Weekly Apps

Apps, apps and more apps! It's an appapalooza! And appstravaganza! It's appstronomical! OK. We'll quit while we're behind. But we're back with another week's worth of app picks, so slide on past the break and see what we've chosen this week.

Jerry Hildenbrand - USA Today tablet edition (free)

USA Today

As a recent tablet convert, I'm realizing that they are perfect for consumption. Web browsing, Twitter, USA Todayand reading the news are perfect use cases for a big slab of glass and touch controls. Granted, a lot of my news reading habits are pretty specific, but for general "soft" news I find myself opening the USA Today tablet app daily. The layout and function makes great use of my Tab 10.1's big screen, the controls are laid out well, and visually, the app is awesome. On the left pane is your list of stories, separated into categories you can select via tabs at the top. A quick button tap takes you a video browser or photo gallery, and with one press you can open a full article for reading on the entire screen. I highly recommend this one for anyone with a Honeycomb tablet, of any variety. It's free on the Android Market, and needs Android 3.0 or higher. [Market Link]

Chris Parsons - Duckhunt (free)

Duckhunt

I'm an '80s kid. and as such, I rocked the heck out of the Nintendo Entertainment System when it Duck Huntfirst launched. While there are plenty of 8-bit wonders out there these days, nothing beats the classics. Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, Excite Bike -- but none of those more awesome then Duck Hunt. That mean ol' dog just drove me nuts as a kid, always mocking me when I missed.. making me always fire the gun in frustration. Sadly, I no longer have a working NES -- but, that's not a problem these days since available in the Android Market is an awesome port of Duck Hunt plus, it's free. If you're an '80s kid like me, head on over to the Android Market and grab it, now. [Market Link]

Joshua Munoz - xkcdViewer (free)

xkcd

xkcdSometimes checking the latest comic isn't at the forefront of my mind, so when I need to get caught up, I turn to xkcdViewer. It's a pretty simple, no-frills app, but it gets the job done giving me an xkcd fix when necessary. It loads the latest comic by default, and from there you can favorite certain comic strips, navigate forward or backward with the arrow keys, or even jump to a comic at random. There's also the option to search by title and tapping the comic gives you whatever zinger mouseover text would usually be found on the website. It's a solid choice for any xkcd fan, and really, if you're reading about Android, you're probably reading xkcd, too. [Market Link]

Anndrew Vacca - FREEdi Youtube Downloader (free, Amazon Appstore)

Youtube Downloader

FREEdi Youtube Downloader is a great app that, despite the awful name, has skyrocketed to become the fourth most popular free app on the Amazon Appstore. FREEdi lets you download Youtube videos straight to your phone or tablet in either MP3, MP4, or AAC formats. Simply search for a video through the FREEdi interface, and long click to download. Once complete, the videos are stored within the app, giving you offline access that really comes in handy during those long subway commutes. Unfortunately, the interface isn't nearly as clean as the native Youtube app, and there's a slight (OK, large) chance that the app might be pulled. But if having your own collection of Youtube videos is your cup of tea, grab it while it's hot (and available). [Amazon Market Link]

Menno - Chalk Ball (€1.49)

Chalk Ball

One part Brick Breaker, one part JezzBall, I find Chalk Ball to be more addicting than any simple Chalk Ballgame has a right to be. You have a limited amount of "Chalk" and you have to use it to keep the ball from dropping off the bottom of the screen. Making a line requires chalk, so if you just do a line across the whole bottom every time, you'll quickly run out of chalk and watch helplessly as the ball falls off your screen. Above your line, chalk dots will appear, and hitting those will refill your chalk reserves. As the game progresses, different dots will appear, some of them refilling your reserves completely, while others will clone your ball for you. It's deceptively simple, but a lot of fun. There is a full version available, but if you want to try it for longer than 15 minutes, look up Chalk Ball Light in the marketplace. [Market Link]

Alex Dobie - GTasks (free, premium)

Gtasks

Proper Gmail Tasks integration is something that's still missing from Android, and GTasks is an Gtasksexcellent app that plugs this gap, allowing you to manage all your tasks on the go. The app synchronizes with your Google account, pulling down any existing tasks, and offers the same functionality that you get in the Gmail desktop interface, only with a vastly superior UI. Swiping left and right takes you between task lists, and other options for synchronization and clearing completed tasks can be accessed via the menu button. There's even the option to add notification reminders to your tasks, which is a great way to make sure you don't lose track of important deadlines. The basic, ad-supported version of GTasks is free, but the ads can be disabled by purchasing a key for around $7. [Market Link]

Sean Brunett - TiVoRemote (premium)

TIVO

Do you have a TiVo and often misplace the remotes? Or are you just lazy enough that you don’t TIVOwant to get off the couch to get them? If you download TiVoRemote you don’t have to worry about any of those because you can control your TiVo right from your Android device. This app works with TiVo Series 3, HD or Premiere; it does not work with Series 2. Other features include the ability to add multiple DVRs, shortcuts for easy Guide filters and channel access. Both of the devices must be on the same WiFi network as that is how they communicate. It takes about 5 minutes to set up, but once it’s done it works great. The remote is very usable and it’s nice to be able to just have your phone or tablet and control your TiVo box. The app is $0.99 in the Android Market and in my opinion worth every penny. [Market Link]

 
There are 17 comments

wormeyman says:

I use tubemate.net to download youtube videos on my phone, the app keeps getting pulled from the market so i just keep downloading (when there are updates) the .apk from the website.

ClinchDroid says:

TiVo remote free? The link directs you to the paid version.

gatorlee says:

Another sad day in the app world...

balthuszar says:

chalkball was the free app on amazon a few days ago...i picked it up then, it is quite addicting

Mgamerz says:

I found it rather boring... though I played SM64DS, and it had a game practically the same as this on it.
And how is it like Jezzball (to the article author)? You aren't trying to cut anything off. You are just drawing things to bounce off... thats not jezzball like at at :l

balthuszar says:

chalkball was the free app on amazon a few days ago...i picked it up then, it is quite addicting

czm2000 says:

Nice. I was just thinking to myself the other day when we'd start to see some tablet app love. Kudos for including the USA today app tablet edition. My Asus Transformer will be here in 2 days and that will be one of the first apps I install :-) I look forward to more tablet app picks.

habanero says:

You should review DirecTV Remote Pro. From Wired DFW. The application works great with DirecTV receivers connected to the network.

Nirvana328 says:

+1 for GTasks. It's simple, effective, and it syncs with Tasks in Gmail, so I never have to worry about losing my task lists if something happens to my phone. It even replaced Astrid Tasks for me, which was always too complicated and a hassle to sync.

sskaradi says:

Yup GTasks is a great app...I love it. Its quite simple to use and syncs with tasks in Gmail. I really like the reminder feature also

markoujk says:

just got duck hunt. it is awesome!!! just like i remember it. thanks

dually says:

I find that the google reader is a much more useful way to organize news than to have individual newspaper or magazine apps and then just choose which browser you want to use for each story or feed.

That said I do actually use the Oregonian app sometimes if I'm out and about because you can upload photos if you see something going down.

NicoleW78 says:

I recently found GTasks as well. It's a great app and has been useful over the last week. :-)

recluse says:

Re youtube. Every time I try to update the official app it fails stating "package signing problems". What is causing that?

vicw926a4 says:

Thanks, Jerry, for recommending the USA Today for Tablets app. It is perfect for my new ASUS TF. It's clean, uncluttered and nicely organized for browsing and reading articles in detail.

davidnc says:

snagged up duck hunt lol

Paladin says:

Youtube Ripper! Works great!