Apps of the Week

We take a moment to show off the apps that have been working for us

Just like that, it's Saturday again and that means you're in for another edition of our Apps of the Week column here on Android Central. In case you've been asleep at the wheel and missed previous posts in the series, this is our weekly column where we have writers from the Android Central team chime in with an app that they've been using regularly on their devices in the previous week.

This week we have a couple of games, a tool and  a little follow-up to last week's post from Jerry. Hang with us after the break and see how our picks stack up this week.

Simon Sage - QWOP

QWOP

The classic web game QWOP has finally arrived on Android. Players have the onerous task of manually controlling individual parts of a runner's body in order to get him as far along the track without tipping over haplessly and cracking his skull open. You're given two virtual joysticks, one for each leg, to extend and retract, and you can tilt the device to give your athlete a bit of balance. In theory, if you move the joysticks in well-timed circles, you should be able to run like normal, but you usually end up making the poor guy look demented and useless - in a funny way, of course. Participate in the 100 m sprint, 110 m hurdles, the long jump, the steeplechase, or the 50 km walk as best you can. There aren't really any unlockables, but the game will make you grateful for your own finely tuned motor skills. 

Download: QWOP ($0.99)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Skip Lock Screen

Skip Lock Screen

Last week I mentioned that I have my phone set up to activate the lock screen as soon as I leave the house, and a couple people were curious how that's done. You could do it with root, a script and an app like Tasker, or you could do it the easy way and use an app. I chose to do the latter. With Skip lock screen, my phone has the standard swipe unlock screen while I'm at home and connected to my home wifi, but when I disconnect (such as when i leave the house) the PIN lock is activated. Set up was easy, and I no longer have to fiddle with a PIN when I use my phones at home. More importantly, I don't have to remember to turn a secure lock screen on when I leave the house. It's well worth the five bucks in my opinion.

Download: Skip Lock Screen (Free) / Paid ($4.99)

Andrew Martonik - Grocery iQ

Grocery iQ

Whether it's to make sure you get everything you need from the store in one trip, or to just make sure you only get what you need without unnecessary purchases, a grocery list app is an extremely useful tool. After trying out a few different apps and mostly relying on Google Keep for lists of different types, I think I've landed on Grocery iQ as a good choice for me. You can build basic lists by just listing things you need, or you can search for specific brand name items and add them to your lists. You can even scan barcodes of things to build up a recurring list of regular items you buy.

The main idea of Grocery iQ beyond just offering grocery lists is finding available coupons for the items you've indicated you need. After you build up a full grocery list, you're shown coupons that can save you money on your next trip out to the store. Whether you use the coupons or not, this well-designed app may just increase the efficiency of your grocery trips.

Download: Grocery iQ (Free)

Chris Parsons - Jane Wilde

Jane Wilde

If you're looking for quickie side scrolling shooter, Jane Wilde is a game you should give a go. It's available as a free download and offers over 30 different levels to play through with plenty of unlockable and upgradeable weapons. The graphics are a little on the shall we say, mature side? You play as a busty cow girl who likes to shoot the hell of zombie cowboys. The ads are a bit annoying but for $.99 they can be removed, if you wish. Overall, not bad. A fun little game to waste some brain cells on.

Download: Jane Wilde (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: QWOP, Skip Lock Screen, Grocery iQ and more!

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FYI anyone with an HTC One on a stock rom, and possibly other HTC devices will not be able to use the skip lockscreen type of apps because HTC uses their own version of the lock screen which does not play nice with the unlock with wifi or delayed lock apps

results may vary with security settings but pin and pattern are almost certain to always show even when you are using a whitelisted wifi AP in these apps :(

I ran into a similar issue when rolling out the Google Device Policy Manager app in our corporate environment. Go to settings>security>deselect HTC as the device administrator. If you can't deselect try installing a free "find my phone" app. Now go back and deselect HTC as device admin and try to use skip lock screen app.

Yes, but its not nearly as convenient or consistent as the app. Been using the app for a couple of years on my s2/s3 and then N4 and it does not disappoint. You can even disable the notification once you know it's working well in settings>apps. It just works so seamlessly!

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Andrew, with GroceryIQ, you may eventually notice it will get laggy once your history builds up. The bad thing is that there's no "Clear History" button; you've got to delete them one-by-one.

Grocery IQ had a problem with their back-end sync servers a year ago, and I moved to Mighty Grocery, and we've never seen a reason to move back.

I picked up Mighty Grocery when it was free in the Amazon store a few months ago and I've been really happy with it. The interface isn't very attractive, but it's plenty efficient.

That said, I'm not sure I'd shell out four bucks for the full version.

Jumped off Grocery IQ for Google Keep :) - They used to have all kinds of issues with syncing and history.. Keep also integrates with Google Now, which is a nice option.

I've been using Grocery IQ for a while and haven't noticed any issues, perhaps on a phone with less memory and if you weren't careful you could add many items multiple times.

You can backup your info when happy and perhaps restore that later rather than deleting things...

You may want to try Our Groceries if you interested in primarily storing grocery lists and recipes and sharing them amongst phones. my wife and i have been using it for quite a while and it seems pretty flawless.

+1 on Our Groceries. My wife and I have used it since our first Android phones (I'm talking CliqXT). Love it.

Another +1 for Our Groceries. Amazingly simple to share your lists with as many devices as you want. Free version does everything as long as you don't mind an ad across the bottom of the screen.

I really wanna use skip lock screen but I use a pattern lock and I got really sad when I read that I couldn't. :(

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Yeah, too bad Jerry failed to mention that - I thought that would be pretty useful (although $5.00 seems pretty stiff) until I read the full description. I'm sure Google has a good reason for not supporting that particular security option - too bad I'm not likely to find out what it is.

I just wented to mention another great app for controlling the activity of your lock screen. It's called Delayed Lock and there's a free trial version and a paid version. The basic app allows you to delay the need to re-enter your pin/password for a length of time that you determine, initiating either from the time of your last unlock or from the time you turn off your screen. The real kicker though are the three plugins that allow you to disable your lockscreen altogether based on wifi connectivity, bluetooth connectivity and location. I use both location and wifi while I'm at home, wifi alone for if I'm connected to a relative's network, and bluetooth for when my phone is connected to my car stereo. I have the paid version, and since I have it installed of course google play won't tell me how much it is, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's just $1.99. Well worth checking out, imo. And my hats off to all the developers out there making cool apps like these!

+1 on Delayed lock. Been using it for a long time, and it works great! I use the WiFi and Bluetooth plugins. I believe that 1.99 is the correct price, I can't see it either! The trail version lets you see it it works for you first.

Jane Wilde is awesome. I finished the game with no purchases. You just have to play survival mode a lot to build up your coins to upgrade your weapons & powerups. I hope they add some more levels soon. Would like to see some zombies on Zombie horses or maybe Jane could jump on a wagon & shoot from it. Lots of possibilities!

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Does skip lockscreen work if your company requires you have a pin?
Before our IT guys required our phones being locked Tasker never really worked for disabling the lock screen on the GNex.
Would be nice if this overrode the required pin. Don't mind entering it when out and about but at home would be nice to be disabled :)

Highly doubt it. With a policy requiring a PIN on your phone, the other lock screen options are just not available. All the app is doing is toggling between the lock screen options for you, so if the option (because of the policy) to go to a slide-to-unlock isn't even available, the app can't do anything.

I would certainly hope that the policy could override anything like this.

I've been using the lock screen app for years. I love it. You only get one wifi access point on the free version but you can use multiple access points with the paid version. ie, use your home network to keep your phone unlocked at home and your work wifi to keep it unlocked there while it's secure while you travel.

skip lock seems expensive for its limited functionality. For another $1.00, you might as well purchase Tasker and get so much more. Of course, the caveat is that you do need root and the "secure settings" app (free) if you want to reproduce skip lock screen's functionality.

Or for $1.99 you can get Delayed Lock and get plenty of lock screen control without root access.

I've tried both and I definitely think Delayed Lock is the winner here. Not only cheaper, but also has plugins available for bluetooth, wifi, location/gps, and remote lock...all at no added cost. Add to that Holo UI, responsive dev, and super customizable. You can't beat it. Plus, when Jellybean came out (or was it ICS) it took the Unlock with Wifi dev a looong time to come up with a compatible update.

Downloaded and installed the Skip Lock Screen trial version app this morning. Everything is working great... will probably purchase this in a couple days. I don't want to Root my device right now, and this is the best option.

Thanks Jerry!!!

You can also use an app called automagic to do what the delayed lockscreen apps to & a lot more, but the apps are a easier to use. However, automagic is so much easier to use than Tasker