You want some apps and we've got a list for you to check out
It's Saturday afternoon, and among other things that means it's time to check out our Apps of the Week column. We round up a grouping of apps from each of the Android Central writers and put them on display here, accompanying each with a quick explanation of why we're currently using them. Sometimes the apps are new, sometimes they're old, but in any case if they're installed on our devices they have something going for them.
We have games, wallpapers, tools and utilities to show off this week — catch the full list after the break
Alex Dobie - Muzei Live Wallpaper
Modern smartphones have huge high-res screens, and finding great-looking wallpapers —live or otherwise — that don't get stale after a while can be difficult. Enter Muzei, from Google's Roman Nurik, the brain behind DashClock Widget. By default Muzei populates your home screen with a new piece of fine art every day — with configurable blurring and dimming — but like DashClock it's also infinitely customizable. You can choose a selection of your own photos and refresh at various intervals, or choose one of the many Muzei extensions to pull images from 500px, Reddit, Flickr, National Geographic and elsewhere.
The app itself is also free, and a gorgeous example of how to follow Android's design language while keeping things looking fresh and unique.
Download: Muzei Live Wallpaper (Free)
Richard Devine - Local Flickr Muzei
With the recent release of the excellent Muzei Live Wallpaper from Roman Nurik we're surely going to see a mass of developers jumping on board with plug-ins. There are already a bunch of good ones in the Play Store, but I wanted to highlight this one that I've fallen for. You can probably guess from the title, but this plug-in will pull Flickr images for the wallpaper based upon your current location.
I like it for similar reasons to liking Yahoo! Weather so much. I'm fortunate enough to live in a pretty photogenic city (at times) and I love to see some of the awesome photos folks have taken of it. I think Nurik just solved wallpapers for a lot of us for many a year to come.
Download: Local Flickr Muzei (Free)
Simon Sage - Slender Man Origins
I needed a bit of spookiness this week to offset all of the lovey-dovey Valentines Day stuff. To that end, I gave Slender Man Origins a try. You need to navigate through limited visibility to find missing children while avoiding a tall, faceless monster with tentacles on his back. Vision blurs when he approaches you, giving you a bit of time to flee, but if you don’t get away quickly enough, well, the game leaves your fate to your imagination. The audio does a stand-up job of setting the atmosphere, and the horror gameplay is solid. If you’re into this kind of thing, you should also check out the Amnesia games on PC.
Download: Slender Man Origins ($2.99)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Stack Exchange
Stack Exchange is a native Android app for the Stack Exchange network, and it's a darn good one. All the communities are there — Stack Overflow, Ask Ubuntu, Server Vault and the rest — and you have full access across the Stack network. You can ask questions, answer questions, vote on questions and answers, or just lurk and learn. In addition, there's the running feed with the current most popular questions across the network, and in-app search works a treat.
Whether you're a programmer, a photographer, a gamer or just curious, this is great way to get started with Stack Exchange, and chances are you'll be able to learn something — as well as help teach. It's a must-have.
Download: Stack Exchange (Free)
Phil Nickinson - Next Exit History
Here's an app in the same vein of Niantic's Field Trip that helps you find nearby things to see and do. A big difference with Next Exit History, however, is that it employs historians and scholars to create the stops and backpacks, which it says gives a higher level of quality than crowdsourcing. The "Find" section pops up a map with nearby points of interest, or you can browser the backpacks already created. Next Exit History boasts more than 55,000 historic locations.
Download: Next Exit History (Free)
Andrew Martonik - FCC Speed Test
Lots of folks have a speed test app of some sort installed on their phones to make sure they're getting the speeds they expect out of their mobile networks or to compare from place to place. Alongside Speedtest.net, I've had the FCC Speed Test app installed as of late for testing. This app provides not only download and upload speeds, but also latency, packet loss, cell tower ID, signal strength and device information all in one results page.
You can perform one-off tests but also allow the app to test regularly in the background up to a certain limit of data usage (you can turn this off completely if you'd like). Best of all, the data collected from the FCC Speed Test app goes back to the FCC, which is compiling the data into a public domain report that will hold network operators accountable to offering speeds that they advertise and promise to customers. It doesn't have the flashiest UI ever, but the data is solid, easy to read and helps feed that information back to regulators that can keep the carriers honest.
Download: FCC Speed Test (Free)