Apps of the Week

A weekly grouping of apps that have grabbed our attention

Hard to believe that we're already looking at the end of September, but we have room for one last Apps of the Week column before we end the month. As always, we use this weekly post to highlight a group of apps from the Android Central writers that have turned out to be fun, useful or just interesting bits of mobile software.

This week we have a light grouping of tools, games and other odds and ends for your enjoyment. Stick around after the break and see how this week's picks stack up.

Casey Rendon - WiFi Mouse

WiFi Mouse

The other day I needed to study and take notes on a few Powerpoint slides, so I decided to take over the living television and make it my giant computer monitor. The only problem was, my HDMI cable didn't reach the couch, so I needed to find a way to remotely control my laptop. After a few minutes of browsing the Play Store, I found WiFi Mouse. One Android app install and one quick and easy computer app install later, all I had to do was tap the "auto connect" button and I was up and running. My Nexus 7 became a trackpad that was connected via my home WiFi network. There's even a scroll wheel in portrait mode, as well as the ability to use the Android keyboard for typing. I was also able to scroll using two finger gestures and move windows and icons using three fingers. All these features were included in the free version that I downloaded, which met my needs perfectly. For those that want extra features like hotkeys, dedicated minimize/maximize/close buttons, and an in-app keyboard, there is a paid version available for $2.99.

Download: WiFi Mouse (Free)

Chris Parsons - Pocket Ninjas

Pocket Ninjas

I know, the whole Fruit Ninja style of games is kind of old but this one is too cool to pass up considering it comes free. Pocket Ninjas takes the old genre and mixes it up a bit in a fun way with some great graphics. Slice and dice through waves and waves of enemies while collecting points and gold with the tip of your sword. The game arrives with 4 arenas each with 3 game play modes though, you might want to keep this one away from the kiddies — it does get a bit bloody.

Download: Pocket Ninjas (Free)

Andrew Martonik - Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop

Splashtop 2

Many of us have used a remote desktop program for computer-to-computer communication and virtualization, but Splashtop 2 is leading the way in terms of mobile-to-computer virtual desktop use. If you have the need to access your desktop (or laptop) computer from your tablet, Splashtop 2 can do it seamlessly and for free if you're fine sticking to the same Wifi network for both devices. You get a pretty intuitive set of controls that help translate your taps and pokes on the touch screen into clicks and scrolls on the computer, and once you get used to it, it can be a very power tool.

If you have the need to roam outside of the house and access your computer from over mobile data, Splashtop offers monthly or yearly access plans that can help you accomplish that as well. This isn't the sort of tool that everything has the need for, but sometimes its a fun tool to play around with.

Download: Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand - Polarbear (beta)

Polarbear

If you're a member of multiple social networks, you know how handy it would be to have one app that will post to any or all of them at once. I'm participating in the beta test for Polarbear, which can do just that.

You connect the Polarbear app to your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Blogger and App.net accounts, then you're able to fire off a post and send it to any combination of them at once. The beta is going pretty smoothly, and the developer is quick to respond and interact with the testers. It's almost ready for prime time.

If you want to give this one a try (it's free) all you need to do is join the Polarbear beta community on Google+ through the link below.

Join the Polarbear beta community (Free)

Richard Devine - Transit App

Android Central

My first trip to New York City is almost upon me, and as is traditional when I go somewhere new, I'm loading up my devices with as many travel apps as possible. The Transit App is one of those. Much loved on iOS for a long old while, it made the jump to Android back in July. Real time public transport schedules, routing options and always up-to-date data are a big bonus, especially for someone entering into the unknown. And it's free, which is the other great thing about it. 

Download: Transit App (Free)


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 23 comments

Badsheep says:

I'd like an app like splashtop wish works in reverse... Acting kind of like a second screen. Free, of course! Lol

plunder says:

I just wanted to thank AC for this article; specifically Jerry and Andrew for telling me about WiFi Mouse and Splashtop which I will try tomorrow. Great site, great team.

Awesome A C

Polarbear looks great. I asked to join the beta group.

Posted via Android Central App

Suntan says:

Is there an app like wifi mouse that will work between two android devices?

What I really want is a way to control an android device, hooked up to a TV via MHL, from across the room with another android device.

-Suntan

kurioskurion says:

Polarbear is totally broken... nothing they'll fix it.. can't even evaluate it right now

Posted via Android Central App

Will_Oliver says:

I loved wifi mouse dude, thanks for sharing

Posted via Android Central App

Craig King says:

Splashtop is awesome. It should be noted there are 4 different versions though. Splashtop HD, Splashtop GHD and Splashtop 1 are older but still get updates. They aren't free but are a one time purchase. The advantage is they have the option to use our google account for free remote access. Splashtop 2 has the advantage of being a bit more robust when it comes to being dynmic streamimg and acess to all of the added functionality they have created. You have to pay for it though in subscriptions.

I would also point out the Splashtop 2 with a windows 8 computer basically gives you a windows 8 pro tablet. I have been playing with it on a vm on my home server and it is pretty slick.

Posted via Android Central App

Suntan says:

The other notable difference between the older versions and splashtop2 is that 2 supports an encrypted connection between the server and client. The older ones do not, to my knowledge.

-Suntan

abausch says:

I signed up for Polarbear and tested it on my Nexus 7. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on phones/tables without a 'menu' button, but the developer said that will be fixed in the next update. I'll try it again after that.

alan685 says:

Wi-Fi mouse app seems to be a great alternative. I would love to give it a try.

TeknoBug says:

I personally use Winput, wifi mouse gave me some problems.

Also Splashtop requires you to pay a subscription to use it as far as I can remember, I use AirDisplay (also got iDisplay but never use it).

Suntan says:

Splashtop2 only charges for remote access. It is free if you have both devices on the same LAN.

-Suntan

jtcarnes says:

Why not use Team Viewer for remote access? One app works for PC to PC and mobile device to PC. It's free for personal use and it WORKS. Quick and easy setup and you can use it from anywhere you have internet access.

Posted via Android Central App

Suntan says:

How is the latency with team viewer? I use splashtop2 when travelling to access and watch my media server back home. Splashtop2 gives me fairly good video playback right on screen.

-Suntan

Karrott9 says:

I just have to ask. With something like WiFi Mouse, are there any security concerns? I'd think the developer would be able to take over your laptop or something?

Posted via Android Central App

Cjohnson1073 says:

Jump is a good alternative to Splash top because you're not limited to being on the same wifi network (works over mobile too) and it's a one time purchase with no subscription.

rtkwebman says:

I like Splashtop, but Teamviewer is my current go to choice now.

D13H4RD2L1V3 says:

Splashtop 2 is my personal favorite.

I've used the first version on my iPad. It works pretty well and when it got upgraded to Splashtop 2, I got the Anywhere Access pack for free.

Now using it on my HTC One. It works great but it's obviously best suited for tablets.

Splashtop says:

It's our pleasure that Splashtop 2 is your favorite app, we will keep improving it as time goes.

JobiWan144 says:

"The game arrives with 4 arenas each with 3 game play modes though, you might want to keep this one away from the kiddies — it does get a bit bloody."

I hate to be that guy, but...you misplaced that comma.

Posted from my 1st gen Nexus 7 via Android Central App

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Ali Khan11 says:

Splashtop is cool, didn't knew it was even possible. Thanks for listing it.

Posted via Android Central App

I dig Splashtop, too. But I use my PC laptop more than my desktop, so I prefer to use RHUB's 6-in-1 service b/c it gives me more options for remote support and online collaboration.