Hard to believe it's already mid October. It may be cooling down outside for some of us, but that just means there's more time to spend looking for and using great apps. We'd like to help you along with that, so we've got another great set of picks this week. Read on for apps that help you park, make a reminder list, pay for anything, reinstall apps after a reset and as always, a couple of games.
Sean Brunett - Parkmobile
I was in downtown Washington D.C. the other night for a concert and pulled up to a meter. I realized I didn’t have any quarters and quickly got frustrated. Then I saw on the meter that there was an Android app that would allow me to pay online for the fare. I downloaded it immediately, registered and put down a payment. The whole process took no longer than 5 minutes and now I can do that whenever I go into the city or another one that supports Parkmobile. All you do is download the free app, register (which includes putting your credit card and license plate number) and enter the zone of the meter which you want to place the funds. You can also choose how much time you would like to put on the meter depending on how long it supports. Parkmobile supports a lot of different cities, which can be found on their website. Highly recommended for anyone who finds themselves using meters often.
Download: Parkmobile (Free)
Chris Parsons - ZenBound 2
While digging through some of the older game reviews here on Android Central, I happened to come across one I have never read before, It was for ZenBound 2. If you've checked it out before, feel free to skip on down to the next app. However, if you've not heard of it before, it's pretty freaking amazing.
The gameplay at first is pretty hard to understand so I'll lay it out as simple as possible. You have to wrap rope around a wooden figurine and everywhere you touch with the rope, paints the wood. You have to do this in the least amount of time all while using as little rope as possible. Once painted, you then have to wrap the rope around a nail sticking on the figurine and once that has been done, the level is complete. If that all sounds crazy, check out our video for a better idea of what the heck I'm talking about.
Overall, it's a game that requires some thought and effort but it is coupled with awesome graphics and a very zen soundtrack that makes it a pretty stellar time waster, especially when relaxing.
Download: ZenBound 2 ($2.99)
Richard Devine - Notif
The expandable notifications in Jelly Bean are superb. Really they are. What we have here, in Notif, is the ability to create custom items to sit in your notification bar taking full advantage of the new features in Android 4.1. It's a really simple idea, but one which already fits into my every day life. I leave all sorts of information up there that I need for my daily routine. Quick memos for work, meeting times, literally anything. Because it's in my notification bar, I never forget about it.
Notifications can be created in a few different types, all of which fit within the Jelly Bean way of doing things. But, the option to make them persistent means you can keep things up there all day long so you really won't forget. You can add custom icons and images too, and the pro version offers a wider range of icons to suit every occasion.
Download: Notif (Free / $1.99); Jelly Bean Only
Simon Sage - Death Dome
Death Dome is a one-on-one swipe-based dueling game akin to Infinity Blade, except that this is set in a gritty post-apocalyptic world infected with all manner of wretched mutants. The game's heroine must fend off the attacks of these creatures while scavenging to survive. The M Virus, which is quarantined within this little force bubble around a city called Palamira, has manifested itself as huge creatures called Behemoths. The main character, Phonenix, has pledged to wipe them all out so that the few survivors left can actually have a chance at reaching the outside world again. Along the way, Phoenix gets kitted out in all manner of weapons, armor, and powers. Personally, I'm more impressed with Death Dome than I am with Glu's previous Infinity Blade knock-off, Blood & Glory Legend. The graphics are smooth and buttery on the Nexus 7, and there's something distinctly satisfying about cleaving off the limbs of some monster with a rusty stop sign. Also, bonus points for putting a woman in the lead role.
Of course as with any title from Glu, there are lots of banner ads and prompts to shell out cash for in-app purchases, but both are easy enough to tune out for the sake of the game's slick graphics and gory action.
Download: Death Dome (Free)
Andrew Martonik - PayPal
It seems like most people either use PayPal for a few small transactions -- like the occasional ebay purchase -- or are power users that use it for everything. I’d say I fall closer to the latter, and choose PayPal whenever I can. Maybe it’s just sheer laziness, but PayPal lets me buy things online without searching for my credit card or having my credentials entered into every site I need to buy from. All of my payments are kept in one easy to follow place.
The PayPal mobile app works great, has gotten a serious UI redesign recently and does everything I need it to do. You can manage your balance, check your account details, send and receive money and even see retailers near you that accept PayPal as payment. There’s no reason not to keep this app installed even if you’re a casual user.
Download: PayPal (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - MyAppsList
New factory images for the Nexus means a lot of wiping and flashing for this Android nerd. I'm also of the old school of thought that means I don't want to mix old data with new, so I don't use app backups when changing my operating system. Whether you agree or disagree with that, you have to admit that finding and installing all your apps again is a pain in the you-know-what. MyAppsList can help.
What you do is run the app before you do any wiping and flashing, and it gives you a list of everything you have installed along with a Google Play link (and a QR code if you want) for easy re-installing. You can have the file sent to your device storage, or anywhere that can handle an HTML file, like your email address. I have it sent to Dropbox, and when I'm back up and running I can install Dropbox, open the file, and click them to open the right page in Google Play. Sure beats Google's application market search! It's free, runs on every modern Android device (Cupcake and higher) and does what it does really well.
Download: MyAppsList (Free)
Alex Dobie - Plague Inc.
We've all been there. After a long, stressful day, sometimes all you want to do is sit back, relax and engineer a deadly infectious disease to wipe the human race from existence. Plague Inc is a simple but addictive game based around this premise -- you start by naming your disease, kitting it out with various traits, then unleash it upon an unsuspecting world. As you go, you'll determine how and where your plague spreads (and how it kills people) by spending DNA points unlocking transmission and symptom abilities. The more people you infect, the more DNA you'll get, and you can also score bonus DNA by popping bubbles that appear on-screen in real-time.
But you'll also want to watch out for the research efforts of the puny humans you're infecting. If your plague gets too scary, they'll increase research spending to work towards a cure. Naturally, there are ways of spending DNA points to slow this down, and you'll want to have eradicated humanity before the on-screen cure meter reaches 100%.
Plague Inc is available as a free download on the Google Play Store for devices running Android 2.1 and above. It's supported by optional in-app purchases that let you unlock more abilities and plague types from the get-go.
Download: Plague Inc. (Free)