Apps of the Week

Another week has come and gone, and that means it's the weekend and time for our Apps of the Week column. We use this column each and every week to show off a single app from each of the writers here at Android Central, alongside a quick description of why it's installed on our phone or tablet. As you can imagine we go through a good number of apps here, so if there's something good enough for us to keep installed, it must be doing something right.

Read along with us this week and see the apps we have installed and want to show off — we have a few games, some utilities for media, a weather app and a few odds and ends on top of that. You might just find an app (or four) to install for yourself this week.

Phil Nickinson - AccuWeather

AccuWeather

AccuWeather long has been an excellent Android weather app, and this week it got itself a nice feature update. New is the addition of MinuteCast, which gives you forecasts for the next two hours all the way down to your street address. (This one works in the U.S. and Canada only for now.) There's also a new local forecast summary for the 3- to 5-day outlook.

Download: AccuWeather (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - aLogcat

aLogcat

It's been a while since I talked about a way to read your Android logs. That means it's been a while since I mentioned aLogcat, which is a super-simple way to do just that. Whether you're looking for a bug or just trying to grab the URL for an OTA, aLogcat will help you with no fuss, no muss, and no extra frills to get in your way. There are several ways to read the logs on your phone, but I like to stick with what works for me. It's also what I'll recommend to anon who wants to do a little digging into what is going on behind the screen.

Download: aLogcat (Free); Donate version ($0.99)

Richard Devine - Rival Knights

Rival Knights

I challenge thee to a duel! Rival Knights is a free to play title from Gameloft that sits you atop your trusty steed to joust for glory. It's got pretty fantastic looking graphics and such a simple gameplay mechanism that it's really easy to pick up. You need to get your horse riding as fast as possible then take out your opponent with a precisely aimed hit.

As you progress and take on more challenging opponents there are opportunities to upgrade your weapons, armor and horses using in-game currency. Yes, this is obtainable via in-app purchase but you do also win gold coins and gems for winning your jousts. It's great fun and there's an immense sense of satisfaction as you watch your opponent fly through the air in defeat.

Download: Rival Knights (Free)

Alex Dobie - Sony Smart Connect

Sony Smart Connect

There are many Android apps that can help you automate certain tasks, but there's something to be said for the simplicity of Sony's Smart Connect app, which comes preloaded on all the company's Android phones, and is also available for free on Google Play.

It's not a complex app — certainly nowhere near as feature-filled as something like Tasker — but Smart Connect lets you easily automate a few really useful things. For instance, it can automatically silence your phone when you plug it in between certain hours. Or you could automatically launch your favorite Music streaming app when you plug in headphones at the time of your daily commute. The list of stuff you can automate is surprisingly extensive — you can send text messages, make direct calls, connect to Bluetooth audio accessories, and even post to Facebook.

And best of all, Sony Smart Connect is a free download for just about all modern Android devices.

Download: Sony Smart Connect (Free)

Simon Sage - Romans in my Carpet!

Romans in my Carpet!

Romans in my Carpet! is turn-based strategy game set in the microcosmic world of some dude's dorm room. Command mite-y Roman legions as they engage the enemy across Nutella-stained kitchenettes, mismatched socks strewn on a rarely-vacuumed carpet, and other disastrous environs. Every unit has its own special ability, but position and synergies between your units are what will turn the tide of battle in your favor. The retro pixel art style is downright charming, and meshes wonderfully with the goofy dialog bubbles that pop up between missions. In-app purchases are there for cosmetic upgrades, namely packs that have shapes you can use in your army's banner.

If you're a practiced strategy gamer and you're looking for something lighthearted, Romans in my Carpet! is an easy choice.

Download: Romans in my Carpet! ($2.99)

Andrew Martonik - LG Optimus Lockscreen

LG Optimus Lockscreen

Ever wonder from afar what it'd be like to live with an LG device and its custom software? Or maybe you've just seen its promotional pictures and want to give the lockscreen a try — well, with LG Optimus Lockscreen you can do just that. Nothing fancy here, really, it's just a free ($3.22 to remove ads in the settings) lockscreen replacement app that gives you the look and feel of LG's software, complete with the sounds, effects and shortcuts that you'd get on any modern LG phone. There's no Knock Code here, but you can probably understand why.

All you have to do is install this app, disable your current lockscreen and you're off to the races. It works surprisingly well and doesn't feel tacked on like some third-party lockscreens do. Best of all if you don't like it, it's a quick uninstall and you're back to your old ways.

Download: LG Optimus Lockscreen (Free, $3.22 In-app purchase)


Happen to miss previous editions of our weekly app picks? You can check them out right here. Our continuing weekly app coverage can also be seen right here as well.

 
There are 18 comments

Vacmfuzzy says:

That LG G3 looks so darn nice!

Bwahahahaha says:

Agreed!

Posted via Android Central App

yeah yeah says:

Yeah, that bezel tho.

Posted via Android Central App

Bwahahahaha says:

Easy fix... Root it and lower the height of the Navbar with an xposed module (if and when available, that is) then you won't have so much wasted space on the bottom

Posted via Android Central App

Bwahahahaha says:

LG optimus lockscreen on apps of the week list? ... Really?? I know it's personal choice for you guys, but really?? Sheesh

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vividrich says:

I'm actually trying it out. The Nexus one is.... fine.... But happy to try something new. Adding dashclock widget not working for me but otherwise it's kinda neat.

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 via Android Central App

DWR_31 says:

Nothing but praise for the LG locksrceen app.
The dev also makes one called Galaxy Locker.
I've been using the LG locksrceen app since January on my GSIII.

Posted via Android Central App

I have tried many many weather apps. And the one that I finally settled on is AccuWeather. Consistently performs well for me day to day.

ಠ益ಠ

techymarkbo says:

I have used Weatherby Elite for many years. Thought I'd give AccuWeather another go but found the app very laggy and slow to load in in beginning. The newly added features are great, but the lag is so noticeable at times that it even failed to load sometimes.

Posted via Android Central App

Mikey47 says:

I switched to AccuWeather, but recently switched back to WeatherBug. I like how WeatherBug allows you to receive alert notifications for all your locations and not just where you currently are. AccuWeather only allows current location or home location - which doesn't cut it for me with all the traveling I do.

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mwara244 says:

I always used weatherbug, I did use ACCUweather for a while but it stopped working for 6 months straight, don't know if it was a bug or just my area.

Weather bug is pretty good because it uses all the local weather reporting stations that are near you in your areas to compile and give accurate info.

miller7796 says:

Does AccuWeather give me weather alerts for where I am right now, or just one static location? Last time I tried it I could only get a static location, which is pointless when you travel. Otherwise, I liked it.

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Mikey47 says:

It allows you to do current location or home location, that's it. I like the ability that WeatherBug gives you of getting alert notifications for any location you choose.

Posted via Android Central App

vividrich says:

They've sorted it now, but I had awful connectivity issues with both my devices for a couple days which essentially made it useless. It'll be interesting comparing Minutecast with Arcus.

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 via Android Central App

benhaube says:

I have used AccuWeather on android since my first smartphone in 2009 with the Verizon Motorola Droid. Great weather app.

Posted via Android Central App

Ciciu says:

I have AccuWeatherPro and with the last update they screw all the functionalities of the app. Notghing was worked. They fix this on an last minute update after everybody was screaming. Anyhow Minutecast do not work outside USA & Canada. WTF
Sony Smart Connect is a very nice utility app a simple to use one wich is default on Sony smartphones.

Does aLogcat require root? Last time I tried to capture logs without root, I had to connect to my computer and do it through adb.

Posted via Android Central App

rlbrooks says:

Either Richard took a great picture or that LG G3 screen is truly amazing. Man, that screen looks flawless in the picture above.