applications

The Android market is a fun place, full of plenty of different applications and many other things. Finding something that is fitting for yourself can be a difficult task, as it contains so many applications, but this is where we come to save the day (as always) and bring you some of our favorite choices from our very own devices.

Jared DiPane - Light Grid Live Wallpaper

lightgrid

I'll admit it; many people find them to be stupid, but I love them, live wallpapers that lightgridis.  I always search the market, looking for a new live wallpaper to keep my interest and this time I think I have struck gold. Light Grid is an amazing live wallpaper that is very customizable, so every time I feel that I am getting bored with the current wallpaper I can change it to make it look new all over again. From the colors, to the size to the speed of movement, nearly every aspect can be customized. Oh, and one of the best parts? This is free, that would be $0.00 for those looking for a price tag, so give it a shot, it's well worth it! [Market Link | AppBrain]

Dallin Hampton - Startup Cleaner 2.0

startup-cleaner

Although the thought of using a task manager hardly ever crosses the mind of a seasoned Android user, it plagues newcomers as well as users starting to grasp what startup-cleanertheir Android device is capable of. In most cases, the costs of using a task manager, seems to outweigh the benefits as most of them tend to stay running in the background. Task managers end processes that eventually resume resulting in battery drain made worse due to the constant “on/off” but with Startup Cleaner 2.0, it's a wonderful compromise. Startup Cleaner 2.0 launches at startup (as the name implies) and automatically ends the user-defined processes then quietly ends itself once the task is complete. The list of apps the user can chose isn't limited only to Market applications but system apps as well so Epic users can goodbye to that pesky DRM battery-sapper right at startup or any other process on any other device for that matter. Startup Cleaner 2.0 is so quiet and quick that you'll only notice it as it slips out the door after doing it's job. [Market Link | AppBrain]

Sean Brunett - Best Buy

bestbuy

bestbuyBest Buy’s official app is really well done and has a very simple interface. For anyone that likes Best Buy or wants to browse electronics products from their mobile device, this app is for you. Within the app, you can locate a store near you, search, browse and compare products. It also gives you the option to buy products right from your phone (delivery or in-store pickup); securely of course. I’m a huge Best Buy and electronics fan, so this app was a no-brainer for me. [Market Link | AppBrain]

Kyle Gibbs - Minecraft Canary

minecraft

Minecraft Canary is a great app if you are addicted to Minecraft like I am. Rather than try to explain the game, just watch this fan-made trailer from YouTube. Yes, this game minecraftis awesome. Moving onto the actual app, Minecraft Canary puts all the information you would ever need about the game right at your fingertips. A timer for the day/night cycle, lists of all the recipes in the game, links to useful forums and websites dedicated to the game, and even detailed stats for the hardcore players. If you ever have found yourself desperately trying to remember exactly what the recipe is for a bow, this app will be invaluable as you continue your never-ending journey of mining and crafting. There is a paid and free version, the paid one will remove the ads. Now, let me get back to hunting down more iron ore and diamonds... the huge minecart transport systems I have planned out aren't going to build themselves, you know. And where is that moaning coming from?!? And is that water I hear? [Market Link | AppBrain]

Jerry Hildenbrand - Target

target

Everyone loves Target. You can find just about anything you would ever need to decorate your house, get the hardware you need to hang a picture, or even pick up a few targetgroceries for your bunker in preparation for the zombie apocalypse. Heck, you can even buy Android phones there now! In the past, I would cruise through the sporting goods and electronics, then settle down in front of the giant televisions and enjoy whatever programming Target wanted to beam into my brain until the wife was finished doing whatever wives do at Target, but not now. Now I have the Target app, and I can run around behind my wife scanning barcodes and pestering her by looking up the items she has in her hands, or read the weekly circular to see if there's anything on sale or clearance that we should seek out.

The wife tells me the application is handy for the right reasons, too. She can check out the weekly sales ad, check prices with the barcode scanner, and even check store hours to make sure the lady at the door doesn't scowl when you slip in five minutes before closing time. Maybe it's not as fun as running around on a pretend Target treasure hunt, but it does sound pretty handy. The good news is you can do both, right from your Android phone! The Target app is free and you can get it in the Market. [Market Link | AppBrain]

Ali Fazel - MSL Reader

MSL

If you've ever tried to do anything with your radio on a CDMA device, you'll know that MSLmany options require you to input your MSL (Master Subsidy Lock) as a password. Many times to get the MSL all you have to do is ask customer service and they will give it to you. Every once in a while, however, you'll get a rep that wants to know why you want it and what you intend to do with it. Even if you have great luck and people skills, and are able to get the MSL out of the rep, it's still a hassle to have to call. MSL Reader is here to help. It's a very simple app with a very useful function. Simply install it from the market, press "Read MSL," and Bob's yer uncle. It's a free app, but if it's useful to you throw the dev a bone and hit the donate button. [Market Link | AppBrain]

Phil Nickinson - Brightness Rocker

brightness

brightnessIt would be nice to have more control of the screen brightness in various different surroundings, and sometimes just the stock controls are not enough. Bouncing from inside to outside to the car and planes many different lighting environments are experienced in daily travels and not all of them are best handled by the defaults. Brightness Rocker allows you to use the volume controls of the device to handle the brightness of the screen, allowing complete control with a simple press of a button. In addition to the volume rocker there is a widget and the application can sit in the notification bar for quick access as well. There is a free (ad-supported) version, as well as a paid version for $1.99. [Market Link | AppBrain]

 

Reader comments

Android Central Editors' app picks for Oct. 1, 2010

23 Comments

Wow...two of the editors think that the best apps released all month are glorified ads for retail stores? I hope they're wrong...if they're right, then it's a pretty sad statement on the Android Market.

This feature is not just for apps released this month, they are for useful choices for everyones enjoyment. Some may be more useful then others to certain people, but with such a vast reader base we like to keep a wide variety of applications flowing through this weekly feature.

Exactly what I was thinking.

I hate the concept of single-vendor-apps in the first place. Target, best buy, walmart, TV stations, newspapers, sears, gas, groceries, ... When does it ever end?

No wonder some people need 7 home screens.

Why can't they review general purpose apps that do this for ALL similar stores? Why would anyone install a Target app on their phone with google shopper, Goggles, ShopSavvy, and Barcode Scanner all for free?

Because none of your alternatives tell me (or my wife) anything about what's at Target unless I input it to the app. Why use any of those except Xzing's Barcode Scanner, since they all duplicate it's functionality?

Not really a sad statement for the Android Market at all. These are apps for 2 of the biggest retailers in the country that millions of people shop at every week. To have an app that can make that shopping trip easier is awesome. Sometimes the best apps are simple things that can help you out in your every day life.

How about these two apps on your next editors choice:

Up-Sound-Down: Automatically controls speaker mode when on a call. Based on phone placement and position. I use it to auto turn on speaker when I take the phone away from my ear.

Mangler: A very good Ventrilo client. Run ventrilo from your phone, very cool.

all of you whiners need a new hobby. So what if 2 of the apps were for retail stores. The start up cleaner and minecraft apps were cool, and although not my taste, I always enjoy seeing new live wallpapers.

Sometimes the apps can be mundane or simplistic, but overall I think AC is doing a great job. Keep up the good work guys.

Gotta say, really liking phils pick. With a phone running touchwiz 3.0, if you turn off autobrightness (which is useless on nearly every device, too bright indoors), you can swipe the notification bar to adjust brightness. As new roms come out, this was something I was sad to lose. Phils choice seems to provide a pretty good solution.

Edit: Sad to say, this app is very incosistent on my phone. It will only pop up the brightness rocker half the time (all volume changes are enabled), and when it does pop up, it only does so after the volume thing goes away, so it's a wait.

I'm the developer that wrote Brightness Rocker. Yeah, the delay you see is probably because you're running on a version of Android older than Froyo (1.5-2.1), or because you're on a custom ROM (haven't tested with any of those). Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out a way to trigger it faster on the older versions of the OS. Froyo (2.2) is almost instantaneous, though, so if you can upgrade to 2.2 that should make it much faster to come up.

If you have any questions or comments, you can email me directly at android@superfacts.org. You can also find more info about Brightness Rocker at http://brightness.superfacts.org

it amazes me that someone is trying to inform the android community about apps that may help people within this community and most of you feel that you have to bash an app just because its for one retailer that YOU don't like, a lot of us are here for info on androids NOT to hear you whine so i am posting this as a request to stop with the whiny and opinionated comments and actually try to help others in the android community but i'm sure i will get some bashing for this but i'm also sure there are a lot of others that feel the same way i do....

Phil and the Brightness Rocker Developer,

Thanks so much for this app and the recommendation. It's exactly what I've wished for since I had my Evo. I change the brightness settings pretty often, going between outside and inside all day...what a hassle going through menu>settings>display>brightness to just be able to change the brightness. I'm glad to pay the 2 buck for this great app.

Thanks!!

Yeah, bashing app recommendations is pretty lame. Personally, none of he apps recommended this week are of any use or interest to me (except for MSL Reader which I already had!), but I sill welcome these weekly articles. Not everyone's gonna have the same needs and interests, get over yourselves.

Have any of you tried Tango btw? New video calling app that supposedly works across platforms (Android and iOS only right now). I saw it featured on Engadget last night and their site was pretty slammed, a couple of hours later it was back up tho.

I'd love to try it but not one of my friends or relatives has a phone w/a front facing camera yet. None of the iPhone users are able to upgrade to the iPhone 4 yet, and I'm the only one with an EVO thus far, heh. I wish Skype would get off it's butt already and release a proper app...

The URL for it is tango.me btw, I'm surprised this hasn't been featured on Android Central yet. I'm only posting again to mention the URL because it doesn't come up near the top on a Google search (way too common a name if you ask me). Seems like a good alternative to Fring, I think it doesn't require an extra account (or trusting your Google/IM account passwords to them like Fring requires) and according to Engadge the calls are actually made point to point, not thru centralized servers.

Light Grid is an app that's fun. You can customize the color and change how fast/slow the blocks move. I changed the slide frequency to 71 and the slide time to 84. Where was this app my psychedelic days!!

I think the Light Grid live wallpaper is probably my absolute FAVORITE live wallpaper. I usually install live wallpapers long enough to see them, use them for a few days and then the novelty wears off or I get tired of the performance impact (I'm only running a stock Moto Droid 1, you know). In this case, I see virtually no homescreen performance loss with this live wallpaper. It's very light on system resource use (no pun intended) and it is fluid, beautiful and hugely customizable. I love it! I think I'll be keeping this one for a long time!

-SR-

Good post, guys. I'm new to Android so all this is appreciated. I downloaded and is trying Startup Clean and Light Grid.