Apps of the Week

Check out the apps we've been using on our devices this week

It's been another big week of news, so now it's time to sit down and talk about some apps. Each Saturday we take up a spot on the site to highlight an app that each of the writers here at Android Central have been using lately. Whether it's a popular (or not so popular) game, new utility or just something random that's been on our phones and tablets, we'll talk about it here.

Read along with us after the breaks and see another solid collection of apps from the team — you may just find a few apps to install for yourself.

Phil Nickinson - Plane Finder

Plane Finder

Ever look up in the sky, see a plane and wonder where it's going? Congrats, you're quite possibly an avgeek. And as such, Plane Finder will take care of those musings. Just fire it up, find the plane that's nearby, and get all the info your nerdy little heart desires. You can bookmark various locations, set filters for airlines, aircraft types, airpots, squawks altitude and speed, get info on planes and change all sorts of options. And you can blow your kids' minds when they ask "Daddy, where do you think that plane's going?"

Download: Plane Finder ($1.99) or Plane Finder Free (erm, free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Boxed Wholesale

Boxed Wholesale

You have one roll of toilet paper left. Your mission is to make sure you don't run out. Boxed Wholesale just made it easier.

It's like having a Sam's Club or Walmart on your phone, where you can buy everything from toothpaste to tampons, and have them sent direct to your door overnight. I've been playing with Boxed for a bit (we've had like 3,000,000 ice storms in the past month and I refuse to go outside) and I think it makes a great addition to Amazon or other mail-order services. Sometimes, you won't find the best price, but other times exactly what you need is on sale and you can order with one click once you've setup your account. It's convenient, and I dig convenience.

The app and the account are free, so it won't hurt a thing to try and see if you can save a few pennies buying in bulk from your phone.

Download: Boxed Wholesale (Free)

Simon Sage - The Great Martian War

The Great Martian War

The Great Martian War is an endless runner set in World War I where players have to sprint through European battlefields while avoiding martian threats. Though the gameplay itself is pretty much exactly in line with Into the Dead, complete with power-ups to pick up, upgradeable equipment, achievements, and evasion based on swipe and tilt controls, there’s still a creepy charm to avoiding alien walkers abducting soldiers and generally laying waste. If you’re looking for some new scenery in your endless runners, this is a good start.

Download: The Great Martian War (Free)

Alex Dobie - WatchNote for Pebble

WatchNote for Pebble

A basic but useful phone-plus-smartwatch app, WatchNote connects to your Pebble and allows you to view notes and memos on the go. There's the option to sync with Evernote for easy note management on the web, too. After installing the Android app, you're prompted to download the Pebble app to your smartwatch, From there, simply enter your notes into the app, or bring in stuff from Evernote if you've got an account.

Notes can be found on your watch within WatchNote app on your Pebble, and by default you get six lines of text on the watch at a time — though sizing and fonts can be changed through the Android app.

WatchNote won't be for everyone, but if you need to quickly refer back to notes or lists without fumbling around with papers, tablets or smartphones, it's worth a look.

Download: WatchNote for Pebble ($1.66)

Richard Devine - Snapdragon Glance (Beta)

Snapdragon Glance (Beta)

This week Qualcomm dropped its own lock screen replacement app on us. Known as Glance (Beta) it's another attempt at the intelligent lock screen. To use it, you do have to be running the Snapdragon Batteryguru app as well, since it uses information gathered on your behavior in that app to operate Glance.

It actually crams quite a lot of information into the lock screen. Up top you get a big old clock and the current weather information. Down the bottom you retain quick access to the camera, and a bunch of suggested apps or contacts based on what it thinks you'll want to do or who you might want to talk to.

In the middle of the display you see whatever has arrived in your notification tray. At all times you can directly access the apps featured. The only issue so far is security; from Glance you just hit back or home and you're into the phone. So it's more a proof of concept than something you should be using every day right now. But it's pretty cool to see someone like Qualcomm trying something new. 

Download: Snapdragon Glance (Beta) (Free)

Andrew Martonik - NBC Sports Live Extra

NBC Sports Live Extra

Love it or hate it, the one place to go for comprehensive live coverage of the Olympics in Sochi is NBC. While for some sports you need to authenticate that you pay for cable, NBC is giving you live streaming video of all of the events for free during the Olympics. The app has made some strides in performance and quality as of late, and if you're an Olympics buff there's really no better place to go if you can't get to a TV.

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: Plane Finder, Boxed Wholesale, The Great Martian War and more!


Why would they include an app that isn't going to be available by this time tomorrow?

Plane Finder! Sweet. I live on the San Francisco Bay and have been using Boat Watch to identify the huge tankers come in under the Bay Bridge. Can't wait to add plane finder to the list of time kill apps that keep me from installing Flappy Bird, et al....

Posted via Android Central App

Regarding glance, I'm not seeing any security issues, so it may have been recently patched. It won't let me go into any app or notification without my pin, apart from the weather app and the cam. It also won't show contents of my text messages (although the girlfriend who uses smsgo does see her contents despite the pin. So far I'm liking glance.

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Under general settings you can chose whether to bypass keyguard or not. When this option is off it will use whatever lock method you normally use.

Planefinder is great especially since they have added the squawk feature.

Posted via my Motorola Startac

I would love to see some commentary about app permissions from the authors recommending these apps. For example, the Great Martian War wants to find accounts on my device, to retrieve my running apps, and receive data from the Internet (cloud to device messages). There's nothing in the app description in the Play Store explaining these permissions, but I don't see why an endless runner game would need them and would hope the author recommending the app would qualify the recommendation with at a minimum a line about the permissions being standard, unexceptional, or excessive for an app in this category.

I had already been using NBC Sports Live Extra and recommend it as well. I don't know why it is getting such poor reviews on Google Play but it works fine for me. You might need a cable TV subscription to be able to stream live.

Before I rooted my TF3000, I was having constant problems with it; it kept crashing, it was laggy, and it was very frustrating. After rooting it, it got better. I guess it's dependent on what you have it running on.

Because it refuses to play video fully and locks up people's devices. This was even after an update this morning. It also should have been mentioned that free Olympic streaming was limited to 30 minutes, then the app had to be authenticated like watching NBC's other sports packages.

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Are we taking bets on how long before we find out the developer for Plane Finder is making 50k a day and then they announce they are pulling the app because they can't take it any more.

Thank goodness....this was one of the most ridiculous wastes of time and resources I've ever seen. Its popularity and success illustrate the dumbing down of our society.

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I absolutely hate that NBC gets to ruin the Olympics every time they come 'round.
Did y'all see the opening ceremony? Meredith basically said Argentina (for example) had NO opportunity to win a medal. Who the F... is she!!!???

Too right! These commentators ruin everything, and sound like idiots a majority of the time... drives me nuts listening to them

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Are you a terrorist wanting to plant a bomb on a plane? Use plane finder! Using a wholesale box app is for ultra lazy people that can't pry their fat ass off the couch and would rather pay outrageous shipping charges.

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I'd like to try the snapdragon lock screen, but the battery guru app ended up making my battery life considerably worse.

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You might want to mention that Snapdragon Glance is 4.3 and above. This coming from the girl on her 4.2.2 Snapdragon LG G2 powerhouse...

A note on Watchnote that might be noteworthy. The app on Google Play is SDK 1.X and the app on in the Pebble app store for SDK 2.0 is currently for iOS. So, if you are running Pebble 2.0 on your Android phone, neither app will work.

Trying glance.. Liking it and now using instead of cover.

Have nova launcher pinned as an app so that can be to unlock

Couple of suggested improvements.
- Music controls
- Grouping of notifications and option to expand
- Quick reply sms/whatsapp/email etc (quick compose as well )
- Alow nova activities to be used as a short cut
- Widgets
- Social media streams

Have sent them back as feedback.

For a beta good start though.....

note 3
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