Apps of the Week

A handful of apps that stay on our devices week after week

Few things are constant in the Android world, but we hope to bring some consistency with our Apps of the Week column each Saturday. We take a little bit of time each weekend to show off the apps that each of the folks here at AC have been using in the previous week.

This week's edition has a new game to try out, a few different tools and a way to keep up on your favorite sports when you're out of the house. Read along with us after the break and see how the picks stack up this week.

Simon Sage - Pivvot

Pivvot

Pivvot is a deceptively simple abstract game where players are pulled along a track and have to move out of the way from incoming obstacles. A central dot is actually what's following the track, but you control a second dot that orbits it clockwise or counterclockwise at a fixed radius, depending which side of the screen you tap. That second dot is the you have to keep clear from a gauntlet of obstacles. It's a long track to get through, but luckily there are plenty of waypoints to respawn from, several game modes, and the solid soundtrack will keep your head bopping. 

Download: Pivvot ($2.99)

Sean Brunett - Health and Nutrition Guide

Health and Nutrition Guide

Fall is upon us, which means it’s extra important to take good care of yourself so you don’t get sick. The app Health and Nutrition Guide can help you on-the-go if you’re looking for ways to improve your diet, advice on which vitamins to take and other tips to live a healthy lifestyle. When you open the app, you will see six options: Health Tips, Nutrition Tips, Health Recipes, Vitamins & Minerals Sources, Nutrition Charts and Nutrition Calculators. I have already used the app quite and a bit and have learned much more about where to get Vitamin K that I did not know prior. The UI isn’t the greatest, but if you are looking for an app that lets you quickly look up health tips and advice, this is the one to get. 

Download: Health and Nutrition Guide (Free)

Casey Rendon - WhatSong

WhatSong

This one goes out to all the DashClock users out there. For those that aren't familiar with DashClock, it's a lockscreen widget (for Android 4.2+) that can use extensions to display unread SMS and Gmail counts, display the weather, show upcoming calendar events, and a seemingly endless list of other things. WhatSong now joins that list as an extension that allows quick access to song searches, right from the lockscreen. When a song is ending and you want to find out its name and/or artist, time is precious — being able to tap once on a lockscreen shortcut instead of having to navigate to a desktop widget or open an app saves time. Plus, WhatSong can use any number of sound searches, including Google Now/Sound Search, Shazam, Soundhound, TrackID, musiXmatch, and SoundTracking. It's free, and makes a great addition to any DashClock widget collection.

Download: WhatSong (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - F-Stop Media Gallery

F-Stop Media Gallery

I've been testing the Sony QX10, and the G2, which means I'm taking a lot of pictures. I quickly learned that if you take a lot of pictures, the default gallery app that comes on your phone — whether it be from Samsung, or HTC, or LG or Google or anyone — sucks for trying to view through them all. I have folders from different camera apps, folders from image editors, and a pictures folder that gets things in it somehow even though I've never opened it. I think. Anyhoo, I quickly figured out I needed a better gallery. So I did what any normal Android nerd would do — headed to Google Play and installed a crap-ton of them.

There is no doubt that, to me, F-Stop Media gallery rules the roost. You get a nice, well sorted gallery view like you're used to, with support for regular albums or what they call smart albums based on the actual metadata of the images. It even can correctly find the date the image was taken, not the date it was last copied or edited, which is something I've never found another app able to do. You can tell it which folders to exclude (no more Downloads folder showing up with crap you got from the web) and even password protect folders if you have any of those kind of images. I splurged and bought the $5 pro key so I can even create image folders inside image folders — yo dawg, we heard you like folders ...

If you need a better image gallery (and it's OK to admit that you don't) give F-Stop a shot. I'm glad I did.

Download: F-Stop Media Gallery (Free); Paid ($4.99)

Andrew Martonik - NBC Sports Live Extra

NBCSN Live Extra

I may be a little behind the curve here, but just last weekend I discovered NBC Sports Live Extra when I was looking for a way to watch the Seattle Seahawks game on my computer. This fantastic service provided by NBC lets you watch live and recorded sporting events on your computer or phone provided you're a current internet or cable subscriber with one of its partners.

Now that NBC Sports Network is improving its offerings to include high-profile NFL games, nationally televised MLS games and most recently soccer from some of the best European leagues, I'm spending a lot more time with this service. The app doesn't have the highest ratings in the Play Store, but I'm not entirely sure why — it looks half decent and streams videos just fine. What's not to love about getting your favorite sports on the go?

Download: NBC Sports Live Extra (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: Pivvot, Health and Nutrition Guide, WhatSong and more!

35 Comments

"It even can correctly find the date the image was taken, not the date it was last copied or edited, which is something I've never found another app able to do."

QuickPic has an option for that (kind of). There's a menu option called "Fix date" that fixes the creation/modification date of the files in a folder and sets it to the date found on the EXIF metadata; then you can just sort by date, even in a different gallery app, and you're ready to go. I think it's way better, and completely free.

+1000 for QuickPic. Last I checked it was the only "gallery" that understands and correctly displays things in directory order.

HTC's stock gallery app displays every directory as it's own smart album (i.e. the photos on X directory show up on X album but also any other album they apply to, All Photos, Camera Photos, etc). Don't most do that? What it doesn't do is sub-divisions (like date etc) within those albums.

Honestly, even 5 year old point and shoots usually give you like 5 different ways of sorting your photos (calendar view, standard view, different levels of thumbnail zoom, etc)... Not sure why it took a while for gallery apps to catch on.

QuickPic is a great app if you just want to view images in scattered directories. F-Stop helps you organize it all using open standards (when possible).

Still can't get DashClock to work on my SG4. All it wants to do is set itself on a fifth homescreen. After a couple hours of fighting it, I uninstalled it but now, the fifth homescreen won't go away.

Not happy...

Oh let's see-

1) Because they are under your control
2) Because they are available without a network or signal
3) Because they load much, much faster
4) Because it is more secure
5) Because using it doesn't go against any quotas
6) Because using it requires less power and CPU

And flash storage is not "volatile". It is not infallible, but it is not volatile.

I don't generally do much sorting of the pictures I take w/my phone (I sync the DCIM folder via Dropbox and sort it out/cleanup from my PC)... But lately I've been browsing photos from my camera a lot on my phone/tablet. Sometimes it's from the camera's dedicated WiFi app but other times it's from an SD reader on a USB OTG dongle so...

7) Because you took the card out of your nice DSLR/mirror-less camera and you'd like some more control over sorting etc as you copy them over to your Android device.

F-Stop will still help you with your workflow. Tags and ratings are stored in the metadata (in paid version) so once they are transferred to your PC, you will still see them. Lets you get a leg up on organizing even if you do it from your PC.

Good list! I would also add:

7) Because there are no image resolution limits.
8) Because GIFs!
9) Because you can organize videos of nearly any length and any type
10) Because you can still share them to the cloud but keep them local as well

Guessing bbm would've got a mention if they submitted it on time!

Posted via Android central app on my LG Google Nexus 4

You clearly have no idea how apps are published on Google Play. You upload the apk file, add two screenshots, and click a button. If you know the package file name of your app, you'll have a live page to share within minutes. 

There is no involvement needed (or wanted) from Google. The publisher — in this case BlackBerry Limited — has complete control.

I was referring to all the fakes that appeared, not the official app.

Posted via Android Central App

The reason NBCSports isn't highly rated is because if you're on satellite like probably half of us or more are, you can't use it, and they tie up the rights so that you can't see what you want anywhere! So boo to NBCSports. First they screwed up the Hockey playoffs, now the America's Cup races until the finals...they deserve booing. Big time.

The NBC Sports Live Extra is working great for me thanks to my cable provide and AT&T LTE is strong in my area. Watched a couple of hours of the PGA Tour Championship today with nary a glitch or a buffer. Oddly enough, the Golf Channel Live Extra app from the SAME developer and also part of NBC Sports is a complete piece of dung. I tried it first and it was horrible, it force closed before I could log into my cable provider every time so I whacked it. I almost didn't even bother installing the NBC app thinking it would have the same problem but I was pleasantly surprised to see it fired right up.

I've tried to watch several events on the nbc sorts live extra app but every time I try to watch live it just goes back to the main page. Just to be thorough I tested on a galaxy nexus, nexus 7 (2012) and a galaxy s4.

Posted via Android Central App

Low ratings are because the app plays video but no live streams on any of my Android devices. Tablet running 4.1, Galaxy S2, and the old Galaxy Player 5.0 Come on NBC! Get it fixed.

I'd love to get the NBC Sports app working, but attempts on my Note 10.1, One X+, and even on my computer (Win7, Chrome) have failed. I'm currently traveling in Europe, but also had the app backing out to the main screen when I was in the US. Can anyone give advice? I have a Comcast account back home, and I'm trying to access via wifi, not cell network.

Agreed that dash clock is frustrating..I installed and fought trying to get it to stay in full show mode without having to pull it down from small alerts. . not even sure if possible... The second picture in app store description. . anyway unistalled...