for awesome Android apps can really take its toll on not only your battery, but also your brain. Lucky for you we take the time each week to bring you some of our favorites so you can check them out as well, so let's hit the break and check out what we got in store for this week.

Alex Dobie - Osmos HD ($4.99)

Android Central

Osmos is a hugely successful iOS and PC title that finally arrived on Android a few weeks ago. It's  probably best described as a puzzler, but it's a game which really straddles multiple genres. You take on the role of a galactic mote, a glowing, pulsating, cosmic life form that floats freely Osmosthrough space. Gameplay is focused around absorbing other motes to grow larger -- though be careful, if you come across motes larger than yourself, they'll be the ones doing the absorbing. In most levels, you're tasked with moving around -- ejecting mass as you go -- and absorbing other motes so as to become the biggest. In other game modes, you'll need to absorb a particular mote to win, which is easier said than done when they come equipped with intelligence of their own.

Osmos has a chilled-out, ambient soundtrack, a really unique visual style and detailed graphics -- the game looks fantastic on a high-resolution device like the Galaxy Note, or a full-sized Android tablet. Production values are high all-round, and gameplay is challenging and varied without being too frustrating. It's well worth picking up, especially at its current low price.

Speaking of which, Osmos is available on the Android Market for £3.18, and a free demo version is also on offer, with a limited selection of levels. You can also get Osmos along with four other leading games as part of the Humble Bundle for Android at HumbleBundle.com. [Market Link]

Richard Devine - Transparent Screen (Free)

Android Central

This is a pretty nice idea, and with some refining could be a really useful application. In a nutshell it Transparent Screenbroadcasts an image from your camera behind whatever you're doing on your phone. The premise is to allow you to use your phone and see any potential obstacles that you would otherwise not see.

The resolution has to be kept low sadly as otherwise it lags quite a bit.  But the level of transparency can also be altered to suit your tastes. It's a work in progress but the idea is so good hopefully it'll get better and become less of a resource hog as time goes on. It's already saved me from walking into a lamppost as well so it does work! [Market Link]

Anndrew Vacca - OpenTable (Free)

Android Central

With Valentine's Day practically hours away, the pressure is on to impress your hunny. The clock is ticking, so if you haven't reserved a table at the hottest restaurant in your city yet, grab OpenTable Open Tableand do it immediately. OpenTable aggregates all of the restaurants in your town, and allows you to search for the perfect fit based on your location, the cuisine that you're in the mood for, or simply by name. You can read reviews, see the restaurant on a map, and even gauge the price range before you dive in.

Then, either using your OpenTable account or as a guest, you can reserve a table on the date and time of your choice. Keystrokes are minimal and OpenTable will only display times and dates that are available, avoiding the risk of double booking a table. While the smartphone app is great for on the go, OpenTable's tablet UI puts the extra screen real estate to great use. For restaurant reservations, OpenTable is the app to beat. [Market Link]

Chris Parsons - TouchNote Postcards (Free)

Android Central

You may or may not think about sending postcards from your trips these days. With the amount of technology out there, sending actual physical postcards has sort of become a thing of the past for Touchnotesome. But that doesn't mean you can't combine the technology of today, with a thing of the past. Touchnote Postcards is an app that will help you create and send postcards from your images whether you just want to send something special or are off on a trip somewhere and wanting to send something back home. Snap a pic, choose your postcard style and let them do the rest. Photos get printed full-size as glossy, 4.5x6 inch, at 300dpi resolution and cost only $1.49 to send. The app itself however; is free to download from the Android Market. [Market Link]

Jared DiPane - WJD Zone ($1.99)

Android Central

The secret is out, I love wallpapers. I change wallpapers more than anything else on a device, I need to have a well crafted wallpaper on my device at all times, and I find this hard to accomplish at WJD Zonetimes. With tons of existing wallpaper applications out there that just don't suit my needs I had to check out the WJD Zone after having seen some of the teased wallpapers. Sure, you may think who would pay for an application that gives you wallpapers, that should be free, right? Well, wrong.  These wallpapers are all custom made, and you can request for wallpaper designs right through the application which is simply awesome! If you are looking for some well crafted, beautifully designed wallpapers you won't want to skip out on this application. [Market Link]

 
There are 27 comments

ads says:

I cannot believe you folks recommend apps that have permissions for which they have no need. Touchnote postcards. Phone calls? Really? Personal info? Maybe if the app can pull where you want to send the postcard from your contacts, but I'd much rather do that myself than give access to my whole contact list to yet another app.
This is rampant. Apps should have a front end setup to let you choose to use features that require access to anything that identifies: me, the phone, my contacts, my location.
Better yet, a supervisory security app that traps all these calls by app and let's you select y/n for each app, with a memory of what you selected and interface to change it w/o the app running.

ADS

UncleMike says:

I blame Google, for lumping both benign and invasive access into a single permission.

I'm 100% with you. Blackberry has done that for years.

mclifford82 says:

Sounds like paranoid mumbo jumbo.

crxssi says:

So, anyone that cares about security or privacy is paranoid? Hmm.

Bla1ze says:

Don't like the permissions? Simple.. don't use the app. Seems a reasonable solution. It's either that or get Google to "fix" the issue with permissions.

holtcg says:

Better still, write the dev and ask him why he is using certain permissions. I bet you will be surprised at how difficult it is to avoid some of them.
Phone Calls, for instance, is often used as it is the only way to get a unique identifier on some older versions. The unique identifier is required for some ad services.
Still don't like the answers? See above...

nbell978 says:

Good God man, take off your tinfoil hat. All you people who constantly whine about permissions are ridiculous.

crxssi says:

So, anyone that cares about security or privacy is paranoid?

Arty Marty says:

People need to balance their out their NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and their quest for privacy.
Only you (and perhaps your mother) thinks you are that important, and your data is that interesting...
I worked in IT at a very high level for 15 years. Every so often after doing a data restore for someone who had hit delete and then regretted it (eg: an email or file), there would be a percentage who would come to the realization that the IT department could read their data.
OH MY GOD! STOP THE WORLD, THE NEWS IS OUT!!!

This person would then get all paranoid and want IT's access removed from their data.

...'cause you know, all those nights that IT works back late, we just sit around drinking beer, eating Mars bars and reading your data...

Only ever had one old fuddy-duddy Director push this issue all the way and so far that not even the Tape Backup could read his data - Sucked to be him 6 months later when the array in the server faied and needed to be restored...

My point still stands. GET A GRIP, I will repeat:
You are not that special, not that important... Only you and your mother thinks you are that interesting...

Now go get some pills for your NPD. Unless you are too worried about the doctors notes being read by someone else... OH MY GOD! THE PHARMACIST CAN SEE WHAT THE DOCTOR PRESCRIBED?? STOP THE WORLD!!

Marty :o)

hoosiercub says:

Agreed. I don't know why people are so upset about things like this. You know what you're getting into when you get ANY smartphone.

I've seen ol crx post pretty much that exact same thing on tons of posts discussing privacy and permissions.

Funny enough, people on Android bitch, but at least Google has the good will to actually tell you what an app you download has access to, with iOS there's no tellin.

I very much agree with you, however...do they still sell Mars bars? :)

This post made my morning. Snarky, finely worded, and well informed.

A brilliant response, sir.

*golf clap*

kf6kmx says:

and even your mother doesn't think you're that interesting.
If your worried about "big brother", they're not worried about permissions you give them/the app. And anyone affected by the permissions couldn't care less about all your data.

mikesaimname says:

there is privacy, then there is the unnecessary need to care about things that really don't matter.

JMoto says:

Osmos is well worth the $$. Esp on the Prime. Have had a hard time putting it down. great soundtrack too...

crxssi says:

It is a great Linux game, and guess it will translate to Android quite well. I got it through a Humble Bundle a year and a half ago and was very impressed.

katnapper says:

Transparent Screen... Give somebody more incentive to text and walk at the same time. More job security for me working at the trauma center. I'll be laughing all the way to the bank. Nice pick.

iamtimmah says:

WJD is a horrible application. I'm a wallpaper fanatic as well, but this app is too slow and buggy with too limited of a selection of wallpapers to justify the asking price, if a price at all. Promptly refunded.

Xerxes81 says:

Yeah, I seriously began to wonder if Jared DiPane was affiliated with the app in any way, since it's so bad. There was like a dozen (bad) wallpapers to choose from. Yuk, not worth it. I wouldn't even get it if it as free.

Jared DiPane says:

We are in no way affiliated with any of the applications we post about.

Keep in mind these wallpapers appeal to my style, I like them and wanted to share that with others who may not have seen it. Sure, it's not for everyone, but that is the same way with any application that is available in the market.

Xerxes81 says:

Looking back, I'm sorry if I offended you. I was having a bad day. :)

Well said Marty!

durocherf says:

I was on a non-android platform before but this week I am jumping on the Android bandwagon so I went through the Android Mark APP store looking and hunting for work and fun applications.

My primary use for a smart-phone is business but ... what is business without some fun.

All counted, I am planning to break the bank by spending between 4,17 $ and 19,47 $ for a fully loaded phone.

Here is are my picks for:
- Polaris Office per-installed for MS office file view and edit ... I will try it but may change over to QuickOffice Pro ($15.30)
- Traffic and traffic Cam application for my local area (the best one seem to be free)
- AndFTP ... son I can have access and download files from my home and office file servers through FTP (free)
- AVG Anti-virus (free)
- Skype ... a must (free)
- FlightAware ... if you fly a MUST ...(free)
- Poynt ... find a place or film near by (free)
- Google Maps ... to get there ...pre loaded(free)
- Wikitude World Browser ... augmented reality great for people how travel and others (free)
- Tiny Flashlight (free) ... very useful I know
- Barcode Scanner ... scan both QR and regular bar code (free)
- Bubble Level ... a simple utility to insure its straight (free)
- Facebook ... can you life without it (free)
- LinkedIn ... because I work (free)
- Twitter ... no comments (free)
- App of my banks and stock brookers ... a must (all are free)
- News feeds to get an international feel : CNN, BBC (UK), Al Jazera (Arab), CBC (Canada) (free, free, free, free, free)
- Financial Times and CNN Money ...(free, free)

And for fun:
- aTilt 3D Labyrinth (Free)
- Go by by Al Factory Limited... I like it better than chess ($4,17)
- Sudoku (Free) ...
- Pinball Deluxe (free)
- Google Sky Map ... I just like the stars (free)
- My Photos Live ... allow slide show of my pictures as wall paper (free)
- YouTube ... non comment (free)

I have to admit that I did look at the race car apps but ... decided I need to work more than plan.

galafael5814 says:

That Osmos app is trippy.

dscoo7 says:

As far as the paranoid about permissions thing, I am a little because I am a geek and know what hackers can do. But do the math on this one. I just got my first smartphone and of course went crazy for the first 2 weeks downloading apps. And all of the sudden I start getting phone calls from telemarketing & market research companies with bogas unblockable #'s. Not so much of a worried about my data issue as an annoying who is calling me at this time of the day and where the f%&k did you get my # thing. And no sooner than I uninstalled the apps the calls stopped coming. Hhhhhhmmmmmmmm ponder that one.