Apps of the Week

You shouldn't be surprised at this point that we bring you the apps of the week every Saturday afternoon. What we hope to surprise you with is the variety and quality of the apps we choose. The Android Central writers try their best to find some diamonds in the rough, the little-known apps that we use ourselves but may not be on every device out there.

Hang on after the break and see how we did this week.

Jerry Hildenbrand - JuiceSSH

JuiceSSH

If you have any servers running at work (or even at home) and are looking for a great way to connect, you need to have a look at JuiceSSH. Really quickly for those scratching their head, this app connects to an SSH server. SSH is a very common way for remote connections to administer a server, because it can be secured very tightly. It gives you full command line access and actually logs you in to the remote server. Very cool stuff.

Back to the app. JuiceSSH is a full-color terminal and SSH client, that will connect right out of the box to any standard server. There are a couple good clients in Google Play, but JuiceSSH offers the things I need in a well coded app with a great interface. There's a great pop-up keyboard for times when you need the tab or control keys, support for my Bluetooth external keyboard as well as the keyboard dock on ASUS tablets, and it keeps multiple sessions going in the background. And this is all part of the free version. Things like syncing between devices and a place to store "snippets" you use often are available as an in-app purchase. JuiceSSH is for phones or tablets running Gingerbread or higher, and you can download it for free from Google Play.

Download: JuiceSSH (Free); In-app purchase ($4.99)

Richard Devine - 7x7

7x7

Not sure how I happened upon this one, or what I was searching for, but I'm pretty pleased I found it all the same. 7x7 is a pretty simple, and very colorful puzzler that is set on a grid of -- you guessed it -- 7x7.

The object of the game is to move colored squares around and make lines of 4 or more. You're served a random selection of squares each turn, but you get to see in advance what you're getting. Moves can be made to any available square, so long as there is a clear path to it.

Graphically everything is very flat, no funky textures or anything, and I like that. Better yet I haven't put it down in a week, so if you're a puzzle game fan or even just want something casual yet addicting, give it a whirl.

Download: 7x7 (Free)

Sean Brunett - Audible for Android

 

I wrote about the big Audible update a while ago when it first received the ability to sync your listening position across devices. At the time, it was clunky and would only work sporadically. I’m a big Audible fan and listener, so this feature is very important to me. After working out some bugs, the app now works really well with syncing across various devices. It’s nice because I consistently use a variety of phones and tablets, all of which at various times become my consumption devices. If you haven’t used the feature yet, it’s easy to do. Go to your Audible library, hold down on the title you want to sync and you’ll see a few options, Sync Position being one of them. Click on it and it will automatically sync where you are so that next time that you pick up a new device, you can pick up where you left off. The Audible app is great and made even better with this feature. Highly recommended for any Audible fans like me. 

Download: Audible for Android (Free)

Phil Nickinson - Carbon for Twitter

Carbon for Twitter

Consider this my two-weeks-in update on the Carbon Twitter app, which has garnered a garnered a strange amount of criticism for a free application that requires very little investment from us users. I'm still using Carbon as my daily Twitter app. What keeps me coming back is the smoothness of the scrolling. It mighti well be without equal. (That's probably an overstatement, but whatever.) The design remains simple, if a little artsy, and it might not be for everyone, and that's cool. I'm digging it, and the subtle animations. Where some bemoan the disparity of bells and whistles compared to other Twitter apps, I'm enjoying the simplicity. (And that's not to say more functionality won't be added down the road.) The asymetrical app icon doesn't really do it for me, but that's nit-picky on my part and really not a big deal. Just something that stands out. There's a misunderstanding about "push" notifications on third-party Twitter clients. But running a site like Android Central, push notifications become unbearable noise in about 5 seconds.  So the manual pull-to-refresh is fine for me. The two-finger pull to get to the top (or bottom) of a list is fine, in theory, but it significantly cramps one-handed use.

Download: Carbon for Twitter (Free)

Andrew Martonik - Carbon - App Sync and Backup

Carbon Backup

The other big app named "Carbon" in the Android news lately has nothing to do with Twitter... well, except it can backup and restore your Twitter client of choice when you wipe your phone. Carbon - App Sync and Backup does just what the name implies, it backs up and restores your apps and their associated data whenever you want them to. In the free version, you can backup to your local storage and restore to the same device. With the paid version -- just $4.99 -- you get more advanced features like scheduled backups, backups to cloud storage accounts and syncing between devices.

It's a must-have for anyone who switches devices or factory resets often. But the big bonus of this over similar apps is that it doesn't require root, which means even the more casual user can benefit from its features.

Download: Carbon Backup (Free); Premium ($4.99)

Alex Dobie - 4oD

Android Central

With the launch of 4oD for Android this week, all the major UK broadcasters now have TV streaming apps available on the platform. Much like its web player, Channel 4's 4oD app is free but ad-supported, and you'll need to create an account before you can start watching. The app itself is well designed, tying in elements of Android's "holo" design language like the action bar and swipe controls to switch between tabs. And Channel 4 has a lot of original content that you won't find freely available elsewhere -- the only downside is you'll need to stream over Wifi for the moment, as the app prevents you from using mobile data to stream content.

Regardless, for those in the UK, the free 4oD app is an easy recommendation. It's available for free for UK-based Android devices running version 4.0 and up.

Download: 4oD (Free, UK-only)