News, tools and fun - we cover all the bases this week
Welcome back to yet another edition of our Apps of the Week, where we show off the apps that the Android Central writers have been using over the past week. We have another full and diverse list for your enjoyment, and that means we're likely to show off at least one app that grabs your attention. What matters to us is being able to show off apps that we've personally enjoyed, because app discovery can be tough sometimes.
Hang with us after the break and see how this week's picks stack up with the rest. If you find one that you like, be sure to let us know how it works for you.
Sean Brunett - Ghostbusters Fans
The other day I was thinking about rumors swirling about a new Ghostbusters film. I, for one, am all in for a third installment in the series because I’m a huge fan of the first two. I came across the website Ghostbusters Fans, where people who really enjoy the movies can come together to chat about topics relating to ghostbusters, from the movies to the comic books and video games. It’s a very well done website and there is an Android app for anyone interested. You can browse the message board, post and receive notifications. Definitely recommend it to anyone who loves the Ghostbusters franchise! Who you gonna call?
Download: Ghostbusters Fans (Free)
Casey Rendon - Tasker
Tasker is arguably the most powerful Android application in the Play Store. It can automate tasks and create widgets for a seemingly endless number of situations. With this incredible potential comes a steep learning curve, which is why I’m still only scratching the surface of what this app can do myself. One of the widgets I created, called “Car,” turns off Wi-Fi, sets the ringer to silent, turns on Bluetooth, and opens my podcast app. I also have a widget called “Home” that basically does the opposite of “Car.” This is similar to what an NFC app can do, except there are no NFC tags required. The more impressive side of Tasker is found in its automation capabilities. Tasker can execute tasks based on context and/or location. For example, Wi-Fi can be turned off when leaving home, once the device is out of range of local cell towers. For a stolen phone, an owner can send a text with a keyword to the device, and Tasker will reply with the phone’s GPS coordinates. A device’s ringer/notification sounds can be automatically turned off at night, and back on in the morning. The possibilities are endless. Check out these video guides or the Tasker Wiki for more examples. You’ll be amazed at what your Android can do, all on its own.
Download: Tasker ($2.99)
Simon Sage - GetGlue
GetGlue, the TV and movie check-in network, had a pretty big update to their Android app recently, so I decided to get back into it. When exploring new shows, now it will suggest stuff based on your previous check-ins and which you've marked as liked. This is great when you're wondering what to watch. You'll also see what's trending, so you'll know about any big sports matches happening. You can now tag fellow Gluebers in your check-ins with @ mentions, which further enhances the already-busy conversations surrounding the latest shows. As always, you can earn virtual and real stickers by checking in at certain shows at certain times. If you fancy yourself a TV or movie buff, you should probably be checking out GetGlue.
Download: GetGlue (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Factory Balls
A great relaxed puzzle game, Factory Balls forces you to use logic, luck, and trial and error to paint a ball to match the given example. You use equipment like belts, hats and earmuffs to mask portions of the ball to recreate the example pattern, and it's not nearly as easy as it sounds.
Oh it starts simple enough, but around level 30 things start to get complicated and you'll really need that trial and error factor I talked about. There aren't any zombies and you're not battling people online, but it's a great way to quietly use your noggin for something other than a hat rack.
Download: Factory Balls ($0.99)
Chris Parsons - Despicable Me 2 Minion Rush
With a new Despicable Me movie on its way, there was sure to a video game tie in and of course, Gameloft hasn't let me down. They've gone ahead and released Minion Rush starring those lovable little minion fellas and it's pretty awesome. Yes, it's a runner game just like Temple Run but it's funner because well Minions. With a few in-app purchases here and there, the game still stands tall and is quite enjoyable and funny at the same time.
Download: Despicable Me 2 Minion Rush (Free)
Phil Nickinson - Launch Ticker
Here's a different sort of aggregated news "ticker" from longtime tech insider and investor Jason Calacanis. Born from an e-mail newsletter, Launch Ticker is sort of a Techmeme, only without the noise. Stories are curated, so you're not going to see every hot breaksclusive, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Summaries are succinct and include relevant Twitter links of the parties involved, and occasionally commentary from Calacanis himself. A simple swipe will open the source story within the Launch Ticker app (to varying degrees of success, at times), and you can open the source story in an external browser as well. My only niggle is that I prefer to see the source of the story listed in plain sight, but I get that if the stories are curated, the idea is that the source is accurate. But I like the transparency, and it helps give context.
It's also worth signing up for the e-mail newsletter if you're into this sort of insider news roundup.
Download: Launch Ticker (free)
Andrew Martonik - Where's My Mickey?
Disney has been knocking it out of the park lately with games built on top of the original "Where's My Water?" title, and the latest one is no exception. I spent far more time than I'd like to admit on the original game, which may look like it's aimed at kids but gets quite tough in the later stages of the game. The latest game brings in the old favorite of Mickey Mouse front and center, and it doesn't disappoint. The animation calls back to the earlier days of Mickey and the whole game has a bit of a retro feel to it, which is really great for someone that grew up with early Disney movies.
A little bit of nostalgia and a lot of fun gameplay for just $0.99 is hard to beat.
Download: Where's My Mickey ($0.99)