Welcome back to another edition of our Android Central app picks. We've only got a few more of these before the end of 2012, so we're hoping to make the most of 'em. It's the holiday season, so of course we've brought a couple of seasonal apps here -- with a few of our usual great picks thrown in as well. Stick around after the break and see how we did this week.
Sean Brunett - Ski & Snow Report
As we descend into winter, many people are going to want to know what conditions are like at their favorite resorts. Look no further than the free app Ski & Snow Report. With the app, you can get updates at over 2,000 resorts worldwide. Other than how much snow is accumulating and what the weather will be like, you can view trail maps, view live webcams, post photos, view comments from other users, giving you more information, and filter by how much snow various places are seeing. If you’re a big skier or snowboarder, you’re going to want to get this app.
Download: Ski & Snow Report (Free)
Chris Parsons - Christmas Countdown 2012
It's almost time for Christmas and if you have kids they're no doubt excited. One thing I always enjoyed as a child was an advent calendar that allowed me to keep track of how many days were left and now that I have kids of my own, I always make sure they experience them as well. To go along with the real deal, there is now a fun little digital version that kids will enjoy thanks to the puzzles, poems and storyline. It's available as a full free download, though if you're looking to make it onto Santas nice list there is a paid version available as well that is ad free. Kids will enjoy it and who knows, maybe you will as well.
Download: Christmas Countdown (Free)
Andrew Martonk - Holo Lamp
Sometimes you just need a flashlight, and all you have is your phone. Nowadays you just want your apps to be "holo" designed as well (let's support the people who are doing it right.) Holo Lamp checks both of those boxes, and includes a couple cool features as well. You can select a plain lamp, or three different frequencies of a strobe lamp. There's even a simple toggle widget. It's free too -- you really can't argue with anything this app is offering.
Download: Holo Lamp (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Car Dashboard
When Google removed car home from Android, plenty of people running stock or AOSP-based custom ROMs went looking for a good alternative. AC forums moderator cole2kb turned me on to Car Dashboard for mine.
It gives you all the data about speed, location and conditions you need, in real time while you're moving. You can also set custom speed alerts with sounds and flashing text. The app recognizes any dock setting, and can be started by any magnetic dock, ready to go as soon s it hits the car dash.
Probably the best part is the customization buttons. You can choose to add custom shortcuts to open any app on your phone, turn by turn directions to any place, or direct-dial shortcuts. It makes Car Dashboard the perfect travel companion. It runs on Android 1.6 and is available in both a free version and premium ad-free version from Google Play.
Anndrew Vacca - Facebook 2.0
It's not everyday that a simple app update earns a spot on our Apps of the Week list, but Facebook's latest bump to 2.0 is about as good as it gets. Easily the largest and most dramatic overhaul yet, 2.0 brings an all-around better experience to Facebook on Android, with smoother performance and faster-loading news feeds and photos. There's also a new "stories bar" that uploads your feed automatically; click it for access to new items without having to reload as in versions past. There's a noticeable improvement in overall performance here and it's truly a must have for even the occasional Facebooker-- this is the app Android users have been waiting for.
Download: Facebook (Free)
Simon Sage - Contre Jour
I really can't overstate how happy I am that Contre Jour is on Android. I've poured a lot of time into the iOS version, and even if it costs a buck more on Android, it's worth it. Contre Jour is a polished, classy, innovative puzzler with an absolutely sublime soundtrack. Seriously, take a listen. The gameplay is a really interesting mix of World of Goo, Cut the Rope, and Portal. Players have to use various level elements to move a tiny cycloptic blob creature around to gather up to three blue orbs scattered about without falling prey to pits, spikes, and other dangers. The art style is both dark and cute, and will leave a definite lasting impression.
Download: Contre Jour ($1.99)
Richard Devine - Touchnote Christmas Edition
I don't object to sending Christmas cards, not by any means, but I am terminally lazy when it comes down to doing it. So this year, Touchnote has been a blessing for me, allowing me to create and send custom Christmas cards right from my Android device. The application provides a series of templates, all you need to do is choose a picture, type a message, and let them do the rest. Very clear, very easy to use, very simple. Payment can also be done via Paypal, which for someone like me is an added bonus. But I think I've found my new way of sending greetings cards to people.
Download: Touchnote Christmas Edition (Free)