Apps of the Week

It's that time of the week again where we bring you our weekly app picks, direct from the Android Central writers. This time each week we do our best to give you a look at an app that we're using and enjoying on our devices from day to day.

Stick around after the break and see how we did with our picks this week.

Simon Sage - Vector

Vector

Vector is a highly-polished side-scrolling parkour racing game that just came out this week.  Players run from Big Brother in style over rooftops, unlocking new swipe-based free-running techniques as they go. Stages have a handful of bonus objectives to pick up, but be careful to not slow down - the taser-toting authorities aren’t far behind. Vector slaps a few ads in between each level unless you pay $0.99 for the deluxe edition (which also has a few other extra goodies). Players can also buy coins through in-app purchases to unlock special maneuvers early.

If you like the Canabalt style, but are looking for a bit more complexity, Vector is a safe bet.

Download: Vector (Free)

Sean Brunett - Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

I’m a Buzzfeed fan, i enjoy the lists they they put together. Some are hilarious, some smart and some are just plain odd. The dedicated Android app makes their lists quick to access and easy to view. The app lists the latest compilations, with a menu button in the upper left that allows you to sort by topic, view which have gone viral or Buzzfeed’s own ‘Hot List’. If you enjoy one of the lists, you can share it or comment on it. It’s a nice app that does a great job presenting Buzzfeed lists in a simple manner.

Download: Buzzfeed (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - ElectroDroid

ElectroDroid

If you're a field technician, an engineer, a lab tech, or even a hardcore do-it-yourself-er, you know the value of a good set of pocket reference materials. Often times we're not sitting at a computer where we have the answers at our fingertips, and carrying around texts and printed reference just isn't convenient. Thankfully, smart phones can help. When you're looking for that pocket reference for electrical theory and electronics, ElectroDroid should be your first stop.

The app has just about everything you would ever need for electronic design and repair. There are calculators for things like resonance and RC filter cut-off, frequency and decibel converters, pin-out diagrams for almost every type of common connector, and resources like resistor color codes and schematic symbol charts. If you're doing anything with wires or circuits, you'll find the tools and reference you need in ElectroDroid.

Download: ElectroDroid (Free); Paid Version ($2.69)

Richard Devine - mSecure

mSecure

If there's one thing you shouldn't take for granted, it's passwords and security. With so much of our lives now entrusted to computers and smartphones, and so many services requiring an account, it's something we should all be mindful of. My old system wasn't really the best, and so I moved to mSecure. I confess I first picked this up as Amazon's free app of the day, but it's worth the outlay on both mobile and desktop.

I'd tried LastPass and didn't really enjoy it, and couldn't bring myself to pay the amount for OnePassword when in my opinion the Android experience is subpar. mSecure has both a solid Android experience and a solid desktop experience and has the added bonus of syncing using Dropbox, though naturally your data is encrypted. The usual password generation features are present, as is secure backup and a self destruct function should someone try and break in. There's also a nice option to eliminate the app window from the recent apps menu on Honeycomb upwards, though it's a shame the app was design with Gingerbread in mind. It's not a horrible experience though, but if I'm being picky a more 'Holo' oriented UI would be nice.

Desktop clients are available on Windows and Mac, and have a 30 day free trial option.

Download: mSecure ($9.99)

Andrew Martonik - DashClock Widget

DashClock Widget

I was a couple of days behind the curve on downloading DashClock Widget, and now I understand what everyone has been so excited about when using this app. The app in itself is useful and displays the time and date by default, and you can choose to also add the current weather, unread Gmail count, missed calls and a few other bits of information. But what's really exciting about this widget is that there's a system for other app developers to make "extensions" to integrate with DashClock. For example both Falcon Pro and Press have already made extensions, which can then show your unread tweet count or number of unread articles.

After using it as my primary lockscreen widget, I seriously think that Google needs to be using this as a default lockscreen clock in Android. In the meantime, I'm excited to see what other apps write in extensions to integrate with DashClock as the app becomes more popular.

Download: DashClock Widget (Free)

Casey Rendon - Solid Explorer

Solid Explorer

A feature rich file explorer is a must for me. Not only can Solid Explorer browse your cloud storage (like Dropbox) and root-level files, but it uses a novel interface that not only looks great but also boosts functionality. When you rotate your device from portrait to landscape, you go from one list of files and folders to a dual pane layout of two lists. This allows you to easily move, copy and paste, etc. different files and folders from the left pane to the right pane or vice versa. This is especially satisfying on tablets, because you get to use all that right-hand space that many other file explorers leave empty. A 14-day free trial is available, and if you end up loving this app as much as I do you, can buy the unlocker for less than 2 bucks.

Download: Solid Explorer (Trial)


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.

 
There are 12 comments

icebike says:

Love mSecure, been using it since my days on the iPhone, begged for, and beta tested the Android version when it first came out. Every password, login, and account number I get goes directly to mSecure.

Unlike others that might sync with Dropbox, mSecure adds their own layer of encryption before anything gets placed on dropbox, so even with a warrant and a gun to the head, dropbox can't hand over all your passwords.

Its synced on all my devices.

The organization capabilities are far easier than any password vault I've used. And I've tried a lot of them.

It has "types" for almost anything you would want to store, and you can always modify the types or create your own if needed. (I added a type to store my Private and Private SSH keys in ASCII armored format, as well as my code signing keys, PGP keys etc.)

You don't need the windows version (its not free or cheap). But Its nice to have, and I use it a lot, and you can then sync all your devices without a dropbox account.

mSecure goes on sale frequently. So if the 9.99 price tag looks too high, jut put it on your wishlist and wait for it to come down.

Suntan says:

warrant and gun to your head? What kind of passwords are you keeping?

-Suntan

icebike says:

The point being is that Dropbox will surrender the entire decrypted contents of your dropbox account with nothing more than a national security letter. Further, anyone can sniff your dropbox password from the network or by getting a hold of your phone for 30 minutes.
Having an extra layer of encryption can't hurt.

Suntan says:

Thanks for the obvious. I've been using mSecure for years.

I was pointing out the obsurdity of the comment. Simply put, you should be using something like mSecure for reasons a lot more mundane than FBI super-agents hot on your trail...

Honestly, if you have even the slightest inkling that a federal government agency is looking to draft a (as you put it) "national security letter" about you; you really need to take the foil hat off,, stop what you're doing, climb out of your parent's basement and go kiss a girl.

-Suntan

Icebike likes to exaggerate.

Mike-Mike says:

I love mSecure. I originally had the built in password keeper for BlackBerry. Then when I switched to WP7 i used Sky Wallet.

I paid the $9.99, so I wish I would have seen this free amazon app or sale price... but whatevs... I love the app, I feel it's better than previous apps I've used

sdreelin says:

Electrodroid is awesome if you tinker with electronics.

Solid Explorer is one of my top 5 must have apps! I've used it since it was in beta and it gets better each update. You forgot to mention all the other things it can do like connect to SMB/CIFS shares or FTP/SFTP sites. It has a built in text editor/viewer, file/folder creation, filtering, search, and much more for handling your files. It has an excellent directory information system showing you all kinds of stats and graphs about your directories. You get thumbnail preview of pictures and videos too. It also has a built in FTP server you can turn on and move files from other devices on/off the phone as well (a boon for command line Linux nuts). Oh, and it looks good too!

ARRG dash clock widget will not work on a Galaxy note II.......

mwara244 says:

Only works for Android os 4.2 and greater, the note 2 has 4.1.2

commonplace says:

Solid Explorer was a very solid pick. Thanks! I hadn't heard of it. I didn't think it could get much better than ES and FX, but Solid IS better.

I switched from ewallet to safewallet two years ago and love it. Any app that lets you store info in one secure app instead of a password here, a password there, etc. is great.
How does Solid explorer rank vs Root Explorer (paid version)?

Mobius360 says:

Been using msecure and solid explorer for a long time. DashClock is very nice and it's great to see development from other applications already underway.