Another busy week here at Android Central is behind us, and to cap it all off we're going to give you a look at our favorite apps of the week. We have each of the writers here at AC select an app of their choice to put on display each Saturday, giving you a glimpse at what we're using on our own phones on a regular basis.
This week is packing a few apps to have some fun with, a way to learn a new language and a chance to get a little taste of Android L on your phone without flashing a factory image. Read along and see how this week's picks stack up — you may find something that's right for you.
Simon Sage - Wave Wave
Wave Wave is an insanely difficult abstract one-touch runner game. Players are guiding a line through a gauntlet of triangular obstructions by tapping and holding the screen to climb, and releasing to dive. Constant flickering and warping effects pose a significant challenge and the intense 8-bit soundtrack won't be soothing your nerves. Despite its obvious influence from Super Hexagon, Wave Wave stands very much on its own thanks to a more fleshed-out progression structure, varied disorientation effects, and a two-player mode. If you're a sucker for punishment, play Wave Wave.
Download: Wave Wave ($1.99)
Richard Devine - Duolingo
Duolingo is all about learning new languages and having a little fun while you're at it. There's a great range of languages to choose from and Duolingo makes a game out of learning by giving you "lives" to complete each level and rewarding you based on your peformance.
It's also a cross-platform app, so by creating an account you're able to sync your progress. Things start simple and gradually get more complicated and it's a great little tool to learn some basics ahead of a trip or just brush up your skills as I've been doing. And it'd be a fantastic one for the kids to start learning a new language with.
Download: Duolingo (Free)
Phil Nickinson - The Android L Developer Preview Keyboard
No real surprise that bits and pieces are being ported from the L Developer Preview, and one of the first ones is the new keyboard. Shen Ye and Christian Schönberg have turned this guy into a standalone app that installs like any other. I've been using the L keyboard for a few days now, and it's definitely a looker, and this will give you a taste if you don't have a Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 or don't want to play in the deep end. (Nothing wrong with that, either.) Be sure to read the instructions in the app description. Like more third-party keyboard installs, you've got just just a little bit of work to do.
Download: Android L Developer Preview Keyboard (Free)
Andrew Martonik - CastPad for Chromecast
Chromecast is getting more powerful each month with new apps and software updates, and one of the apps I've found that shows off this little streaming stick's capabilities is CastPad. It's a basic drawing app for your phone or tablet, but everything you do is mirrored up on a blank canvas on the big screen. It's a cool way to just have some fun drawing with friends, or a useful tool in a game that requires sketching for everyone to see. You get a basic set of tools and the ability to draw on pictures from your phone in the free version, but can unlock different tools and a color selector (and get rid of ads) with a $2.00 in-app purchase.
Download: CastPad for Chromecast (Free, In-app purchases)
Jerry Hildenbrand - Lumosity
I stumbled across this app on the way home from Google I/O, as I needed something to help pass the time. Lumosity is an app that uses short puzzles and games to help train your memory and focus. When you set up the app you're able to pick certain areas of your brain's "personality" that you would like to enhance (I picked all the short-term memory and multitasking stuff) and you'll then be given a daily training routine. Playing each of the apps is fun, and while the jury is still out on how useful any of this will be for actually improving your mind, puzzles about spatial reasoning and quick-fire math calculations never hurt anyone.
If you find the app useful enough, you can join Lumosity via an in-app subscription of $12 per month or a yearly fee of $60. This unlocks features like a comparison of others in your age and gender group, as well as more puzzles and games both in the app and on the web. I'm not quite ready to shell out for the premium features, but I like everything the free version offers so far.
Download: Lumosity (free, in-app purchases)