Let's stick with the app picks for just a little while longer
So we gave something new a whirl last week in place of the standard "Apps of the Week" post -- we tried to expand out beyond just apps to highlight the best of Google Play. Well, we may not have planned that one out the best considering what we have coming up. As things are getting pretty heavy for the next few weeks (and lets be honest, the last few weeks too) with Google I/O and then CTIA, we think maybe we should stick with the tried and true app picks for just a little while longer until we can get a good system ready to expand.
After the break you'll find the best apps from all different genres that the Android Central staff are using on a daily basis. They may not be the flashiest or the best of their kind, but they're what works for us and often that means they'll work for someone else too. Read along and see how we did this week.
Richard Devine - Pudding Camera
I love messing around with camera apps, and yes, I do tend to play around with 'hipster' filters. I much prefer apps like Pudding Camera, though, as I like to get a live view of the effects rather than adding them in post-production.
So, what is Pudding Camera? Simply put, a camera app that has various combinations of camera and film types to combine to create all kinds of effects on your photos at differing aspect ratios. The camera UI is pretty nice, with a slide out menu to choose the effects, and a pop out exposure dial that just feels nicer to use than selecting a number in a menu. Feels more like a camera.
It isn't perfect, and can be a little slow at saving pictures some times. The in-app gallery isn't anything special, but it's free, and it produces some nice effects. If you're into that sort of thing, of course.
Download: Pudding Camera (Free)
Sean Brunett - 1-800 Flowers
It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday here in the U.S. and what better way to show affection than by sending flowers? I know by this time it’s a little late for ordering flowers, but you can always have them show up a few days late for a nice surprise. The app is pretty nice. When you open it, you’ll see flower categories for a variety of occasions. You can also locate a retail store, call 1-800-Flowers or just browse through the huge collection that they offer. I’ve used them a lot in the past and have been very pleased. I love that they have a mobile app so I can order flowers on-the-go.
Download: 1-800 Flowers (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - GroundLink
Ever try to find a cab at a busy airport and realize that trucking through terminals and heading across the lot to the taxi stand is not fun? Maybe GroundLink is for you. The app is the front end for a car service that caters to over 100 countries, making it an easy way for you to get a ride just about anywhere. Their prices are also pretty competitive, and booking a ride is easy. They even will track your flight if you give them the info so they know if you'll be late, or early.
A rental car isn't always practical, and sometimes the train or a bus won't cut it. For about the same price as a cab, give GroundLink a shot.
Download: GroundLink (Free)
Andrew Martonik - Nordstrom
Let's face it, most of us that like to spend time sitting in front of a computer screen perpetually tinkering with Android devices don't always have the best fashion sense. Well, there are apps that can help out with that. If you need to revamp your closet offerings, it's a slightly more expensive option but Nordstrom is going to have you covered in pretty much any way possible. Not only can you browse, search and order all from the app, but you can also use it in-store to scan barcodes to see prices for items when they're not clearly marked.
Even if you don't plan to shop at Nordstrom regularly, you can at least use the app to browse around and get a better idea for what's in style -- and there's no shame in that.
Download: Nordstrom (Free)
Alex Dobie - Carmageddon
Originally banned in some countries upon its release in 1997, classic reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter simulator Carmageddon landed on Android this week. And if you're looking to start your weekend with some mindless violence, it's definitely worth a look. Visually, you're looking at 1997-level graphics, which is to say things are big, blocky and kinda ugly. But Carmageddon isn't trying to be a work of art. It's a game where you fly around, crashing into each other and scoring points for running over pedestrians and cows.
By the time this article goes up, the free promotional version will probably have been taken down. However the full version is only $1.99, which for the quick, visceral thrills 'Carma' provides is excellent value. It's available for devices running Android 2.3.3 and above at the link below.
Download: Carmageddon ($1.99)
Simon Sage - Mosaique
Mosaique is a simple puzzle game where players have to line up blocks of the same color. You can move all the way around the game grid before firing your current block from the outside, and as soon as it hits something that's the same color, they're eliminated along with any other same-colored blocks directly behind them in that row. After that, you get the next-colored block behind them to shoot next turn.
The catch is that you have a limited amount of fuel, and a little bit is used up every shot. You earn more if you eliminate more than two blocks at a go, and your fuel gauge carries over level to level. In terms of audio, graphics, and gameplay, Mosaique has a high amount of polish for such a simple puzzle game. There are plenty of familiar puzzle aspects to Mosaique, but it still has a decidedly unique flavor.
Download: Mosaique ($0.99)