Another great week of Android has come and gone, and that means it's time for Saturday's Apps of the Week column. We've rallied together the folks here at Android Central to each submit an app of their choosing that has been on their device this week, and give a quick explanation as to why they're recommending it. We always get a diverse set of apps in here, and this week is no exception.
You'll find everything from utilities to media apps to games and of course the occasional random pick-up we found. Read along with us and see how this week's apps line up.
Phil Nickinson — Swarm by Foursquare
I'm still not entirely sure what Swarm is, or why Foursquare wants me to use it instead of Foursquare. But I was told by one app (Foursquare) to download another (Swarm), and it does what the first app did, so whatever. I'll play along. One's as good as another for me, in this case. It does a nice job of showing me "friends" who are nearby. Or who are not nearby. Or I can find where my "friends" are, and basically wherever they're having lunch on a given day. Jason likes tacos. Steve does barbecue more often than he should. You can use it to create "plans" to get folks together, but I just use email or texts for that. All in all, though, it's still a nice check-in app.
Download: Swarm (Free)
Alex Dobie — Pebble Locker
Pebble Locker isn't a new app per se. As the name suggests, it's been around since the early days of the Pebble smartwatch, letting users toggle lock screen security based on whether their watch is connected over Bluetooth. But it turns out the app works great with Android Wear devices as well, and unlocking Pebble Locker for $2.99 allows you to assign any Bluetooth gadget as a trusted device, and set trusted Wifi networks as well. When you do this, your lock screen will only ask you for a PIN when your watch or trusted Wifi network is out of range.
Download: Pebble Locker (Free, In-app purchases)
Jerry Hildenbrand — ASPCA
I love animals. Not in the break into SeaWorld or throw blood on celebrities who wear fur kind of way, but in the "c'mere Rex and Sammy, help me eat this chicken and let me scratch y'alls head" kind of way. I know lots of you guys and gals are with me. I also know it's really important to take care of your four-legged family members and be prepared for the worst. Pets really are just like kids.
The ASPCA app is a good place to start. Besides the news and social feeds (so many awesome pics on the Instagram feed!) there is some really handy information here. You can see how to prepare for when your pet wanders off, what to do if it happens, steps to take in case of weather emergencies, and more. There's also a great spot to list your little buddy's health information right in the app.
If you have pets, it's worth giving this one a look — even if only for the pictures.
Download: ASPCA (Free)
Richard Devine — Gogobot Travel Guide
Travel guides are a dime-a-dozen, but Gogobot has become my new favorite. I love to travel be it internationally – when I get the time – or just here in the UK, and Gogobot will definitely be in my pocket. You've got trip planning and 5-day weather features which accompany a compendium of places to go, things to do and somewhere to eat for a whole bunch of cities.
It isn't necessarily doing anything others don't also do, but arguably Gogobot looks nicer than all of them. A recent re-design left us with a fantastic looking app for both phones and tablets, so you really can enjoy it everywhere you go no matter which device you're holding.
Download: Gogobot (Free)
Simon Sage — Fightback
Fightback is a fast and furious beat-'em-up with a retro 80s style. Players have to tap and swipe their way through waves of goons within a limited timeframe. If things get tight, you can always bust out the guns to clear the room, but depending on your weapon and upgrades, you'll have to wait on your reload time to use them again. The game is high on style and there are plenty of unlockables to kit out your badass hero. The controls are very simple, but enemies with varying attack patterns, melee weapons, and the race against the clock keeps things interesting and fast-paced. There's a slew of standard freemium mechanics to deal with here, including in-app purchases, premium currency, and energy meters with timers. Regardless, the mindless mayhem does a good job at making it worthwhile.
Download: Fightback (Free, in-app purchases)
Andrew Martonik — BigHippo Contact Manager
Not everyone is blessed with a fantastic memory, particularly when it comes to remembering people's names and details about them. There's no feeling worse than going into a meeting and forgetting who exactly you're talking to, and BigHippo hopes to help you with that. It's a fairly basic contacts app, but one that's focused on helping you put together information and relationships about someone so you can better remember just how you know that person.
The free version makes it easy to bring in contacts from all social networks (including LinkedIn, of course), Gmail, exchange and more, as well as create both text and voice-to-text notes. An in-app purchase boosts the functionality a bit, but you get a good taste of whether this is your sort of thing before you'll be inclined to buy it.
Download: BigHippo Contact Manager (Free)