We have another diverse group of picks to keep you busy this weekend
Welcome back to yet another edition of the "Apps of the Week" post, where we bring together a group of apps that the Android Central writers have been using on a regular basis. App discovery can be tough with so many options out there, so our goal is to give you some personal recommendations on the apps we're using ourselves. This week we're looking at a few tools, a couple of good games to kill some time with and as usual some odds-and-ends.
Stick around with us after the break to see what we have for you this week -- you may just come away with a couple apps that you want to download on your own device.
Jerry Hildenbrand - Couple
Couple is a messaging app designed for you and just one other person. It sends messages and initiates calls, but it also does a lot more. You can share a whiteboard, send your location, send pictures, video and audio messages, even do something called "thumbkiss" where you touch the screen and align your thumb with your lovers, making the screen flash red. You're laughing, but your significant other probably isn't.
A dedicated messaging app for that special someone is just enough of an idea to work. People, especially on the sentimental side of the relationship, love stuff like this. But Couple takes it a step further by adding shared lists and a special list of dates that only you and the other half of your couple can see. You can even lock things up with a passcode in case you have more than one person you're coupling with.
Folks, if you have that special girl or guy that you're sweet on, install this and invite them to join you. It's actually pretty useful, and the brownie points you get from a thumbkiss are off the scale. You don't have to tell anybody you're using it, and neither will we.
Download: Couple (Free)
Sean Brunett - The Simpsons: Tapped Out
I’m not a huge mobile gamer. I enjoy a good game now and then but I honestly have never gotten very engrossed in a mobile game. That is until I came across The Simpsons Tapped Out. I also have to preface this by saying that while I enjoy The Simpsons, I was never one of those people who watched it every week. I don’t know the show and the characters very well. But I am obsessed with this game. The premise is simple: Springfield has been blown up and it is your job to rebuild it however you would like. It combines Sim City, the Sims and The Simpsons together in a game that has brought me back to play every day. You need to use the characters to earn money by making them do chores or errands, which will allow you to buy more buildings or decorations for the new and improved Springfield. The activities take some time, so in that way it is a highly addictive game. You can send Lisa to do her homework for 24 hours, knowing that in a day, you will have much more money. You can use your own money to buy donuts, which are currency that allow you to speed up the game or buy other content. I have not done that, I think I will stick to the completely free version. It is a fascinating game that will consume you, which can be good or bad. I must say that it is also the smoothest gameplay experience I have enjoyed on Android thus far. EA has done a tremendous job. I have not seen hiccups or pauses with this game yet, which unfortunately still characterize some games on the Android side. I highly recommend this to people who like this sort of game or those obsessed with The Simpsons.
Download: The Simpsons Tapped Out (Free)
Simon Sage - Hiversaires
Hiversaires is a relatively new abstract point-and click adventure game. It takes players through a stark world with few clues as to what's going on. Over time, you piece together a history and work your way through a series of winding hallways, looking for the next clue. Ominous glyphs and the occasional abstract map are your only real friends in this high-contrast maze. The soundtrack is really impressive, and goes a long way to setting a tense, surreal mood. If you've ever put time into the Myst games but are looking for something with a distinctly more modern feel, and you don't mind chewing on a puzzle for awhile, Hiversaires will certainly keep you occupied.
Download: Hiversaires ($2.96)
Andrew Martonik - OpenTable
Most of you have probably heard of OpenTable or even used it once or twice, but I just have to recommend it again this week because I have a new-found respect for the app as of late. After moving into the city, there are so many little restaurants to go explore and see that it's almost impossible to stay up to date on what's out there. Rather than simply Googling around or using something like Foursquare, OpenTable has become a useful tool for finding restaurants considering the high percentage of them in the city that are part of the OpenTable network. You can get a great feeling for what restaurants are around, look at reviews, hours, prices and even menus before you book -- and when you've made your decision you can snag a reservation all in one app.
Sure it won't be the only place you ever look for a restaurant again, but right now it's the first app I open when I'm looking for a place to go grab a bite to eat.
Download: OpenTable (Free)
Chris Parsons - Duolingo
For the past little while now, I've been telling myself that I want to learn a new language. Of course, no one learns a new language in a day or two and overall, I never really acted on those thoughts until I came across Duolingo on the Google Play Store. I figured, hey I might as well start simple and if an app can help.. why not? Duolingo is free to download and goes from basic to advanced learning of several different languages including Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English. if you're looking to pick up the basics or even go all in on learning a new language, Duolingo might just be able to help you out.
Download: Duolingo (Free)
Richard Devine - Real Racing 3
I'm into racing in a big way, and I love racing games. Currently, nothing can touch Real Racing 3 for me. OK, I'd prefer to buy the game and not have an in-app purchase model, but the game is so good I can look beyond that. And, it recently got updated with even more great stuff.
You can now drive cars from Dodge and Lexus, which includes the almighty Lexus LFA. Additionally, the Dubai Autodrome has now been added to the list of circuits and over 50 new events are here to take on. The graphics are exquisite, the tilt-to-steer controls are accurate enough that you're not throwing your device around to turn corners, and it's just an all round great racing game. The bonus to the free download is that at least you get to try it out, before dropping any cash.
Download: Real Racing 3 (Free)