Apps of the Week

Another diverse set of picks to give a try this week - see if some are right for you

It's hard to believe we're already half way through June, but that means we have another edition of our weekly app picks for your enjoyment. Every week the Android Central writers take a few moments to show off an app that they're using on their own device regularly, and we group them up to show off each Saturday. They aren't always the newest or flashiest apps out there, but they always serve a purpose for us that other apps just haven't.

Hang around with us after the break and see how this list stacks up against the rest -- you may just come away with a few new apps to try out for yourself.

Michelle Haag - Bandsintown Concerts

Bandsintown Concerts

I don't go to as many concerts as I used to, but I still like to know what's coming up and who will be in town, especially now that it's summer again. Bandsintown is a great app for not only keeping track of bands you love and want to see perform, but also for discovering bands you may not already know. By allowing the app to sync to your Pandora, last.fm, and Google Play accounts you can get suggestions for upcoming shows you may enjoy. You can create concert notifications for your favorite artists so you never miss a show you want to see, and you can get complete concert listings by city or by artist, which is handy for planning things to do while on vacation. You can also RSVP for concerts and share with your friends on Twitter and Facebook, and use the handy Buy Tickets button to easily purchase tickets from hundreds of different sites. Make sure to check out Bandsintown and never miss another concert. 

Download: Bandsintown Concerts (Free)

Casey Rendon - Google Translate

Google Translate

I’m currently vacationing in Japan, with only a very basic understanding of the language. To translate written and spoken words in a pinch, I’m using Google’s own Translate app. The handwriting recognition works great even with my horrible kanji strokes, helping identify words that would take me forever to look up in a language with thousands of unique characters. The app can use my device’s camera to translate written text, allowing me to highlight what I want translated. I use the voice to text function when I have no idea how to spell the word(s) I need translated. Google Translate even works great in countries with little or no internet access (or where it is expensive, like Japan), having multiple languages that are available to download for use offline. I would pay good money for this app, but Google provides it free of charge.

Download: Google Translate (Free)

Richard Devine - Runtastic Pedometer

Runtastic Pedometer

I've featured this before, and I promise I'm not cheating, but I'm using it so much more than ever before it's worth bringing up again. As the summer is finally closing in, the temperature is going up (slightly) and because I don't have a car anymore I walk everywhere. I've tried using a Fitbit, and I always end up just using this to keep tabs on my walking instead.

As with all Runtastic apps it's beautifully designed, it makes full use of expandable notifications on Jelly Bean, and hooks into Myfitnesspal, which just so happens to be my diet/fitness tracker of choice. At $0.99 for the pro version, it's money well spent. And it's pretty accurate too. 

Download: Runtastic Pedometer ($0.99)

Sean Brunett - Husky Dog Wallpaper

Husky Dog Wallpaper

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago when I featured Wag.com, my fiancee and I just got a Siberian husky puppy. She’s awesome, and we've always been huge fans of the breed. So this week I thought I would feature a simple app that showcases adorable husky wallpapers. That’s exactly and only what this app does. It provides a variety of husky photos that you can then set as your wallpaper on your phone or tablet. If you’re a fan of the husky breed, I highly recommend this app. Even if you don’t set any as your wallpaper they’re great photos to browse through.

Download: Husky Dog Wallpaper (Free)

Andrew Martonik - 2013 U.S. Open Golf Championship

2013 U.S. Open Championship

The U.S. Open is happening this weekend, and while you may have been keeping up on the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday, you can now keep up on the go with the official 2013 U.S. Open app. With leader boards, stats and live video all available for free, it's a no-brainer for anyone keeping tabs on the Open this weekend. Everything you'd want to know about the players and the course is here. From groupings and stats of all kinds, to walkthrough and analysis of each hole -- you can even get video flyovers of each hole for a better look -- you can get everything you need in one place.

Whether you've been pulled away from the house or just want some supplemental information while you watch the coverage at home, this app makes sure you won't get behind on the action.

Download: 2013 U.S. Open Golf Championship (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - 3D Image Live Wallpaper

A lot of people ohhed and ahhed when Apple showed off the parallax effect on the new iOS 7 home screens. It's a neat effect and one that a lot of people will probably play with, at least for a little while. Of course, we also have something very similar on Android.

For us, it's just an app that can be installed on any phone or tablet running a recent version of Android and has a gyroscope. Using it is simple, just long press on your home screen and choose Live Wallpapers, then choose 3D Image Live Wallpaper. You can use your own images, set a few parameters to make it shift more or less when moving the phone, and the final effect can be really cool.

Most importantly, it's easy enough to go back to a more normal wallpaper when you're done checking it out and want something a little more subdued on your home screen. At just $1.60, it's worth having a look.

Download: 3D Image Live Wallpaper ($1.60)

Simon Sage - Jumping Finn Turbo

Jumping Finn Turbo

I'm a sucker for the Adventure Time cartoon, so I was glad to finally get a chance to try out the official Android game. Jumping Finn Turbo is a pretty straightforward distance game. Use Jake to give Finn an initial kick in the ass and into the air, then carefully time when to give him an extra boost. Make sure that it's well before he hits the ground, or Finn will have to go back and try again. The idea here is that this is apparently the fastest way to get to the ice dungeon where the princess has been captured. Depending on the distance you manage to make, how fast you go, and how high you reach, you're rewarded stars which can be spent on unlocking new characters to help you get even farther, and upgrading jack to kick stronger, faster, and bounce higher, The Ice King will occasionally hurl penguins during your flight, so be sure to tap them away to avoid getting frozen. BMO has a whole bunch of achievements for you to reach too, just in case you were itching for a challenge. If you're a fan of Adventure Time, be sure to give Jumping Finn Turbo a shot. And if you're not, then there's something wrong with you. 

Download: Jumping Finn Turbo ($0.99)

Alex Dobie - BBC Weather

BBC Weather

The BBC is stepping up its Android app efforts, and the broadcaster's latest release, BBC Weather, is an excellent take on one of the earliest app concepts around. BBC Weather for Android is simple, good-looking and easy to use -- by default you get breakdown of current weather where you are, including UV, pollen, wind speed and direction. You can add locations by searching them, and they're manageable via a slide-out menu area. It's also easy to view daily or hourly forecast summaries by swiping to the left.

Additional goodies include an attractive home screen and lock screen widget, NFC forecast sharing and even DashClock integration for Android 4.2 users.  Unfortunately it looks like the BBC Weather app is UK-only right now -- but if you're able to download it, we highly recommend that you do. It's available for free for Android 2.2 and up.

Download: BBC Weather (Free, UK only)


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 16 comments

Accidentally read pedometer wrong (pedo-meter)... was expecting a very diff app....

balthuszar says:

phew, i'm glad i'm not the only one who did that...

bez54 says:

I already have the 3d wallpaper on my nexus 4 and I can say it is very good. :-)

Posted via Android Central App

razgri5 says:

Husky...dog...wallpaper. Mph.

Posted via Android Central App

After spending a few minutes with Bandsintown, I must say, I personally recommend Songkick over Bandsintown. They both sync to the same services, and Songkick is laid out more intuitively, in my opinion. I think the Concert Cloud in Bandsintown is messy and hard to use. The only feature where Bandsintown beats Songkick is that it recommends new artists. However, almost all recommendations I got were for bands I have no interest in and knew about already, and they just ended up cluttering the Concert Cloud, so I ended up turning that off. But the Concert Cloud is still messy. Bandsintown has a good-looking and (other than the Concert Cloud) intuitive interface. But I still prefer the way Songkick functions. It's simple, and it does exactly what I want.

The BBC Weather app is not available in the USA. I tried to download it.

Posted via Android Central App

Which is why we noted "Free, UK only" in the post :-) .

Posted via Android Central App

balthuszar says:

also noted that BBC means "british broadcasting company"...

Please start recommending apps before a specific event has already started. The us open app like the masters app should be reviewed the weekend before IMHO .

It's tough to suggest an app without knowing how it's going to perform until it starts getting data pushed to it, and numerous users are using it.

I do get what you are saying though, it could have been mentioned Thursday or Friday.

Posted via Android Central App

True. It's a catch 22.

SpookDroid says:

The Parallax effect is also present in the built in Weather widget of the Samsung Galaxy S4

SuperJonCA says:

Really, android central? Really? Husky wallpapers? That guy should be fired! Really? The worst recommendation ever! REALLY?!

Jumping Finn Turbo is one of the best and more addictive games, that I've played in a cell phone.

So good! Recommended.

MC_A_DOT says:

BBC Weather app FTW