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 Mahjong

So you want some more apps installed on your favorite Android device, but don't know exactly what to download? Fear not, we bring you another edition of our favorite applications, in hopes that they will soon become some of your favorites as well. Take a jump past the break, and check out our favorites for this past week!

Menno - Doggcatcher ($2.99)

Doggcatcher

There's nothing more frustrating than being half way through a podcast just to have the app reset on you an doggcatcherlose its position. (I'm looking at you Listen). As a podcast addict, I've tried several podcasting applications, both paid and premium, but I just discovered Doggcatcher, and I'm happy I did. Doggcatcher has a ton of advanced features that I'm still working through, but the important thing is that it works right right from first boot. Adding a podcast is as simple as clicking on the RSS link from my browser and it's ready to go. And most importantly, it remembers your location, even if you power cycle your device. At $4.99, it's not the cheapest app around, but I think it was well worth it for how often I listen to podcasts and audiobooks. It's even on sale this week for $2.99, and if you purchase it all of the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross-Horn of Africa drought fund. If you're looking for a podcasting application that looks great, is feature rich, and "just works," be sure to check out Doggcatcher. [Market Link]

Anndrew Vacca - TexTab ($2.10)

Textab

One of the main functions a lot of people (myself included) find most important in a tablet is the ability to replace your smartphone when you want it to. I'm not saying as a permanent solution, but it would sure textabbe nice to be able to keep your phone in your pocket while you have your tablet in hand. One app that brings us closer to that dream is TexTab, one of a slew of new SMS syncing apps for Honeycomb. TexTab connects your tablet with your smartphone via Bluetooth, and syncs incoming and outgoing text messages between your two devices. When your phone receives a text, it will show up in TextTab on your tablet. And instead of having to reach for your phone to reply, simply reply to the message on your tablet and it will be sent from your phone. What sets this app apart from the others like it is that it simply works. I have yet to encounter a bug or hiccup, and the developer seems to be updating as issues arise. A few caveats: the app won't sync your entire SMS inbox and outbox, only messages that have been sent and received after a connection has been established will show up. And if you use GO SMS, Handcent, or any other third party SMS software on your phone, you'll have to prevent it from blocking the native messaging app notifications in order for TexTab to work. With a slick UI and a free lite version that gives you a taste of how it works before you buy, TexTab is my favorite Honeycomb SMS client to date. [Market Link]

Jerry Hildenbrand - Random Factor Mahjong (Free)

Mahjong

Random Factor Mahjong is one of the best mahjong apps available for Android. It's solitaire mahjong (kyodai) and offers great gameplay, beautiful graphics, and replay factor -- something a lot of games Mahjongdesigned for mobile platforms seem to lack. The 50 levels are different every time you start the game up (hence the random tag) and you have three levels of difficulty. You can also get a little fancy and build custom levels once you become a pro and need a bit more challenge. On the flip side, if you're a beginner, there's also great options like undo and shuffle, and every level offers visual clues that you can turn on to give a hint when needed. Roll all this up into an app that runs on just about any Android device, and I think you have the recipe for a real winner. Random Factor Mahjong is free in the Android Market for devices running Android 1.6 and higher, and an ad-free version is available for about two bucks (depending on the exchange rate). Give it a try if you love to play mahjong, I promise you won't be disappointed. [Market Link

Alex Dobie - Speedtest.net Mobile (Free)

Speedtest

Speedtest.net is a well-known service that allows you to see exactly how much real-world data you're pushing through whichever infrastructure is connecting you to the Intertubes. However, it's a flash-heavy speedtestsite that isn't exactly ideal for smartphone use, and that's where the official Speedtest.net Mobile app comes to the rescue. At its most basic level, you can just hit the big glowing button to begin, and the app will automatically select the nearest test server and see how fast you can download and upload (check out our awesome 3G speeds!) There's also the option to choose from a list of servers, arranged by distance from your location, if you're having trouble with the one it's selected by default. The app also keeps track of all your test runs, their results, servers, IP addresses and even the precise location where the test took place, which is a nice touch. The Speedtest.net Android app is available for free from the Android Market, and is supported by relatively unobtrusive text ads that are shown near the bottom of the screen. [Market Link]

Joshua Munoz - WidgetLocker Lockscreen ($1.99)

Widget Locker

widgetlockerThere's no getting around it. One of the biggest draws about Android, to me, is that I can make it do what I want. I like things how I like 'em, and WidgetLocker lets me do just that. HTC really knocked the lockscreen out of the park with Sense 3.0, but it still can't trump having whatever I want looking back at me when my screen turns on. Be it a sassy Lloyd, Batman, any number of widgets or shortcuts, WidgetLocker has something for everyone. It's simple to set up and definitely easy to use, and isn't too expensive. Plus, it lets you have the best lockscreen around, bar none. [Market Link]

Chris Parsons - Flickr for Tablets (Free)

Android Central

flickrA nice and simple app for tablet users to view and upload images to Flickr - you can set images to auto upload, view your own photos (tags, galleries, collections, sets) and even delete, all directly from your tablet. If you're looking to just browse around -- you also have access to all public photos in a beautiful and easy to navigate layout. [Market Link]

 
There are 22 comments

Podtrapper is another good pod cast app that Can save your position. Great list guys.

I have a beautiful dream - a honeycomb optimized podcatcher that will sync feeds, my place in each podcast, and listened to/unlistened to between devices. Won't somebody make my dream a reality?

icu says:

Doggcatcher is great but I have recently switched back to BeyondPod. Almost identical feature set plus the ability to dynamically change the playlist order.
RFM has become my goto game when I've got to go.

Menno says:

I was using Beyondpod on my tablet and didn't mind it. The problem was that it would randomly reset itself, so I would have to go in and open the app again, navigate to the file, and select play.

icu says:

That'd be a dealbreaker.
Doggcatcher come to think of it is better at retaining focus when using my BT headphones...

AnnDroid says:

BeyondPod is very customizable. I used Doggcatcher for a bit and then returned to BeyondPod.

Nirvana328 says:

anyone know of a good podcast app that is small in size or can be moved to the sd card?

kinster02 says:

Yeah, Doggcatcher.

You should check out GoodNews: GoodNews can be installed on the SD card and in its storage settings you can define all data to be stored on the SD card too. GoodNews is a news reader and (audio) podcast player synchronizing with Google Reader. It is available for free from the android market at https://market.android.com/details?id=com.gettingmobile.goodnews

(to be fair I should mention, that I am the developer of GoodNews)

crxssi says:

Jerry- the Mahjong is good, just like you said. But on a tablet, it is stuck in portrait mode. How were you able to get it to be landscape, like you show in your picture?

Hmm. It's landscape only here :-/

crxssi says:

Xoom?
Really strange. From the moment it was launched the first time, it has been portrait.

mgiusto says:

It only comes up portrait for me on Galaxy Tab 10.1

Jay Evans says:

Auto-rotates fine on my Tab 10.1

VDub2174 says:

I love WidgetLocker!!

stoneworrior says:

Doggcatcher + 1. Nothing like setting your feeds to automatically update /download on wifi everday at 5am. All my podcast's are always ready for me the next day. I don't even think about it anymore, I get to work and turn on Doggcatcher and everything is ready to go.

czm2000 says:

I've bee using Doggcatcher for over a year. I've also tried/bought several others but I always end up back with Doggcatcher. BeyondPod HD is promising for Honeycomb but still a little ways to go.

jimsearle says:

Play, look, listen is a great podcast app that syncs across all devices and google reader. It has a few issues but the developer is very responsive.

TJH132 says:

Does TexTab work with Google Voice text messages?

kinster02 says:

Just brought Doggcatcher and I'm glad I waited to pay 2.99 although a good app I couldn't justify paying 6.99 for it.

bjs188 says:

Doggcatcher is amazing. And if you subscribe to a lot, shell out the extra 3 bucks or whatever it is for the Presto Preferences plug in and you can increase playback by 0.1 increments up to 1.5. Speeds up pauses and overall play but doesn't make Phil or Jerry sound like chipmunks. Now you get thru up to 50% faster. Helps increase # of podcasts I can listen to.

For webOS users it eases the transition, as it is just as awesome and reliable as DrPodder, and the increased playback speed plug in surpasses it. And Dev is super responsive to questions I had.

Also I 2nd Widget Locker as being an excellent app too, but Josh, that screen capture does nothing to demonstrate its awesome-ness.

Both are must have apps

gonzlobo says:

Wow, I actually use 3 of these apps. Doggcatcher rates a 9 in my book (Listen = 1, Podtrapper = 2. I'm quite the ROM swapper and I can move from ROM to ROM, restore and Doggcatcher will remember the exact point in a podcast. Listen wouldn't remember anything if I put my phone to sleep. Poddtrapper was too klunky (probably because it was a weak port from blackberry).

Speedtest will give you fairly good numbers (assuming you're using a good server, I wasn't so I unnecessarily troubleshot my home network and CM-loaded phone).

The Mahjong app is good too. I like the ability to replay a board until it beats me to submission (every if it takes me 40 times to beat a stage).