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Android Central

Oh my! You look like you haven't had a good app in a whole week!  Come in, come in, relax, we have more than enough to go around. Go see Chris. He has a wonderful story to share.  Or Andrew, our new guy. Doesn't he look intelligent reading The Economist? You might want to catch Alex and Richard before they head out the door - it looks like they're planning their transit routes. Here, sit down, kick up your feet, and open Google Play. Isn't that better? 

The Wormworld Saga

Android Central

Chris Parsons - I dig a lot of graphic novels, but especially ones I can download and read on a tablet. The Wormworld Saga is pretty nice. The story follows the life and adventures of Jonas Berg, who at a young age enters a parallel world through a forgotten painting in a dusty attic. From that day on, Jonas’ fate is linked to this fantastic and mysterious place. Yeah, no doubt it has a kid aspect to it but it's pretty awesome. The only problem? It's not completed yet; there are only three chapters so far and the forth is left at "coming soon". Still, I'm excited to see when the rest will become available.

Download: The Wormworld Saga (Free, IAPs)

Babel Rising 3D

Android Central

Jerry Hildenbrand - Play as God to punish the heretics and assorted non-believers who dare to build the tower to reach heaven. Based on the biblical story of the tower of Babel, your goal is to stop the Babylonians from building the tower using your godly powers of destruction. Take control of earth, air, fire and water with multitouch and motion-based controls to destroy the tower and take vengeance on builders before they reach the top. The 3D rendering and effects are great, and the gameplay is entertaining. There are in-app purchases, but I'm progressing just fine without spending any money; all items and weapons are available through the course of normal gameplay, but the in-app purchases make them stronger. You'll need to be running Android 2.2 or higher, but this is a fun free game that looks great. Check it out.

Download: Babel Rising 3D! (Free, IAPs)

The Economist

Android Central

Andrew Martonik - I've been a subscriber to The Economist for coming on a year now, and if you've ever had a magazine subscription that prints weekly, you know it can be tough to keep up with all of the issues (and as you can guess, these articles aren't exactly "light reading"). I found myself keeping the latest issue tucked away in my bag, and hardly ever brought it out to catch up. Luckily, they've finally updated their Android app for Ice Cream Sandwich compatibility, which happens to work just fine on my Galaxy Nexus running Jelly Bean as well. It's not the smoothest scrolling app ever, but it's very functional. The simple settings menu lets you auto-download new issues and restrict downloads to Wi-Fi if you are short on cellular data for the month.

Anyone who's interested in finance, economics, politics and world events really needs to consider a subscription. You get free online/app access when you have a print subscription, and you can also do an online-only signup if you want to save the trees.

Download: The Economist (Free / $130/year)

AutoRap

Android Central

Simon Sage - I'm going to kick myself later for suggesting this one because, really, it's stupid. It's stupid, but it's entertaining. AutoRap is a free voice synthesizer app that's been taunting me from Google Play's featured section for awhile now, and I finally caved and gave it a shot. As it turns out, it's a lot of fun getting your friends to say random stuff and turning it into a semi-respectable rap song. AutoRap is free, but it makes money by selling individual plays for extra background songs. That revenue model is a little snakey, but I can't imagine folks dropping enough money to get a permanent track in this app (though the option would be nice). Rap-ified audio bytes can be shared and sent to friends really easily. 

Download: AutoRap (Free, IAPs)

Tube Map

Android Central

Richard Devine - This week I wanted to contribute a useful app for anyone in town for the Olympic Games. Getting around London is never easy, but it's a safe bet you're going to be using the tube. For a comprehensive guide you need Tube Map.

Besides being a map and routing app, Tube Map links into the official TFL information to offer live departure times and line statuses throughout the day. With so many extra people around, take every step to get ahead of any potential delays. It's so easy to use, and has pinch to zoom. Pressing on a station brings up an automatic check on all lines that pass through and offers a link to view its location in Google Maps. I visit London regularly and I'm never without Tube Map on my phone.

Download: Tube Map (Free)

National Rail Enquiries

Android Central

Alex Dobie - The new Google Now feature in Jelly Bean does a pretty good job of anticipating traffic conditions and showing public transportation routes, but there's still a place for some dedicated apps in this area. One of these is the official National Rail Inquiries app for Android.

In addition to allowing arrival and departure lookups on the U.K.'s rail network, the National Rail app for Android allows you to set your home and work stations, which will be useful for anyone doing a daily commute. You can also set up alerts to warn you of delays or changed that might affect your travel. The big "get me home" button works with the app's location-based features to work out the best rail route to your home station.

The National Rail app is available free on the Google Play Store, with a £4.99 in-app purchase allowing you to disable ads.

Download: Nation Rail Enquiries (Free / £4.99)

As always, we welcome feedback on the kinds of Android apps you'd like to see in this weekly feature. Are there any big ones we didn't cover here? What would your personal app of the week be? Feel free to drop us a tip on the hint line if you find a particularly awesome app that you'd like to see us cover next week.

 
There are 13 comments

You have to pay for far to much in AutoRap

Va1ha11a says:

Did anyone else notice the guy crawling through the background of the autorap video at 1:15?

Good eye! I did not notice that, it's pretty weird and funny though!

veii says:

Babel Rising 3D looks hilarious! Don't know how well it will go down with superstitious people though. :-)

4JackNapier says:

It is! I don't know why but the sounds the people make crack me up. Definitely a good spin on the Tower-ish type games.

stone1979 says:

The Economist? Seriously? Sure, content is great and I've been a subscriber for a long time. But the app is horrible - buggy and slow. Look at the reviews on Google Play: hand-warmer and battery-drainer. It's a bloody reading application, not a sophisticated game. They broke something around 6 months ago and since then they can't fix it. After contacting them I was sent the older version which, although slow, at least doesn't drain my battery like crazy. For such a great brand they really should do better. You can clearly see that Android is not their main focus. And let's not forget about people complaining that they can't use the app on Nexus 7. With their speed this will be supported in 2014. Laughable

balthuszar says:

so the economist is anything but economical is what you're saying?

stone1979 says:

Don't get me wrong. What I'm saying is that the Economist (as a magazine and a website) is great. Their Android app though is horrible and doesn't live up to high standards

plunder says:

If you like Podcasts that blow the lid off the news with a totally different perspective try the Economist. The Babbage Podcast covers technology and "Editors Highlights" covers almost any subject in very short informative clips. They are always well informed, often clarifying complex issues. Do try them.

My thanks to Phil for telling me about the Pocket Casts in his articles. Probably my most used App.

opec says:

Autorap spams your notification bar. A lot. That's unacceptable to me, but it's such a great app. I'm torn as to delete it or not.

normanb20 says:

Are you on 4.0+? You can go into app info and turn off notifications, I think.

JakeChance says:

I think Wormworld is tablet only since it's not compatible with my Gnex.

toddjy says:

Babel Rising? Playing god in a game is one thing. Playing God in a game is another entirely. Anybody who plays this better go to confession regularly. Or you know where you'll end up (hint: down).