A look at the best apps we have on our devices this week
Here we are once again introducing you to another edition of our 'Apps of the Week' post, where we break down all of the latest apps that the folks here at Android Central have been using. We ask each of the writers here at the site to chime in on Saturdays with an app that has piqued their interest over the last week, and let us know why it has stayed on their device despite the thousands upon thousands of options out there.
We round up these picks and put them together for all to see and hopefully find some that match their own interests and needs as well. Stick around with us after the break and see how we did this week.
Casey Rendon - Blue Board
OUYA makes great use of its included controller to offer a much better gaming experience for titles like SHADOWGUN and Final Fantasy III. The trade-off for having joysticks, a d-pad, and real buttons is the loss of touchscreen controls. This makes things like entering text exceedingly tedious, having to hunt and peck using the game controller and on-screen keyboard. Thankfully, Alienman Tech has an app that helps solve this problem: Blue Board. Installing both the OUYA and Android app turns almost any Android device into an OUYA keyboard. No longer is there a reason to fear typing long addresses into the OUYA web browser. Blue Board is available on OUYA and the Play Store, free of charge.
Download: Blue Board (Free)
Sean Brunett - MX Player
I think MX Player has been featured before, but I want to select it as my pick this week to highlight a specific feature: volume boost. When I travel I always load up my Nexus 7 with TV shows and movies and it frustrates me when a movie's audio isn't the best. I tried some of the volume boosting apps with limited success. Then I was looking around in MX Player's settings and found that it can do it via software or hardware decoding. I tried it and sure enough it worked like a charm. MX Player has already been my default player for playing all video files and this just makes me want to keep using it. To get it to work for you, open MX Player and go to Settings->Player and enable Volume Boost. Then go to Settings->Decoder and choose which decoder you want to use. I'd love to hear how it works for you all or if anyone has any other tips to boost the volume of your devices.
Download: MX Player (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Tetris
Remember Tetris? It was a game that's was released forever-ago, and has been out on Android almost as long. The folks at EA have pulled the old -- playable, but dated -- version from Google Play and replaced it with an all new, flashy version. The graphics are updated everywhere, there's all manner of social stuff thrown in, but the biggest and best reason to play it is the new One-Touch mode. Makes it perfect for playing one handed, makes it lightning fast, and actually makes it even more fun.
I recommend the app for anyone who wants a fun, casual game that doesn't cost anything, but I almost passed on recommending it. It's free and ad-supported, which in itself is OK (though I'd gladly pay a few bucks for an ad-free build), but the game uses interstitial ads between the various zones in the game, and they seem to take forever to present you with a close option. It can get frustrating. But the new game play modes make it worth checking out anyway -- you'll only be aggravated once or twice during a game session. Grab it for free from Google Play.
Download: Tetris (Free)
Andrew Martonik - Sprinkle Islands
After playing and loving the original Sprinkle, as well as Granny Smith (from the same developers), I was ecstatic to hear about the new Sprinkle Islands hitting the Play Store. After giving the free version a quick look, I went ahead and bought the $1.99 paid version for the full set of levels and don’t regret it one bit. The sounds and graphics are top-notch just as was the case with the original game, and is still simple to play for any age or skill level.
If you’re looking for a great casual game to pick up and play this weekend, look no further than Sprinkle Islands. It’s well worth the small investment.
Chris Parsons - Despicable Me Weather
I love those little Minions, what can I say? When I saw the minion weather widget I had to go ahead and give it a go. We all know it's pretty much just an ad running on your device but it has sounds and the minions react to the different weather changes or when you tap on the icon. The settings also allow for specifically adjusting your location as well now, which they didn't before so there's that. Plus, it's actually a pretty accurate weather widget. Some short term fun.
Download: Despicable Me Weather (Free)