Apps of the Week

Weekly app picks. You want 'em, we got 'em. We're a little short on app choices this week, but we think the ones that are here are worth mentioning. As a good follow-up to last week's post we have another voice recorder, and March Madness is on so we've got something for the basketball fans as well.

Hang around with us after the break and see how we did with this week's picks.

Casey Rendon - Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder

Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder

A good audio recording app is a necessity for me, especially during school. I don’t always pay attention during lectures, so I have to make sure the recordings I take are clear and of high quality. Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder does everything I need, and does it well. One of my favorite features is that it records directly into MP3 format, saving tons of space over time. To save even more space, you can adjust the quality of the files by changing the bit rate. For phones that have more than one microphone, you can toggle between them for audio input. If the sound you’re recording is too soft or loud, you can also tweak the gain to adjust recording volumes. Make sure to try the app out using the free version first. If you like it, you can buy the full version to enable unlimited recordings, pause function, and up to a 320 kbps bit rate.

Download: Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder (Free)

Sean Brunett - NCAA March Madness Live

NCAA March Madness Live

March Madness is one of the best weekends in American sports. It’s when 64 of the best college teams play in a single elimination tournament. To fully enjoy all of the games, you’ll want to check out the official app, NCAA March Madness Live. With the app, you get live scores, live game feeds (any game on CBS is free, any on the other networks requires a paid subscription), live audio feeds, an up-to-date bracket and the ability to share to your favorite social network. With so many games going on simultaneously, it’s often difficult to keep up. This app helps a lot. I used it on Thursday to watch games on my Nexus 7 while watching other games on the TV. It worked great!

Download: NCAA March Madness Live (Free)

Richard Devine - WeVideo for Android

WeVideo for Android

WeVideo has had a basic video editing app available in the Chrome Web Store for some time now, but the free app has now also made its way to Android -- albeit in limited form at the moment. And that's the biggest drawback right now, it's limited. Officially supported devices are limited to the Samsung Galaxy Note, Note 2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus and the Google Nexus 4. It is still a beta product though, so we'd expect better device compatibility in the coming weeks and months.

Those who can use it, will see a great looking video editing app. It's relatively simple, but does allow for some trimming and editing of your mobile video clips, as well as in-app recording. Throw in some background music tracks, some of the pre-installed 'styles' and cloud syncing, and WeVideo is actually a pretty fun little app to mess around with.

Download: WeVideo for Android (Free)

Andrew Martonik - NFC TagInfo

NFC TagInfo

I recently received a new transit card, so my natural first reaction was to try and scan it using my Nexus 4's NFC. Hopping into Google Play, I found NFC TagInfo and it worked like a charm in my application. A few swipes over the card and I was given every piece of relevant information on the card. Like most times that you get NFC to work right now, it kind of feels like magic.

There's some fun novelty uses for NFC TagInfo, but you could also put it to good use if you're trying to configure our own NFC tags or find one out in the wild. It's not the prettiest app ever, but what matters is the information it gathers and displays is very useful.

Download: NFC TagInfo (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Crackle

Crackle

2013 is going to be the year of 1080p displays, and that means you'll want to watch video clips and movies on your Android devices even more than you do now. A great way to do that, one that doesn't seem to get enough attention, is with the Crackle service.

Crackle is free, and it's a great cross-platform way to watch TV shows and films on your tablet, desktop, or smart phone. You'll not find every first run movie, but there's bound to be something you want to watch when you have time. It shows as compatible with all my devices (one of the few apps that can boast this), and the price is right.

I've been using the Android app as well as the Chrome extension for a while, and have found the service as good or better than comparable offerings like Netflix. Give it a try, as you don't have anything to lose if you don't find something you like.

Download: Crackle (Free)

Phil Nickinson - EXIF Editor and Viewer

EXIF Editor and Viewer

I'm extremely lucky to have this ridiculously awesome job that lets me travel all over the world and take pictures of some incredible places. And I love sharing those pictures. But when I'm home, I'd prefer to not have the precise coordinates of my living room (or, ahem, occasionally my bedroom) broadcast all over the Internet, ya know? I don't have a good workflow for turning geotagging off and on. It's usually buried in the camera settings, and I try to stay out of those whenever possible. Some services, like Google+, allow you to hide location data after publishing a image. But not all. So this week I've tried stripping the GPS info out of the EXIF data. It's not something I need to do all that often. But when I do want to edit the EXIF fields, I want to do it quickly.

EXIF Editor and View is a simple and intuitive application. Tap a field to edit or remove it. Then choose whether to save as a new image, or to overwrite the original. 

It's an extra step, but it's easy, and it's good for my piece of mind.

Download: EXIF Editor and Viewer ($1.93)


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.

 

Reader comments

Apps of the Week: Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder, NCAA March Madness Live, WeVideo and more!

12 Comments
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Good call on Crackle. I've had it one my tablet for a while and I love it.

By the way Jerry, can I get your One after you get your next phone?

Please?

Sorry, I'm going to have to completely disagree with Crackle. Saw it in the Google Play Store recently, so I thought I'd give it a try - what a waste:
1. Not only does the video currently being watched start over again if an ad pops up, but if it has to buffer (which happened every time I watched one, and this was on a solid WiFi signal) it restarts at the beginning as well. How lame is it that they can't pick up where they left off. And when you open the viewer, there's no indication of where you had been - you're left fiddling around to find the point at which the buffering occurred.
2. The selection leaves much to be desired - I thought I'd take a look at Seinfeld episodes, and there appeared to be only one episode from each season, and no seasons before season 6. So there were only half-a-dozen episodes in all; so much for any continuity.
Given the very limited selection, and the restart-from-beginning behavior, I could only justify one star out of 5.

A recent update to the NCAA app seemed to improve it considerably. The quality is great and the layout is simple and direct. Didn't know it would time you out after four hours requiring you to log in via your cable provider which turned out in my case to be the end of the Georgetown vs. Florida Gulf Coast. Logged back in just in time.

I love the March Madness app. I used it to watch games all day Thursday. I wish more sports leagues offered something like this for the same price point.

Had Crackle until I found out it was the cause of all the ads in my notification bar. No more ads after I deleted it.

Are you really sure it was Crackle? I have it on both my phone and tablet and have never had an ad in the notification bar on either.

The WeVideo review mistakenly lists the Galaxy Nexus as being compatible. Here's the list of compatible devices from the developer: Samsung Galaxy S III
Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung Galaxy Note II
Google Nexus
Google Nexus 4

'Google Nexus' isn't a thing. They meant Galaxy Nexus, which I can confirm because it installs and works fine on my GNex, and the review merely corrects the developers' mistake.

I used to use Hi-Q, but then I discovered RecForge. Not only does it support WAV and OGG recording in addition to MP3, but it can also browse and play from/record to any location on your SD card or internal storage. Last time I used it, Hi-Q was limited to its own folder, and any files in that folder that it did not have recorded in its app data would not show up in the file list, which made ROM flashes really annoying. There's also an optional preview mode that lets you see the waveform and adjust the gain before beginning the recording proper.

Crackle was terribly disappointing... not because of a lack of selection. Every single time an ad/commercial ran during the movie, it restarted back to the beginning...and then I was left trying to figure out where the hell I was at in the movie. Then, to make matters much worse, once I moved the scale forward, the movie would play for .02 seconds before another ad played. If I waited for the ad to end, the movie would restart AGAIN. It's an endless cycle. It eventually got really, really bad, and caused the movie to be unwatchable.

Crackle was good for finding a movie I wanted to watch, and then I went on Netflix and watched it.