Apps of the Week

More great apps than you can shake a stick at

Here we are again wrapping up another great month of Apps of the Week columns. This week is no different than any other, though, as we're still bringing together a selection of app picks from each of the writers here at Android Central and putting them on display all in one place. There are no restrictions at play here — if it's an app that we use on our Android-powered phones, tablets, TVs or ovens, it's fair game to show up in this list.

This week we have a more standard collection of apps, comprised of a couple new games to try out, an app that can make you feel like you're helping out without lifting a finger and some utility apps to boot. Read along and see how this week's picks stack up with the rest — you may just find one that works for you.

Jerry Hildenbrand - Cut the Rope 2

Cut the Rope 2

Cut various pieces of rope to alter the landscape so delicious candy can drop into Om Nom's mouth. The idea behind the Cut the Rope series is simple and fun, and this version carries that through. The higher levels get tougher, but even losing is fun, and that's the mark of a great game. If you likes the first version or either of the mini-sequels, you'll love Cut the Rope 2.

Having said that, I almost didn't pick this one. It follows the popular Freemium model, and does so in the worst way — with both invasive interstitial ads and constant nagging for in-app purchases. It's almost enough to abandon the game, and I hope ZeptoLabs makes a paid version available, as they have done with the other Cut the Rope games.

You'll have to try it yourself and see if the ads are worth seeing, I just want to make sure you know they are there.

Download: Cut the Rope 2 (Free, In-app purchases)

Simon Sage - Shattered Planet

Shattered Planet

Shattered Planet is a grueling free-to-play turn-based sci-fi RPG. Players guide a hapless clone through treacherous and conveniently grid-friendly interstellar landscapes. Every stage has a teleporter you're trying to reach which will further your exploratory mission. You'll probably need to squish some hostile aliens along the way, and gathering some resources for your next clone would be a good idea, since he'll need to craft some gear following your inevitable demise and the loss of whatever is on your person. In-app purchases are enabled for those resources, as well as a few novelty skins. Shattered Planet is a challenging mix of strategy and action with a tense pace and plenty of humor.

Download: Shattered Planet (Free)

Phil Nickinson - HTC Power to Give

HTC Power to Give

I like the idea of being able to help out without having to lift a finger. And that's sort of what HTC Power to Give is all about. The idea is that we've got these powerful computers in our pockets that actually have a lot of wasted potential computing power. So with HTC Power to Give, you can loan our your CPUs to projects that need massive amounts of power. I don't pretend to understand what my phone's doing when it helps, nor does the app really tell you. You can browse the individual projects for a broad sense of what the purpose is, but even then I still don't actually know what my phone's doing. And you know what? I'm OK with that. You've got plenty of control over when your phone's actually crunching numbers in the background — you can choose between wall power, USB power or a wireless charger, for example, and also choose at what minimum battery level computation will be suspended. More advanced options include control over the more discrete functions of the CPU.

Basically, I'm loaning out my phone while I sleep to what I assume are some cool projects. It's no more work than that. Not all devices are supported — you need Android 4.3 and up, a decent process and at least 1GB of RAM. See the app description for more details.

Download: HTC Power to Give (Free)

Andrew Martonik - Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines

Alaska is my airline of choice since it flies pretty much anywhere from Seattle. I've begrudgingly used its Android app for some time since it sure beats downloading a boarding pass PDF and manually putting in your phone — but after using the app on my last trip I think I've given it an unfair look previously. Don't get me wrong, the interface is still pretty atrocious, but once you spend a good bit of time figuring out how the app works it can be immensely useful.

Once you go through the trouble of plugging in your Alaska details and searching for a flight, you can check in, view your boarding pass, change seats, manage upgrades and check flight status. On my most recent trip the app was even faster to update on a flight delay than Google Now by a good 15 minutes — one of the most important things an app like this can offer.

If you're a casual flyer that doesn't care which airline you're on then you're probably not going to bother having an app for each one, but if you regularly take Alaska and are okay spending some time figuring this app out, you'll be rewarded.

Download: Alaska Airlines (Free)

Richard Devine - JotterPad X: Writer

JotterPad X

While I'm not going to say I do a lot of writing on my phone or tablet, occasionally I find myself with an idea or some free time and want to get something done. Since we use Markdown at Mobile Nations, I use JotterPad X, probably the best Markdown editor I've found on Android.

It costs $4.55 to unlock everything, but it's so beautifully designed and feature rich it's worth it. You don't have to use Markdown, but you can save to your device in a variety of formats, including pdf. You can also export to email and Dropbox in the same formats, and of course keeping your documents synced across devices.

There's too much to talk about in a short space (like a distraction free reading mode) but if you use your Android to write, definitely take a look. The initial download is free.

Download: JotterPad X: Writer (Free; In-app purchases)


Reader comments

Apps of the Week: Cut the Rope 2, Shattered Planet, HTC Power to Give and more!


HTC should open it up to more devices. There are also some pretty powerful tablets that could be used!

Posted via Android Central App

I saw on the Pocket Gamer site that Shattered Planet is currently on a limited release and won't be widely available until April 10. So I'll be going back then to see if it's available in the US because it does look like it might be fun.

Samsung has a similar app to power to give that was released earlier this year think its called Samsung Power Sleep

Posted via Stock Nexus 4*

Yeah but Samsung is a dirty word around here, we only talk about them as a negative

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

Alternatively, HTC's is just a better app.

Whichever you use, it's doing good things.

Posted via Android Central App

Didn't think it was an app, thought it was an oem

And if you ever used them both, you would k of they are mostly on par with each other.

Why yes I still use seti
You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

I'll assume you're being deliberately obtuse and actually understand what the apostrophe s means, and that I was talking about the power to give app specifically, as in my view only an idiot would flatly claim "HTC is better" or "Samsung is better".

I actually have tried both apps, the reason I think HTC's (please note possessive apostrophe) is better is because it let's you choose what project you'd like to crunch, whereas Samsung's only has one protein folding project, although being as I'm in the UK the US version may be different.

I also am still behind SETI, we'll find something! Eventually... Probably...

Posted via Android Central App

It has probably been said, but can we start a movement to boycott games that only offer IAP and don't offer a purchase/opt-out model? It may be the wave of the future, but it's a BAD wave, and should be eliminated by consumer hatred before it becomes the ONLY model.

With you there. Although some paid for games do this as well. Asphalt 8 I paid for on release (it's free now) and i just bought real boxing. Exactly the same - grind and grind just to progress one level forward in the game. Appalling way to treat paying customers.

Posted via Android Central App

The HTC power to give sounds like it is stealing its statements from Ubuntu .. But whatever.

Google Play has "departments" Apps and Games, also technically games are apps too.
My point is that title about apps is misleading because most of the "apps" here are games.
Most of previous such articles were also about games.

A cool Android Task app is SPLISTER (SPeech LISTER). You can create notes, calendar events or an entire list of tasks in one voice command! Really speeds things up when you have a huge list, or say a recipe with steps that you want to get on your phone.
What I especially like is the sync with my Google Calendar (so I can share my calendar with friends), Google Tasks, & the location reminders. The location reminders notify me when I'm geographically near an address I specified for one of my tasks... I'll never leave a store again and say "I forgot to buy: X"! Tons of other features and much cheaper and simpler to use then the other tasks apps out there, trust me. Ya gotta check it out: