A great selection of apps, from our phones to you
It's that time again, Saturday afternoon, where we lay out our Apps of the Week and put them on display. We want everyone to have a glimpse at least once a week into the apps that the writers here at Android Central are using, and this is our chance each weekend. We each give you a look at a single app we currently have installed on our phones and tablets, and give a quick explanation of why it's stuck around through the week.
This week we have a great calendar app, a way to keep up with your TV shows, an app that can track upcoming weather patterns and a few other odds and ends, as usual. Read along and see how the whole list comes together this week.
Richard Devine - UpNext
I stumbled across this pretty sweet looking Calendar widget this week called UpNext. It's literally just a widget, hooking into your existing on-device calendars. The free download will show only all calendars, while the paid upgrade allows you to select individual ones to display in the widget.
Customization options are pretty slim, offering a dark and light theme and text and a sliding scale for how transparent you want the widget to be. But honestly, it looks good enough that you don't really need to do much to it anyway. The more space you can devote to it the better, and it'll keep on scrolling for as long as you have appointments.
Download: UpNext (Free)
Alex Dobie - TVCatchup Free
The TVCatchup app for Android recently reappeared on Google Play after some legal wrangling over which specific channels it's allowed to beam to mobile devices. Essentially this is an ad-supported live TV streaming app that works like the website of the same name, broadcasting some (but not all) free-to-air stations to your phone or tablet. You'll need to be on a UK ISP and hold a valid TV license (to stay on the right side of the law, anyway) — but the app works well, and streaming quality is decent. Many TV giants offer their own streaming apps, notably the BBC through iPlayer, but TVCatchup neatly brings everything into one place, complete with an integrated TV guide.
Download: TVCatchup (Free, UK Only)
Phil Nickinson - PYKL3 Radar
If you're about to get 20 inches of rain dumped on you overnight, you're going to want a radar app. Trust me on this. And PYKL3 Radar — you pronounce it "pickle" is a popular option. It's not cheap, though, at $9.99. And the interface is a bit clunky. But it does what it's supposed to do — show you the rain, and where it's going. I probably wouldn't advise this one for the weather novice, as it's got a ton of options and features that you'll probably not understand. But if you're into the weather nerd thing, definitely give it a shot.
Download: PYKL3 Radar ($9.99)
Simon Sage - Snailboy
Snailboy is a wonderfully animated platforming game Players have to slingshot a mollusc Angry Birds-style across treacherous stages to get to the end alive and eventually recapture his lost shell collection. Players need to also stick Snailboy to mossy surfaces and nudge him in a direction with a friendly slap for most puzzles. You earn up to three stars for collecting all of the objectives in a level and for beating it under a certain time. There's an energy mechanic in place by way of limited health points which are lost when you die on a hazard and have to be replenished with slime globs you collect throughout gameplay. However, there's a refreshing absence of in-app purchases to obtain that goo. Instead, you've got an ad between each and every level, while bonus levels with free slime on a daily timer make sure you've always got a source of lives. Snailboy is a neat take on free-to-play and is extremely kid-friendly.
Download: Snailboy (Free)
Andrew Martonik - Sounders FC
Yes I realize not all of you live in Seattle or are Sounders FC fans, but that's not really the point of these app picks anyways. The Sounders have just finished redesigning all of their apps (yes, iOS and Windows Phone, too), and they're some great pieces of mobile software across the board. The Android app is fast, smooth and chocked full of information on the team, game times, news and video. Most importantly if you're not a local supporter (or it's an away week) it'll give you radio and TV information as well as a live coverage chat stream.
I really wish that every sports team could have an app this smooth and useful — let's hope the rest can catch up.
Download: Sounders FC (Free)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Impossible Road
A minimalist sensation that's tough as nails to master. There is a track, with nothing to keep you from flying off the edge. It's convoluted, curvy and impossibly random. There is a sphere, that you control by tapping left or right. The longer your touch the screen, the more the sphere turns, There is also a vast, empty nothingness that this track and this sphere just float in. Your goal is to keep the sphere on the track and not in the nothingness. It's addictive, runs like butter, and one of those games that actually requires skill and practice. I can't seem to get enough of it.
Download: Impossible Road ($1.99)