Apps of the Week

It's the last "Apps of the Week" post for the month of March, and we're going to make it a worthwhile one.

As usual, we're bringing you a collection of apps directly from the Android Central writers -- ones that stay on our devices as the go-to apps. This week we have a couple of games, a few utilities (as usual) and a couple of odds and ends to keep things fresh.

Hang around with us after the break and see how this week's picks stack up with he rest.

Jerry Hildenbrand - Collapse! Blast

Collapse! Blast

Another great time waster, Collapse Blast is a new twist on the typical match and clear puzzle game. The rounds are short and the action is fast, which makes it perfect for those of us with short attention spans. There is no secret to the gameplay -- tap three or more connected blocks of the same color, and they disappear giving points based on how many blocks were connected and any point multiplier you have in effect. Get a higher point multiplier by tapping the bottom to add more rows. You have a set number of games you can play at any one time, but the number increases as you progress in level and each level up refills the total. Each "life" is replenished in eight minutes. Of course, in-app purchasing is available for those who don't want to wait.

There's also a social aspect if you want to connect the game to your Facebook account, but this isn't required to play. The game is free, and I think you'll find it as addicting as I do.

Download: Collapse! Blast (Free)

Casey Rendon - Touch Control (Nexus 4)

Touch Control (Nexus 4)

My phone usage ranges from frequent to borderline neurotic. Constantly turning my phone’s screen on and off makes me paranoid about breaking its power button, or at least wearing it down to a fine nub. With Touch Control, the only reason I ever have to touch the power button is to shut my phone down. One swipe from left to right while the screen is off wakes the phone. There are also options to change that swipe to a tap or double tap. Locking the phone is just as easy, with a swipe from right to left at the bottom of the screen. Media skip can also be controlled with a single swipe. Of course something this awesome requires root access, and this particular app is built specifically for the Nexus 4 (a Galaxy Nexus version can also be found here. Touch Control is available as a free trial on Google Play, along with a full-featured paid version.

Download: Touch Control Nexus 4 (Free)

Sean Brunett - Game of Thrones Companion

Game of Thrones Companion

The tv show Game of Thrones starts its third season this Sunday. I love the show and I love the books. The show can often be confusing for many who haven't read the books, and for many who have. It’s  because there are so many characters and subplots and places to keep track of . That’s why I highly recommend Game of Thrones Companion. It’s an Android app that gives you any information you want about the series, so you can quickly look it up if you find yourself a little confused. You can specify up to which book you’ve read in order to avoid spoilers. Within the app, you can view Characters, Horses, Maps, Places and Religions. For big fans and casual fans, it’s a must have. It costs $3.99 and in my opinion, worth every penny. Winter is coming.

Download: Game of Thrones Companion ($3.99)

Richard Devine - Expense Manager

Expense Manager

Something I'm determined to do is keep better track of what I'm spending on stuff. I'm hopeless at it and then wonder why at the end of the month I don't have any cash in the bank. So I've been looking for a decent app to help me log it all, and I stumbled on Expense Manager.

It's pretty simple, and does lack the ability to scan receipts like something such as Expensify, but what it does it does very well. And it looks great. Following the Holo design language extremely well, Expense Manager lets you keep track of all your outgoings, add them to color coded categories, and export everything as a .csv file. You can also set monthly limits, add in your regular overheads, and it even has Dashclock Integration. The app itself is free with some additional features available via in-app purchase, but if you're just looking for a simple expense tracking app, this one's definitely worth a look.

Download: Expense Manager (Free)

Simon Sage - Shoot Many Robots

Shoot Many Robots

Around PAX East last week, the fine dudes at Demiurge released an Android version of their run-and-gun PC and console title, Shoot Many Robots. Things are a bit pared down for the mobile interface and the free-to-play model changes up how you acquire weapons, but the core of the game stays true to the rootin'-tootin' redneck feel of the original. Skid up to the battlefield in your dilapidated Winnebago, blast the hell out of some ugly-ass robots, and collect their nuts. Players swipe up and down to switch lanes, tap the left side to jump, and the right side to shoot. Crates show up regularly throughout the battlefield, which can include more and more dangerous weapons as you spend nuts on upgrades. There are also ridiculous limited-use hats that players can buy for a little extra boost in performance and style.

I've always been a huge fan of Shoot Many Robots, and I'm really pumped that they're on mobile now. Start downloadin' this endless gunner now, y'all. 

Source: Shoot Many Robots (Free)

Andrew Martonik - Sounders FC

Sounders FC

I know this app won't be relevant to as many people as some of the others, but it has been installed on my device and checked daily since the U.S. soccer season started. Sounders FC have finally come out with their own app to follow the club on Android, as it was previously only available on iOS for the first couple of seasons.

You get every bit of information you'd want when following a team, from match day information and upcoming games to the roster, standings and news coverage. I go to the MLS Matchday app to check in on what the rest of the league is doing, but when I just want to know about the Sounders, this app does a great job. As a bonus it follows a modern Android design language as well, which certainly helps. If you're a Seattle soccer fan, there's no reason not to have this installed.

Download: Seattle Sounders FC (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.

 
There are 15 comments

Gekko says:

how about some constructive criticism?

these picks are awful!

icebike says:

Agreed.

With many of us facing the death of Google Reader, why not some reviews and recommendations on a good reader app?

jaypee68 says:

Probably because right now most reader apps are tied into Google Reader. Look at Press...

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twentyfivesquares.pres...

No less than a month after I bought Press, Google made their announcement. Reader devs have some tough decisions to make now, so I wouldn't be looking for any reader reviews until after July maybe IMHO.

icebike says:

Press certainly looks good.

I settled on GReader Pro, (although the free version works just as well).
They too promise to have a new backend before shutdown date, but now it is not totally clear that they will.

But I went through 4 or 6 of them looking for one that works well on tablets and phones and does not insist that I accept a boat load of pictures with every feed. (I can read, I don't like feeds full of pictures). But I still want access to the full article with one tap. GReader does that, very tailorable.

But unless a new backend is found, it (and a lot of others are going to die).

cirrob says:

I never understood why Google Reader was so popular. It's just an rss reader right? So just grab another one. They are all basically the same I use beyond pod (paid version) it's pretty good. Better than Google Reader was but I'm sure there are even better ones out there. Beyond pod does podcast too so that was nice.

icebike says:

Well, since its shutting down in a few weeks, there is no point in me explaining why it is so great, so two words: multiplatform syncing

MysteryOil says:

Few weeks? More like few months.

Mach751 says:

Touch Control is preety good but has bad reviews on free V

Kylecore says:

Best new app I found this week, think temple run minus the track in first person with zombies and some shooting https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sidheinteractive.sif.DR

Unobtanium says:

I've tried a lot of the expense apps, and I finally settled on one: Google Docs and a form tied to a Google spreadsheet. I use a paid .pdf scanner app to gather the receipts and have them backed up to a Drive folder, too. Hello Expense was the best app I used, but setting up the Google form was easier, and I can still edit it if I need to add a category

FusionFix says:

I also have a wikipedia style Game of Thrones Guide / Companion app that I feel can be very helpful for those that want to catch up or learn the plot lines, per episode stories, characters (over 140!), places, terms etc. I hope you'll check it out (So far I have gotten really good feedback and the users have loved the app): https://play.google.com/store/search?q=game+of+thrones+viewers+guide

I was planning to buy Press before the Google Reader shutdown was announced. Now, I'm just waiting to see what happens. Feedly is nice, but I want notifications and it doesn't have that. Right now, I'm sticking with gReader Pro until anything else comes along.

FreudSlipped says:

Did you look at the in-app purchases for Collapse Blast? That game is a money pit set up for 12 year olds who get ahold of Mom's phone during that long ride home from Grandma's house. Games like that should never be given a positive review.

dizzle16 says:

You make 15k a month and waste time posting crap like that. Get a life dude

jephf says:

Sounders FC? I recall the San Jose Earthquakes beating them in each of their last four MLS meetings... It's a good rivalry, though. Those match ups are always exciting.

LET'S GO QUAKES!