We said we'd be back in 2013 with our weekly app picks, and here we are. Trying to start off the year right before some of us make the trip to Las Vegas for CES 2013, we've got a whole grouping of great picks for you this week. A mix of games, utilities and overall fun apps can be found here, so stick around after the break and see how we did.
Jerry Hildenbrand - Super Monsters Ate my Condo!
Get ready for a game that makes no sense, has crudely drawn graphics and animations, but is fun as hell and will keep you playing for a long time. Super Monsters Ate My Condo! is the second version of this game from Adult Swim, it's better than the first -- and it's free. The gameplay is interesting, you match condominiums in a vertical tower by color. When you get three or more in a row, they morph into the next level condo and you get points. You have a monster on each side that isn't very happy that your swiping condos at him (or her?) and they get cranky and shake things up a bit. That's bad, because if the tower falls, you're done. If it doesn't fall, you match as many as you can in two minutes then tally up the score. It's fast paced, enjoyable, and the sounds are amazing. Put on a pair of headphones, fire up this one and be ready for something that is just too much fun. This one is crazy!
Download: Super Monsters Ate My Condo! (Free)
Sean Brunett - Netflix New Releases
My app pick this week is simple. It displays all of the recent additions in Netlix’s catalogue available for instant streaming as well as DVD. I’m always curious as to what Netflix adds and having an app like this where I can get quick access is going to be helpful. The app automatically updates, allows you to favorite specific shows or movies and also features a widget. If you’re a big Netflix user, this app is a good companion to have.
Download: Netflix New Releases (Free)
Richard Devine - AntennaPod
When it comes to podcasts, I'm a long time Pocket Casts user. But, that doesn't mean I don't like to take a look around and see what else is out there. I've stumbled on to AntennaPod while looking around, and it a pretty nice, free podcatching application.
The first thing worth pointing out is that you can import your existing podcast subscriptions into AntennaPod via an OPML file. Importing is a bit of a pain, and requires pasting the file into a specific folder. You can add via URL or use the Miro guide to find what you're looking for. Then, once you're in, it's a pretty simple looking, but functional enough application. Google Listen used to be my personal choice, because it was so simple, and this kind of feels like an updated version of that. A nice, holo design, dark theme, and my personal favorite feature, a queue. Despite looking like an Android 4.x application, it works with everything upwards from 2.3.3.
It's still in beta, so some bugs may appear, and some more advanced user features aren't to be found, but since it's free, it has to be worth a look.
Download: AntennaPod (Free)
Alex Dobie - A Liquid Cloud Live Wallpaper
Despite the great quantity of apps on Google Play, really great live wallpapers are often hard to come by. One recent example I've come across is A Liquid Cloud, by Christoffer Green. A Liquid Cloud is an OpenGL-based live wallpaper that projects swirling, distorted colored clouds onto your home screen. There's a feature-limited free version, as well as a paid version, which goes for £1.30 in the UK and $1.99 in the U.S. This gives you access to a wealth of customization options, including various themes and color customization options.
A Liquid Cloud one of the best-looking live wallpapers around at the moment, and for the tiny asking price, it's hard to complain.
Chris Parsons - Animated TARDIS Widget
Are you a Whovian? If so, I have a widget you might enjoy. It's pretty simple but awesome. With the Animated TARDIS Widget, you can take the iconic Police Call Box and put it on your home screen. Just give it a tap whenever you feel like it and instantly the TARDIS will fire up and fade in and out and that whirring noise will follow suit. Pro Tip: Add a galaxy wallpaper to add to the effect.
Download: Animated TARDIS Widget ($0.99)
Andrew Martonik - TeliportMe Panorama 360
Panorama - 360, also known as TeliportMe, is a really interesting panorama app not just for the pictures it takes, but for the social sharing integrated into the app. The app does a good job at taking full 360-degree panorama photos, with a UI not dissimilar from Android's new Photo Sphere functionality that once you get used to you can take great shots. Once you take your shot you can save or post it for others to see. You can also browse through popular panoramas by location or type as well.
The app just received a major overhaul to a new holo UI that looks great, and it's definitely worth a try.
Download: Panorama - 360 (Free)
Simon Sage - Growtopia
Growtopia soft launched on Google Play this week, offering a 2D, plant-themed Minecraftish sandbox where players create their own worlds. Growtopians collect resources scattered throughout procedurally (and user-) generated worlds, mix them together, and grow new objects with which to create their own little virtual realms. Players can earn or buy gems which are used to instantly produce items or acquire locks (so others online can't mess with what you've made). Creating obstacle courses lends itself well to the game's Mario-style platformer controls, but really what you make is up to you. Similar games such as Junk Jack and Terraria have been available on other platforms for awhile, so it's good to see something comparable hit Android.
Download: Growtopia (Free)