Apps of the Week

While you anxiously sit and await all of the fun that should be coming from CTIA 2012 you might as well check out some new apps on your Android device. Let's hit the break together and take a look at some of our favorites, and be sure to hit up the comments and share some of yours with us as well!

Jerry Hildenbrand - Lightbox Photos (Free)


LightboxLightbox Photos is a picture sharing app, in the spirit of Instagram, but with a much better interface, more features, and less Internet drama. You have the filters everyone loves, social network integration with Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flikr, and Facebook, and full control of your photos privacy settings. Using it is simple -- open the app and either take a new picture or import one from the gallery, decide if you want to enhance it with any filters, then decide how and where you want to share it.

The photo stream, with your pictures and those you're following, is nicely laid out in a scrollable list with big thumbnails (it looks great on a tablet) and users can interact with each other in the stream. You also have an online photo blog with all your pictures (the ones you've made public anyway) viewable anywhere with a web browser. It's free, and well worth a look. [Google Play Link]

Alex Dobie - SignNow (Free)

Sign Now

SignNowMany of us have been there before, downloading a PDF, printing it out, signing it, scanning it and emailing it back. It's a waste of time, money, paper and ink. Fortunately there are a number of Android apps that'll let you fill out and sign forms or contracts, and my weapon of choice is SignNow.

SignNow is a free app for Android 2.2 and up that supports documents in PDF or Word format, as well as captures directly from the device's camera. And there's a Dropbox import option too, for added convenience. On a Galaxy Note or tablet with a stylus, SignNow works brilliantly, though it functions pretty well with just finger input. Even better, it's provided completely free of ads. [Google Play Link]

Kevin O'Quinn - CNN (Free)


There are other ways to get the news, but I prefer the CNN app.  It's well organized and navigation is fast.  CNNNavigation is pretty straight forward.  You can swipe left to right to get to different subcategories such as Top Stories, US, World, Politics, etc.  From there you scroll through the headlines and tap on what you want to read.  One cool thing is that you can also change it from the default US to International layout, which then gives you regions to get regional news.  It's a nice touch.  The default layout for text is white on a black background, and I see no way to change it.  You can also share articles directly from the app to your favorite social networks, and through the various other sharing options you might have set up.  Opinions of various news networks not withstanding, this app is well done and is an easy way to get the news. [Google Play Link]

Richard Devine - Scalado Album ($0.99)

Scalado Album

ScaladoThere's only so much you can do with a gallery app, but with Album, Scalado have pretty much nailed it.

What Album does, it does well which is why I like it so much. It's quick, it's smooth and it's well laid out. There is a whole variety of categories to browse by too, including by month, location, and the usual all pictures.

It also has a really nice maps integration. Using full bore Google Maps you can view all the locations of your taken photos. Clicking one of the pins brings up the photos you took at that location. It isn't free, but I believe in paying for quality apps -- and this is a quality app. [Google Play Link]

Anndrew Vacca - TripIt (Free)


We've been singing TripIt's praises for a while now, but it's just so good that it bears repeating. If you're a frequent traveler, or just even just an occasional one, TripIt is indispensable. Signing up for an account is free and easy, and TripItonce you verify your email address, you'll be able to take advantage of the app's star feature: automatic itinerary creation. How does it work? Simply forward your flight, hotel, or rental car confirmation email to, and TripIt will automatically create a "trip" for you, with one-click access to all of your reservations.  You can share your trip with others, access maps and directions, and with the $49/year pro account, you can even get real-time flight updates. I'll be using TripIt as I journey down to New Orleans for CTIA this week-- trust me, this one is a must.
The photo stream, with your pictures and those you're following, is nicely laid out in a scrollable list with big thumbnails (it looks great on a tablet) and users can interact with each other in the stream. You also have an online photo blog with all your pictures (the ones you've made public anyway) viewable anywhere with a web browser. It's free, and well worth a look. [Google Play Link]


Reader comments

Android Central Editors' App Picks for May 5, 2012


For photo viewing, I have found nothing that can touch Quickpic. Fast, packed with options, it even understands real directory trees. And on top of all that, it is free and without ads. He doesn't even want donations.... I sent him one anyway.

I third the QuickPic comments... Best gallery app out there! Make a folder, sort out pictures, nice UI... It has it all.

I use and like quickpic but it can't replace the gallery because it doesn't sync my instant upload folders or drop box folder. I take a lot of pics for work and use my phone and tablet so I can't be without that feature. Hope they update.

I've been using Lightbox for awhile now. Tried Instagram when it debuted on Android (before the Facebook abduction) and hated it. Unfortunately, Instagram is what all the cool kids seem to be using these days (mostly because they've guzzled the purple KoolAid from Cupertino), but who am I to judge. I like Apple products, just not the iPhone or many of the apps it claims as its own. ;)

Actually I hate Apple and everything it now stands for. I loved it in the 90's and before and then suddenly the company went all evil and controlling. You can argue communism and dictatorship all you want as a political or government way of life (not for here or this thread), but I don't ever want it in a company.

I'm the only one in the world who has problems with QuickPic. For me, it's intolerably slow to load initially. I've been using JustPictures, which can also access Picasa.

Maybe it is just you? Mine loads pretty fast. And it is the ONLY gallery-type option that understands what a directory is. I don't want all my pictures shoved into a two-level directory tree like apparently every other app does. I can't find ANYTHING that way. (I have 9,000 pictures, properly arranged in 200 nested directories, and can access any of them nearly instantly, without relying on a network, and without "sharing" my pictures with a service).

HTC's stock gallery app does this too... There's no implicit directory management but if you dump a bunch of pictures into a separate directory anywhere on your device (whether from a PC or file manager) then they'll show up as a separate album within the app, as well as within the "all photos" album. I've stuck to it mostly because I'm gonna find myself using it anyway whenever I'm within the camera UI... It's pretty quick if you have your phone set to read your micro SD in the apropiate block size tho.

...and I switched to QuickPic because Just Pictures was too painfully slow. Go figure. Shows that there's no such thing as a "best" app in any category, just a personal favorite.

Awesome Picks!

For SignNow doesn't Adobe do the same? Or does it miss functions that SignNow doesn't have?

A little off topic but since a travel app was highlighted above, I have to give a shout out to "truck stop pro"! Not in anyway related to travel app that was reviewed. But as someone who does nothing but travel (I drive truck for a living) I can't relate how this app has made my life easier.

CNN is a good app. But they took way, way too long
to make an Android app!!! FOX NEWS was at least 6mo's, ahead of CNN if not 8 months.

I used sign now, until a few weeks ago. Adobe Reader now supports signing. As far as galleries, I love the ICS gallery on my GN. Not broke, not fixing it.