Apps of the Week

See what apps have made their way onto the devices here at AC

It's time again for another edition of our Apps of the Week column, where we show off the apps that are on the devices of the Android Central writers. Whether they're tools, media players, live wallpapers, readers, games or something obscure and fun, you can count on us to bring you a grouping of apps every week that are worth looking at.

This week we have a tool to help you read, a media player, a couple of great games and some odds and ends for you to check out. Read on past the break to see how the picks this week stack up against the rest.

Casey Rendon - FBReader

FBReader

I found this app when I realized I had no application that would properly view my Rich Text Format documents. It came up in the Play Store search results, so I decided to give it a try. Lo and behold, it worked great. Not only can FBReader handle this strange Mac text document, but it is a full fledged e-book reader as well. Its book-like interface can also handle epub, fb2, mobi, and plain text file formats. It has external dictionary integration, works with multiple languages, and has a built-in browser for downloads from network e-book catalogs and stores. There are also multiple companion apps for FBReader on the Play Store. One good example is FBSync (root required), which can sync reading positions between Android devices via the web. Pretty cool. You can't beat free, so if you do any e-book or rtf/plain text reading on your Android, this app is a great option to have.

Download: FBReader (Free)

Sean Brunett - PlayerPro

PlayerPro

I listen to a lot of content on my phone. Podcasts, music, lectures, speeches, you name it, I’ve probably listened to it. I scour most apps I can find that can find me that content and play it in an easy-to-use manner. There come times, however, that certain feeds just don’t refresh quickly enough for my liking. No problem, I just go to the website and download the file that way to my phone. The problem with this, I have found, is that my default podcast apps won’t play the file and the built in app as well as the Google Play Music app are lackluster. I went in search of a third party player would just play these files that I find in Astro in a nice way. PlayerPro is a great app for this and has definitely earned its way to a permanent spot on my devices from now on. Now, let me be honest, I am not using PlayerPro to its fullest potential. It can do a lot more and for all you audiophiles out there, it gives you a lot of control. It plays media content that you have stored on your device and gives you audio effects that you can play around with. I don’t know if this is just me, but it sounds exponentially better than the default music app on Android. It also offers lock screen widgets, home screen widgets, a sleep timer, lyrics search, music stats, smart playlists and much more. I was simply looking for a player that would simulate my podcast apps if I was to download the file directly. including providing album art, the ability to skip ahead and save progress. It does those things, but much more, which I will be taking advantage of in the near future. There is a free trial version which I highly recommend before upgrading to the full version, which is $4.95. 

Download: PlayerPro (Trial / $4.95)

Chris Parsons - Headless

Headless

How long can a chicken live running around with its head cut off? I know. It’s a slightly disturbing question but that’s the concept of a fun new endless runner called Headless. Inspired by the story of Miracle Mike, the chicken that lived without a head for 18 months, Headless challenges players to see how far they can run as a headless chicken! Grab bags of blood to live longer and keep a cool head while dodging deadly blades and other obstacles. Unlock upgrades, collect power ups and charge head first to new high scores. The artwork in the game is pretty sweet, there is no in-app purchases and it’s fun and cheap. Can’t ask for much more really.

Download: Headless ($0.99)

Simon Sage - Type:Rider

Type:Rider

I'm not what you'd call a history buff, but somehow this minimalist game about the development of writing and fonts hooked me quickly. Type:Rider puts players through ten worlds, each representing an era in typography. Every stage includes a snippet of typography history which I'd say is just about as fun as the playing level itself. (In other news, I must be getting old.) They guide a tiny colon symbol across a surreal landscape of letters, trying not to fall off ledges or otherwise destroyed by treacherous terrain. Bonus objective are scattered throughout every level, and the polished controls help you focus on solving some really tricky puzzles. Despite the simple art style, there's some fantastic animation here, and the soundtrack is extremely high quality.

Download: Type:Rider ($3.64)

Andrew Martonik - Air Control

Air Control

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been flying this week and have airplanes on the mind, but I’ve been getting back into Air Control lately. There are a few different games like this that have been around for a long time, but Air Control has consistently been the one that I turn to when I’m looking for a fun, casual and (for those who are flying) offline game.

You’re basically playing air traffic controller for a whole airfield (or aircraft carrier), guiding different sizes and speeds of planes along with helicopters down to their landing spots safely without colliding in the air. It’s one of those games that you can play for a while without actually knowing what you’re doing, but quickly ramps up and gets difficult.

It’s a fun game and hard to beat when you have some time to kill on your phone or tablet. There’s a “Lite” version of the app for free, but if you want to do any serious flying you’ll pick up the full version for $2.49 and get more maps or the HD version for $3.99 and get a tablet-friendly look and a couple additional features.

Download: Air Control (Free); HD Version ($3.99)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Repix

Repix

There's always a lot of talk about how to get the best pictures out of your Android, but there are also some great apps to turn those pictures into art. Repix, from Sumoing, is one of them.

The more conventional things like cropping, scaling and frames are supported, but the best part of Repix is the brush support. Effects like lens flare, posterizing, and spotlighting round out the 16 available artistic transformations, and the app is fluid and easy to use. Cool stuff like brushes to turn your picture into something that looks like oil on canvas isn't much good if it's hard to do. The brushes also fully support Samsung's S Pen.

The base application, with a small handful of brushes, is free. As it comes out-of-the-box it's a decent picture editor, but to get the most use out of the app you'll need to spend a little cash via in-app purchases. I suggest just spending the $5.99 and buying it all. For "creative" editing, this is the best app I've used.

Download: Repix (free, with in-app purchases)


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 9 comments

Gekko says:

How long can a chicken live running around with its head cut off? Sounds like Blackberry.

A895 says:

Really? On a apps of the week post?

Posted via Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App

meyerweb says:

LOL

icebike says:

FBReader is really a great reader for Android.

FBReader Sync Plugin needs to fix that requirement for Root just to sync reading positions. That would require them to establish some server infrastructure, or simply tie it into Google Drive. Instead they chose to sync to drop box, but still require root.
But no other e-book reader requires root to sync.

The ODPS scanner plugin is really nice if you use Calibre. You can leave Calibre running, (Its always running minimized on one of my computers), and fetch books from your Calibre library at will. (Not to mentions many other libraries).

I fail to see what the developer's storage provider of choice have to do with needing root access. I'm guessing the sync app needs root because FBReader stores reading positions in it's private data folder that's not accessible otherwise.

icebike says:

Storage choice is important. Everyone has a Google Drive account on android, but not everyone has a Dropbox account.

FBReader stores its data in /sdcard/Books/.FBReader and its not protected, you can open any of those files with Es File Explorer's text editor.

(If the Plugin developer is on such bad terms with FBReader developers that they can't arrange for an API or non-private file, and instead they choose to force users to void their warranties, then a pox on both their houses. )

mwara244 says:

Addicted to air control for 3 years, in the top 10 in the world on their leader board, had the 1st rank for over 6 months. Starts off easy enough till you land about 1400 planes, then you must course correct 20 planes at a time. Free edition and paid version and everyone is included on leader board, but you get the extra maps in paid

Kvoth says:

Yeah it's a fun game, I picked it up during the 25c (or was it the 10c?) sale.

Wouldn't pay full price, just on principle. I hate it when devs make you pay twice just to get a decent experience on your tablet.

Big endorsement for FB Reader. I needed something I could use to read my books out loud to me while I was at work. This reader works great. Recommended plugin FBReader TTS+ Plugin: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hyperionics.fbreader.p...

Even the developer of FB Reader says to use this plugin over their basic one.

This thing works with screen off, remembers where you left off, I am thoroughly impressed.