Android Central Apps of the Week

Here we are, back again. With the wedding behind me last week things are back to normal (for the most part) and here we are with quite a list. Without any further delay let's hit the break and check out some of our favorite picks from this week -- there are a bunch here! -- and as always be sure to let us know about your favorites as well!

Kevin O'Quinn - Titanium Backup - (Free / $6.58)

Titanium Backup

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Titanium Backup. It's one of the most used root apps available, and for good reason. A few features stick out for me, though. It has built-in support for dropbox, Google Drive, and Box, which allows you to automatically sync your backups to these services. You can backup, restore, and freeze apps (including bloat apps and system apps), and even restore apps from a nandroid backup.

The big thing that sticks out to me, though, is the support it has from the dev. There are regular updates to improve speed, functionality, fix bugs, and add features. It's impressive. The Pro Key is a bit pricey, but if you are a ROM flasher or someone that makes regular backups it's well worth it for the added features and speed. [Download from Google Play]

Richard Devine - Holo Launcher (Free)

Holo Launcher

No-one really likes being stuck on Gingerbread when ICS is out there. Holo Launcher brings a little piece of Android 4.0 to none ICS devices with a pretty faithful recreation of the stock launcher.

And faithful it is. Sat side by side with the real deal, differences are minimal. The dock is accurately recreated, and so is the app drawer. Missing is the widgets tab, but that's to be expected. But it looks and feels like the stock ICS launcher.

No custom launcher is complete without various customization settings. The dock can be set to scroll through different pages, and equally you can cram up to 10 icons down there should you have the desire -- and the screen real estate. Drawer tabs can be hidden, and you can either go with the traditional ICS horizontal scrolling with card stack transition or a continoual vertical scroll. Home screen grids can be customized to your tastes too, to make best room of some of these large screens we have. You also have the option of using or not using the ICS icons and enabling scrolling widgets.

Holo Launcher is pretty full featured and gives the accurate impression of ICS. And, as it's free, it's definitely worth a look. [Download from Google Play]

Jared DiPane - Zombie's, Run ($7.99)

Zombie's Run

Ever since attempting to get back into shape back in February during Mobile Nations Fitness Month, I have found great joy from running in the evenings. No matter how much I enjoy going for a run in the evenings, some nights I find myself needing some extra motivation and Zombie's, Run has given me just that. Running to music can get old, and this has added a whole extra level to my runs. While running you are trying to avoid being attacked by zombies, and picking up various goodies through out the journey. These items that are collected can be used back at your main base, and the more you collect the better. While the game mode is still in play, you can listen to your own music selection to keep your motivation at its peak, and make the most of your run. If you are looking for a little bit of extra motivation during your runs, avoiding the zombies is definitely a great way to start! [Download from Google Play]

Chris Parsons - Display Tester (Free)

Display Test

These days there is a lot of talk about LCD/OLED/Pentile displays. Which is better, which is worse? To help test some of that I make use of display tester. It's a free app available that actually has some simple benchmark testing built into it as well as some what I would consider preventative measures for display longevity. Multi-touch test, viewing angle test, burn in and dead pixel repair and a whole lot more. Sure, you may not need it at all but should a time arise when you do need it, it's a good tool to have stored away. [Download from Google Play]

Jerry Hildenbrand - First Aid - American Red Cross (Free)

Red Cross

Life is full of accidents. Some more than others, but all of us have found or will find ourselves in a situation where some first aid is necessary. Because I'm not a doctor, nurse, or hoodoo woman and have no idea what to do when someone is bleeding or broken, I'll use my Android phone to tell me. We spend enough time goofing off or playing games with our phones, but there's no reason they can't be helpful tools as well. The ARC First Aid app will give you step-by-step instructions for typical first aid scenarios, many with video, safety tips and hints for emergency situations like ice storms or hurricanes, and it even has a quick 911 shortcut to shave a few seconds off the time if you find out you're dealing with something serious. I certainly hope I never have to try and save a life, but if I do, I know I'll need all the help I can get. Grab First Aid from the American Red Cross free in Google Play. [Download from Google Play]

Sean Brunett - Official UEFA Euro 2012 (Free)


Are you following the European Football Championship? There have been some pretty crazy games already and there are bound to be lots more. If you are at all interested in one of the best soccer events you are definitely going to want to check out the official Eurocup app. With the app you can see live results, receive customized alerts,  stay up to date on the latest news, locate stadiums, follow the games with commentary, get updated standings and browse photos from games. Whether you're cheering for England, France, Poland, or anybody else, this official app is a must. [Download from Google Play]

Alex Dobie - TVCatchup Beta (Free) *UK ONLY*


If you're following the Euro 2012 football championship (all right, soccer, if you insist) in the UK, chances are you're flipping between ITV and the BBC, which share the broadcasting rights to the tournament. Finding TV mobile-accessible TV streams for the Euros can be difficult, though. Enter TVCatchup, which has a well-established web presence, allowing live streaming of all free-to-air UK TV channels. Their Android app recently entered beta, and offers the same functionality as the TVCatchup website -- simply select a channel and you'll instantly get a 480p-quality video stream. It's as simple as that.

The TVCatchup beta app is available for download directly from TVCatchup's website, for users in the UK. [Download TVCatchUp]

Anndrew Vacca - HotelTonight (Free)

Hotel Tonight

With summer fever in full swing, there’s no better way to spend the weekend than on the road. Getaways can get expensive, though, and if you’re still using online travel sites to book hotels, it’s high time you take a look at Hotel Tonight. The concept is simple: at noon on the day of your desired booking, fire up the app and you’ll see a handful of hotels at deeply discounted prices. Since Hotel Tonight is limited to same-day bookings, you can only book one night at a time, but for these prices, its worth it. I’m not talking mini-sales: a few weeks ago, I got a hotel room in an amazing part of Washington DC for under $90. There’s a healthy list of cities to chose from, with more added every month, and the hotels that are offered are middle to high-end (no Motel 6 here). Hotel Tonight isn’t for the faint of heart, as you do have to wait until the last minute to snag a hotel, but for those who fly by the seat of their pants, this is the must-have app of the summer. [Download from Google Play]


Reader comments

Android Central Editors' App Picks for June 16, 2012


TV Catchup fantastic app. Had been using TVC from the browser but the app is far easier and quicker.

I used Hotel Tonight last weekend and it was amazing. I got a 189 room for 75 dollars. Use RMEDINA28 as a code when you sign up and you get a $25 dollar credit!

Or better yet register with the included code in the app ($25 credit), register a second account (i.e. for your wife) using the referral code created for the first account (another $25 credit). That way you save $25 on your first booking and $50 on your second...

How does Holo Launcher compare to Apex or Nova?

I've been trying to decide between these three and I can't choose.

Apex & Nova requires Android 4.0 rock work, while Holo works with Gingerbread (& maybe Froyo & eclair not sure though)

"Because I'm not a doctor, nurse, or hoodoo woman and have no idea what to do when someone is bleeding or broken"

Awesome Jerry, I might have to quote that one day ;)

Hey Phil, Y U NO DO App of the week too ?

Great selection guys

Is that clock/weather widget a part of HOLO? Or is there somewhere else I can get that from . . . want one . . . drool :-P

That is"One More Clock Widget Free". It is free, and it is called Chrome Rings, I think. It is free on Google Play

And it doesn't give you any detailed weather information other than what you actually see in the widget (current conditions). Looks good, but lacks some helpful functionality. And, if you want chrome rings, you not only have to download the widget, but also a seperate package with additional layouts, too.

I use Holo Launcher on my EVO 3D with stock Gingerbread and it works great. Still waiting for ICS, but have it is almost like having ICS. The Scrollable Widgets and smoothness of this launcher have won me over. It also has a nice lock screen option, for those that have scrollable widgets, like me, that don't want to accidentally delete the widget when scrolling. If you have Gingerbread, and you want the closest thing to have ICS, you might want to try Holo.

I'd been running Go Launcher EX with ICS theme. It was pretty accurate but once I got everything set up, it was still after all Go Launcher. While I really like the nearly full-on ICS experience of Holo I'm really missing the ICS theme for GO Locker which only works for Go Launcher. So my question is, does an ICS Lockscreen app exist that I dont have to pay for (WidgetLocker)? I may just deal with HTCsense lockscreen for the next month or so when (hopefully) ICS finally comes. But it will probably be some HTC'd version of it. meh.

You should really try looking into Widget Locker.

ICS, Sense, Gingerbread, Froyo, iPhone, and MotoBlur lock screens.

(All customizable)

I tried Halo but my motorola device did a kick ass job with my app drawer and the way I can categorize my apps that I just don't see a need for halo

That display tester app helped remind me how nice the color accuracy on an AMOLED can be. Now if only the GNex had been Super AMOLED+. There's always the next Nexus (or SLCD2 on the One X).

+1 For Zombies, Run! I will be the first person to tell you that I hate running, and overall that is the truth. However, this is easily the most fun I have had running in as long as I can remember. The missions are fun, the story is getting good, and the overall concept is enough to get me out and moving! Definitely recommend this if you are looking for a completely new style of game. Turning the world around you into a zombie apocalypse is definitely a cool concept, and this app is pretty top notch.

I remember reading about this when it was still in its kick starter phase and thought it was a really novel idea.

Can you use it while on a treadmill, or does it track movement by GPS?

Ultimately though, my best scenario for running is still to be on a treadmill with a 10" tablet running Netflix.


I just launched Halo and I love it. One question I have is is there a way to alternate between Holo launcher and stock launcher (MotoBlur. Maybe somewhere in the settings that I am no seeing?

If you want to use Motoblur app drawer with Holo home screens, Add a shortcut to Holo home screen , select "App Groups" & then pick whatever group you want to use

Thats how I set it up & ended up linking Holo to Launcher 7 , which I already linked SSlauncher to it ;)

Maybe I'm overreacting a bit, but I think whoever made "Zombies, Run!" needs to change the name. There has already been a game called "Zombie, Run!" in the Play Store for over two years. Zombie, Run! uses the same concept of a simulated zombie apocalypse using GPS and Maps, but instead of creating an exercise regime, you just get a bunch of friends together and pretend you're running from zombies, no real story mode. The "Zombies, Run!" creator needs to come up with a more original, less confusing name. I mean, really? An "s" is the best he can do?

I've been using Holo for about two weeks on my Thunderbolt and it's the first launcher that doesn't make me miss GoLauncher EX. Smooth, faithful to ICS, though it does occasionally force close. I happen to have the same clock widget running right now as well.

I've given Holo Launcher a shot on my RAZR Maxx and I will say that it looks really good with faithful ICS characteristics, but it's still not as smooth nor as snappy as Launcher Pro. I was a big fan of Go Launcher back when it was actually fast and smooth, but it became sooo bloated with features and functions that it bogged my phone down noticeably. So I un-installed Go Launcher and went back to Launcher Pro and you can see and feel the difference in smoothness and snappiness between the two. Holo Launcher is nice, but not enough to make that committed switch away from Launcher Pro. So my thoughts in a nutshell... Launcher Pro FTW... til I get my ICS OTA on this bad boy of course. =)

Holo Launcher was a great find! Ive gotten used to ICS on my Nexus S. This works great on my Moto XPRT (froyo btw) Bye Bye Motoblur.