Apps of the Week

It's been a whole week since our last crop of app picks, so let's get to it

Every week we take to the "Apps of the Week" post to let everyone know the apps the Android Central writers have been using on a daily basis. If they're good enough to stay on our devices out of all the apps we try, they must be doing something right -- and that's why we take this weekly segment to share them with all of you.

So what are you waiting for? Click or tap along after the break and see what we have in store for you this week.

Casey Rendon - franco.Kernel updater

franco.Kernel updater

Flashing a custom kernel can not only yield better battery life and faster system performance, but it also allows for tweaks in Android that just aren’t possible with stock software. Francisco Franco makes some of the best kernels around for all current Nexus devices (4, 7, and 10), as well as the Galaxy Nexus. The easiest way to download, install, and update Franco’s kernels is with the Kernel Updater app. Over time the features of this app have grown, and it can now control almost every aspect of the kernel: frequencies and voltages, governor and scheduler, haptic feedback strength, volume boost and gain, and color tuning -- just to name a few. There are also built in system and device monitors to let users see their status and performance in real time. A free version of this app is available, but it is extremely limited in functionality. Go for the full version, and help support this awesome kernel developer.

Download: franco.Kernel updater ($4.99)

Sean Brunett - World Politics Review Mobile

World Politics Review Mobile

World Politics Review is a publication created by those with a passion for and expert knowledge in foreign policy issues. The app provides a pretty good mobile experience for consuming the content of the publication. When you open the app, you’ll see three tabs: Briefings, Columns and Trend Lines. Briefings are the latest news and analysis put out by the experts at World Politics Review, Columns revolve are written by fewer people and aim to provide a different take on subjects, and Trend Lines are described as “quick-hitting” pieces by editors and writers from the organization. You can share pieces on Twitter or through email. If you want some in-depth perspectives on international relations, World Politics Review Mobile is a good starting point. 

Download: World Politics Review Mobile (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - The Room

The Room

The Room is one of those puzzle games that will get you hooked and you'll end up playing until your battery dies. The premise is simple; you're in a room with a locked safe. Investigate the other objects in the room with you, and find a way to unlock it. You do this by looking at and interacting with everything. It's fascinating and hard, but the game is also beautifully done.

The environment is hyper-realistic (yes, I had to invent a new word for it) with weathered wood grain, shadows and highlights, even patina on old brass lockworks. It's an excellent 3D experience that's also a little dark and gloomy. You'll want to play this one at night with the lights off for the best effect. It's also one of those games that the touch based controls are perfect, and everything is fluid and responsive.

Sure, there are no railguns or zombies to shoot them at, but if you're looking for a great puzzle game that is going to give you plenty of gameplay for your two bucks, this one will do it.

Download: The Room ($1.99)

Simon Sage - Nimble Quest

Nimble Quest

The guys that made Tiny Tower have recently released another free-to-play game called Nimble Quest. Anyone that had put time into Snake on an old Nokia will immediately have a ton of appreciation for this game. Much like the classic, players have to navigate an ever-growing line for as long as possible without bumping into anything (including themselves). The difference in Nimble Quest is that your line is composed of adventurers, and you're navigating classic fantasy locales, destroying monsters and snatching up loot along the way. Even though it's game over if you bump into any of the marauding baddies, your leading character earns experience points every round, and eventually levels up. The farther you make it, the more heroes you unlock, each with their own unique attacks and characteristics.

Nimble quest is a refreshing twist on an a classic formula that can be enjoyed by old-school mobile gamers and RPG fans alike. 

Download: Nimble Quest (Free)

Andrew Martonik - OneBusAway

OneBusAway

Another local app (and transit app) pertaining to the greater Seattle area from me this week. When you're relying on the bus and train system to get around, you really don't want to be out of the loop on routes that are running late or early. OneBusAway is an app that takes in real-time data about King County, Sound Transit and Pierce Transit systems for busses, trains and light rails -- and serves it up in a nice and clean interface. The app simply gives you a map with each of the bus or train routes as a pin at the stop. Tapping one gives you two options: "Show arrivals" and "Show routes". Arrivals will show you each bus run by number, where it's going, what the scheduled departure is and what the actual departure time is. Routes will give you an overlay on the map of the exact route the bus runs through the city.

You can then tap into a specific route to set a reminder, show information about it and show the entire schedule if you want. The interface is clean and just gets you the information you need when you're walking down the street to catch the bus. Now if we could just get some carriers to offer cell service in the transit tunnels, we'd be set.

Download: OneBusAway (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 8 comments

alacrify says:

If I could suggest - how about one of these each week called "Apps for all" and another one called "Apps in our area". Then you could provide general interest apps on one side, and taxi and shopping apps for Seattle, London, and points global on the other side. And then I wouldn't have to feel pissed (bus routes in Paducah? Really?) and then guilty (well, how else are they going to hear about it?).

icebike says:

I tend to agree that apps for specific locations probably don't belong in a world wide review site like Android Central, unless AC could find a way to allow users to set a region of interest an the weekly app review would promote only those that are pertinent to each user once they log in.

That said, one bus away take the wrong approach by throwing route maps up.

When I use seattle transit I want something that gives me a route and bus numbers from Point A to Point B, adjusted for current delays, not a collection of notoriously hard to decipher schedules from 3 or 5 different transit systems.

Google transit (in maps) attempts to do this right, and is pretty good, but not always up to date.

crxssi says:

+1

The problem is Google Maps does nothing to give you an idea of whether or not busses are running early or late. Of course GMaps can give you A to B transit times, but if you're walking down the street and need to know whether to wait for a bus or take a different route/stop, OneBusAway is going to provide that for you. It isn't a complete navigation app -- doesn't even try to be -- it's literally meant to just show routes and delays.

litlprince says:

i cant say i agree...

I mean the whole basis of it is to simply recognize a few useful/ fun/ or simply good apps that you may or may not of heard of. Its all about the apps and not so much the users who can/ can't use them.

chrisjaffe says:

Tried The Room...had high hopes after the first few minutes so I did not refund it. It was great while it lasted, but with only three chapters it was done as soon as it got started.

karyney says:

I played The Room on my iPad and was obsessed. Barely did anything else for three days (with the exception of work, eating, & sleeping)until I "beat" it. I think there are five chapters on the iOS version with more coming (soon, I hope!)

Saneless says:

Anything else like the Room? Love it, though I'm sure it's a bit short