Apps of the Week

Another great grouping of apps for you to check out this weekend

While all of this impending Nexus and KitKat news may be taking all of the spotlight in the Android world, we're still carving out some time for the Apps of the Week. Each Saturday we get the writers here at Android Central to tell us about an app that they've been using in the last week. No matter the genre, styling or overall popularity of the app, we just want to show off what the folks here at AC have been using on their own devices.

This week we have another nice grouping of apps, including a way to donate to charity, a few great games and some odds-and-ends. Read along with us after the break, see how this week's picks stack up against the rest and maybe you'll come away with a few new apps to try this weekend.

Sean Brunett - One Today by Google

One Today by Google

My app this week is a Google app, but one that does not get as much attention as it deserves. One Today is a fantastic app that lets you donate to different worthy causes once a day. It was invite-only until recently, but now is open to the public. Here is how it works: Every day, you will get a notification about a new cause that you can donate to. You can choose to donate to that cause or choose something else that matters a little more to you. For each organization or charity, you can view a description, how the money is used and how far your dollar will go. You then choose to either donate $1 to the project or you choose to match donations made by your friends. Once you have donated, you cannot donate again until the next day. I think it’s a brilliant idea and a brilliant app. They keep is cheap so it works as more of a micro-donation that many will donate to. They choose worthwhile causes; everyone will find something that they care about enough to donate. I have been loving this app since I was able to get it and I hope most of you consider downloading it and donating to good causes with it. 

Download: One Today by Google (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Hangouts (for iOS)

Hangouts (for iOS)

I'm running the risk of being tarred and feathered here, but this week, just this one time, I have to pick an application that none of us can install on our Androids. That's because I think this is the most important app that's ever been released on any platform. Yes, that's how great I think the latest version of Hangouts for iOS is.

Google just created a way for 90-plus percent of connected people on the planet to talk to each other. Put your fandom and pride away for a few minutes and realize that now anyone with an iPod touch can now call anyone with an Android phone, an iOS device, or a computer that runs the Chrome browser. That's bigger than any one app on one platform. Only Google could do this, and I'm so glad they did.

Download from iTunes: Hangouts (Free, for iOS)

Chris Parsons - Re-Volt: Classic

Re-Volt: Classic

I’m reaching back to another classic game from my younger years that has now seen a mobile revamp. Having first been released by the now defunct Acclaim back in 1999, Re-Volt: Classic is a fun little racer that strays a bit from the norm in the fact you’re not actually racing real race cars. Instead, you’re presented to be racing radio-controlled race cars through normal, everyday obstacles. All in all, there is 14 tracks to play through and 42 different cars to be obtained. The controls are simple and based on just steering left and right, acceleration is automatically controlled and braking is handled just by placing two  fingers on the display. That type of control makes it fun and easy for everyone to pick it up and just go. Re-Volt: Classic is available in two versions really. The ad infused demo version is available as a free download while the full featured and paid version is also available. If you’re on the fence, grab the free version and give it a go. If you decide you want the full version, that will set you back around $4.50.

Download: Re-Volt: Classic ($4.49); Demo version (Free)

Casey Rendon - Final Fantasy V

Marvel Puzzle Quest

Ah, the Final Fantasy series. A good many hours of my childhood were spent leveling up, collecting items, and traversing the dungeons of many games in this series. For anyone that isn't familiar with [s]Squaresoft's[/s] Square Enix's famous franchise, Final Fantasy is a series of Role Playing Games where the player assumes the role of a hero who collects weapons, armor, magic spells, and comrades on his or her quest to defend the land against a great evil and that evil's minions. This particular game, Final Fantasy V, was never originally released in the U.S. In America, it went from Final Fantasy IV (which was called Final Fantasy II here) to Final Fantasy VI (which was called Final Fantasy III here), both of which were released for Super Nintendo. FFV was eventually released many years later for the Playstation and Game Boy Advance.

The game begins with a wanderer named Bartz and his trusty Chocobo steed (giant yellow bird he rides) named Boko. He runs into a damsel in distress in the woods, and from there quickly becomes enveloped in a plot to defend the world's four magic Crystals against the evil sorcerer Exdeath. This time around, the game gets a full graphical makeover with HD graphics, a new touch interface, and in-game additions like new job types for the game's job system. If you've played this game before and want an excuse to play it again, you played the other Final Fantasy games for Super Nintendo and enjoyed them, or you're just a fan of old school RPGs, this game is a great way to kill some time. It's not cheap, but it is on sale for 30% off, bringing the price down to $10.99 in the Play Store.

Download: Final Fantasy V ($10.99)

Simon Sage - Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign

Android Central

Match three puzzle games have been done to death, but if you toss in some proper strategy mechanics, and super heroes you know and love, you can get something fresh. Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign gives players a team of heroes. The game board is littered with random tiles, each corresponding to a hero. Line up a match, and that hero attacks whichever bad guy is in front and takes a hit from that bad guy in return. Villains put special attacks on individual tiles with a timer; if you can't match that tile before the turn countdown winds down, you'll get hit with a doozy. As you collect specific tiles, you also charge up your own super-powers, which can be upgraded as you chew through the single player campaign. Once you're through the story, you can launch into online multiplayer. Comic fans looking for a casual time-killer will probably get a kick out of Marvel Puzzle Quest - the snappy writing, polished graphics, and long-term progression are all solid.

Download Now: Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign (free)

Andrew Martonik - CBS

CBS

The last few weeks I’ve been featuring apps that have helped me keep up with TV without a full-blown cable setup, and this week I’m going to feature another app in that genre -- CBS. If you’re a fan of CBS content (Big Bang Theory, anyone?), you can keep up with full episodes right on your phone or tablet with this app.

It’s unfortunate that the different cable channels make you jump through the hoop of having their apps installed to get a good selection of shows, but at least they’re available somewhere. This is a good one to keep in your stable of cord-cutting cable replacement apps.

Download: CBS (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.

 

Reader comments

Apps of the Week: One Today, Final Fantasy V, Re-Volt: Classic and more!

44 Comments

Agreed. But Jerry needs to stop waving that over priced music player about and put up an Android phone again before he does get tarred. I can hear the stuff boiling up now....anyone got the feathers? :-)

Posted via Android Central App

Yes that's the beauty of the new hangouts app. Any device includes phones ;)

Posted via Android Central App

Before people pitchfork Jerry I would like to remind everyone that we're in a week or two maximum countdown to a new OS and device announcement that will 99% sure will come with new hangout for Android with a proper voice/SMS integration and probably a Chromecast international release. So let's all be happy with whatever piece of silicon and plastic you have in your hand.

Posted via Android Central App

Hangouts is probably really awesome, but in what way is it fundamentally different from Skype? Except running Skype in Chrome you have been able to do that forever with Skype on almost all platforms that exist, including calling with Skype Out.

Posted via Android Central App

Same thing I was thinking as I read the grand claims of world transformation. Skype has been offering this for a couple of years, not to mention Tango as well.

Personally, I still see no real world functionality that requires me to use Hangouts at all. So while it is perfectly fine to like it, and find it a nice alternative to all the other apps that do the same things, it gets tiring to continually read about how the "Google version" is doing this or that for the first time. It's those kind of delirious claims we make fun of Apple evangelists over...

-Suntan

I have 4 laptops. Skype only runs on one of them. 

It used to run on the other three, then Microsoft intentionally pulled support. 

Also — Hangouts lets you call phones, including land-lines, free. Not just other hangouts users.

Jerry, could you PLEASE elaborate (or rather, get one of the POMs to elaborate) on how hangouts calling works internationally? You mention "90-plus percent of connected people on the planet" but I'm yet to see a single decent article anywhere on non-US usage.

From what I can gather this can only be used to call phone numbers, so without a Voice number, we won't be able to receive calls via hangouts. Also we will be charged to call other phones in our own respective countries, but everyone can call US/canada for free. Not sure if i'm understanding this correctly, but doesn't seem terribly useful if that's the case.

Sorry to hear you have such problems getting your laptops straightened out. Personally, I have skype running on 8 different devices, from phones and tablets to desktops and laptops, one still running XP. On top of that, I maintain skype working on multiple devices (via VNC) at both sets of parents' houses. It's not that difficult, even factoring in the tendency for older folk to just click "OK" anytime they see a dialog box. On top of that, it's running on many other devices that friends/siblings maintain themselves.

Not that I find skype particularly great, in fact I don't. But it is what we use for this type of thing because, as you know, it was made available on multiple platforms years before Google offered it with hangouts. Despite you claiming otherwise in the article.

I guess what I'm saying is, I believe you're giving Hangouts more credit than it deserves, and you're doing it in a way that harkens to Apple's reality distortion field. That just makes me, and others I would presume, less inclined to take your other reviews seriously. Now, if you would have just stated you think it is a neat app because you've tried all the other alternatives and can't seem to keep them working on your devices, that would at least be factual. But you didn't, you hyped it up to claim "Google just created a way for 90-plus percent of connected people on the planet to talk to each other... ...Only Google could do this, and I'm so glad they did" for the sake of sensationalism, and that is the part I take umbrage with.

But hey, it's your article on your blog. Continue to think however you want. If you want to continue claiming things that are historically untrue, that's that. You are holding an Apple device after all...

-Suntan

Show me Skype working on a Chromebook and we'll talk. Microsoft pulled support for an unknown reason.

Until then, you're just acting smug while being wrong at the same time. But then again, being smug and not investigating before you comment seems to be a common occurrence on the Internet.  

My real-world experience is that Hangouts video calling quality is light years ahead of Skype's. This is between 2 iOS devices, an Android phone, and a Windows laptop.

I think you nailed it down. You are using third party apps that want your money or want to subject you to ads in return for their product. The Google version are integrated features that are always free and always provide the same level or better of service. And as Jerry said, with far less random bugs/issues.

I initiated a hangout with my brother at the store from my nexus 7 (2012) wifi to his GNex on vzwlte to show me an item to get and pick up for me to make sure it was the right one. Pretty useful.

If you love iphone apps so much,go blog about them somewhere else. Here is a shock: I read this blog to learn about ANDRIOD. Not freaking iphones.

He was making a point about the future of Google's messaging service, which has been rumored to replace the stock messaging app in Kit Kat.

You still got plenty of Android apps in this post, if you don't like the site anymore than find something that better suits your needs and wants as a reader. But let people like Jerry try and tell us how big this can be without ridicule, when that's the beauty of this site.

Wow I gotta defend Jerry? You guys railing on him will get over it. I know he can be tough sometimes but you gotta give it to him, he is well rounded.

If you don't look at the competition you are just a fanboi and cannot be objective. By looking elsewhere it helps the site be better than the rest.

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My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

I think it is android related. As of now its nice to know I can finally video call with my android device to my friends iphone finally. I never used skype and can't use facetime, and everyone has a gmail account which allows g+ hangouts.

Still not working. Haven't been able to send or receive a text in ages on the thing, and none of the tricks work. I don't understand how this is not fixed yet, because it's not just me.

I use it to learn a little about it, but for most people with one, it's their only way to communicate. That must suck.

For Re-Volt Classic, any chance it supports local multiplayer? These kind of racing games get boring pretty fast if you can't play against friends.

-Suntan

Nah Jerry, people around here like you too much to tar and feather you.
But I'd suggest waiting at least 3 years before you put up another picture of an iPhone just so you don't press your luck.

I think he should change his signature.

Posted from my iPhone 5j...

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My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

Really Jerry? Really? It's bad enough Google is trying to pish it's own users to IOS but you waving you little iPhone in our face doesn't help...jk by the way

Posted via Android Central App

I know, right? I thought the $4.50 was steep for the racing game, but $11 is nuts.

And more than 10,000 installs!

Couldn't iSheep just download GrooVe IP 2 years ago to call phones?

Oh that's right, they couldn't..