Apps of the Week

The best apps we have installed and are excited about this week

The weekend is a leisurely time where we all pull out our phones or tablets and find a new app or two to keep us entertained or productive. For that reason, we run an Apps of the Week column every Saturday afternoon to let everyone know what the writers here at Android Central are installing on our own devices. We highlight our favorite games, tools, news readers and more every week, hoping that they'll be useful to you as well.

Read along with us and see our picks this week — you may find an app or two that will find a place on your phone or tablet as well.

Simon Sage - Aerena: Clash of Champions

Aerena: Clash of Champions

Aerena is a free to play steampunk strategy game that launched on Android this week, and it's a ton of fun. Three-on-three turn-based battles take place in a variety of fantastic locations, with a little helpful firepower from either team's airship. Special abilities are powered by a resource called aether, which is generated by dealing damage to enemies and claiming certain tiles on the battle grid. Before long, you'll be knee-deep in cross-platform online multiplayer matches. Over time, you get new ships, new heroes, and new equipment. The graphics are fantastic, especially the mid-combat cinematic cutscenes. Strategy fans looking for a new flavour and able to stomach a bit of freemium should check this out.

Download: Aerena: Clash of Champions (Free)

Phil Nickinson - Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator

No more excuses. If you're not using two-factor authentication any and every time you can, you're setting yourself up for trouble. Google's Authenticator app makes using two-step as easy as it can be. And not just on Google's own products. For a good list of who's using two-factor authentication, check out http://twofactorauth.org/.

Download: Google Authenticator (Free)

Richard Devine - Aviary

Aviary

We're blessed with a wealth of good photo editing apps on Android, one of which is Aviary. The basic app is free and packed with filters and editing tools, but it's also got a wide range of add on packages with yet more effects (most of which are priced.)

For example, I bought the Noir pack because I like making pictures black and white. The basic filters weren't quite enough, so I hit the store. I don't mind paying for stuff I'll use.

It's in tough company with Snapseed out there, but it's well worth checking out if you edit a lot on your Android device.

Download: Aviary (Free, in-app purchases)

Andrew Martonik - MLS Matchday (2014)

MLS Matchday 2014

The MLS (that's Major League Soccer) season is well under way now, and if you're at all interested in soccer in the U.S. you absolutely must have this app. They come up with a solid update just a couple weeks before the season starts, and this year they've gone and made the app even better. Notification settings have drastically improved, as have the news alerts and overall feel of navigation in the app.

This is one that stays on my phone's main homescreen from March through October, and I'm glad we have a great first-party option for following the league.

Download: MLS Matchday (2014) (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Night Sky Tools - Astronomy

Night Sky Tools

Night Sky Tools is the perfect app for astronimy nerds, as well as those of us who wish we were astronomy nerds.

Chock full of maps and charts, the app is offline capable (minus some satellite images) so you can get away from light pollution and see the stars, and there's even a built-in observation log to record what you see when you see it. Add in a night mode so your eyes don't burn out from white text, and you have a very nicely done astronomy app.

If you're a skygazer, or want to be a skygazer, Night Sky Tools is a great place to start.

Download: Night Sky Tools - Astronomy (Free)


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.

 

Reader comments

Apps of the Week: Aerena Clash of Champions, Google Authenticator, Aviary and more!

22 Comments

Google authenticator is one of those apps I use every single day. And still anytime someone sees me doing it they ask WTF I am doing. Once I explain it to them they usually respond "why would you do that???"
Smh..
ಠ益ಠ

I tried Authenticator. I'm using Authy instead since it has some extra features like backup. For Rom flasher it will be handy altho you can backup Google authenticator data with Titanium backup, too.

Sorry if this seems dumb, but what does Google Authenticator do? I have two step verification on my Google account, where it sends me an SMS with a code I must type in when signing into my Google account. What does this app do that I don't already?

Got Nexus?

Google authenticator generates a new code every minute. The beautiful thing about it is it doesn't need internet/ cellular to work.. So let say in case you don't have cellular signal to receive sms, you can still get the code in the app. Also when you use the app, you still have an option to use sms as well in case the app doesn't work. it does not replace sms, just an extra way to use 2 step. So it's pretty nice. I set up the app and I also have sms option!

Been using SkEye for awhile - I like it much more than Google Sky Maps. Never tried Night Sky Tools, though.

The astronomy app that I use and highly recommend is Sky Safari. It has lots of great features, including a built-in compass so you can point it at the sky and figure out what you are looking at, searchable lists of celestial objects with tons of detailed information, a "Tonight's Best" list, a night vision mode (red text on a black background) to preserve your night vision when you are outside observing. Another great app for astronomy nerds is Phases of the Moon. I have the widget on one of my homescreen panels, so I can always see at a glance what is the current phase of the moon. Open up the app and you get more information -- the percentage of the Moon illuminated, current distance from Earth, rise and set times, etc., and you can scroll the Moon forward or backward in time by dragging on it, or jump to the next full moon or new moon.

Yeah Phases of the Moon is pretty sweet, I even paid for the premium version.

Posted via Android Central App

Is authenticator still not recommended for those of us who use Google Voice as our Sprint telephone number, for the risk of being locked out of our own accounts?

The authenticator app doesn't need a phone number. But when you set up 2 step, google will ask you to provide a backup solution like sms. And no one should use his google voice number lol how can you get the code in Google voice if you can't log in at first place.

Google Authenticator app is a great way to not be locked out of your account because it replaces the need to be texted codes over SMS.

Posted via Android Central App

Authenticator is really worth it. It's nice knowing that it's pretty much impossible for anyone to hack into my account even if they know my password.

if you want multiple devices to use google authenticator, just scan the barcode at the same time. But I do prefer Authy for backup feature.

I've been using Google Authenticator for a long, long time. I use it for 8 sites. After then mention of Authy in this thread , I checked it out. All I can say is wow. The much more modern design, far superior UI, back up, multi device authorization and deauthorization, code display timing, copy and paste and it's widget.

So much more advanced than Google Authenticator. I'm not sure what I'm missing, but I am so pleased Authy was mentioned here. Thank you!

Posted via Android Central App on my SM-900T

How the hell do you get Google Authenticator to work? Twice I've tried setting it up and all I get is problems. This time it won't let me login from my phone after I've enabled it on the web from a computer as it told me to do.

Posted via Android Central App

Think I've got it working. I had to go into the Authenticator app, then login via the web because it wouldn't do it via the app, then do it manually with the barcode scan. Don't know why it wouldn't do it automatically by just entering my Google password; so the whole process was rather clunky.

Posted via Android Central App

Moon Phase Pro. I started using it on my laptop several years ago and was thrilled to see it in the Play store. Still the best out there for knowing anything about the moon. And it makes for great wallpaper!